[Ongoing] Cooking: Community Questions & Answers
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Your questions. Expert answers.
Massdrop is a place you can find people of all skillsets within any given community. There are beginners who are just starting out, and enthusiastic experts who have been around the block a few times. At any rate, you should always be able to find the right answers to your questions within the community.
ASK COOKING-RELATED QUESTIONS Have a question about the best way to poach an egg? How you should clean your cast iron skillet? What it takes to make a great recipe from scratch? We have resident experts in many categories, but the best way to get a response is to ask the community itself. There are members of the Massdrop Cooking Community that are experts in pretty much any cooking area you can imagine.
Ask your question(s) by posting in the discussion below.
EXAMPLES
• Q: “What’s the best way to peel a mango?”
• Q: “Which knife should I use for carving turkey?”
• Q: “How do I make fresh pasta?”
• Q: “What’s a good recipe for vegan, gluten-free cookies?”
• Q: “How do I properly use a sous vide?"
GIVE EXPERT ANSWERS Many people in the community know a lot about cooking and have great information to share with those that have questions. We encourage those that do to help out!

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thumb_upltopper, evan.kahn, and 11 others
13
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Jerzybears
61
Nov 4, 2017
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My favorite is lamb shanks in a pressure cooker.
Nov 4, 2017
Jerzybears
61
Nov 4, 2017
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red wine chicken stock ..tomato paste lots of garlic and rosemary.. Cooks super fast. 30 min! cook down n finish sauce with balsamic n butter....mmmmm
Nov 4, 2017
jkiemele
222
Nov 8, 2017
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Pressure cooked lamb shanks are great. If you have a sous vide, try 48 hours at 140. It is easily amongst the best meat I've ever eaten.
Nov 8, 2017
josh.russell
236
Oct 24, 2017
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Anyone have some good NON-tomato sauce based pasta recipes?
Oct 24, 2017
jkiemele
222
Nov 3, 2017
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Brown butter makes a delicious and simple sauce to coat pasta. Brown butter in a pan, add cooked pasta, toss, and enjoy.
Nov 3, 2017
blouie
355
Nov 3, 2017
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Midnight Pasta! Olive oil, chopped garlic, chopped anchovies, chopped capers, some red pepper flakes, chopped parsley, and some grated parmesan on top.
https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/12168-midnight-pasta-with-garlic-anchovy-capers-and-red-pepper
Creamy smoked salmon and dill pasta: http://www.finecooking.com/recipe/pappardelle-with-creamy-smoked-salmon-caper-and-dill-sauce
Nov 3, 2017
Gordan
8
Oct 20, 2017
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What are some good recipe for ramen broth?
Oct 20, 2017
BelialApollyon
42
Oct 21, 2017
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Start with any stock or broth you want (chicken, beef, veggie) You can use powdered base but, the box liquid type is much better. Add copped carrots, celery, and onion. A few whole garlic cloves. A couple bay leaves. A few whole peppercorns. Maybe a sprig of thyme. Then add any other flavors you want (hot chilis, mushrooms, ginger, fennel, whatever) simmer for at least an hour. Strain everything out. Now you have a very flavorful broth for noodles.
Oct 21, 2017
pandastyle00
1
Oct 20, 2017
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What is the easiest way to cook food or a large amount of food? And any cooking tips for undergraduates and recent graduates?
Oct 20, 2017
Rgconner
64
Oct 23, 2017
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A good book for this is The Professional Chef.
Most of the recipes are for 10 servings, making it very very easy to scale up and down.
However, you will need a scale, because most recipes are given by weight, not volume. More consistent, and allows for better scaling.
It is a very broad ranging book, and covers all aspects of a kitchen, on how to buy, store and prep food, equipment, techniques, etc.
Oct 23, 2017
jkiemele
222
Oct 23, 2017
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My two go to methods for large format cooking is sous vide and pressure cooking. While slow cooking (like a crock pot) kind of accomplishes the same thing, I think sous vide and pressure cooking do it better by providing better texture (sous vide), better flavor (both), and quicker cooking (pressure cooking). I've made food for 50+ people many times and love how these two devices help me out. Oh, and a good food processor and blender is helpful if your tasks are appropriate for them.
Oct 23, 2017
Heefty
1336
Oct 20, 2017
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How much sugar do you actually need in your bread?
I love making bread, but much prefer it to be less sweet than many recipes seem to leave it. I want to know what the minimum amount of sugar is that is required to successfully fuel a tbsp of yeast. Is there any real metric on that?
My current favorite uses 2tsp sugar for 2tbsp of yeast in 3 (4 by the time I get done kneading it) of flour. Can I get away with less?
I've got nothing against sugar, I just like my bread savory.
Oct 20, 2017
Heefty
1336
Oct 23, 2017
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You know, when I see the same person post the same plug for the same book about 40 times in 1 discussion it makes me think that person is a paid advertiser and I shouldn't listen to them.
AND I like my bread nice and yeasty. It gives it a good flavor.
Oct 23, 2017
Rgconner
64
Oct 23, 2017
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I just love the book, and it is a really good one.
My only prejudice is that he is a former IBMer, and I am a current IBMer. He approaches it with a very precise and logical method that I appreciate and recognize as a product of the IBM culture.
You do end up with yeasty bread, because you are giving it 12 to 36 hours to ferment.
And in my defense, this is one SUBJECT area, cooking not one discussion, and many people are asking similar questions.
Finally, more bread porn...
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Oct 23, 2017
Liz
1153
Oct 20, 2017
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I've always been unsuccessful using my Lodge cast iron... whatever I'm trying to cook always sticks, and I might have caught it on fire once. Now it's just collecting dust in my pan rack.
What's the best way to re-season a cast iron pan? Also, any tips for starting out with cast-iron cooking for a total newb?
Oct 20, 2017
EagleRock
69
Oct 21, 2017
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Here is what works for me, my cast iron pan has been in use for 6 years, now it is a total non stick. Seasoning the pan in the oven never worked for me, what really works is using it daily. Any food you fry with oil, just use the pan, get it very hot first, use oil and fry, do that every time and it is going to get better and better. When you are done, drop some salt and rub the pan with a paper, wash it with cold water only, put back on heat till it gets dry then rub some oil till it start smoking. Let me know if you have any questions :)
Oct 21, 2017
alexp was a total champ with his cast iron pot when I was staying with him
Oct 23, 2017
ZakariaM
1
Oct 20, 2017
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What's the best way to make poached egg?
Oct 20, 2017
EagleRock
69
Oct 21, 2017
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Using cling film is the best and easiest. cut a big piece, run a drop of oil on top, carefully break your egg inside, close it making a package with the egg in the middle with no air inside, use a piece of cling film to wrap the end and tie it to close. you can do this the day before ready for the morning. Cook in simmering water for four and half minutes. Here is a picture: http://splodzblogz.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/poachedegg05.jpg Let me know if you any any questions :)
Oct 21, 2017
Rgconner
64
Oct 23, 2017
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I like poaching eggs in marinara sauce. The thicker sauce holds the shape better and it picks up the flavor of the sauce too, of course.
Oct 23, 2017
Pteraluna
26
Oct 19, 2017
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I've been trying to make Miso Black Cod for the longest time, but everytime I make it, I could never achieve the charred effect. I've tried it with cod and salmon, but it just ends up overcooking (overcooked meat) but no char. The miso paste mixture does not undergo any Maillard reaction. What am I doing wrong?
I've attached a picture of my cousin-in-law's beautiful final product which I never seem to be able to produce.
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Oct 19, 2017
jkiemele
222
Oct 19, 2017
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I agree that the heat may not be high enough. Also, from my experience in Japanese cooking, a lot of the marinades and sauces I've made include sugar. This will enhance the caramelization and give it the appearance like your included picture.
Oct 19, 2017
massachris
9
Oct 19, 2017
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When im looking for a good char on something delicate like fish, ill go straight to my trust chimney charcoal starter, load it up, light it and once the coals are hot white ill slap the BBQ grill grate directly on the chimney starter and cook the food that way. its A LOT hotter than almost anything you can use in the kitchen, only downside is the cooking area is small.
But if you Sous Vide the fish then toss it on just for the char it works perfectly.
Oct 19, 2017
DumbDumb27
13
Oct 19, 2017
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in recommendation,what's the best knife to cut a fish? like mackerel and salmon
Oct 19, 2017
Rgconner
64
Oct 23, 2017
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And Dexters are very inexpensive. Find a restaurant supply house and pick some up.
Great value for $50 for the basic 3 knives you need: chef, boning, paring, and includes a bread knife, which is handy but not necessary.
Oct 23, 2017
DanielRJackson
11
Dec 30, 2018
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To be fair, all new german-style blades also come at 12-17 degrees per side. A new Victorinox or Wusthof pro is actually more acute than a Tojiro or Misono out of the box. There's just not much reason to go any wider than 15; 12 degrees is pretty fragile but if you have the skill to keep it sharp the increase in cutting performance is well worth it.
Dec 30, 2018
tcecilia
9
Oct 19, 2017
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I just got a dutch oven. What are some of y'alls favorite recipes?
Oct 19, 2017
blouie
355
Nov 3, 2017
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Nov 3, 2017
MadameBlue
31
Nov 7, 2017
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Love versatile recipes like this one! I made this for dinner last week, served it with rice and beans that night. A few days later, I used the leftovers to make enchiladas. The first meal was yummy, and the flavor improved over the next few days, and made for wonderfully savory enchiladas! "Canned" was not an issue for me. I'll definitely be making this one again!
Nov 7, 2017
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