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Old 12-16-2007, 01:22 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopstix View Post
I would recognize a serious home cook if, like me, his/her kitchen had food items like:

- Shallots
- Wine for cooking
- Finishing sea salt
- Home-made stocks
- Peppermill for freshly ground pepper

and (5 items are not enough!)

- Basic ingredients without which one can't be a serious cook:
---- good butter and oils
---- whole garlic
---- onions
- Blocks of cheese (no pre-grated cheeses please!)
- Exotic ingredients like truffle oil, saffron, real paprika, etc.
Good call on the shallots, wine, and cheese.

Fresh herbs would be another one.
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Old 12-16-2007, 01:29 PM   #52
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is it true that you should never use a wine to cook with that you wouldnt drink? thats been a rule of mine for awhile now, i just wonder if anyone agrees..
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Old 12-16-2007, 01:33 PM   #53
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is it true that you should never use a wine to cook with that you wouldnt drink? thats been a rule of mine for awhile now, i just wonder if anyone agrees..
Only if the wine is rancid. Despite what you see on TV, most restaurants use very cheap wines for cooking.
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:24 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by ironchef View Post
Only if the wine is rancid. Despite what you see on TV, most restaurants use very cheap wines for cooking.
Thanks for this confirmation, IC. Ever since some chef on TV said not to cook with wine that one won't swallow, I've always felt some guilt cooking with cheaper wine. (Mind you, wine here in Thailand easily costs double their price abroad.) Now I'm relieved.

Also, I read in Heat that Babbo's Brasato al Barolo (beef stewed in expensive Barolo wine) is made with neither Barolo nor some other Italian wine, but with some French wine! What a shame they don't change the name of the dish!
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:32 PM   #55
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salt, garlic, taters, onions, hot sauce
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:01 AM   #56
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If you are getting balsamic vinegar, you should be looking at its "leaf" rating. A four-leaf balsamic is lovely and thick and you can drink like a plum wine. Pour this over fresh strawberries and fresh stone fruit for a lovely dessert. For a salad, I wouldn't use less than a three or four leaf balsamic. For cooking, you can get by with the lower one or two leaf versions. But I wouldn't swig either of those. My understanding is also that a true balsamic can only come from Italian stock, either imported as the vinegar or imported as the must. But that may only apply to Australia.
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:18 AM   #57
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Thank you kindly for the advice. I adore balsamic but I obviously didn't know about it as much as I should. Off to the markets....
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:28 AM   #58
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Mikey, this is the article that gave me my initial education in balsamic. It is Australian so some of this may not be applicable to where you are. It is just by chance that I had already picked up the Mazzetti brand (can't remember which leaf - 3 or 4), just remember staring at the shelves of balsamic and not having a clue!!

CHOICE - Test: Balsamic vinegar
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:16 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purringkitty View Post
ive added truffle oil to my shopping list as well as fresh saffron
I hope you have lots & lots of pennies saved before you go shopping!
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:21 PM   #60
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I'm really big on appetizers so I would have to say that I would hate to run out of the following:
- cream cheese
- Frank's Red Hot
- mayonnaise
- shellfish (shrimp, crab, scallops)
- bacon
- sharp cheddar
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