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Food Hacks And Tips

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by StudioStuntz, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. StudioStuntz


    Jul 19, 2015
    Post any misc. tips or tricks regarding any and all actual food or related items if you want.

    For those who like hard boiled eggs, but don't like the having to bite through all the white to get to the yoke.

    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
    Tbone76, ZenG and Mike A like this.
  2. StudioStuntz


    Jul 19, 2015
    If you need to cut lot of cherry tomatoes here's a quick way.

    This also works with grapes for those who use them in a salad.

    Just make sure your knife is longer than the circumference of the plates. If your knife is sharp, you should almost be able to cut them in one pass w/o the sawing motion:

    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  3. Reheat leftover pizza by first microwaving briefly to warm the top, and finish off in a cast iron frying pan for crispy crust.

    Buy canned whole tomatoes instead of the imported from Mexico tomatoes, bred to withstand the rigors of shipping during the winter months when local, or home grown tomatoes are out of season. Better yet, buy whole canned tomatoes imported from Italy. Not sure why they are so good, but the juice in the can makes excellent pizza sauce.

    Also, read the ingredients of everything you intend to eat. Often the less number of ingredients, the better, and more healthful the product.
    Eric Perry and sissy kathy like this.
  4. Don't buy them (tomatoes) canned the acidic nature of them does nasty things with the chemical they line cans with these days. Buy Fresh or "canned" tomatoes in glass jars.
    Groove Doctor and Clark Dark like this.
  5. Never thought of that. You might be right. I was thinking of taste only. I have never seen canned tomatoes in glass jars in the grocery store, but I will see if I can find them. Better yet, can your own. Do you know of a good brand in jars to look for?

    Also, I would love to hear peoples techniques for making bread, and pizza crust. I am a good cook, but a lousy bread maker.
  6. StudioStuntz


    Jul 19, 2015

    Nice one.

    Imagine if the cans have bee sitting around for months as well!
    Also, don't by vinegar or anything acidic that comes in plastic, unless you're not going to consume it.
  7. I've never seen old style canned tomatoes in a store yet. Farmers markets can have them, or look at organic pasta sauce. That's the only glass contained tomato products I see in grocery stores.
  8. StudioStuntz


    Jul 19, 2015
    Atlas has been the standard for decades, they should be pretty easy to find.

    Just be sure you sterilize them first; jar, gasket, and lid.
  9. The best glass jar of pasta sauce I know of is Di Salvos, made in Stoughton Wisconsin. Excellent stuff.
    StudioStuntz likes this.
  10. StudioStuntz


    Jul 19, 2015
    If you buy the frozen pizzas, especially the small ones, broil them in a toaster oven on high for a couple of minutes first, before you microwave them.
  11. If shipping doesn't bother you, I'd HIGHLY recommend Galena Canning Company in IL. Great stuff.
  12. StudioStuntz


    Jul 19, 2015
    For those who use canned tomato paste, but aren't going to use the whole can at once, open both ends of the can, then push paste out of the can from the other side onto a piece of plastic wrap (it should be in the same shape as the can).

    Slice off what you need, wrap up the rest for future use...a couple of days in the fridge, a month or two in the freezer.
  13. I may check them out the next trip to New Glarus.

    Looks similar to the place I linked above. Do they have a retail outlet? With samples?
    Galena Canning Company has 2 great spots across the street from each other. One is just hot sauces - all available to sample, the other is everything else - also available to sample. Worth the drive if it is possible.
  14. StudioStuntz


    Jul 19, 2015
    Look for the San Marzano tomatoes, not a brand name, it's a genus.

    They are naturally sweeter and less acidic, grown in Italy in their climate and soil.

    Buying and planting SM seeds here, though still good, is a bit like trying to grow authentic Columbian coffee beans in the states.

    Beware of San Marzano-style tomatoes grown in the US or other countries.

    Try and get those that don't have added herbs, as whatever herbs they use should be added fresh when cooking, not pre-cooked well-done , then sitting in the can.

    Beware though, there are lots of fraudulent SMs out there, some even imported from Italy. They must have the EU DOP emblem on the can as stated below.

    From Wiki:

    It is an
    heirloom variety.[3] Canned San Marzanos, when grown in the Valle del Sarno (valley of the Sarno) in Italy in compliance with Italian law, can be classified as Pomodoro S. Marzano dell'Agro Sarnese-Nocerino and have the EU "DOP" emblem on the label.

    Brands available in supermarkets include Cento, Nina, La Bella, Solinia, Vantia, La Valle and Strianese.[citation needed] Most San Marzano tomatoes sold commercially are grown in Italy, though they are produced commercially in smaller quantities in other countries.

    Because of San Marzano's premium pricing, there is an ongoing battle against fraudulent product. On November 22, 2010,[citation needed] the Italian carabinieri confiscated 1,470 tons of canned tomatoes worth 1.2 million of improperly labeled product.

    San Marzano tomato - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
    Hoochie Coochie Man likes this.
  15. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Why would you buy tomato sauce? That's one of the easiest things to make.

    Popcorn on the stove....tablespoon of coconut oil, 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels. Put in a pot, with a lid on, set burner to high. *wait*. Shake lightly when popping starts, turn off heat when popping stops. Empty into bowl, add favorite topping. Enjoy.

  16. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    I've been working on my thick crust pizza recipe for a while. It isn't 100% where I want it but it's still pretty darn good.
    Mix up:
    - 1 cup warm water
    - 2 teaspoons of yeast
    - 1/2 teaspoon salt
    - 1 teaspoon of sugar

    Allow it to sit till bubbles form (approximately 10 minutes)

    In a large mixing bowl:
    - add 2 cups all purpose flour
    - add 2 teaspoons of olive oil

    Add the liquid a little at a time while mixing with a large spoon (once the dough starts sticking to the spoon or bowl, that's enough liquid. That's usually 90%-95% of the liquid.)

    Once the liquid is incorporated, knead the dough thoroughly by hand (I used to use a food processor but found I get better results by hand. A proper mixer with a dough hook might be ideal but I don't have one. As you work the dough, you should feel it start to get elastic).

    Place the dough ball in a large bowl coated with approximately 2 teaspoons of olive oil and toss the ball to coat in oil. Cover it with plastic wrap and a dish towel and allow it to rise to twice its size (approximately 2 hours depending on ambient temperature), ideally in a warmish location.

    Punch the dough down then let it continue to rise for approximately 1 more hour.

    At this point, I try to disturb the dough as little as possible and skip all the fancy hand tossing. I simply dump the dough onto a pizza pan greased with olive oil then stretch it out, leaving a crust "ridge" along the outer rim. If you've done things right, the dough will be very supple and easy to stretch out.

    Apply sauce, cheese, toppings, brush the crust with olive oil then bake in a pre-heated pizza at 500 degrees for 15 minutes.



    I wish I could get those crazy air bubbles like they get at mom and pop pizza joints. I'm guessing they either get it during the kneading stage (using a large mixer with dough hook) or during the rising stage (using proofing ovens) but I haven't been able to replicate it at home. I'd be interested in hearing experienced pizza cooks sound off on this.

    Next, I have to learn how to make sourdough bread! :hyper:
    catcauphonic likes this.
  17. I'm a vegetarian, but my Italian descent friend who is a good cook, and who also owned a pizza place back in the 1960s told me the secret to flakey pizza crust is a little bacon grease. I won't use it because I'm veggie, but I bet he is right about that.
  18. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    My pizza gets a respectable crispness with olive oil but I have heard that grease/leaf lard is the way to go. I want the secret to bubbly crust!
  19. StudioStuntz


    Jul 19, 2015
    It's always good to use a pre-heated genuine pizza stone if you're not already doing that now.

    The stone makes the bottom a little crustier.

    It is also good for baking scratch or Pillsbury-type cookies.

    About 15 years ago my local Domino's was selling pre-rolled out pizza dough for 50 cents, just add the toppings. I never took them up on it though.

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