Cooking disasters

Apparently, people like to eat.

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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby serutan » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:28 am UTC

My big cooking disaster was making kung pao chicken. As the result of complete brain failure, I coated the chicken
in baking soda instead of corn starch. It came out tender, but tastewise, not so much.
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Bakemaster » Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:12 pm UTC

If you haven't been scarred for life by the experience, there is a really good recipe for baked chicken wings that requires a very *light* coating of salt and baking soda or powder. Not so much that they taste bitter, but enough to dehydrate them and make the skin get really crispy.
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby roband » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:05 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:If you haven't been scarred for life by the experience, there is a really good recipe for baked chicken wings that requires a very *light* coating of salt and baking soda or powder. Not so much that they taste bitter, but enough to dehydrate them and make the skin get really crispy.

Detailed here: http://hostthetoast.com/baked-chicken-w ... lic-sauce/

---

I spent an hour or so looking up hash brown recipes before deciding to try something with some new potatoes I had left over from a recent meal.

I grated (shredded for the Americans) them, they looked great. I microwaved them for 2 minutes, as per discussion on a Serious Eats post, and they came out smelling cooked and stuck together in a starchy mess. Disaster.

I think I'll be soaking them in water next time.

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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Shro » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:39 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:
PAstrychef wrote:Yes, in Europe the soft pretzel is the "normal" pretzel.


There's nothing I like better than a good Dunkel lager and a warm (soft) pretzel with butter (a friend of mine from Alsace introduced me to this, in Alsace pretzels with butter fulfill the same salty-beer-food role as peanuts).

There's a German Park in Michigan that has open to the public picnics during the summer months. You can get buckets of german beer and men in lederhosen come around selling soft pretzels stacked on a stick. It's amazing and I miss it already.
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Thesh » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:30 pm UTC

roband wrote:I grated (shredded for the Americans)


:?
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby roband » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:28 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
roband wrote:I grated (shredded for the Americans)


:?

No, that's not a thing? Shredded cheese? Did you use a fucking sword?

And don't get me started on cups. Or fucking.. soup mixes in recipes.

You're a very weird country when it comes to cooking, let me tell you.

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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Bakemaster » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:53 am UTC

Are you aware that you are trolling, sir?
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Mikeski » Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:49 am UTC

Amazon.com (the American site) says:

1-24 of 3,286 results for Home & Kitchen : "cheese grater"

All 24 results on the first page are "graters". (Well, one is a "zester/grater").

1-24 of 327 results for Home & Kitchen : "cheese shredder"

And every relevant result on the 1st page apparently just matched "cheese", and is still called a "grater". The two results that had "shredder" in them were Salad Shooters. (That's a late-night-infomercial type of "appliance" for people who are unaware of food processors. Or graters. Or knives. Or for people who are aware of food processors, but hate the inconvenient "bowl" part that keeps the food from flying around the kitchen.)

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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Thesh » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:18 am UTC

In my experience, usually the product is referred to as "shredded cheese" or "shredded potatoes," but the kitchen tool is always referered to as a "grater", and when using a grater it is always referred to as "grating", or "grated" in the past-tense.
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby roband » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:50 am UTC

So you grated it, and now it's shredded. Amazing.
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Thesh » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:53 am UTC

https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/d ... lish/shred

A strip of some material, such as paper, cloth, or food, that has been torn, cut, or scraped from something larger.


Seems about right to me. I mean, all you can tell by looking at the potatoes is that they are shredded; you have no clue what tool was used to make them that way.
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby roband » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:08 am UTC

I'm not disagreeing with the definition - more the usage. Just.. why?

But as I said, bad mood last night = ranting about stupid stuff. It hardly matters.

The whole soup mix thing, on the other hand...

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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Moo » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:43 am UTC

No, look, Roband kind of has a point.

Unless you've made a study of these terms, but you've spent a lot of time reading US recipes, you can easily have come to conclusion that "shredded cheese" falls in the same category as zucchini[1], garbanzo beans[2], broil[3], grill[4] and the plethora of other terms that differ between the States and just about everywhere else, with no indication that you should know what it is.

Darn him and his considerate insistence of using both terms in case you guys weren't familiar with "grate"! Darn him!

[1] baby marrows
[2] chickpeas
[3] grill
[4] bbq
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Thesh » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:48 am UTC

Just because you don't know the difference between grilling, barbequing and broiling, doesn't mean that he has a point.
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Moo » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:54 am UTC

Now who's trolling?
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby roband » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:00 am UTC

In the UK we actually call zucchini a courgette.

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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Thesh » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:01 am UTC

Whoever posted this:

Moo wrote:No, look, Roband kind of has a point.

Unless you've made a study of these terms, but you've spent a lot of time reading US recipes, you can easily have come to conclusion that "shredded cheese" falls in the same category as zucchini[1], garbanzo beans[2], broil[3], grill[4] and the plethora of other terms that differ between the States and just about everywhere else, with no indication that you should know what it is.

Darn him and his considerate insistence of using both terms in case you guys weren't familiar with "grate"! Darn him!

[1] baby marrows
[2] chickpeas
[3] grill
[4] bbq
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Moo » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:16 am UTC

bored now
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby karhell » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:17 am UTC

roband wrote:In the UK we actually call zucchini a courgette.

O_____O
So that's what a zucchini is ?
Who in their right state of mind would call them anything else than courgette ?
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Thesh » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:24 am UTC

Moo wrote:bored now


You're no fun.
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Zohar » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:03 pm UTC

Obviously you should all just post recipes in Hebrew.

Honestly, the one thing that bothers me is inconsistent units - not knowing which cup size is used etc. A lot of the time it's not relevant, but sometimes (certain types of baking) it really is.
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby karhell » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:08 pm UTC

The tablespoon as a unit also bothers me. I have half a dozen different sizes of tablespoons at home >.<
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby roband » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:10 pm UTC

karhell wrote:The tablespoon as a unit also bothers me. I have half a dozen different sizes of tablespoons at home >.<

That's easy, a tablespoon is just 3 teaspoons.

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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Moo » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:11 pm UTC

1 Tbsp = 15ml. Get a set of measuring spoons. You're not supposed to use an actual table spoon.
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby karhell » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:33 pm UTC

15ml I can get behind. Using a spoon that is not a spoon just feels awkward (only semi-serious, by the way).
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Quercus » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:49 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Honestly, the one thing that bothers me is inconsistent units - not knowing which cup size is used etc. A lot of the time it's not relevant, but sometimes (certain types of baking) it really is.

This is why I won't buy any baking book that doesn't give me measurements in grams and milliliters, or even better, baker's percentage. My go-to bread book, Jeffrey Hammelman's Bread, uses lbs and cups for it's home-baking quantities (grrr), but it also gives baker's percentage, so that's okay.

The main problem is that US cups are smaller than UK cups, US pints are smaller than UK pints (but by a different amount) and US and UK tablespoons are the same size. Using UK measuring devices with US recipes messes up the ratio of different ingredients, which are critical in baking.

For non-baking stuff I mainly cook by taste and feel anyway, so it doesn't matter so much.

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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby freezeblade » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:55 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:This is why I won't buy any baking book that doesn't give me measurements in grams and milliliters, or even better, baker's percentage. My go-to bread book, Jeffrey Hammelman's Bread, uses lbs and cups for it's home-baking quantities (grrr), but it also gives baker's percentage, so that's okay.


Quoted for truth.

I can not, and will not take a baking book seriously unless it has weight-based measurments

Not only is Bread a fantastic book other ones to look for are Crust and Crumb, Tartine, Local Breads, and/or Breads from the La Brea Bakery.
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby natraj » Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:09 am UTC

Moo wrote:garbanzo beans[sup][2]... and the plethora of other terms that differ between the States and just about everywhere else, with no indication that you should know what it is.

[size=85][2] chickpeas


sure garbanzo is just some Weird American Thing sure let's go with that and pretend spanish doesn't exist and latino culture has had no influence on american english.
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Mikeski » Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:18 am UTC

Zohar wrote:not knowing which cup size is used

Try this. Not quite sure why it affects your cooking, but I'll take your word for it.

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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Bakemaster » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:27 am UTC

How about aubergine? That's a good one. Do you have a funny/less funny name for grapefruits outside of the US, too? Because I think my son gets confused about eggplants and grapefruits since he knows about eggs and grapes pretty well.

Cups are totally English, by the way. We just modified the size a bit. Gotta be original, annit?
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Moo » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:25 am UTC

natraj wrote:
Moo wrote:garbanzo beans[sup][2]... and the plethora of other terms that differ between the States and just about everywhere else, with no indication that you should know what it is.

[size=85][2] chickpeas


sure garbanzo is just some Weird American Thing sure let's go with that and pretend spanish doesn't exist and latino culture has had no influence on american english.

As an English speaking non-American please excuse me while I ignore your implication that I'm a bad person and should feel bad for not knowing Spanish and not being versed in the etymology of common American terms. Arugula is another example, and comes from Italian, but it's still confusing to people who don't know the history of the word when Americans use it instead of the English "rocket". Note the lack of actual animosity towards Italian on my part from this example.

Let's also pretend like I was saying it's a Weird American Thing and that's somehow wrong, instead of simply enumerating examples of divergent terms pointing out why a non-USian would try to be extra super clear by adding multiple terms to a conversation for maximum clarity sure let's go with that.
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Moo » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:45 am UTC

Bakemaster wrote:Do you have a funny/less funny name for grapefruits outside of the US, too? Because I think my son gets confused about eggplants and grapefruits since he knows about eggs and grapes pretty well.
Not a 1:1 mapping but you could try pomelo or pamplemousse.
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Bakemaster » Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:46 pm UTC

Pomelo is a different fruit altogether (though a delicious one) and I was looking for an English word or at least loanword into English. Is there anywhere that pamplemousse has replaced grapefruit among non-French speakers?
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Moo » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:01 pm UTC

That's what I meant by "not a 1:1 mapping". There is no direct substitute that I know of in English*. I have only heard pamplemousse in Mauritius and South Africa, so I guess no to your question. I got nothing better.


* in Afrikaans "pomelo" is used for grapefruit
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby karhell » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:10 pm UTC

To make things even more confusing, the French apparently use "pamplemousse" and "pomelo" interchangeably to refer both to citrus maxima AND citrus x paradisi...
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Quercus » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:34 pm UTC

karhell wrote:To make things even more confusing, the French apparently use "pamplemousse" and "pomelo" interchangeably to refer both to citrus maxima AND citrus x paradisi...

But, but... Citrus maxima is like 10 times better!

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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby karhell » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:48 pm UTC

In fact, I don't think I've ever tasted citrus maxima.
I'll have to do that some time (which will probably turn into a cooking disaster in its own right, or, knowing myself, an eating disaster is more likely :roll: )
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby freezeblade » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:27 pm UTC

I can attest that Citrus maxima is goddamn amazing. It's kinda like a grapefruit, but is a bit less bitter, and cleanly comes out of the little divider membrains, so you don't need to eat them.

Super confusing:
pomello crossed with a mandarin is an orange (or tangelo)
Pomello crossed with an orange is a grapefruit

So a grapefruit is 1/4 mandarin/tangerine and 3/4 pomello genes.

Also tasty are "temple oranges" which are oranges crossed back with a mandarin
this same cross has produced the "honey tangerine" you sometimes see in stores.
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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby Quercus » Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:49 pm UTC

Today I learned never to stick a continuous read oven thermometer in a cake while it's baking. Yes, it lets you know exactly when the cake is done without opening the oven door, but it also tears a hole in the top of the cake and lets it deflate (it probably made a difference that this is a very eggy very moist lemon polenta cake that gets a skin on top while baking).

That'll teach me to be excessively fancy with my baking techniques.

I'm hoping the deflation hasn't affected the texture too much.

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Re: Cooking disasters

Postby roband » Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:32 pm UTC

So I fried some sliced up leftover boiled potatoes, added tinned tomatoes and cracked two eggs into the top of it all, before placing it under the grill (broiler).

It totally didn't work. I still ate it. It went foamy :oops:


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