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Old 04-28-2006, 09:32 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Citizen Bob
However, there is a good case to be made for cooks who have a written recipe to refer to in case they have forgotten something.
I absolutely agree!

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Originally Posted by Citizen Bob
So I have no choice but to quantify the ingredients for future reference.
This does not mean (and again I am not saying this applies to you specifically, but I am just talking in generalities) that you need to stick to those written quantities. When I cook from a written recipe I will eyeball most things. If the recipe calls for a T of paprika then I will not reach for my measuring spoon, but instead pour what looks like a T to me into my palm. Will my dish come out tasting exactly the same every time? Nope. But that would probably be true even if I did measure exactly as there as so many other factors that come into play. Freshness of the ingredients will play an important role. If I am making a tomato sauce one batch of tomatoes will taste different from the next and thus my sauce will taste different, just as one example.
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Old 04-29-2006, 08:16 AM   #82
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Bob, there are 2 reasons I can't give you exact measurements of quantity of the 3 oz of mixed chiles.

First, the chiles are used whole, as I said, not dried and ground into powder. Makes a huge difference in volume on the puree.

Secondly, the mixture I use is according to my own tastes, and the feedback gotten from folks who have tried my chili recipe. Your tastes may differ from my own. I know folks who have made the recipe using almost all chipotles, and they like their chili very hot! It's only after learning about the flavors of each individual chili that you can experiment and come up with your 'signature' mixture, in much the same way you devised the proportions of your dried mixture. Anchos taste different than guajillos, or pasilla, or chipotle, and it's only by tasting each one that you can get a true sense of what they're going to bring to a dish.

To me, that's what most cooking is about. With the exception of baking, which does require a basic formula to begin with, cooking is more of an alchemical experiment, where different ingredients and amounts can be added or taken away, once the 'basics' are learned.

To bring a comparison to the lab - any lab tech can take a prescribed 'method', apply it to his experiment, and get results. But it takes a true scientist to be able to interpret those results.
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Old 04-30-2006, 07:45 AM   #83
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I need your recommendation on how to deal with the chiles I have not used to make powder. They are cleaned of seeds and pulp, ready to roast.

Should I make chili powder now or should I store the unroasted chiles and make chili powder only when needed? I am concerned about the flavor being degraded in powder that is stored.

What is the best way to store unroasted chiles? I have read that you can freeze them in freezer bags.
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:02 AM   #84
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I am considering an alternate preparation for the chiles, namely the method to make a chile sauce.

I believe the most common method is to put 6 cleaned chiles (my standard recipe of 2 cascabels, 2 anchos, 2 chipotles) into a quart of water (later to be converted to beef stick with bullion) and bring to a boil. Then steep for 30 minutes, remove softened chiles to a blender and add back a little of the liquid. Puree to make a sauce and strain off the skins.

If that is an acceptable procedure, then I assume I would use the same amount of chiles as I did when roasting. I will add the other spices (roasted cumin powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt) separately.

If there any advantage to preparing the chiles this way as opposed to powder - other than it appears to be easier than roasting and grinding?
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:22 AM   #85
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When you use the chile puree, you're adding bulk to your recipe, so you can avoid using other ingredients like a lot of tomatoes. Again, it just depends on the recipe. Some have a lot of tomatoes in them as the base, and some use the pureed chilis as a base. You can refer to the chili puree recipe I posted on this thread for technique.
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:43 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by marmalady
When you use the chile puree, you're adding bulk to your recipe, so you can avoid using other ingredients like a lot of tomatoes. Again, it just depends on the recipe. Some have a lot of tomatoes in them as the base, and some use the pureed chilis as a base. You can refer to the chili puree recipe I posted on this thread for technique.
I see that you are using 1/2 of the chili puree (1 pt.) per 2 lb meat. I also see that you are using 3 oz. mixed dried chiles (ancho, guajillo, and pasilla) for the chile sauce. That means you are using 1.5 oz. chiles in the final chili recipe.

That's 4-5 times more chiles than I am using for the same amount of meat. Since my recipe is fully-flavored, I can't see using more chili powder.

It would appear that roasted chile powder is significantly stronger than soaked chile puree.



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Old 04-30-2006, 10:48 AM   #87
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Yes the dried powder is stronger, just as dried herbs are stronger than fresh herbs.
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Old 04-30-2006, 01:09 PM   #88
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Citizen Bob, I feel like like you are making this way more complicated than it really is.Just start cooking with a few recipes and see what happens.
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Old 04-30-2006, 01:22 PM   #89
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Citizen Bob, I feel like like you are making this way more complicated than it really is.
That's because it is complicated when you don't know anything about it.

Quote:
Just start cooking with a few recipes and see what happens.
That's what I did for the last 40 years with chili and not one batch I ever made was worth the gun powder to blow it to H e l l. Now that I have discovered authentic chili made from roasted chiles, it's as if I have started all over again. I can't believe it took this long for me to find out.

I am trying to understand what is going on so that I can cook good recipes the first time. I do not like failed experiments, especially when I am the one who has to eat them. I never have been a fan of Q&D. I prefer R&D.

Some of the books I ordered at the library are coming in so I will have a lot to read next week.
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:11 PM   #90
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I'm glad you'll be doing some research, Bob, which is what most of us did to learn the very little that we know!
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