Come all ye self-styled chefs and kitchen users, we must talk.

Yeah, I usually use something similar to the tamagoyaki technique, except it was how my mom taught me.

Basically, you put your beaten egg into the pan, give it a moment to settle and form a good start. Then begin working around the edges with a rubber spatula, lifting them and rolling the pan to let the still liquid egg go under the edges, cooking it and also reinforcing the parts you have to fold.

Then, once the top is not moving anymore, add in your pre-saute'd ingredients and your cheese and fold, either in half or in thirds, depending on the ingredients inside. If there are peas or a semi-liquid ingredient like sour cream or anything else that tends to escape on you, you want the 3-fold to hold onto it, but for just cheese and a meat, in half is fine.

Then I'll usually use a spatula to flip it over onto it's belly and let it cook some more, while adding a bit of grated cheese to melt onto it's back.

While we are on the subject of eggs, here's a great vid with a genuinely great way to make poached eggs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...

I'll be trying that in the morning

DanB wrote:

While we are on the subject of eggs, here's a great vid with a genuinely great way to make poached eggs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...

I'll be trying that in the morning

I am so trying this tonight. I've never poached an egg before! I've got one of those strainers (best purchase ever by the way). I'll just have to go to the store after work today for fresh eggs, English muffins, and some sort of meat product.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

some sort of meat product.

IMAGE(http://www.toptenz.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/pottedmeat.jpg)

Ewwwww I think I'll just go with some steamed broccoli at this point.

DanB wrote:

While we are on the subject of eggs, here's a great vid with a genuinely great way to make poached eggs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...

I'll be trying that in the morning

Interesting! I'll try it this way. I poach eggs pretty often, usually to go on top of ramen or risotto.

clover wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:

some sort of meat product.

IMAGE(http://www.toptenz.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/pottedmeat.jpg)

IMAGE(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0RGyczO5_uM/T4oI4W591fI/AAAAAAAAEso/dUaq9vxcYFA/s1600/CannedWholeChicken4a.jpg)

I got my dad something akin to this this egg poacher tool a while ago. I'm told gives consistently good results with relative ease and is very easy to clean. Might be worth considering if you have poached eggs often.

krev82 wrote:

I got my dad something akin to this this egg poacher tool a while ago. I'm told gives consistently good results with relative ease and is very easy to clean. Might be worth considering if you have poached eggs often.

I've always wondered about these, are the pits the eggs are in submerged in water? Because if not don't it just come out like a boiled egg but in a different shape (like the plastic wrap egg poaching method)

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

I am so trying this tonight. I've never poached an egg before!

It is totally easy as long as you ignore everyone's advice and just crack the egg in to the boiling water and leave them alone. Of course that way does result in the problem talked about in the video of lots of messy white floating around and you rarely get a good poached egg shape.

Couple of things I've noticed that are worth knowing:

Once the eggs are in the water they settle to the bottom to begin with, at that point you leave them alone. As they cook and set they lift a little and become more mobile. This is most noticeable with small eggs and if you ever poach qualis eggs you can tell they are done as they float back towards the surface. Once the eggs seem free to move you can move them about as shown in the video, although I can't say I've noticed that eggs stick to one another so you can probably just leave them in peace which I suspect will result in a better finish.

The other thing I've noticed is that you need something of a brisk boil, a gentle simmer can be too cool and lets the eggs come apart. But at the same time too vigorous a boil will also break the eggs up, there's a sweet spot but you're usually safer aiming for a lower temp.

I got all my stuff ready and am heating the water now. The freshest eggs I could get at the store today are 046. Today is 060. I will post a picture of the results if the results are to my satisfaction.

I use Alton Brown's method to poach eggs. Add some lemon juice to the water to keep the whites from dispersing too much. Crack the eggs individually into ramekins so they go into the water quickly. Have an extra egg to test until you're able to get the timing down for how done you want them.

To cook: Boil the water, then remove from the heat, add the eggs, and cover. Wait until done.

For a couple it takes about 10 minutes for them to be completely firm for me. More eggs need more time.

DanB wrote:
krev82 wrote:

I got my dad something akin to this this egg poacher tool a while ago. I'm told gives consistently good results with relative ease and is very easy to clean. Might be worth considering if you have poached eggs often.

I've always wondered about these, are the pits the eggs are in submerged in water? Because if not don't it just come out like a boiled egg but in a different shape (like the plastic wrap egg poaching method)

The eggs are steamed. I am not a big fan of these for poached eggs, I have not had good luck with the whites being cooked while the egg staying soft enough. For me, the perfect poached egg has a cooked but opaque white, and a completely runny yolk.

If you are poaching purely to eliminate all fat from making the egg, this is the way to do it.

So, I just lost my huge post that I put together due to my laptop's touchpad/keyboard doing a shortcut close window. Here we go again. Poaching eggs is hard! The things the video doesn't tell you are that the temperature is absolutely key. I would use a thermometer if I had one to get regular, reproducible results. Secondly, you need to use that strainer with the back and forth motion in the water a lot longer than they show in the video before letting the egg go. I wish I had a smaller strainer. That would let you use a smaller pot of almost boiling water.

I had 2 eggs turn out great. Here are some bleh photos. I didn't really have time to deal well with the bad lighting. Not enough DOF.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/djGEd4R.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/NGWaeVH.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/nsMbxE6.jpg)

So, it may have taken me a dozen eggs to get 2 good ones, but damn it, I made a couple beautiful, delicious poached eggs on my first attempt. The broccoli was overdone because I was busy with the damn eggs. It was still good, though.

You guys need to give up on the butter. I go with the camping method; cook the bacon first, then when that is done drop the eggs in and mix it up and keep lumping to the middle. I prefer some milk and cheese in there too but the family doesn't, so that's my bachelor weekend version. Then finish it off with a little salt/pepper and some hot sauce.

Nice, tuffalo. For sake of comparison, try the traditional method: a bit of vinegar, bring water just barely to a simmer, whirlpool & drop into the center. Leave 4 minutes, and serve immediately or put into cold water to keep. It may not always be perfectly spherical doing it this way, but in my experience it's always perfectly done.

Anyone have experience with dehydrators? I found the 2011 thread on them but that didn't end up going into much.

I haven't made too many adventurous moves in cooking lately, but here's a semi-relevant pic:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/XozAO4U.jpg)

I do, however, need to figure out how to use an omelet pan, as someone suggested. The only time I tried, I managed to fail miserably.

sometimesdee wrote:

I haven't made too many adventurous moves in cooking lately, but here's a semi-relevant pic:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/XozAO4U.jpg)

I do, however, need to figure out how to use an omelet pan, as someone suggested. The only time I tried, I managed to fail miserably.

Haha, that is a great pic. My new apartment's smoke detector is incredibly sensitive and in 4 weeks I've set it off twice, until i realized how to temporarily disable it.

krev82 wrote:

Anyone have experience with dehydrators? I found the 2011 thread on them but that didn't end up going into much.

We have a Nesco dehydrator like this one. For fruit and vegetables, it's useful to have a mandoline of some sort for slicing, too.

Katy wrote:
krev82 wrote:

Anyone have experience with dehydrators? I found the 2011 thread on them but that didn't end up going into much.

We have a Nesco dehydrator like this one. For fruit and vegetables, it's useful to have a mandoline of some sort for slicing, too.

Sooooo tempted...

Katy wrote:
krev82 wrote:

Anyone have experience with dehydrators? I found the 2011 thread on them but that didn't end up going into much.

We have a Nesco dehydrator like this one. For fruit and vegetables, it's useful to have a mandoline of some sort for slicing, too.

IMAGE(http://www.mandolincafe.com/archives/postcards/images/mandolin01.jpg)

dhelor wrote:
Katy wrote:
krev82 wrote:

Anyone have experience with dehydrators? I found the 2011 thread on them but that didn't end up going into much.

We have a Nesco dehydrator like this one. For fruit and vegetables, it's useful to have a mandoline of some sort for slicing, too.

IMAGE(http://www.mandolincafe.com/archives/postcards/images/mandolin01.jpg)

What a difference a single "e" makes!

So I was experimenting with cooking yesterday. My roommate's birthday is today and I wanted to see if I could make cookies with an Earthbound or Pokemon theme.

Behold, my failure!

IMAGE(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/72434_10100424636427235_1591625790_n.jpg)

Then I decided to try and make a Pokemon themed pizza.

IMAGE(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/601088_10100424636422245_1286072309_n.jpg)

It was super-effective.

It was also made with a store-bought crust, though. Things on my cooking to-do list:

Learn how to make my own pizza dough
Figure out how to make themed cookies

So some tips on frosting.
1. You absolutely need to let the cookies, or brownies, or cake, or cupcakes cool off.
2. Those decorating pens suck 9/10. What you can do is get the frosting you want in a can, and then put it in a piping or sipper bag. Zip bags with a little hole or just nipping of the tip work great for decorating. I use them to pipe out fillings for Manicotti or Shells, mashed potatoes for shepherd's pie as well.

KingGorilla wrote:

So some tips on frosting.
1. You absolutely need to let the cookies, or brownies, or cake, or cupcakes cool off.
2. Those decorating pens suck 9/10. What you can do is get the frosting you want in a can, and then put it in a piping or sipper bag. Zip bags with a little hole or just nipping of the tip work great for decorating. I use them to pipe out fillings for Manicotti or Shells, mashed potatoes for shepherd's pie as well.

The cookies were cooled off. Well over an hour cooled off. That's just how terrible the icing was.

I'm guessing if I don't have proper cookie cut-outs, then what I'll need to do if I want to make, say, a Mr. Saturn cookie, is roll some cookie dough on a cutting board and manually cut the shape out myself.

I'm also thinking I need to do something other than a "cookie mix from a bag, toss in a softened stick of butter and one egg" route.

Also also, because the butter wasn't soft enough the cookie mix was mostly powder, so I cracked a second egg in there. I think that also was a problem in the long run, though don't ask me how.

Yeah, let your butter soften at room temp for a while first, it takes a bit of practice to figure out where soft enough but not too soft is but it's well worth it in cookie making. I think the general guideline is soft enough to make a thumb print but firm enough that you don't push right into it when doing so or some such (it's been a while).

That definitely looks like an icing issue though, decorative icing is a pretty tricky thing to make and I suspect the premade stuff in those pens will never compare. If it's something you do or plan to do often you may want to look into a proper icing bag (reusable) and tips but KG's suggestion will work just fine for a fraction of the cost for if you're not doing it often.

Baking isn't like other cooking. There's very little improvisation. You master the techniques and follow the recipe.

Ccesarano, when it comes to decorated cookies, mostly I will just get pre-cut sugar cookies from Sams Club or Gordons or Pillsbury. Don't overcook them and you are fine. It can be fun at parties to pre-bake some hearts for Valentine's day or Trees and Snowmen for X-mas, and having people decorate a cookie or two for fun. Decorated sugar cookies are mostly about the looks, not the taste.