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Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
1
Toronto


I cook primarily on hardwood charcoal and when the meal is done and ready to serve, there is often 'leftover' coals burning - and when there's 'waste fuel' to use up, I'll often toss some rashers of BACON onto the grill and just let them cook down.

Then, they're half cooked and ready for either further 'flavor use' [i'll cook them crisp and crumble them for salads and stuff] or a quick fry and have them with eggs...

Just a thought.
 

Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
1
Toronto
Okay, basic thick crust.

Layer One: Olive Oil, brushed
Layer 2: Marinara Sauce, thick but brushed.
Layer Tres: grated Asiago, Parmesan and a little Mozzarella
Layer the Fourth: One ripe tomato, sliced
Layer Cinco: Pepperoni, sliced on the bias
Layer Sexto: Half a small Onion, chisled.
Layer VII: Rough Chunks of Gorgonzola or other mild Blue Cheese.
Dusting the top: Creole Seasoning.

Oven to 415 for about 15 minutes.

n'Joy!



 

MMcG

Ride till you puke!
Dec 10, 2002
15,465
4
Burlington, Connecticut
Damn that pizza looks good! Do you do it on a pizza stone?

In Western NY we often dipped our pizza in blue cheese dressing and damn that is a tasty combo!!!

Makes me yearn for a pizza, wings and a few extra blue cheese cups from Pizza, Wings, N Things in Fredonia, NY!!!! :drool:
 

Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
1
Toronto
Damn that pizza looks good! Do you do it on a pizza stone?

In Western NY we often dipped our pizza in blue cheese dressing and damn that is a tasty combo!!!

Makes me yearn for a pizza, wings and a few extra blue cheese cups from Pizza, Wings, N Things in Fredonia, NY!!!! :drool:
Pizza Stone:

No, I don't use them anymore. They have their values, but primarily only work really well with wet, uncooked dough - I do that occasionally, but also use partially pre-cooked or nearly ready to eat flat-breads.

If you do use a drier dough or prepared flat-bread, they tend to dry them out very quickly.

I prefer a non-stick cookie sheet.

Enhanced Dipping Sauce

Sounds DDDDDEEEEEElish! I love wings' blue cheese dips!

Coming from SoCal, though, we used Ranch [Santa Barbara Cty invention, I might add].

One thing that doesn't work, in my opinion, is Marinara sauce. I mean, c'mon - it's already supposed to be in the pizza, right?
 

Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
1
Toronto
Boneless Leg o Lamb - in a net.

about 4 hrs on indirect heat, burning hardwood charcoal, temp around 275 to 300.

ooooooooooooh gooooooodddd!

 

Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
1
Toronto


The thing is, I've recently had Puttanesca sauce that was basically a Marinara sauce and it just didn't work.

I think I've already posted the recipe, but if not, will do so shortly below.

It's a simple sauce with tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, capers and olives. That's about it.

I used a wok this time because you need to cook the pasta, then NOT drain it in a colander - pick it up with tongs and drip-dry it a bit - then toss it into the pan [wok in this case] and toss to coat the noodles. Trust me, it's the best way.

On thing I'm totally OFF is the noodles drained [and if you rinse it - i'll kills ya] and piled on the plate, then the sauce dropped down on the center.

This is where the majority of sauces will 'break' a little and the water separates. I hate watery sauces.

If you do it this way, then pluck the coated noodles out of the wok/pan and present it on the plate, the excess water stays in the pan.

just saying, is all...
 

Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
1
Toronto
fettucini
linguini
spaghetti

These are the classical and best knoodles to use.

penne, a decent alternative for the twirling fork-impaired, could do with one of these:

 

Jr_Bullit

I'm sooo teenie weenie!!!
Sep 8, 2001
2,035
0
North of Oz
Hey Nobody - question 4 yous...

So - in France, did you ever eat a Pizza? We had Pizza on two separate occasions (y'know - out at a restaurant, dominoes is not exactly something you would eat there)

They were all served with this very cool, incredibly tasty, flat-bread style crust. (or thin crust, whatever you want to call it). The crust was white with brown spots where it baked, but not 'golden' or puffy in any way - leading me to think it had no yeast.

Do you have a recipe for that kind of pizza crust?

Jen
 

bean

Turbo Monkey
Feb 16, 2004
1,338
0
Boulder
I used a wok this time because you need to cook the pasta, then NOT drain it in a colander - pick it up with tongs and drip-dry it a bit - then toss it into the pan [wok in this case] and toss to coat the noodles. Trust me, it's the best way.

On thing I'm totally OFF is the noodles drained [and if you rinse it - i'll kills ya] and piled on the plate, then the sauce dropped down on the center.
How does using tongs rather than a colander make a difference?
 

Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
1
Toronto
How does using tongs rather than a colander make a difference?
When I use a colander the pasta water goes down the drain.

When I use tongs to lift the pasta out of the water, I still have the water to work with if I need it.

It's a variation, not a rule. Depends on the sauce, really.
 

Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
1
Toronto
Hey Nobody - question 4 yous...

So - in France, did you ever eat a Pizza? We had Pizza on two separate occasions (y'know - out at a restaurant, dominoes is not exactly something you would eat there)

They were all served with this very cool, incredibly tasty, flat-bread style crust. (or thin crust, whatever you want to call it). The crust was white with brown spots where it baked, but not 'golden' or puffy in any way - leading me to think it had no yeast.

Do you have a recipe for that kind of pizza crust?

Jen
Flat crust Pizza is the rule rather than the exception. Thick crust is relatively new and North American.

I was traveling with teens, so we inevitably ended up at a Pizza Hut - On the Rue. St. Denis in the 2sme Arrondissement, for god's sake, and I was astonished at the quality.

Better than just about every 'generic Italian specialty' restaurant I've been to in NA - and it was the same crust.

It's closer to an un-risen foccacia dough than a classic NA pizza dough.

Less dough used, over all...

Now, the pizzas I had in Venice....

beyond awesome. [and no pizza hut anywhere!]
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
48,841
2,921
In a van.... down by the river
My girlfriend doesn't mind me being a dick, so the hell with ya.

Cook what you want, do it they way you want. If something doesn't work, ask. Otherwise, eat up and shut up!

:monkeydance:
I do need pasta water occasionally when making something... but I just reserve some with a measuring cup and use the colander. :D

I agree that you should do it the way you want, though - I just don't have time to do tongs. :monkey:
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,737
166
NORCAL is the hizzle
I think maybe Nobody is saying don't dump bare, poorly drained pasta on a plate, then top it with a separate sauce, and I agree with that. You will almost always end up with extra water, which will throw off seasoning and texture, and the pasta will not adequately pick up the flavors of the sauce. Instead, drain the pasta (or lift it out with a pasta insert, or a basket, or tongs or whatever - who cares?) then toss it with the sauce in the pan, coating all of the pasta and letting it absorb some of the sauce. Any extra water will steam off or contribute to the sauce. That approach also lets you properly combine a little grated cheese and fresh herbs at the last minute, instead of just a pile on top.
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
48,841
2,921
In a van.... down by the river
I think maybe Nobody is saying don't dump bare, poorly drained pasta on a plate, then top it with a separate sauce, and I agree with that. You will almost always end up with extra water, which will throw off seasoning and texture, and the pasta will not adequately pick up the flavors of the sauce. Instead, drain the pasta (or lift it out with a pasta insert, or a basket, or tongs or whatever - who cares?) then toss it with the sauce in the pan, coating all of the pasta and letting it absorb some of the sauce. Any extra water will steam off or contribute to the sauce. That approach also lets you properly combine a little grated cheese and fresh herbs at the last minute, instead of just a pile on top.
That's the way to do it. :thumb:

Now I'm hungry for some farfalle with a simple sundried tomato cream sauce... :drool:
 

Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
1
Toronto
Hey, Jr_Bullit - was the pizza similar to this one?



sliced pear, walnuts and prosciutto with olive oil and basil 'sauce'...
 

Jr_Bullit

I'm sooo teenie weenie!!!
Sep 8, 2001
2,035
0
North of Oz
:) ya - but those toppings sure look good too!

I have this excellent italian smoked ham in the fridge right now that I want to slice thin (like the prosciutto on the pic you posted), with some goat cheese, olive oil, tapenade, tomates, basil-based sauce.....
 

Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
1
Toronto
You'll prolly disagree with me, but I'd say the tapenade is too subtle and complex to add much to the mix.

the best pizzas on earth are made with simple ingredients, and my biggest mistakes have come from adding too many flavors.

remember the extreme heat the pizza is cooked at - 415 - 500 F.

otherwise, YUM!
 

DaveW

Space Monkey
Jul 2, 2001
8,669
594
Karori, Poneke Te Ika-a-Maui
and now for something completely different!

Caprese Salad part II

I do love a caprese insalata
But I present it a mite different, I find it handy for guests at BBQ's.....
Slice the tomatoe ALMOST right the way thru but leave it still attached at the base so that it's sort of hinged.
then insert the basil leaf and a slice of mozzarella into each cut, dust of pepper and a lil drizzel of olive Mmmmmmm

I am have some right now along with some
GROMPEREN KICHELCHER
(Luxembourg-style Rosti)

500gm Potatoes, peeled
½ medium onion
2 eggs lightly beaten
bunch of parsley, de-stemmed, the
leaves finely chopped
½ tsp salt
few grinds black pepper
oil for frying.

Method
Finely grate the raw potatoes and
the half onion. Add the chopped
parsley, salt and pepper and the
lightly beaten eggs. Mix well, then
take small handfuls of the mixture
and squeeze to express the juice.
Place the little balls in a pan, flatten
them with a fork , and fry till golden
brown on both sides. Keep them
thin (about 7mm) so they cook
through quickly.


And just for TN it's being washed down by some Mudhouse Sav blanc from the Wairarapa. :D
 

Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
1
Toronto


Handmade Hollandaise
Roasted Asparagus
Free-Poached Eggs
West-Coast Smoked Salmon
Crumbled Bacon
Seasoned Spinach [Florentine]
Muffin d'Anglaise
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,737
166
NORCAL is the hizzle
^^^Looks great.

I expect I will spend the rest of my life trying to perfect some of the fundamentals. What's the best way for a home cook to poach an egg? I know the most important thing is the quality and freshness of the egg, but from there what's your technique?
 

Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
1
Toronto
^^^Looks great.

I expect I will spend the rest of my life trying to perfect some of the fundamentals. What's the best way for a home cook to poach an egg? I know the most important thing is the quality and freshness of the egg, but from there what's your technique?
Okay, I hate using those 'poachers' with the little cups - aside from making things look 'perfect' they're harder to use after a little practice with the 'Free-Poach' method.

So:

Good Eggs.
Medium Pot - 2-3 quart Max.
1/2 full of water*
1-2 TBS of white vinegar**
Boiling but not toooooo boiling temperature.

*enough water to allow the egg to fully suspend in the water. too little and it doesn't cook over the top very well and might stick to the bottom, and too much and it might be roiling too much and break the yolk.

**the vinegar makes the albumen [white] coagulate faster and not spread out so much. Don't use Balsamic because it will stain the **** out of everything...

Now, next thing - to do two or more at once, break them carefully into a small bowl, and then slip them into the water. A lot of people don't break shells consistently [including me] and sometimes will shatter the yolk into the boiling water. The extra step helps when you screw it up so you can control the break better.

Cooking time about 5-7 minutes.

Fish them out with a classic old-fashioned slotted spoon. Don't use a basket from your wok set as the egg sticks to it.

Slide the eggs gently onto a warm plate with a folded paper towel to absorb the excess water.

If you're cooking for more than one or two people, you might want to keep the eggs in a warm oven.

A warm oven is a great way to help stage the separate elements, btw.

Spend some money and practice. Waste 'em. BEFORE you cook for a GF or someone else...
 

Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
1
Toronto
Okay, made a couple of pizzas for my Niece and Nephew, who were visiting for the weekend...

Hers [16-yr old]


She wanted a basic pizza, but added the 'bacon' part on top of the pepperoni, four-cheese and sauce generic sort of things.

I pre-cooked the bacon til it was 80% done, then finished it off in the oven with the pie.

She liked it.

His [14-yr old]


He wanted a 'Frutti del Mare' mixed seafood like the one we'd had in Venice earlier in the summer, so i had to get creative.

I usually keep a frozen mix of cooked mussels, oysters, squid and octopus in a ziploc and just thawed them out for this.

The creative part was kicking the sauce a bit - using some of the basic tomato with added 'alfredo and garlic' pasta sauce that i'd made earlier and froze.

He liked it, too.

Props for the Unc.
 

Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
1
Toronto
Clarify Butter:
Why it’s done:

Butter is melted so that the milk solids separate from the fat; the clear fat won’t burn as fast when used to sauté meat or vegetables.

Can you skip that step?
Yes. The two best options: Mix equal parts butter and refined oil — the butter still adds flavor and helps meat brown faster, but the oil raises the burning point. Or quickly clarify butter in the microwave (be sure to cover it). Melt it, wait for the milk solids to settle to the bottom, and pour off the clear liquid.

Fold Egg Whites...
(...Into A Chocolate (Or Some Other) Mixture In 2 Parts:)

Why it’s done:

To avoid losing the volume of the whipped egg whites.

Can you skip that step?
No. Light-as-a-feather egg whites go flat as a pancake if you fold the whole batch of them into a heavier base (say, chocolate).

You will deflate the egg whites while trying to marry the two mixtures.

Adding 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the egg whites to the dense mixture lightens it up a bit, so when you add the rest, you can fold it in easily without fearing collapse.

Use large, slow gentle strokes. :monkeydance:

Tie A Roast, A Tenderloin...
(...Or The Legs Of A Chicken With String:)

Why it’s done:

Trussing makes everything more compact and allows you to tuck in smaller ends of a roast. The more uniform the shape, the more evenly it cooks.

Can you skip that step?
Yes. The worst that will happen with untrussed meat is that you’ll get a medium-rare tenderloin with a well-done tip — perfect, in fact, for that finicky relative who always requests a piece that’s not pink.

Tying chicken legs isn’t necessary, either. You should be roasting a whole chicken on an elevated rack that forms a V to cradle the chicken, and that will hold the chicken together just fine.

Make sure to tuck the chicken’s legs toward the body before setting it on the the rack. When you tie chicken legs together, the air doesn’t flow around them as well, and parts of the skin will get steamed instead of crispy.
 

BikeMike

Monkey
Feb 24, 2006
784
0
Clarify Butter:
Why it’s done:
Butter is melted so that the milk solids separate from the fat; the clear fat won’t burn as fast when used to sauté meat or vegetables.

Can you skip that step?
Yes. The two best options: Mix equal parts butter and refined oil — the butter still adds flavor and helps meat brown faster, but the oil raises the burning point. Or quickly clarify butter in the microwave (be sure to cover it). Melt it, wait for the milk solids to settle to the bottom, and pour off the clear liquid.
Not to be an as5, but the latter part of the bolded statement isn't true. The milk solids are going to brown and burn around 250*F whether they're in oil or not. (I.e. the oil doesn't improve heat tolerance, though adding oil might reduce the amount of butter you use, thus reducing the total amount of milk solids to be burned.) You're right that clarifying butter leaves just the milk fat, which burns at around 400*F.

Edit: yes, I'm a dork
 

Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
1
Toronto
Not to be an as5, but the latter part of the bolded statement isn't true. The milk solids are going to brown and burn around 250*F whether they're in oil or not. (I.e. the oil doesn't improve heat tolerance, though adding oil might reduce the amount of butter you use, thus reducing the total amount of milk solids to be burned.) You're right that clarifying butter leaves just the milk fat, which burns at around 400*F.

Edit: yes, I'm a dork
Okay, not being a biochemist or a food science führer, I can't explain the big picture with enough details probably to satisfy you. However, let's try this one:

The #1 cause of burnt butter in the kitchens I've worked, taught, screwed up [yes, guilty of all of the above in many ways] in was not so much having the heat too high but taking too long between the moment of heating the fats and adding the food to be cooked.

Assuming that I'm not cooking a steak [searing it at high temperature requires NON-EVOO at high heat [but that's a different topic for later] but something more like chicken or fish - much lower and gentler heat - but I'm talking or arranging the next dish or some other such thing and I could miss the 'sweet spot' when the butter just begins to foam but still hasn't changed color:

A butter split with a good, processed oil will slow down the heating curve.

Does that work for you? Try it.

But yeah, when I know I'm going to a high temp - use something like refined Grapeseed or [yuch] Canola or [better] Peanut oil.

and we're both dorks or we wouldn't be having this discussion.