Hot answers tagged

71

The effect will be different for a few reasons. When you add spices to hot oil, they cook at a considerably higher temperature (up to around 200°C) than in a simmering sauce (100°C as it's likely to be mostly water). Important cooking chemistry happens at this higher temperature, so the flavour is actually changed (just as with onions and garlic). ...


68

Sauteing onions: Softens them, most people prefer not to run into raw onions in their sauce. Onions will cook in a sauce, but very slowly, so frying them before makes sure they will be soft even if your sauce has a fast cooking time Releases sugars, making them taste sweeter Reduces the onion's harshness Browning the onions creates flavor Sauteing garlic: ...


62

What about a piping bag? Fill the bag with a spatula, pipe into the bottle.


56

You do not need to make a roux. While your proposed technique of adding flour directly to milk will almost certainly lead to clumps, there are other ways to incorporate flour, butter, and milk: namely, a beurre manié. First, let's explore why flour clumps in hot liquid. As explained in this Seattle Times cooking advice column, flour will immediately ...


46

You seem to have the wrong expectations. No, it will never be as thickening as a cornstarch slurry. If that's the level of thickening you expect, you are really better off using the slurry. Don't forget that pasta water thickening is a traditional technique from the time when people did not go to the supermarket to buy a pack of cornstarch. They cooked ...


44

At least in germany "cooking wine" is more a reference to a cheap wine that just does not taste good if drunken (or is of a low percieved quality). For example a cheap lambrusco, which you get if you order a few pizzas at your local pizzaria, is considered "cooking wine" in germany.


43

For me it isn't fried rice without toasted sesame oil, and the fried rice I have had in restaurants always tastes to me as if it contains toasted sesame oil. Peas are pretty required too. BTW, La Choy is synthetic soy sauce, it was at the very bottom of the America's Test Kitchen taste testing of soy sauce (sorry, paywalled), the only soy sauce to get a "not ...


40

Cooking wine has added salt so it is unpalatable to drink and legal to be sold in a store that doesn't have a liquor license in states requiring that.


37

You can find out. Split your sauce into 2 batches. Add onions and garlic raw to one and sautéed to another. Some people like the sharp strong taste of those things raw. In the US that is not common. Sauteeing will mellow the taste. When I make sauce I sauté it because I hope someone else will eat it besides me. If you are not sure or you are American ...


37

If we're talking about the big classic pesto alla genovese, then unfortunately... There is no substitute. Basil is the majority ingredient in pesto. None of the other suggestions here will taste even remotely similar. You'll be making a completely different dish entirely. It will be some type of vegetable/oil paste, but it will not taste anything at all ...


34

This link explains the science behind what is known as "the mother sauce", béchamel. Essentially, the steps of first creating a roux, then adding cold milk, are about manipulating the glucose chains in the flour. Done correctly, the sauce is smooth and flavorful. Done incorrectly and you have a grainy mixture that tastes of raw flour. @David Richerby's ...


34

If she was doing this in a pan on the heat (melting the butter, stirring in the flour, then adding milk), this is called making a roux, then a béchamel. If, instead, she kneaded the flour and butter 'cold', then added this to a hot liquid, it is called beurre manié. Notice that in both cases, the sauce is heated. From your question I could not tell if, and ...


34

There is no single, universal technique for making random food "fluffy". And you may have to live with significant changes in the recipe and in the final results if you try it. Classically, you have three types of foams. One is fat-based, the other is protein-based, the third depends on sudden gas production/dissolving. The fat-based foam is only ...


32

The good news is, you can make pesto almost out of any green using the same process and proportions as with basil -- it just changes the flavor profile. I make pesto-style sauces out of chives, cilantro, kale, arugula... I would not be surprised to find you could make a spinach pesto. Basil tastes very different from spinach, though.


31

What we perceive as "flavor" often comes from a lot of aromatic and volatile components that we smell. We smell them because they are volatile, which means that they tend to evaporate off food (if they are small molecules) or tend to be carried off of food (for larger molecules). Aside from the basic sweet, sour, bitter, salt, and umami notes, the rest of ...


31

As my answer is quite long, it was suggested to add a summary up front. Here are the main points along with a little more info. In the US, commercial cooking wines found in the grocery store, usually on the aisle with vinegar products, contain salt and other preservatives. The main reason for this is stability, giving the products a longer shelf life after ...


31

Thickening agents To thicken, you would mix in an agent designed to do so. There are many options, but here are some that are directly applicable to Asian cooking: Corn starch - Works well in small quantities, though I find it has a tendency to turn sauces into jello in the fridge. If you have too much liquid in your sauce and use a relatively large amount ...


28

You're right that the smaller pieces of cheese will melt faster than a whole block when added to a sauce. The main advantage to shredding or grating cheese is that you create smaller pieces of uniform size, and often smaller than can be achieved just by crumbling (at least when working with harder cheeses). The smaller the pieces the faster they melt, and ...


28

'Expiration' dates on anything that's not baby formula aren't. They're 'best used by' or 'sell by', but many restaurants will get rid of it for liability issues. Although it should be good for many months past that date, it'd be better stored refrigerated, and I suspect most people don't have the fridge space for that sort of thing. What I'd recommend is ...


28

Strain it, or put the peppercorns in cheesecloth which you can easily remove. Obviously both ideas would work better if the sauce was thin then thickened after the peppercorns were removed.


25

How about using orange zest instead of the juice? That way you'll get a lot of the aroma and flavor we think of as "orange" without really changing the sweetness or acidity.


24

In the US at least, common canned tomato products include: Paste, cooked down tomatoes, to the point where they are scoopable with a spoon but will not flow. Very thick, like peanut butter. Often sold in six or twelve ounce cans. Pureee - cooked tomatoes that have been--well--pureeed, but are mostly at their natural density; also called crushed tomatoes. ...


24

Many such sauces include a thickening starch, like corn starch. This can either be mixed with some of the cold liquid and stirred into the hot, or used to coat ingredients prior to adding liquid (with slightly different results). In a crock pot you can do this at the beginning, or when everything is cooked, a few minutes before serving. Some starches (e.g. ...


24

As you state, you have not followed any canning procedures, so you don't get any more storage time than the standard recommendation. Glass vs plastic doesn't matter. So, I would just recommend freezing. Tomatoes, and tomato based sauces for that matter, freeze nicely. If you use freezer, zip-style bags, you can freeze them flat. They will then thaw ...


20

The whole thing should've been done with the lid off. Any time you're reducing a sauce, you want the steam (moisture) to escape. As for 'how thick', the standard test is 'coats the back of a spoon'. If you stir with a spoon, you should be able to lift the spoon out vertically, and the sauce doesn't immediately drip off of it. This test also lets you ...


20

There's a great deal of variation in the quality of the pre-made stocks you get from different sources, so there's no clear-cut answer. Here's the types you might find: Stock cubes: these are dehydrated stock, or sometimes just chemicals meant to taste like it. It's the lowest quality option. There's a lot of variation here, I've found some brands (knorr ...


20

One way to steep peppercorns in a sauce is to put them in a tea ball or a tied up piece of cloth which is submerged into the sauce and then removed before serving. If they are just dropped into the sauce they'll have to be strained out, which only works if the sauce is smooth.


18

Marinara is a style / kind of a sauce that originated in Napoli usually made with tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and onions. A spaghetti sauce only says where to sauce is used (obviously on spaghetti) but doesn't say anything about what the sauce is exactly like. There are many dishes which are basically spaghetti + sauce: Spaghetti alla marinara – which ...


18

If you add all the liquids and a big solid lump of peanut butter, you'll have a tough time getting it all smooth, as stirring the (thin) liquid parts won't affect the (solid) peanut butter lumps, and the lumps (once they're small enough) will just swim around your spoon and not break down further. You need to gradually dilute the peanut butter with the ...


18

It would not caramelize for sure, as caramelization occurs between 110 and 180 degrees celsius depending on the particular sugar - well over the boiling point of water, which is your maximum sous-vide temperature. However, it would serve a few purposes that might well work. For one, it would allow the slow breakdown of starches into sugars, just as other ...


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