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Old 10-19-2010, 07:57 AM   #1
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Starting to cook and experiment

Hi I'm a college student and recently moved into an apartment with a couple friends. I've always liked cooking but I basically only knew how to cook foods that you shouldn't eat everyday such as burgers steak pasta etc.

I watch cooking shows often nowadays and noticed that they mention mixing proteins and acids (or something like that i think it was chicken and pineapple) they said this was a basic mistake that beginners make.

whats the deal in mixing certain types of foods with others? does it make the meat taste different or "ruin" it?

also what would be some good combination in making dishes (such as mixing citrus with ____)

thanks a lot

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Old 10-19-2010, 09:08 AM   #2
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I can't imagine what they were talking about. Acids will begin to break down the meat which is the basis for most marinades. However leaving some meats especially fish in an acid marinade too long will cook them. That's the only problem that I can see.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:52 PM   #3
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Idya, they must have been talking about fresh pineapple specifically. Fresh pineapple does strange things, because of the enzymes in it, which is not true of other fruits. It brings to mind one of my worst cooking disasters trying to combine shrimp, fresh pineapple, bell pepper, onion Kabobs on the grill for company!! I poured the fresh pineapple juice over the Kabobs about a half hr before grilling, and all of the beautiful shrimp were ruined, and I mean ruined!! Other than fresh pineapple juice, I agree with Joesfolk.
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
Idya, they must have been talking about fresh pineapple specifically. Fresh pineapple does strange things, because of the enzymes in it, which is not true of other fruits. It brings to mind one of my worst cooking disasters trying to combine shrimp, fresh pineapple, bell pepper, onion Kabobs on the grill for company!! I poured the fresh pineapple juice over the Kabobs about a half hr before grilling, and all of the beautiful shrimp were ruined, and I mean ruined!! Other than fresh pineapple juice, I agree with Joesfolk.
Did they turn mushy or did they cook?
I know green Papaya in small amounts is a great tenderizer for meat. A lot of Bulgogi recipes use it for that reason.
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:12 PM   #5
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I think you can mix anything foods you want to mix in your own kitchen. Some combos might curdle (milk and lemon juice) or not set (fresh pineapple in Jell-O), but I don't understand the taboo of mixing proteins and acid. What happens to the lemon chicken my brother-in-law cooks? We all gobble it up and ask for more.
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:11 PM   #6
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Did they turn mushy or did they cook?
I know green Papaya in small amounts is a great tenderizer for meat. A lot of Bulgogi recipes use it for that reason.
4me, the shrimp turned a hardly describable mushy, (not cooked like with citrus ceviche).
They were really disgusting, and embarrassing, since it was a company dinner for business associates. My husband had bragged about what a great cook I was.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:45 PM   #7
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It is specific "acids" with specific enzymes, in specific fruits as mentioned: pineapple and papaya. They tends to break down the protein. I think there was an episode of Good Eats that dealt with this issue.

I cannot find the episode with the reference but I found this, hope it helps.

http://www.themedicalquestions.com/d...enderizer.html
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:50 AM   #8
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I had a very similar thing happen to some shrimp w/fresh pineapple. It was truly terrible.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:53 AM   #9
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thanks a lot for the responses everyone they helped a lot hopefully i wont make any of these mistakes
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:14 PM   #10
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I know tomatoes can help make meat more tender, and the presence of egg yolk will prevent egg whites from foaming up due, I suppose to its fat content.

Being a colege student, you're probably strapped for cash, so I'd look at marinading cheaper cuts of meat. Like beef shin, calf's liver, bacon lardons, ox tail and so on. These go rather well in being marinaded and here you can use the acidic qualities of a tablespoon or two of pineapple juice or lemon juice, add a splash of olive oil, some chpped garlic and perhaps a splash of wine. Let the meat develop flavours that way, and even a pinch of herbs will make an ordinary meal taste quite wonderful.

If you like bacon, then make broth from a cheap hock joint, add peas later and you'll have a magic soup to see you through quite well. Nourishing, too. As for the food chemistry side shown on cooks‘ progs, I wouldn’t set too much store against making mistakes. We all make them, and learn pretty quick really. All part of the fun of learning if you ask me.
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