Boy howdy, I hope the day-after rule REALLY works some magic tonight, because otherwise I spent several hours slaving in the kitchen just to create an extremely mediocre pot of chili.
This weekend, my parents, due to watching too much Food Network, decided to buy a sous-vide machine. Also, it turns out I got them hooked on Serious Eats and the Food Lab? These are people who, when I was growing up, relied so heavily on frozen food that I basically taught myself how to cook from watching Good Eats. I’m so proud of them.
Oh, and my dad loves the sous-vide machine so much–he has used it to prepare three meals and has had it for two days–that he ordered me one. So that rules and it’s going to arrive in a few days.
What should I sous-vide first, cooking thread?
Steak. Steak. Steak. STEAK. The basic basic basic Serious Eats steak recipe that amounts to salt, pepper and optional garlic/shallots is so good.
I can’t get behind this sous vide thing, it seems like bourgeoisie excess to me. What’s wrong with good old fashioned fire from charcoal or gas?
Would you ever cook something in a double boiler to maintain a consistent, low heat? Would you ever bake something low-and-slow? The reasons for sous-vide sort of follow from that. Consistent temp, even heat transfer, no evaporation (good for some applications but bad for others!), more fool-proof results. Circulators run maybe 150-200 bucks nowadays (?) and you don’t even really need a vacuum sealer, either.
HOT TIP pun definitely intended: Panera Mac & Cheese is sous-vide
or as we all called it YO FRANK, DROP SIX MAC IN THE THERMALIZER
I saw like a documentary once about adult picky eaters-like it made this distinction between being a picky eater as a child, which is obnoxious but expected to a degree, and as an adult, and all the people they interviewed for the thing turned it into this weird cross between a mental illness and an eating disorder*. They would eat like, three things max, ever, one lady like most of her diet was just celery with peanut butter. There were attempts to rehabilitate them and it involved like immersion/exposure therapy where they weren’t just eating the new stuff, they were helping make it, I forget why that was important though.
*Note: I am not a psychiatrist, please do not make fun of me if eating disorders count as mental illnesses
There’s one of those sad exploitative reality shows about this, too. One lady was somehow subsisting on nothing but french fries.
(FWIW, eating disorders are in the DSM)
The participating-in-making it part was probably critical. Gotta feel like you’re in control of your illness, rather than having someone else force the food on you. It can be really tough to break food-related habits and illnesses because we all need food, and it’s everywhere, so it’s easy to feel out of control with it. I’ll avoid clogging up the thread further with this, but I’ll say it’s really easy to fall into an “anything new is evil” trap. I’m just now starting to branch out and try new foods, and it’s honestly amazing. So many things I’ve written off for years that I’m actually fine with!
I still hate pepper, though.
Burgers are basically my ‘go to’ thing since I started learning to cook more. I got lazy tonight so I used the same spices I used for the fish the other day, but it works so I’ll be damned if I don’t use it.
Last week I dabbled in making treacle tart, but didn’t have enough confidence to make anything more than the filling with a pre-made base. This time, however, I decided to make the entire thing from scratch, and it turned out to be easier and simpler than I thought.
It was good. I put cinammon in the dough while mixing it for extra taste-points, and it worked pretty well I feel.
Will definitely try making it again the future.
Crusts are something I recommend anyone to try making at least once. They’re honestly much easier than you think!
Anyway tonight I made chicken marsala with homemade ricotta gnocchi.
I’d heard homemade gnocchi was different than store-bought, but I didn’t know it’d be this different. It’s almost like a completely different food. It’s so light and fluffy and not glutinous at all.
Ricotta gnocchi is so easy to make at home. It’s great! I do want to try making potato gnocchi at least once, though. It’s my favorite kind.
This weekend, I made my own chicken stock for the first time and used it to make a chicken and black bean stew with andouille. It was really damned tasty…
…and then I accidentally went to bed without putting the leftovers in the refrigerator . I left it out to cool before putting it away but totally forgot, and leaving something like that sit out overnight is just begging to get sick if I heat it up to eat it again. It’s in the fridge still, but I’m probably going to have to throw it out.
HOT TIP! You really don’t need to let things cool before you put them in the fridge unless it’s so hot it’ll melt your tupperware (in which case you need better tupperware)
I understand some people feel weird about putting something hot in the fridge but really all you’re doing is making it cool faster.
See, I think I suspected that, but my parents raised me all “don’t put hot things in the refrigerator, it’ll raise the fridge temperature!” and now that’s all internalized. I have now learned my lesson, though.
i dont not believe you but I feel like this is a thing that needs to be sourced because getting it wrong can mean like… food poisoning
Refrigerate promptly. If a large volume (big pot o’ soup), separate into shallow containers first so the food chills evenly (think opposite of baking a frozen turkey)
On a related topic, efficient freezing and dethawing of foodstuffs
Working briefly in a hospital kitchen has sort of ruined me for life on the topic of food safety. Every time I go to a deli-style place, I fight the urge to tell them to put down the lid of their refrigerated prep table.
Does anyone have any favorite quick-food-""""“hacks”""""? Like, say you really don’t feel like doing much cooking. What simple things do you do to spice up something simple? As an example, when I’m having an anxiety/depression day, sometimes the only thing I’ll make is pasta. My secret weapon in those cases is Better Than Bouillon - I feel like it’s more tasty than it has a right to be.
My pasta hack is to not underestimate the power of fresh tomato. It’s amazing how much better jarred tomato sauce tastes just from the addition of fresh diced tomato. Melt in a little dairy (like goat cheese) and some of that pre-cooked andouille sausage and you’re in heaven.
In other news I started trying to grow my very first sourdough starter. Let’s all pray I do not destroy this tiny civilization.