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Old 08-12-2015, 08:52 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Cheryl J View Post
Reading through your first post on this it sounds like you know what you're doing, and your pork dinner sounded wonderful to me.
Let's not be so hasty as to say that I know what I am doing

That being said, I am fairly confident in my meat dishes, what I lack is knowledge about making sauces (other than BBQ sauce), dressings, and the little details that really make someone say "Wow!" when they eat something. Also, a lot of my flavor profiles happen by accident rather than by design.

I will start with a flavor in mind, mix up my seasonings, and not end up anywhere close. It will taste good, but not fantastic. My wife says I am extremely critical of my cooking, and she thinks that I go out of my way to find flaws with my dishes.

One thing that I could use some good advice on is how to go about designing a signature flavor, or any flavor profile really. I was watching Kitchen Nightmare's episode of Amy's Baking Company last night. The part where Ramsay lists of the four ingredients on the blue ribbon burger as four things that didn't go together sort of confused me because I thought that the blue cheese and bacon would have been good on a burger.
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:24 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
We are also only two and have the same problem with forks and spoons, so we bought more.
Pans never go in the dishwasher here. Jes sayin..
Same here. Many items used in prep and cooking are always hand washed, either because they are best used more gently than the dishwasher does or because we only have one of them and have need for several uses between times running the dishwasher (knives, nonstick pans, other utensils that we only have one of, and anything that I just decide to wash up as I go). I always have half the sink filled with hot dishwater when I'm cooking so I can clean during pauses in the cooking cycle. I rarely have a lot of prep items to clean up after the meal because I've kept up as I go.

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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Great summary You don't need to put everything in bowls, like they do on TV. I usually pile ingredients on a smaller cutting board to take to the stove (my primary prep space is a peninsula) and, when seasonings are to be added together, I mix them in a small dish to simplify and to avoid dumping a lot of seasoning in one place. It's easier to mix them in evenly this way.

It also occurred to me that chili powder often doesn't have a lot of heat, although good ones have good flavor. You could add a pinch of cayenne or a few drops of hot sauce to your sauce.
I go both ways... if there are a lot of ingredients, I'll use my prep bowls, otherwise I do the pile method. If there is time between additions, I may chop the second item while the first starts cooking - all depends on timing. Also I will often mix ingredients in one prep bowl if the plan calls for them to be added at the same time.

I also agree that chili powder is not the way to add heat. Great flavor, but unless you buy a blend that is specifically intended to be spicy, there is little or no heat to it. Heat can be increased with red pepper flakes, any of the dozens of hot sauces available, or some more recent additions to the hot side of my spice rack - things like habeņero salt or goat pepper salt (start lightly and work up, and measure what you add so you can adjust intelligently for taste and modify the recipe for future reference).
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:33 AM   #33
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84, You said you make your own BBQ sauce. Was that something you got exactly right on the first try?

Developing a specific flavor profile that serves the purposes you intend isn't an easy process. There's lots of trial and error before you get what you want. Lots of tests with different meats to see if it works in that combination. Start by thinking about what you want to accomplish and go from there. WRITE IT ALL DOWN. Write down every step so you can re-create or trouble shoot the recipe. Refer to those notes often. The more ingredients you include, the more complicated the testing process becomes.
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Old 08-12-2015, 10:04 AM   #34
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84, You said you make your own BBQ sauce. Was that something you got exactly right on the first try?

Developing a specific flavor profile that serves the purposes you intend isn't an easy process. There's lots of trial and error before you get what you want. Lots of tests with different meats to see if it works in that combination. Start by thinking about what you want to accomplish and go from there. WRITE IT ALL DOWN. Write down every step so you can re-create or trouble shoot the recipe. Refer to those notes often. The more ingredients you include, the more complicated the testing process becomes.
Good point. The next time I work up a spice blend I will start with a simple blend of salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder, then slowly add ingredients and test it out.

For my first BBQ sauce, it was a honey raspberry sauce that I built using a base recipe I found online, then worked in honey and raspberry in equal parts so that was pretty much good on the first try.

Now my orange bourbon BBQ sauce, that took a ton of iterations (it's still not right yet). I just thought I would ask to see if the better cooks here had some sort of jumping off point for making an informed first attempt. I suppose I could taste each spice independently and note down what I test, then look for spices with complementary tastes and use that as a starting point.
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Old 08-12-2015, 10:17 AM   #35
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Check this out.

http://www.amazon.com/Sauces-Classic.../dp/0470194960
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Old 08-12-2015, 10:38 AM   #36
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I just use the cutting board and paper towels, or in case of fresh veges, I'll use a plate or bowl we're going to eat on to hold stuff. We also have those little glass custard cups, as well as some plastic cups to hold small amounts of stuff like spices. If only spices go in, they just get a quick rinse out and into the drying side of the double sink.

Last night when I was cutting up things for the tasso pasta, I julienned the yellow squash and zucchini on the cutting board and put them in a pile together, since they go into pan at same time. Then, I julienned the carrots and onions, piled them up together. I then needed to julienne the tasso but was running real short of working room on the cutting board, so used the paper towels that I had let the squash and carrots drain on after washing to hold the squash since they were the last things to go in, as well as the lightest. Though I did end up sliding the paper towels and the veges onto the cutting board to transfer the squash into the pan when it was time.

There's all kinds of ways you can set up your mise en place without having additional things to clean up.

+ however many on running out of forks and/or spoons before the dishwasher is full with just 2 in the house. I will wash stainless pans in the dishwasher though, especially if it's close to getting full.
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Old 08-12-2015, 10:43 AM   #37
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Thanks for the run through on your process medtran. I built myself a rolling prep cart using a 32" base cabinet to which I mounted a 36" x 18 " butcher block. The entire thing is a giant cutting board given me plenty of space to chop and prep. I'll post a pic of it when I get home.

I have an open concept kitchen / living room, so I put this cart on wheels to make it easy for me to roll it over to my stove while cooking and then back against the wall when I am done. I use the drawers to hold knives and hand tools (graters, peelers, etc...) and the cabinet part to hold my pots and pans.
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Old 08-12-2015, 10:43 AM   #38
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Thanks! Soon as my paycheck comes in I will be ordering a copy of this book.
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:12 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by jseymour84 View Post
One thing that I could use some good advice on is how to go about designing a signature flavor, or any flavor profile really. I was watching Kitchen Nightmare's episode of Amy's Baking Company last night. The part where Ramsay lists of the four ingredients on the blue ribbon burger as four things that didn't go together sort of confused me because I thought that the blue cheese and bacon would have been good on a burger.
Here's a good summary of the primary flavoring ingredients and seasonings used in different cuisines: http://www.cookinglight.com/m/food/w...ne/spice-world
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:03 PM   #40
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And a great reference for a long list of herbs, spices and blends: http://www.thekitchn.com/quick-guide...upboard-108770
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