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Thread: Culinary Skills

  1. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Returned to Molokai
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    3,419

    Default Re: Culinary Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by Pomai View Post
    What are you good at - and not so good at - in the kitchen? Baking? Roasting? Knife skills? Preparation? Organization? Clean-up?

    Any particular ethnic specialty? Italian? Japanese? Chinese? Filipino? Other?

    My sister is an expert at leftovers. Having a large family, she can take last night's spaghetti and meatballs and turn it into tonight's casserole. Or turn tomorrow night's stir-fry into the following night's lumpia, just to keep the kids interested in eating it. And it always turns out incredibly delicious. She's also excellent at baking, which requires more technical application than simply "cooking".

    I've improved over the years, having gained most of my culinary talent reading recipes and watching the Food Network and local cooking shows.

    But if there's one thing I'm terrible at is TIME MANAGEMENT. When you come as a guest to eat at my place, if I say dinner is at 6pm, it usually means 8pm by the time I get all the side dishes ready, the main dish out of the oven (or off the grill) and everything on the table.

    If there's one thing I continue to try honing (no pun intended) are my knife skills. Last night on Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman, one segment featured the infamous "Turducken", a boneless chicken, wrapped inside a boneless duck, wrapped inside a boneless turkey. The person preparing the dish showed off how quickly he could debone these three fowl foods, which he did within 5 minutes. The (Japanese) Iron Chefs' knife skills are the most amazing, especially when it comes to seafood.

    I have yet to master the art of peeling the skin off a mango (or any other skinned fruit) using just a knife and one hand.

    Once upon a time I was really good at "cooking" saimin! It's all in how you boil the water.
    I can cook rice.

    What I learned from my father: pancit, pork & peas (or pork guisante), pork with white squash, spaghetti with hamburger meat sauce (not the jar kind), and beef stew.

    What I learned from my mother: canned tuna & egg patties.

    What I learned from on my own: fried rice.

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    368

    Default Re: Culinary Skills

    I like to think of myself as a jack of all trades when it comes to culinary skills. Usually, my most proud moments are when I invent my own dishes. My thought process on invention is as follows:

    1. Open Freezer and choose a meat product.
    2. Open pantry and chose a primary spice to season meat product.
    3. Open nearly all other spice containers (one at a time) and smell to see which ones will go with the first spice.
    4. cook and hope for the best!

    OR.. watch a cooking show and try to remember all the ingredients and taste as I go. My most proud accomplishment in that department has to be my BBQ rub. There's nothing like getting the first bite out of freshly pulled pork butt.

    I swear one of these days, my wife and I will take one of those culinary institute vacations where it's a vacation but culinary classes at the same time!
    -kp!

  3. #28
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Honolulu
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    3,596

    Default Re: Culinary Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by Kungpao View Post
    1. Open Freezer and choose a meat product.
    2. Open pantry and chose a primary spice to season meat product.
    3. Open nearly all other spice containers (one at a time) and smell to see which ones will go with the first spice.
    4. cook and hope for the best!
    lol Sometimes hoping for the best is ALL you can do when it comes to those particular places to find your ingredients.

    Frozen meats often loose at least some flavor and natural moisture after thawed, unless you have the access and discipline to use a vacuum sealer (Seal-A-Meal) for everything that goes in there. Or unless it was flash-frozen at the factory/plant, and never ever thawed by the time it went in your freezer.

    Then you have that dry spice rack that Aunty Jen gave you as a wedding gift 10 years ago that you're FINALLY making use of - which at this point, has all the flavor of granulated TREE BARK.

    That's what I love about cookin' at mom's place, where there's a nice herb garden out back. Nothing like adding freshly-picked basil, chives, rosemary, mint and Italian parsley to jazz up the dish.

    I remember when Castagnola had his Italian restaurant in Waikiki on a second floor open terrace of a hotel (across Ft. DeRussy). He took advantage of the open deck by growing his own herbs for the restaurant. You could see parsley and basil growing nicely in flowerbeds along the outskirts of the dining area. Where is he now, anyway? Not washing dishes at Assagio I hope!

    But yeah, it certainly takes some know-how in using the proper spices and and herbs; and in which quantity or ratio.

    When it comes to Italian food, I'm reserved when it comes to garlic, but heavy-handed with the fresh basil. I LOVE Basil!

    When it comes to garlic, my friend tries to chase vampires away. His theory is that garlic is "medicinal", making anything he prepares "medicinal" to go along with it. Hide that garlic when he's in the kitchen, lest whatever you got IS going in there.

    Speaking of choosing, this also brings up an important part of the culinary process... SHOPPING for ingredients. Knowing your cuts of meat and fish, produce, etc.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Kihei -currently away at school in NY
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Culinary Skills

    My husband thinks I need to set the record straight here. Previously, I said I couldn't cook. That's a lie. After 30+ years of watching him, I've picked up a trick or two. I can make a mean vegetable soup, red sauce and chili. It's just that I don't like to cook. I do like to eat however. And when he gets cooking, we are generally in for a gormet meal.

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: Culinary Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by Pomai View Post
    lol Sometimes hoping ...snip...
    Frozen meats ...snip...
    Then you have that dry spice rack that Aunty Jen gave you as a wedding gift 10 years ago that you're FINALLY making use of - which at this point, has all the flavor of granulated TREE BARK. ...snip...

    But yeah, it certainly takes some know-how in using the proper spices and and herbs; and in which quantity or ratio. ...snip...

    Speaking of choosing, this also brings up an important part of the culinary process... SHOPPING for ingredients. Knowing your cuts of meat and fish, produce, etc.

    Yeah.. Ideally, that's the way to go. Sadly, I deal with what I have and that is my chest freezer stocked with meats I pick up from my butcher and constantly replenished pantry. No herbs gone bad here. Nothing but compliments on what I cook either. Just cause my ingredients aren't the most fresh doesn't mean my food tastes like tree bark.
    -kp!

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Oahu
    Posts
    1,055

    Default Re: Culinary Skills

    Sue, same here, the canisters, bottles of spices, etc. get wiped off. I just discovered the Swiffer mop, personally, LOL that sounds funny the way I said that but I'll leave it for amusement. That thing is so fast and dries fast. we had a gathering last night and my kitchen floor is milk-white, ceramic tile, the grout, too, ARGH. (but that's a whole other story, the grout being that color) The swiffer was needed and is the kitchen's newest best friend.

  7. #32

    Default Re: Culinary Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by lavagal View Post
    And I still owe my dear friend Erika my chicken recipe. Good thing we understand each other!
    You betcha, darlin'.




    Even if you got it to me today, would I have the time to cook it? Have I remembered to take anything out of the freezer to defrost? No. Perhaps after I click on Submit Reply ...
    **************************************
    I know a lot less than what there is to be known.

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