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Old 03-10-2015, 04:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Hope this helps!
Does very much and thank you!

It's not easy to write easily understandable receipes which is my main reason for writing the book.

Over 90% of the online ones give wrong portions, wrong timings, and don't give F & C or any substitutes.

Prep time, stand time and cook time are very difficult to separate and would appreciate help on how you would separate them in my recipe.

----

1 kg / 2 1/2 lb of beef chuck, cut into 2" cubes
600g / 1 1/4 lb of medium red potatoes, quartered
4 medium carrots, cut into 5cm / 2" pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into 5cm / 2" pieces
2 medium onions, cut into 6ths
7-8 whole, peeled tomatoes, lightly crushed

How long do you figure to prep the above?

------

Brining reducing cooking time because it reduces the amount of time needed for the meat to get tender.

-----

How much broth? I do say later "enough to half cover the meat" but it would be good to add it under ingredients.

"cover half the meat" is sort of unclear. You are better off giving an exact measurement.

Doesn't it depend on the size of their pot?

I don't understand recipes that say, 4 tbsp of olive oil for example and prefer to say, lightly cover the bottom of your pot with olive oil.

-----

Good point about the tomatoes, canned or fresh. I use fresh but will update the recipe.

------

If you have a dish which is too salty, what do you do?

You add a potato to absorb the salt.

----

I remember much appreciate all the comments and will check them against the recipe.

Michael
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:02 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by redmike View Post
I have recipes for my book, I have lots of tips, lots of info on substitutes and lots of notes and a good camera.

The book will feature tips, trick and substitutes and will contain around 20 recipes using them.

What is holding me back is how simple or complicated the recipes should be.

I was going for the idea of what I considered simple recipes and sent a poached salmon recipe to my daughter.

I asked her if people wanting a book with simple recipes would consider the recipe simple.

She replied that the recipe was very straightforward but people would not want to cook it because of pin boning the salmon.

Somebody else told me that the trend now is for very simple and quick meals such as pouring boiling water into a cup and adding some vegetables to it.

Well I don't think that people who eat such things need a cook book, and I don't want to write about how to create a fried egg on toast.

I think maybe meals such as spaghetti Bolognese with a tip on how to cook the actual pasta.

Chili con carne explaining whether or not to strain and rinse the beans and how to seal the lid of the pan with parchment paper.

Ratatouille?

What do you think?

What difficulty of recipes?

And maybe some recipes suggestions: not the recipes themselves ;-)

Any feed back and help with this would be much appreciated

Michael
Surely they would ask their fishmonger to pin bone the salmon if it was that much of an issue.

Making ratatouille properly from scratch is not an "easy" recipe from the point of view of time and fiddling about but it's so much ncer when made at home than the travesty in a tin on the supermarket shelves.

The parchment idea with the pot of chilli (or other recipes is a good one)

And of course, if you are aiming at beginners, explain about cooking the spaghetti.

What about ice cream made with just cream, sugar and fruit to avoid all that tiresome messing about with custard made with eggs. It's much nicer than bought ice cream and impresses the visitors no end.
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redmike View Post
Does very much and thank you!

It's not easy to write easily understandable receipes which is my main reason for writing the book.

Over 90% of the online ones give wrong portions, wrong timings, and don't give F & C or any substitutes.

Prep time, stand time and cook time are very difficult to separate and would appreciate help on how you would separate them in my recipe.

----

1 kg / 2 1/2 lb of beef chuck, cut into 2" cubes
600g / 1 1/4 lb of medium red potatoes, quartered
4 medium carrots, cut into 5cm / 2" pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into 5cm / 2" pieces
2 medium onions, cut into 6ths
7-8 whole, peeled tomatoes, lightly crushed

How long do you figure to prep the above?

Well you said you anticipate them using fresh tomatoes so for me an hour and I went to culinary school. A half an hour maybe if I was on chopped and going balls to the wall. With canned tomatoes and a hunk of beef that's gotta be trimmed at least 30 minutes. For a newby ... I can't imagine you'd think they'd clean out fresh tomatoes for a stew recipe. That's sort of nuts. For sauce perhaps but not as a throw away item in a braise. If they use canned I'd still anticipate at least 30 minutes.
------

Brining reducing cooking time because it reduces the amount of time needed for the meat to get tender.

Brining helps retain moisture in protein which helps it remain tender but does not actually tenderize it. It's a technique used mostly for cooking over direct heat. Cooking with dry heat (roasting, grilling etc) is not done to tenderness it's done to temperature. Brined or unbrined the protein will be done at the desired temp. Braised proteins like the one in your recipe are done to tenderness and it's unnecessary to brine in a braise like your recipe. It's cooked in liquid. Plus if you brine the beef the sauce will be salty, perhaps unacceptably so.

-----

How much broth? I do say later "enough to half cover the meat" but it would be good to add it under ingredients.

You said "cover half the meat, " not half cover the meat. Entirely different. The right or the left side of the meat?

"cover half the meat" is sort of unclear. You are better off giving an exact measurement.

Doesn't it depend on the size of their pot? Probably not unless they use very large, tall or small pots. Tell them what size in general to use -- they are newbies and looking to you for this advice-- and how much liquid to add. New cooks need specifics after all.

I don't understand recipes that say, 4 tbsp of olive oil for example and prefer to say, lightly cover the bottom of your pot with olive oil.

-----

Good point about the tomatoes, canned or fresh. I use fresh but will update the recipe.

------

If you have a dish which is too salty, what do you do?

You add a potato to absorb the salt.

Potatoes don't absorb salt. Just not true. A myth proven by food scientists again and again. Sorry but the quickest way to lose your credibility is by passing on myths like this and bad science like your brining rec for stew as well as baking soda for bitterness. Baking soda can remedy acidity not bitterness. Baking soda itself is bitter.

Your "tips" have to be proven food science and not just your inventions or things you've heard from other people.


----

I remember much appreciate all the comments and will check them against the recipe.

Michael
Michael

If I were you I'd take the advice of some others here and try to define your concept a bit better. A blog would probably be a much better idea. But even then I'd work on it and make sure I was giving correct advice and an easy to follow, proven recipe.

And also read up on food science from McGee, Wolke, Corriher, Parsons et al.
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Silversage View Post
So what are your credentials? We all know how to cook, and we all have useful quick tips that we share with each other.

So why would someone buy your book? What skill, experience, or training do you bring to the book that others don't?.

The answer may be a lot, or not so much. But whatever it is, you need to focus on that. If you're just another guy/gal giving tips, you should put them on a blog. If you bring something special that most of us don't have, then don't be concerned with the degree of difficulty; concentrate on your skill set and write your book accordingly.
Why would anybody buy my book?

Because I haven't seen anything similar, and it will be attractive and inexpensive, around $8. I'm not doing it for money or fame but to be helpful.

When I mention for example brining in a recipe I will put a footnote telling them to check out the tips section where they will find instructions on how to brine.

How to conditions pans, how to crack eggs, how to cook pasta, how to know if a potato is a baker or a boiler and lots more.

And there will be a whole section on substituting herbs and spices which will also explain how to blend several of them.

What special skills do I have to offer?

For many years people have told me how much they enjoy my meals.

Of course there are many things that I still have to learn because cooking is a never ending journey, and that is why I made this original post.

And I learned a lot from people above.

Michael
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:36 AM   #15
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Let us know when you've published your book of cooking tips.
Will you be 'shopping' your book to publishers or Vanity publishing?
Not sure a publisher will go for fronting the $ to put out a book on cooking tips at $8 retail.
Please keep us updated.
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by puffin3 View Post
Let us know when you've published your book of cooking tips.
Will you be 'shopping' your book to publishers or Vanity publishing?
Not sure a publisher will go for fronting the $ to put out a book on cooking tips at $8 retail.
Please keep us updated.
I'm several months away from publishing.

Want to amend and clarify the recipes, like I'm doing with this one, then have a couple of people try them and see how they worked.

I then have to recook each one and photograph it.

Having gone deeply into the publishing yet but have looked briefly at ..

Lulu.com - How to Sell Your Book

https://www.lightningsource.com/inte...c=en#WhatIsPOD

Thanks,

Michael
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Michael

If I were you I'd take the advice of some others here and try to define your concept a bit better. A blog would probably be a much better idea. But even then I'd work on it and make sure I was giving correct advice and an easy to follow, proven recipe.

And also read up on food science from McGee, Wolke, Corriher, Parsons et al.
I checked about potatoes absorbing salt and you are correct in a sense and I thank you for the comment.

The way that they reduce salt is by adding more bulk to the meal and anything that adds bulk will do the same thing.

I removed the comment from the recipe.

Difference Between Bicarbonate and Baking Soda

Difference Between Bicarbonate and Baking Soda | Difference Between | Bicarbonate vs Baking Soda

What do you think?

Hey, I came here to learn and to try and make the recipes in my book the best that they can be, so let's all do that together ;-)

Michael
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:04 PM   #18
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I tried to incorporate all the helpful comments, and the recipe below is the new version.

@jennyema suggested that it would be possible to cook this without using both a frying pan and a pot but it's not clear how I can do this without changing a main part of the recipe.

It would be possible of course to brown the meat in the pot and then set it aside on a plate, but that would hardly reduce the washing up.

Comments.

The photo is my first attempt with my new camera which arrived yesterday and I still have to learn what all the buttons do.

https://justpaste.it/jvzx

Thanks for all the feedback :-)

Michael

Beef Potato Carrot And Celery Stew

Prep: 15 min
Cook: 2:10 min - depends on tenderness of the meat.
Total Time: 2:35 min

Serves 4 to 6

Level: Intermediate

Ingredients

1 kg / 2 1/2 lb of beef chuck, cut into 2" cubes
600g / 1 1/4 lb of medium red potatoes, quartered
7-8 whole, peeled tomatoes, lightly crushed - canned or fresh
4 medium carrots, cut into 5cm / 2" pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into 5cm / 2" pieces
2 medium onions, cut into 6ths - cut from top to bottom into thirds and then cut the thirds in half
About 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
Beef or vegetable broth to half cover the meat
5 cloves of minced garlic using a garlic press
1 tbsp of tomato paste
6 sprigs of fresh parsley or two tsp of dried
6 sprigs of fresh thyme - or 3/4 tsp of dried
2 bay leaves
2 to 3 tsp of red wine vinegar, or to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Olive or vegetable oil, for searing
Optional - 2 tbsp of unsalted butter

The Method

Season the beef with the salt and pepper and fry in a frying pan over a medium high heat until browned on all sides.
In a pot that's large enough to hold all of the ingredients, fry the the onion over medium heat in either olive oil or oil and butter, if using, until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it's fragrant, about 1 minute more, being careful not to let it burn.
Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring for a minute or so more.
Add the beef with its juices to the pot and sprinkle enough flour to lightly coat the top of the meat, and cook stirring for another two to three minutes.
Add enough water or broth to cover about one half of the meat and bring to a simmer.
If using fresh herbs, then tie the parsley, thyme, and bay leaves together with a piece of kitchen twine and add the bundle to the pot.
Or add the dry herbs and the bay leaf.
Season with 2 teaspoons of salt, and some black pepper, or to taste.
Cover the pot and simmer for around an hour, checking to see if you need to add more stock or water.
Check the tenderness of the meat by pushing a fork into it. The fork should pass through it but the meat shouldn't break up. Continue cooking for a little longer if necessary.
Add the potatoes, carrots, celery and tomatoes, and bring back to a simmer.
Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for around an hour more.
Remove the lid and increase the heat until the liquid thickens and the vegetables are tender.
Discard the herb bundle if you used fresh, or remove the bay leaf if you used dry.
Stir in the vinegar and season with a little more salt and pepper, to taste.

* Extra virgin olive oil burns more easily and is much more expensive. Regular virgin olive oil is fine.
* If using fresh tomatoes then please see the tips section on how to easily peel them.
* Many tomatoes can cause a bitter taste, so if the sauce tastes bitter then add a touch of bicarbonate of soda or sugar or both.
* Brining the meat will make it much more tender and might cut down on cooking time depending on how long you brined it. I only brine the meat for this dish for about 20-30 minutes.
* See the tips section on how to brine. A lab test showed that brining adds about 1/8 of a teaspoon to each serving of meat and almost double that for chicken.
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:07 PM   #19
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It's fairly standard to brown the meat in the stew pot then remove it to a plate and continue with the onion, garlic, etc. This will enable you to have the fond from the browned meat as part of the stew's flavor base rather than being lost in the frying pan. Also, cleaning a plate that had cooked meat on it is a lot easier than cleaning a frying pan that you cooked the meat in.
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:17 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
It's fairly standard to brown the meat in the stew pot then remove it to a plate and continue with the onion, garlic, etc. This will enable you to have the fond from the browned meat as part of the stew's flavor base rather than being lost in the frying pan. Also, cleaning a plate that had cooked meat on it is a lot easier than cleaning a frying pan that you cooked the meat in.
That's really helpful thanks and I have amended the recipe!

Season the beef with the salt and pepper, and put it in a pan that will hold the entire contents of the recipe, and fry it over a medium high heat until browned on all sides.

When the meat's ready, set it aside on a plate or in a bowl.

Then, in the pot where you fried the meat, fry the the onion over medium heat in either olive oil or oil and butter, if using, until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Michael
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