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

conejote wrote:

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.

For not-so-fresh eggs, I learned a great technique from Heston Blumenthal (by the way, everyone should watch How to Cook Like Heston, so many great everyday tips): break eggs into slotted spoon and the loose albumen will just drip off. The cohesive egg white stays in the spoon and makes nice poached egg, no loose white flowing around. I use this ever since I saw it and it works perfectly.

wanderingtaoist wrote:

For not-so-fresh eggs, I learned a great technique from Heston Blumenthal (by the way, everyone should watch How to Cook Like Heston, so many great everyday tips): break eggs into slotted spoon and the loose albumen will just drip off. The cohesive egg white stays in the spoon and makes nice poached egg, no loose white flowing around. I use this ever since I saw it and it works perfectly.

Drat, I skimmed through your post and was hoping that someone had created a video on how to cook like Charlton Heston. "LET THE FLAVOR FLOW!"

sometimesdee wrote:
wanderingtaoist wrote:

For not-so-fresh eggs, I learned a great technique from Heston Blumenthal (by the way, everyone should watch How to Cook Like Heston, so many great everyday tips): break eggs into slotted spoon and the loose albumen will just drip off. The cohesive egg white stays in the spoon and makes nice poached egg, no loose white flowing around. I use this ever since I saw it and it works perfectly.

Drat, I skimmed through your post and was hoping that someone had created a video on how to cook like Charlton Heston. "LET THE FLAVOR FLOW!"

COLD DEAD HAMS

Maq wrote:

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

This sounds depressing.

KingGorilla wrote:

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.

I could always get the Portal cookie cutters from Think Geek, but I like the idea of making things like Mario hats, Metroid missile upgrades, triforces, etc.

I'll wait for a weekend I'm more free to experiment with baking. And maybe invite a lady friend over to help out.

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)

We have something similar - it's this. I am a huge fan of it. Make poached eggs a cinch. My one has small holes in the individual cups - I fill it with water so that the cups aren't touching the water - I'm basically steaming the eggs.

It's a consistent method for great poached eggs. Took us a little while to dial in exactly how long to cook it for, but we have it down now. 4 minutes and 20 seconds for a large egg results in set whites and a yolk that's set at the edge and runny in the middle, every time.

Tanglebones wrote:
sometimesdee wrote:
wanderingtaoist wrote:

For not-so-fresh eggs, I learned a great technique from Heston Blumenthal (by the way, everyone should watch How to Cook Like Heston, so many great everyday tips): break eggs into slotted spoon and the loose albumen will just drip off. The cohesive egg white stays in the spoon and makes nice poached egg, no loose white flowing around. I use this ever since I saw it and it works perfectly.

Drat, I skimmed through your post and was hoping that someone had created a video on how to cook like Charlton Heston. "LET THE FLAVOR FLOW!"

COLD DEAD HAMS

Bra-f***ing-vo, sir.

ccesarano wrote:
Maq wrote:

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

This sounds depressing.

The scope for improv in baking doesn't (initially) lie in playing with the ratios of the base ingredients. You indeed can play fairly fast and loose with a cookie dough but for anything more "delicate" you are pretty bound by needing to achieve the right ratio of ingredients in order to get the finish you want. It's not for no reason that pastry chefing is one of the most complex kitchen disciplines. To begin with you mostly get to improvise around flavour and decor.

You can indeed make all sorts of different batters and doughs but they are used for very different end products. Compare and contrast: crepes, pancakes, scones, biscuits, brownies, cake, brioche, bread. You're starting with the same basic mixture: flour, water/milk, fat (maybe you have a raising agent, maybe there's some egg, maybe you have some sugar) but the ratio of those ingredients will determine which of end products you can cook. So you can't often "just add more sugar" or add another egg without changing what it is you're going to cook. Also if you get really in to baking start weighing your ingredients; you'll get a much more consistent finished than you will with cups.

Having ranted about that now on to icing:

If you make any cakes here is the best icing tip I've ever come across: Stop making butter cream icing. Instead try this:

Mascarpone
Icing sugar to taste
The crushed fresh fruit of your choice (berries work very well, bananas too. Apples not so much unless you stew them)

Pass the fruit through a sieve/strainer if you want a smooth finish. The whip all these together and then use as icing. Doesn't last as long as butter cream icing but tastes infinitely better and is much lighter on the Palate.

Butter cream icing is the devil.

Tonight's dinner was a delicious Indian lamb stew:
http://www.suvir.com/Lamb_stew.html

We ended up shy a couple of the ingredients (fenugreek, curry leaves, cinnamon sticks and shredded coconut), and the spiciness level was a bit too high for Alexis, but still incredibly delicious.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/vAb4iicl.jpg)

ccesarano wrote:

Learn how to make my own pizza dough

Pizza dough is pretty easy to make. Flour, sugar, salt, water, olive oil, and yeast.

My personal fav is Alton Brown's recipe. It's makes four pizza's worth, but you can keep them in the fridge for about a week if you just put them in plastic bags and coat them with a bit of olive oil or Pam.

Tanglebones wrote:

Butter cream icing is the devil.

We can't be friends anymore.

Minarchist wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Butter cream icing is the devil.

We can't be friends anymore.

I know butter cream icing is good when it is done correctly, but I am much more a fan of whipped icing. I use heavy whipping cream with a bit of gelatin to stabilize it.

OG_slinger wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

Learn how to make my own pizza dough

Pizza dough is pretty easy to make. Flour, sugar, salt, water, olive oil, and yeast.

My personal fav is Alton Brown's recipe. It's makes four pizza's worth, but you can keep them in the fridge for about a week if you just put them in plastic bags and coat them with a bit of olive oil or Pam.

I use a similar recipe. I like Alton Brown, but that seems like a lot of sugar for pizza dough. I've found the yield on this one is about two pizzas (full 10"x15") if you are doing a pretty thin crust or use 2/3 of the recipe to get one thicker crust. You can make it by hand, but if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, it's much easier and it takes a little more flour to make.

Tanglebones wrote:

Tonight's dinner was a delicious Indian lamb stew:
http://www.suvir.com/Lamb_stew.html

We ended up shy a couple of the ingredients (fenugreek, curry leaves, cinnamon sticks and shredded coconut), and the spiciness level was a bit too high for Alexis, but still incredibly delicious.

Do you have a good chicken curry recipe? I've been making it from a boxed mix, which is tasty and fast, but I'd like to try making it more from-scratch. I've been a bit reluctant because I know the flavor won't match exactly (nor am I good enough to pick out the spices just from tasting), and I'm likely to get complaints because it's not the same.

fuzzyb wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

Learn how to make my own pizza dough

Pizza dough is pretty easy to make. Flour, sugar, salt, water, olive oil, and yeast.

My personal fav is Alton Brown's recipe. It's makes four pizza's worth, but you can keep them in the fridge for about a week if you just put them in plastic bags and coat them with a bit of olive oil or Pam.

I use a similar recipe. I like Alton Brown, but that seems like a lot of sugar for pizza dough. I've found the yield on this one is about two pizzas (full 10"x15") if you are doing a pretty thin crust or use 2/3 of the recipe to get one thicker crust. You can make it by hand, but if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, it's much easier and it takes a little more flour to make.

AB's recipe also uses way, way too much yeast, IMO. Like, the one I use is about 3/8 tsp per 18" pie! I hunted for a long time for good pizza recipes and wound up settling in with the incredibly knowledgeable people over here. The Tom Lehman NY-style recipe is our standby; just had it tonight, in fact.

Katy wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Tonight's dinner was a delicious Indian lamb stew:
http://www.suvir.com/Lamb_stew.html

We ended up shy a couple of the ingredients (fenugreek, curry leaves, cinnamon sticks and shredded coconut), and the spiciness level was a bit too high for Alexis, but still incredibly delicious.

Do you have a good chicken curry recipe? I've been making it from a boxed mix, which is tasty and fast, but I'd like to try making it more from-scratch. I've been a bit reluctant because I know the flavor won't match exactly (nor am I good enough to pick out the spices just from tasting), and I'm likely to get complaints because it's not the same.

Tangle himself turned me on to this book, which after cooking through maybe 30% of it I can most heartily recommend. Lots and lots of Indian curries in there of various shapes and sizes (and flavors).

I'd forgotten that Tangle hated butter cream icing. Along with Billy Joel and all other things that are wholesome and good. Like AMERICA.

I have been rocking a no yeast dough for awhile now and it works great for pan pizzas. My 12 inch frying pan makes a great pie. This amount also works for a medium cookie sheet (10 inch wide) for a thinner crust.

You will start with 1 heaping cup of flour.
1 1/2 Tbst baking powder
1 1/1 Tbsp baking soda
1 Pinch of Salt
1-2 Tbsp of oil.

Set aside warm water. The amount of water can depend on relative humidity, temperature etc.

You will want to pour in about half a cup of water to start mixing. I go mano a pan...o. The hook on a stand mixer works too. Drizzle in water until the dough reaches a sticky consistency.

Flour down your counter, table, a cutting board and get ready to kneed. You do not want to over kneed, you want to stop the moment the dough gets a nice matte finish-stops being sticky. Roll the dough into a ball, drizzle with oil and let it sit in your pan (did I mention to lightly grease the pan with olive oil?) covered with a towel for at least 10 minutes (the waiting makes of breaks the pizza literally).

The waiting is a good time to pre-heat the oven to 375.

After the magic time, I like to use a pastry roller to press the dough into the pan. It should not tear, but it might just work with it. Then you can go topping crazy. I might put a whole pound of cheese or more on one of these. This recipe and using an oven safe pan means you can load up the sauce and the cheese. You can go cheese and toppings on bottom, sauce on top that works well.

The secret here is you want to start the pizza on the stove top on medium heat. This will get the bottom nice and crispy.

(If you use a cookie sheet, you will want to lightly toast the crust in the oven for 5-10 minutes before adding toppings)

After toasting, pop it in the oven for 15 minutes, maybe 20 on a cooler day, 25 if you like a more caramelized cheese. When KingGorilla becomes ruler of Earth all ovens will be lit with scorch proof glass so opening the oven to check becomes unnecessary, purveyors of solid door ovens will be shot on sight.

fuzzyb wrote:

I use a similar recipe. I like Alton Brown, but that seems like a lot of sugar for pizza dough. I've found the yield on this one is about two pizzas (full 10"x15") if you are doing a pretty thin crust or use 2/3 of the recipe to get one thicker crust. You can make it by hand, but if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, it's much easier and it takes a little more flour to make.

It's just 1 tbsp of sugar per pizza, so it's really not that much. I like a thin, light crust and AB's recipe does me right. Besides, I usually use the sugar to give the yeast a little extra kick when I activate it prior to mixing it in with the dry ingredients.

Minarchist wrote:

AB's recipe also uses way, way too much yeast, IMO. Like, the one I use is about 3/8 tsp per 18" pie! I hunted for a long time for good pizza recipes and wound up settling in with the incredibly knowledgeable people over here. The Tom Lehman NY-style recipe is our standby; just had it tonight, in fact. :)

Thanks for the link. Can't have too much information for making pizzas!!

BTW, the AB recipe I linked to makes four pizzas. That's 1/2 tsp of yeast per pizza, which is essentially the same as yours.

Tanglebones wrote:
sometimesdee wrote:
wanderingtaoist wrote:

For not-so-fresh eggs, I learned a great technique from Heston Blumenthal (by the way, everyone should watch How to Cook Like Heston, so many great everyday tips): break eggs into slotted spoon and the loose albumen will just drip off. The cohesive egg white stays in the spoon and makes nice poached egg, no loose white flowing around. I use this ever since I saw it and it works perfectly.

Drat, I skimmed through your post and was hoping that someone had created a video on how to cook like Charlton Heston. "LET THE FLAVOR FLOW!"

COLD DEAD HAMS

You win a internets

OG_slinger wrote:
fuzzyb wrote:

I use a similar recipe. I like Alton Brown, but that seems like a lot of sugar for pizza dough. I've found the yield on this one is about two pizzas (full 10"x15") if you are doing a pretty thin crust or use 2/3 of the recipe to get one thicker crust. You can make it by hand, but if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, it's much easier and it takes a little more flour to make.

It's just 1 tbsp of sugar per pizza, so it's really not that much. I like a thin, light crust and AB's recipe does me right. Besides, I usually use the sugar to give the yeast a little extra kick when I activate it prior to mixing it in with the dry ingredients.

I am used to calculating everything into baker's percentage and what I am seeing is 10 percent sugar to flour weight. That's A LOT - remember, yeast are just fine with the sugars available from milled flour, if you need extra kick I would do maybe a teaspoon a pizza, not a tablespoon. Also, way too much salt, 5 percent of flour weight, while 2-3 percent are just fine and a standard for breads and similar doughs.

Then again, my conversion may not be that accurate, the insistence of US bakers on cups/spoons drives me crazy. Anyway, I am taking a cup of flour for 150 grams and a tablespoon for 15 grams. So ignore me if I am way off.

wanderingtaoist wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
fuzzyb wrote:

I use a similar recipe. I like Alton Brown, but that seems like a lot of sugar for pizza dough. I've found the yield on this one is about two pizzas (full 10"x15") if you are doing a pretty thin crust or use 2/3 of the recipe to get one thicker crust. You can make it by hand, but if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, it's much easier and it takes a little more flour to make.

It's just 1 tbsp of sugar per pizza, so it's really not that much. I like a thin, light crust and AB's recipe does me right. Besides, I usually use the sugar to give the yeast a little extra kick when I activate it prior to mixing it in with the dry ingredients.

I am used to calculating everything into baker's percentage and what I am seeing is 10 percent sugar to flour weight. That's A LOT - remember, yeast are just fine with the sugars available from milled flour, if you need extra kick I would do maybe a teaspoon a pizza, not a tablespoon. Also, way too much salt, 5 percent of flour weight, while 2-3 percent are just fine and a standard for breads and similar doughs.

Then again, my conversion may not be that accurate, the insistence of US bakers on cups/spoons drives me crazy. Anyway, I am taking a cup of flour for 150 grams and a tablespoon for 15 grams. So ignore me if I am way off.

You're a bit over in your measurements, but your ratios are close.

150g is a bit high for a cup of flour. I use 125g as a rule. Maybe 127g for very high protein flours, but I don't make large enough batches for that to make a difference.
12g is a more accurate measurement for a tablespoon of sugar. Salt is trickier because Alton uses kosher salt (much coarser than table).

Maq wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
sometimesdee wrote:
wanderingtaoist wrote:

For not-so-fresh eggs, I learned a great technique from Heston Blumenthal (by the way, everyone should watch How to Cook Like Heston, so many great everyday tips): break eggs into slotted spoon and the loose albumen will just drip off. The cohesive egg white stays in the spoon and makes nice poached egg, no loose white flowing around. I use this ever since I saw it and it works perfectly.

Drat, I skimmed through your post and was hoping that someone had created a video on how to cook like Charlton Heston. "LET THE FLAVOR FLOW!"

COLD DEAD HAMS

You win a internets :D

Quick, what would you do with Ham Rove

Spoiler:

now that he's dead?

IMAGE(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f0/Colbert_Report_Ham_Rove.jpg)

Minarchist wrote:
Katy wrote:

Do you have a good chicken curry recipe? I've been making it from a boxed mix, which is tasty and fast, but I'd like to try making it more from-scratch. I've been a bit reluctant because I know the flavor won't match exactly (nor am I good enough to pick out the spices just from tasting), and I'm likely to get complaints because it's not the same.

Tangle himself turned me on to this book, which after cooking through maybe 30% of it I can most heartily recommend. Lots and lots of Indian curries in there of various shapes and sizes (and flavors).

Yup. The lamb stew I made is from that book.

He's got one of the chicken curries available on his website:
http://suvir.com/Coconut_Cashew_Chic...

Quintin_Stone wrote:

I'd forgotten that Tangle hated butter cream icing. Along with Billy Joel and all other things that are wholesome and good. Like AMERICA.

To be fair, I knew he hated buttercream frosting, but not the icing. I don't know how to feel about this.

Bonus_Eruptus wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

I'd forgotten that Tangle hated butter cream icing. Along with Billy Joel and all other things that are wholesome and good. Like AMERICA.

To be fair, I knew he hated buttercream frosting, but not the icing. I don't know how to feel about this.

Have some cream cheese frosting and relax, knowing that all is right in the world.

I will never comprehend Cream Cheese.

Which will only be made worse as my roommate is from Pittsburgh, and evidently they use cream cheese as a sauce replacement on pizza on occasion.

And here I thought I was crazy for enjoying chicken alfredo pizza.

ccesarano wrote:

I will never comprehend Cream Cheese.

Which will only be made worse as my roommate is from Pittsburgh, and evidently they use cream cheese as a sauce replacement on pizza on occasion.

And here I thought I was crazy for enjoying chicken alfredo pizza.

I just....my mouth is confused.

Pizza is a blank canvas, upon which artists paint in things like pineapple and canadian bacon.
I bet cream cheese is equally delicious on dessert pizza and more savory variations. Cream cheese, olive oil, fresh garlic, good Sicilian olives, and perhaps some fresh green onion garnish after the bake?

So, not on a warm pizza. But I do enjoy a good "summer pizza." You bake or buy a dough shell like a Bertoli or other flat bread. You spread a spiced cream cheese (softened and mixed with garlic, pepper, salr) on it, and then top it with cucumbers, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, shredded carrots. You serve it cold as an hors d'oeurve.

I do not get warm mayo on a BLT pizza, or the lettuce for that matter. Nor do I understand the hot mess that is a taco pizza. There is a finite list of dairy products to be served hot.

KingGorilla wrote:

So, not on a warm pizza. But I do enjoy a good "summer pizza." You bake or buy a dough shell like a Bertoli or other flat bread. You spread a spiced cream cheese (softened and mixed with garlic, pepper, salr) on it, and then top it with cucumbers, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, shredded carrots. You serve it cold as an hors d'oeurve.

Dill in the cream cheese is really tasty in a dish like this. I like fresh broccoli and cauliflower instead of zucchini and/or other squash. Bell peppers too, if that's your sort of thing.

ccesarano wrote:

I will never comprehend Cream Cheese.

Which will only be made worse as my roommate is from Pittsburgh, and evidently they use cream cheese as a sauce replacement on pizza on occasion.

And here I thought I was crazy for enjoying chicken alfredo pizza.

I've lived in Pittsburgh for 8 years and never heard of this. I went to ask one of the lifelong Pittsburghers about this, and she looked at me like I was crazy. So I'm not saying your roommate doesn't hail from somewhere that does this, just that if they do, it's not so much Pittsburgh as some small enclave of heretics within or near Pittsburgh.

I'm also not saying Pittsburghers have better taste; God knows I've seen enough examples of bland cuisine around here. But one thing they won't do is incorporate anything into their regular menu that involves opening a box with "Philadelphia" on it in big letters.