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Your "Eureka" moments.

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Topic title is probably over the top. 

 

Moving swiftly on, the basic idea is what are your favourite "if I try this" moments that work out. The thread is partly inspired by the scrambled eggs topic reminding me of the time I put some chorizo jam on a piece of toast before topping with scrambled eggs.  

 

To start with I recently made up a batch of the béarnaise reduction needed for this recipe. (could only get white wine vinegar so used a little extra dried tarragon) 

 

http://www.simonhopkinson.tv/recipe/4/grilled-fillet-steak.aspx

 

but instead of using it all to make delicious béarnaise sauce I substituted some of it into this mayonnaise recipe from Serious Eats

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/10/two-minute-mayonnaise.html

along with some fresh tarragon to make a great Tarragon Mayonaise. I'm basically one more good idea away from getting a Michelin star.

 

 

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This is a really simple one, but up until about 3 years ago I'd never put Marmite on a crumpet. I love crumpets, I love Marmite, but I think I enjoy the understated glory of crumpets with just butter so much (or perhaps with a thin smear of honey), that I thought slapping something THAT tasty on top of it would diminish that crumpet-y goodness. But then I gave it a go, and - by crikey! - it's magnificent. In the 3 years or so since I must've had  at least 100 crumpets and all but about 3 of them have had Marmite on them.

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not so much a single dish eureka moment but about a year ago I decided I wanted all the convenience of a microwave ready meal but homemade without any compromise (its the Food Prepping thread).

 

almost hitting the year mark and not showing the slightest sign of letting up - learnt a lot and the constraints I place on what gets made (and how it gets made) is all part of the enjoyment. 

 

I love buying bags of meat and veg and base ingredients and turning it into a nice picture of identical looking meals.

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After years of not bothering to emulate takeaways, we finally realised we could make great tasting food that was on a par or in some instances, better.

 

This chow mein recipe for example is pretty bloody good:

http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/24266/authentic-takeaway-style-chow-mein.aspx

I would recommend you halve the amount of sauce though or else it gets a bit too wet.

 

The frying pan pizza recipe from pizza pilgrims was a real game changer, fantastic base without a pizza oven. I love pizza so this is probably my favourite.

https://www.pizzapilgrims.co.uk/2017/06/frying-pan-pizza/

 

And finally, something simple like fried chicken strips is so much better when you make them yourself.

Bag of panko breadcrumbs, throw some seasoning in, flour, egg, breadcrumbs and then fry them. Seriously simple but so much better than most chicken shops or supermarket efforts.

 

Just need to perfect egg fried rice next, any tips?

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9 hours ago, cubik said:

 

Just need to perfect egg fried rice next, any tips?

 

take a look at this site, she's great

 

https://www.recipetineats.com

 

her chinese recipes I've tried were brilliant, did the sweet and sour chicken, char siu, egg rice and chow mein

 

she write very clearly, usually gives several little tips or alternatives to the recipes, has some nice little vids, and the comments section are useful too as pretty active

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I've been on a journey to make KFC-style fried chicken at home, and I've made a lot of discoveries along the way. None of these are unique or innovative but each has resulted in a drastic improvement in my results:

 

Discovering not the secret blend of 11 herbs and spices on the internet, but learning that MSG is the key ingredient and isn't some terrifying chemical nasty after all but a naturally-occuring wonder salt.

 

There's no substitute for buttermilk. Nothing I've tried gets the flour to stick to the chicken in the same way.

 

Double-dredging, and letting the dredged pieces sit for 15 minutes and get sticky before chucking in the oil.

 

The importance of fine temperature control when deep frying. I now only fry in a large cast iron pot, using a thermometer. Too cold when it goes in it doesn't crisp up enough; too hot and it darkens too much.

 

Not covering the fried chicken after it's cooked if I'm doing batches, as the steam it releases will cause it to lose its crispness otherwise.

 

 

 

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On 15/09/2018 at 21:43, cubik said:

The frying pan pizza recipe from pizza pilgrims was a real game changer, fantastic base without a pizza oven. I love pizza so this is probably my favourite.

https://www.pizzapilgrims.co.uk/2017/06/frying-pan-pizza

 

It's mine too. Was amazed at how it came out, and blow torching the top made It bubble and char on the crust which was great too. 

 

So much so I made about 10 people a little pizza each in quick succession thanks to how simple and quick it is. Made for a great Eurovision party! Hadn't been going out with my girlfriend for very long at that point, and most of the people were her friends meeting me for the first time. I got a good approval rating thanks to the method. 

 

I've always had trouble shaping and getting on the pan without fucking the shape a bit. But I think I might be getting a flat lodge cast iron pancake pan for my birthday... Specifically for pizza. Barely a lip on the pan so I'm hoping that levels up the technique. 

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On 15/09/2018 at 21:43, cubik said:

Just need to perfect egg fried rice next, any tips?

 

1. Get your wok as hot as possible

2. Heat about 3-4 tbsp of oil, peanut/veg/any high smoking oil. I like using blended sesame oil for the flavour.

3. Fry 2-3 eggs, let it set slightly before stirring when 2/3rds cooked, remove from wok.

4. Add a bit more oil (you'd be surprised how much oil these dishes need). Wait until it's hot again.

5. Add in rice (can be day old or fresh, it's a myth that you have to use old rice. Fresh works just as well). Don't add too much rice, this is KEY, depending on the size of your wok you can only really make 2-3 portions max. Domestic hobs don't get anywhere near as hot as wok burners in Chinese restaurants, so make sure your wok is hot as possible, and don't put too much rice in.

6. Season with salt, MSG, dark soy, light soy. The rice shouldn't be too dark, the main seasoning should be the salt and MSG. The MSG is pretty crucial to recreating the flavour of your takeaway.

7. Add back in egg and mix with rice

 

All the other fried rices are pretty much the same

 

Add curry paste/powder and blanched veg for Singapore fried rice

Add blanched protein (char siu, prawns etc) and veg for special fried rice aka Yang Chow/Yangzhou fried rice 

 

This is a good YouTube channel for Chinese takeaway classics:

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHWpjb33oVxMb0UjVkZVItw

 

The main difficulty in recreating Chinese takeaway at home is the comparatively weak burners compared to the restaurants. But cooking smaller portions helps a lot.

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On 16/09/2018 at 07:48, revlob said:

I've been on a journey to make KFC-style fried chicken at home, and I've made a lot of discoveries along the way. None of these are unique or innovative but each has resulted in a drastic improvement in my results:

 

Discovering not the secret blend of 11 herbs and spices on the internet, but learning that MSG is the key ingredient and isn't some terrifying chemical nasty after all but a naturally-occuring wonder salt.

 

There's no substitute for buttermilk. Nothing I've tried gets the flour to stick to the chicken in the same way.

 

Double-dredging, and letting the dredged pieces sit for 15 minutes and get sticky before chucking in the oil.

 

The importance of fine temperature control when deep frying. I now only fry in a large cast iron pot, using a thermometer. Too cold when it goes in it doesn't crisp up enough; too hot and it darkens too much.

 

Not covering the fried chicken after it's cooked if I'm doing batches, as the steam it releases will cause it to lose its crispness otherwise.

 

 

 

 

I've been on a one man mission for decades trying to convince people that MSG is not only completely harmless to the large majority of people (and contains less sodium than salt), but that it makes a noticeable improvement on the flavour of savoury foods. I put it in loads of things. I think Anthony Bourdain made a good point by saying that a big part of it is racism. You never hear about people getting ill or getting headaches eating Doritos or McCoy's crisps which also contain MSG. I think if more people tried using MSG in their cooking, they'd have a 'Eureka' moment. I know I did when I realised just how big of an effect it has on flavour.

 

 

I was amazed to discover that you can microwave vegetables so they're cooked perfectly. Pretty indistinguishable from steamed or lightly boiled and much easier.

 

 

  • Upvote 3

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Slimming World chips (microwave your spuds for a five minutes, then chop into chips, spray with fry light then stick in the oven). Especially combined with  chip shop curry sauce mix (made into curry sauce, obv).

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