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Thread: Brussels Sprouts disaster

  1. #1
    Steve Pope Guest

    Default Brussels Sprouts disaster

    Many times per brussels sprouts season, I will make brussels sprouts
    alwyas by the same method: sauteed with pancetta, using a heavy stainless
    steel sautee pan, both sauteed in and finished with olive oil, and a
    little white vinegar; and by being just a little bit careful, they
    generally come out perfect.

    But recently I was trying to duplicate this dish at a friend's house.
    She did not have any stainless cookware; it was all non-stick.
    The most appropriate-sized pan was somewhat wok-shaped. As I
    was preparing it, I noticed I was using less olive oil than I typically
    will (which made sense at the time, beings it was a non-stick pan).
    Going by normal measures (e.g. how much it was sizzling) I seemed
    to be cooking the sprouts at a normal rate and for the usual length
    of time. But in short order, before I could stop things, the entire dish
    (both sprouts and pancetta) ended up dried-out and overcooked. Quite
    an embarassment!

    I'd like to blame the non-stick cookware, which I have always disliked
    and don't own any of, and I know that under the best of circumstances
    non-stick does not function as well as stainless, but undoubtedly had
    I adjusted my cooking technique appropriately the result would have been
    much closer to correct.

    I think what really threw me off was how little sizzling noise the
    dish was making as it was cooking, relative to how fast the cooking
    was happening. I think the wok shape of the pan may also have been
    somehow wrong.

    Steve

  2. #2
    Nunya Bidnits Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster

    Re: illbg2$69u$[email protected]

    Steve Pope <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Many times per brussels sprouts season, I will make brussels sprouts
    > alwyas by the same method: sauteed with pancetta, using a heavy
    > stainless steel sautee pan, both sauteed in and finished with olive
    > oil, and a little white vinegar; and by being just a little bit
    > careful, they generally come out perfect.
    >
    > But recently I was trying to duplicate this dish at a friend's house.
    > She did not have any stainless cookware; it was all non-stick.
    > The most appropriate-sized pan was somewhat wok-shaped. As I
    > was preparing it, I noticed I was using less olive oil than I
    > typically will (which made sense at the time, beings it was a
    > non-stick pan). Going by normal measures (e.g. how much it was
    > sizzling) I seemed
    > to be cooking the sprouts at a normal rate and for the usual length
    > of time. But in short order, before I could stop things, the entire
    > dish (both sprouts and pancetta) ended up dried-out and overcooked.
    > Quite
    > an embarassment!
    >
    > I'd like to blame the non-stick cookware, which I have always disliked
    > and don't own any of, and I know that under the best of circumstances
    > non-stick does not function as well as stainless, but undoubtedly had
    > I adjusted my cooking technique appropriately the result would have
    > been much closer to correct.
    >
    > I think what really threw me off was how little sizzling noise the
    > dish was making as it was cooking, relative to how fast the cooking
    > was happening. I think the wok shape of the pan may also have been
    > somehow wrong.
    >
    > Steve


    I never like making one of my dishes on unfamiliar equipment in an
    unfamiliar place. I don't know why the nonstick feature would be the culprit
    behind overcooking though. I would suspect that their pan had different heat
    conductivity than the one you are used to working with, and as you said, the
    wok shape of the pan was something you wouldn't normally use for the dish.
    Woks are intended to concentrate heat.

    MartyB



  3. #3
    Steve Pope Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster

    Nunya Bidnits <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Steve Pope <[email protected]> wrote:


    [snip]

    >I never like making one of my dishes on unfamiliar equipment in an
    >unfamiliar place.


    Well, I like it in the sense that it's informative. I travel alot,
    tend to rent units with kitchens and end up using a variety of
    equipment. This has led me to conclude that I do not like nonstick
    cookware, smoothtop stoves, electric stoves in general, dishwashers,
    in-refrigerator icemakers (dedicated icemakers are fine), garbage
    disposers, noisy kitchen fans, and convection ovens. (A few months
    ago, when cooking at a different friend's house, I really had to
    be insistent that I needed the convection feature of their oven
    turned off...)

    Oh yeah, and French press coffeemakers. They suck.

    > I don't know why the nonstick feature would be the culprit
    > behind overcooking though. I would suspect that their pan had
    > different heat conductivity than the one you are used to working
    > with, and as you said, the wok shape of the pan was something
    > you wouldn't normally use for the dish. Woks are intended to
    > concentrate heat.


    Yeah, I'm not sure. I just know I have had distinctly better
    results with certain types of vegetable sauteeing since I started
    using (heavy) stainless steel: this includes Brussels sprouts,
    chard, and rapini/broccolini. Whereas there is not much difference
    for vegetables like onions, pepper, carrots, mushrooms. These
    sautee just fine in non-stick.


    Steve

  4. #4
    Nunya Bidnits Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster

    Re: illdos$aoa$[email protected]

    Steve Pope <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Nunya Bidnits <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> Steve Pope <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    > [snip]
    >
    >> I never like making one of my dishes on unfamiliar equipment in an
    >> unfamiliar place.

    >
    > Well, I like it in the sense that it's informative. I travel alot,
    > tend to rent units with kitchens and end up using a variety of
    > equipment. This has led me to conclude that I do not like nonstick
    > cookware, smoothtop stoves, electric stoves in general, dishwashers,
    > in-refrigerator icemakers (dedicated icemakers are fine), garbage
    > disposers, noisy kitchen fans, and convection ovens. (A few months
    > ago, when cooking at a different friend's house, I really had to
    > be insistent that I needed the convection feature of their oven
    > turned off...)
    >
    > Oh yeah, and French press coffeemakers. They suck.
    >
    >> I don't know why the nonstick feature would be the culprit
    >> behind overcooking though. I would suspect that their pan had
    >> different heat conductivity than the one you are used to working
    >> with, and as you said, the wok shape of the pan was something
    >> you wouldn't normally use for the dish. Woks are intended to
    >> concentrate heat.

    >
    > Yeah, I'm not sure. I just know I have had distinctly better
    > results with certain types of vegetable sauteeing since I started
    > using (heavy) stainless steel: this includes Brussels sprouts,
    > chard, and rapini/broccolini. Whereas there is not much difference
    > for vegetables like onions, pepper, carrots, mushrooms. These
    > sautee just fine in non-stick.
    >
    >
    > Steve


    Well if you're used to heavy stainless and cooked in a not so heavy
    nonstick, it might just be that the pan was hotspotting due to thin
    material.



  5. #5
    Steve Pope Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster

    Nunya Bidnits <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Well if you're used to heavy stainless and cooked in a not so heavy
    >nonstick, it might just be that the pan was hotspotting due to thin
    >material.


    For sure, that is a possibility. That combined with being overly-reliant
    on the audio cue (magnitude of sizzling sound) to judge rate of cooking.
    I do think the nonstick is quieter for the same rate of cooking,
    even if there were not a hotspot.

    Steve

  6. #6
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster

    On Mon, 14 Mar 2011 15:16:18 +0000 (UTC), [email protected]
    (Steve Pope) wrote:

    > I'd like to blame the non-stick cookware, which I have always disliked
    > and don't own any of, and I know that under the best of circumstances
    > non-stick does not function as well as stainless, but undoubtedly had
    > I adjusted my cooking technique appropriately the result would have been
    > much closer to correct.


    You can't expect it to be perfect when it's your first time in that
    kitchen using somebody else's equipment. It's very hard to cook in a
    strange kitchen. I don't know how personal chefs, who do one time
    party cooking, do it.
    >
    > I think what really threw me off was how little sizzling noise the
    > dish was making as it was cooking, relative to how fast the cooking
    > was happening. I think the wok shape of the pan may also have been
    > somehow wrong.


    The constant agitation you need to do in a wok cooking isn't going to
    give you the caramelize you were looking for so it overcooked while
    you were expecting it to brown.

    --

    Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

  7. #7
    Steve Pope Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster

    sf <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Mon, 14 Mar 2011 15:16:18 +0000 (UTC), [email protected]


    >> I'd like to blame the non-stick cookware, which I have always disliked
    >> and don't own any of, and I know that under the best of circumstances
    >> non-stick does not function as well as stainless, but undoubtedly had
    >> I adjusted my cooking technique appropriately the result would have been
    >> much closer to correct.


    >You can't expect it to be perfect when it's your first time in that
    >kitchen using somebody else's equipment. It's very hard to cook in a
    >strange kitchen. I don't know how personal chefs, who do one time
    >party cooking, do it.


    I almost brought my stainless-steel pan with me to my friend's house.
    Shoulda.


    Steve

  8. #8
    Pete C. Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster


    sf wrote:
    >
    > It's very hard to cook in a
    > strange kitchen. I don't know how personal chefs, who do one time
    > party cooking, do it.


    The answer is simply experience.

    Unlike folks who insist on only cooking on equipment that meets their
    aesthetic tastes i.e. some high end "professional style" range,
    professional chefs cook on whatever equipment is available, with
    whatever cookware is available and focus on the details. They have
    cooked on everything out there before, so they know what adjustments to
    make and therefore do not suffer from mishaps due to different
    equipment.

    I'm not a professional chef, but I have been an avid cook for decades
    and over those decades I've cooked on everything from Coleman camp
    stoves to professional Vulcan ranges in actual commercial kitchens, and
    everything in between. As a result I find I have no issues cooking at
    other people's homes, beyond the obvious limitations of not knowing
    where everything is stored which slows you down a bit.

  9. #9
    Steve Pope Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster

    Pete C. <[email protected]> wrote:

    >sf wrote:


    >> It's very hard to cook in a
    >> strange kitchen. I don't know how personal chefs, who do one time
    >> party cooking, do it.


    >The answer is simply experience.


    >Unlike folks who insist on only cooking on equipment that meets their
    >aesthetic tastes i.e. some high end "professional style" range,
    >professional chefs cook on whatever equipment is available, with
    >whatever cookware is available and focus on the details. They have
    >cooked on everything out there before, so they know what adjustments to
    >make and therefore do not suffer from mishaps due to different
    >equipment.


    This is true up to a point. But, there are certain types of
    equipment popular with (some) consumers that you will never see
    in a restaurant kitchen. Often, there is a reason for this.


    S.

  10. #10
    Pete C. Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster


    Steve Pope wrote:
    >
    > Pete C. <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >sf wrote:

    >
    > >> It's very hard to cook in a
    > >> strange kitchen. I don't know how personal chefs, who do one time
    > >> party cooking, do it.

    >
    > >The answer is simply experience.

    >
    > >Unlike folks who insist on only cooking on equipment that meets their
    > >aesthetic tastes i.e. some high end "professional style" range,
    > >professional chefs cook on whatever equipment is available, with
    > >whatever cookware is available and focus on the details. They have
    > >cooked on everything out there before, so they know what adjustments to
    > >make and therefore do not suffer from mishaps due to different
    > >equipment.

    >
    > This is true up to a point. But, there are certain types of
    > equipment popular with (some) consumers that you will never see
    > in a restaurant kitchen. Often, there is a reason for this.


    Name the equipment and chances are I've seen it or it's equivalent in a
    commercial kitchen.

  11. #11
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster

    On Mon, 14 Mar 2011 19:11:57 +0000 (UTC), [email protected]
    (Steve Pope) wrote:

    > I almost brought my stainless-steel pan with me to my friend's house.
    > Shoulda.


    Well, that would have eliminated a variable and given her a chance to
    experience steel cookware. You might have even won over a convert.


    --

    Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

  12. #12
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster

    On Mon, 14 Mar 2011 14:13:20 -0600, "Pete C." <[email protected]>
    wrote:
    >
    > sf wrote:
    > >
    > > It's very hard to cook in a
    > > strange kitchen. I don't know how personal chefs, who do one time
    > > party cooking, do it.

    >
    > The answer is simply experience.
    >
    > Unlike folks who insist on only cooking on equipment that meets their
    > aesthetic tastes i.e. some high end "professional style" range,
    > professional chefs cook on whatever equipment is available, with
    > whatever cookware is available and focus on the details. They have
    > cooked on everything out there before, so they know what adjustments to
    > make and therefore do not suffer from mishaps due to different
    > equipment.


    Good point.
    >
    > I'm not a professional chef, but I have been an avid cook for decades
    > and over those decades I've cooked on everything from Coleman camp
    > stoves to professional Vulcan ranges in actual commercial kitchens, and
    > everything in between. As a result I find I have no issues cooking at
    > other people's homes, beyond the obvious limitations of not knowing
    > where everything is stored which slows you down a bit.


    I guess you're right, but I don't cook in other people's homes very
    often so when I do it's hard to make what I'm cooking come out "just
    like at home". I guess Steve is in the same situation.

    --

    Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

  13. #13
    Steve Pope Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster

    Pete C. <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Name the equipment and chances are I've seen it or it's equivalent in a
    >commercial kitchen.


    I suppose you are going to tell me that Chef's Choice knife sharpeners,
    crock-pots, non-stick pans, and ninja-style onion dicers are all used in
    commercial kitchens.


    S.

  14. #14
    Pete C. Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster


    Steve Pope wrote:
    >
    > Pete C. <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >Name the equipment and chances are I've seen it or it's equivalent in a
    > >commercial kitchen.

    >
    > I suppose you are going to tell me that Chef's Choice knife sharpeners,
    > crock-pots, non-stick pans, and ninja-style onion dicers are all used in
    > commercial kitchens.
    >
    > S.


    I'm afraid so, other than the knife sharpeners.

    Crock-pots = steam kettle, a very common commercial kitchen item

    Non-stick pans are indeed found in many commercial kitchens, and
    frequently used for things like omelets.

    There is a wide array of commercial grade versions of your "ninja-style
    onion dicers", also tomato slicers, french fry and hash brown cutters,
    onion bloomers and the like.

  15. #15
    Nunya Bidnits Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster

    Re: 4d7e8373$0$10379$[email protected] com

    Pete C. <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Steve Pope wrote:
    >>
    >> Pete C. <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>> sf wrote:

    >>
    >>>> It's very hard to cook in a
    >>>> strange kitchen. I don't know how personal chefs, who do one time
    >>>> party cooking, do it.

    >>
    >>> The answer is simply experience.

    >>
    >>> Unlike folks who insist on only cooking on equipment that meets
    >>> their aesthetic tastes i.e. some high end "professional style"
    >>> range, professional chefs cook on whatever equipment is available,
    >>> with whatever cookware is available and focus on the details. They
    >>> have cooked on everything out there before, so they know what
    >>> adjustments to make and therefore do not suffer from mishaps due to
    >>> different equipment.

    >>
    >> This is true up to a point. But, there are certain types of
    >> equipment popular with (some) consumers that you will never see
    >> in a restaurant kitchen. Often, there is a reason for this.

    >
    > Name the equipment and chances are I've seen it or it's equivalent in
    > a commercial kitchen.


    But there are times when equipment below a certain quality is simply
    unacceptable for a job, for example, very thin skillets with or without
    cheap teflon coatings. But if you're telling us you can perfectly pan fry
    bone in skin on chicken breasts in a pan like that on an electric range or
    over a propane campstove without a bit of scorching, and have it all come
    out with a uniform crispy coating, all pieces cooked through evenly, then we
    should all bow down to the master. Maybe there are chefs who cannot ever
    come to the mercy of a piece of equipment, but I follow Iron Chef and Top
    Chef Masters and other such programs, and I have seen it happen plenty of
    times to some of the best chefs around, so you'll excuse me if I'm
    skeptical.

    Try cooking outdoors in a portable environment some time. I've done it many
    times in competitions and had a lot of success, yet certain factors can
    still blindside you and wreak havoc. For example, if it's a very hot and
    windy environment, the moisture loss in foods you are trying to prep and
    cook can be so severe as to completely alter what will work and what won't
    no matter how many times you've practiced it. But like you, I have indeed
    learned to cope with the situation - in that case it's better to make
    something else than to fight Mother Nature and turn out a substandard
    product when you only have one chance to get it right and done on time.

    MartyB



  16. #16
    Pete C. Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster


    Nunya Bidnits wrote:
    >
    > Re: 4d7e8373$0$10379$[email protected] com
    >
    > Pete C. <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > Steve Pope wrote:
    > >>
    > >> Pete C. <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >>
    > >>> sf wrote:
    > >>
    > >>>> It's very hard to cook in a
    > >>>> strange kitchen. I don't know how personal chefs, who do one time
    > >>>> party cooking, do it.
    > >>
    > >>> The answer is simply experience.
    > >>
    > >>> Unlike folks who insist on only cooking on equipment that meets
    > >>> their aesthetic tastes i.e. some high end "professional style"
    > >>> range, professional chefs cook on whatever equipment is available,
    > >>> with whatever cookware is available and focus on the details. They
    > >>> have cooked on everything out there before, so they know what
    > >>> adjustments to make and therefore do not suffer from mishaps due to
    > >>> different equipment.
    > >>
    > >> This is true up to a point. But, there are certain types of
    > >> equipment popular with (some) consumers that you will never see
    > >> in a restaurant kitchen. Often, there is a reason for this.

    > >
    > > Name the equipment and chances are I've seen it or it's equivalent in
    > > a commercial kitchen.

    >
    > But there are times when equipment below a certain quality is simply
    > unacceptable for a job, for example, very thin skillets with or without
    > cheap teflon coatings. But if you're telling us you can perfectly pan fry
    > bone in skin on chicken breasts in a pan like that on an electric range or
    > over a propane campstove without a bit of scorching, and have it all come
    > out with a uniform crispy coating, all pieces cooked through evenly, then we
    > should all bow down to the master. Maybe there are chefs who cannot ever
    > come to the mercy of a piece of equipment, but I follow Iron Chef and Top
    > Chef Masters and other such programs, and I have seen it happen plenty of
    > times to some of the best chefs around, so you'll excuse me if I'm
    > skeptical.
    >
    > Try cooking outdoors in a portable environment some time. I've done it many
    > times in competitions and had a lot of success, yet certain factors can
    > still blindside you and wreak havoc. For example, if it's a very hot and
    > windy environment, the moisture loss in foods you are trying to prep and
    > cook can be so severe as to completely alter what will work and what won't
    > no matter how many times you've practiced it. But like you, I have indeed
    > learned to cope with the situation - in that case it's better to make
    > something else than to fight Mother Nature and turn out a substandard
    > product when you only have one chance to get it right and done on time.
    >
    > MartyB


    - Understand the environment you are trying to work in and the issues it
    presents
    - Adapt to the environment and improvise what you can to help reduce the
    issues i.e. wind blocks, makeup moisture, etc.
    - Get on with the cooking paying close attention to the potential issues

    As for the frying chicken in a crummy thin pan over a poorly controlled
    heat source, yes I can do it if needed, but I will not be happy about it
    and my carpal tunnel will be killing me after from holding the crummy
    pan off the heat source to better control it. It will also slow down
    preparation of side dishes since I will be focused on heat management
    and not be able to multitask.

  17. #17
    Nunya Bidnits Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster

    Re: 4d7e9823$0$10340$[email protected] com

    Pete C. <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Nunya Bidnits wrote:
    >>
    >> Re: 4d7e8373$0$10379$[email protected] com
    >>
    >> Pete C. <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Steve Pope wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>> Pete C. <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>> sf wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>>> It's very hard to cook in a
    >>>>>> strange kitchen. I don't know how personal chefs, who do one
    >>>>>> time party cooking, do it.
    >>>>
    >>>>> The answer is simply experience.
    >>>>
    >>>>> Unlike folks who insist on only cooking on equipment that meets
    >>>>> their aesthetic tastes i.e. some high end "professional style"
    >>>>> range, professional chefs cook on whatever equipment is available,
    >>>>> with whatever cookware is available and focus on the details. They
    >>>>> have cooked on everything out there before, so they know what
    >>>>> adjustments to make and therefore do not suffer from mishaps due
    >>>>> to different equipment.
    >>>>
    >>>> This is true up to a point. But, there are certain types of
    >>>> equipment popular with (some) consumers that you will never see
    >>>> in a restaurant kitchen. Often, there is a reason for this.
    >>>
    >>> Name the equipment and chances are I've seen it or it's equivalent
    >>> in a commercial kitchen.

    >>
    >> But there are times when equipment below a certain quality is simply
    >> unacceptable for a job, for example, very thin skillets with or
    >> without cheap teflon coatings. But if you're telling us you can
    >> perfectly pan fry bone in skin on chicken breasts in a pan like that
    >> on an electric range or over a propane campstove without a bit of
    >> scorching, and have it all come out with a uniform crispy coating,
    >> all pieces cooked through evenly, then we should all bow down to the
    >> master. Maybe there are chefs who cannot ever come to the mercy of a
    >> piece of equipment, but I follow Iron Chef and Top Chef Masters and
    >> other such programs, and I have seen it happen plenty of times to
    >> some of the best chefs around, so you'll excuse me if I'm skeptical.
    >>
    >> Try cooking outdoors in a portable environment some time. I've done
    >> it many times in competitions and had a lot of success, yet certain
    >> factors can still blindside you and wreak havoc. For example, if
    >> it's a very hot and windy environment, the moisture loss in foods
    >> you are trying to prep and cook can be so severe as to completely
    >> alter what will work and what won't no matter how many times you've
    >> practiced it. But like you, I have indeed learned to cope with the
    >> situation - in that case it's better to make something else than to
    >> fight Mother Nature and turn out a substandard product when you only
    >> have one chance to get it right and done on time.
    >>
    >> MartyB

    >
    > - Understand the environment you are trying to work in and the issues
    > it presents


    Including sometimes accepting that maybe doing something different would be
    better in so many ways? That was my point. Sometimes the skill comes in
    having the ability and foresight to shift to an alternative and still have a
    good outcome. I remain highly skeptical of your claims of unwavering
    perfection.

    > - Adapt to the environment and improvise what you can to help reduce
    > the issues i.e. wind blocks, makeup moisture, etc.


    You make it sound so easy. Surely you'd be an instant world champion in
    cooking competitions.

    I didn't know it was possible to reinfuse moisture in anything regardless of
    chemistry or to erect highly effective windbreaks against strong gusts out
    of **** that happens to be laying around, and to do it without losing time
    against a deadline.

    > - Get on with the cooking paying close attention to the potential
    > issues


    I never would have thought of that. My ignorance abounds.

    >
    > As for the frying chicken in a crummy thin pan over a poorly
    > controlled heat source, yes I can do it if needed, but I will not be
    > happy about it and my carpal tunnel will be killing me after from
    > holding the crummy pan off the heat source to better control it. It
    > will also slow down preparation of side dishes since I will be
    > focused on heat management and not be able to multitask.


    Why aren't you an Iron Chef?

    Again, sorry if I seem skeptical.



  18. #18
    Pete C. Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster


    Nunya Bidnits wrote:
    >
    > Re: 4d7e9823$0$10340$[email protected] com
    >
    > Pete C. <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > Nunya Bidnits wrote:
    > >>
    > >> Re: 4d7e8373$0$10379$[email protected] com
    > >>
    > >> Pete C. <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >>
    > >>> Steve Pope wrote:
    > >>>>
    > >>>> Pete C. <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >>>>
    > >>>>> sf wrote:
    > >>>>
    > >>>>>> It's very hard to cook in a
    > >>>>>> strange kitchen. I don't know how personal chefs, who do one
    > >>>>>> time party cooking, do it.
    > >>>>
    > >>>>> The answer is simply experience.
    > >>>>
    > >>>>> Unlike folks who insist on only cooking on equipment that meets
    > >>>>> their aesthetic tastes i.e. some high end "professional style"
    > >>>>> range, professional chefs cook on whatever equipment is available,
    > >>>>> with whatever cookware is available and focus on the details. They
    > >>>>> have cooked on everything out there before, so they know what
    > >>>>> adjustments to make and therefore do not suffer from mishaps due
    > >>>>> to different equipment.
    > >>>>
    > >>>> This is true up to a point. But, there are certain types of
    > >>>> equipment popular with (some) consumers that you will never see
    > >>>> in a restaurant kitchen. Often, there is a reason for this.
    > >>>
    > >>> Name the equipment and chances are I've seen it or it's equivalent
    > >>> in a commercial kitchen.
    > >>
    > >> But there are times when equipment below a certain quality is simply
    > >> unacceptable for a job, for example, very thin skillets with or
    > >> without cheap teflon coatings. But if you're telling us you can
    > >> perfectly pan fry bone in skin on chicken breasts in a pan like that
    > >> on an electric range or over a propane campstove without a bit of
    > >> scorching, and have it all come out with a uniform crispy coating,
    > >> all pieces cooked through evenly, then we should all bow down to the
    > >> master. Maybe there are chefs who cannot ever come to the mercy of a
    > >> piece of equipment, but I follow Iron Chef and Top Chef Masters and
    > >> other such programs, and I have seen it happen plenty of times to
    > >> some of the best chefs around, so you'll excuse me if I'm skeptical.
    > >>
    > >> Try cooking outdoors in a portable environment some time. I've done
    > >> it many times in competitions and had a lot of success, yet certain
    > >> factors can still blindside you and wreak havoc. For example, if
    > >> it's a very hot and windy environment, the moisture loss in foods
    > >> you are trying to prep and cook can be so severe as to completely
    > >> alter what will work and what won't no matter how many times you've
    > >> practiced it. But like you, I have indeed learned to cope with the
    > >> situation - in that case it's better to make something else than to
    > >> fight Mother Nature and turn out a substandard product when you only
    > >> have one chance to get it right and done on time.
    > >>
    > >> MartyB

    > >
    > > - Understand the environment you are trying to work in and the issues
    > > it presents

    >
    > Including sometimes accepting that maybe doing something different would be
    > better in so many ways? That was my point. Sometimes the skill comes in
    > having the ability and foresight to shift to an alternative and still have a
    > good outcome. I remain highly skeptical of your claims of unwavering
    > perfection.


    The chefs in most of the competitions don't generally have to options to
    be as creative as I am with regards to improvising cooking equipment
    (see Alton Brown flower pot smoker, or some of the Dinner Impossible
    stuff), so they have to improvise by adjusting what they are cooking
    since that is the design of most of those shows anyway.

    >
    > > - Adapt to the environment and improvise what you can to help reduce
    > > the issues i.e. wind blocks, makeup moisture, etc.

    >
    > You make it sound so easy. Surely you'd be an instant world champion in
    > cooking competitions.


    Nope, see above. Not being competitive is another issue.

    >
    > I didn't know it was possible to reinfuse moisture in anything regardless of
    > chemistry


    Increase the humidity of the surrounding environment and you will help
    reduce the moisture loss.

    > or to erect highly effective windbreaks against strong gusts out
    > of **** that happens to be laying around, and to do it without losing time
    > against a deadline.


    It certainly is depending on your skills and what's available. I've
    performed enough field expedient improvisations to be frequently called
    McGyver.

    >
    > > - Get on with the cooking paying close attention to the potential
    > > issues

    >
    > I never would have thought of that. My ignorance abounds.


    It seems the bulk of people will just blindly do things as they always
    have in their own kitchen, not expecting anything to be different, which
    is what gets them into trouble.

    >
    > >
    > > As for the frying chicken in a crummy thin pan over a poorly
    > > controlled heat source, yes I can do it if needed, but I will not be
    > > happy about it and my carpal tunnel will be killing me after from
    > > holding the crummy pan off the heat source to better control it. It
    > > will also slow down preparation of side dishes since I will be
    > > focused on heat management and not be able to multitask.

    >
    > Why aren't you an Iron Chef?


    Because I'm not competitive, and because I like my work from home job
    with six figure salary far more than "fame".

    >
    > Again, sorry if I seem skeptical.


    Recall I've never indicated that I never have issues preparing a
    particular dish, everyone runs into issues at various times, and we work
    around them as best as possible. What I've indicated is that I never
    have issues cooking in unfamiliar kitchens with different equipment.

  19. #19
    Dan Abel Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster

    In article <ilm3vp$qmj$[email protected]>,
    "Nunya Bidnits" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > But there are times when equipment below a certain quality is simply
    > unacceptable for a job, for example, very thin skillets with or without
    > cheap teflon coatings. But if you're telling us you can perfectly pan fry
    > bone in skin on chicken breasts in a pan like that on an electric range or
    > over a propane campstove without a bit of scorching, and have it all come
    > out with a uniform crispy coating, all pieces cooked through evenly,


    We went to a cooking demo at a local fair some years ago, where a local
    chef (Guy Fieri, who is no longer just a local chef) made some food. He
    held up an incredibly battered, very thin, small skillet, and said it
    was ideal for his restaurants. The food was cooked to order, so
    something like the chicken breast he was cooking for a salad (certainly
    not with skin or bone *or* coating) could be cooked in a reasonable
    time, since the thin skillet would transfer the heat very quickly. I
    believe the cooking demo was done on a home gas cooktop, but I'm sure
    Guy's restaurants have high heat gas stoves.

    http://www.johnnygarlics.com/

    (the local location is no longer open)

    --
    Dan Abel
    Petaluma, California USA
    [email protected]

  20. #20
    Nunya Bidnits Guest

    Default Re: Brussels Sprouts disaster

    Re: 4d82110f$0$22926$[email protected] com

    Pete C. <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>>>>> The answer is simply experience.
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>>> Unlike folks who insist on only cooking on equipment that meets
    >>>>>>> their aesthetic tastes i.e. some high end "professional style"
    >>>>>>> range, professional chefs cook on whatever equipment is
    >>>>>>> available, with whatever cookware is available and focus on the
    >>>>>>> details. They have cooked on everything out there before, so
    >>>>>>> they know what adjustments to make and therefore do not suffer
    >>>>>>> from mishaps due to different equipment.
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>> This is true up to a point. But, there are certain types of
    >>>>>> equipment popular with (some) consumers that you will never see
    >>>>>> in a restaurant kitchen. Often, there is a reason for this.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Name the equipment and chances are I've seen it or it's equivalent
    >>>>> in a commercial kitchen.
    >>>>
    >>>> But there are times when equipment below a certain quality is
    >>>> simply unacceptable for a job, for example, very thin skillets
    >>>> with or without cheap teflon coatings. But if you're telling us
    >>>> you can perfectly pan fry bone in skin on chicken breasts in a pan
    >>>> like that on an electric range or over a propane campstove without
    >>>> a bit of scorching, and have it all come out with a uniform crispy
    >>>> coating, all pieces cooked through evenly, then we should all bow
    >>>> down to the master. Maybe there are chefs who cannot ever come to
    >>>> the mercy of a piece of equipment, but I follow Iron Chef and Top
    >>>> Chef Masters and other such programs, and I have seen it happen
    >>>> plenty of times to some of the best chefs around, so you'll excuse
    >>>> me if I'm skeptical.
    >>>>
    >>>> Try cooking outdoors in a portable environment some time. I've done
    >>>> it many times in competitions and had a lot of success, yet certain
    >>>> factors can still blindside you and wreak havoc. For example, if
    >>>> it's a very hot and windy environment, the moisture loss in foods
    >>>> you are trying to prep and cook can be so severe as to completely
    >>>> alter what will work and what won't no matter how many times you've
    >>>> practiced it. But like you, I have indeed learned to cope with the
    >>>> situation - in that case it's better to make something else than to
    >>>> fight Mother Nature and turn out a substandard product when you
    >>>> only have one chance to get it right and done on time.
    >>>>
    >>>> MartyB
    >>>
    >>> - Understand the environment you are trying to work in and the
    >>> issues it presents

    >>
    >> Including sometimes accepting that maybe doing something different
    >> would be better in so many ways? That was my point. Sometimes the
    >> skill comes in having the ability and foresight to shift to an
    >> alternative and still have a good outcome. I remain highly skeptical
    >> of your claims of unwavering perfection.

    >
    > The chefs in most of the competitions don't generally have to options
    > to be as creative as I am with regards to improvising cooking
    > equipment (see Alton Brown flower pot smoker, or some of the Dinner
    > Impossible stuff), so they have to improvise by adjusting what they
    > are cooking since that is the design of most of those shows anyway.
    >
    >>
    >>> - Adapt to the environment and improvise what you can to help reduce
    >>> the issues i.e. wind blocks, makeup moisture, etc.

    >>
    >> You make it sound so easy. Surely you'd be an instant world champion
    >> in cooking competitions.

    >
    > Nope, see above. Not being competitive is another issue.
    >
    >>
    >> I didn't know it was possible to reinfuse moisture in anything
    >> regardless of chemistry

    >
    > Increase the humidity of the surrounding environment and you will help
    > reduce the moisture loss.


    Did you miss the outdoors part? Of course if I was going to believe you were
    the perfect chef then I'd probably believe you could fix that too.

    Really, never mind. Morimoto was my hero and now you've ruined me for all
    chefs forevermore. And I didn't even have to dine, only hear you describe
    your perfect abilities. Bastard.





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