I'm a sous chef biatch

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I can't buy bottled water anymore. Just can't.

That's just simon's way duncan... In past posts, people claimed that I was too defensive, but simon doesn't receive the same criticism since he's a veteran on SE. In my opinion, he is a total jerk to other posters on a consistent basis. He's always pointing out inadequacies and making people feel stupid. Get off your high horse simon!

Substitue for Crawfish?

I hate that "Who Dat" shit. I'm a football fan, but people who use that term are seriously a bunch of lame-ards. It's even worse than foodie.

The Food Lab: How To Make The Best Chili Ever

Soaking dried chiles also helps to release any debris that you wouldn't want in your stock. If it's an especially hot chile, it will also help to lessen the capsaiacin while still maintaining the overall flavor.

I think the robust flavor of dried chiles is more suitable for this type of dish than fresh chiles, which are better in fresh salsas. No one wants to bite on pieces of diced spicy serrano in chili. As Kenji stated, the flavors are supposed to be balanced (sweet, spicy, salty, rich, etc.) and too much heat would detract from that. Be advised, too much dried chile and it turns into mole. The prime concerns are the beans and the beef. Ace those and add amendments to suit your taste and you'll have a great chili.

What cooking skill have you recently acquired?

You know, it's a skill as a good cook to not rely on recipes and instead rely on your own palate to create a dish. Loosely following a recipe is acceptable, but sitting there reading it word for word and making sure everything is perfect is not going to make you a better cook.

What was your favorite food memories of 2009?

I'm happy for you, but fajitas, nacho, ranchero beans and cookies are not Mexican fare. That's mostly Tex-Mex.

Is Taste Purely Subjective?

Of course physiology plays a role, especially in the case of cilantro where some people taste soap. But it's much less common for a person's brain chemicals to tell them that truffles, for instance smell like "old people's dentures" as I once heard someone say, as opposed to a person's psychological aversion to trying truffles or admitting that they're tasty because they think they are bizarre or didn't agree with the flavor the first time around.

Is Taste Purely Subjective?

A very good reponse, AyeEat. Like I said, there is some subjectivity, but for the most part everyone knows the flavors of foods like parsley and apple. Smokers don't think apples taste like pears or vice versa. But how could they know the true flavor of sweetbreads if they never tasted it, or only tasted it once and it was poorly prepared?

In your first paragraph, do you think the same goes for people who don't want to eat "normal" foods like spinach or mushrooms?

Is Taste Purely Subjective?

Yes, I have at a good school. Thank you for the belittlement. Taste is partially subjective, not utterly and totally subjective. Favoritism for certain foods is subjective. I know chefs who can make dirt taste good.

Wanted: Two hearty eaters to complete reservation for four at Per Se

Haha, don't be offended people... I was just trying to help the girls out since they're probably thinking the same thing. A dozen replies and not one of them is helpful for their goal. Chat on for all I care.

Is Taste Purely Subjective?

It's one thing to have minor personal preferences such as "too tart", "too sweet" and another to say that the food in question tastes good or bad. For instance, if a panel of five professional judges made the remarks you described, they would still give the cook a positive overall score if their food was good. An panel of five children may not see the food for what it is and instead base their scores on personal preferences and subjectivity thus yielding an array of different marks. Taste is not purely subjective; our favoritisms and aversions are purely subjective. Picky eaters can be adults or children, but I was referencing children here to prove my point. Picky eaters do not know how to put their biases aside and their attempts to form an objective opinion about food is flawed. Despite your fervent, drawn out reply, I don't think you are one of these people, dbcurrie. I think that if Thomas Keller cooked a meal for you and his ingredient list included some of your most hated foods, you would still walk away satisfied with what he prepared you.

The truth is that most people haven't opened their minds, culinarily speaking. I guess you would call the people who have "foodies", but I hate that word. Our minds dictate what we choose to like and dislike. We try brussels sprouts once as a kid and then claim to still despise them as an adult when we haven't tried them in 20 years. If you open your mind, you'll find that your taste buds are not so different from the rest of the adventurous food lovers in the world.

Is Taste Purely Subjective?

Yes, but if you're open to new or unfamiliar foods, you might end up loving it in the future. Anyone who has previously disliked a food to only later love it has overcame their own picky, subjective taste. For me, disliking something once is not reason enough to hate it for eternity. I'll give it more than one shot.

Wanted: Two hearty eaters to complete reservation for four at Per Se

Instead of you people replying that you won't go, why don't you refrain from replying unless you actually can go.

What skill do you bring to the table?

That's a good point bareneed. Using great ingredients make the food taste and look much better. Before I was a chef, I didn't really go out of my way to buy the best ingredients or the correct ingredients for that matter since I frequently used substitutions. By not succumbing to substitutions, you make your "kitchen game" that much better. My advice is to suck it up and use what's meant to be used. If you really love cooking, this shouldn't be too much of a hassle for you. It's a sacrifice you're willing to make for great food.

Hated it as a Child - Love it Now

Forgot about beer and wine. Not so much as a kid, but more of a teen. Hated it then, now I love it.

What skill do you bring to the table?

I work in an upscale restaurant, dress up in a full chef's uniform and cook in a 110-degree F. kitchen (hotter in the summer) for 250 people a night, working 10 hours a day, 6 days a week and no more than 2 days off in a row for vacation. I am working when everyone else is having fun. I work when I'm sick and even when I have a death in the family. Right now I am working - I'm writing this comment on my blackberry.

Top 5 Kitchen Tools, What are yours?

Have you seen how difficult it was for Tom Hanks to open coconuts and catch fish with rocks in Cast Away? I think most of us wouldn't be too successful with rocks.

Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live, Episode 1

I like Kitchen Nightmares, UK version only. All the rest of his shows are horrible. The man himself is a genius in the kitchen, but he's too concerned with making money and entertaining (or making fun of) Americans that his whole marketing scheme has lost its focus. Sometimes less is more, Mr. Ramsay. I liked you more when you were less known.

Homemade Holiday Egg Nog

@dbcurrie... I like your idea of not adding the liquor to the dairy mixture until time of consumption. Most of us cannot drink 1 quart of egg nog at a time and this seems more practical.

I think I prefer mine cooked over the stove-top and then cooled. Of all the homemade egg nogs I've tried, these were always superior in taste to raw versions of the recipe.

Beef Jerky Recipes or any jerky for the stockings this year.

I made venison (loin) jerky awhile back and it was delicious. I don't remember everything I used in the recipe, but I will try to provide what I do remember using in the below list. You can definitely substitute the methods/ingredients for beef loin or other lean cuts of red meat.

The marinade is thick, wet and reddish-brown. I sliced thin strips against the grain and marinated for two days in a covered non-reactive container in the refrigerator. Afterward, I wiped the excess marinade off of the meat and placed it in one layer on a wire rack over a sheet tray for proper air flow. I then put it in a 200 F - 250 F oven to dry for about 5 to 6 hours. I turned the jerky about 6 times to ensure it was drying properly; if it's not then slightly increase the heat. Almost as quickly as I was finished, the entire batch was eaten by about 8 of my friends! I had no leftovers.

Chipotles in Adobo sauce, blended
Morton's Tender Quick curing salt
Dark molasses
Worcestershire sauce
A neutral oil
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Coriander seed powder
Black peppercorns
... also, I'm not sure if I used brown sugar or soy sauce

I don't recall the amounts I used for this recipe but it's easier to sprinkle the dry seasonings on the meat using your eye and then add it to the liquid ingredients later rather than adding everything all at once. I recommend tasting the marinade and try to fix it if it's not right instead of having faith that it is and going through all the trouble to marinate for 2 days. As long as you don't go overboard with the spices, it should be right. Measure in teaspoons and tablespoons, not cups. Good luck.

Ideas to fix Ugly Pie?

I'm afraid the ingredients in your pie (this would be more of a tart since it has no top crust) turn into a mixture that is too dark on the surface to be attractive. You need more color, or lighter color. Additionally, I would nix the crust and the cheese, put it in a casserole pot, and add some herbs to the mixture.

Hated it as a Child - Love it Now

To my knowledge, I've overcome all of my childhood dislikes, such as raw tomato, anchovies and cooked cabbage. My palate is much more developed and adventurous right now but I still can't stand some traditional foods like Sweet Holiday-Glazed Ham with Pineapples and Cherries. I'd rather eat organ meats than Holiday Ham.

Homemade Holiday Egg Nog

Even being a chef, I made it known that I never made egg nog before so I was asking questions about your recipe which I thought you would know since it is family inspired and all. I was thinking there's a reasoning behind doing it as instructed but okay.


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