Food

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dbcooper
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Re: Food

Post by dbcooper »

Made a tasty calamari marinara. The only herbs I added were dried oregano and fresh parsley. Any other seafood compatible herbs? (Spices were chili pepper flakes, cayenne, and smoked paprika.)
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JasonL
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL »

Herbs are for the most part pretty forgiving. I avoid rosemary unless I'm grilling seafood because it is pretty strong but can be balanced by the char flavors of grilling. I use light thyme (like 1-2 sprigs), fennel seeds and garnish with fronds if using fresh fennel, parsley, basil, or oregano in something like a marinara. It is my view that many american italian applications over use oregano but I like a little of it.

If you want to think about a French vibe, look at the ingredients of an Herbs de Provence, which would also include a little marjoram and tarragon.

You have produced something a bit more Spanish than Italian with the smoked paprika and oregano vibe. I knee jerk to including saffron in tomato broth destined for seafood. To continue a spanish vibe saffron, bay leaf and lots of garlic would often be included.

Dried herbs go in at the beginning and typically fresh herbs go in at the end. Dried is stronger than fresh. Adding fresh parsley, basil, oregano will brighten up a dish whereas adding italian blend or dried herbs de provence at the beginning will add depth of flavor but no brightness. Basil is a bit unusual because fresh leaves are so often added at the beginning of a tomato simmer then removed later.

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Warren
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Re: Food

Post by Warren »

Not stomping on the protein is a thing with me. Squid is such a delicate flavor. It lends itself to a good marinade, pairs well with citrus, and as Jason says will stand up to most any herb other than rosemary. The problem with calamari marinara isn't the herbs, it's the tomatoes. No way to appreciate the flavor of the meat under all those concentrated tannins.
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dbcooper
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Re: Food

Post by dbcooper »

Thanks guys.
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JasonL
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL »

I'm a big rule of thumb by regional cuisine guy.

To make a thing:

Italian or Tuscan: olive oil, parsley, lemon, light garlic. Red pepper flake in small amounts for heat if desired.
Spanish: heavy garlic, piminton (smoked paprika), bay leaf, saffron, oregano. blend hot paprika for heat if desired
Southern French / Provencal: olives, rosemary, thyme, florals like lavendar. Mild use of red pepper flake, but not often. Fresh parsley.
Korean: sesame oil, soy sauce, chili flakes, heavy garlic, fermented chili paste like gochujang, scallions - green parts of scallions are in general the same as parsley. Pale parts of scallions are like mirepoix onions. In many asian cuisines. Powerful seasonings, heat.
Japanese: dashi, soy sauce, mirin, limited garlic, delicate delicate delicate. Clear broths not heavy sauces.

And so on.

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dbcooper
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Re: Food

Post by dbcooper »

What do you think of using leaks instead of onions to make a lighter sofrito for a soup?
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JD
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Re: Food

Post by JD »

JasonL wrote:
04 Dec 2019, 09:50
green parts of scallions are in general the same as parsley
Sorry, can you explain that a little more fully? In my experience, green scallions are not much like parsley at all, but maybe I'm misinterpreting you.
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JasonL
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL »

dbcooper wrote:What do you think of using leaks instead of onions to make a lighter sofrito for a soup?
I do this all the time in French applications. Leeks are dirty and need to be cleaned thoroughly but they are actually almost my favorite allium. They have an herbal element that is more interesting than white onions. I like to add shallots for sweeter sofrito/ mire poix too.


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JasonL
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL »

JD wrote:
JasonL wrote:
04 Dec 2019, 09:50
green parts of scallions are in general the same as parsley
Sorry, can you explain that a little more fully? In my experience, green scallions are not much like parsley at all, but maybe I'm misinterpreting you.
Right. Most cuisines have a green thing they add fresh at the end of a recipe to add fresh herbal character. Italy and France its often parsley. Vietnam and Latin America use cilantro. Korea, Japan, most parts of China I’m familiar with use the green parts of scallions to serve that function. Thailand and Vietnam actually use mint, cilantro and scallions - think about the pho accompaniments.

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Warren
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Re: Food

Post by Warren »

JasonL wrote:
04 Dec 2019, 09:50
I'm a big rule of thumb by regional cuisine guy.

To make a thing:

Italian or Tuscan: olive oil, parsley, lemon, light garlic. Red pepper flake in small amounts for heat if desired.
Spanish: heavy garlic, piminton (smoked paprika), bay leaf, saffron, oregano. blend hot paprika for heat if desired
Southern French / Provencal: olives, rosemary, thyme, florals like lavendar. Mild use of red pepper flake, but not often. Fresh parsley.
Korean: sesame oil, soy sauce, chili flakes, heavy garlic, fermented chili paste like gochujang, scallions - green parts of scallions are in general the same as parsley. Pale parts of scallions are like mirepoix onions. In many asian cuisines. Powerful seasonings, heat.
Japanese: dashi, soy sauce, mirin, limited garlic, delicate delicate delicate. Clear broths not heavy sauces.

And so on.
I'm all in on fusionism. Learn how those flavors play together via experimentation. Then go nuts. Mix and match whatever softens your epidermis. I get how culinary traditions evolve and why they work, but I color outside the lines just because I can.
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JasonL
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL »

I have an structure for cooking that would take a chapter in a book maybe to wade through, but it breaks down into recipes having categorizable core elements.

A dish may at top level be categorized by a general approach to applying heat: Roasting (dry environment hot ambient temperatures like an oven), Braising (flavored liquid environment, low temperature simmering for long periods); Boiling (water environment, high temperature); Grilling or Pan frying (dry environment, hot temperature direct heat); frying (fat environment, high temperature immersion) and some other things like sous vide (dry environment immersed in temperature controlled water) or confit (fat environment, low temperature long duration).

A sofrito is also a mirepoix which is also similarly seen in asian cuisines - an assemblage of aromatics softened in oil typically over low heat. The job of this base is to flavor the oil in a fragrant way, the job of the oil is to distribute that flavor and aroma throughout the dish. An overwhelming number of dishes in the whole world start with this general base.

The protein or focal point element may be a centerpiece as in a roast or steak or bird, or it may be distributed in a braise as in a stew or chili. Core elements of proteins include the flavors of the inherent fats, salt, and maillard reaction / browning or searing, and critically - temperature and texture.

The spice profile is what tends to create regionality of dishes. It is unavoidable that if you use cumin lime and cilantro, it's going to taste like mexico or latin america in some other places. If you use olive oil, lemon and parsley it will taste "tuscan". These can be dark as in indian or mexican or light as in italian, spicy or not. You can totally go crazy and switch these things up but be aware of another core element:

Strength of Flavor / Level of Seasoning - So, cilantro is much more potent than parsley. If you make a chimichurri using parsley, you are creating a much more delicate thing. Conversely, if you replace cilantro for parsley in a lemon parsley thing - you don't have cumin there to create a spice level that will withstand the more powerful cilantro. It will just taste like cilantro. If you drop parsley in a curry you may not even notice it against the background of cumin, anise, cardamom, chilies, etc.

So yeah, I believe in experimentation but some structure and understanding why some flavors co-evolve is helpful. I have a similar theory of wine.

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Warren
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Re: Food

Post by Warren »

We had more pears
Pear Tart 2019.jpg
Pear Tart 2019.jpg (280.73 KiB) Viewed 1781 times
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dbcooper
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Re: Food

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Jennifer
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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer »

Jennifer wrote:
17 Oct 2019, 01:29
So I was out for an exercise walk and saw that in the little strip mall next door a new business opened up: a take-out fried seafood place. And I realized I hadn't had fried clam strips in a loooong time, so I thought I'd order some if it didn't cost too much: turns out the menu has multiple forms of fried shrimp, lobster tail (not your usual restaurant-in-the-'hood fare), and a couple types of fish I don't recall... but no fried clams. No clams at all, in fact. A fried-seafood joint with no clams on the menu. I didn't know things like that existed in America. At least not anywhere on the east coast.
Well, that didn't last long. Today I decided to take a much longer than usual exercise walk (the temperature and humidity are actually in the rare-for-Georgia range where walking outdoors at a brisk pace is PLEASANT), and I put a few bucks in my pocket beforehand, thinking I'd reward myself after the walk by trying one of their seafood-stuffed potatoes or seafood mac-n-cheese dishes. But the lights were off AND there was a padlock and chain around the front doors.
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Warren
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Re: Food

Post by Warren »

I made the Lobster Bisque again.
Sitting inside on a snowday dipping crusty bread in my lobster bisque. Life is good.
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JasonL
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL »

I was an unbelievable Karen tonight. Steak night bro night at a spendy steak house. 25 day dry aged bone in ribeye at $75. The gave me gray all the way to the center on a mid rare temperature order. Apologized. Brought back a cold center they rushed out. They comped a bunch of stuff and created an absurd dessert for the table, but I still felt like a tool. To me a steak house buying that grade of meat only has one job - fucking hit temperature.

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Warren
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Re: Food

Post by Warren »

JasonL wrote:
17 Dec 2019, 00:07
I was an unbelievable Karen tonight. Steak night bro night at a spendy steak house. 25 day dry aged bone in ribeye at $75. The gave me gray all the way to the center on a mid rare temperature order. Apologized. Brought back a cold center they rushed out. They comped a bunch of stuff and created an absurd dessert for the table, but I still felt like a tool. To me a steak house buying that grade of meat only has one job - fucking hit temperature.
I feel your pain. If you're offering dry age at 75 bucks a slab, then you better hit the temp. It's the whole of your business model. Sorry you were disappointed. We had similar experience in Vegas. I ate the free dessert, but it just reminded me of how short they came up on the entrée.
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JasonL
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL »

Yup. Some people may intuit that I'm super picky about things and go full Karen all the time, but if you have plausible deniability like ok only the very center is exactly right but it's in the ballpark, I may grumble in private but I'm not sending it back. This was gray all the way to the center on the first pass, then cold to the touch on the second pass. I was frankly also surprised they were doing thicknesses that were closer to 1" than 1.5" at that price. They did a good job of not making it feel like my fault, which I've seen that done many times where they argue about what the temperature is supposed to look like. The manager was like nope that's not close to mid rare we'll fix it.

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JasonL
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL »

Warren wrote:
17 Dec 2019, 08:53
JasonL wrote:
17 Dec 2019, 00:07
I was an unbelievable Karen tonight. Steak night bro night at a spendy steak house. 25 day dry aged bone in ribeye at $75. The gave me gray all the way to the center on a mid rare temperature order. Apologized. Brought back a cold center they rushed out. They comped a bunch of stuff and created an absurd dessert for the table, but I still felt like a tool. To me a steak house buying that grade of meat only has one job - fucking hit temperature.
I feel your pain. If you're offering dry age at 75 bucks a slab, then you better hit the temp. It's the whole of your business model. Sorry you were disappointed. We had similar experience in Vegas. I ate the free dessert, but it just reminded me of how short they came up on the entrée.
Out of curiosity was the Vegas place a Jeff Ruby's joint?

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Warren
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Re: Food

Post by Warren »

JasonL wrote:
17 Dec 2019, 10:02
Warren wrote:
17 Dec 2019, 08:53
JasonL wrote:
17 Dec 2019, 00:07
I was an unbelievable Karen tonight. Steak night bro night at a spendy steak house. 25 day dry aged bone in ribeye at $75. The gave me gray all the way to the center on a mid rare temperature order. Apologized. Brought back a cold center they rushed out. They comped a bunch of stuff and created an absurd dessert for the table, but I still felt like a tool. To me a steak house buying that grade of meat only has one job - fucking hit temperature.
I feel your pain. If you're offering dry age at 75 bucks a slab, then you better hit the temp. It's the whole of your business model. Sorry you were disappointed. We had similar experience in Vegas. I ate the free dessert, but it just reminded me of how short they came up on the entrée.
Out of curiosity was the Vegas place a Jeff Ruby's joint?
No. We ate breakfast at Sadelle's Cafe , which did shit Eggs Benedict (firm yolks!) but damned fine omelettes.
Harvest was the disappointment.
Yellowtail was good, but no better than Japanese places I've found in Missouri.
Vic & Anthony's was old school steak house. Dark wood and leather decor. Lighting so dim they provide a flashlight with the menu. Duck fat potatoes were a hit. Deconstructed smores dessert was a miss.
Tender was best of breed. Great beef, great seafood, jazz standards in the background.
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dbcooper
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Re: Food

Post by dbcooper »

Bought an "instant read" thermometer recently. Turns out I eat my steak "blue". About 35 to 45°C (95 to 113°F) in the centre.
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JasonL
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL »

Don't know what brand but basically thermowork thermapen is miles better than any other one I've ever seen or heard of.

But if accurate, yea that's more than rare, which I think of as 120F. Mid rare about 130. Mostly sorrow above 135.

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dbcooper
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Re: Food

Post by dbcooper »

JasonL wrote:
18 Dec 2019, 14:37
Don't know what brand but basically thermowork thermapen is miles better than any other one I've ever seen or heard of.

But if accurate, yea that's more than rare, which I think of as 120F. Mid rare about 130. Mostly sorrow above 135.
Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo. Supposed to be the second best, and I couldn't get the Thermapen from a convenient source.

It measures accurately and quickly at 100C and 0C. I am going to compare it with a calibrated thermocouple in my lab. With steaks, you've got to be careful with how you position it in the the meat. I suspect that these things are more practical with roasts.
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JasonL
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL »

I use tongs to set steaks on edge, then puncture from the edge to the center, pausing for reading at say 2-3 points along the way to get a sense of gradient. But yeah it's a strategy optimized for cuts at least 1.25" in thickness. Steaks of less than an inch don't actually have temperatures other than "something rare like" or "something more than medium".

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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: Food

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

I don't know what the competition is, but the ThermoWorks products are definitely the market. The damned things both work and last, neither of which I could ever say about any cooking thermometer we ever owned before. Worth every penny.

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