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Author: Subject: Cooking - the real kind.
aga
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[*] posted on 4-5-2015 at 11:51
Cooking - the real kind.


Performing Chemistry procedures are very much like cooking food in many instances, yet it is unclear as to whether an amateur Chemist of whatever age actually has any recipes/experience for producing tasty food instead of interesting chemicals.

Would anyone be interested in learning how to cook food ?

E.g. a few simple recipes that never fail to impress ?

There is nothing quite so good at engendering Trust than producing a tasty plate of food.

[Edited on 4-5-2015 by aga]




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violet sin
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[*] posted on 4-5-2015 at 19:09


I've been known to toss some tasty food outtava hot pan from time to time. My lady has been paid for it, at some of the nicer restaurants in the town where we lived and she grew up. The fact that I have repeatedly impressed her, when I had time, made a guy blush a bit.

My prowess is in taking odds and ends, and turning up something much better than you would think possible from looking at what was available. A symptom of a long ago college life, spent saving money for beer...

As any one else, I have a decent hand full(above average # I'd say) of not-lacking-ingredients type of recipes. And quite a few that are hard to replicate unless you live/hunt/gather where I do. Venison, fresh ocean fish and mollusks, wild mushrooms, berries and an in law with a beautifull garden.

Unfortunately, for the same reason I can't link the greater majority of gathered scientific papers, I can't get my recipes... Damn computer failed to live after buying several parts,... Stuck on the phone and laptop for now. My tech-ninja is suggesting a whole new motherboard, etc. Etc. Etc...

I have known this skill to impress many a lady, a large number of friends and some family that had, shall we say, a dim view of some one they shared so little in common with. I'd suggest any one that doesn't know at least a couple go-to dishes, learn some.
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[*] posted on 4-5-2015 at 19:13


I really should learn. I'm awful at cooking. For some strange reason I don't seem to have the patience, which is kinda stupid given how many hours I spend watching chemicals do their thing. Maybe because with cooking my family can quickly tell me I'm wrong, but with chemistry I'm beyond judgement in a sense.
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[*] posted on 4-5-2015 at 19:34


Once you get in the chemistry mindset of experimenting new ideas based on known information, and documentation for potential repeat of the procedure, cooking isn't too bad. Sorry to hear you don't really feel for it Tdep, but eh thats cool. My family does the same thing, but realistically, food in my mind just comes down to edible, or poison.
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[*] posted on 4-5-2015 at 20:44


As a professional bread baker, i just read this thread with great interest. I think that baking may appeal to some of our chemists perhaps more than cooking appeals. Baking, unlike cooking, requires the ability to stick to a formula (recipe), and to weigh ingredients accurately. There are real rules that can not be ignored, but with experience the rules can be bent almost to the point of breaking. And, as I have mentioned before, it is the closest most of us will get to the real alchemy, turning cheap precursors into valuable substances.
If anybody has any questions about bread making, I would be happy to attempt to provide answers.
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aga
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[*] posted on 4-5-2015 at 22:57


Baking !

Now there is a Science and an Art all rolled into one.

My mother makes perfect Yorkies every time, and measures nothing at all, so was not able to write down a recipe.

To arrive at a working Yorkshire Pudding process i once spent a day with three dozen eggs and a couple of kg of flour, varying the recipe/heating profile each time.

This derived process achieves a very similar product, and they rise every time :-

2 eggs, 110g of plain flour, a pinch of salt. Beat together then add cold milk - just enough to achieve a single-cream consistency. Oven on full whack (250C). Bun tray in there with just enough veg oil to cover the bottom of each bun compartment. When the oil is smoking, quickly pour in the batter mixture, return to oven. Leave for 5 minutes at 250 C, then reduce to 230 C until the Yorkies have risen and are as brown as you like them.

A recipe for making baguettes would be highly appreciated Helafunt.

My attempts have never achieved that crunchy exterior with a light & fluffy interior - the surface of the bread always ends up smooth and hard, more like pastry than bread crust.




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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 02:41


aga's a cooker ─ who'd've thunk it?

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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 04:46


Do habanero pickled eggs count as cooking?

Eggs.png - 879kB

I can season/grill a mean steak (med rare, homemade dry rub, never frozen topcut of sirlion, good marbling, very hot grill, pat of butter on top), and I make these baguettes with pepperoni inside them that are delicious. Unlike most people from the US, I try not to cook out of a box, so everything is from the basics - flour, water, yeast, sugar, and I have a spice rack that looks like my lab stockroom.

I have also invented this spicy garlic fried rice dish that uses chorizo as the meat. It's fantastic. The girlfriend is always bugging me to make it.

I would also like some tips about making good bread. My rolls are nice and fluffy inside but the crust gets a bit hard. It really depends on the rise time. I have tried painting them with olive oil but it didn't help much.




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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 06:19


Look, I’ll only divulge this once, so pay attention!

‘Happy Shopper’ new potatoes:

Needed:

1 small tin of ‘Happy Shopper’ new potatoes
Tin opener
Small pan

Method:

Open tin and place content in small pan
Heat pan on medium heat. Observe interesting change of state of liquid after a few minutes. Do not boil any further so as not to compromise delicate flavour of new potatoes
Drain off liquid

Serve with ‘Happy Shopper’ Steak and Kidney pie.

More to come!


[Edited on 5-5-2015 by blogfast25]




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jock88
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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 11:18



Fried spam anyone! (rolleyes)
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aga
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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 11:32


Hmm. Not sure that's the same thing is it ?

Stir Fry anyone ?

Pork (optional) cut into 1cm x 0.5 cm x 5cm strips, chuck in a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, some (5g) grated root ginger and some (about 10ml) sweet wine. Leave to marinate while you do the next bit.
Could use chicken, beef etc.

Grab some carrots, peppers a chilli, garlic, mushrooms - whatever you think may go OK in there. Bamboo shoots makes it more authentic.

Grate up about 80g of peeled root ginger, 2 peeled garlic cloves.

Chop everything into slices, a bit like match sticks - this is the key to stir frying - everything has low mass, and so cooks quickly.

Chuck all of the above (apart from the meat) into another bowl.

Put two tablespoons of Soy Sauce (light), 1 tablespoon of Oyster sauce, a tablespoon of sesame oil, a pinch of sugar and four tablespoons of water into a third bowl.
Add 1 teaspoon of flour (you can use Corn Starch, but that makes it all goopy, like a shop-bought goopyfry that congeals as it cools on your plate).
Mix.

Chop up a couple of spring onions (scallions) = about 100g into slices.

Wok up at high heat, splash in some Sunflower Oil
Lob in the meat (if using) and cook until browned or almost cooked (it will get more heat later).
Quickly take out and set aside.

Add a bit more oil and the onions.
Stir fry until starting to soften, then add the rest of the vegetables.

Stir, then Fry - that is what 'Stir Fry' means, not stirring like crazy all the time to make mush.

When you think the peppers or whatever are about done, throw in the sauce.

After about 2 minutes, add the partly cooked meat (if using) and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Done. Superb Asian-esque stir Fry.

Serve with a wonderful noodle recipe, or rice.


Tip: Do all the Chopping to begin with to save panic later on, or use a food processor.

[Edited on 5-5-2015 by aga]




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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 11:37


Quote: Originally posted by Praxichys  
Do habanero pickled eggs count as cooking?

Yes. Definitely.

It's cooking with Chemistry/acetic acid, so double points there.




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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 14:16


Ever heard of lutefisk? (It's a Minnesota thing, due to a large Scandinavian immigrant community.)

It's surprising what lye does to fish . . .

I've never made it, but I did eat it once on a dare. The texture is slimy and disgusting, and there is little flavor at all (everything was base-hydrolysed, I guess).




As below, so above.
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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 17:02


Quote: Originally posted by Cheddite Cheese  
The texture is slimy and disgusting, and there is little flavor at all.


If you make it sound so appetizing everyone will want some!




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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 17:10


I love cooking fish. Dab of sodium chloride some citric acid and a little capsaicin.



We are chemists , we bring light to the darkness. Knowledge to ignorant, excitement to the depressed and unknowing. we bring crops to broken fields and water to the desert. Where there is fear we bring curiosity.

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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 17:35


The science of BARBEQUE! I love firing up the smoker and making almost anything that was once alive. I have perfected the art of pizza prepared from scratch and cooked in the smoker. It's one of the most requested servings my friends and neighbors ask for when we gather here.

The BBQ 'smoke ring' had me stumped for a long time -- that is until I googled it and VOILA!




Chemical CURIOSITY KILLED THE CATalyst.
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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 18:03


Quote: Originally posted by m1tanker78  
The science of BARBEQUE! I love firing up the smoker and making almost anything that was once alive. I have perfected the art of pizza prepared from scratch and cooked in the smoker. It's one of the most requested servings my friends and neighbors ask for when we gather here.

The BBQ 'smoke ring' had me stumped for a long time -- that is until I googled it and VOILA!


You Americans don't half know how to desacrate a pizza! What happened to a nice Quattro Stagioni, huh? Wait, we smoked the life out of it! ;)

[Edited on 6-5-2015 by blogfast25]




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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 18:04


Buy steak.
Sear both sides a few seconds.
Oven for 10-15 min depending on thickness. this one was overdone.
add pepper.
repeat daily.
does this count as cooking?:D

DSCF1461steak.jpg - 334kB

coke can for scale. No idea why I have a coke can. I don't drink coke.
[Edited on 6-5-15 by The_Davster]

[Edited on 6-5-15 by The_Davster]
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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 18:09


Quote: Originally posted by The_Davster  
Buy steak.
Sear both sides a few seconds.
Oven for 10-15 min depending on thickness. this one was overdone.
add pepper.
repeat daily.
does this count as cooking?:D



coke can for scale. No idea why I have a coke can. I don't drink coke.
[Edited on 6-5-15 by The_Davster]

[Edited on 6-5-15 by The_Davster]


That one was <i>"a point"</i> (French), Sir. But an oven? For cooking steak? I've heard it all now!




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Tdep
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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 18:48


I like to think that there's forums out there that's exactly like Sciencemadness but all about the art of cooking.

"Help, I was having trouble with my steak, I seared it for 2 minutes but it stayed pink?"
"UTFSE, steak has been discussed here countless times, and there are quite a few good ways to sear a steak, depending on preference. Please post more information, that will encourage members help you, how exactly were you intending to serve the steak?"

"With just dirt and heat I can make unlimited steak, you guys are so barbaric slaughtering cows, just you see"
"Fuck off PHDchef"

Actually wait, this is the internet, of course that exists.
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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 18:49


I love to watch Alton Brown's shows like "Good Eats." Even though he is a bit corny, he does a very good job at using chemistry and science to explain cooking and to abolish common myths and misconceptions. One example of a myth I was always told and believed was that adding a bit of olive or other higher smoke point oil to butter will allow it to be heated significantly more before burning. He pointed out in an episode that since it is the solids in butter that burn and char, it is very unlikely to make a difference. There are others, but none that I can recall at the moment.

I do love cooking as well, and try to use my chemistry basics to help out. Here are some pictures of some freshly picked and fried morel mushrooms (Morchella esculenta), a delicacy 'round these parts, taken from the Midwestern timber a little over a week ago. Absolutely delicious, if I do say so myself.

Recipe as follows:
Remover dirt and any bugs from mushrooms.
Slice in half and soak in cool water for several hours.
Drain mushrooms and blot excess water off after soaking.
moisten with egg wash (egg and milk ~ 1:1 by volume is what I use).
Lightly salt and pepper before before breading. Either with flour, or flour mixed with a little corn meal.
Fry until golden brown and enjoy!
Careful not over cook, or they go rubbery. It doesn't take long. They are a perfect side for a fish fry or steak, or wonderful on there own. :cool:

IMAG0459.jpg - 135kB 2015-05-05 23.05.09.jpg - 653kB 2015-05-05 23.02.44.jpg - 521kB

[Edited on 6-5-2015 by Bot0nist]




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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 19:26


I use a PID controller, K type thermocouple, and a solid state relay to control my deep fryer and sous vide water bath. The sous vide has a 2.2KW element and a submersible pump to circulate the water. Admittedly I don't use the sous vide often but it is great for beef, pork, and fish (I mostly eat chicken which I bake or fry for crispy skin.) Sous vide is dead simple. Also the deep fryer had its guts/safety mechanisms removed so now it has no upper limit and surprisingly performs much better as the PID is much more responsive than the bimetallic control. I use the deep fryer quite a bit for french fries, pot stickers, tortilla chips and chicken.

Modernist cuisine is the epitome of scientific food porn.


[Edited on 6-5-2015 by crazyboy]
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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 19:37


Quote: Originally posted by Bot0nist  


I do love cooking as well, and try to use my chemistry basics to help out. Here are some pictures of some freshly picked and fried morel mushrooms (Morchella esculenta), a delicacy 'round these parts, taken from the Midwestern timber a little over a week ago. Absolutely delicious, if I do say so myself.

[Edited on 6-5-2015 by Bot0nist]


Keep safe with those morels, more than a few people have had hard luck and picked the 'false' variety..
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[*] posted on 5-5-2015 at 19:43


Thanks hawkguy for the concern. It is important to be 100% sure with wild edibles, especially mushrooms, but a false morel looks quite a bit different from both the large yellow and little grey varieties of "true" morels we hunt and find. Between me and my uncle we have decades of experience picking and eating edible mushrooms, especially Morchellas.

Gyromitra, aka the false morel's wiki page, for comparison.
Turns out even these are ok to eat if carefully prepared. I would not risk it though.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyromitra_esculenta

[Edited on 6-5-2015 by Bot0nist]




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[*] posted on 6-5-2015 at 08:27


Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
Quote: Originally posted by The_Davster  
Buy steak.
Sear both sides a few seconds.
Oven for 10-15 min depending on thickness. this one was overdone.
add pepper.
repeat daily.
does this count as cooking?:D


coke can for scale. No idea why I have a coke can. I don't drink coke.
[Edited on 6-5-15 by The_Davster]

[Edited on 6-5-15 by The_Davster]


That one was <i>"a point"</i> (French), Sir. But an oven? For cooking steak? I've heard it all now!



I broil all sorts of meat directly on the oven rack, and line the bottom, and the sides of the oven w/ aluminium foil.

It's like an upside down BBQ.

Most of my life is upside down come to think about it.

That steak Pict made me hoongree! Nice!




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