Cooking Tips, Tricks, Recipes, & Advice

Fwiffo

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What not even subtitles? I passed an Italian O level exam but the video was not much good to me.

Actually that guy has a link in his YouTube videos to a website. You can then have the website translated via Google although sometimes there are slight variations to the written directions and what he does on video.

Stefan Barbato, early Max Mariola videos I have to rely on the few words I know and visuals.
 

Fwiffo

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Finally made khoresh ghormeh sabzi. Saffron rice, pistachio and almond slivers and potato tah deeg.

I am told my barberries were not plump and should have been cooked a bit.

That was a hell of a lot of fine chopping of coriander, parsley, chives and I cheated with dried fenugreek.
 

Kingstonian

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View attachment 35147

Finally made khoresh ghormeh sabzi. Saffron rice, pistachio and almond slivers and potato tah deeg.

I am told my barberries were not plump and should have been cooked a bit.

That was a hell of a lot of fine chopping of coriander, parsley, chives and I cheated with dried fenugreek.
Looks very nice. Cooking is definitely your thing. Is saffron expensive where you are? Fresh coriander etc goes off quickly, so I assume you buy it more or less on the day you will use it.
 

Fwiffo

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Looks very nice. Cooking is definitely your thing. Is saffron expensive where you are? Fresh coriander etc goes off quickly, so I assume you buy it more or less on the day you will use it.

Bad saffron is 3 or 4 quid in a tiny box. But I usually try to get Iranian saffron and luckily besides Los Angeles we have the biggest Persian diaspora so there are more than a few ethnic grocers that carry them. It's expensive but how it reacts when you grind it with a mortar and pestle is a telling difference.

For my weekend family meals I buy ingredients same day from the market, and cook the same or next day. I usually wash the herbs and put the stems in water to nurture it. If I leave them dry in the fridge they brown/black easily. I really hate supermarkets that keep blasting their herbs every 20 minutes with water. Lately I have a pot on my balcony with green onions, basil and curly parsley. I used some of the latter for this dish. You fry the herbs first in oil and then add it to the stew. So many herbs frying together..the profumo was divine.

I'm flattered and humbled by the comment on my cooking. I'm still an amateur with horrible knife skills and I believe some other esteemed members of this forum do better, but they don't necessarily advertise it. As they say in Farsi, kheili mamnoon - much appreciated.
 

Fwiffo

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Been on a bit of a French streak but I think I will give it up soon because my knife skills mean I chop rustic and can't make proper mirepoix and other French shapes.

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Duck l'orange with hasselback potatoes and root vegetables

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Crab salad on avocado with a potato latke top

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Julia Child beef bourguignon with a sliced potato stack

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Blanquette de veau with potato sticks
 

Grand Potentate

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Been on a bit of a French streak but I think I will give it up soon because my knife skills mean I chop rustic and can't make proper mirepoix and other French shapes.

View attachment 35321

Duck l'orange with hasselback potatoes and root vegetables

View attachment 35322

Crab salad on avocado with a potato latke top

View attachment 35323

Julia Child beef bourguignon with a sliced potato stack

View attachment 35324

Blanquette de veau with potato sticks
This all looks fantastic
 

Journeyman

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Been on a bit of a French streak but I think I will give it up soon because my knife skills mean I chop rustic and can't make proper mirepoix and other French shapes.

Frankly, Fwiff, I think that you protest too much! Your cooking looks far better than most people who aren't actually trained chefs.
 

Fwiffo

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Missed one. Fish quenelle with a lobster sauce. I cheated and used an oriental spoon for quenelle but the lobster sauce consumed a whole half kilo lobster meat.
 

Fwiffo

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Frankly, Fwiff, I think that you protest too much! Your cooking looks far better than most people who aren't actually trained chefs.

Given I don't have a second warming oven, heat lamps, squirt bottles, and tweezers - I would say it's a challenge.

But it appeals to me like work appeals to me. Lots of logistics organisation to get to the end goal and then in the middle of it something doesn't go your way so you have to adjust. It's like paramedics addicted to the adrenaline of being a first responder to an incident.
 

Fwiffo

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Surely that is just a presentation issue? Carrots still taste the same diced, sliced or in batons.

Yes. It's more refined. Chips cut into perfect rectangles.

What to do with the waste is another thing. Italians are good for using everything.

I assume you have decent sharp knives ? Those little French Opinel knives will cut as fine as you want and they are cheap too.

I do but it's more my fear of slicing myself. I could wear a chain mail glove but that wouldn't give me much dexterity.

If it says preparation time 20 minutes you can add at least 50 percent because of how slow I cut up onions, mince garlic, etc. I don't own any kitchen gadgets so I do everything from scratch.
 

Dropbear

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I got a $20 Webber chimney from the hardware store and I definitely wish I’d known about this shit years ago!
 
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Fwiffo

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I made a fettucine alfredo with this expensive dried egg pasta I bought for $8.90.

Apparently it was a hit. It's definitely a different texture than the Italian grocery store offerings I have down the street from me.

For the record I did not purchase the funghi one here, I bought the plain one.

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QuandoDio

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Been on a bit of a French streak but I think I will give it up soon because my knife skills mean I chop rustic and can't make proper mirepoix and other French shapes.

View attachment 35321

Duck l'orange with hasselback potatoes and root vegetables

View attachment 35322

Crab salad on avocado with a potato latke top

View attachment 35323

Julia Child beef bourguignon with a sliced potato stack

View attachment 35324

Blanquette de veau with potato sticks


Nice, but as you know mirepoix is not a 'French shape';).

Even with better knife skills, it can all be a faff. I have OK nice skills, trained etc but I cut myself badly on my index and middle finger a month ago, when hosting at home and serving multi-courses.

Usually, I find a mandoline to be easier and neater and a big help for those shapes. At the very least, it makes making French fries a breeze.
 

QuandoDio

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Yes. It's more refined. Chips cut into perfect rectangles.

What to do with the waste is another thing. Italians are good for using everything.



I do but it's more my fear of slicing myself. I could wear a chain mail glove but that wouldn't give me much dexterity.

If it says preparation time 20 minutes you can add at least 50 percent because of how slow I cut up onions, mince garlic, etc. I don't own any kitchen gadgets so I do everything from scratch.

French don't really waste. Those 'less-pretty' sides are for the dogs/ the chef's perk. As many of Julia's Childs works will tell you.

And the French preached and practised the 'nose-to-tail' eating of animals before it become fashionable.
 

Journeyman

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And the French preached and practised the 'nose-to-tail' eating of animals before it become fashionable.

Heck, just about everywhere used to do "nose-to-tail" eating back when there was less pre-prepared food and people were less well-off in what are now developed countries.

My dad grew up in a very working-class household in pre-WWII London. They used to eat the offcuts, offal and so on, because that was what they could afford.

When I was young, my dad would cook tripe in a pot on the stove. I thought that it looked disgusting.

We also had a tongue press in the cupboard. Dad would buy ox tongue from the butcher and use the tongue press to flatten it down. I always hated it as a child when I'd open the fridge door and see a large tongue sitting there on a plate.

I can't really imagine anyone doing that kind of thing here anymore unless they're really into "artisanal" cooking. No-one else would bother and they'd think that there are far better things to cook.

Having said that, when I was young, the family of one of my friends had a pig. While I was visiting one day they shot it and his mother minced up some of the meat and then, using the pig's own intestines, she made pork sausages. Thirty-five years later, and I've yet to eat a better sausage.
 

QuandoDio

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Heck, just about everywhere used to do "nose-to-tail" eating back when there was less pre-prepared food and people were less well-off in what are now developed countries.

My dad grew up in a very working-class household in pre-WWII London. They used to eat the offcuts, offal and so on, because that was what they could afford.

When I was young, my dad would cook tripe in a pot on the stove. I thought that it looked disgusting.

We also had a tongue press in the cupboard. Dad would buy ox tongue from the butcher and use the tongue press to flatten it down. I always hated it as a child when I'd open the fridge door and see a large tongue sitting there on a plate.

I can't really imagine anyone doing that kind of thing here anymore unless they're really into "artisanal" cooking. No-one else would bother and they'd think that there are far better things to cook.

Having said that, when I was young, the family of one of my friends had a pig. While I was visiting one day they shot it and his mother minced up some of the meat and then, using the pig's own intestines, she made pork sausages. Thirty-five years later, and I've yet to eat a better sausage.

All true. Older generations all ate that way but I mean the French regularly applied it to fancier cooking techniques and still do.

Baby boomers and younger only know a few cuts of meat and have a very restricted palate which is a shame. Like you say, it is now 'artisanal'. Meanwhile, it was just the way it was done, nothing fancy about it.
 

güero

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Been on a bit of a French streak but I think I will give it up soon because my knife skills mean I chop rustic and can't make proper mirepoix and other French shapes.
Just buy this, like any self-respecting Entremetier:

 

Fwiffo

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Been trying different things...


Orecchiette with rapini and bread crumbs and anchovy - Antonina Guida recipe
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Nobu recipe for miso braised eggplant...used a bit too much miso so it was saltier than normal

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Thomas Keller potato pave...took 2 days to make this Keller style potato fondant.

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My second attempt at a chicken roulade (yeah it's about to burst) with cherry tomato confit in olive oil and my first attempt at a saffron lace tuile (tuile inspired by Shane Osborn in the Final Table)

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Loobia polo ba havij with potato tahdeeg surrounding a mirza ghaesmi. Just different plating of Persian things I made before.

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Journeyman

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Nobu recipe for miso braised eggplant...used a bit too much miso so it was saltier than normal

That all looks awesome, Fwiff.

Nasu dengaku (miso glazed eggplant) is one of my favourite Japanese dishes. You can use white miso if you want a milder flavour, or red miso if you want a stronger, darker flavour.
 

Fwiffo

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That all looks awesome, Fwiff.

Nasu dengaku (miso glazed eggplant) is one of my favourite Japanese dishes. You can use white miso if you want a milder flavour, or red miso if you want a stronger, darker flavour.

Yes. Glazed. Not braised. I forgot how I made it. I’ll try again but not try to slather every last drop of miso mixture on which is what I did last time.
 

Journeyman

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It's a personal preference, but I really like a thicker layer of miso paste. You can also get salt-reduced miso if that is a concern and, as I said, using white miso is also an option with regard to adjusting flavour.
 

Grand Potentate

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Been trying different things...


Orecchiette with rapini and bread crumbs and anchovy - Antonina Guida recipe
View attachment 35936

Nobu recipe for miso braised eggplant...used a bit too much miso so it was saltier than normal

View attachment 35937

Thomas Keller potato pave...took 2 days to make this Keller style potato fondant.

View attachment 35938

My second attempt at a chicken roulade (yeah it's about to burst) with cherry tomato confit in olive oil and my first attempt at a saffron lace tuile (tuile inspired by Shane Osborn in the Final Table)

View attachment 35939

Loobia polo ba havij with potato tahdeeg surrounding a mirza ghaesmi. Just different plating of Persian things I made before.

View attachment 35940
wow this is really fucking impressive fwiffers. that keller stack is some pro level shit.
 

QuandoDio

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Why ? Is it because she is cute? Because the video is filled with contradictions/ bad techniques etc

The good: she is attempting to cook/ influences the 'millenials/ GEN-Z' to get into the kitchen so it is all good.
 

QuandoDio

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It's a personal preference, but I really like a thicker layer of miso paste. You can also get salt-reduced miso if that is a concern and, as I said, using white miso is also an option with regard to adjusting flavour.

So you are 'one of those' oddballs who could drink teaspoons of soy sauce neat/ gaggle miso / chomp on raw anchovy fillets as a starter;)

I like miso as much as the next person but it is unbelievably salty. It is interesting, salt perception. When I lived in the states, I found food there to be way too salty. Now, I am in Europe, I find food to be way undersalted. I know a large section of family / friends sometimes find my dishes to too salty and I find theirs to be bland and under seasoned.
 

Journeyman

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So you are 'one of those' oddballs who could drink teaspoons of soy sauce neat/ gaggle miso / chomp on raw anchovy fillets as a starter;)

I don't actually like salt that much! My wife, who is Japanese, prefers saltier food whereas I (as proven by my waistline) tend to prefer sweeter food.

The recipe for nasu dengaku that I usually make involves white miso paste, sugar, mirin (sweet cooking sake), sake and some dashi (liquid stock, often made from soaking dried bonito flakes). Mix it together and simmer over low heat until it thickens, then spread it over eggplant halves and grill. It's not very salty, as white miso is sweeter than, and quite a bit less salty than, red miso.

The dish that Fwiffo Fwiffo made above looks as though it used red miso.
 

QuandoDio

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I have to admit I admire Fwiffo Fwiffo 's 'regular'? dedication to the culinary arts of sorts. I suppose he is a single man or one without much responsibilities;)

I know, 70 percent of my meals are repetitions of sorts! And he flits from Italian to French to East Asia to Persian with all plated.

Some of it are easy enough but to do this for a family few times a week whilst maintaining other pursuits is quite an undertaking
 

Fwiffo

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Why ? Is it because she is cute? Because the video is filled with contradictions/ bad techniques etc

The good: she is attempting to cook/ influences the 'millenials/ GEN-Z' to get into the kitchen so it is all good.

She's 24. Gen Z. Millennial can be late 30s and 40 now with kids. Getting to middle age.

Yes - there was a reason why I fancied her to win the Best Home Cook show. She came in second.


When she started using pistachios and pomegranate I also figured out 50 percent of her heritage.
 

Fwiffo

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I have to admit I admire Fwiffo Fwiffo 's 'regular'? dedication to the culinary arts of sorts. I suppose he is a single man or one without much responsibilities;)

I know, 70 percent of my meals are repetitions of sorts! And he flits from Italian to French to East Asia to Persian with all plated.

Some of it are easy enough but to do this for a family few times a week whilst maintaining other pursuits is quite an undertaking

Most if not all of it is due to the pandemic.

Prior to the coronavirus I moved into a larger flat and started (or rather restarted) the tradition of weekend family dinner that began typically on Sunday late afternoon as my brother had a baby who slept early. Back then I was focused more on using a Dutch oven to braise something and then adding a salad or the odd canape to make a meal. Sometimes my aunt would drive in and I would have to turn it into a buffet for 8 people.

As a single person in the coronavirus era I could join one other household so I chose my parents simply because no one wanted to take the risk of being asymptomatic and potentially killing them. I have more time to make a primi, secondi and a soup or canape to go with it. I have enough time to start a two day recipe on Saturday and finish it Sunday.

I don't have a warming lamp or separate warming oven so it is tricky to plate quickly on hot plates taken out of the oven. Pasta I tend to make and serve right away as I find unless you slather it with olive oil it does not hold up well in the oven. Ditto fish or anything with egg. I once ruined a perfectly good hollandaise. It takes a bit of selection to pair the right dishes together with those limitations. I don't make desserts and I'm shite at baking.

Because of my ex lady friend I started off mimicking Persian recipes and then proceeded naturally to Arab and other Levantine cuisines. It's vastly different than what my family and I usually eat. Then I started getting interested in Italian cuisine mostly because my flat is a glass box with windows all around so it is unbearably hot in the summer.

I first started with your Bon Appetit, Serious Eats, Jaime Oliver and even Martha Stewart. Then I wanted to find the real recipes so I started watching videos and reading Google translated sites to get the ricetta tradizionali or recette traditionelle. Japanese fit in as something different. There were a lot of commonalities in how different culture cooks when you get down to the base of it. Oil or fat, seasoning, caramelizing, searing, basting, braising, etc.

During the past quarter or two I veered towards French just to increase the level of complexity. I typically start cooking after lunch around 1330 and plate and serve around 1830. I am slow at chopping and typically I do a mise en place for every recipe and if counter space permits all the recipes to be made that day.

I pick up most if not all the ingredients from the market on Saturday morning and haven't skipped a weekend throughout all the quarantine and lockdown. Since there isn't much to do after work and I don't want to watch mindless television or spend more time on a computer I put together the menu on my iPad and transfer it to my mobile for the Saturday morning run.

When my life returns again I will probably make something simple for Saturday if I have a few social events and a lunch or dinner out, or if I'm alone I would do a high complexity experiment recipe. And then Sundays would go back to family style or if there are a lot of people then buffet.

I have a work hard play hard psyche. I find it no different than when I was golfing to practise endlessly at the range, chipping, putting and video record or tack a gadget on your club to chart swing path. And then on the course try to pursue the perfect round. Cooking 2 or 3 things simultaneously challenges my brain in logistics like I get at work.
 

QuandoDio

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^^. That's all great and mostly to be admired and I hope it wasn't coming across as a dig of sorts. Just mere curiosity. I cook regularly, even worked in a kitchen many many moons ago but I admit the rigmarole of life often gets in the way of putting out a spread regularly.

This lockdown too has introduced a few things: I baked more in 6 months than I ever did all of my life. I have always shunned pastry / sweet things in total bar the xmas pudding/ sticky toffee pudding and creme anglaise-combo I make during the yuletide season but I have baked and baked and baked some more.

Mostly given to the neighbours/ family etc of course.
 

QuandoDio

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^^^ If you like that and like to read and go further, I find Fuchsia Dunlop (her land of plenty and other books on Sichuan cooking) is the Bible for westerners on 'Chinese' cooking - which is really too vast to be under the umbrella of 'Chinese' cooking .

Or continuing with the video/ youtube theme, Maangchi's Korean cooking channel/uploads is equally informative.
 
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