#EdenCooks - Cooking Questions

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#EdenCooks - Cooking Questions

Alys Alys
Do you have any questions about an ingredient, a recipe you want to prepare, or a cooking technique?

A lot of us have questions, and often times the answer can be provided by another member of Eden Fantasys. After the first Eden Cooks meeting, I've decided to put up a thread for everyone to be able to ask questions and receive answers, tips, or pointers from anyone who has that specific knowledge.

I think that this will be a great place to be able to share our collective knowledge regarding cooking.
03/11/2011
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danellejohns danellejohns
Quote:
Originally posted by Alys
Do you have any questions about an ingredient, a recipe you want to prepare, or a cooking technique?

A lot of us have questions, and often times the answer can be provided by another member of Eden Fantasys. After the first Eden Cooks ...
First off I want to personally thank you for taking on the Cooking Club (excellent job at the first meeting) and for your generousity (you really did not need to trouble yourself- thank you so much for doing so though).

I would like Vaccinium's technique for making Bambi Burgers.

I would love to hear any tips on making,my "enemy", gravy. I know you mentioned cornstarch slurry (which I will be trying for Saturday nights dinner), but wondered what other people do to make it. Extra Seasonings? Best Combination of Seasonings? Etc.
03/11/2011
Alys Alys
Quote:
Originally posted by danellejohns
First off I want to personally thank you for taking on the Cooking Club (excellent job at the first meeting) and for your generousity (you really did not need to trouble yourself- thank you so much for doing so though).

I would like ...
You'll have to bug Vaccinium about his Bambi Burgers, because I am definitely interested in learning how to properly make them, too!

A few tips for gravy:

If you're going to use a cornstarch slurry, first you have to bring the broth/stock you're using up to a simmer then in a small cup/bowl mix about two parts cold water to one part cornstarch. Pour the slurry into the broth and whisk together. You probably should add it slowly the first couple of times so that you can get a feel for how much of the slurry it takes to get your broth to the right consistency gravy.

Another way to thicken stock into gravy is with a roux, which is made when you mix equal parts melted butter and flour (one to two tablespoons of each, usually). Cook this for about 30 seconds or when it stops smelling like raw flour. Add the stock/broth slowly, whisking after each addition will keep it from getting lumpy.

My favorite seasoning is lemon, mint, and oregano which makes for a Mediterranean sort of flavor profile.
03/11/2011
phunkyphreak phunkyphreak
A little garlic too-If you want more flavor add it at the end of cooking lighter flavor add it at the beginning
03/11/2011
Vaccinium Vaccinium
Quote:
Originally posted by danellejohns
First off I want to personally thank you for taking on the Cooking Club (excellent job at the first meeting) and for your generousity (you really did not need to trouble yourself- thank you so much for doing so though).

I would like ...
There's no real technique. I use 100% venison (with some salt and pepper added), and form them into 3/4 inch tall patties. Doing so allows you to get the outsides done without making the inside well-done as well. I wish I could give you an amount of time to grill them, but I do it by look, not time. Basically, when one side looks nice and brown with the beautiful black score marks I flip it, then do the same to the other side. When both sides look as they should, then the inside should be a nice medium rare. As with all grilled meats, make sure the grill is really hot when you throw down the meat and avoid putting it on any hot spots.

I put mine on a potato bun and add guacamole and a nice Carolina BBQ sauce (the vinegary kid rather than the doctored-up ketchup) along with tomato and sweet onion (Brandywine and Walla Walla, respectively, if can lay your hands on them). Of course, you can add whatever you want to it - it's a burger after all, so have it your way.
03/11/2011
danellejohns danellejohns
What is the hardest part of planning a menu using a new foods? Are there any ingredients that one finds harder to incorporate than others?

My kitchen is full of spices of all kinds but yet some I have never even opened. I hope I am not the only one that struggles with trying to put new things together.
03/15/2011
Vaccinium Vaccinium
Quote:
Originally posted by danellejohns
What is the hardest part of planning a menu using a new foods? Are there any ingredients that one finds harder to incorporate than others?

My kitchen is full of spices of all kinds but yet some I have never even opened. I hope I am not the ...
I find it a lot easier to come up with something to make if I have to wing it at home. In fact, wining it at home has a remarkably high success rate. I imagine this is because I am so comfortable with the ingredients I have in stock routinely.

However, it's hit and miss when I go to the grocery store in terms of coming up with new things. Some of it is because of not being as familiar with some ingredients, but I guess I just need to be in the mood. For example, when I was at the store yesterday, it didn't take long for me to come up with ideas once I saw the yams and the dates. However, if Alys hadn't started the Iron Chef Eden challenge, I likely would have walked by each of them without thinking twice. So, I guess I need to thank Alys for giving me the kick in the butt I needed to be inventive.
03/15/2011
Alys Alys
Quote:
Originally posted by Vaccinium
I find it a lot easier to come up with something to make if I have to wing it at home. In fact, wining it at home has a remarkably high success rate. I imagine this is because I am so comfortable with the ingredients I have in stock routinely. ...
You're welcome
03/15/2011
Alys Alys
Quote:
Originally posted by danellejohns
What is the hardest part of planning a menu using a new foods? Are there any ingredients that one finds harder to incorporate than others?

My kitchen is full of spices of all kinds but yet some I have never even opened. I hope I am not the ...
I think that a key to any ingredient that you aren't as familiar with, be it something new or something that's been hiding in the back of your cupboard for years, is research. Go online and look it up, but more importantly taste it! Once you've tasted it you can start to think of what it'll go best with that you already make. I find that this is the best time to look for recipe ideas online in the general sense of see what most recipes pair it with.

I have been trying new things in the kitchen for a while now, and really the main thing to learn is that you need to feel comfortable with your ingredients, but not be afraid of failure. I can admit to some pretty spectacular failures of my own.

I don't think that there are any ingredients that I particularly find harder than others to experiment with, but I can say that I find spices the EASIEST to try. Spices give you the ability to create wildly different dishes from similar ingredients list. Another thing about spices that I love to play with is the sensory memory part. My squash soup recipe that I showed in this month's meeting came from the spices that made me think of a full Thanksgiving dinner.

I think that the most difficult thing about using a new ingredient is deciding to do so. It can be a little intimidating, but for me the key is to see it as a chance to play with my food, experiment a little, have fun.
03/15/2011
Tasty Latina Tasty Latina
Oh my!! will be awesome to have our very own Eden Cookbook....

Me and my husband love cooking. It has brought us together and we don't want to change a thing.
03/23/2011
Vaccinium Vaccinium
Quote:
Originally posted by Tasty Latina
Oh my!! will be awesome to have our very own Eden Cookbook....

Me and my husband love cooking. It has brought us together and we don't want to change a thing.
If you love cooking, you might want to consider entering the Iron Chef Eden Challenge. Alys, who coordinates it, gave me the kick in the butt I needed to try to be experimental and creative again in the kitchen, and for that I'm quite thankful. The "cookbook" will actually be more in that thread than this one, I suspect.
03/23/2011
Tasty Latina Tasty Latina
Quote:
Originally posted by Vaccinium
If you love cooking, you might want to consider entering the Iron Chef Eden Challenge. Alys, who coordinates it, gave me the kick in the butt I needed to try to be experimental and creative again in the kitchen, and for that I'm quite thankful. ...
Thanks. Will do...
03/27/2011
Antipova Antipova
I'm not sure if I should make a fresh thread, or if continuing here is the better idea, but here goes...

I'm working meat back into my diet after 6 years as a vegetarian (that is, as soon as I moved out of my parents' house), and I have no real experience making meat taste good. I'm a big fan of very spicy ethnic food, and my usual 'learn a new recipe' style is to do a bunch of reading on the internet, have a few samples in restaurants to get a feel for what I'm attempting, and then go to work.

Every couple of months my boyfriend gets a craving for Buffalo-style chicken. Work schedules prevent me trying these out at restaurants/bars because they're usually only cooked one night per week at places in our area. I've tried the boxed frozen variety from the grocery store, and they're bland as all get-out so I don't want to replicate them. Most of my favorite food bloggers have never mentioned Buffalo wings, and I'm having a hard time finding recipes that don't just say "buy a bottle of Buffalo sauce..."

So do any Chefs of Eden have any experience with Buffalo wings? I'm eager to learn.
04/23/2011
Vaccinium Vaccinium
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova
I'm not sure if I should make a fresh thread, or if continuing here is the better idea, but here goes...



I'm working meat back into my diet after 6 years as a vegetarian (that is, as soon as I moved out of my parents' ...
It really depends on how complex you want to get.

The traditional wing sauce is simply melted butter and hot sauce (Frank's hot sauce was the original one used). Seriously, that's it. I don't know a recipe, honestly, but something like a 3-to-1 ratio of hot sauce to butter should do it. I like mine a lot hotter, so I mix in something much spicier like habanero hot sauce, Dragon's Blood (a condensed hot sauce that's almost 15 times hotter than habaneros), or some ghost chili sauce that's yet hotter. I only put in a little of these, because a little goes a long way, but it's an easy way to have the taste of basic Buffalo wings yet make it as spicy as you want.

You can also experiment with the sauces. I've made a papaya-based wing sauce, BBQ-based sauces, hoisin and soy-based ones, and so on. They are good, and sometimes I'm really in the mood for them, but I still prefer the tried and true butter and hot sauce version.

Cooking the wings is really easy too. We used to bake them, but they just aren't as good as deep-frying them. Yeah, I know it's not as healthy, but the texture is so much better. Deep frying at 400 degrees for 8 minutes yields perfect wings every time.

Hope that helped!
04/23/2011
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Vaccinium
It really depends on how complex you want to get.



The traditional wing sauce is simply melted butter and hot sauce (Frank's hot sauce was the original one used). Seriously, that's it. I don't know a recipe, honestly, ...
Very helpful, thanks!

I made something pretty similar to what you described---melted butter, Louisiana hot sauce, Louisiana habanero sauce, some Tobasco, a bit of Worcestershire because someone on the internet mentioned it and I like it, reduced for a while and with a bit of bean starch as a thickener. Next up is frying the chicken, but am I supposed to bread it, or put it in the oil naked? I assume corn oil? (Peanut oil is my usual favorite, but I don't think the flavor would mesh with the sauce.)
04/23/2011
Vaccinium Vaccinium
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova
Very helpful, thanks!



I made something pretty similar to what you described---melted butter, Louisiana hot sauce, Louisiana habanero sauce, some Tobasco, a bit of Worcestershire because someone on the internet mentioned it and I like ...
If you want to bread it, you can, but I do mine naked. [insert joke here]

I use canola oil, and any light-flavored vegetable oil would work just fine.
04/23/2011
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Vaccinium
If you want to bread it, you can, but I do mine naked. [insert joke here]



I use canola oil, and any light-flavored vegetable oil would work just fine.
That. was. amazing. We made'em naked, and the sauce was perfect.

Thanks, Vaccinium! (I keep wanting to just call you Huckleberry.)
04/23/2011
Vaccinium Vaccinium
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova
That. was. amazing. We made'em naked, and the sauce was perfect.



Thanks, Vaccinium! (I keep wanting to just call you Huckleberry.)
I'm glad it worked out for you! It's a pretty fool-proof recipe and always good.

And as for wanting to call me huckleberry, meh, I've been called far worse.
04/25/2011
sjerzecouple sjerzecouple
Quote:
Originally posted by danellejohns
What is the hardest part of planning a menu using a new foods? Are there any ingredients that one finds harder to incorporate than others?

My kitchen is full of spices of all kinds but yet some I have never even opened. I hope I am not the ...
It's important as a cook to know how to use various flavor profiles. One way to adequately use ingredients is to stick to a specific region. ex. If you have cinnamon and want to use it in a savory application, Chinese and Indian food both use it this way, as a warming spice for meat. One idea I have heard is to warm up chicken stock or vegetable stock and divide it into shot glasses. In each stock-filled shot glass, put a spice you are unfamiliar with. Compare it against the unseasoned stock, and the other shot glasses. When you have some idea of each flavor, start combining the stock from the shot glasses and see what tastes good. It's a fun exercise that gives you insight into your pantry.
03/13/2012
Total posts: 19
Unique posters: 7