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Old 11-06-2018, 10:17 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Cheryl J View Post
Also, strip steaks are thin and cook so quickly, so a little cornstarch soaks up any liquid on the meat so that it browns nicely, rather than steams.
Which no doubt makes thin strip steak less rubbery than it already has the potential to be.

Separating each thin slice (coat with cornstarch) takes more time probably, but then again, they probably fry up more evenly and quickly, and you don't have to separate slices while frying and mark up your non-stick pan dong so.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:37 PM   #22
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A way to make sure the meat is tender for stir fries is to velvet it. I wonder if the cornstarch made this into a quick version of velveting.
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Old 11-07-2018, 12:34 AM   #23
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In my original post, I just wanted to lament that there were a lot of pretty damn big broccoli stalks in my bag of frozen broccoli stir fry package. Sorry for petty venting about that here.
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Old 11-07-2018, 01:23 AM   #24
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In my original post, I just wanted to lament that there were a lot of pretty damn big broccoli stalks in my bag of frozen broccoli stir fry package. Sorry for petty venting about that here.
Nothing petty about that lament.

Once again, a thread took on a life of it's own. Hopefully, you got something out of it.

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Old 11-07-2018, 01:48 AM   #25
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Back on track, (after the former post mysteriously disappears), I first thought that why would anyone use frozen veggies in a stir fry? The whole point if a stir fry is the expertise on cooking the ingredients fast to a certain medium between soft and crunchy. You know what I mean? Frozen veggies have already lost a certain amount of crunch. But then, the convenience of pre-cut veggies, half of the battle in a stir fry, is such a great convenience.

I'm gonna have to try it.
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Old 11-07-2018, 02:52 AM   #26
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Unscientific Study ( at 2:29am, Couldn't sleep)

So, here ya go.

Cant sleep, looking over DC forum, got a little hungry but didn't want anything heavy, so off to the fridge / freezer i went.

Dug up a bag of store brand frozen veggies " California Blend" ( whatever that means, guess we dont have carrots, broccoli and cauliflower in NY).

I heated it up via microwave as directed on package instructions ( didnt stir fry, nor is it the stir fry mix).

My findings:

The picture on the bag shows an equivalent (fancy scientific word) amount of all 3 veggies ( broccoli, carrots and cauliflower).

The list of ingredients lists it in the order of Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots. ( I always thought that the ingredient list was in the order of amount from most to least).

Actual proportions are roughly 50% Carrots, 40 % Broccoli , 10% Cauliflower

Of the broccoli, it was about a 2:1 ratio of stem to floret

The stem actually had the best consistency. Wouldn't say it was crunchy at all, but firmer than the rest.

Florets and cauliflower had the consistency of overcooked steamed veggies. Not unpleasant, just not fresh.

Carrots were almost spongy in consistency, but sweet .

Not sure if the consistencies would have been different had i stir fried them,

I know this is a load of crap, but I cant sleep and had nothing better to do with my time, so bare with me.

As mentioned earlier, a lot of liquid is released ( due to the freezing/ defrosting process). If I were to cook these veggies in something , whether it be stir fry, pot pie or even side dish, I'd probably microwave as I did, drained the excess liquid, then add whatever sauce/butter to them ( as a last minute thing to coat rather than to cook in, to limit them from getting even mushier).

Not sure if not having a name brand, or it sitting at the bottom of my freezer for a year + had any affect on the outcome. Surprisingly, didnt taste freezer burnt at all.

So there you have it, my unofficial evaluation of frozen veggies.

Goodnight
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:27 AM   #27
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Larry, I was sleeping quite well before my hotel phone rang and woke me up -- nobody there. Grrrrrr.

I like your observations. I also like frozen veggies -- far more than canned. I hope we can all agree that canned veggies, with a few exceptions, are the worst option.

For soups and stews, I can't really taste a difference between fresh and frozen, but I do agree with Bucky (did I just say that?) that frozen is not ideal for something like stir fry.

I am also not crazy about steamed frozen veggies, unless I mix them with something like pasta with a sauce.

Soooooo, I think we kinda' have a majority opinion that frozen veggies have a place in our kitchens, but perhaps not in our woks/stir-fry pans.

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Old 11-07-2018, 10:29 AM   #28
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Larry, I remember when frozen vegi mixes were carrots and peas and one other vegi. The other option was something with one or two vegis and lima beans. Then, the "California blend", with the broccoli and cauliflower started appearing in stores. This was back in the 1970s. It was a nice change, but more expensive.

Yes, there is a difference between brands, but sometimes the store brand is the best one. You just gotta try different brands 'til you find the one you like best.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:18 AM   #29
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If anyone doesn't mind me expanding a little on this topic, I bought some strip steak at Walmart to add to the vegetable stir-fry. It comes packaged just like thin bacon strips. I cut the slices crosswise into 3 sections and froze two sections for later. Anyways...this lady who was doing a demo of the stir-fry first coated her strip steak slices in cornstarch before pan frying them. I'm going to try doing that also. She cooked the meat, set that aside, added the veggies and fried them with some teriyaki marinade, then added the meat back in. BTW, the frozen vegetable bag was called "Broccoli Stir-Fry Vegetables".
Sometimes cornstarch gets clumpy when you put it on the meat, so I whisk it with the sauce ingredients. Been doing this for many years and it works great.
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Old 11-07-2018, 01:51 PM   #30
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We buy certain individual frozen vegetables. too keep on hand and sometimes we buy mixed. When we plan to have stir-fry, we buy fresh and plan another meal that will use them the same week. With fresh broccoli, I peel the stems. I actually prefer the stems over the florets.
For years I thought everyone peeled their broccoli and cauliflower. My mother taught me that as a youngster. Potatoes, carrots, turnip, celery and the two mentioned are always peeled in my kitchen. The only exception is the potato when it is baked. I am sure I have missed some raw veggie that requires peeling before cooking.

Oh, I forgot beets. They get a good scrubbing before cooking, then peeled and sliced.
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Old 11-07-2018, 02:25 PM   #31
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For years I thought everyone peeled their broccoli and cauliflower. My mother taught me that as a youngster. Potatoes, carrots, turnip, celery and the two mentioned are always peeled in my kitchen. The only exception is the potato when it is baked. I am sure I have missed some raw veggie that requires peeling before cooking.

Oh, I forgot beets. They get a good scrubbing before cooking, then peeled and sliced.
I have never peeled broccoli, cauliflower or celery. Celery doesn't even have a skin. Why would you peel it? So wasteful.

The only time I peel potatoes is when I'm using russets for mashers. But that's relatively rare, since I generally use Yukon Golds for pretty much everything, and their skin is so thin they don't need to be peeled.
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Old 11-07-2018, 02:27 PM   #32
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For years I thought everyone peeled their broccoli and cauliflower. My mother taught me that as a youngster. Potatoes, carrots, turnip, celery and the two mentioned are always peeled in my kitchen. The only exception is the potato when it is baked. I am sure I have missed some raw veggie that requires peeling before cooking.

Oh, I forgot beets. They get a good scrubbing before cooking, then peeled and sliced.
My grandmother used to go through the trouble of peeling mushrooms. Arthritic hands and all, the effort she put in to making her soup was unbelievable. I never peel mushrooms. Broccoli stems I do cause they're too fibrous.
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Old 11-07-2018, 02:43 PM   #33
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I have never peeled broccoli, cauliflower or celery. Celery doesn't even have a skin. Why would you peel it? So wasteful.

The only time I peel potatoes is when I'm using russets for mashers. But that's relatively rare, since I generally use Yukon Golds for pretty much everything, and their skin is so thin they don't need to be peeled.
I save the outside stalks of celery for soup. They are usually very stringy. I use the inside for salads like tuna, egg and potato salad, etc. Those stalks are tender and do not need to be peeled. I buy the whole head of celery, instead of just the hearts. I refuse to pay extra for someone to tear off the outside stalks for the sole purpose of a better presentation of appearance. The difference in price is just too great and more than I am willing to pay. I can do the same thing right in my own home.

I generally try to buy potatoes from Maine. I will buy Yukon Gold for special dishes.
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Old 11-07-2018, 02:55 PM   #34
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I save the outside stalks of celery for soup. They are usually very stringy. I use the inside for salads like tuna, egg and potato salad, etc. Those stalks are tender and do not need to be peeled. I buy the whole head of celery, instead of just the hearts. I refuse to pay extra for someone to tear off the outside stalks for the sole purpose of a better presentation of appearance. The difference in price is just too great and more than I am willing to pay. I can do the same thing right in my own home.

I generally try to buy potatoes from Maine. I will buy Yukon Gold for special dishes.
Have you ever looked at a cross-section slice of celery? The entire stalk is stringy

I had no idea anyone thought the hearts (which I don't buy) looked better than the darker green of the outside stalks I use it all, except for the root end, which goes in the compost.
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Old 11-07-2018, 04:26 PM   #35
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Have you ever looked at a cross-section slice of celery? The entire stalk is stringy

I had no idea anyone thought the hearts (which I don't buy) looked better than the darker green of the outside stalks I use it all, except for the root end, which goes in the compost.
True. But the darker green ones are more stringier than the inside ones. When used in a soup, the strings always want to separate from the stalk. At least that is my experience. Stringy soup is not for me. In fact I don't even like cooked celery. I let Pirate have all of those pieces. I like my celery raw as in salads.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:17 PM   #36
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Speaking only to the celery issue, I have long removed the strings as part of my prep. Cut the end of a celery stock, use a paring knife to grasp and pull the strings out.. Takes very little time and eliminates stringy celery..


Perhaps not a big deal when chopping or thin slicing across a stalk but, a noticeable difference when using celery for dipping, etc..


I just do it out of habit..



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Old 11-07-2018, 05:23 PM   #37
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True. But the darker green ones are more stringier than the inside ones. When used in a soup, the strings always want to separate from the stalk. At least that is my experience. Stringy soup is not for me. In fact I don't even like cooked celery. I let Pirate have all of those pieces. I like my celery raw as in salads.
No they're not, jeez. I have never seen that.

Do you really pick out the pieces of celery from a bowl of soup? How strange.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:27 PM   #38
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Speaking only to the celery issue, I have long removed the strings as part of my prep. Cut the end of a celery stock, use a paring knife to grasp and pull the strings out.. Takes very little time and eliminates stringy celery..


Perhaps not a big deal when chopping or thin slicing across a stalk but, a noticeable difference when using celery for dipping, etc..


I just do it out of habit..



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You can also break a stalk in half, and pull the halves apart and remove the strings. Not pretty, but it does the job.

I don't bother if I am going to slice and cook the celery, as you mentioned.

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Old 11-07-2018, 05:31 PM   #39
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No they're not, jeez. I have never seen that.

Do you really pick out the pieces of celery from a bowl of soup? How strange.
Celery is like cilantro -- some people like it, and others don't. I like celery, and my sister hates it. As for the strings, they only bother me if they get caught between my teeth.

The light colored inner stalks are more "tender," for lack of a better term. I like the taste better, too, when raw. For cooking, I don't find any difference worth noting.

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Old 11-07-2018, 06:35 PM   #40
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I find the outer celery to be more stringy than the lighter , inner ones.
I remember my son, as a child, was eating celery, couldn't break down the ' strings', so half the celery he had swallowed was still attached to the other half he was still chewing , bu the ' strings'. Since then ( while they were still young), we cut the celery into bite sized pieces to avoid that from happening again.

My grandmother introduced me to eating the core of the celery at the bottom. She would trim off the very bottom, which was brown. Once trimmed, it was a clean white. And the core taste like a mild celeriac. Now, we fight for it
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