The WTF Cooking Show Thread



  • I don't see anything like this around yet, so I'm starting it here.

    I'm glathull, and I like to cook.

    The two things I spend most of my life doing are music and software, and both are fairly ephemeral in terms of showing yourself demonstrable forward progress. I really love cooking because it's so concrete. You go into the kitchen, you do some stuff for a while. And when you're done, there's this physical, tangible thing you can point at and taste and think to yourself, "Okay. That's done now. I did that."

    It's a good feeling. I'd surprised if there aren't a few other people who hang around here who are also really into cooking.

    What do you enjoy about it? What's your kit? What are your favorite things to cook?

    I recently found myself single on Valentine's Day for the first time in a long time, and I wasn't sure what to do. So I splurged and upgraded my kitchen knives. I'd been using a mid-range set of Henkle knives, and they were okay. But I'd had my eye on some F. Dick knives for a while now, so I went for those. Just the basics: Chef, Santoku, bread, and paring.

    Damn, these are a game changer. Totally worth the 500 bucks. I really enjoyed cooking before, but these make it even more fun.

    In the spirit of WTF, I'll pose this question: WTF is it with crock pots? Not the gizmo part of it, the pot part of it? WTF is it with crock pot pots? They are the non-stickiest non-stick surface I've ever encountered. Why aren't all pots and pans made out of this stuff?

    I overcooked some rice in a Jambalaya I made last night. If you've ever cooked rice, you've probably overlooked it, and you know what I'm talking about. It's a huge pain to clean up. The stuff basically turns into glue and stick to everything.

    This rice glue just came right off the crock pot pot when I was cleaning it up this morning. What is this black sorcery, and why isn't everything made of the stuff?


  • SockDev

    @glathull said:

    500 bucks

    For knives? 😶

    I assume they're really fucking good knives.

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  • mod

    If you get a good set of ceramic pots and pans, they have a similar effect. Much better than other non-stick treatments.

    My wife is really into cooking, so I get her a lot of nice cooking tools. And since I do the cleanup ...



  • Like is said, it was a splurge. But yes. They are pretty fucking amazing.



  • I'll have to look into that. I've always been a stainless steel guy with one or two non-stick fry pans for eggs. Never messed with the ceramic stuff.

    Any brand in particular you think is good?

    My ex had a set of caliphalon pans that were nice to cook with, but an absolute bitch to clean. And in that relationship, I did all the cooking and all the cleaning. Surely must have been doing it wrong.


  • SockDev

    The other benefit of ceramic (I guess) is that if the surface gets scratched, it shouldn't adversely affect the non-stickiness. And of course it won't corrode 😄

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  • I bought this one here:

    Makes cooking a lot easier, due to the temperature control and all.



  • I've not had ceramic before, but I've had Le Creuset (cast iron) in the past.

    Now just stick to decent stainless steel pans and they work perfectly.

    Need to buy some decent knives though, keep putting it off.



  • Decent non stick pans are pretty resilient to being scratched with utensils.

    Decent pans is one of the best things to get in the kitchen IMO.



  • Cooking, that's the thing where you put the frozen pizza inside the baking machine thingy, right?



  • My understanding, which could be very wrong, was that the issue wasn't so much with the scratching being bad for the pan, but that Teflon is toxic, and you don't want to scrape bits of that stuff into your food. I've always used wooden utensils when I use non-stick.



  • Teflon is not really toxic. There may be a problem if you overheat the pan and basically oxidize the Teflon but that is not exactly settled science.



  • Teflon is like corn. It will go through you, undigested. Those fluorine bonds aren't going to break off at less than 500 degrees.

    I use quite a bit of cast iron, especially for baking. Teflon pans for day to day. I used to be able to fry an egg on my cast iron pans (the ultimate test for cast iron non-stickiness), until an idiot "roasted" mean on one, without properly lubing the pan. Scraping the charcoal off the fry surface ruined the seasoning.



  • Cool. Good to know. I always kind of wondered if that was really a thing. It never made much sense to me that our benevolent powers-that-be would actually let people sell toxic materials attached to a thing that you cook food in.



  • I use plastic or wood generally, but some times quickly use a fork or whatever and it's handy to have a tougher pan.



  • So here's a question. I've got some Europeans coming to visit a week from Monday. The Vienna Boys Choir is conducted by a close friend of mine from undergrad, and he's bringing them to the states. Texas, specifically. When they get here, they are making a brief detour to my parents' house, where I will serve a Texas-style BBQ to roughly 40 people. @Rhywden, you seem to have some familiarity with Germanic stuff. What kinds of things would you expect, and what can I get away with in terms of spice?

    All the usual suspects will be in evidence. I'm planning on a beef brisket, two pork shoulders (for pulled pork), baby back ribs, pork shoulder ribs, various sausages (I'm thinking Elk and Venison), and a couple of chickens. Sides are potato salad, baked beans, and cole slaw. Peach cobbler, cheesecake, and a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte because Austrians.

    What can I do for appetizers? Fried mozzarella sticks and marinara seems reasonable. I like to split jalapeños in half, stuff them with shrimp, cream cheese, wrap them in bacon and grill them. But that's a little on the crazy side even for some Texans who eat spicy things. Do people eat that kind of stuff in Austria? Will I kill the little ones with something like that? What about buffalo wings? I'm not really sure what kind of palate I'm cooking for, and I don't want to overdo it. Because, well, I sometimes overdo it.

    In general, am I forgetting anything that anyone thinks of as an integral part of a BBQ? Any other suggestions? I'd like these kids to have a great experience and also realize that not all Texas are ignorant thugs who voted for Bush.

    Another friend of mine from undergrad is flying in from NYC, and she and I will play some violin duets with the choir and stuff. Should be fun. Good food, good music, good friends. If it doesn't sound like ass, I'll put it up on youtube and post a link here. But in the mean time, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



  • @glathull said:

    @Rhywden, you seem to have some familiarity with Germanic stuff. What kinds of things would you expect, and what can I get away with in terms of spice?

    "German stuff". Germanic would amount to those guys:
    http://www.warlordgames.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/germanic_tribesmen_box_cover.jpg

    However, now that I think about it, a barbecue would suit those guys just fine.

    On a more serious note: Don't overdo the spices and you're pretty much set. We Europeans (or at least us Germans) don't do Barbecues (to be exact: Those enclosed spaces) but more roast on a grillage over coals in the open. Shouldn't make much of a difference, though.
    The food you list is absolutely okay.

    There's one important part missing, though: Beer.

    Don't think you can get away with stuff like Bud Light - we call that "coloured water" over here 😛

    edit: Erm, I missed the part where the visitors are probably under-age. Scratch the beer, then 😄



  • I might be Texan, but I'm not stupid. I would never try to serve bud light to someone who lives in Austria. 😄

    There will be plenty of good, dark beer after the concert when the kids are in bed and us alleged grownups are hanging out.

    Thanks for your input. I do appreciate it.



  • I'm curious about the German/Germanic thing. I meant no offense, of course. And this thread needs some pedantry to fit in properly. Both my parents teach German at a University, and I think their group is called the Department of Germanic Studies. Is this incorrect?

    If I want to speak broadly about people whose primary language is German but not necessarily from Germany proper, what is the correct and non-offensive word? Perhaps I want to talk about a group of people that includes people from Germany, Austria, parts of die Schweitz, parts of Poland, parts of Belgium, Liechtenstein, etc.?

    Or should I just have scratched that part of it and asked if Western Europeans in general will eat jalapeño peppers?

    Edit: Switzerland is censored if you spell it the way Germans do. What the fucking fuck, Discourse?



  • Only thing censored for me is Belg­ium



  • Those would be German-speakers. There's no exact term for that, at least that I know of. In Germany, the area where German is the primary language is usually titled DACH (it's simply the national the ISO 3166-1 signs). But that's about it.

    "Germanic" is more a historical term exclusively used either for the study of language or the historical tribes.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Rhywden said:

    Don't overdo the spices and you're pretty much set. We Europeans (or at least us Germans) don't do Barbecues

    IME, the British like it stronger than the Germans and Austrians do. As in, I've gone nose to nose with a Hungarian in a chilli pepper eating competition in Budapest and won it. 😃 There was quite a lot of beer consumed that night.

    I put it down to the legacy of the British Empire in India. The French and Dutch also might surprise you (what with Vietnam and Indonesia…)



  • Us Dutch are no strangers to spicy food.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @dkf said:

    he British like it stronger than the Germans and Austrians do

    Than many Americans as well. Though apparently Siracha is the new Catsup so I'm not sure how the averages stack up anymore. I can't do peppers, so I'm disgruntled by the trend.


  • mod

    @glathull said:

    I'll have to look into that. I've always been a stainless steel guy with one or two non-stick fry pans for eggs. Never messed with the ceramic stuff.

    Any brand in particular you think is good?

    The current set we have is Calphalon. The thing with Calaphalon is that they have a wide range of products. They don't get into the really high end stuff, but their ceramic pots and pans are good quality.



  • Right, okay. That all adds up. Vielen Dank.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Yamikuronue said:

    Than many Americans as well. Though apparently Siracha is the new Catsup so I'm not sure how the averages stack up anymore.

    I grew up in a city with a lot of immigrants from the Indian subcontinent, so I've been around spicy food for… well, as long as I can remember for sure. It takes something fairly mighty to be too much for me (the last time was a whole raw bird eye chilli as a salad item; that was the fastest I've ever drunk two beers) but I usually prefer to take my food not as strong as that, on the grounds that I want to taste everything else too.

    I'm happy with things stronger than most British people like them too. 😉

    @Yamikuronue said:

    I can't do peppers, so I'm disgruntled by the trend.

    One of my brothers is like that, but he's particularly sensitive to bell peppers (which he avoids). I don't know if chillies also cause him problems, but they don't seem to stop him from eating curried food. 😃


    Back towards the topic… Had an awesome oxtail stew tonight. Over 24 hours to prepare. Delicious. (Not strong, but very rich and tasty.)



  • Ooh. That sounds nice. Recipe?


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    For me, anything with a little bit of spice (like, jalapenos) will register as nothing but a spot of pain on my tongue. If a dish is tasty enough sometimes I can power through it, but ultimately, I just don't get anything pleasant out of it.


  • SockDev

    @dkf said:

    the last time was a whole raw bird eye chilli as a salad item; that was the fastest I've ever drunk two beers

    Beer works OK, but what you really need to neuter the spice is milk 😉

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  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @RaceProUK said:

    Beer works OK, but what you really need to neuter the spice is milk 😉

    I can't stand milk. Haven't been able to since I was about 18. (Milk products are fine. It's just the raw stuff I don't like.)



  • Yeah, that's what I'm trying to avoid. I want other people to have a pleasant experience with the food I cook.

    I lived in the midwest for a few years. Minneapolis area. My god, that food was boring. There are many places where you have to make a special request for black pepper. Just regular old black pepper--which I happen to adore for its flavor, but I don't think of as being in any way spicy.

    So perhaps I'm skewed. In fact, I know I am skewed. There's a disgusting thing that some people put on sandwiches called mayonnaise. This stuff is awful to me. I hate it. If my sandwich is too dry, I spread wasabi on the bread. I find this to be both interesting and delightful. But not what I would call spicy. Some people think this is crazy, and I admit, I am a bit crazy.

    Speaking of black pepper, here's a thing you can do if you are into deep, dark, rich flavors but not all that spicy. Put a few coffee beans and a few more black pepper corns in a coffee grinder for long enough to crack them pretty well. Makes a great crust for a strong fish like tuna. Sprinkle that all over on both sides, sear at the highest heat your stove will go to for 30 seconds on each side. Serve. It's always a big hit.

    If you want a sauce, you can mix Worcestershire with some wasabi paste to do something a little bit more exciting than plain shoyu.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    I've just started getting into fish more, I've never really been a big fan. Obviously, sushi is awesome, but I find I don't like the strong assertive "fishy" taste you get with your basic salmon recipes. I've been going for lighter, more complex flavors, like whitefish with lemon juice and some pepper pan-seared until it has a nice brown crust on it.

    Tonight we're having gumbo because we forgot about our annual Mardi Gras tradition until this past Monday so we decided to move it to today 😃



  • The point of milk is how it interacts with capsaicin. There is a thing that bonds with the oil to help remove it.


  • SockDev

    @dkf said:

    I can't stand milk. Haven't been able to since I was about 18. (Milk products are fine. It's just the raw stuff I don't like.)

    You odd person 😉

    If I understand the chemistry correctly, it's the fat in the milk that counters the capsaicin. So you should be able to get the same effect from anything relatively fatty. I was going to look it up to check, but when I Googled for how to neuter capsaicin, I got results about cats undefined
    @Yamikuronue said:

    I've just started getting into fish more, I've never really been a big fan.

    It's a good idea to get into fish: high protein and a lot less fat. And tasty 😄
    @Yamikuronue said:
    sushi is awesome

    QFT

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  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @glathull said:

    Ooh. That sounds nice. Recipe?

    I'm having trouble locating the recipe. It's been put somewhere “sensible and safe”. undefined So instead, this is the gist, what I remember of it.

    First do a basic stew of the oxtails with the spices you're using, bone and all (one tail per 4 servings or so) and let it go cold overnight. Once it is cold, skim the fat off the top; oxtails are usually pretty fatty, and you want to get rid of quite a bit of that. With that done, take the meat off the bone and get rid of the bones. The meat goes back in the liquid and you cook the whole thing up with whatever additional vegetables and spices that you want in as well. We used onions, carrots, parsnips and turnips, but there's loads of different possibilities. The spices (day 1) included a bay leaf, a piece of stick cinnamon, and a star anise; we tried to remove these before serving, as 24 hours of cooking is not enough to soften a star anise. 😉 I forget what other spices were used. The stock on day 1 was probably beef stock, I don't know if any beer or wine was used as well, and I totally forget the cooking times (as I was concentrating on work and WTDWTF) as the basic rule is “cook until things are cooked”, but we're talking about multiple hours.

    Note that you really want to cook it with the bone in. You can't make as nice a stew without bone. (You discard it after cooking.)



  • @RaceProUK said:

    it's the fat in the milk that counters the capsaicin.

    Capsaicin is an oil so IIRC it's actually a fat bonding agent rather than the fats themselves (though they can help cut the taste as can sugary things).



  • If you aren't into the assertively flavored fishes, you can tame them somewhat. My post above is one way. You basically just overpower the tuna with other things.

    You can do a similar thing to salmon if you want. Rub the whole plank with a dijon mustard, top with several cubes of butter and a lot of fresh rosemary. Dust it with a good paprika. Grill it on a cedar plank for a while. Don't bother soaking the cedar in water. That's just a myth. Water doesn't really penetrate the wood.

    The important thing if you want to get rid of the fishy taste is to take the skin off before you serve. The skin holds a lot of the fish flavor. If you do the above correctly, this won't be an issue: the skin will stick to the cedar and peel away as you plate it.

    I want to get into some of the smaller and lighter fish at some point. That whitefish recipe sounds like a great idea.



  • @glathull said:

    I've got some Europeans coming to visit a week from Monday. The Vienna Boys Choir is conducted by a close friend of mine from undergrad, and he's bringing them to the states. Texas, specifically. When they get here, they are making a brief detour to my parents' house, where I will serve a Texas-style BBQ to roughly 40 people. What kinds of things would you expect, and what can I get away with in terms of spice?

    I'd be less worried about the spices and more about the milk everyone seems to keep suggesting (ditto the cream cheese component of your stuffed jalapeños). Old-school choral singers are often instructed to "avoid the dairy" because it forms mucus.



  • @glathull said:

    The skin holds a lot of the fish flavor.

    Which is important to note, those that aren't bothered by a fishy taste may think you are doing things wrong if the skin is missing.


  • SockDev

    Speaking of fish, is it weird that I adore anchovies? A seafood pizza with prawns, tuna, and anchovies; I'm in hedgehog heaven 😍

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  • No one here is old-school. 😄

    That whole thing about dairy coating your throat with mucus and being bad is hogwash.

    I was a small-time opera/musical theater singer for a few years in my early 20s. It's completely bogus.



  • Yes. This is completely true. Fish is generally served with the skin attached. Thanks for pointing that out.



  • @RaceProUK said:

    Speaking of fish, is it weird that I adore anchovies? A seafood pizza with prawns, tuna, and anchovies; I'm in hedgehog heaven

    I've done a lot of crazy things with pizzas. Gluten Free Fruit pizzas, FFS (don't ask how that date went.) I've never done a seafood pizza. I must try this ASAP.


  • SockDev

    @glathull said:

    I've never done a seafood pizza. I must try this ASAP.


    @glathull said:
    Gluten Free Fruit pizzas

    undefined Just the thought of that makes my quills itch…

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  • She was hot. A gluten free fruititarian. I should have gotten blowjob points for my effort with the pizza, but instead I got sandbagged with negative, "You actually used power to make this? Fuck you. I bet you invest in oil companies." points.



  • @glathull said:

    So I splurged and upgraded my kitchen knives. I'd been using a mid-range set of Henkle knives, and they were okay. But I'd had my eye on some F. Dick knives for a while now, so I went for those. Just the basics: Chef, Santoku, bread, and paring.

    So I use a random collection of knives picked up over time, but I've bought multiples of this one as it is a good utility knife (in that it fits in all but some of chef knife uses dealing with length of the blade).



  • @RaceProUK said:

    is it weird that I adore anchovies? A seafood pizza with prawns, tuna, and anchovies

    Anchovies are great.

    I always have them added to spicy meat pizza. You'd think it doesn't go, but it does.


  • SockDev

    @glathull said:

    She was hot

    That explains it 😆
    @loopback0 said:
    I always have them added to spicy meat pizza. You'd think it doesn't go, but it does.

    *adds to must do list*

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  • Diavolo from Pizza Express with anchovies on it is wonderful.

    Diavolo
    Hot spiced beef, pepperoni, mozzarella, tomato, green pepper, red onion and Tabasco with your choice of hot green, jalapeño or roquito peppers

    Pretty much any equivalent from any local pizza place works just as well.


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