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Maybe This Is Why We (I) (She?) Cook With Authenticity


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My other big issues with properly cooking beans are:

if you don't use RG beans, you can't expect them to be anywhere near as fresh as those are. And i guess they can also be from mixed harvests, which might certainly lead to uneven cooking. There are some beans I've gotten from RG which cook so fast they surprise me.

i'm really not a fan of the pressure cooker for beans. Sure, they cook faster (yet also more unevenly, in my experience) and they just don't have the depth of flavor as stovetop or oven simmering, Though I guess that's mitigated a bit by then cooking them further un-pressured.

Last night I cooked some of the desi chana beans I just got from RG in order to make mongo's chana masala today. And yeah, I guess this is where I divert from following his recipe exactly, as I did not use the pressure cooker.

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this is a wrong-headed article. find out why.

It's more than just finding a place to buy stuff. For example, if I got 100g of uni, it would spoil before I could eat it all, and no one's gonna ship me 15g, which is probably all I can eat at one ti

Nope, it's not to one-up anyone. It's for this reason: A Kitchen Resolution Worth Making: Follow the Recipe Exactly

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I use a pressure cooker for beans alot, but almost never as the end stage of a recipe, because generally to your point I find it doesn't do a great job of evenness.  But if you are cooking them in sauce after, its just such a time saver.

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41 minutes ago, Orik said:

Right, I just don't think most Americans have a usual approach from which to de-center. 

 

yes, to the extent this is an issue it's probably an issue for people who are trained in particular traditions (and even with them i'm not sure it's necessarily a problem). most cooks are willing to do whatever and the idea that people are buying recipe books in order to ignore them is rather silly.

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4 hours ago, joethefoodie said:

Sometimes it's fun to not see the trees through the forest - but I'm sure I'm an outlier; I'm not a professor, nor a lawyer, nor a food purveryor; just a shitty old home cook.

I don't think I'm approaching this as a lawyer, but as a Marxist culture critic -- which is even less fun.

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16 minutes ago, Sneakeater said:

I don't think I'm approaching this as a lawyer, but as a Marxist culture critic -- which is even less fun.

What little point I'm attempting to make is that I thought it was an interesting premise - to follow a recipe, exactly as it is written, with no subs, no changes, no nothing - and see how the finished product comes out, especially if it is a recipe one has followed previously with changes.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Quote

 It’s a paradox — the less we have to work with, the more open-minded, relaxed and confident we can be — that I hope will endure.

The anti-paradox, for me, is that I have more to work with than I ever had before.  And believe me, I'm glad he, and anyone else who minds, minds less...

Quote

Now, don’t get me wrong! I am in the business of writing cookbooks. I hope very much to inspire the seeking out of new ingredients and the experimenting with something novel. This is my very bread and butter: I just mind much less, these days, what kind of bread you’re buttering.

 

 

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Perhaps yelling "FIRE" in a crowded auditorium, but I've often worried the question, which is the better chef, the one who sources the finest ingredients or the one who can turn mediocre stuffs into a feast.    Regarding the former, my mantra parallels the medical oath, "above all, do no harm."    Plotz and I used to niggle over what to do with "a perfect pear".

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I'm a lot more impressed by sourcing. I can learn to be a better cook, but I'm probably never going to be able to get my hands on the ingredients for the "uni trio" I was served at 15 East. And at the risk of sounding like a snob, I don't think mediocre ingredients, regardless of whose skilled hands they're in, can ever stun me in the way I was stunned by a black rice seafood paella I had (25 years ago! and I still remember it!) in Gandia. Turning mediocre stuffs into a feast is making the best out of what you have, which is a great thing to be able to do. But it's the Clinton Street Baking Company argument. Yes, the pancakes are very good. But they're still just pancakes.

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You know, I'm gonna take a wild stab here and venture a guess that it's really not too hard to get most "cheffy" ingredients.

And I'll also guess that, in certain cases, we can get better stuff.

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41 minutes ago, small h said:

I'm a lot more impressed by sourcing. ....I was stunned by a black rice seafood paella I had (25 years ago! and I still remember it!) in Gandia.

What parts of this dish struck you as so amazingly sourced?     Could you not find seafood this excellent or fresh?    The other ingredients are pantry stock.

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It's more than just finding a place to buy stuff. For example, if I got 100g of uni, it would spoil before I could eat it all, and no one's gonna ship me 15g, which is probably all I can eat at one time. I can (and did) get a single serving of Hokkaido uni at the Tsukiji fish market, but how often am I in Tokyo? Just once, so far, in more than half a century.  Note that I have already spilled something on myself, and it's probably not even noon.

uni.jpg.5d0f56bdbece16bbd81d49795f4b70fa.jpg

So yes, it's theoretically possible, but it's very, very impractical. I suppose I could also start a restaurant and get ingredients that way. 

And sure, I can also learn to make paella (probably), but it's not gonna be with THOSE shrimp and clams and mussels and scallops. They were that good. You just have to trust me on this.

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6 minutes ago, voyager said:

Could you not find seafood this excellent or fresh?

Not so far. It was also probably less than a few hours from the water, which I'm sure made a difference.

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50 minutes ago, small h said:

And sure, I can also learn to make paella (probably), but it's not gonna be with THOSE shrimp and clams and mussels and scallops. They were that good. You just have to trust me on this.

I trust you, and that's more about where you are than what you can procure here.

I've had clams, mussels, scallops, tuna, striped bass, crab all out of the water less than a few hours - in Provincetown.

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