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Thread: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

  1. #341
    If Only You Knew MissThundercat's Avatar
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    Homemade peanut butter cups. Won't get to it before Halloween, but will do it for Christmas.
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  2. #342
    If Only You Knew MissThundercat's Avatar
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    Fall 2019 Baking Projects

    1. Spiced biscotti. Not with hot sauce... I'm thinking a basic biscotti dough with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and maybe some ground clove.
    2. Double chocolate biscotti. Double chocolate anything is good. Double chocolate to go with one's afternoon coffee? Better.
    3. Mint dark chocolate cookies. Think of a chocolate chip cookie, but with mint extract and dark chocolate chips.
    4. A chocolate sheet cake with chocolate bourbon ganache frosting and packed with chocolate chips.
    (why am I not 400 lbs at this point?)
    5. One time, I made a cayenne chocolate cookie. I'll do that again! And oh, shut up, it wasn't that hot.
    6. Coffee cake! Fun fact: coffee cake does not contain any actual coffee.
    7. Something with an espresso/coffee flavor. Cookie? Cake? Something!
    8. Homemade crackers, especially a whole grain cracker.
    9. Variations on oatmeal cookies. Oatmeal cranberry was a hit. I could do oatmeal cherry and be selective on who I give those to. But I don't do oatmeal raisin. Maybe oatmeal chocolate chip?
    10. Parmesan-black pepper biscuits. I need a pastry cutter, though.

    Oh, there's more. There's always more in mind. But let me start there!
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  3. #343
    If Only You Knew MissThundercat's Avatar
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    I have to start thinking about Thanksgiving too:

    Roast chicken with Herbs du Provence and citrus
    Mashed potatoes with garlic and cheese
    Herbed dressing
    Brioche or Parker House rolls (I will make)
    Cheese plate with homemade rosemary-sea salt crackers
    Rosť for me
    French apple tart
    Maybe French vanilla ice cream to go with the tart

    And on a side note, I plan on bringing people over this Thanksgiving. My family pretty much abandoned me, so bring the chosen family.
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  4. #344
    Unobtanium Medallion FadeToBlack&Gold's Avatar
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    Currently shopping for a new chef's knife. I've never spent the "big" bucks, but I now have the means to do so. German? Japanese? Some boutique American knifemaker?

    A couple years ago on a ski trip to Jackson Hole I wandered into a boutique knifemaker's shop, and their stuff was freakin' gorgeous and felt good (I got to handle a bunch of their inventory). I still know the brand. However, I have a hard time justifying $300+ for one knife.

    Based on reviews, descriptions, and stats, I'd probably go for one of the Japanese knives like Global (I like a lighter-feeling knife), except for the fact that they have a fragile reputation and I'm a bit of a klutz.

  5. #345
    Lucia Apologist
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    Honestly, find one that fits your hand, feels balanced, and has a solid handle. The older I get the more I think even middle of the road knives are fine as long as you get them actually sharpened professionally youíd be fine.

    Are you for sure going with a chef? Iím assuming youíve used santokus.

  6. #346
    Unobtanium Medallion FadeToBlack&Gold's Avatar
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    Yes, and I find merits to both types, tbh. But right now I'm more interested in a high-quality 8 or 9" chef's knife that I can work with for many years to come, assuming I care for it properly.

  7. #347
    If Only You Knew MissThundercat's Avatar
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    When I was attending culinary school, they gave us Mercer knives. Good stuff.
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  8. #348
    If Only You Knew MissThundercat's Avatar
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    I attempted to come up with a recipe out of my own mind tonight. I like Molasses Spice cookies, so I tried to turn that into a bread.

    Much adjusting to be done, I'm sure.
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  9. #349
    If Only You Knew MissThundercat's Avatar
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    Quote Originally Posted by MissThundercat View Post
    I attempted to come up with a recipe out of my own mind tonight. I like Molasses Spice cookies, so I tried to turn that into a bread.

    Much adjusting to be done, I'm sure.
    So this was good. Next time, add nutmeg (I somehow don't have any right now), and add more baking powder. I only added 1 tsp and it didn't rise very much.
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  10. #350
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    This is what I'm trying to do.

    Molasses spice bread
    2 cups flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    Ĺ teaspoon allspice
    Ĺ teaspoon ginger
    ľ teaspoon cloves
    ľ teaspoon black pepper
    1 cup sugar
    ľ cup melted butter (4 tbsp)
    Ĺ cup dark molasses
    1 egg, slightly beaten
    1 cup milk

    Preheat oven to 350, or 375 if youíre making muffins.

    Using a large mixing bowl and a large rubber spatula, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and sugar. Add the egg, butter, molasses, and milk, and fully incorporate.

    Grease a loaf pan and pour the batter in. Put in the oven for 50 minutes (20 if muffins), and test with a fork for doneness.

    Pull from oven and turn onto rack to cool.
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  11. #351
    If Only You Knew MissThundercat's Avatar
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    I took about 10-15 minutes today and hand-kneaded pizza dough, sprayed a bowl with cooking spray, and watched it rise. I am good.

    If you have patience, homemade bread is simple.
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  12. #352
    If Only You Knew MissThundercat's Avatar
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    Hand kneaded (not with a dough hook or food processor) 100% whole wheat bread. Didn't get a significant rise, and it's rather dense.

    Takeaways:

    1. Next time, either knead for 15-20 minutes, or get a dough hook. Don't think I worked the gluten long enough.
    2. It is winter and it is cold outside. Unless I want to set the temp in my apartment to 80, be patient.

    I also noticed the quality of my products have gone up once I bought better quality ingredients.
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  13. #353
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    Making a version of Kenji Lopezís ramen today for meals the next few days.

    I accidentally splashed boiling water on my hand dumping the blanching water. Motherfó-cker hurts.

  14. #354
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    Holy god. At six hours this stuff doesnít seem like it could get more flavor. Itís incredible.

  15. #355
    Unobtanium Medallion FadeToBlack&Gold's Avatar
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    You actually made ramen broth from scratch? As in, bought the bones and everything? That's ambitious.

  16. #356
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    I had to sub some of the stuff. I used bones from pork ribs and chicken. I had a rotisserie chicken carcass because I made a trip to Costco for what my fiancťe and I call Costco chicken salad*. Did the whole blanch, clean, and simmer. The cooking down of the vegetables made the house smell great by themselves. I would double that amount next time since my fiancťe canít eat garlic** (bad acid reflux).

    I also had to use a small shoulder roast for the fat instead of fatback. Leg bones and fatback are shockingly hard to find. I found some leg end ham bones but they werenít big enough, they were smoked, and were almost certainly cured. Fatback got some pretty blank stares, half were ďWhat the hell is fatback?Ē And the other half was ďWeíve never had anyone ask for that.Ē The one butcher at Hy-Vee said he hasnít seen fatback since he left Iowa and even then it was rare. He said he mostly saw it when he was still in Georgia.

    So while itís not perfectly to the recipe, I think itís close. The broth isnít brown (yet, gulp) And has a perfect milky translucency to it. Itís unseasoned, per traditional preparation. So itís hard to really judge the flavor until I get it properly seasoned with tare. There just isnít enough salinity to judge it. But it has a luxurious mouthfeel and i can tell itís very porky.

    Iíll cook down the the tare tomorrow. Which also lets me add garlic to mine!

    *One rotisserie chicken, one Costco quinoa salad, mayo, Dijon, smoked paprika. Fresh ground black pepper. Makes excellent chicken salad sandwiches. They have that quinoa salad and rotisserie chicken at all of the Costcos. It makes a ton of food and lasts us a week for lunches.

    **Weíve been doing experiments after we read that garlic infused oil is better for FODMAP-sensitives. We wonít make our own because we donít need botulism. And the infused stuff is hella expensive. It has to be extracted with fat and not from added flavoring, which is what most of the crap you can buy at the store. Apparently the FODMAP compounds are water soluble. So we heat garlic cloves in oil and get much of the flavor. We have to use it right away because of the botulism risk. But thatís fine.

    If you had asked me five years ago if I would date someone who has issues with gluten, lactose, and garlic, Iíd have laughed. Iíve made off color comments about how life isnít worth living without lactose and gluten. Now weíre planning a wedding. And my favorite ice cream is actually oat-based now. Never would have discovered it without her. The garlic thing is hardest. Really hard to get that

  17. #357
    If Only You Knew MissThundercat's Avatar
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    I've got coffee hour at my church Sunday, along with a potluck on Saturday, along with someone ordering a few things from me.

    Gingersnaps
    Pumpkin bread with chocolate chips
    Molasses spice muffins
    Mint dark chocolate cookies
    Marbled peanut butter and dark chocolate bread
    Coffee cake
    Chocolate cookies with espresso chips
    Sugar cookies

    Which means I need to start on Wednesday.
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  18. #358
    Unobtanium Medallion FadeToBlack&Gold's Avatar
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    I'm guessing you could probably pay shipping to have fatback delivered on ice from some farm in Skanksville, Iowa, but it sounds like you did fine.

  19. #359
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    I have some fodmap issues and so I try to avoid onions and garlic. I did find some spice that helps in its absence. Found it on a blog and was able to order from amazon.

    Did you make ramen? I am trying to find a good homemade pho broth

  20. #360
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    Re: USCHO Cooks: Are you our Top Chef?

    Ramen tonight. Just made the broth yesterday.

    Iím not entirely sure I would go through this regularly because it is a lot of work to start. Itís also best with throwaway bones instead of buying because even what used to be third-tier cuts are getting pricey. Bone in shoulder, chicken wings, etc.

    Iím guessing weíll start freezing bones for stocks and broths.

    Iíll let you know how this one works with her.

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