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Ah Ha! Food Moments

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Ever learned one of those things that you should have known already? You know, something that should have been obvious, but somehow escaped your notice? Makes you say, "Ah, ha!"

 

F'rinstance, a friend recently asked if I'd ever put chive blossoms in vinegar. Now I make a lot of herb vinegars. But somehow the idea of using chive flowers never occured to me. The result is spectacular, btw, yeilding a beautifull purplish colored vinegar with a hint of onion flavor.

 

But the point is, I should have been able to figure that one out for myself.

 

How about everyone else. Ever have an Ah Ha! food moment

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #2 of 15

For me this defines wine paring.  I cooked in some joints that really just did lip service to wine and really thus so did I.  When I worked in a place that had a team of sommeliers the story was different.  We were cooking to match food to wine which is something that hadn't occurred to me before but really makes sense and really develops one as a cook.

post #3 of 15

For me, not being a professional, just your homey food hobbyist, I started watching cooking shows back in the day on PBS.  I had cut out a recipe from one of these TV Chefs from our local newspaper.  I sat down and read through it very carefully, and I realized that I didn’t have all of the ingredients called for.  I had a few things that I thought might make a reasonable substitution and dinner time was fast approaching.

You know what?  It tasted pretty darn good! 

That was my biggest AH HA in the kitchen.  A recipe, no matter who gave it to you, is really just a guideline, a suggestion.  There are NO hard and fast rules in cooking, a tweak here, a twist there, makes it yours.  

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Sure, Kaneohegirl, that's all true. But it's even better if you give it a fancy name.

 

F'rinstance, I recently made a modified version of an 18th century dish that was called "Barbecued Pork Leg." Simple enough. But it's much more elegant when the same dish is called "Fire Roasted Shoulder of Pork with Cabernet/Anchovy Butter Sauce."

 

And yet, it's still just pulled pork. lookaround.gif

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 15

And the fancier the name, the more you can charge. And it can't be compared to anywhere or anyone elses. Totally Original

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #6 of 15

Too True!!

Give it a fancy sounding name, with fancy sounding ingredients and it’s still …  tongue.gif  oh, I don"t know ... POT ROAST and BOILED POTATOES ...

post #7 of 15

I've had many aha moments and continue to do so although they're becoming a rarity nowadays.  I remember having an aha moment when I learned how to really sear something and create a fond.  Before that I never used to dry any meat before cooking it and now no matter how I cook meat I pat it completely dry with paper towels and it makes such a huge difference in texture and building flavors. 

 

I also remember having an aha moment when I learned the function of herbs and fresh greenery in cooking.  I love being able to toss a fresh herb in a pasta dish or toss some fresh arugula leaves on my pizza before serving.  Or even adding a gremolata to a stew.  Once I learned how you can create depth in cooking by adding freshness at the end it changed my cooking forever.

 

The most spectacular aha moment I had was towards the beginning of learning how to cook.  I didn't understand how one piece of beef could have such different texture from another piece of beef.  There I was making beef stew with chuck and trying to cook it rare it so it wouldn't get tough!  I then learned that some cuts (the cheaper cuts) of meat have to be cooked, overcooked to the point of toughness, and then cooked even longer to make them tender.  I'm in love with these cuts of meat now and serve them exclusively at dinner parties.  Out with the prime ribs, the tenderloins and the filet mignons!  In with the chucks, the shoulders, and the bellies!  Cheaper, more delicious, and way more forgiving.  Now that's an AHA!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #8 of 15

just wondering ky..is an aha moment the same thing as duh but with a fancier name?!

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Pretty close, Joey.

 

But, hey! If you want those Michelin stars ya gotta upscale everything---even how you describe sumpin ya shudda knowed but didn't. tongue.gif

 

And the fancier the name, the more you can charge.

 

Well shoot, Ed. Does that mean I can't get 30 bucks for plain ol' pulled pork? crying.gif

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #10 of 15

i know ky,

just yankin your chain to make sure you're still breathing through both nostrils!...happpy spring, gentleman gardener...happy spring..just back from mexico to 6 inches of the white stuff.....me no likey...

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #11 of 15
What I love are those times you slap some stuff together with what is on hand, doctor it up with a bit of this and that, sit down, take a bite and WOW! This is REALLY good! Of course you didn't pay that much attention to it while cooking, so you will never be able to recreate it...

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #12 of 15

French Menu   ""  Demi Pamplamouse Garni A La Maison'''  $5.95

American Menu--  Half Grapefruit......$2.95

 

Example of the written words on menues

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Well you know, Joey, into those rarified heights a little snow must fall. wink.gif

 

How was the trip?

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #14 of 15

not so much aha moments as much as, 'well, that makes sense... duh' !!!

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #15 of 15

I totally agree with you Team Fat (love that screen name!).

I’ve done that so many times, starting out with a recipe and

I didn’t have this or that, throw in whatcha got; slapped it down on the plate and…

Wow, that’s pretty dang good, how did I do that again?

Now if I’m making something that I’ve never made before

Or haven’t made for a while, I keep a pencil close to hand

And write it down as I go.  Funny thing is, I pulled out a recipe

The other day, and I had made it in so many different ways

That now I can’t remember which way was better.

Oh well, it’s all good.

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