Pilot Cooks of America

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by AggieMike88, Dec 20, 2022.

  1. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Saturday mornings are bacon, eggs, and hash browns. Since it’s Christmas Eve, there will be holiday coffee, probably Irish coffee. Tomorrow will be biscuits and gravy. Then a rib roast.

    And that rib roast reminds me of my favorite kitchen gadget: a good quality thermometer. I have two, one instant read and another that’s a leave-in with a remote head.
     
  2. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Good knives,a lot of patience,and choice meats are the secret. Also you have to enjoy eating.
     
  3. Flocker

    Flocker Line Up and Wait

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    Does anyone use Hexclad cookware? I'm being bombarded with ads from them.
     
  4. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Avoid it. Keep searching for reviews and you’ll find it’s not up to the long term task.

     
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  5. Pi1otguy

    Pi1otguy Pattern Altitude

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    I'm halfway ready to give up on nonstick pans. I don't see moderate amounts of oil as this great culinary evil.
     
  6. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Look into carbon steel (e.g. Matfor Bourgeat Black Carbon Steel) and seasoned cast iron (e.g. Lodge).

     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2022
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  7. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member PoA Technical Administrator

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    My specialty is sourdough. I've got some starter that I -- or someone in my family -- has had since at least the 1990's and I'm not sure of its provenance before that. So have been doing it since way before the pandemic made it cool...

    Sourdough bread
    Sourdough bagels
    Sourdough English muffins
    Sourdough crepes/pancakes
    Sourdough waffles

    No yeast needed. The only secret ingredient is time, which one cannot skimp on when dealing with sourdough. Requires no gadgets (except I guess the waffle iron).

    I also make a mean Challah bread, though it doesn't have sourdough in it.
    Oh, and also Pad Thai, and Thom Kha Gai.
     
  8. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    And temperature. Mine is a lot more sluggish in winter vs summer, enough to throw off my baking schedule.
     
  9. wilkersk

    wilkersk Pattern Altitude

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    I use only good quality non-metallic spatulas in my non-stick pan. And, I only use it on medium low heat (thats as low as my modern gas range will go). Good for eggs, pancakes, french toast and such. Just have to give it a good 4 or 5 minutes to warm up before trying to cook on it. And, if you want your eggs to look and taste like grandma's, you have to use a little bacon grease regardless of what pan you use!
     
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  10. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Eggs are a good test, but even my Velcro-like stainless steel pans won't stick to pancakes and French toast.
     
  11. Pi1otguy

    Pi1otguy Pattern Altitude

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    I have and use a cast iron pan or 2, but not as a daily thing. My longest lasting pan, even though The Wife put it in the dishwasher twice.

    What about potatoes or meats?
     
  12. wilkersk

    wilkersk Pattern Altitude

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    I don't use non-stick for anything that takes higher heat. I don't like eating teflon.
     
  13. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    Are you saying that it sticks with ya? :D
     
  14. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    filet mignon

    Q why is a raw filet missing from the broiler pan

    A sac ate it raw
     
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  15. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    i tell u what i did when i sober up 2 morrow lol ogmf
     
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  16. Domenick

    Domenick Cleared for Takeoff

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    I agree.
    Replace your Teflon-coated pans pans with ceramic-coated.
     
  17. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I decided to switch up the chuck pot roast a bit. I simply put it on a bed of onion in the crockpot, seasoned with French onion soup mix and went seven hours on low. Really great.
     
  18. Domenick

    Domenick Cleared for Takeoff

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    Looks good!
     
  19. flyingron

    flyingron Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Nope. I've got a couple of my favorite cast iron (including my 12" Field Company workhorse) and a few allclad stainless. Margy has a ceramic omelet pan she likes. We can't have Teflon (parrot).
     
  20. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Line Up and Wait

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    @Jim_R @frfly172 and others - please give me more on knives.

    What are good knives (do they have to be that expensive) and how do you keep them sharp?
     
  21. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A lot of people will buy high end and say they are great. I've found that commercial styles, like what you'll find at Sam's or a kitchen supply house, will work just fine. They'll have plastic handles and say "NSF" somewhere, so they can be put in a dishwasher and they don't cost a whole lot.

    As for sharpening - only when necessary, and I use a basic sharpener, I think it's pretty close to this model, mine's pretty old:
    https://chefschoice.com/collections...ks-2-stage-knife-sharpener-with-roller-guides

    But I do use a steel every time.

    Commercial kitchens usually have multiple sets. They'll send out a set at a time for sharpening.
     
  22. azblackbird

    azblackbird Pattern Altitude

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    I bought a bunch of Wusthof knives from a restaurant auction about 30 years ago. I think I paid about $400 for the lot. I can't really compare them to other knives for sharpness or longevity as I haven't bought another knife since. I use a v sharper and then a honer to fine tune them when they start to dull up a bit.
     
  23. Domenick

    Domenick Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've tried a number of knife sharpening systems. First, do not let your knives get dull. Keeping them sharp is easier than sharpening a butter knife into a chef's knife. When I travel for vacation, I take the sharpeners with me.

    For really dull knives I start with something like this simple, brutal tool.
    https://www.amazon.com/AccuSharp-ACCU-001C-001C-Knife-Sharpener/dp/B00004VWKQ/?th=1

    Then I move to these:
    https://www.amazon.com/Edgemaker-Four-Sharpening-System-Handles/dp/B00ARM52P4/

    And finish with a ceramic/diamond or more often simple steel.

    I've even used a stone on occasion. It's slow, but kind of therapeutic.

    Here's a hack: In a pinch the raw ceramic bottom circle of a coffee mug can be used as a sharpening stone.
     
  24. Ersatz L-4

    Ersatz L-4 Filing Flight Plan

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    Salteña de Carne

    This is a recipe that my father brought back from working in South America. Reinforcing stereotypes, I like to make these or other more involved fare so we don’t eat barbecued hamburgers and brats every night at the shop. It involves a few active steps over seven or eight hours. I start off in the morning and they are ready for dinner. It's a little work, but easier than traveling to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, or Paraguay where you can buy them from street vendors.

    The recipe makes 14 small 6 inch by 3 inch salteñas. We are usually hungry after a day’s work, I don’t think I’ve ever not doubled or tripled this recipe.

    Similar to empanadas, salteñas differ in that they are cooked upright so the meat and vegetables stew inside the sealed pastry making them much juicier. They can also be made with pork or chicken, or even ground beef. I imagine they could be made without meat– but my Indian relatives assure me that ‘vegetarian’ is an old Choctaw word meaning ‘bad hunter’.

    FILLING

    2 medium potatoes
    4 cups of beef stock (or chicken stock if using chicken or pork)
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    1 pound beef chuck or round (or chicken or pork), cut into ½-inch cubes
    1 large onion, diced
    1 medium red bell pepper, diced
    2 tablespoons aji panca powder (you can use turmeric as a substitute)
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    Salt, to taste
    Freshly ground pepper, to taste
    1/2 cup frozen peas
    1 (1/4-ounce) package unflavored gelatin
    1/2 cup water
    14 pitted green olives, chopped
    1/4 cup raisins
    2 large boiled eggs, sliced

    DOUGH

    4 cups flour
    5 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 tablespoon achiote (annatto can be used as a substitute)
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    3/4 cup water
    1 large egg

    MAKING THE FILLING

    It takes about a half hour of effort, 30-40 minutes of waiting, then several hours to cool.

    • Peel the potatoes and dice them into 1/2-inch cubes.
    • In a saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes, reserving the cooking broth, and set both aside.
    • In a large, heavy skillet, heat the canola oil; add the beef and sauté until browned on all sides. Remove the beef from the skillet and set aside. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat remaining in the skillet.
    • Add the onion, bell pepper, and aji panca paste to the skillet and sauté until the onion has softened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
    • Add the cumin, paprika, and oregano and then sauté for several minutes.
    • Add the beef back to the skillet and cook while stirring for 2 to 3 minutes.
    • Add the reserved broth (from cooking the potatoes) to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    • Simmer the beef and vegetables over low heat until the beef is tender (about 30 to 40 minutes). Add a bit more broth if needed.
    • Season again with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cooked potatoes and peas and cook until heated through.
    • Dissolve the gelatin in the water. Add to the beef mixture and stir well.
    • Remove from the heat and transfer the filling to a casserole dish. Refrigerate until cooled completely.

    Make the dough about 75 minutes before you want to eat. It is 10 minutes of effort, half an hour of waiting, then 20–25 minutes in the oven.

    • Place the flour in a large bowl.
    • In a small saucepan, combine the butter, lard, and achiote. Heat over medium heat until hot.
    • Add the hot fat mixture to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Use your fingers to distribute the fat evenly through the flour until it is crumbly.
    • In the same small saucepan, stir the sugar and salt into the water and heat until the sugar is dissolved, and the mixture is hot. Stir this into the flour mixture, along with the egg.
    • Knead the mixture until it forms a smooth dough, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the dough seems dry. Set the dough aside for 30 minutes to an hour.
    • Divide the dough into golf ball sized portions. Press each ball into a flat round and let rest for 5 minutes.
    • With a rolling pin, roll each round of dough into a larger oval shape that is about 6 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick.
    • Preheat the oven to 375 F.
    • Place 2 tablespoons of the chilled filling in the middle of each dough round and add an olive. Fold the dough in half over the filling and pinch and twist the edges together to seal the dough all the way around and create a braided look.
    • Place the salteñas on a baking sheet with the braid up– this is very important– and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
    • Let rest until cool enough to handle. Serve and enjoy.
     
  25. Jim_R

    Jim_R Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm not a knife expert, but my limited experience tells me that it doesn't cost much to get a "decent" knife, and it doesn't take a huge effort to keep it in good shape. Mass-manufactured brands like Wusthof and Henckels are plenty good, for example. Just steer clear of the dirt-cheap stamped steel stuff (think the stuff you find for $10 in the grocery store kitchenware aisle). Restaurant supply shops will have decent-quality knives for 25-50% the price of retail kitchen or department stores, but they might not be as attractive (expect white plastic handles, etc.).

    What's more important than having the "best" knife is taking the best care of the knives you have:

    1) Always use them with a decent cutting board or mat. The material needs to be compliant--wood/bamboo or "soft" plastic. Do NOT use hard materials like glass or stone, which will just instantly dull your knife.
    2) DON'T put your good knives in the dishwasher. Sure, throw your stamped steak knives in there, but not your good chef's knife or paring knives. Wash them by hand (and dry them) immediately after use.
    3) Get and (properly) use a sharpening steel. (You don't have to do this, but it's a really easy way to keep the edge on your knives much longer.)
    4) Get and learn how to properly use a sharpening stone (or set of stones). When you start to notice your knife not slicing as well, hone it. (I use my knives a fair bit, but only need to hone the most-used ones ~once/year or so.) This does take some skill, and some time. There are other gizmos that will sharpen knives, but I've had poor luck with them. YMMV. (You can also use a knife sharpening service, instead.)
    5) Keep your knives in a block. Don't just toss them in a pile in the drawer, which is both dangerous when reaching in and bad for the blades.
     
  26. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    El Conquistador
    My Ace hardware store just installed an automated knife sharpener. Does a great job. It is fascinating to watch it work. Works on 2.5”-12” straight edge only.
     
  27. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I use an electric Chef's Choice sharpener with a course wheel, fine wheel and serrated wheel. I'm pretty happy with it.
     
  28. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Did this recipe tonight. Simple, and low cost per serving. Cooks in air fryer and did it in two batches.

    33242633-2B94-45E7-8B8E-872886D0F03D.jpeg

    Turned out really out good. Added some nori seasoned rice.

    6BB2A4B0-1738-4FDB-B597-EB7C033DBBCB.jpeg

    Makes many portions.

    I found some “frozen meal” trays with lids at Walmart for a bargain. Two portions in fridge for lunch tomorrow. Remainder in freezer.

    A twist I might do next time is sub in some carrots, or perhaps button mushrooms.
     
  29. Ersatz L-4

    Ersatz L-4 Filing Flight Plan

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    Picadillo

    A quick half-hour recipe. This is a simplified version of an American Indian dish the Spanish called Picadillo– or hash. The original used chunked or shredded game on wild marsh rice.

    Makes eight lunch sized servings.

    2 tablespoon olive oil
    2 small onions, chopped
    1 green bell pepper, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced, or more to taste
    2 pounds lean ground beef
    3 cups fast cooking brown (or white rice)
    16 ounces tomato sauce
    12 large pitted green olives, quartered
    1 cup raisins
    2 tablespoon capers
    1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
    1-1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
    1/2 tablespoon ground annatto seeds (or sub turmeric)
    1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoon white sugar
    salt to taste

    • In a skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil, stir in onion, bell pepper, and garlic, cook 5 to 7 minutes, until onion softens.
    • Add ground beef, cook and stir until crumbly and completely browned, 7 to 10 minutes.
    • In a separate pot boil 3 cups of water.
    • Stir tomato sauce, olives, raisins, capers, spices, sugar, and salt into the ground beef mixture.
    • Add rice to boiling water, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
    • Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until the mixture is heated through, 5 to 10 minutes.
    • Serve ground beef mixture atop rice.
    Sometimes, we use this as a taco or burrito filling.
     
  30. Ersatz L-4

    Ersatz L-4 Filing Flight Plan

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    Puerco Frito

    My mother’s family was originally from the area that is now the Alabama and Mississippi Gulf Coast. This dish’s name, Puerco Frito, comes from the time when it was part of Spanish Florida– and it sounds more exotic than fried pork.

    We like it with sides of hominy corn and a chopped onion and tomato mixture marinated in lime juice, balsamic vinegar and olive oil with a little cilantro.

    It’s about 15-20 minutes to prepare and 3 hours to cook, although you could prepare it and let it marinate in the fridge before cooking if you have more time. It yields eight servings.

    any combination of 4 lbs of pork– such as 2 lb of baby back pork ribs and 2 lbs of boneless
    ribs or loin, cut into medium sized cubes
    1 tsp of cumin
    10 garlic cloves, mince 5 and leave 5 whole
    1 white onion chopped into large pieces
    1 shallot or red onion chopped in large pieces
    3 cups of water
    1 cup of orange juice
    Salt to taste

    • Season the pork with the cumin, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Let it rest in the refrigerator for a couple of hours if you have time.
    • Use a large sauté pan to combine the meat, chopped onion and shallot, whole cloves of garlic, and water.
    • Cook on medium heat until the water is almost gone.
    • Add the orange juice and let it reduce
    • The meat will begin to brown, stir frequently to avoid burning, cook until all the pieces are evenly browned.
    • Serve with sides such as hominy, fried plantains, marinated onion lime cilantro tomato salad, avocado slices, and hot chili sauce.