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Food & Wine Ground >> Name something you can't cook worth a sh_t.


2/13/10 11:53 AM
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WaltJ
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For me, easily OMELETS.

Can't fucking do it.  Never could.  Don't know why, can't explain it.  It just NEVER WORKS.
2/13/10 8:40 PM
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cdmontgo
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I have never cooked spinach which I liked (I have enjoyed spinach which was cooked by someone else).

How exactly are the omelets not working for you? Does cook? Burns? Not fluffy enough? Something else?
2/13/10 9:24 PM
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WaltJ
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Not able to "fold" them over enough.
2/15/10 7:23 AM
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Pito Chueco
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cant fry for shit
2/15/10 11:32 AM
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crescentwrench
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 They just showed how to do omelets on America's Test Kitchen on PBS.  They showed how to roll them by sliding them flat out of the pan onto a paper towel half-covering your plate.  Then you pick up the other end of the paper towel and it will roll the omelet up into a nice tube.  

As far as what I can't cook - fish.  I can throw some Chef Paul blackened seasoning on a frozen fillet and get something half-edible but that's about it.  I never really try because I don't want to spend $20 on a great piece of fish that I'm just going to turn mediocre.  
2/16/10 12:48 PM
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junon
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fish.

sea food in general.
2/17/10 12:32 PM
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GaryG
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I'm probably the worst cook on the forum. I've gave myself food poisoning a few months ago (Lemon shrimp and orzo)

I do have a significant interest in food, and fine dining but no talent and little ability in the kitchen.

I can grill OK
2/18/10 10:48 AM
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MetaDevil
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I never really try because I don't want to spend $20 on a great piece of fish that I'm just going to turn mediocre.

Try cooking a salmon filet like a nice steak. S & P, olive oil, hot cast iron. Sear skin side down for a couple of minutes or so and then slap it in the oven for 10 minutes to finish with a mixture of lemon juice, brown mustard, dill, and butter on top.

I tend to undercook my fish than overcook, but that's acceptable.

I can't make Asian-style noodle dishes. They never taste or look as good as I get in restuarants.
2/23/10 11:40 AM
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meow mix
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  A good fucking pot roast.  I mean really, how hard is it?  Give me anything in a pan with a sensitive sauce or whatever and I'll cook the shit out of it. 
2/23/10 12:15 PM
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crescentwrench
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 What cut of meat do you use?
2/24/10 4:18 AM
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junon
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ive had to start cooking more and more seafood at work.

havent handled them yet(at work) but ive picked up this fascination with scallops.
2/24/10 10:52 AM
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meow mix
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 top loin roasts.  If I remember correctly, anyway.  I make awesome beef stew, but cannot figure out how to make a roast.  Guess I should also clarify, though, in the crockpot.  I did manage last time in the dutch oven with a meat thermometer but forget it when it comes to the crockpot.  I suck at crockpot cooking!  lol  How does anyone suck at crockpot cooking?
2/24/10 2:03 PM
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crescentwrench
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If it really is top loin, ditch the crock pot and use it in an oven based non-pot style roast.  That's waaaay too good a cut to be slummin' it in a crock pot.  

If you're staying away from the fatty cuts but it's actually a top round roast then it will make a good pot roast, but you are right about needing a thermometer.  Overcooking those will turn meat dry and chalky.  Properly cooked will be tender and a little chewy.  I do saurbraten with top round in a crock pot and it turns out fine, but I use a thermometer.

The best beef for crock pots for my money though is a chuck or chuck eye roast.  They're more fatty but that allows for cooking them all day and the fat melts off keeping everything tender.  And then you can separate the fat from the roasting liquid afterward if you're making gravy.  

Crock pottery is conducive to cheap meat with lots of fat and connective tissue that goes for under two bucks a pound.  Like chuck, pork shoulder, chicken thighs.  Lean meats in a crock pot will usually backfire.  
2/24/10 2:28 PM
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meow mix
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 thank you for the savvy advice.  The top loin i definitely did in the dutch oven with the thermo and it came out well. 
2/27/10 11:56 PM
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alpo
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People usually cook fish at too low of a temperature for too long.  Hard and fast is the way to go.  Usually better to err on the rare side. 
3/3/10 9:54 AM
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MetaDevil
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Because of this thread, I made pot roast last weekend ... and damn.

Here's what I did:
2.5 lb chuck roast
~3/4 lb carrots (chunked) I snacked on some
1 onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (16 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 bottle lager
~4 sprigs rosemary
~8 sprigs thyme
3-4 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper

1) Preheat oven to 350F

2) Salt and pepper the roast thoroughly & let rest 20-30 minutes

3) Heat cast iron pan or dutch oven (I used my large skillet) on med-high to high

4) add a couple of tablespoons olive oil, sear the roast on both sides for a few minutes each side.

5) deglaze with 3/4 bottle of lager (drink the rest), add onion, carrot, garlic, tomatoes, and remaining olive oil. Give it a stir and tuck the sprigs of herbs on each side of the roast.

6) cover tightly with heavy duty foil (or a lid). Slap that puppy in the oven for ~3 hours.

7) enjoy with some crusty bread and full bodied beer.
3/3/10 10:39 AM
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crescentwrench
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 Is your CI pan enameled?  If not you need to make sure it's super duper nicely seasoned.  Cooking anything acidic like tomatoes in it for a long period can affect the cure and leach out iron into the dish.  It can cause stuff to taste all iron-y but on the plus side you cut chances of becoming anemic by like a million.  

Being that you didn't mention it I assume you didn't have any problems.  
3/3/10 11:47 AM
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MetaDevil
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Yeah, I've heard that too and the leaching of iron is a reality, but it happens with most food cooked in a CI pan, not just acidic foods. And stripping the seasoning off would take a pretty acidic food and a newer pan. My 10-inch skillet is ~30 years old and was last re-seasoned ~10 years ago and my newer 14-inch is well-seasoned.

My gf and I cook a lot of different dishes (cider-braised pork chops with red cabbage, curries, pot roasts, etc.) in those pans and I've never noticed a metallic taste. I've certainly got my eye on an enameled dutch oven (more for volume then anything else), but those LC's are e'spensive.
3/3/10 12:52 PM
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crescentwrench
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Oh acidic food will definitely leach more.  I wouldn't notice though if it was in a pot with curries or cabbage, but the wife would notice what I ate about 3 hours later when she died.  I made a pot of beans once in an underprepped dutch oven and it tasted like I was eating them with a fork made of old nails.  There wasn't a lot in way of strong flavors in the recipe and the tomato in there really pulled out that metallic aftertaste.

Those LCs are out of control.  There are knockoffs that I think have been rated almost as good for like 1/6 of the price.  Whatever one Target sells I think got very favorable reviews by America's Test Kitchen.  In know there was a cheap one in there that performed way better than 1/6 of LC.  I'd be scared shitless cooking with something that expensive anyway, one chip and it's a $250 doorstop.
3/5/10 8:36 PM
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Altofsky
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Rice. Easy, right? I always fuck it up. I let the wife handle rice.

3/5/10 9:32 PM
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WaltJ
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Yeah, I'm not good with rice at all, either.
3/12/10 10:48 AM
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JDV
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 pancakes.  After the 1st one which turns out fine, the 2nd and 3rd etc... seem to burn on one side or not be nice and golden brown like the 1st.  pisses me off.
3/12/10 11:31 AM
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crescentwrench
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 Rice cooker my frens.  Idiot proof and can pick one up for pretty cheap.  Takes up space yeah but probably worth it if it means not eating burnt or mushy rice.  
3/13/10 2:11 AM
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alpo
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If you don't want to spring for a rice cooker, Minute Rice is actually pretty good, but it only comes in two varieties, regular long grain white and brown.  It's more expensive per pound, but if you follow the instructions, you can't fuck it up.  The brown rice is especially good because it only takes 10 minutes versus 45 or whatever. 

If you are making rice in a pot, the general rule is to only use about 2/3-3/4 of the amount of water that the instructions suggest.  I don't know why, but they always say to use way too much water.  You really have to experiment with a particular brand a few times, then once you get it, just stick with that brand so you can repeat the results every time.  They are all a little bit different. 
3/13/10 8:49 AM
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crescentwrench
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Edited: 03/13/10 8:50 AM
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Do the Rice Thing Good Eats ep.

I'm pretty sure this explains the rice/water ratio alpo is talking about, or the second half will.  I can't remember.  The gist will be that the more you cook, the less water you'll wind up using.  Like a half cup of rice it's about a 2:1 ratio.  Half cup of rice, one cup of water.  1 cup of rice uses less than 2 cups water though.  Don't know the exact though, I'll have to watch the show again.

If you do want to eat rice in any quantity I think a rice cooker is a good investment, especially if you are making rice other than white or brown.  I use jasmine rice almost exclusively and I haven't ever seen a box version of that so I'm stuck doing it the old fashioned way.  I know a cooker is more cabinet clutter but it really does make the job almost impossible to fuck up and it frees up a burner on the stove if you need it.  It will also steam vegetables and stuff if you're into that.  But on the other hand, Minute Rice can cook in the microwave I think...
 

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