azurelunatic: stick figure about to hit potato w/ flaming tennis racket, near jug of gasoline & sack of potatoes (bad idea)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Because my chain of bad decisions is educational and perhaps amusing:

Clean the oven regularly.
Wipe the oven down after cooking that juicy roast.
Check the oven before preheating to bake frozen pizza.
Smoke billowing out of oven vents, not normal.
Smoke out of opened door, ditto.
That box fan is efficient.
Wipe the oven down before commencing auto-cleaning cycle.
Flame in auto-cleaning cycle is not normal.
The locked oven door prevents stupid moves.
In an oxygen-poor environment, the fire must needs go out.
Once a fire has expended all its fuel, it must needs go out.
The cleaning cycle takes a minimum of 2 hours, by which time one's eaten something else.
sasha_feather: kid from movie pitch black (pitch black)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
My standard lunch for myself is something I make in my cast-iron skillet: I start with cut-up potatoes and add whatever vegetables I have in my fridge, and maybe some sausage. I use a bit of olive oil in the bottom of the pan, and add some spices on top. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes turn golden brown.

My problem is this: the potatoes stick to the bottom of the pan, making a layer of stuck-on food that I have to scrub off later. Should I be using less oil? More? Adjusting the heat? Should I simply resign myself to this problem and soak my pan when I'm done?
azurelunatic: stick figure about to hit potato w/ flaming tennis racket, near jug of gasoline & sack of potatoes (bad idea)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
  1. Accidentally get a kind of rice you loathe! (Some lucky people like all kinds of rice. You may be one of those people. Then again, you may not. Experiment if you don't already know!)
  2. Don't check the rice over for rocks and other unwanted elements! (Despite all the quality control in the world, sometimes these things just happen.)
  3. Don't follow the rice manufacturer's instructions about rinsing! (Less and less rice these days is covered in talc, but if it is, it should be rinsed off. For rice that is not covered in talc, it's up to you. Less rinsing = more sticky. More rinsing = if the rice was nutritionally enhanced, you just rinsed that off.)
  4. Forget the water. (I have never done this. No one I know has ever done this (or at least, won't admit to it, and it's not easy to forget the water when you wash your rice in the pot of the rice cooker). However, this is unlikely to result in good things.)
  5. Put the rice and water in the rice cooker without the pot. (I don't know anyone who has done this either, but it is likely to result in the sorts of problems one gets when one exposes live electricity to water in an uncontrolled environment: tripped breaker, nasty shock, blown fuse, death, a ruined rice cooker, no dinner.)
  6. Forget to plug the rice cooker in. (This is really easy to fix.)
  7. Forget to turn the rice cooker on/to Cook. (Ditto.)
  8. Don't measure your rice or water at all. This way, you'll have no idea what you just did or why it went awry in the way it did.
  9. Ignore the rice manufacturer's instructions about how much rice and water to use, because all kinds of rice are exactly the same.
  10. Put in too much water. (This results in either really sticky rice, or mush, if you've gone way overboard. If you catch it in time, you can fix it by bailing some of the water out.)
  11. Put in too little water. This results in crunchy and possibly burned rice. (If you catch it in time, you can add more water.)
  12. Put in too much rice. (This is distinct from putting in too little water, because you are either going to feed an army by accident, or overflow the rice cooker. Your solution is likely to involve putting the leftovers in the freezer (rice freezes well), with or without bailing some of it out to cook in a second batch if you think you're going to overflow. Remember that rice expands when cooking, possibly more than you think it will. You can always cook another batch.)
  13. Cook too short. (The rice may be either a little too hard and a little too wet, or just the right softness but a little too sticky. This last may mean you put in a little much water too.)
  14. Cook too long. (The rice may dry out (ew), scorch on the bottom (harmless), or burn (ew).)
  15. Get so completely lost in the possibilities in the two-variable problem of time vs. water as applies to rice in the rice cooker that you lose all sense of perspective and begin experimenting with combinations like way too much water and way too long. (When in doubt, go back to the proportions that the rice cooker, the rice package, or some recipe recommended.)
  16. Turn off the rice cooker immediately after it switches from Cook to Warm mode. (This can lead to rice being too sticky and underdone.)
  17. Turn the rice cooker back to Cook after it switches to Warm mode injudiciously, because cooking things at hotter temperatures is always better because it gets them done faster. (It also burns them easier.)
  18. Accidentally leave the lid off while cooking. (This dries out the rice more, and steams up your house.)
  19. Scrape the bottom of the rice cooker pot with something hard and sharp, like a metal spoon. (Everybody wants aluminum scrapings in their rice and a scratched-up rice pot.)
  20. Put too much soy sauce or other seasoning on the rice. (If you're not sure, start with a little and taste.)
  21. Be afraid to make rice. (It's actually pretty easy to make once you get the hang of it.)

Screening anonymous comments on this as fucking spammerbots have found it.
damned_colonial: Convicts in Sydney, being spoken to by a guard/soldier (Default)
[personal profile] damned_colonial
This is a hypothetical question -- not for me, but for some theoretical newbie cook. Imagine said person asks you, "What kitchen equipment should I buy to learn to cook?" What would you suggest?


Boiling water without burning it

November 2014

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