Joshua Engel
  • Member for 5 years, 2 months
  • Last seen more than 1 year ago
Why fry rice before boiling?
Accepted answer
89 votes

This is sometimes called "pilaf style", though technically actual pilafs do not require the sauteeing step. It is, however, very common in pilaf and related dishes. The main function of this is to ...

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What should I use for old recipes that call for 'buttermilk'?
34 votes

Given the variabilities in "buttermilk" from place to place and time to time, you should get sufficiently equivalent results by substituting modern cultured buttermilk. That's the job it was designed ...

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Mole sauce without chocolate?
12 votes

Mole is often made with unsweetened chocolate or cocoa powder. No added sugars are involved. (There is a tiny amount of natural sugar in the cacao, about 1%.) Chocolate is not absolutely necessary in ...

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Is it possible to make non-sweet icecream (i.e. with no added sugar or sweeteners)?
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11 votes

Sugar does more than just make ice cream sweet. It also controls the way ice cream freezes. Without it, you tend to get bigger ice crystals, which have an unpleasant mouth feel. There are substitutes....

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What to do to get tender, edible steak instead of it being rubbery?
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10 votes

Starting with a "random piece of meat" may be part of the problem. Some cuts are more suitable for this than others. If the meat seems "raw", then something is very wrong here. An hour at pressure-...

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How to make extremely dry pork more palatable?
8 votes

I'd use it as barbecue. It should shred fairly easily; if not, I'd gently steam it until it does. If it's so dry that it can't be shredded, it probably can't be saved, though you might be able to get ...

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Using half-eaten bones to make stock -- sanitary?
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8 votes

It's not sanitary, in the sense of following the health rules. Especially since it's unlikely that you're following the two-hour guidelines: the gnawed bones have been in the danger zone enough to ...

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Is the advantage of wagyu and other fine beef obliterated when formed into minced burger patty?
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8 votes

The main thing that wagyu is supposed to get you is dense marbling. That's especially important for cuts low in fat, like the filet and the sirloin. That is, steaks. The rest of the cow has to go ...

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Does ripening banans in a bag with other fruit harm the other fruit?
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8 votes

It doesn't harm the apple, but it does speed up its ripening as well. And that risks over-ripening. So your perfectly crispy apples may begin to become mealy. Eventually they become targets for yeasts,...

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A recipe instructs to boil a whole head of cabbage, can I boil individual leaves instead?
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7 votes

The goal of the boiling step is to make it easy to remove the leaves. Removing whole individual cabbage leaves on a raw head of cabbage is tricky; they tend to tear. If you want to put forth the ...

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Can you freeze a plastic mixer bowl?
7 votes

It won't ruin the bowl, but be careful handling it. Plastic becomes more brittle when cold, and if you drop it, it may shatter or crack.

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How do you clean cheesecloth?
7 votes

For real cheesecloth, I throw it in the washing machine, with my clothes. It doesn't get sterile, but it gets clean enough that I don't worry about it becoming rancid. Rinsing it alone wouldn't ...

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How to stir fry frozen veggies?
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7 votes

The trick is to not use a wok at all. A wok works by concentrating a lot of heat on the bottom, more heat than you can achieve with a home stove. "Stir frying" moves the food from the cool sides of ...

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Why is almond bark called almond bark?
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7 votes

According to a representative from a company that makes it, it's packaged with the words “make your own almond bark". So "almond bark" (the coating) is a key ingredient in "almond bark" (the candy ...

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Using sugar when making pizza dough
7 votes

Sugar helps the dough rise faster, and increases browning. So using it is a matter of taste, and what you like in a pizza. If you're in for a day-long rise in the refrigerator (for example), you won't ...

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Is it safe to reheat tea with milk?
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7 votes

The official answer from your health department is no, it's not safe. After four hours at room temperature, you have to pitch it. That standard is a little on the paranoid side. Which is appropriate, ...

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Why do we use ovens
6 votes

As you observe in your comment above, an oven directs heat at food from all directions, rather than just from the bottom. Some chemical reactions can occur only once you've reached a certain ...

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My chicken soup always ends up with bones
6 votes

I generally make chicken soup in two phases. Phase 1 is chicken stock, simmering (roasted) bones with aromatics for a long time (often, overnight), followed by straining. Phase 2 is chicken soup, ...

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Can I add milk to tea while it is steeping?
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6 votes

The big issue is temperature. There are various guidelines for setting temperatures for various kinds of tea, but the most common advice for traditional black tea is to use boiling water. If you add ...

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Do Parathas, Naan, and Roti have to be burnt a little?
6 votes

The charring is crucial to both the flavor and the texture. The charred part itself brings a bitter note to the flavor. If you don't like it, you can cut it out, but many people would miss it. It's ...

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How does imitation cinnamon flavor differ from real?
6 votes

Imitation cinnamon is primarly pure cinnamaldehyde, or a related chemical. That's chemically identical to what's found in cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon, so you're not consuming anything you ...

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Roasting pork and traveling
6 votes

That's actually just about perfect, since meat should rest before you slice it. Start the roast at 3. Cook it for 2 hours. Wrap it in aluminum foil. Put it in something to retain heat (a cooler, or ...

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Getting rid of raw onion taste without the frying process?
5 votes

Cook's Illustrated recently published a recipe for caramelized onions that took only 20 minutes. The key points: Cook them in some rapidly boiling water to break down the cell walls, about 15 minutes....

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Save de-glazed pan drippings?
5 votes

Yes, you can save it. I transfer it to a small container, label it (with the date), and stick it in the freezer. At some point in the future I'll rediscover it and add it to broth, soup, or a sauce. (...

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Should I refrigerate homemade yogurt before making Greek yogurt?
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5 votes

It isn't necessary, and many recipes don't call for it. But the results will be slightly different, since the yogurt will continue to ferment (even in the fridge), and the gel structure of the ...

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When to add noodle water to tomato sauce?
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5 votes

This is a technique used for sauces that are otherwise very thick, such as a well-reduced marinara or a cream sauce (which will thicken as it cools). You wouldn't add it to a sauce which is already at ...

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Failing to make mozzarella
5 votes

The problem is the organic milk. Or rather, the fact that organic milk available in grocery stores is high-temperature pasteurized, rather than conventionally pasteurized. That helps it keep a lot ...

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Beef broth vs. beef stock
5 votes

Yes, certainly, but it won't do as much good as you might expect. It takes a surprisingly large amount of meat to add significant beef flavor to beef stock. If you want to go ahead, be sure to brown ...

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Cooking thick fresh egg pasta
5 votes

The hardness you're experiencing is a sign that you've undercooked it. It isn't really "hard" in the sense that dry pasta is hard. It's not brittle, just very tough and difficult to bite through. You ...

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Unopened canned sardines behaving strangely but not expired
4 votes

The expiration date is (as it were) a red herring. Food doesn't suddenly go off on the expiration date. Most foods are just fine well past the expiration date; it's just the the manufacturer isn't ...

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