IronERA | OT | vol. 1 mise en place

Chitown B

Member
Nov 15, 2017
3,690
Season throughout but don’t forget to adjust seasoning to taste at the end of cooking. Also, ignore the naysayers, and get yourself some MSG. It can elevate certain dishes to another level.
fish sauce smells so bad and tastes so good. I use it in a lot of things. that umami.
 

BennyWhatever

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,654
US
Hi there!

I have a rice cooker, I have the medium grain glutenous rice, I have the rice vinegar, I have the roller. It's time for sushi.
Still deciding on what to put inside, but I was wondering - what do you put in your rice vinegar? How many parts sugar and salt? Any other ingredients?
 

whatsinaname

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,940
Made some angel food cupcakes with all the left over egg whites. Turned out pretty good and just 50 Cal per cupcake!

 

laminated

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,283
Eat them straight. They aren't too sweet and the crust has a nice chewy texture. Don't want to drown that out with frosting.
good call. i often prefer cupcakes with no frosting. for me its all about the cake. hopefully not too sweet, and i feel like i'm eating bread instead of something more sinful like cake haha.
 

whatsinaname

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,940
I've started watching The Great British Bake-Off and I love those oven doors that slide under!! Not seen that around in the US.

Also, for those with double ovens: Is one usually different from the other? I was at my friends new place and he was complaining that the top one smokes quite easily but that his neighbours said that was normal and expected because they were two different 'kinds' of ovens? Anyone know what that might be about?
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,352
I've started watching The Great British Bake-Off and I love those oven doors that slide under!! Not seen that around in the US.

Also, for those with double ovens: Is one usually different from the other? I was at my friends new place and he was complaining that the top one smokes quite easily but that his neighbours said that was normal and expected because they were two different 'kinds' of ovens? Anyone know what that might be about?
Never heard that before. My parents have double ovens and as far as I know they're the same. Only difference is they use the top one more and thus it has more risk of things spilling to the bottom of it.
 

ReAxion

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,833
i'm no appliance engineer but i can't for the life of me think of why one would be different if they're both ovens in the sense that ovens are ovens.
 

whatsinaname

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,940
Yeah, confused me as well. I thought maybe one was a convection oven and one wasn't but I checked and both had fan controls.
 

whatsinaname

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,940
First attempt at biscotti. Half-way success I guess.

Should have put more effort into getting the logs into a similar shape/cross section.

First bake was either too long, or the temp was too hot or I used smaller eggs (leading to a dryer dough). Everything crumbled rather easily as I was slicing them.

Waiting for the cool down after the final bake. (Took a quick bite, turned out rather decent!).

 

TheLostBigBoss

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
8,531
Oh shitttttt finally found a cooking OT

Was wondering if anyone could give me some advice.

I'm starting to hit a culinary writers block of sorts. I'm currently in college and live alone, and while I do have time to prep meals and cook, having something take 30/40 mins of cooking (including prep work) is just not something I look forward too after classes/gym/studying on a daily basis. While my cooking has clearly improved from a year ago, I've kinda cornered myself with a few favorite meals that are quick/easy and obviously tasty.

My current rotation

Lunch (usually around 300 calories)
Brown Rice + Eggs (either raw or fried egg) // soy sauce sriracha
Brown Rice + Left protein from last night dinner // soy sauce sriracha
Salmon Bits (Grocery store sometimes has odds and end pieces of salmon that are $5 lb) + Scrambled Eggs

Dinner:
Broiled marinated chicken breast (literally just one breast, quick and easy)
Tacos (Protein, usually white fish, home-made coleslaw if I have it, sour cream, hot sauce, avocado/guac if I have it, fried egg)
Chicken Thighs (either with a veggie, stir fry, or on a salad if salad mix is on sale)
White fish + Rice + Egg
Roasted veggies (potatoes/carrots/onion)

That's been my current rotation for the last few months. Looking for some insight and ideas to mix it up and try some new stuff that is still pretty easy/simple to make on a weekday.
 

MarioW

PikPok
Verified
Nov 5, 2017
385
New Zealand
That's been my current rotation for the last few months. Looking for some insight and ideas to mix it up and try some new stuff that is still pretty easy/simple to make on a weekday.
Looking at your current favourites, I'd probably suggest an easy, cheap, and versatile addition for college life would be to cook a batch of chilli or flavoured beef mince on the weekend, and then divide into portions to refrigerate and/or freeze.

You can then easily reheat a portion at a time and add to macaroni/lasagna/spaghetti for a pasta dish, use as the filling for tacos/burritos/wraps, eat with chips/guacamole/sour cream/cheese, or even just eat on its own out of a bowl.

And pretty much all of those only require 10-20 minutes work if you already have the chilli done. And a batch of chilli itself probably only takes 20-30 minutes work depending on how much depth/complexity you want in it flavour wise, though you'll need enough time to allow it to simmer on the stove for a while.
 

TheLostBigBoss

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
8,531
Looking at your current favourites, I'd probably suggest an easy, cheap, and versatile addition for college life would be to cook a batch of chilli or flavoured beef mince on the weekend, and then divide into portions to refrigerate and/or freeze.

You can then easily reheat a portion at a time and add to macaroni/lasagna/spaghetti for a pasta dish, use as the filling for tacos/burritos/wraps, eat with chips/guacamole/sour cream/cheese, or even just eat on its own out of a bowl.

And pretty much all of those only require 10-20 minutes work if you already have the chilli done. And a batch of chilli itself probably only takes 20-30 minutes work depending on how much depth/complexity you want in it flavour wise, though you'll need enough time to allow it to simmer on the stove for a while.
Oh, I should have mentioned this, but I actually avoid cooking in batches/slow cooking for diet reasons (way easier to over eat/eat when bored), but if I'm instantly freezing the portions then it shouldn't be an issue.

But wouldn't cooking minced beef and then freezing it turn it into saw dust/rubber?

Legumes in general are incredibly versatile. Good quality protein and great carbs with only as much fat as you want. Check your macros if that bothers you and see how you can fit them. You can use them in soups, creams/purees, vegerable and meaty stews, salads, whatever.

And the gas thing shouldn't be a problem after a while, if ever.

The beauty of them is that you can also pressure cook them, so you can easily make huge batches in less than an hour, portion them and put them in the freezer. That's what I do.
I don't follow macros or any specific diet, so that's not an issue
 

Funky Papa

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,650
Legumes in general are incredibly versatile. Good quality protein and great carbs with only as much fat as you want. Check your macros if that bothers you and see how you can fit them. You can use them in soups, creams/purees, vegerable and meaty stews, salads, whatever.

And the gas thing shouldn't be a problem after a while, if ever.

The beauty of them is that you can also pressure cook them, so you can easily make huge batches in less than an hour, portion them and put them in the freezer. That's what I do.
 

laminated

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,283
Oh shitttttt finally found a cooking OT

Was wondering if anyone could give me some advice.

I'm starting to hit a culinary writers block of sorts. I'm currently in college and live alone, and while I do have time to prep meals and cook, having something take 30/40 mins of cooking (including prep work) is just not something I look forward too after classes/gym/studying on a daily basis. While my cooking has clearly improved from a year ago, I've kinda cornered myself with a few favorite meals that are quick/easy and obviously tasty.

My current rotation

Lunch (usually around 300 calories)
Brown Rice + Eggs (either raw or fried egg) // soy sauce sriracha
Brown Rice + Left protein from last night dinner // soy sauce sriracha
Salmon Bits (Grocery store sometimes has odds and end pieces of salmon that are $5 lb) + Scrambled Eggs

Dinner:
Broiled marinated chicken breast (literally just one breast, quick and easy)
Tacos (Protein, usually white fish, home-made coleslaw if I have it, sour cream, hot sauce, avocado/guac if I have it, fried egg)
Chicken Thighs (either with a veggie, stir fry, or on a salad if salad mix is on sale)
White fish + Rice + Egg
Roasted veggies (potatoes/carrots/onion)

That's been my current rotation for the last few months. Looking for some insight and ideas to mix it up and try some new stuff that is still pretty easy/simple to make on a weekday.

If you're not averse to fish sauce or soy sauce, I would do a go to post workout dish of mine.

1 lbs of ground chicken
1-2 eggs
mince scallions (or onions)
chopped green onions
soy sauce or fish sauce to taste; maybe a tbsp?
salt and pepper to taste

I mix those ingredients up in a bowl with my hands and form little either a giant patty, or several small patties, and I fry them up ,and eat them with rice. It's pretty tasty, and uses up the ingredients you already listed. You can even grate some carrots into there for added natural sweetness. It doesnt sound like a very sexy dish, but it uses similar ingredients to what you've listed, and eaten with rice it can be pretty tasty.
 

MarioW

PikPok
Verified
Nov 5, 2017
385
New Zealand
But wouldn't cooking minced beef and then freezing it turn it into saw dust/rubber?
Not in my experience, at least not if you'd added some tomato paste or sauce which will help keep things moist,. Refrigerating/freezing will make some of the fats and oils congeal which can look unappealing, but that melts back in and through once you reheat.

To defrost from frozen, if you wanted to avoid microwaving, I'd suggest moving from the freezer into the refrigerator a day or morning before you want to use it, or leaving on the bench for a couple of hours. I tend to like reheating in a frypan which can add a nice caramelization.
 

Chitown B

Member
Nov 15, 2017
3,690
nice, I make grilled cheese on my sourdough all the time :) I use mayo on the outside though, easier to spread and umami....
 

laminated

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,283
Ribeye mozzarella grilled cheese sandwich on naturally leavened sourdough? Damn man I'm surprised you didn't shave some black truffles over that lol
 

whatsinaname

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,940
Made some candied winter melon this week, turned out great. So simple too (just winter melon, slaked lime and sugar needed). I hear it is a thing in Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine too. Anyone ever try it before?
 

ty_hot

Member
Dec 14, 2017
3,083
Any ideas on how to improve a Poke? We did a basic one for the first time today that was at least as good as most you can get in the street, but I felt like it needed some different ingredient/sauce to reach the next level of deliciousness. We got some oyster sauce but I was so hungry that I got lazy to try it in the mix, would that be a good idea?

It had sushi rice, salmon marinated in soy+lemon+rice vinegar+sesame oil, mango, avocado, purple onion, nori, cucumber, sesame, and soy sauce on top. It was a bit too much on the sweet side, but the fruits were surprisingly delicious. I wish I had wakame but I couldn't find it anywhere.

Any ideas are welcome.
 

laminated

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,283
Any ideas on how to improve a Poke? We did a basic one for the first time today that was at least as good as most you can get in the street, but I felt like it needed some different ingredient/sauce to reach the next level of deliciousness. We got some oyster sauce but I was so hungry that I got lazy to try it in the mix, would that be a good idea?

It had sushi rice, salmon marinated in soy+lemon+rice vinegar+sesame oil, mango, avocado, purple onion, nori, cucumber, sesame, and soy sauce on top. It was a bit too much on the sweet side, but the fruits were surprisingly delicious. I wish I had wakame but I couldn't find it anywhere.

Any ideas are welcome.
I don't think I've ever used oyster sauce in a raw, unheated state before. But I've never made poke before so I don't know how the marinades are. The ingredients you mentioned already sound packed full of flavor. What do you think it needs more of? More acidity, sweetness, heat? I have a few places near me that add yuzu for more acidity and sriracha for more of that hot sweetness.

Since I'm Vietnamese I would probably add a tiny dash of fish sauce :)
 

ty_hot

Member
Dec 14, 2017
3,083
I don't think I've ever used oyster sauce in a raw, unheated state before. But I've never made poke before so I don't know how the marinades are. The ingredients you mentioned already sound packed full of flavor. What do you think it needs more of? More acidity, sweetness, heat? I have a few places near me that add yuzu for more acidity and sriracha for more of that hot sweetness.

Since I'm Vietnamese I would probably add a tiny dash of fish sauce :)
Ive seen a few recipes that included oyster so apparently it is a good fit - I will try tomorrow. Mine was fine generally, I think I missed having a wasabi (bought a bad one...) to break the overall taste every now and then and maybe a bit more of sesame oil. It had plenty of ingredients already so if I were to add something I would probably remove a thing or two as well.

It was lacking in acidity but Im used to it because my gf cant have much of it (stomach problems...). For some reason the "best ingredient" for me was the cucumber, a bit crunchy, wet and with a light flavour, was complementing everything really well. Cant think of any other crunchy thing though.

I am not that into spicy in a cold meal, prefer it on my beloved goulash soup (another thing I need to prepare at home someday).
 

Llyranor

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,586
Any recommendations in terms of what else I can do with a mortar and pestle? Crushing things is pretty fun!

What I've done so far:
-pesto
-hummus
-baba ghaboush
-guacamole
 

BriareosGAF

Member
Oct 28, 2017
894
Indeed, is there anything more exciting than freshly ground cumin? Anything using it is time well spent with a mortar and pestle--fried potatoes with onions, paprika and cumin for instance.
 

Channel5News

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
5,277
Los Angeles, CA
With a freezer full of homemade chicken stock, I wanted to try my hand at making a risotto. I cooked an individual portion in a tiny cast-iron skillet, which was clearly not ideal, but I didn't want to waste a bunch of nice ingredients on a big batch trial run.



I don't know how to judge the perfect texture, but mine was creamy while keeping each grain nicely al dente. Served with roasted portobellini and chanterelle mushrooms (the latter dried, and their soaking liquid added to my stock.)



Next time I'll use my big boy cast iron to make a multi-person serving, which should make toasting the rice and simmering them in a nice shallow layer much easier. I don't want to mess with the less-labor Food Lab risotto method; I like the methodical "add a little broth at a time" process.

Bonus mise en place shot:
 

snacknuts

The Fallen
Nov 1, 2017
2,384
I went to the Woodford Reserve bourbon distillery for a friend's birthday yesterday and ended up buying a small bottle of this Bluegrass Soy Sauce that gets fermented in old bourbon barrels from Woodford. I had heard about it a few months ago in one of Sam Sifton's NYT Cooking newsletters (I really love the way he writes about food and cooking and would encourage signing up for the newsletter) and had wanted to try some. I shook a couple drops into a spoon when I got home last night and OH MY GOD is this stuff so much better than the mass-produced soy sauces I've had before. I'm not sure I can go back.
 

Channel5News

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
5,277
Los Angeles, CA
Confusion over what to do with mustard greens (I hate steamed/braised greens) led me to this amazing salad on Eatingwell.com; it's basically a much lighter Caesar salad that tastes "meatier" and more glutamate-tastic than the original:

www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252168/massaged-mustard-greens-salad/

Instead of assembling your salad bowl and dressing it at the last minute, you're tossing everything into the bowl and "massaging" them with your fingers for a couple of minutes. This does triple-duty by marrying all the flavors together, and rubbing them into the greens as they wilt and soften. The mustard greens retain just a little of their bitterness, which works nicely against the other bold flavors.

I usually have all these ingredients (Parmigiano, anchovies, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic) in my fridge anyway, and I think I'll be making this a lot in the future. Must try!
 

laminated

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,283
With a freezer full of homemade chicken stock, I wanted to try my hand at making a risotto. I cooked an individual portion in a tiny cast-iron skillet, which was clearly not ideal, but I didn't want to waste a bunch of nice ingredients on a big batch trial run.



I don't know how to judge the perfect texture, but mine was creamy while keeping each grain nicely al dente. Served with roasted portobellini and chanterelle mushrooms (the latter dried, and their soaking liquid added to my stock.)



Next time I'll use my big boy cast iron to make a multi-person serving, which should make toasting the rice and simmering them in a nice shallow layer much easier. I don't want to mess with the less-labor Food Lab risotto method; I like the methodical "add a little broth at a time" process.

Bonus mise en place shot:
Nice. Risotto seems like the kind of dish that is fun to make. I like cooking dishes that require attention and some technique, which is why I enjoy butter basting steak. I read somewhere that you can make creamy risotto without having to stir very much. I think Batali said he just puts his risotto in the oven.
 

Channel5News

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
5,277
Los Angeles, CA
Nice. Risotto seems like the kind of dish that is fun to make. I like cooking dishes that require attention and some technique, which is why I enjoy butter basting steak. I read somewhere that you can make creamy risotto without having to stir very much. I think Batali said he just puts his risotto in the oven.
I just made more. And I ate it all by myself.



If you're making a bare-bones risotto with no mix-ins like pre-seared mushrooms, 16-20 minutes of cook time really isn't that bad.
 

whatsinaname

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,940
Made some lemon flavoured honey/date filled hamentashen.

I really need to work on my rolling consistency. Ran out of filling, so used some blueberry preserves for the last few.

 

Channel5News

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
5,277
Los Angeles, CA
Damn that looks good. So do you have to stir constantly to release the starch, as traditional instructions often dictate?
(bah, left my reply in drafts)

I would only stir it once or twice just as the rice had absorbed most of the broth, and gently folding the rice over before adding more broth. I believe I read that overstirring results in a gummier texture? When I poured some of the arborio into my skillet to measure out portions, I was shocked at how much starch immediately rubbed off the grains: the jet-black cast iron was covered in white dust.
 

whatsinaname

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,940
For all the bread-makers in here. Can I halve a bread recipe? Or is there a minimum amount of yeast under which it won't work at all? (The recipe I am looking at calls for 1/4 tsp of active dry yeast).
 

BriareosGAF

Member
Oct 28, 2017
894
Have never had any problems halving or doubling recipes, although I'm not sure I've ever used less than 1/4 tsp of yeast for my single loaf bakes.
 

laminated

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,283
For all the bread-makers in here. Can I halve a bread recipe? Or is there a minimum amount of yeast under which it won't work at all? (The recipe I am looking at calls for 1/4 tsp of active dry yeast).
Are you using a mixer? When halving a recipe, one thing to keep in mind if you're using a mixer is the total dough weight and the mixer's bowl size. If the amount of dough being mixed is too small for the bowl, it may not be properly kneaded by the dough hook because there needs to be enough dough there to be pulled and pushed around the walls of the container. If your bowl is 5 quarts, like mine is, the recommendation is to have at least around 1kg of dough.
 

TFGB

Member
Dec 23, 2018
544
You could make your dough as per the recipe, then freeze what you don’t need.
 

whatsinaname

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,940
Have never had any problems halving or doubling recipes, although I'm not sure I've ever used less than 1/4 tsp of yeast for my single loaf bakes.
Are you using a mixer? When halving a recipe, one thing to keep in mind if you're using a mixer is the total dough weight and the mixer's bowl size. If the amount of dough being mixed is too small for the bowl, it may not be properly kneaded by the dough hook because there needs to be enough dough there to be pulled and pushed around the walls of the container. If your bowl is 5 quarts, like mine is, the recommendation is to have at least around 1kg of dough.
You could make your dough as per the recipe, then freeze what you don’t need.
It is a no knead baguette recipe. I went ahead and halved it (1/8th tsp yeast to 250g ap flour). Just left it to rise, lets see how it does by tomorrow morning.