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#1 DasBear

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 01:02 AM

*
POPULAR POST!

I'm a classically trained Chef, I started working in the kitchen and my culinary training at the age of 16. I've done specialized training for vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free food as well. I later trained in French Pastries. Needless to say, I've learned a lot in my 12 years in the culinary world. The stuff I'm gonna share are things I teach in my private cooking classes. 

 

I'll go over:
How to stock a Pantry, Fridge and Freezer
Handy Kitchen Equipment 
Ingredient Substitutions
Food Storage and Safety 

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First, let's talk spices! Its always good to have dried spices, because the fresh counterpart isn't always readily available. But remember, even dried spices have a shelf life as well.

Once opened: (Personally, I half this allotted time on my own spices)
Herbs: 1-2 years
Ground: 1-2 years
Whole: 2-3 years
Blends: 1 year
Extracts/Flavorings: 2 years

 

Never EVER shake your seasoning bottles over a steaming or boiling pot. Why? The steam will not only cause your spices to go bad from thee moister being introduced into the bottle, it can also harm the potency of the spice or seasoning. With that being said, its important to store your spices properly. Most people will store spices above the stove or beside it and that is the worst thing possible for your spices. Its far too close to a heat source that is putting off steam and moister. Find a nice cool, dry place to store them and not in direct sunlight either. 

Not sure if your spices are good anymore? Check out the color. Red seasonings will often turn brown when stale and this rule applies to other spices. The vibrancy of your spices will diminish over time and that is usually a sign that its time to toss them out. Now, lets check the aroma. How does it smell? Crush whole spices under a can or the back of a knife, is the scent strong? If you have dried herbs, pour some out in your hand and give it a rub between your palms to release the oils. If the smell is faint and not strong. Then its potency has been lost and its time to go in the garbage. If you think about it, does that really seem like something you want to season your food with? No. 


Gathering Seasoning!  (Salt & Pepper should be a given)
Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Dill, Parsley, Marjoram, Bay Leaves, Cloves, Allspice, Paprika, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cayenne, Nutmeg, Vanilla Bean Paste. 

If you like to explore more flavors:
Curry Powder, Celery Salt, Red Chili Pepper Flakes, Cumin

Baker? 
Unbleached Flour, Baking Power, Baking Soda, Corn Starch, Yeast, Cream of Tartar. (You don't need any other special flour, EXCEPT bread flour if you make bread)

 

The Sweet Stuff
Honey, Dark Brown Sugar (I reduce this and slightly burn it to give molasses taste), Raw Sugar (I grind to make powdered sugar). 

Oils & Fats 

Unsalted Butter, Safflower Oil, Peanut Oil, Olive Oil, Unrefined Coconut Oil (use sparingly!), Red Palm Oil. 

In most restaurants, you squirt a bit of Olive oil into the pan and add a touch of butter. Why? Firstly the flavor and secondly they keep each other from burning. Do not fear butter, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Stay away from margarine, that stuff is garbage. Use unsalted butter because you don't want to add extra salt to a dish. I fry exclusively with peanut oil because of the flavor and also the high smoke point. I make a blend of Olive Oil and Safflower Oil in a bottle that use for cooking, which I also add a touch a butter as well. This allows me to use small amounts of each for maxim flavor.

 

To be honest, when cooking with Olive Oil, its best to cut it with another oil that can protect the proprieties within the oil itself. Once you over heat it, all the nutrition inside of the oil is killed. So to retain it, I would suggest using it as a finisher to a meal (stove turned off) and in dressings. Avocado oil is great, but I would never cook with it because of the very strong flavor, its definitely something you use as a finisher to a dish. Like adding a few drops over a bowl of soup for taste/garnish or in a dressing. Same thing for Flaxseed Oil/Hemp Oil/Sesame Seed Oil.

 

Oils I avoid: 
Corn, Sunflower, Canola, Veg, Palm Kernel Oil, Grapeseed, Soybean Oil.

 

Why do I shun these oils? Cause they're really not all that great for you and some of them can be very harmful to your health. Its often cheaper as well and for a reason.

 

 

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Alright, so lets take a look inside of that fridge. Do you clean it every week or two weeks? You really should give it a wipe out more than once a month. Sometimes spills and drips happen without us knowing and nasty things can happen from that. This is important for food contamination safety.

How do you pack your groceries away in the fridge? Do you just fit whatever in any space available? Well, lets get this sorted out. Proper food storage is key for your health and your wallet so you don't over buy.

When I open my fridge, I have things like milk, butter and eggs up top. Why? its the coolest area of the fridge, since the cooling vent is right there. Just below that I keep cheese, dairy and lunch meats. Just below that I keep left overs and at the bottom my raw meats with a mat beneath it to catch moister and any possible drips. The side of the fridge I reserve for condiments and beverages (orange juice, lemon aid). If you have eggnog or drink that is milk based, keep that up top with the rest of the milk related products. Now, I store my fruit and veg separately in the separate little compartments.

 

Keep in mind the date of your items. Not only the best before date, but WHEN YOU OPENED THEM! For example I have some milk I opened and doesn't expire until the end of the month. Yes, it will still be good to use, but the nutrition in the milk will have died off 7 days after its been opened. Also the taste will change as well (meaning that milk you need for baking a cake, might not be the best option if you've had it in the fridge for 3 weeks) .There is a reason why companies say to use a particular item within a set amount of days after its been opened. Now, with that being said don't over stock your fridge. It becomes to little harder to keep things properly chilled when you have a fridge bursting at the seams with product. The same for the freezer. 

 

Now, since we're on the topic of fridge/freezer storage. There are some items that should NOT go in a fridge or be put in the freezer for lengthy storage. 
(Fresh) Onions, Garlic, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Keep those out. If its not being stored in a cooled environment in the grocery store, then its not something you should be putting in your fridge to begin with. Now, basil is one of those things that actually don't like the cold and cannot be grown outside in a chilled environment. Fresh herbs should be placed in a little bit of water, don't soak the entire thing now! And kept out on your counter top in a tall glass or container. Yes, putting them in some sunlight will keep also help keep them fresh and change out the water periodically. (Chives/Green Onions are the exception that should be kept refrigerated because of the high water content and will wilt/bruise faster) 

 

NEVER PUT HOT FOOD INSIDE OF A FRIDGE!!!! This is a high risk for bacterial growth in the food and often causes FOOD POISIONING!

Instead allow your food to come down to room temperature before storing it in the fridge.

 

 

Avocados: Keep those out until ripe, if you want to stop the ripening process toss in the fridge for a day. (Once mashed/sliced, keep it in the fridge)
Bananas: Do not refrigerate
Bread: Kept it out! Unless you like dry bread. If you want to store for later use freeze it. 
Winter Squashes: Do not refrigerate
Pitted Fruit: Ripen first and THEN refrigerate to keep them longer. (except cherries)

Citrus Fruit: Do not refrigerate, it actually dries them up faster.

 

What to Refrigerate
Berries, Apples, Grapes, Cherries, Cut Melons, Cut Pineapple, Figs, Asparagus, Carrots, Sprouts, Spinach, Corn, Leafy Veg, Broccoli, Mushrooms. (Sorry if I cannot remember everything, going off the top of my head)

 

Do not freeze these items! (Never REFREEZE an item that has been previously frozen)
-Herbs (Unless made into a fine paste)
-Flour based sauces
-Pasta
-Rice
-Fried Foods
-Frosting
-Salads/Cucumbers/ Green Peppers/Celery (Veg with a high water content basically)
-Eggs (even cooked)
-Egg/Dairy based sauces or dressings

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Alright, lets move on to something else for now. So, have you ever run out of something for a recipe and you absolutely need it? 

 

Substitutes that work! ​(Need something that isn't listed? Ask away!)
Cake Flour - For every cup of flour, remove 2 tbsp of flour and replace with cornstarch. Sift together and use normally in recipe 
Self-Rising Flour - For every cup of flour, add 2 tablespoon baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Sift together and use normally in recipe

Molasses - Dark brown sugar with a bit of honey added ( You can reduce this on the stove to intensify the flavor)
Brown Sugar - 1 Tbsp of light molasses to every 1 cup of white sugar (ex: 2 cups Brown Sugar = 2 Tbsp molasses & 2 cups white sugar) 

Baking Powder - 1/4 baking soda and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (Greek Yogurt also works in certain recipes) 
Allspice - 1/4 tsp clove, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Salted Butter - 2 sticks unsalted butter 1/4 tsp salt or 1 cup of shortening and 1/4 tsp of salt

Cream of Tartar - 1/2 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice

Heavy Cream - 3/4 cup milk and 1/3 cup melted butter
Sour Cream - Use same amount of plain yogurt or 1 cup evaporated milk and lemon (do not mix together it will curdle. Combine one into ingredients first, then the other)
Pumpkin Spice - 1/8 nutmeg tsp, 1/8 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Balsamic Vinegar - equal amounts apple cider vinegar or sherry
Prepared Mustard - 2 tsp vinegar and 1/2 tsp dried mustard 
Onion (1 small onion) - 1/2 tsp onion powder

Garlic (1 clove garlic) - 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Fresh Herbs (tbsp) - 1 tsp dried

Italian Seasoning - 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 dried marjoram

Herb de Provence - 3 tsp dried rosemary, 1 tbsp dried lavender, 2 tsp dried marjoram, 3 tbsp dried thyme, 2 tbsp dried savory, 1 tbsp dried oregano

Poultry Seasoning - 1/4 tsp ground thyme, 1/2 tsp ground sage

White Wine - chicken broth

Red Wine - beef broth 

 

Quick Volume Conversions!
(Liquid) 1 1/2  Tsp =  1/2 Tbsp
(Liquid) 3 Tsp = 1 Tbsp 
(Liquid) 4 Tbsp = 1/4 Cup
(Liquid) 2 Tbsp = 1 Fluid Once
(Liquid) 2 2/3 Fluid Ounce = 1/3 Cup
(Liquid) 4 Fluid Ounce = 1/2 Cup
(Liquid) 8 Fluid Ounce = 1 Cup
(Liquid) 2 Cups = 1 Pint
(Liquid) 4 Cups = 1 Quart  


I only need a dash

A dash = 1/8 Tsp (only have 1/4 Tsp, half of that basically)
A Pinch = 1/12 Tsp (take 1/4 Tsp, quarter of that)
Smidgen = This I find to be ridiculous, just use a pinch instead. Pfft, smidgen.

 

Butter
4 Sticks = 16 Ounces = 2 Cups
1 Stick = 4 Ounces = 8 Tbsp = 1/2 Cup

 

Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Lemon = 1-3 Tbsp
4 Lemons = 1 Cup

 

Sugar
100 Grams White Sugar = 1/2 Cup
1 Cup Powdered Sugar = 80 Grams

 

Chocolate
6 Ounces Chocolate Chips = 1 Cup
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BAKING TIPS - TOOLS AND SUGGESTED INGREDIENTS!

 

Welcome to the sweet-side! I will be sharing some useful tips on how to turn everyday items into something special. 

Let's talk sugar, because not all sugar is created equal! 
Vegans, no need to pay extra for ultra fancy sugar that says 'Vegan' on the label. If a sugar says organic, its safe to consume. So, what is Raw sugar anyways? Its less processed and yes, all sugars are processed in one way or another. The Raw/Organic sugars are just less processed than refined  white sugar. It also should contain some unfiltered molasses as well to be considered a raw or organic sugar, meaning the color should not be pure white. 

 

So, why should you lessen the use of white sugar? Because its processed with more chemicals and also has bone char inside (cow bones)  and its used to filter the sugar white. That is why vegans or vegetarians do not use white sugar, because it has animal byproducts inside. 

 

So, what about powdered sugar. That is easy to make at home by using a food processor or blender, using raw sugar and ground until you get that familiar white powder. They also sell organic powdered sugar as well if you do not have a blender or food processor. 

 

Honey, Molasses, Agava Nectar and Maple Syrup can also be used to bake. But, since its a liquid the measurements may need to be changed, so you don't end up with a heavy/dense cake. But, I suggest you stick to an raw/organic sugar instead. Makes things less complicated and won't strongly affect the flavors.

 

I like using organic cane sugar for most of my baking. Its fine, but not as fine as white sugar in terms of granule size. The color is a soft tan as well. The taste I find it more pleasant to normal sugar and doesn't have an after taste. I love to infuse my sugars in jars for sprinkling or rolling baked goods around. I use the scraped out vanilla bean pods and add those to a jar filled with sugar. Let that sit for ages, you will have a delicious vanilla sugar and you can do the same with lavender flower seeds (editable variety). 

 

Vanilla beans, extracts and powders:

I tend to stay far away from most vanilla extracts. The flavoring used to give that vanilla flavor is actually beaver anal glands, this is not a joke. Its also FDA approved! Its also used in raspberry flavorings as well (perfume too). 

 

I love to use Vanilla Beans, yes they can be pretty pricey. So, I opt for vanilla bean paste. Which is essentially the same thing, just preserved in a bit of alcohol and a touch of sugar. You can make your own vanilla extract is you wish. 

 

-Take 3-6 vanilla beans
-8 Ounces of Rum or Bourbon  (use something you would drink, mid-tier is fine)
-Clean jar that can be sealed 

Split your vanilla bean pods, scrap the insides out and put them inside of the bottle and the entire vanilla pod itself. Pour the alcohol over it and give it a little shake to get everything nice and mixed. Now, the hard part....waiting! You must wait 3-4 weeks before use. You can always replenish your bottle by adding more vanilla beans and alcohol, making it more potent as time goes by. This should keep 3-4 years, if not more.  

 

Vanilla bean powders can be good too, but again you have to be careful and look at the label. Its suppose to be made from ground vanilla beans, but you want to avoid the type that has sugar in it (since that is more for toppings/coffee and not for baking). It can also contain synthetic extracts (aka beaver anal gland). So what is the benefit of using a powder? Its not diluted with alcohol and goes pretty easy into cookies without adding extra moister. They're also pretty powerful and also pretty expensive.

 

 

Chocolate! Dark, White, Milk, Bittersweet: 

- Coco powder is pure chocolate with most of the coco butter removed, dutch process means its been treated (alkalized - so use they type with a recipe that calls for baking powder)
- Unsweetened chocolate is a bitter chocolate that contains 100% coco solids and is used exclusively for baking. (Its not meant for eating on its own)

- Dark Chocolate it should contain no milk solids and range anywhere from 30%-80% coco solids with a little bit of sugar and chocolate liqueur. 

- Semi-Sweet/Milk Chocolate has to contain at least 10-15% coco solids and is mostly used as baking chips for cookies and in candy bars.

- Bittersweet Chocolate has to contain at least 35% coco solids (A good brand will have 40-60%) with about at least 50% chocolate liqueur. The amount of sugar can differ, but a good brand shouldn't have a high amount of sugar. 


Edited by DasBear, 19 May 2014 - 03:58 AM.


#2 Tubbz

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 01:09 AM

I look forward to reading this :) 

 

Always nice to read anything to expand my cooking ability. 



#3 Kat

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 01:10 AM

How cool! I would really appreciate this, I'm learning (slowly) how to cook! Would you mind giving some tips on cooking for one person and also cooking for two? It would help me a lot, and I think those who are currently participating in the biggest loser contest would benefit as well! ^_^

#4 DasBear

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 04:04 AM

I look forward to reading this :)

 

Always nice to read anything to expand my cooking ability. 

I hope you find something you like and if you have any questions, let me know.

 

How cool! I would really appreciate this, I'm learning (slowly) how to cook! Would you mind giving some tips on cooking for one person and also cooking for two? It would help me a lot, and I think those who are currently participating in the biggest loser contest would benefit as well! ^_^

Yay! One pot meals sort of thing? 

-Crush a few heads of garlic (2-3)
-Add to a large pan that has a lid option (Sautee pan)
-A little bit of oil and a touch of butter to get things going, then add your garlic on very-very low heat. (This will flavor the oil mixture)
-Have some chicken breast ready, cleaned and pat dry (you don't want moister on the meat just yet). 
-Add seasonings to meat (I like Herb de Provence).

-Remove the garlic for now and turn up the heat to med-high so we can add our meat. 
-You want to add some color to the meat, causing a bit of light brown crusting (This is important for later on)
-Depending on the size of your chicken breasts, it may take 5-8 min on each side. 
-Now add a handful of spinach to the pan and turn down the head to med-low, the garlic we set aside re-add to the pan. 
-Once the greens begin to wilt, at a bit of freshly diced tomatoes about 1/4 cup roughly chopped. 
-Sprinkle in a touch of red chili flakes
-Now we turn up back the heat as you notice the moister being released from the spinach into the pan
-Add white wine or a low sodium chicken stock to the pan to create the sauce
-At this point we will salt our food sparingly, have a taste and let it reduce a bit with the lid covering the pan
-Check it to make sure everything it going well and make sure to give your chicken a turn as the liquid begins to condense

-We will do the final taste now that its close to finish and add a bit of cracked black pepper as well. 

-When things look done (roughly 30-40 min), remove the pan from the eat and let the chicken rest (5 min and more juices will be released, which is great addition to the sauce).

 

Serve with some Basmati Rice or Couscous. ;D 

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Edited by DasBear, 24 April 2014 - 04:30 AM.


#5 Jess

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:36 AM

When you say palm oil, do you mean you avoid red palm oil too?



#6 DasBear

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:09 AM

When you say palm oil, do you mean you avoid red palm oil too?

I should have specified, thank you for pointing that out. 

 

You have two types of Palm oil and the one you should avoid is the Palm Kernel Oil. Now the Organic Red Palm oil is fine. Any natural Orange/Red colors found in food is attributed to its high content of carotenes, which include beta-carotene and lycopene (good stuff!). Now that Palm Kernel Oil is the stuff that should be avoided. Yes, they both come from the same tree, but Kernal oil comes from the seeds and that is 80% saturated fat and not the good kind either. 


Edited by DasBear, 24 April 2014 - 07:15 AM.


#7 Turnip

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 02:17 PM

Oh my god thank you so much for posting this!! This is so handy!! I'm totally saving all of this hehehe <3



#8 Sweeney

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 02:20 PM

I am impressed.

Frankly, I never expected the life hacks forum to yield anything useful :p

#9 DasBear

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 04:31 PM

Oh my god thank you so much for posting this!! This is so handy!! I'm totally saving all of this hehehe <3

Awesome! I'll be updating it peroidically with more information.

 

 

I am impressed.

Frankly, I never expected the life hacks forum to yield anything useful :p

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#10 Doomsday

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 09:05 PM

With your bottled spices (and also pre-crushed salt if you aren't using a salt and pepper crusher) put a few grains of rice in each bottle.  It soaks up the moisture in the storage container and helps to stop your spices/salt from clumping together.



#11 Eefi

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 11:33 PM

My bf especially enjoys cooking complicated stuff but most of the time, we just need something to eat. Then we come back to fast recipes (pasta, etc.) but our list is very limited and I hate eating ramen or other semi-fast food too often :< Looking forward to what else you will be posting here. The chicken looks really good *o*



#12 DasBear

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 12:20 AM

With your bottled spices (and also pre-crushed salt if you aren't using a salt and pepper crusher) put a few grains of rice in each bottle.  It soaks up the moisture in the storage container and helps to stop your spices/salt from clumping together.

I would honestly advise against this tip for several reasons.

 

Some Key Points:

1. This means your spices/seasonings are not being stored properly. (This can affect taste and freshness)
2. When rice absorbs moister and is not stored properly, it becomes a breeding ground for harmful cultures to be introduced into your spices.

3. Salt is also a desiccating agent. (It draws/pulls moister out of whatever it touches)

4. As we all know, rice is a starch. Its also another desiccating agent. (Often used in oil blotting papers for cosmetic purposes)

 

Putting rice in salt is safe enough.....IF you change out the rice bi-weekly. Remember once the rice absorbs the moister, the anti-caking effects start to lessen and also whatever the rice is absorbing (yes even odors) will be flavoring your products as it sits inside of it. I would recommend using unpopped popcorn kernals as a better option for this. I would strongly advise against adding anything as an anti-caking agent to your spices. If you use the tips I recommended to you for spice storage, you should not have any issues with your spices caking together.

 

If you go to a resturuant and see someone using this method. You have to ask yourself a few questions: Do they change the rice in the salt shaker and how long has it been sitting inside there? If they're using this to cut corners, what else are they cutting corners with to save a few bucks? Chances are they haven't changed that rice in a year. Now its had a chance to asorb all sorts of wonderful things that you are now sprinkling all over your food ~ YUM!


My bf especially enjoys cooking complicated stuff but most of the time, we just need something to eat. Then we come back to fast recipes (pasta, etc.) but our list is very limited and I hate eating ramen or other semi-fast food too often :< Looking forward to what else you will be posting here. The chicken looks really good *o*

Make a request for recipes or meal ideas, I have a ton. I mostly cook for my toddler who likes good food, but nothing too complicated (luckily she has a mature pallet). So my home recipies are more simple and quick, like the chicken I posted.

 

Roasted chicken with root veg: (Preheat Oven to 220 C or 425 F)
-Buy a whole chicken and give it a nice little wash under running water, be mindful not to tear the skin.
-Pat completely dry and set aside. (We're gonna make a rub!)
-In a small bowl combine 2 cloves of garlic (finely minced or crushed using a garlic press), 1/2 Tsp dried thyme, 1/3 Tsp dried basil, 1 Tsp paprika, 1 Tsp dried oregano, 1/2 Tbsp dried sage, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 4 tbsp of unsalted butter. (1/3 tsp dried chili flakes if you like a little spice)

-We're going to massage this mixture under the skin of your chicken. (Use your finger to make a little pocket between the chicken and the skin, push around to open it wider without riping the skin. Once this is done, wipe your hands over the top of your chicken and drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top and sprinkle some salt.
-Tuck the legs of the chicken under the flap of skin were the butt was or use twine to hold the legs together. Tuck the wings under the body of the chicken.

-Peels some carrots and halve some potatoes, toss those into the pan with your chicken. (You can roughly chop half a yellow onion and toss that in as well)

-Now place your chicken ontop of the bed of carrots and potatoes and place the pan into the oven.
-The size of your chicken can play into your cooking time. It should take anywhere from 55 min - 1hr 30 min

-About 20-30 min into the cooking time, I like to add a bit of chicken stock. (Taste the stock first to see how salty it is! we don't want to over salt our food!)
-The chicken is done when you cut between the chicken and thigh and the liquid is CLEAR.
-Remove the veg from the pan and cover your chicken with foil to rest for 15-20 min.

-When its ready to serve, remove the chicken from the pan to be cut up.
-Now taste our pan drippings, add a bit of black pepper and salt to taste (I like to add a touch of fresh thyme as well) and pour out the yummy gravy to serve over our chicken and veg.

 

Enjoy with a nice side salad. =)


Edited by DasBear, 25 April 2014 - 12:24 AM.


#13 Doomsday

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 01:35 AM

Interesting fact and useful to know, thanks!  I've always put a few grains of rice in my chicken salt etc because I often don't use it so it may sit in the container for a long time and it used to have gone all hard the next time I go to use it.  Once I started putting some rice in there, I never had the problem anymore.  I only use it to season my home made hot chips (I guess you guys call them fries) so I don't really notice much difference in flavor :p



#14 Haliax

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 07:00 AM

I always thought the hot food in a fridge was an old wives tale. So it rises the temperature of the fridge and risks bacterial growth to other foods is what I am gathering.


Edited by Haliax, 25 April 2014 - 07:01 AM.


#15 Sweeney

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 07:02 AM

I always thought the hot food in a fridge was an old wives tale.


Nope. All that heat has to go somewhere, and before it leaves the fridge, it goes through all the nearby food too. Potentially raising those items above safe storage temperatures - which defeats the point of having a fridge in the first place :p

#16 DasBear

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 06:28 PM

Interesting fact and useful to know, thanks!  I've always put a few grains of rice in my chicken salt etc because I often don't use it so it may sit in the container for a long time and it used to have gone all hard the next time I go to use it.  Once I started putting some rice in there, I never had the problem anymore.  I only use it to season my home made hot chips (I guess you guys call them fries) so I don't really notice much difference in flavor :p

Sounds like it might  be time to toss out that chicken spice from 1998, lol. ;D I bet if you bought another one, the color would be different and taste. Just sayin'.

Haha, I call 'em chips too. I have a good a mount of family over in the UK. My Grandmother grew up between England and Canada. 

 

 

I always thought the hot food in a fridge was an old wives tale. So it rises the temperature of the fridge and risks bacterial growth to other foods is what I am gathering.

Very much not a wives tale and most likely the cause of people getting food poisoning at home and in restaurants. 
 

 

Nope. All that heat has to go somewhere, and before it leaves the fridge, it goes through all the nearby food too. Potentially raising those items above safe storage temperatures - which defeats the point of having a fridge in the first place :p

Bingo. 



#17 luvsmyncis

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 05:19 AM

My Grandmother grew up between England and Canada.


In the OCEAN?!
Just kidding.

Great thread, btw. It's kinda grossing me out, but great thread.

#18 Kate

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 07:02 AM

In the OCEAN?!
Just kidding.

I was going to ask if Grandma was a mermaid. 



#19 DasBear

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 07:33 PM

In the OCEAN?!
Just kidding.

Great thread, btw. It's kinda grossing me out, but great thread.

I have a few restaurant stories, nothing super crazy or gross. I worked in some pretty clean kitchens thankfully. But I had a few co-workers that shared a few horror stories and because of that I actually rarely eat at restarants anymore.

 

I was going to ask if Grandma was a mermaid. 

>,> You've found out the family secret. Now you must die!

 

 

 

On the topic of Ocean, lemme share a recipe! (Biggest Loser Safe!)
 

You need some parchment paper and tin-foil. 

A nice piece of salmon with the skin on! 3-4 oz is a great portion size. 
 

Cut a 12 x 12 inch piece of tin-foil and parchment paper, layer the tin foil down first and then the parchment over top. Lay your piece of salmon skin down and make small slits into the flesh going against the grain. Drizzle with a touch of olive oil, use 2 cloves of garlic crushed or garlic paste - massage this into the fish. Sprinkle with salt, a drizzle of half a lemon and black pepper. A few dashes of paprika and you can use dried or fresh thyme for this (if you use dried thyme a pinch will be enough or 2 sprigs of thyme placed on top of the cut of salmon). I recommend a touch of cayenne pepper or chili flakes (spicy food is known to help you lose weight! It also helps your metabolism, circulation and digestion!) . Sometimes I like to add a bit of sliced white onion and a few cherry tomatoes as well. 

 

Now we're going to make a steaming pouch! From top to bottom, we're going to bring those two sides towards the center of our salmon, make sure they overlap. Now, you should have a rectangle. We're going to roll in the edges on either side tightly until they touch our salmon. This will create a wonderful pocket to cook our salmon in, which we will place on top of a baking tin and put inside the oven to cook for 15 min and no longer than that! Let your salmon sit for 5-6 mins before opening it up and in that time we can steam some veg! Broccoli and Asparagus is great to pair with this meal. 

 

Now, open up the pouch to enjoy this steamed salmon and all the natural juices its made. If it needs more salt, you can do so now. If you wish, this meal can be combined with a spinach salad or mixed greens with arugula. For a simple dressing: 1 tbsp of flaxseed oil or avocado oil, 2 tbsp of olive oil. 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, salt & fresh cracked black pepper OR  you can add 1/2 tsp minced garlic and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning and a small pinch of crushed pepper flakes on of that - this will make a lovely Italian dressing. 

 

Enjoy! 

 

(The flaxseed/hemp/avocado oil have great added health benefits - You can choose to just use 3 tbsp oil instead if you wish)


Edited by DasBear, 28 April 2014 - 05:26 AM.


#20 DasBear

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 03:10 AM

:D


Edited by DasBear, 19 May 2014 - 04:16 AM.


#21 Kate

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 03:13 AM

I have a few restaurant stories, nothing super crazy or gross. I worked in some pretty clean kitchens thankfully. But I had a few co-workers that shared a few horror stories and because of that I actually rarely eat at restarants anymore.

 

>,> You've found out the family secret. Now you must die!

I will turn you into a seafood chowder! *evil cackle*


I'll need your help though...



#22 DasBear

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 03:17 AM

I will turn you into a seafood chowder! *evil cackle*


I'll need your help though...

;) Kinky. 

 

Sure, ask away! 



#23 Reddon

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 04:09 AM

I think I love you.

 

One question -- why do you halve your spice storage time?



#24 DasBear

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 04:45 AM

I think I love you.

 

One question -- why do you halve your spice storage time?

Oh you flatterer! ;D 

I want my spices to be the freshest. No matter how tight I re-seal my bottle, it loses a bit of its potency with every bit of exposure it gets. But, keep in mind I teach a lot of private cooking classes in my home, so I want the product to taste as fresh as possible. Personally, I think keeping spices/mixes/herbs for 1-3 years is a bit long. I would much rather see what I use the most and restock those items frequently and buy small amounts of the spices I don't use as often to reduce the cost. This way I don't over clutter or make a huge waste either. Extracts I'm not as fussy with since a lot of the time its kept with alcohol and that is a very strong preservative.  



#25 DasBear

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 07:57 AM

Moving all recipes to my blog! 


Edited by DasBear, 19 May 2014 - 04:05 AM.




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