23
votes
6answers
2k views

How to prepare butter for baking when time is limited?

From my experience, the best way to use butter when baking is to let it soften to room temperature. However, sometimes one is short on time and must use the microwave to soften the butter. I always ...
23
votes
3answers
5k views

What's the difference between pan frying, sauteing, and shallow frying?

As I understand it, all of these terms refer to cooking food in a small amount of fat/oil. What exactly is the difference?
23
votes
4answers
75k views

Is there an alternative to condensed milk?

In Denmark we don't have condensed milk in our regular stores and I've actually only seen it in an UK-import store a few years ago. Is there an alternative to it or can you craft it with regular ...
23
votes
4answers
7k views

How to peel chestnuts?

The chestnuts on an open fire question reminded me: Is there a trick to peeling chestnuts easily? I always end up with bits of hairy skin stuck to the chestnuts (ick), and/or stuck under my ...
22
votes
19answers
169k views

Making white rice more tasteful [closed]

I am very new to cooking. I can boil rice, but it tastes too bland. Is there anything else I can add to it, to make it taste better?
22
votes
12answers
2k views

How do we escape the cycle of bad college eating?

Mouseover text: And yet I never stop thinking, 'sure, these ingredients cost more than a restaurant meal, but think how many meals I'll get out of them! Especially since each one will have ...
22
votes
8answers
577 views

Vegetarians and nutrition

Normally when cooking for vegetarian friends I focus on making the food interesting, since a one-off meal isn't going to throw them too much. However, we will be having a vegetarian stay with us for ...
22
votes
4answers
25k views

When is a cooking oil not appropriate to substitute for another?

Frequently recipes call for a particular kind of oil for making use of certain characteristics (taste, heat tolerance, health, etc.). It's well known you can substitute cooking oils in most cases ...
22
votes
3answers
45k views

Why use yeast instead of baking powder?

Both yeast and baking powder are used to gas-fill the pastry, make it expand and thus make it soft and fluffy. Using yeast is rather inconvenient - it can be dead already or if the yeast is submerged ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

What oil or fat to use for different purposes?

I understand that one of the main reasons to use different kinds of fat or oil is the temperature at which it burns, e.g. an extra-virgin olive oil to fry a steak wouldn't work. Taste is also a very ...
22
votes
2answers
16k views

What's the difference between a cupcake and a muffin?

I was debating with someone today whether what we were eating was a cupcake or a muffin, but realized we didn't really know the difference. So what's the difference between a cupcake and a muffin in ...
22
votes
9answers
1k views

Unnecessary kitchen gadgets: a reference [closed]

There are a lot of advertised tools and electronic gadgets for every field; the kitchen is no exception. In my experience, there are a lot of useful tools for specific purposes (a garlic press, for ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

What's wrong with using spin dryer to dry lettuce?

I love lettuce salad. I eat it very often. I bought a spin dryer, which I find very handy and I use it all the time. But recently I heard Gordon Ramsay saying that you should never use a spin dryer, ...
22
votes
6answers
817 views

How to caramelise onions?

Often recipes ask for caramelised onions. What are some good techniques for cooking them this way, as it seems to take a while, and often even if they are on a low heat they can brown a bit too much ...
22
votes
8answers
6k views

Why not put knives in the dishwasher?

What is it about the dishwasher that harms knives? The only reasons I've found are: You could get cut... I personally have a greater change of getting cut by trying to wash them by hand. The blades ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do some recipes recommend Kosher salt?

Is it healthy or more tasty?
22
votes
8answers
466 views

Cues to a reliable or unreliable recipe?

Over on this question about measurements we got into an interesting discussion about recognizing reliable recipes. What cues do you look for to recognize one you would trust? This is a community wiki ...
22
votes
9answers
35k views

Expiration Date on Milk

What does the expiration date on milk cartons mean? I have different experiences with the date: There is still about a week before the expiration date but the milk has gone bad It is 1-2 days ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

Does resting the dough for a long time reduce the need to knead the bread?

In this article by Chef Michael Smith, he mentions a recipe where leaving the dough to rest for 18 hours removes the need to knead the bread. Is this a viable alternative? I've tried the recipe and ...
22
votes
6answers
125k views

How much juice is in a lemon?

A lot of recipes call for the "juice of a lemon". I keep a bottle of lemon juice in the fridge as this is easier, cheaper and more convenient than buying lemons all the time but my problem is I never ...
22
votes
2answers
16k views

What are the differences between an induction stove and a regular electric stove?

What are the differences between an induction stove and a regular electric stove? They are both electrically powered, and don't look all that different, but the induction cooktops I have seen are a ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

Wok preparation and caring

What is a good technique for initially seasoning a wok, keeping it seasoned, and preventing rust?
22
votes
1answer
3k views

Egg yolks vs Whole eggs

I'm about to make cinnamon rolls & one recipe calls for 2 whole eggs. The other recipe calls for 3 egg yolks. Which one will give me a moist, soft, cinnamon roll?
22
votes
4answers
4k views

How do you make General Tso's chicken as generally found in the Eastern USA?

I realize this is a recipe request, but I'm hoping that the supplemental information will be enough to let it through. I also realize it's rather localized and apologize to all of those who don't know ...
22
votes
1answer
4k views

Why should a stock be simmered and not boiled?

Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles cookbook says that a stock should NEVER be boiled, why is this? Does the higher heat extract bitterness or something else undesirable? It seems a little strange because ...
22
votes
9answers
2k views

How do I make soft chapattis?

I have been trying to make chapattis (an Indian flat unleavened bread, somewhat like a wheat tortilla), using the following recipe for the dough: 300ml water, 250g whole wheat flour, 250g white wheat ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

Why doesn't mayonnaise taste like pure oil?

The mayonnaise I tried making myself today (first try ever) wasn't entirely bad but there was something off-putting to the taste too, as if eating a spoon of pure oil. Now if I had never had ...
21
votes
16answers
33k views

Cooking an egg without oil or butter

I like scrambled and fried eggs but the butter or oil probably add unnecessary calories. How can I fry an egg with no butter? I tried in a Teflon pan but it was a mess.
21
votes
9answers
21k views

What's the numbering system for spaghetti and does it matter?

When I lived in Italy some years ago I remember an Italian friend explaining the numbering system for spaghetti (perhaps also other long pasta). How spaghetti was sold in Italy with a number ...
21
votes
6answers
2k views

How can you melt chocolate without it getting wet?

I've tried a (few times) to melt chocolate but am obviously doing something wrong: Put a pot of water onto the boil Place a metal bowl over the pot Put chocolate into the bowl Wait for chocolate to ...
21
votes
11answers
3k views

What can I cook for Indian guests without trying to mimic Indian cuisine?

I am raised in Belgium, with the Belgian cuisine related to the French and (to a much lesser extent) the German. I'm having Indian friends over for dinner and I don't know what to cook for them. Last ...
21
votes
10answers
11k views

Is there any difference between chopped and crushed garlic in cooking?

Often recipes say to chop garlic, but I usually cheat and just crush it as it's quicker. Is there any difference in doing this? Will it have much of an effect on the flavour of the dish?
21
votes
9answers
74k views

How do Chinese restaurants tenderize their meat?

I eat at a lot of Chinese restaurants now and also while growing up. I often wondered how is it that the chicken, pork, and beef in dishes are always so tender. I can never replicate it when I cook. ...
21
votes
4answers
60k views

Why isn't it safe to eat raw chicken?

Why is safe to eat some raw or undercooked meats like beef and fish (assuming you're careful), but not chicken? I know that there are bacteria in chicken, but are they in all chicken, or just so many ...
21
votes
2answers
7k views

Why does a microwave rotate the food being cooked? And is there ever a time when it shouldn't rotate?

Most microwaves I've used have a plate at the bottom that rotates when the microwave is running. I presume that rotating helps more evenly heat the food. Interestingly, my microwave rotates by ...
21
votes
12answers
10k views

Can I boil eggs in the same pot I'm boiling something else?

I know cooking the eggs kills the salmonella and that the risk is small even for raw eggs. However, I stopped boiling the eggs in the same pot I'm boiling something else, like potatoes, when I learnt ...
21
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I make my Ice Cream “creamier”

My ice cream doesn't feel creamy enough. I got the recipe from Good Eats, and I can't tell if it's just the recipe or maybe that I'm just not getting my "batter" cold enough before I try to make it ...
21
votes
10answers
12k views

What are the pros and cons of storing bread in various locations?

Why should/shouldn't I store my bread in the fridge/freezer/breadbox/plastic bag/etc?
21
votes
3answers
568 views

Pizza baking order

First few times I thought it was coincidence but now I'm puzzled. I'm baking two pizzas, one after another, made from the same dough and with the same ingredients. Every time, the second pizza base is ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do drinks drunk from a glass instead of a bottle taste differently?

Cola drunken out of a glass instead to a bottle/can taste differently to me; it is much better. Is this due to more aroma smelled by your nose when drinking out of open glass changing the kind of ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

What are the benefits of using a dedicated rice cooker, rather than just cooking rice in a pot?

For which reasons should I use a dedicated rice cooker, instead of cooking rice in a pot?
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it safe to eat freshwater fish raw?

According to this question freshwater fish should not be used in Ceviche--why not?
21
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I make this antique ginger wine recipe using ingredients available today?

I have this old family ginger wine recipe, but some of the ingredients are hard to find or may not exist any more... Essence of Ginger 12mls Tincture of Capsicum 9mls Essence of Lemon 5mls ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the purpose of using ping pong balls on top of a Sous Vide Bath?

I recently saw a picture of expert Douglas Baldwin with his sous vide equipment in this article. One of his immersion circulator baths was covered with ping pong balls. What is the purpose of ...
21
votes
3answers
946 views

Does water that's been left to sit and then reboiled taste different from fresh water boiled once?

This may sound like a silly question, but I've always wondered: If I boil some water and use some of it and leave the remainder in the kettle, and then a few days later boil that same water again, ...
21
votes
1answer
3k views

Shaken, not stirred…but why?

Most people are probably familiar with line from James Bond, "Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred." What I have never figured out is "why would it make a difference?" I have tried making martinis both ...
21
votes
3answers
917 views

What research is there on tea preparation?

I'm a fan of modernist cooking, and its emphasis on precise measurements and consistency. I'm curious how to apply this to tea preparation - in particular, several things: It seems to be well ...
20
votes
11answers
2k views

How might I roast coffee at home without investing in an expensive roasting machine?

Tired of the bland supermarket beans and too poor to sate my thirst at the local roaster, so I've ordered 20lbs of green coffee beans online... But, now what do I need to do to turn them into The ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

How does one invent a cookie recipe?

My cookbook has dozens of cookie recipes and I can find hundreds more online. But... If I want to invent my own cookie recipes how can I go about doing it, without wasting tons of ingredients on ...
20
votes
10answers
7k views

How do you cook grass-fed beef so it is not tough?

I recently went to a farmers market and bought some grass-fed beef. I went with what we normally buy, and got a couple of bone-in thick cut ribeye. I typically prepare this by liberally applying ...

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