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Old 08-21-2006, 03:26 PM   #1
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Why can't it be duplicated

I would like to know how restaurants get such tasty dishes and no matter how hard I try at home I just can't duplicate or even come close to those tasty morsels. Now I'm not talking about a high class restaurant that takes five different people just to seat you, I mean a simple family place that most of us go to from time to time. What is it that they do to their food to make it so delicious!! I will give an example: I used to love the cornbread that I got at Kenny Rogers Roasters. I have gone online and seen many posting on various web sites that guarantee the recipe is the same as used by the Kenny Rogers chain however when I make it at home it doesn't have the same flavour at all. Oh to be a fly on the wall of the local Shonneys or Smokey Bones BBQ.















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Old 08-21-2006, 03:58 PM   #2
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could be the amount of salt or sugar, the grind of the cornmeal, the heat of the ovens, the kind of oil used...butter flavored palm oil for example.

Meat in fast and "family" restaurants is flavor injected, salt injected oil injected etc.

Much of this food is prepared in food service factories and packaged for heating and serving, mixing and baking etc.

So the next time you are at Appleby's for example , notice that their burgers contain a day's ration of salt and fat. (They publish the nutritional values of all their food, as does Ruby Tuesday etc.) You can do that at home, but you have been told that that much isn't good for you.
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Old 08-21-2006, 04:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo410
So the next time you are at Appleby's for example , notice that their burgers contain a day's ration of salt and fat. (They publish the nutritional values of all their food, as does Ruby Tuesday etc.) You can do that at home, but you have been told that that much isn't good for you.
Yeah, but all that fat and salt sure are good, huh?
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Old 08-21-2006, 04:45 PM   #4
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Great reply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo410
could be the amount of salt or sugar, the grind of the cornmeal, the heat of the ovens, the kind of oil used...butter flavored palm oil for example.

Meat in fast and "family" restaurants is flavor injected, salt injected oil injected etc.

Much of this food is prepared in food service factories and packaged for heating and serving, mixing and baking etc.

So the next time you are at Appleby's for example , notice that their burgers contain a day's ration of salt and fat. (They publish the nutritional values of all their food, as does Ruby Tuesday etc.) You can do that at home, but you have been told that that much isn't good for you.



That is probably entirely true, and I have to agree. That does not mean you can't reproduce some winning recipes though. Ask specific questions on a forum like this and take the advise to heart. Experiment with these recipes, and at the very least, your cooking will most definitely improve! It's a win-win situation. Don't give up, how do you think great recipes evolve? Lol.
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Old 08-21-2006, 05:23 PM   #5
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As I said in a post on another topic, many chain restaurants use a lot of ingredients that you probably wouldn't consider using at home, particularly in items that are prepared off-premises. They often use a ton of sweeter (sugar or high-fructose corn syrup), salt, fat, artificial flavors, and flavor enhancers. A good example is Marie Calender's corn bread, which is so sweet that it should be called corn cake. God knows what else is in it!

Yeah, those things taste good, but I wonder how they would stack up in a blind tasting side-by-side against your homemade. The memory of how good that restaurant food was may get a bit exaggerated by the time you get around to trying to duplicate it. I also think a lot of amateur cooks are overly critical of their own efforts and find flaws in their own cooking that they overlook in that of others.
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Old 08-21-2006, 05:47 PM   #6
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I agree with everyone. I'm not quoting here, but I think in Kitchen Confidential Tony Bourlaine (may have misspelled that) says that one reason is that we simply cannot bring ourselves to put the incredible amounts of butter that go into restaurant sauces (talking European food here). Even when we think we are going all out sinful, most of us still will never use the amounts of salt and fat most restaurants do. I remember once being in a restaurant in Waikiki that was called The Great Wok Of China. Much like a Japanese steak house, they stir fried your meal in front of you on these huge, incredibly hot gas wok stations. My mom & I went. We were totally and incredibly astonished at how much more cooking oil they used than any home cook I've ever known would use for a stir fry. I mean, for many of us, we stir fry as a healthy alternative. This food tasted typically delicious Chinese, no more fatty than any I've had. But they used easily 3X the amount of cooking oil I would use. No wonder theirs tastes better!
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Old 08-21-2006, 06:26 PM   #7
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The interesting thing about this thread is that I think the food I make tastes much better than I have ever had at a rest. with only a couple exceptions.
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Old 08-21-2006, 07:59 PM   #8
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take fried chicken: brine it, (forcefully with vacuum injectors) batter coat it after flash drying it in a "wind tunnel" of sorts, flash freeze it so you can then drop it into a pressure oil cooker for frying. We don't have that equipment at home, nor the ventilation or fire suppression necessary.

However, many a home cook makes fine flavorful fried chicken.

Take cornbread. My fave recipe is bacon and the fat, hot black iron pan, corn meal, levening, eggs, buttermilk, salt mix and pour into that pan. bake.

the corn bread is crispy, rich deep corn flavor, not sweet (you want sweet, make muffins) and stands up to any restaraunt's pale goey corn bread.

I don't think these places make better tasing food.

Now a fine dining establishment will do some meals than I can at home. THey have hotter ovens, hotter broilers, and for pastry and some sauces more experieince than I.

But I'll put my best efforts against anyone's. And I would have a great time cooking with Tony or Mario or Giada or you.
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