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Old 07-10-2011, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
3,718 posts, read 4,612,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalara View Post
I was in the egg industry for over 20 years.

If an fresh or old egg smells bad when you crack it open - then it's bad. A meat spot or a blood spot does not mean it's bad either - it's just unappetizing to look at. I don't eat those myself. Buying cracked eggs - that's taking a chance with bacteria.

Just by being old, does not make it bad.
Speaking of which. I did crack open a bad egg about a month or so ago, for the first time. The smell was unbearable, lol
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Old 07-10-2011, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,512 posts, read 79,802,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strel View Post
I really hate when that happens.
I have heard this so many times but I got eggs directly from the egg ranch the other day, I know they are fresh, I tried the water trick just to make sure and yet, they did spread some. What I did notice, the yolks did not flatten at all. That was the good thing.

Nita
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:47 PM
 
Location: In a chartreuse microbus
3,844 posts, read 5,123,456 times
Reputation: 7970
Always cook your proteins, (meats and eggs), slowly so they don't get tough and chewy. Regarding eggs, always break into a separate bowl just in case it is bad, you haven't ruined your entire recipe.
I think it's a good idea to learn to make a few basics from scratch. Homemade biscuits are superb in the morning. Homemade noodles are a good dollar stretcher and go with many dishes. These are easy things after you've practiced a few times, and have only a couple of ingredients which should usually be on hand. Also, a good white sauce is quick and easy, and enhances veggies; add some Parmesan to that sauce, and you can have fast primavera.
Learn your herbs and spices: basil is sweet and mild, rosemary is pungent, paprika adds zing, etc. They can really make or break some dishes. And yes, good pots and pans are a must. Don't ever be afraid to experiment with different ingredients. If it bombs, throw it out and no one ever has to know!
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Our own little Loonyverse
237 posts, read 178,100 times
Reputation: 796
For years I was scared to death to make gravy- I am one of those short attention span cooks and with 4 of my own kids and others always underfoot I just couldn't stand there and stir forever. (Also, lack of patience so I would turn it up to high and burn). I learned a very basic medium white sauce and developed a recipe for the microwave that can be adapted to any type of gravy and it is no lump, no fail and perfect every time. Everyone we have taught the recipe now swears by it and won't make it any other way.

In a large glass measuring cup (we use Pyrex 8 cup- I have a big family - if you are only making 2 cups at a time you can get away with a 4 cup)

1 tablespoon fat - meat drippings, melted butter, coconut oil, etc

1 tablespoon flour - whisk in really well

Microwave on high 45 seconds (always, whether you are using 1 tbsp each or 6 it is always 45 seconds) it makes a bubbly paste

Whisk in 1 cup of liquid for medium sauce (more for thinner gravy, less for thicker) you can use anything for liquid- milk for cream gravy or white sauce, chicken, beef or veggie broth, water - it just depends on what you are trying to make. To make a cheese sauce when your white sauce is finished add shredded or diced cheese of choice and microwave another 45 seconds. It should be melted, if not heat for another 30 seconds.

Microwave on high 2 minutes, whisk smooth, repeat until it is boiling and desired consistency.

I hope that is not too confusing- here's a specific gravy recipe (hopefully seeing it like this will make sense of the rest for you)

2 cups turkey gravy

Put 2 Tablespoons pan drippings from turkey into glass measuring cup.
Add 2 Tablespoons flour and whisk well.
Microwave on high 45 seconds.

Whisk in 2 cups chicken or turkey broth or stock.
Microwave on high 2 minutes.
Whisk then microwave 2 minutes more.
Whisk then microwave 2 minutes more.

This should give you a perfect gravy, depending on your microwave it may require more or less time.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:17 AM
 
1,324 posts, read 2,005,351 times
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Pasta - key techniques chefs use to properly cook and incorporate sauces 1) boil in salted water until al dente 2) toss pasta in a heated pan with a little sauce to incorporate 3) add a little of the pasta water to add flavor 4) stir in a pat of butter to give it body, fullness 5) sprinkle fresh grated parmesan to bind the sauce

In detail, assuming you are making one serving

1) boil water with a couple big pinches of kosher salt cook pasta based on the directions in the box. I believe Mario batali or some other famous Italian chef recommends taking it off the heat 30 second before the suggested time.

2) drain pasta and add into another pan on med-low heat,

3) add a sauce like marinara and toss together. The key is not to drown the pasta, but to coat. You can make you own sauce; I just use a fresh marinara from a local or italian grocery.

4) add a tablespoon or two of pasta water and stir

5) take off the heat. Add a pat of cold butter and incorporate. I think this technique is called 'mounting'

6) add fresh parmesan to bind the dish

7) plate

Here is a sample in action. Keep in mind he makes a very complex sauce, but you can see the techniques in action

Making Scarpetta's Tomato-Basil Spaghetti with Scott Conant | Serious Eats : New York
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:09 AM
 
Location: In a chartreuse microbus
3,844 posts, read 5,123,456 times
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I'd like to add my opinion on those commercials for kitchen gadgets that "You Can't Live Without". The microwave spaghetti cooker, the egg device that gives you perfect hard cooked eggs, etc. You don't need those. They always show some bumbling housewife spilling the pasta into the sink, or trying to peel an egg and making a colossal mess. I know of ten-year-olds who aren't that inept in the kitchen.
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:13 PM
NTT
 
Location: Houston
719 posts, read 1,562,304 times
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Default Kitchen and Food Tips

I posted this on another CD forum but since it's food related, I thought it can be useful here as well.

Tip 1: Long before expiration date existed, we learned how to tell whether an egg was bad or not. Because of this knowledge, I don't toss out eggs when they expired by the date indicated on the carton. Besides the bad smell of rotten egg, here are other ways of knowing whether the egg is bad.

a) When you break an egg, done carefully, and you see the egg yolk breaks, it's a bad egg. This is so because there is a layer that protects the yolk. As the days go by, this protected layer becomes thinner and thinner. When this layer breaks as you find out when breaking the egg gently, the yolk is no longer protected. Thus, the egg is bad.

b) If you're not planning to break the egg such as in preparing for boiling, you can tell a bad egg if the egg floats in cool water. The ones sinking are still good. This is because the egg shell is porous. As days going by, air will seep into the egg. As air get into the egg, it shorten its life. When enough air is trapped into the egg, it spoils the egg and the egg floats.

Tip 2: How many of you out there use Brew Rite and Dip It cleaners to clean your coffee maker? Here's a shocking saving. The ingredient in Brew Rite and Dip It is Sodium Carbonate. If this sounds familiar to you, it's because it is also known as Washing Soda. It will save you lots of money to buy a 55 oz. box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (around $3.25), than the small 8 oz. bottle of Brew Rite ($4.98) or 5 oz. of Dip It ($2.98) cleaners.

How to use Washing Soda to clean coffee makers:
a) For coffee drippers: Use 1 Tablespoon of Washing Soda per 4 cups of water. Pour ingredients in the carafe and stir until washing soda is disolved. Pour the mixture into the water reservoir and turn the machine on to brew. Once it the brewing is completed, turn the machine off and discard the mixture. To rinse, pour fresh water into the water reservoir and turn the machine on again to brew. Discard the rinsed water and repeat this step 2 more times for a thorough rinsing.
Note: Do NOT put concentrated washing soda directly into the water reservoir or filter cup.

b) For coffee percolators: Use 1 Tablespoon of Washing Soda per 4 cups of water. Pour ingredients in the carafe and stir until washing soda is disolved. Assemble all components (stem, cup, lids), and brew/perk as usual according to your type of percolators (stovetop, electric, etc.). Unplug if your percolator is electric. Let the unit cool down. Discard the mixture and rinse each component with water thoroughly.

You can use washing soda to clean water kettles as well.

Tip 3: To clean residue from your tea cups and coffee mugs: Use about a teaspoon of baking soda and a few drops of water to make a paste. With a sponge, use this mixture and rub all over your cup to remove tea or coffee residue. Then, rinse it well.

Do you have any other kitchen tips? Please share!
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:07 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,095 posts, read 12,783,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NTT View Post

Tip 1: Long before expiration date existed, we learned how to tell whether an egg was bad or not. Because of this knowledge, I don't toss out eggs when they expired by the date indicated on the carton. Besides the bad smell of rotten egg, here are other ways of knowing whether the egg is bad.

a) When you break an egg, done carefully, and you see the egg yolk breaks, it's a bad egg. This is so because there is a layer that protects the yolk. As the days go by, this protected layer becomes thinner and thinner. When this layer breaks as you find out when breaking the egg gently, the yolk is no longer protected. Thus, the egg is bad.

b) If you're not planning to break the egg such as in preparing for boiling, you can tell a bad egg if the egg floats in cool water. The ones sinking are still good. This is because the egg shell is porous. As days going by, air will seep into the egg. As air get into the egg, it shorten its life. When enough air is trapped into the egg, it spoils the egg and the egg floats.
Most of this information is incorrect.

The purpose of the vitelline membraneis to protect the the yolk from breaking. If the yolk breaks because of a weakened membrane, it's because the egg is old - not bad. An egg that flattens out in the frypan is old, not bad or 'spoiled'.

Yes, the air cell inside the egg gets larger with age. Eggs have air cells within minutes of being laid. Eggs with larger air cells will float. No big deal! Air does not spoil the egg or make it bad. Bacteria makes an egg bad. If you are cautious of bacteria (Salmonella Enteritidis) - just refrigerate the eggs and cook the eggs completely. About about 1 in 20,000 eggs contain salmonella. S.E. will not grow at temperatures below 40 F and is killed at 160 F.

I was in the egg industry for over 20 years. But if you want more information, visit the American Egg Board consumer web site.
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,411 posts, read 15,985,213 times
Reputation: 8722
I was taught that bacteria in an egg expel gas as waste and it is the lighter gas that causes the egg to float. I have opened a bad egg and I would rather disguard the egg in error (which happens very rarely) when I find that it floats rather than crack it into my omelet and have to throw the entire thing away. It also stinks to high heaven. Ugh!

Depending on the date of expiration, I will do the float test on eggs, which is quick and easy.
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:31 AM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,095 posts, read 12,783,678 times
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Gas = Carbon Dioxide.

As the egg ages, moisture and carbon dioxide leave through the pores of the shell, air enters to replace them and the air cell becomes larger.

Smell is the best way to determine an bad egg
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