Oct 12, 2017

[Ongoing] Cooking: Community Questions & Answers

Your questions. Expert answers.
Massdrop is a place you can find people of all skillsets within any given community. There are beginners who are just starting out, and enthusiastic experts who have been around the block a few times. At any rate, you should always be able to find the right answers to your questions within the community.
ASK COOKING-RELATED QUESTIONS Have a question about the best way to poach an egg? How you should clean your cast iron skillet? What it takes to make a great recipe from scratch? We have resident experts in many categories, but the best way to get a response is to ask the community itself. There are members of the Massdrop Cooking Community that are experts in pretty much any cooking area you can imagine.
Ask your question(s) by posting in the discussion below.
EXAMPLES • Q: “What’s the best way to peel a mango?” • Q: “Which knife should I use for carving turkey?” • Q: “How do I make fresh pasta?” • Q: “What’s a good recipe for vegan, gluten-free cookies?” • Q: “How do I properly use a sous vide?"
GIVE EXPERT ANSWERS Many people in the community know a lot about cooking and have great information to share with those that have questions. We encourage those that do to help out!

Want to start your own discussion? Click here: www.massdrop.com/cooking/talk/new


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Hey guys! We have our winners! Congratulations to jkiemele, b9d9ffdad3ac59e7f6f and @cs85b03!

Thanks to everyone for joining the discussion. The giveaway is over now, but feel free to keep your questions coming in.
My favorite is lamb shanks in a pressure cooker.
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red wine chicken stock ..tomato paste lots of garlic and rosemary.. Cooks super fast. 30 min! cook down n finish sauce with balsamic n butter....mmmmm
Pressure cooked lamb shanks are great. If you have a sous vide, try 48 hours at 140. It is easily amongst the best meat I've ever eaten.
Anyone have some good NON-tomato sauce based pasta recipes?
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Brown butter makes a delicious and simple sauce to coat pasta. Brown butter in a pan, add cooked pasta, toss, and enjoy.
Midnight Pasta!
Olive oil, chopped garlic, chopped anchovies, chopped capers, some red pepper flakes, chopped parsley, and some grated parmesan on top.


Creamy smoked salmon and dill pasta:
What are some good recipe for ramen broth?
Start with any stock or broth you want (chicken, beef, veggie) You can use powdered base but, the box liquid type is much better. Add copped carrots, celery, and onion. A few whole garlic cloves. A couple bay leaves. A few whole peppercorns. Maybe a sprig of thyme. Then add any other flavors you want (hot chilis, mushrooms, ginger, fennel, whatever) simmer for at least an hour. Strain everything out. Now you have a very flavorful broth for noodles.
What is the easiest way to cook food or a large amount of food? And any cooking tips for undergraduates and recent graduates?
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A good book for this is The Professional Chef.

Most of the recipes are for 10 servings, making it very very easy to scale up and down.

However, you will need a scale, because most recipes are given by weight, not volume. More consistent, and allows for better scaling.

It is a very broad ranging book, and covers all aspects of a kitchen, on how to buy, store and prep food, equipment, techniques, etc.
My two go to methods for large format cooking is sous vide and pressure cooking. While slow cooking (like a crock pot) kind of accomplishes the same thing, I think sous vide and pressure cooking do it better by providing better texture (sous vide), better flavor (both), and quicker cooking (pressure cooking). I've made food for 50+ people many times and love how these two devices help me out. Oh, and a good food processor and blender is helpful if your tasks are appropriate for them.
How much sugar do you actually need in your bread?

I love making bread, but much prefer it to be less sweet than many recipes seem to leave it. I want to know what the minimum amount of sugar is that is required to successfully fuel a tbsp of yeast. Is there any real metric on that?

My current favorite uses 2tsp sugar for 2tbsp of yeast in 3 (4 by the time I get done kneading it) of flour. Can I get away with less?

I've got nothing against sugar, I just like my bread savory.
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You know, when I see the same person post the same plug for the same book about 40 times in 1 discussion it makes me think that person is a paid advertiser and I shouldn't listen to them.

AND I like my bread nice and yeasty. It gives it a good flavor.
I just love the book, and it is a really good one.

My only prejudice is that he is a former IBMer, and I am a current IBMer. He approaches it with a very precise and logical method that I appreciate and recognize as a product of the IBM culture.

You do end up with yeasty bread, because you are giving it 12 to 36 hours to ferment.

And in my defense, this is one SUBJECT area, cooking not one discussion, and many people are asking similar questions.

Finally, more bread porn...
I've always been unsuccessful using my Lodge cast iron... whatever I'm trying to cook always sticks, and I might have caught it on fire once. Now it's just collecting dust in my pan rack.

What's the best way to re-season a cast iron pan? Also, any tips for starting out with cast-iron cooking for a total newb?
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Here is what works for me, my cast iron pan has been in use for 6 years, now it is a total non stick.
Seasoning the pan in the oven never worked for me, what really works is using it daily.
Any food you fry with oil, just use the pan, get it very hot first, use oil and fry, do that every time and it is going to get better and better.
When you are done, drop some salt and rub the pan with a paper, wash it with cold water only, put back on heat till it gets dry then rub some oil till it start smoking.
Let me know if you have any questions :)
alexp was a total champ with his cast iron pot when I was staying with him
What's the best way to make poached egg?
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Using cling film is the best and easiest. cut a big piece, run a drop of oil on top, carefully break your egg inside, close it making a package with the egg in the middle with no air inside, use a piece of cling film to wrap the end and tie it to close. you can do this the day before ready for the morning.
Cook in simmering water for four and half minutes.
Here is a picture: http://splodzblogz.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/poachedegg05.jpg
Let me know if you any any questions :)
I like poaching eggs in marinara sauce. The thicker sauce holds the shape better and it picks up the flavor of the sauce too, of course.