Author Topic: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen  (Read 5213 times)

ian

the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« on: 03 December, 2023, 04:25:21 pm »
So, yes, those 5-minute onions. I take the point that commercial kitchens have industrial levels of fire, but too much heat just scorches them in my experience. I do routinely sweat onions under the lid, but in practice, proper caramelization takes low heat and patience. I asked a chef once and he told me they pre-cook onions that they can then brown in a ten or so minutes. Apparently if they cook them all the way they turn into unsalvageable onion sludge if stored. Budget at least 45 minutes if you brown, caramelized onions. I never use sugar, I start them hot, plenty of salt, sweat them for five minutes and then turn down, cook them low or slow with occasional stirring. If they start to catch, add a splash of water. I'm terrified of crispy onions though, the gap between brown and burnt is minute. An ill-timed blink will result in a pan of burnt, bitter onion ashes. I confess I buy crispy fried onions in the little pot (you can't have a proper biriyani without crispy onions).


Another lie of the Big Kitchen is risotto and the fact you have to keep adding liquid and stirring. You do not. Add the required amount of stock, mix it up, and leave it. There's is no difference. Big Kitchen want you at the hob so they can do, you know, conspiracy things while you are distracted.

Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #1 on: 03 December, 2023, 05:14:20 pm »
The all-in-one risotto thing I first saw on a Delia Smith programme around the turn of the century. She put everything in a baking dish and shoved it in the oven.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

ian

Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #2 on: 03 December, 2023, 06:04:25 pm »
The all-in-one risotto thing I first saw on a Delia Smith programme around the turn of the century. She put everything in a baking dish and shoved it in the oven.


That's generally what I do, it's even less work than leaving it on the hob (where it needs a bit of supervision toward the end so it doesn't catch and burn to the pan bottom).


The theory with stirring is that the rice releases more starch, but it's starchy enough anyway, and gets stirred enough at the beginning. As for adding a little liquid at a time, I've no idea.

Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #3 on: 03 December, 2023, 06:11:04 pm »
Congratulations. You've been making paella, rather than risotto  ;D

But you've been using risotto rice (presumably) rather than bomba rice.

ian

Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #4 on: 03 December, 2023, 06:21:12 pm »
If you burn the bottom, bung in some saffron and put a mussel on top and pretend it was paella all the time. As a scientist I did try both stir and no-stir side-by-side and fed both to actual Italians and no difference was detected. Of course, it's possible those Italians were, in fact, mere tentacles of Big Kitchen sent to mislead me.

Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #5 on: 03 December, 2023, 07:34:18 pm »

Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #6 on: 04 December, 2023, 08:28:25 am »
Not a big kitchen lie, but absolute culinary bollocks;
Measure how much water for rice by adding enough that it is one finger joint above the rice.

A moment's thought indicates that this is complete cobblers. Tall pan with small base vs wide saute pan?


Anyway, big kitchen lie; All our food is cooked on the premises to order. If it is a chain restaurant, chances are that the food, certainly the sauce, was made in a factory and shipped to the restaurant in plastic bags.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #7 on: 04 December, 2023, 08:34:30 am »
Lie: 
Marking a dish with parmesan or gruyere as vegetarian.
I don't expect friends who are cooking for me to know, but anyone claiming to be a professional chef or cook should know.

ian

Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #8 on: 04 December, 2023, 09:05:44 pm »
Not a big kitchen lie, but absolute culinary bollocks;
Measure how much water for rice by adding enough that it is one finger joint above the rice.

A moment's thought indicates that this is complete cobblers. Tall pan with small base vs wide saute pan?


Anyway, big kitchen lie; All our food is cooked on the premises to order. If it is a chain restaurant, chances are that the food, certainly the sauce, was made in a factory and shipped to the restaurant in plastic bags.


As a rule of, erm, thumb, that rice trick mostly seems to work, you're guestimating relative volumes.


Indeed the case for any chain restaurant, it's mostly an exercise in re-heating. Promises 'consistency of experience' apparently (corporate blurb shared by a friend who worked in a popular burger joint kitchen, or well, they were popular, are Byron's still around?). Personally, I'd rather chance inconsistency. Mind you, one late night we chanced on a Latin American place in Greenwich. Late but still open. I think quite possibly the worst meal ever, it wasn't Latin or American, or for that matter edible. They did fess up that the chef had gone home already so the waiter had tried to wing it with skills more suited to burning spaghetti hoops. I suppose points for trying, but no, we weren't paying.

Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #9 on: 06 December, 2023, 01:14:38 am »
Make sure steaks are room temperature before cooking.

Load of bollocks.

"Well, Pierre Koffman said to do it, and surely he knows..."

Does he though? When did he last try not doing that?

ravenbait

  • Someone's imaginary friend
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Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #10 on: 06 December, 2023, 11:17:38 am »
I recommend the following:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Food-Lab-Cooking-Through-Science/dp/0393081087

Other retailers are available.

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #11 on: 06 December, 2023, 02:48:31 pm »
Make sure steaks are room temperature before cooking.

Load of bollocks.

"Well, Pierre Koffman said to do it, and surely he knows..."

Does he though? When did he last try not doing that?

I do tend to follow this rule out of habit but admit I don’t really know why.

What is the purported reason for it?

The only thing I can think of would be to avoid reducing the pan temperature too much when you pop the steak in, but I doubt it will make much practical difference unless the steak is actually frozen.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #12 on: 06 December, 2023, 02:53:51 pm »
As for adding a little liquid at a time, I've no idea.

Avoids the risk of the rice being cooked and there still being excess liquid in the pan.

One ladle at a time is ridiculous though - you can add a load at the start then top it up if necessary towards the end.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

ravenbait

  • Someone's imaginary friend
  • No, RB3, you can't have more tupperware.
    • Someone's imaginary friend
Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #13 on: 06 December, 2023, 03:06:53 pm »
Make sure steaks are room temperature before cooking.

Load of bollocks.

"Well, Pierre Koffman said to do it, and surely he knows..."

Does he though? When did he last try not doing that?

I do tend to follow this rule out of habit but admit I don’t really know why.

What is the purported reason for it?

The only thing I can think of would be to avoid reducing the pan temperature too much when you pop the steak in, but I doubt it will make much practical difference unless the steak is actually frozen.

The Food Lab says not to bother, it makes no difference. What does make a difference is resting it uncovered on a rack in the fridge for up to three days first, in order to let the surface dry out.

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

ravenbait

  • Someone's imaginary friend
  • No, RB3, you can't have more tupperware.
    • Someone's imaginary friend
Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #14 on: 06 December, 2023, 03:09:11 pm »
As for adding a little liquid at a time, I've no idea.

Avoids the risk of the rice being cooked and there still being excess liquid in the pan.

One ladle at a time is ridiculous though - you can add a load at the start then top it up if necessary towards the end.

I have done many experiments with risotto. Adding a little at a time changes the consistency of the mix as you stir it and the way the liquid boils around the rice. If you use good quality risotto rice, this affects the way it moves around the spoon. I can more consistently get a creamy risotto but with textured rice by making it the traditional way. If you don't care about this kind of thing and are only interested in getting a tasty gloopy rice dish, do what you like.

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #15 on: 06 December, 2023, 08:13:50 pm »

ian

Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #16 on: 06 December, 2023, 09:55:33 pm »
As for adding a little liquid at a time, I've no idea.

Avoids the risk of the rice being cooked and there still being excess liquid in the pan.

One ladle at a time is ridiculous though - you can add a load at the start then top it up if necessary towards the end.

I have done many experiments with risotto. Adding a little at a time changes the consistency of the mix as you stir it and the way the liquid boils around the rice. If you use good quality risotto rice, this affects the way it moves around the spoon. I can more consistently get a creamy risotto but with textured rice by making it the traditional way. If you don't care about this kind of thing and are only interested in getting a tasty gloopy rice dish, do what you like.

Sam


See, we have a Big Kitchen stooge in our midst. Trying to mislead us. I wonder why they want us in the kitchen, what are the agents of Big Kitchen doing? In your bedroom while you fruitlessly stir rice.

ravenbait

  • Someone's imaginary friend
  • No, RB3, you can't have more tupperware.
    • Someone's imaginary friend
Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #17 on: 07 December, 2023, 04:19:40 pm »
Yes. I am absolutely a stooge. I fruitlessly stir rice and add stock a millilitre at a time so Mr Bait has plenty of time for playing Assassin's Creed. I get paid for this by Ubisoft, so it's actually Big Game I stooge for.

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #18 on: 07 December, 2023, 04:51:27 pm »
Lie: 
Marking a dish with parmesan or gruyere as vegetarian.
I don't expect friends who are cooking for me to know, but anyone claiming to be a professional chef or cook should know.

I use supermarket own brand 'italian style hard cheese' and it is just fine, and actually vegetarian. I get infeasibly cross when the online shopping sends an unadvertised sub of the posh expensive 'real' stuff.

Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #19 on: 08 December, 2023, 09:45:42 am »
Lie: 
Marking a dish with parmesan or gruyere as vegetarian.
I don't expect friends who are cooking for me to know, but anyone claiming to be a professional chef or cook should know.

I use supermarket own brand 'italian style hard cheese' and it is just fine, and actually vegetarian. I get infeasibly cross when the online shopping sends an unadvertised sub of the posh expensive 'real' stuff.

Which you can, of course, refuse to accept. Any subs we get are on the receipt emailed before delivery so we have a heads up,is that not the case with your supplier of choice?
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #20 on: 08 December, 2023, 10:17:16 am »
I have done many experiments with risotto. Adding a little at a time changes the consistency of the mix as you stir it and the way the liquid boils around the rice.

Yes, I can see the sense of that. Presumably the idea is that less liquid means the grains will jostle against each other more, and thus release more starch.

I guess it's the inverse of cooking pasta, where you need to use a big pan and plenty of water, so it can move around freely and not become a stodgy mess.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #21 on: 08 December, 2023, 11:31:57 am »
I guess it's the inverse of cooking pasta, where you need to use a big pan and plenty of water, so it can move around freely and not become a stodgy mess.

Another lie from Big (Italian) Kitchen! As long as you stir for the first few minutes, it won't stick. The aforementioned Kenji Lopez-Alt makes a case in some recipes for using as little water as possible to make your pasta water as starchy as possible for use in oil-based sauces

https://www.seriouseats.com/how-to-cook-pasta-salt-water-boiling-tips-the-food-lab#toc-testing-the-waters

Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #22 on: 08 December, 2023, 11:58:35 am »
I guess it's the inverse of cooking pasta, where you need to use a big pan and plenty of water, so it can move around freely and not become a stodgy mess.

Another lie from Big (Italian) Kitchen! As long as you stir for the first few minutes, it won't stick.

Past and recent personal experience makes me say “it depends”. I do think it depends on the pasta, both shape and manufacturer though. Some never sticks, some (for me at least) always does. 
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #23 on: 08 December, 2023, 12:12:27 pm »
I guess it's the inverse of cooking pasta, where you need to use a big pan and plenty of water, so it can move around freely and not become a stodgy mess.

Another lie from Big (Italian) Kitchen! As long as you stir for the first few minutes, it won't stick. The aforementioned Kenji Lopez-Alt makes a case in some recipes for using as little water as possible to make your pasta water as starchy as possible for use in oil-based sauces

https://www.seriouseats.com/how-to-cook-pasta-salt-water-boiling-tips-the-food-lab#toc-testing-the-waters

Hmmm, interesting. Actually, my approach to cooking pasta is already several steps along that road - I don't cook it at a rolling boil but always at a bare simmer, with the lid on the pan. This is more to do with reducing energy use than anything else.*

And yes, I'm well aware that pasta can stick together even in a large pan of water, so always give it a good stir when first adding it to the pan.

Fair point about starchier water being a good thing for some sauces.

But as he says, some pasta shapes, ie long and thin like spaghetti and fettuccine, do need lots of water - it's simply not practical to cook them in smaller pans - and fettuccine is the type of pasta I cook most often. Next time I do macaroni, I'll try it with less water.


*This kind of thing is where induction hobs are worth their weight in gold. Gas being the only fuel for serious cooks is another lie.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

ian

Re: the big fat lies of Big Kitchen
« Reply #24 on: 09 December, 2023, 01:03:21 pm »
I've never suffered from soggy pasta, but I do generally use a lot of water and bring it to a boil and then add the pasta, salt, a stir and let it simmer for the requisite time (if it says 8-10 mins, I'll do 9, I don't like too al dente). I hadn't considered the benefits of starchier water though, I mostly pick what I believe to be a starchier pasta if I need that.


Though I have a gas hob and fire appeals to my inner caveman, I confess that if I ever get another hob, it'll probably be induction, if for no better reason than it's easy to clean.