"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Discuss Cooking Community Forums > New Member Introductions!
Click Here to Login

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-08-2007, 03:17 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Skydancer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 18
Hi, Cooking NewB - How to beat egg whites

Hi,

Just thought I would introduce myself. I'm a 49-year-old man...divorced...and wanting to learn more about cooking. I have certain talents but know very little about real cooking. I can usually toss in ingredients without measuring them and guess at what the ingredients should be.

But I have a limited repetoire. Mostly stews, soups, stir fry, chili and similar and I want to learn more. My new Mother in Law keeps complimenting my cooking even though I'm really not very good, so I want to learn more.

One of the recipes I'm trying right now is Chile Rellenos. I love all kinds of spicy foods! I've done tacos, enchiladas, burritos, fajitas, etc, but Chile Rellenos are a different story!

The first big problem I ran into is that the recipe (actually, I conglomerated several recipes) calls for a batter in which you're supposed to separate egg whites and whip them until they "form stiff peaks". I went to howto.com and looked up separating egg whites and I thought I got it right. As far as I can tell, there is no yolk in the whites at all, but no matter how long I mix, or at what speed (in the blender), they don't form stiff peaks. I'm kind of stumped at this point and don't know what to do.

Any advice?


Sincerely,

Skye (with the pancake on his head :-)

Skydancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2007, 03:44 AM   #2
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 23
Ok first off you don't want to be using the blender for this task. You will want to use an electric egg beater, this will beat air into the eggs making them expand in size by a fair amount. The eggs are stiff peaked when you take out the beater and the eggs form a peak which doesn't flop over at the top. You will not achieve stiff peaks if you get a bit of yolk into the egg whites or there is any fat left over in the bowl, so it is best if you use a metal bowl.

Once you have reached stiff peaks adding the egg whites to the mixture you don't want to lose the air you just put in, so you use a folding method basically what you do is go under the mixture and pull it over the egg whites until its incorperated kind of like the motion used when folding a piece of paper in half.
jesse_cool5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2007, 03:47 AM   #3
Executive Chef
 
boufa06's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Volos, Greece
Posts: 3,467
Hi Skye, welcome to DC! As to your egg white problem, firstly, your eggs have to be very fresh, meaning that the egg whites are not runny during separation. There should not be any trace of egg yolk in the whites. Secondly, your bowl and your mixer whisks should be very clean, that is, free of oil. Once this is in order, begin whisking the whites until it reaches a stiff consistency. You can now add it to your dish.
__________________
The proof of the pudding is in the eating!
boufa06 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2007, 04:45 AM   #4
Cook
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 85
Welcome along! I have nothing to add to the previous commnts - execpt to say, ahem, they are right!

Good luck with the egg beating!
__________________
Thegrova
www.take3eggs.com
thegrova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2007, 05:32 AM   #5
Executive Chef
 
redkitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 3,200
Hi and welcome! Love the pancake!!
__________________
Accentuate the positives, medicate the negatives ~ Amy Sedaris
redkitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2007, 12:00 PM   #6
Chef Extraordinaire
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston and Cape Cod
Posts: 10,128
It is entirely possible to whip them by hand with a whisk if you don't have a mixer. But hand mixers are really cheap and most big supermarkets and hardware stores carry them.

The "Stiff peak" stage is achieved when you pull the whisk or beaters out of the bowl and the egg whites form a peak that stays upright and makes a point without falling. If the peak's point flops over, then you are at the "soft peak" stage.

It's always important not to overwhip your egg whites, so check their stage frequently.
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2007, 03:11 PM   #7
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,038
Hello Skye and welcome to DC.
__________________

Jill and Jolie
shpj4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2007, 04:15 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
mudbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NoVA, beyond the Beltway
Posts: 11,166
Bienvenue, Skydancer. I'm a little confused.
You say you're divorced, but you have a new MIL?

Anyway, another tip for stiff egg whites is to add a smidge (1/8 tsp?) of cream of tartar to help them stand at attention.
__________________
Kool Aid - Think before you drink.
mudbug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2007, 04:37 PM   #9
Head Chef
 
lulu's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: England
Posts: 2,039
That confused me too Mudbug....

I quite regularly whip the whites by hand....as the hand mixer is my ONLY gadget where I am now even using that can seem a faff! Just when you think you should give up they start to stiffen. But hand mixers are so cheap that its worth picking one up IMO.
__________________
In omnibus amor et iustum
lulu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2007, 05:15 PM   #10
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 23
Sure you can mix it by hand but it takes much longer (well longer then im willing to spend). Mudbug that measurement sounds about right i normally throw in a pinch, ive occasionally thrown in a bit of salt when theres no cream of tartar left it does the job but not as well.
jesse_cool5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2007, 06:30 PM   #11
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: upper midwest
Posts: 5,369
Welcome, I know you are going to like it here.
__________________
The true treasures in life are found in the simplest things.
JoAnn L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2007, 10:06 PM   #12
Assistant Cook
 
Skydancer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbug
Bienvenue, Skydancer. I'm a little confused.
You say you're divorced, but you have a new MIL?

Anyway, another tip for stiff egg whites is to add a smidge (1/8 tsp?) of cream of tartar to help them stand at attention.
Thanks for all the advice everybody. I'll give it another try this weekend.

As for the MOL, sorry, I didn't mean Mother in Law, I meant StepMother. My father's new wife. It's strange thinking of my father with a new wife. They were married for 52 years before my mother died.
Skydancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2007, 10:24 PM   #13
Assistant Cook
 
Skydancer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skydancer
Thanks for all the advice everybody. I'll give it another try this weekend.

As for the MOL, sorry, I didn't mean Mother in Law, I meant StepMother. My father's new wife. It's strange thinking of my father with a new wife. They were married for 52 years before my mother died.
And of course I meant MIL, not MOL. *sigh*
Skydancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2007, 04:56 AM   #14
Head Chef
 
lulu's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: England
Posts: 2,039
Thank you for pandering to our curiosity Skydancer, we are very nosy, eh? My F-I-L got remarried recently too, and yes, its strange for his children. But sounds like you are buiding a good friendship with her, which is great!
__________________
In omnibus amor et iustum
lulu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2007, 03:37 AM   #15
Assistant Cook
 
Skydancer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lulu
Thank you for pandering to our curiosity Skydancer, we are very nosy, eh? My F-I-L got remarried recently too, and yes, its strange for his children. But sounds like you are buiding a good friendship with her, which is great!
The really weird thing is that even though she's somewhere around 73 (I haven't asked her age!), she knows even less about cooking than I do. Her explanation is that her daughters have always done the cooking. I haven't gotten around to asking her what she did when they were little though.
Skydancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2007, 12:05 AM   #16
Assistant Cook
 
Skydancer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 18
Thanks for the help

I tried to post this yesterday but couldn't get to the site. I just wanted to thank you all for your help and let you know that it helped. I did the Chile Rellenos Saturday night. I think the batter still wasn't quite right (a little too thin) but the eggs whipped fine once I stopped using the blender and started using an electric beater. I think maybe I need some more practice on the "folding" technique.

Flame roasting my own chilies was pretty tedious too. And tough to get right. The first time I undercooked them and couldn't peel them. So I tried again and I think some of them were a little over-cooked and I didn't do a very good job of roasting them evenly but overall, it wasn't bad. I'll definitely need more practice before I feed them to anybody else though. I might try the oven roasting technique next time instead of flame roasting. I suspect it will be easier to get them evenly roasted. The batter recipe needs a little work too. Although they tasted similar to ones I've had in restaurants, they've always been a touch on the bland side for me and I wanted to spice them up a bit. I'm not sure what to add though.

Next time I'll probably try making my own Salsa Verde too since I couldn't find green chile salsa made with tomatillos in the grocery store. Though I have no idea where to get tomatillos.


Thanks again for the advice everybody!

Skye.
Skydancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2007, 01:07 AM   #17
Chef Extraordinaire
 
kadesma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: california
Posts: 21,371
Skye,
tomatillos can be purchased either fresh in the produce department or canned..The canned are usually in the Ethnic section of your grocery store, there should also be some green sauce right close by the tomatillos..I usually make my own green sauce but the canned are very good.

kadesma
__________________
HEAVEN is Cade, Ethan,Carson, and Olivia,Alyssa,Gianna
kadesma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2007, 01:10 AM   #18
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 16,171
Skydancer, I have no clue as to where you live, but I can find tomatillos in my rural market here in western Kentucky. Just be sure to buy firm ones that are not mushy or wrinkled. Our area Kroger and Wal-Mart superstores carry them.

Congratulations on your efforts to make a favorite dish. Once mastered, you'll be so proud of yourself and will be able to taste your fine skills in a perfected dish. Keep on keepin' on, you'll be okay.
__________________
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2007, 10:22 PM   #19
Assistant Cook
 
Skydancer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kadesma
Skye,
tomatillos can be purchased either fresh in the produce department or canned..The canned are usually in the Ethnic section of your grocery store, there should also be some green sauce right close by the tomatillos..I usually make my own green sauce but the canned are very good.

kadesma
I've looked all over the store I usually go to and couldn't find them either in the fresh produce section or the ethnic section. I think I'll just look around in some of the other stores.

Skye.
Skydancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2007, 04:42 AM   #20
Assistant Cook
 
Skydancer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skydancer
I've looked all over the store I usually go to and couldn't find them either in the fresh produce section or the ethnic section. I think I'll just look around in some of the other stores.

Skye.
I went to the largest grocery store in Boulder, CO and found some Tomatillos. No fresh ones, but they had canned in the Mexican (ethnic) section. So I made a Salsa Verde with Tomatillos. I looked at the ingredients of the green chile salsas I've tried from the store and none of them had Tomatillos. They all had either Tomatoes or neither. I think I need to shop in more hispanic areas of the city :-) Anyway, I love tomatillos! The Salsa Verde I made with them was much better than the ones with tomatoes.

I did modify the recipe a bit. I cut the cilantro in half and added some comino. Also, the recipe had whipping cream for thickening but I'm lactose intolerent so I'm trying to cut down on dairy products. I was going to use flower or corn starch for thickening but then I decided to try some Masa Harina. I think it worked really well. I used in on Heuvos Rancheros and I think it came out really well.
Skydancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.