Where my fellow cooks at???

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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby Pen48guins on Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:09 am

shafnutz05 wrote:Since I started this hardcore diet, one of my staples (especially when my wife has class) are frozen flounder fillets. Not exactly glamorous, but so easy to make and delicious. Just take a filet out of the freezer, brush it with olive oil, season to taste (lemon, garlic, pepper, etc) , and bake for 15 minutes. I don't mind the fishy flavor, so these have become a go-to dish for me. At 80 calories a fillet, can't go wrong.


I was doing this. It got old and I refused to touch any fish for like 2 months. But now I like it again. It is a really easy and quick meal.
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby canaan on Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:16 pm

making ginormous porto steaks tonight for a munchtacular pre-game din din. cant wait.
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby tifosi77 on Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:16 pm

shafnutz05 wrote:I am a very adventurous eater, but I am pretty sure that I would not enjoy a trip to one of those restaurants (like the one tif went to) at all. I enjoy a lot of the finer things, but some of those crazy fancy foods do not appeal to me in the slightest. Probably the only thing that would appeal to me is that veal dish.

I think you would be very surprised. The whole point of this type of cooking is to create delicious food with new flavor combinations and methods of treating ingredients. None of the flash and dash matters if the food isn't good, nor are people going to be willing to shell out three bills for food that's 'sub-optimal'.

Technique is only a delivery vehicle.
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby canaan on Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:22 pm

tifosi77 wrote:
shafnutz05 wrote:I am a very adventurous eater, but I am pretty sure that I would not enjoy a trip to one of those restaurants (like the one tif went to) at all. I enjoy a lot of the finer things, but some of those crazy fancy foods do not appeal to me in the slightest. Probably the only thing that would appeal to me is that veal dish.

I think you would be very surprised. The whole point of this type of cooking is to create delicious food with new flavor combinations and methods of treating ingredients. None of the flash and dash matters if the food isn't good, nor are people going to be willing to shell out three bills for food that's 'sub-optimal'.

Technique is only a delivery vehicle.

relevant: i ran into this "high-end cuisine" idea while watching el bulli the other day. they were trying to get the consistency of something right and they didnt care about the taste. paraphrasing "we'll worry about what it tastes like later". thought it was funny that this kitchen with like 6 or 7 trained chefs didnt care what the food tasted like at the time.
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby columbia on Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:47 pm

Fried tilapia sandwiches planned for the game.
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby tifosi77 on Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:27 am

canaan wrote:relevant: i ran into this "high-end cuisine" idea while watching el bulli the other day. they were trying to get the consistency of something right and they didnt care about the taste. paraphrasing "we'll worry about what it tastes like later". thought it was funny that this kitchen with like 6 or 7 trained chefs didnt care what the food tasted like at the time.

Ha! I just got that DVD last week and have been watching it with my foodie friends at the office.

Restaurants like elBulli represent a completely different world. They often invent entirely new ways of preparing and delivering food, and those methods need to be tested thoroughly. Before they invest time and effort into making something delicious, they need to know if the technique they have in mind will even yield results worth pursuing. Because it's surprisingly easy to make things delicious. The difficulty comes in making something unique. And that's where inspiration comes in.

Sometimes the new technique leads the way, sometimes it's a super rare ingredient that the kitchen has never seen before, sometimes (as with the ice vinaigrette Chef Castro created in that documentary) the inspiration comes from a cocktail enjoyed at a restaurant in Brazil months ago.

That's the great thing about inspiration; you never know if - or from where - it will emerge. But what really separates great cooks from merely very good ones is not skill or technique. It is an innate ability to draw inspiration from the mundane, to recognize possibilities. One of the all-time signature dishes at The French Laundry was born because Thomas Keller got an ice cream cone, and that particular day his mind was open to what that ice cream cone could deliver other than frozen milk.

But the end point absolutely positively has to be delicious.... or, as Adrià says in the movie, 'magical'. Otherwise, you're a technician and not an artist. Technicians can work anywhere from Michelin-starred restaurants to T.G.I. McFunster's down the way. But the best chefs, the visionaries, are most certainly artists.
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby count2infinity on Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:23 pm

had very underwhelming pizza last night. Had to rush home to make it. Only got about an hour to let the dough rise (i like to let it go at least 5 or 6). The dough was too thick, just all sorts of bad.
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby Godric on Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:31 pm

count2infinity wrote:had very underwhelming pizza last night. Had to rush home to make it. Only got about an hour to let the dough rise (i like to let it go at least 5 or 6). The dough was too thick, just all sorts of bad.


Dense? Or thick as in the opposite of thin crust?
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby columbia on Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:34 pm

@c2i

Do you use a pizza stone?
Just wondering if those really make a difference.
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby count2infinity on Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:37 pm

dense, godric.

columbia, I do use a pizza stone and I think it definitely makes a difference, but too many people try to use one and use it improperly. They use it just like a baking sheet, put the dough on the stone and then throw it in the oven. What you need to do is get that stone in the oven and get it cranking hot then put the dough directly on it while it's still hot in the oven. That's the only way to get that nice crust people look for by baking it on the stone. I also grill my dough which makes a nice textured dough as well.
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby columbia on Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:38 pm

Ahah....thanks!
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby Godric on Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:39 pm

count2infinity wrote:dense, godric.

columbia, I do use a pizza stone and I think it definitely makes a difference, but too many people try to use one and use it improperly. They use it just like a baking sheet, put the dough on the stone and then throw it in the oven. What you need to do is get that stone in the oven and get it cranking hot then put the dough directly on it while it's still hot in the oven. That's the only way to get that nice crust people look for by baking it on the stone. I also grill my dough which makes a nice textured dough as well.


:thumb: :thumb:

Good baker right here ^^
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby tifosi77 on Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:14 pm

columbia wrote:@c2i

Do you use a pizza stone?
Just wondering if those really make a difference.

They absolutely make a difference.

One trick I just figured out is to put the stone on the bottom rack of the oven. Put another rack on the next level up and put an inverted cast iron pan directly over the stone (should be about the same size as the stone). The big object acts as a heat sink, so the temperature doesn't drop as much when you open the oven door. Plus, it seems to set up a kind of mini convection current between the stone and the pan which raised the temperature of the stone a good 70-80 degrees above the highest temp my oven normally cracks. (Got the thing into the 600s last time)

The trick is cooking the dough very very fast. In Naples (where they invented flatbread pizza) they spend usually about 70-90 seconds in an oven that's rolling along at about 1,000 F. I was able to cook my pizzas in about 2 minutes last time, using that inverted skillet trick.

C2I is right, in that you have to pre-heat the stone with the oven on full whack for a good half hour (at least) before cooking. I usually prep the oven after I've made and kneaded the dough and have set it aside to rise; when the dough has doubled in volume, it's ready to use, which should be plenty of time to get that stone good and hot.
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby columbia on Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:56 am

Food's Biggest Scam: The Great Kobe Beef Lie
http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmste ... -beef-lie/
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby mac5155 on Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:16 am

columbia wrote:Food's Biggest Scam: The Great Kobe Beef Lie
http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmste ... -beef-lie/


What is / why is kobe beef so good?
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby tifosi77 on Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:23 pm

"Kobe beef" a marketing term.

Wagyu or tajima are heritage breeds of cattle that have been raised according to some pretty strict dietary and 'quality of life' guidelines. There are several regions in Japan that raise beef cattle under differing rules of production, and one of them is the prefecture where Kobe is located (hence the name). The animals are fed on grain that is often mixed with beer and/or sake to make a 'mash', and they get daily massages. In the weeks before slaughter, they are fed a high-fat diet that pretty much inverts the lean protein ratio of normal cows, as well as the ratio of saturated and unsaturated fats.

Real wagyu is a spectacular product. You talk about good burger meat being 15% fat.... wagyu will be on the order of 25% fat. Imagine a ribeye steak with the fat content of bacon. You can actually eat real wagyu raw, which is how I prefer it. Is it worth $100 a pound? That's for each diner to decide for themselves. For a splurge, it's cool.

There is such a thing as "American wagyu", which is a crossbreed of tajima and Angus, that has considerably less fat and has been modified to be more suitable to the climate in cattle country in the U.S. It is of significantly lesser quality than the real thing, but it is much better, imo, than regular Angus.
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby jimjom on Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:00 pm

Tried to make hollandaise today. Sauce broke as I was whisking -- was cooking via a double boiler and turned the heat up slightly which scrambled my yolks. Any advice (besides not adjusting the heat)?
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby tifosi77 on Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:05 am

Did you use clarified butter, or just melted butter? Sometimes the presence of the solids in straight melted butter can make it hard to emulsify as you whisk. Only other thing I can suggest is to make super extra careful sure that you add the butter very slowly, especially at first. No kidding, I mean like by a couple drops at a time. Drip, drip, whisk to emulsify.... drip, drip, whisk..... drip, drip, whisk.... etc. Once you get it going and stable, then you can add it in a slow, steady stream until you get to the balance and consistency you want.
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby tifosi77 on Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:08 am

The weekend's adventures:

Short Ribs, Mango, Endive
Image

Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde and Smashed Potatoes With Bacon Ailioli
(recipes from Jonathan Waxman and Michael Symon, respectively)
Image
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby cheesesteakwithegg on Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:10 am

I like making my own burgers at home from time to time. The one issue that always comes into play that no matter how much I flatten out the patties before I put them on the grill, by the time they are done, they always turn into more of a ball than a flat patty. Anyone have any tips?
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby tifosi77 on Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:19 am

After you form the patty, use your thumb to make a dimple in the middle of one side of the patty. (One of the burger trucks out here actually pokes a hole right through their patties.) As the proteins heat and contract, they will puff up in that hole and the patty will stay relatively the same size and shape.
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby cheesesteakwithegg on Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:32 am

tifosi77 wrote:After you form the patty, use your thumb to make a dimple in the middle of one side of the patty. (One of the burger trucks out here actually pokes a hole right through their patties.) As the proteins heat and contract, they will puff up in that hole and the patty will stay relatively the same size and shape.


:thumb:

I knew that you would have the answer. Thanks!
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby mac5155 on Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:58 am

I always resort to crushing the patty with my spatula and then end up with half of my burger on the racks of the grill lol
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby shmenguin on Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:26 am

columbia wrote:If you are going to spend that much in Philly, you might want to consider Morimoto.


a while back, my boss told me to go have dinner and send him the bill. i went to morimoto. i'm glad i didn't have to pay for it since it was extremely expensive and it was just...well...sushi. maybe there's other stuff there that is awesome, but there are more affordable ways to get quality sushi.
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Re: Where my fellow cooks at???

Postby count2infinity on Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:42 am

mac5155 wrote:I always resort to crushing the patty with my spatula and then end up with half of my burger on the racks of the grill lol


crush the patty? why? all the juicy goodness inside just runs out when you do that!
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