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Thread: Cooking 101 (aka Cooking for Dummies)

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faery-Wings
    Sweat (no, not what you do over a hot stove) you sweat onions (and I think mushrooms) but cooking them over a low heat, in a bit of oil or butter. This releases the liquid from the food.
    Just to elaborate on that very good tip - when you sweat vegetables like onions, etc. you should not have any carmelization of the vegetables, they should stay pretty much the same color as when you put them in, if they brown, turn it down....(the heat).
    "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

    "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

    "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


    R.I.P. MiLo
    Run free and catch the rabbits
    4/7/96 - 11/30/10

  2. #42
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    Just a few terms:

    Saute - cooking on stove top with enough oil or fat to coat the bottom of pan.

    Frying - oil/fat is halfway up the sides of the food product

    Deep frying - food is submerged in hot oil/fat

    Roasting - food is put into oven to cook, food should be lightly coated with a fat/oil medium for crisping and carmelization.

    Braising - cooking food in a covered pot (think Dutch oven) with a liquid in pan to keep food moist by adding steam and thus creating a flavorful liquid for gravy, etc. Think pot roast.
    "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

    "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

    "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


    R.I.P. MiLo
    Run free and catch the rabbits
    4/7/96 - 11/30/10

  3. #43
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    Easy Recipe Websites

    http://www.your-cookbook.com/
    Looking for a recipe or meal ideas?
    Well you’ll find a great collection of Free Recipes,
    plus cooking tips & information here in your-cookbook.
    Recipes which are Easy to find and Easy to make.

  4. #44
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    That's a cool website Faery... they even had recipes for MUTTON!! I haven't seen anything like that in forever - I don't know anyone who eats it, but I'd give it a try.
    "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

    "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

    "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


    R.I.P. MiLo
    Run free and catch the rabbits
    4/7/96 - 11/30/10

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by WitchJezebel
    Ah, I see - thanks for clarifying. Believe me, I know the stress level in restaurants and as much as I adore food, recipes and facts, there came a time where I didn't want to be a line cook anymore. I've done my time, now I prefer other areas of the food industry so I'm still looking for work. I could get a line cook job again with no problem - but it's so taxing and frankly, I don't want to be on my feet for 16 hours a day anymore, I can't take it.

    I think that's great that you went to culinary classes for your own personal satisfaction; that's how I started out as well and then I had 'pay my dues' to the industry. Why not go ahead and finish up? If people are saying you're gifted and you seem to be pleasing everyone you feed then I think it would be great for you to do so. There are many other aspects of the food industry you could look into...

    I have amassed alot of professional gear over the years as well, I can't help it, I like to use what I learned using... you should see my stand mixer and my cookware!

    Oh and by the way... I ADORE Alton Brown - he's always full of knowledge and loads of fun.

    I'm glad you popped in here to post, I'm sure we'll make beautiful croissants together!
    The reason I haven't finished classes is because I don't have the money and I won't even consider thinking about another loan. All I would be doing is finishing up the lower courses. (Combined with practice it could well be enough for a level A cert). That's as far as I would want to go.

    You know, I never thought of any other aspects of the food industry. I guess I have'nt taken that class yet. I am looking for work as well and even though the food industry would be foreign to me as far as work is concerned, but could you maybe list some aspects of the food industry that I may be interested in? Perhaps you could also provide me with some places or ways I could get more information? That would be really interesting if not more.

    Yes, Alton is one of me two heros I consider mentors of sorts. Too bad I can't reveal whom it is I know and my conduit for my other mentor. If I did I fear that I may be overwhelmed and drowned in requests and questions and all kinds of crazy stuff from folks whom are familar with who it is, that I couldn't fulfill.

    I feel we will be talking again soon...no problem, I can talk about food and cooking and chefs all day. (Of course, me accent will get thick, but it's still English, just not everyone is familar with the slang).

    HOI

  6. #46
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    For hardened brown sugar, you can also seal up a slice of bread in there with the sugar. The sugar will suck out all the moisture of the bread and become soft again after a day or two. The bread will be hard as a board once all the sugar is done with it.

  7. #47
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    gravy:

    oil from whatever you happen to be making. i.e. drippings and pan stuff.

    mixed with equal parts flour (meaning if you have 1 cup of oil you can add about 1 cup of flour.) start with a little less and see how it goes.

    deglaze your pan with some liquid (deglaze means you take all the food out of the pan and add some liquid, like water, wine, stock or beer to just the tasty bits off the bottom. scraping helps too. you WANT it in the gravy) adding hearts or whatever fatty bits you have is also ok, but i don't have experience in this.

    add the oil and flour. cook down until there is no liquid and the flour has been toasted a fairly rich golden brown. over medium low heat. this can take up to 30 minutes of stirring, maybe make a kid do it for you.

    ok- now you have ROUX! the base of almost every creole dish. add some stock or wine or broth from whatever you are cooking to bring the mix to a gravy consistency.

    adding cream, milk or whatever to thin the roux is very appropriate and tasty.

    if you use wine, make sure it is something you would drink with the meal. be sure to cook the alcohol out of any dish including it. you will be able to smell the alcohol cooking out.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heart of Isis
    The reason I haven't finished classes is because I don't have the money and I won't even consider thinking about another loan. All I would be doing is finishing up the lower courses. (Combined with practice it could well be enough for a level A cert). That's as far as I would want to go.

    You know, I never thought of any other aspects of the food industry. I guess I have'nt taken that class yet. I am looking for work as well and even though the food industry would be foreign to me as far as work is concerned, but could you maybe list some aspects of the food industry that I may be interested in? Perhaps you could also provide me with some places or ways I could get more information? That would be really interesting if not more.
    HOI
    I know exactly what you mean about the student loans - I was terrified when I finished culinary school and the repayment of the loans kicked in.

    As for other aspects of the food industry, what I meant was you don't necessarily have to work in a kitchen. You could do management of the front of the house; work at a distributors' place (maybe produce, meats, anything really). You could work as a caterer; I actually enjoyed catering for awhile, I was at all the cool parties and I ate well! Maybe a party planning place? You could even get a job at a test kitchen for a food magazine, if one is published in your area. You really only have to think about food and then branch out into all the areas of the food industry there are. Just a note though, if you did decide to pursue a culinary career, no matter how good you are in school, no matter if you were at the top of your class (I made top 10 at graduation), you will always, ALWAYS have to start at the bottom. You'll spend your day cutting vegetables, making stocks and sauces and basically being the general prep person. So many chefs (myself included) thought that we'd graduate and go straight on to be this top chef someplace and the reality of it is, IT DOESN'T HAPPEN THAT WAY. Don't be deceived, you WILL be a prep person in the beginning. The arrogance that culinary school instills in it's students will be knocked down and rebuilt in any place you decide to work. The arrogance that is learned doesn't come into play until you really are that good in a kitchen - I learned the hard way and I'm very thankful that I did, it kept me working in some very nice places for a long time. So many of my friends at school got fired from jobs early on because they thought they were good... and many of them were, but when you go into a new job, you must be confident but not cocky - you'll get fired before you can heat the olive oil.

    Either way, I'm glad you enjoy food as much as I do; and no matter, right now I'm not working in a restaurant, nor do I want to. I applied for a job in a food related industry just yesterday, I'm praying they call.
    "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

    "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

    "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


    R.I.P. MiLo
    Run free and catch the rabbits
    4/7/96 - 11/30/10

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by spooky
    gravy:

    oil from whatever you happen to be making. i.e. drippings and pan stuff.

    mixed with equal parts flour (meaning if you have 1 cup of oil you can add about 1 cup of flour.) start with a little less and see how it goes.

    deglaze your pan with some liquid (deglaze means you take all the food out of the pan and add some liquid, like water, wine, stock or beer to just the tasty bits off the bottom. scraping helps too. you WANT it in the gravy) adding hearts or whatever fatty bits you have is also ok, but i don't have experience in this.

    add the oil and flour. cook down until there is no liquid and the flour has been toasted a fairly rich golden brown. over medium low heat. this can take up to 30 minutes of stirring, maybe make a kid do it for you.

    ok- now you have ROUX! the base of almost every creole dish. add some stock or wine or broth from whatever you are cooking to bring the mix to a gravy consistency.

    adding cream, milk or whatever to thin the roux is very appropriate and tasty.

    if you use wine, make sure it is something you would drink with the meal. be sure to cook the alcohol out of any dish including it. you will be able to smell the alcohol cooking out.

    It's taken me years to make a good gravy; I've made some that look like plaster!

    If you want to add the hearts and giblets to the gravy like for Thanksgiving gravy, saute them first, seasoned with a little salt and pepper, chop them up and then add them close to the end of the gravy cooking time so they don't get rubbery.
    "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

    "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

    "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


    R.I.P. MiLo
    Run free and catch the rabbits
    4/7/96 - 11/30/10

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faery-Wings
    Zest: to scrape bit of the peel of a citrus fruit off, using a zester or fine grater. When you zest a fruit, you only want to take off the colored part. The white part underneath is bitter.

    zest: noun- the resulting bits of fruit peel. These are very flavorful so you do not need lots of zest for most dishes
    My best friend will zest all her lemons and oranges and freeze them in small airtight containers or baggies; they'll stay pretty fresh for a couple of months.
    "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

    "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

    "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


    R.I.P. MiLo
    Run free and catch the rabbits
    4/7/96 - 11/30/10

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