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53

You can use the rule of thumb method to measure the "doneness" of the steak: You loosely touch one of your fingers with your thumb depending on how well done you want it, and the tension of the muscle of your hand below the thumb will be the same as how the meat should feel when you press it.


42

You should be able to get a reasonable steak stovetop using a cast iron grill pan, if you have a strong enough exhaust. Oil the cast iron pan (with canola or such), then heat it very hot, until it starts to smoke. Make sure the meat is completely dry on the outside (wipe with a paper towel, water will prevent browning) and gently place in the pan. Leave it ...


37

I have tried many techniques but what gets the best results for me is dropping them directly in water and vinegar. Complete method below: Take eggs out of fridge early and leave to reach room temp. It is okay to leave them out of fridge overnight if cooking for breakfast. Fill pan with water - I use frying pan with minimum depth of 4cm. Add splash of ...


36

First, let the meat warm to about room temperature. This way you aren't trying to heat up a cold center. Personally I prefer to only cook each side once (meaning I only flip the meat over once). The actual temperature of your grill and the amount of time you cook it per side will depend on the thickness of the steak and how you want it done. Don't use a fork ...


29

That oils' smoke points can be generically classified solely according to their type is a myth. Robert Wolke, a professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and food columnist for the Washington Post, claims that the smoke point for an oil varies widely depending on origin and refinement. While the smoke point does generally increase ...


23

An important part of the process missed by the other answers is allowing the meat to rest for up to ten minutes before before serving (depending on size). This is because at temperature the muscle fibres have tightened up and are unable to retain their juices. A steak straight off the heat and cut open will instantly lose all its juices. If you allow the ...


21

All of the following play an important role in cutting technique/speed: Practice! Probably the single most important. A very sharp, clean knife. Always hone your knife before use, and have it sharpened regularly (6-18 months depending on use) A fast and stable cutting surface. A solid end-grain cutting board is ideal. The food should be stable. As Nick ...


20

Here is the method I use for turning out a perfect steak every time. Pick a quality piece of meat that is approximately 1.5 inches(almost 4cm) thick. Let it sit on the counter-top for 30-45 minutes until it is roughly room temperature. Heat up a cast-iron skillet (or similar) to medium-high. Lightly coat the skillet with an oil that has a high smoke point ...


20

Here's how I grill a steak: Let it thaw completely before attempting to cook it. Set the grill to medium/high heat. Clean the grill by putting an onion on a skewer and using that to clean the bars. It adds flavor and gets the bars clean for a clean cook. For an average thickness steak, I throw it on the grill, close the cover, wait 6 minutes. (closing the ...


20

My best recommendation is to taste as you go. Taste the initial product...raw vegetable, ingredient from the can, bottle, etc. and then continue to taste and sample a dish throughout the cooking process to see how flavors develop/diminish and enhance one another through the cooking process. Learning to season food is a process of educating your palate and ...


18

It's not a "cheat sheet", and is rather too big to stick to your fridge, but I highly recommend the book The Flavor Bible, which is an encyclopedia of exactly these associations. What ingredients does any particular ingredient go with? How do you cook it? Absolutely terrific book!


18

I don't want to disappoint you, but the sad truth is that extra virgin olive oil is unsuitable for all the cooking methods you mention. When you heat any oil past its smoking point it starts to deteriorate and can even become dangerous. Olive oil, extra virgin in particular, has a lower smoking point than most other oils. In fact, you will be better off with ...


17

I fill a tall frying pan (or pot) with water. Add some white vinegar. Let it come to a boil Add the eggs. Don't make it too overcrowded Take it out with a flipper or a spoon with holes when they look done.


13

One thing restaurants commonly do that no one has mentioned yet is to grill the steak until it looks right on the outside, then stick it in the oven until it's "done". There's a good chance your grill is just too hot to get the steak perfect.


13

A really easy way to make it can be found here, on Cooking for Engineers.


13

Tomato paste is just tomatoes with the water removed, essentially. I'd slice the tomatoes in half and roast them (cut side up) at 350 degrees F for an hour (this will concentrate the flavour nicely and you can add s&p/olive oil/herbs/garlic if you want). Then mash them through a sieve or food mill to get a smooth consistency. Then put that tomato ...


12

First, trust your nose. Smell the food you're cooking. Open the spice and sniff above it (but not too close, and don't sneeze!). If they smell good together, they usually taste good together. If you're working with products you can't taste test (like raw meat), either wait until the food is cooked to season, or be very conservative in your early experiments. ...


12

Clarified butter is rather simple to make. It's simply butter that has had the milk solids and water removed. It does last longer than regular butter, and can be stored for several weeks in the refrigerator. It also has a higher smoke point than regular butter, so you can use it when higher temperatures are called for without it smoking or burning. Slowly ...


11

First, cooking on a very high heat is appropriate only if you want the meat browned on the outside but very rare ("almost totally raw", as the questioner puts it) on the inside. Since this is evidently not what the questioner wants, the first thing to do is to turn down the heat. This will take you a long way towards a great steak: salt both sides just ...


11

The next answer is a simple pan sauce. After sauteing a protein in a pan, there are caramelized bits of fat, spice, and flesh that make for a great sauce base. Getting those bits into a sauce takes a little work, but it's easily accomplished by adding an acidic liquid to the pan and allowing it to deglaze, or breakdown the fatty bits into the sauce. ...


11

One of the problems with using regular cookbooks to cook for yourself is after doing it for long enough, it's hard to get motivated to cook anything too complicated; no one else is going to know if you have a peanut butter sandwich for dinner. I contributed a few of my lazy ideas to Neurotic Physiology's "Grad Student Cooking in Style", but a large part of ...


11

If your sauce is too thin, the problem is that your initial roux was either too thin (not enough flour) or you added too much liquid for the amount of roux that you made. Standard ratios are 1 Tbsp butter - 1 Tbsp flour - 1 cup liquid for a thin sauce, 2-2-1 for something in the middle and 3-3-1 for a thick sauce. Once you've made the sauce and it's too ...


11

My foolproof method is as follows: Weigh out the desired amount of rice - I use 2-3oz per person - and put it in a saucepan. Wash the rice well by filling the pan with cold water, tipping it out, and repeating about 10 times. The more you wash the less the rice sticks together. Put enough water in the pan to cover the rice by about 5-8mm. Leave to soak for ...


11

One of the things that we forget in the U.S. is that foods are seasonal -- if we didn't have food flown in from the southern hemisphere, we wouldn't have berries and most other fruits available year round. Learning to cook based on what's available isn't something that's typically taught, but I'd recommend the following: Learn different techniques, and ...


11

Scones (UK usage) are a quick bread, usually moderately sweet. They are baked on a sheet pan, sometimes sliced into wedges,sometimes cut into rounds or other shapes. They are similar to, but sweeter than American style biscuits. Biscuits (UK usage) or cookies (US usage) are very small, flat cake-like confections, usually rich in butter and ...


10

First, potato is not the same as potato. Conventionally, potato salad is always made with waxy potatoes, because mealy potatoes' outer layers disintegrate when tossed with the sauce, much like making risotto. They are also less creamy in texture. But there is also the school of using mealy potatoes, because they absorb more seasoning, and also because some ...


9

To piggyback on Tim Gilbert's answer, my wife will actually open two spice jars and hold one up to each nostril at the same time, to see if they smell like they would go together. More often than not, she picks out good combinations. Since there have been some great comprehensive links I don't think I have much more to add to your specific question about ...


9

Sites that haven't failed me yet: Smitten Kitchen Simply Recipes Cooking for Engineers And, a shameless plug for: Just Right Menus


9

Definitely taste as you go and season gradually and regularly. Good chefs might taste their dish thirty times before it gets to the plate. Proper seasoning is not a formula, it's heat-seeking missile that constantly adjusts to hit its target. Or an impressionist painter who builds a base of color and then dabs on highlights and shadow to bring out the ...


9

I think even more important than learning the mother sauces (though they certainly have plenty to teach), is learning the underlying fundamentals on both a culinary and scientific level. You need to be able to envision how you want a sauce to taste, feel, look and smell (not so worried about hearing) and then translate that into ingredients and execution. ...



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