Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by emason, Oct 12, 2009.
It can be challenging to cook on an electric stove sometimes. Especially when I bake.
Much as I love my gas stove, I must say I'm inspired when I see what a good and enthusiastic cook can do with the most simple equipment. On the series Jamie at Home, Jamie was often cooking in his garden with a cutting board on his lap, a cranked rotisserie on the ground, or a biscuit tin converted to a smoker box for salmon with chicken wire. Not long ago, I was at a trendy restaurant where the open kitchen revealed an old electric stove manned by a team of 4 serving 30 people in the restaurant. I love Diners Drive Ins and Dives - there's one where a guy is making gourmet burgers and other dishes using only tabletop appliances!
Great equipment sure helps, but I think great ingredients and a cook who loves to do so are more important.
I saw that Jamie Oliver ep where he used that crank rotisserie - I want one of those so badly I could easily set that up on my fire escape with a makeshift pit made from bricks and roast a chicken or something.
With the electric stoves, in my experience, it affects the cooking time and temps depending on the recipe. When I make my Cuban Shrip Casserole, it cooks quicker than the recipe suggests because of my electric stove.
Or maybe I just have a shitty stove . I had to give my ex this gorgeous roasting pan I got from Kitchen Kapers because it was too big bythismuch for my stove. . His new bf uses it religiously .
I know!! Every spring I threaten hubby with digging a hole in his precious lawn and fashioning a BBQ pit.
PS, we make the BBQ sauce from that ep regularly, to great compliments from guests. Maybe it takes a Brit to make something so American, but I find his version with its herbs and orange zest is quite different from the usual ketchup, sugar and smoky flavour. Couldn't find it on his website, but it's in the Jamie at Home book. Lots of ingredients, but fun to make if you are planning to have a bunch of people over for BBQ.
Jamie's amazing. Once I got used to his unorthodox style - sometimes he cooks in lap almost - he's very talented and innovative. I attempted his dauphinoise once - it didn't come out the way I wanted, but I am still impressed by him. He takes the simplest ingredients and does great things with them. I also feel that way about Chuck Hughes, although his food isn't as ambitious as Oliver's.
Jamie is fabulous. I've made more of his recipes than I can count and I've never been disappointed. Everything is always fresh and tasty. I love the way he works flavours together.
Ditto. One of the things we often say in our kitchen is "don't question Jamie" because his recipes always turn out and we love them. Sometimes a tad heavy handed on the garlic, rosemary and chilies, but that's a chef for you.
We love Jamie at Home in particular, and also Jamie Does (Sweden, Spain, France, Italy and Morocco), and Jamie's America. Have several others as well, but those the ones we turn to again and again.
Seems like such a good guy too - not sure if I've told this story before, but a few years back someone I know was working a book signing with him. When she asked him to sign her book, he asked first if he could write something cheeky, and then when she got home, found that he had written "thanks for the great shag!"
My first poached egg was a semi success! My stove top simply will not come down fast enough in temp so I had to keep moving the pot off the heat. It just came right back up to a boil even if I had the heat down on low. That could also be because of the pot I am using but I am not patient enough to try this all over again with a different pot. Either way, I had a poached egg in the end with a perfectly runny yolk! There was a lot of bits and pieces of the white left in the pot that would break off as the water kept coming back to a boil but you wouldn't know a thing looking at the finished egg. Can't wait to make this tonight. I was going to top the asparagus soup with the egg and crab but since I bought minced crab meat and not lump, I think I will just put the crab in the soup and top with the egg only.
Hi Brian, my mom taught me to baste the cooking poached egg. It helps the top to cook. I find I get those runny strands if the water is not hot enough. Yes, white vinegar is your friend...add a couple of tablespoons.
Jenny, my hubby went to a friend's this week and Sam's club apparently has a self contained box that one can submerge into the ground and put coals on the top to roast a pig or whatever. I'll try to do some more research...
For me, an electric oven is okay for baking cakes and cookies, but I really don't like the stove part. I feel like stuff doesn't cook the way it should, or that it takes longer. I also don't like judging medium-high, etc., by a simple turn of the knob. I like to see the flame. I believe I have a gas line there, so if this thing ever goes kaput I will most likely buy a gas range. I would miss the electric oven though.
Can you explain what you mean? I do have one question. I cooked my egg in a rather large pot with a lot of water and the egg basically sank. Is that normal? In the videos I saw the egg stayed floating near the top. It didn't seem to make one bit of difference, though. However, with the egg completely submerged I don't know if there is any need to baste the top of the egg. If I am understanding what you mean when you say baste.
Brian, that soup sounds delicious! What is the recipe?
I actually haven't decided on a final recipe yet. I have been looking at a bunch online. The gist of it is that I will sautee some onions and garlic in butter and throw in my asparagus stalks cut into inch pieces (I will cut off the tips and set aside). I will then cover with about 4 or so cups of chicken stock and let that simmer for about 30 minutes or until the asparagus is very tender. The you puree it in batches in a blender. I will just use my immersion blender. After it is pureed I will throw in my crab meat to heat that through and at the very end I will finish with some cream. Of course you can season as you like, I plan on adding just a very tiny bit of crab boil for some kick. I will take the asparagus tips and blanch them before I poach my eggs and those will be garnish as well. I will probably blanch them in the same water I will poach my eggs in, maybe it will infuse a little of the flavor into the egg.
Okay. At some point I have to try to make this. I have a regular blender, but have seen enough of Giada's shows to know how to use it properly when pureeing hot liquids .
That's my plan too. I can't bear to get rid of large appliances that still work. And that electric bas***d just keeps hanging in there!
I think I'll make Chicken Cacciatore tonight.
I opened up the crab meat and it really is minced. I thought it would at least have some bigger pieces but it is so finely minced it will all but disappear in the soup. Oh well, at least it will add some flavor.
If I had some bread crumbs I could make an easy little crab cake to top each bowl of soup with. I could go get that...hmmm
I ruined my soup!!! x 10
It was so delicious. I had it made to the point where I could add in the crab and then the cream. I was going to just add in the crab and wait to add the cream last minute before my boyfriend got home. The crab smelled nasty to me but seafood generally does, IMO. I added it and now the entire pot REAKS and I simply can not even bring myself to taste it. I am literally gagging when I take the lid off. It was so so good before that fatal move. I am going to remake this tomorrow, I am determined. All I will need is to buy 3 more bunches of asparagus, 1 carton of chicken stock and an onion. I have everything else, so that is good.
Was the crab not fresh?
I made the mistake of buying that pre-cooked canned crab and not putting it in the fridge right away, and it spoiled.
It just stank like a dirty beach, to be honest. I am very sensitive to the smells of seafood even though I love the taste. If anything smells remotely like the ocean then I can't stomach it. It is why I wont eat any fish unless it is a fishstick or raw tuna in a sushi roll. I don't think it was ruined but it was "minced" crab. When I bought it I thought I was buying claw meat and getting a good deal. This crab was on sale buy one get one free, if that says anything about the quality.
At least I know it was delicious before that, the flavors were really good. I wont have to spend too much tomorrow to remake it as asparagus is only $1.50 a bundle right now (half the normal price on a good day!). I already have the butter, cream (didn't use it yet), and garlic plus I had half of a carton of stock left so I only need to buy one of those again. This is going to end up being one expensive meal but damn it, I'd rather spend more than throw it all away completely. My immersion blender worked like a charm, couldn't believe how quickly it had everything completely pureed.
Good quality, fresh seafood should smell like the ocean - fresh ocean water. If it has that "Fishy" smell, then something is wrong with it. The sea doesn't smell like fish.
It reminded me of the smell of the beach in TX when we would go. The beaches in that part of TX are disgusting with tons of seaweed and lots of washed up dead fish. So when I say the ocean I really mean fishy smell. I just tend to equate that smell with the ocean because I thought that was how the ocean was supposed to smell until I was old enough to go to FL and see (and smell) a real beach. lol
Ewwwww, that IS rotten fish, I'm afraid.
Oh Brian, I'm so sorry the meal was a disaster! Bravo to you for sticking to it. New recipes are often a learning experience anyway, so at least this time you know it will be great. If you really want to get crab into it, why not go for some crabmeat (maybe with a little good Louisiana seasoning!) spread on crostini on the side? That way you get all the flavours you had hoped for, but let the asparagus soup also stand on its own. Any time you have fresh ingredients in season, they really should be the star of the show.
All this talk of immersion blenders - I think I really need to get one. You can't believe the number of blenders we have been through in the past few years - between soups, daily smoothies and blender cocktails, we're quite hard on them.
On a related note for Brian especially, Martha Hall Foose has just published her second book. She's a local writer, and both books are filled with gorgeous photography and memories of life in the south, and fabulous recipes. She's the perfect combination of trained, skilled cook and someone who loves to cook for family and friends and celebrates heritage recipes and methods. The new book is A Southerly Course, and the first one is Screen Doors and Sweet Tea.
Hmm...what exactly are blender cocktails? Sounds delightful!
One blender full of ice
1 cup rum of choice
1 cup pineapple juice
1/3 to 1/2 cup coconut cream (not milk)
Makes 4 tall servings.
Variation - Trader Vic's Chi Chis
One blender full of ice
1 cup vodka
1 cup pineapple juice
1/3 to 1/2 cup coconut cream (not milk)
Dash of grenadine
Fresh mint leaves to garnish.
Makes 4 tall servings.
Thank you, Jenny! Can't wait to try those. I actually have pineapple juice on hand for once. I just to need to buy the coconut cream.
I think you are in the US - Coco Lopez is the preferred brand. 1/2 cup is what recipes usually call for, but we reduce that to 1/3 because we don't like things too sweet. Do let us know if you enjoy
Oh yeah, I am familiar with Coco Lopez. It occurred to me that I made Blue Hawaiis in a blender one time. And they were delicious. But I don't think I saved the recipe. (And, yes, I know I could find a bunch online now.)
Oh Jenny, you absolutely MUST get one! It is an amazing appliance. Once you make homemade mayonnaise with it (it takes all of 20 seconds) you will not regret the purchase.
OK I'll get one (doesn't take much to get me to spend money on kitchen stuff ) - but not for mayo. I make that with my stand mixer.
Thanks for the suggestion, Jenny!
You must get an immersion blender. I got mine at a high end kitchen store and it was only $20! That was a good deal so it may be more on a regular day. It is a nice brand, I think Cuisinart. 200 watts which is all you really need.
I love homemade mayo; a buddy of mine had an ex-bf who made some and it was so good - with an almost sweet taste to it.
I learned this from a fishmonger in Vancouver; I didn't know this before 2006!
I make a curried chicken salad that gets raves every time I serve it to guests. The secret ingredient: the homemade mayonnaise.
It makes you wonder why some people don't like mayonnaise. Maybe it's because they've never had homemade?
My problem with it is the eggs. Don't like eggs at all!
My whole life I thought Miracle Whip WAS mayonnaise.
I used to as well, and Mom and I used to argue about which was better. She has always hated Miracle Whip; I like MW or mayo, but for certain sandwiches, the taste of MW works for me. I made potato salad with Miracle Whip for a family cookout once, and she flat-out refused to eat it.
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