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Old 11-07-2004, 05:21 AM   #11
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Jacques Pepin is one of the true masters of the culinary 'arts' in the world today. Watching him work - at anything! - is magic!

It IS a matter of first, learning a few basic principles, and then just watching, learning, and experimenting.

Build your base of -

- Knowledge of ingredients
- Basic cooking principles
- Knowledge of how fire works on food

Read - ask questions - experiment - if you fail, it's only food! Try again! Makes notes on what you did, and go from there.

Like Emeril says, 'it's not rocket science'. I think the culinary world has become too, too 'comercialized', with FoodTV ratcheting up their supposed view appeal; mags like Gourmet and Bon Appetit publishing a lot of over the top recipes that intimidate beginners; and kitchenware companies coming out with more and more 'ya just gotta have this' stuff.

Like Azanchef chef says, one pot, one fire, one tool - and he's good to go!

If you look at really good, really traditional, Italian cooking, it's far less about the cooking method than it is about the absolute freshness of the ingredients; they don't plan a meal then go looking for ingredients, they go to the market and see what's the most fresh on the shelves, and plan their meal from there.

Well - sorry about that - so ends my rant for today, Folks!

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Old 11-07-2004, 08:18 AM   #12
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Cats, I watched the same show yesterday and I totally agree with you and marmaladay.

Those of us who are not yet "experts" just need to keep playing in our kitchens.

Kool Aid - Think before you drink.
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Old 11-07-2004, 09:01 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by mudbug
Cats, I watched the same show yesterday and I totally agree with you and marmaladay.
Wasn't it wonderful? Those shows with J&J together are treasures anyway, but so much more so, now that Julia has left us.

Wasn't she funny? Wanted everything on her hamburger, but the pickle had to be on the side.
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Old 11-07-2004, 11:58 AM   #14
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Hi :)

I don't understand why the chef did that? It's completely unnessesery to do that. And indeed, it can only spoil the steak, imho.

Heat the pan at v. high temp and wait till pan is smoking. Add steak ( salted ). Times vary according to how you want your steak done and how thick the meat is but you can have it charred on the outside and rare in the middle with no problem. Let the meat rest awhile after because the heat in the meat tends to tighten it a bit so it's best to let it relax.

Why did feel the need to put it in the oven????? :)
My photography, prose and poetry at Light of the moon :)
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Old 11-07-2004, 12:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Catseye
Originally Posted by marmalady
Timing, I think, is the hardest to learn, and is only done by just watching closely as your food cooks, and what happens to it.
Just hours ago, I watched a Jacques-and-Julia show; they were doing steaks. Jacques prepared a Chateaubriande. It was a pretty thick cut, two-three inches. He seared it in a cast-iron pan, then finished it in a slow oven, 275-300 degrees. When he cut into it, it was done perfectly -- medium rare, juices running just right. I watched and I wondered: how does he know when to stop the searing and put it in the oven, and when to take it out of the oven? Is he a magician? Does he have Xray vision? I finally concluded that he "just knew", because he had prepared it or similar cuts hundreds of times in his life, and his eyes and his nose and his decades-long developed sense of timing told him exactly when to do what. You can avail yourself of instruction and advice from the pros to help guide you along, but the secrets of heat, proximity and timing will only come to you when you have prepared a steak a hundred, two hundred times, and your non-cognitive senses kick in, and you "just know". You just know the exact right moment, and any other moment will be wrong. Watching him prepare that steak helped me to lighten up on myself a little bit, that maybe I'm being unreasonable when I don't crack the code of a dish in the first couple of tries. Nobody is born knowing how to do it, not even Jacques Pepin.

But it's sure fun and absorbing to think about, isn't it?
This is so true. You practice the techniques to the point where they get to be second nature. You don't have to think about it.

I really like both Jacques and Julia [although I cook soul food and they do not], enough for me to have on tape, their cooking shows and teaching videos. I just bought Jacques cookbook set --- The Art of Cooking.

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