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Food questions you have been wondering about

 
 
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2004 04:35 pm
I have two I have wondered about recently, do you have any?

Mine are:

Mushrooms - I have always heard that you shouldn't rinse mushrooms, that you should brush them clean with a mushroom brush. I am rebelling lately and just rinse them off with water. It's true that after this I saute them, or cook them in some way. Is this so terrible?

Garlic - most recipes with garlic say to peel it. Well, the ones that suggest putting 40 cloves into a roasting chicken's cavity do let you put those in unpeeled. But I am wondering, what happens if you don't peel before mincing and sauteing... does the peel taste funny?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 4,054 • Replies: 43
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Wy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2004 04:43 pm
I don't wash mushrooms until just before I use them. Then I rinse them and do whatever, just as you do. I think the problem comes from washing them today and wanting to cook with them tomorrow. I think the mushroom brush people might be Martha Stewart people -- just too beautiful.

When I used a garlic press, I never peeled them. But they're not hard to peel. When I roast a head of garlic, I squeeze the cooked garlic out of the cloves and onto my bread, and throw the skin away then. I think minced peel would not change at all in cooking -- the problem would be the texture, like little pieces of paper... Do you eat the ones that come out of the chicken's cavity?
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colorbook
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2004 05:17 pm
I rinse mushrooms just before I cook them, I've never heard of scrubbing them.

I always peel the garlic clove. I have no idea how garlic cloves would turn out if I didn't peel them.

I have always wondered about juice makers. On TV people put in things like: potato, carrot, celery, apple, cucumber, and say things like, "Mmmmm, that's so good!" My question is: Does it really taste that good?
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Wy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2004 05:38 pm
Depends on what you put in, and what you like... I like juiced apples and ginger, but you might not.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2004 06:08 pm
On the mushroom, yes, I don't clean them til use either. And I suppose if I used them in salads I'd just wipe them with a paper towel. Mostly my mushrooms are from the co-op and were grown in some sort of medium, and don't come from regular soil where they might "harbor" various bacteria, but hey, dirt isn't all so bad for you unless you get it in a closed wound (another subject).

On garlic, the number of garlic cloves I have ever peeled must really add up now. I haven't eaten those from the cavity, Wy, but given that the chicken is cooked well enough, I wouldn't worry about eating them. I throw some unpeeled into the bottom of the roasting pan with a little water and sometimes some marsala to start anyway, no matter what the chicken, and those are good...

I used to use a garlic press to get rid of the skin too, and one fell apart one day and someone told me they were really to extract garlic juice. (huh?) Now I have this thing, how shall I describe it, I think it's called a microblade, a minigrater, where you secure your clove entrapped between the grater and this element that you whoosh back and forth. That's pretty good. I also am keen on the old side of knife or scraper pressed on the clove, which separates the skin. Still, I wonder, what of garlic skin texture left in saute... might even be 'good for you'.

I've never had a juicemaker.... hmmm, thinking of candied orange peel...
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2004 06:13 pm
WQe live in mushroom country and they recc that you just brush them. NO WAY ! They grow these things in composted dung and straw, Dont consider compost one of the major food groups.
. We lightly brush wild mushrooms(actually most of them we dry , so washing is bad anyway).
ive never used garlic that is not pounded then the skin just slips right off. everybody here likes to eat the garlic so without skin, its quite sweet.

colorbook, we dont have a squeeze juicer, we have a vitamix. It does a great job when you add ice but the juice is heavy with pulp like a smoothy and many people dont like that
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quinn1
 
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Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2004 06:29 pm
I think the thing with the mushrooms other than that whole get rid of the whatever it was growing in is something about the water reacting with the fungi to start breaking it down if you are looking for it to be fresh, not cooked...Im probably wrong but, thats what I remember. I usually cook them, so I rinse them.
Garlic--peeled.
Juicer--I had a juicer once. I tried carrots. I didnt like them. I liked making other things though...you know pineapple/orange before you could buy it all made and things like that. Really became, too much of a bother though.

What is it about frozen seafood? Is it frozen seafood that cant be refrozen? I always forget that one and dont know why, if thats right anyway...maybe it is something else that cant be refrozen and thats why I am confused.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2004 06:45 pm
One thing handy about being a known crazed italophile is that people bring me stuff when they go there. So I keep getting, and appreciating, bags of porcini people pick up at the DutyFreeShop on their way out.

But so, are the dried mushrooms you find in packages grown in composted dung and not washed, cough?
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2004 06:49 pm
I've don't buy frozen seafood much, usually buy local fresh in season..
Protein breaks down on freezing and refreezing, so perhaps fish flesh gets icky texture faster than other things, especially if it was frozen to start with, though most of it is flashfrozen and can fare better than degenerating fresh. Thus it gets, one hopes, one thaw. But most freezers go through diff temp cycles, I think, thus long freezer time is detrimental to a lot of things. I remember in the lab that if you wanted to keep something from doing that you froze it at -70 degrees. This is important for some medical specimens....
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2004 06:56 pm
I stopped buying whole garlic a few years ago once they started selling prechopped. Yippee.
I had a juicer many years ago but it took way too many carrots to make one glass of juice. I sold it.
I'm sure I have some questions. Give me a minute...
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2004 09:29 pm
I have a question about fennel. I've been sauteeing it with olive oil, a bit of butter and a shake of mace. Do you cook the green stalks as well as the base? Do you need to cook them longer than the base? The green stalks seem a bit tough.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2004 09:51 pm
hmmm. I have eaten fennel raw many times. (It's like apples, if it is going to hang around, put it in some acidified water.) Cooked.. I've put it in soup and that toughness goes away. In a stir fry... I might swipe off much of the base, and I guess I do take off some of the outer whatever-you-callit, ah, bulb. I have friends who really don't like fennel, but I enjoy it.
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Wy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2004 04:41 pm
Is there male and female fennel? One is flat and the other is round? One is better? (this is what I get for falling asleep with the Food Channel on...)

Speaking of which, one of the miracle-workers on that channel had a trick to peel many cloves of garlic. She separated them and put them in a small bowl. She put an identical bowl on top, so the cloves were in the middle of a ball. She picked it up and shook it back and forth for a minute -- hey presto! peeled garlic!
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2004 04:47 pm
Some garlic peels won't just flake off, though. We get some different varieties locally.

Fennel, well, I know there are bronze fennel plants and regular fennel plants, but have no idea about male and female fennels. I do know lots of grocery stores insist on calling fennel 'anise', and they are not the same thing.
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Wy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2004 08:03 pm
I've seen some garlic that's like that. Sorta like clingstone and freestone peaches.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2004 08:27 pm
Yes. The elephant garlic is thicker skinned, but there is also a little slightly reddish skinned regular or smaller sized bulb that is pretty flavorful and has thick skinned cloves. I grew some, actually, from a garlic start packet from my nursery.
Sometimes the garlic at street markets isn't treated like the garlic in supermarkets, and you can start lots of new garlics..
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margo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2004 08:36 pm
colorbook wrote:
I have always wondered about juice makers. On TV people put in things like: potato, carrot, celery, apple, cucumber, and say things like, "Mmmmm, that's so good!" My question is: Does it really taste that good?


I can answer this one!

Potato is not such a great taste! Cucumber I haven't tried. Surprisingly, tomato is a bit ordinary.

Carrot, apple, celery, with ginger - go remarkably well! It's my usual breakfast drink. Carrot is quite sweet, and the others all add something. As it's full-on summer now, I also add, variously, watermelon, rockmelon (canteloup), peaches, apricot, mango.

Watermelon with champagne is quite a good combination - I offer it to guests as they arrive for a meal!
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2004 09:19 pm
Margo, I'm going to save that post and print it out.

Sounds like a really good breaky. That carrot celery apple ginger thing.

On tomato, I the purist who shuns market tomatoes except for street market ones, who does used canned for sauce in winter, has made a decent soup out of ordinary canned tomatoes pureed with a bit of zucchini, um a little bit of my ever present sustenance, garlic, and, I dunno, guessing it was some half and half and salt and pepper, a bit of olive oil. What is my point, fool around with it, but it works ok hot. Maybe with some of those new packaged organic vegie broths.

The watermelon and champagne, oh boy.

Back in 1902 when I used to be a mad jogger, there was a period when my ex and I would come home after a cool off after a run and open a bottle of champagne. Well, cheap champagne, but still. I know it is poor form re rehydrating but we would have had water before that.
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colorbook
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2004 10:21 pm
Thanks everyone for your tips on using a juice maker!
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2004 11:30 pm
champagne was what started me down the slippery slope to alcoholism. i used to drink a lot of really cheap bubbles called frexeinet ultra brut. I discovered later that there were a bunch of professional athlete drunks who started the same way.
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