Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2003 04:34 pm
What is that I hear? The distinct change from a boiling sound to a searing sound? Is that what I wanted, or is the pan too hot?

What's that I smell? The difference between seared and burnt?

What's that I see? The difference between a steam cloud and a proper wisp of smoke for hot-smoking food?

Robuchon once said that when it came to cooking, god was in the details, but really, it's about instinct. This is the cooking instinct thread. Sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, all are welcomed, as are any questions that might help one develop the "instinct".

I was watching the new Jamie Oliver show last night, where he is training the unemployed novices, and this is the quality all chefs look for in their trainees. That and passion. I think I'm hooked, when I can catch it! I look for the same things in staff.
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Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2003 04:39 pm
I cook by instinct. I don't have the patience for more "scientific" recipes like those involving dough. That takes real technical skill. I've been told I'm an excellent cook, but I'd have a hard time teaching it. Also, I cook pretty good Italian food. It was never taught to me, but I grew up eating great Italian food at home and cooking it came naturally-- instinct. How do I want it to taste, etc. I found out later that some of the things I just made up myself have a name like "reducing" --and things like that.
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Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2003 05:08 pm
The best way is to learn at home, or in restaurants, and hone it with schooling. Doughs are not that hard to do. Pastry starts with science and ends with touch....beautiful stuff....when you get it in your head. Doughs, my approach, teach half by method, and half by touch. The recipe doesn't always perform the same way each time, so touch becomes pivotal for future reference.
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Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2003 05:58 pm
I do a lot of my cooking with my sense of smell and touch. I can always sense what is going on with what is baking in the oven by the smells produced.

Most of my cooking is hip-pocket action, just combining little bits of stuff that strikes the mood I'm in. More often then not, it comes out quite wonderful but I can rarely exactly reproduce it again. One of these days I'll have to use a tape recorder and record notes on what I'm doing and then try reproducing it from that to see if it works.
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Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2003 06:07 pm
I'm a lousy cook. I can broil a pretty good steak, though! Laughing
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Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2003 06:37 pm
I don't measure. I can feel when I've added enough salt, pepper, onion, garlic. Strangely tho, I've gone thru a couple of phases in the last few years where I began to oversalt and had to become extremely concious of it, pull back and not trust my instinct until I rebalanced but yesterday, following a new recipe, I ruined a big pot of jambalaya loaded with shrimp and andouille sausage. It's delicious but the rice is mushy and overcooked. I'm still trying to figure out how to salvage it cause throwing away food is no good.
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Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2003 07:09 pm
My dad was a bakers apprentice before he was in the army. He remembered how to bake pies and cinnamon buns and rolls, and cakes. And he taught me what he learned and this ive treasured. the only problem is, I only know how to make 30 pies at a time. This is a problem. ive tried reducing the rcipes and have had good luck down to about 10 pies or 10 dozen rolls. when I start decreasing the batches, the special something that made 20 pies good, majes one pie taste like real ****.

Im obsessed with pies this year for some reason. LAst year i was cookin ducks like the Texas executioner.

ive learned some really good lessons from a2k on cooking lemme enumerate

1 fry your curry before mixing it in, really kicks it up a notch (sorry i wont use that again)

2 deer meat isnt bad if the deer is quickly undressed of his attire in the field.
I helped a friend who shot a deer in my woods during bow season. we skinned him out and, sumbitch the deermeat actually wasnt bad

3 possum is inedible

4 so are them little red berries you see in the woods that are in twos

5 frsh coconut is waay better than that boxed crap

6once october arrives quit eating tomatoes, they are tasteless from then on,

7 never eat store bought strawberries, for details see
item 6

8 sopaipillas are best made with a corn oil fry

9 theres a dessert that Chris shot a kid in the foot over, in a Sopranos episode and ossobuco told me what it was and now I forgot

10 ossobuco is a food

11 theres a lot of people on this line that dont eat any meat.

12 chupra on abuzz told me some wisdom about meat-it is just used as a flavoring not the entire meal

13 fried twinkies rule
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Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2003 07:13 pm
Item 2 needs some edits. We(meaning my friend and I) skinned the DEER.
At no time in the entire operation were any friends skinned. believe me

14 one of the kinder lessons I believe I got from blacksmithin and fishin, they told me that cooking with mesquite wood makes the meat taste like pine sol, and all it does it keep the mesquitos away from the grill
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Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2003 09:10 pm
If you don't have one, buy a chest freezer farmerman, measure out 9 oz. portions of dough, wrap 'em up and freeze them. They work just fine.
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