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Random Food Questions Thread

kwilkinson

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When chefs wear chef's coats, what is the purpose of also wearing an apron?
The Chef coat (which many of us hate) is there in order to instill a sense of order. Pride, uniformity, decorum, everything else our industry learned from the military however many decades ago. The apron is there, ostensibly, so that no matter what task I'm doing (making bread, pureeing tomatoes, making herb puree), we can ditch it and still come back looking proper in our uniform. So many people, and health departments, want to say the apron is there to protect us from you or vice-versa, but it isn't. It's a conformity measure to ensure that none of us stands out and thus can't buck tradition. Thus, I say, fuck chef's coats and fuck aprons. Give me a black tshirt all day.
 

kwilkinson

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When chefs wear chef's coats, what is the purpose of also wearing an apron?
It's to maintain the uniform, at all times. The kitchen is based loosely off of military hierarchy and traditions. So I wear a chef's coat (and hate it) to fit in with everyone else. I wear an apron over that so that no matter what I do--- make bread, puree tomatoes, fry fries, or chop herbs, the apron takes all the mess, and when called upon I can be a meaningless cog in the machine. I can go to "lineup" and look like all my coworkers, because I was a good little soldier and wore my apron and now my chef coat is clean. Home cooks and health departments will tell you that it's to protect you from my dirty body or vice versa, but it's not. It's class warfare. The more all of us dipshits keeping you alive are perfectly in uniform, the less brain cells you have to spend on the poverty-stricken class you entrust your life to.
 

otc

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Isn't there something about the apron being easy to fling off/separate from your skin if you spill boiling water or scalding oil on it?
 

kwilkinson

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Isn't there something about the apron being easy to fling off/separate from your skin if you spill boiling water or scalding oil on it?
If you spill boiling water or scalding oil on yourself, the 1/16th of an inch if fabric that most commercial aprons comprise ain't helping you at all.
 

edinatlanta

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Why is Gail Simmons such a freaking dish?
 

Piobaire

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Mrs. Piob and I each have a RItz Carlton chef's coat with our names embroidered. Sometimes I wear it with no pants on.
 

edinatlanta

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Hey @kwilkinson and i guess @mgm9128 @Piobaire @Luigi_M Or @Lizard23 i know roma or san marzanos are typical for sauce and the best. But i have limited garden space so i doubt i will have enough bounty at anyone time to make a sauce. Also i kind of want to can some tomato sauce now.

So im asking what if any guidelines are there for making sauce with other varieties? I really like the super sweet yellow cherry tomatoes but they're probably too sweet.
 

Lizard23

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In the summertime when we have a bunch of fresh cherry tomatoes, i make a quick fresh sauce in a saute pan. A long cook is a disservice to a good fresh tomato. You want that freshness to come through. Any fresh variety or combo that you like will work and make a great sauce (think tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, and that’s it). Cook maybe 20 minutes tops.

For long cooking sauces, i never use fresh tomatoes but do tend to use canned san marzano.

There have been studies done on this and if you grew up eating a certain brand of canned tomato, that is what you will like best because it is what you associate the dish with. For example my mom and grandma always used tuttoroso. I have tried other brands and they are good, but when i make a traditional lizard family meal i stick with tuttorosso, not because they are best (they arent) but because without their use the dish doesnt remind me of what i grew up eating.

I have a lot of fairly strong opinions on italian american cooking, especially as it relates to sauce but I dont want to go on a diatribe that loses sight of your initial question.
 

edinatlanta

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In the summertime when we have a bunch of fresh cherry tomatoes, i make a quick fresh sauce in a saute pan. A long cook is a disservice to a good fresh tomato. You want that freshness to come through. Any fresh variety or combo that you like will work and make a great sauce (think tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, and that’s it). Cook maybe 20 minutes tops.

For long cooking sauces, i never use fresh tomatoes but do tend to use canned san marzano.

There have been studies done on this and if you grew up eating a certain brand of canned tomato, that is what you will like best because it is what you associate the dish with. For example my mom and grandma always used tuttoroso. I have tried other brands and they are good, but when i make a traditional lizard family meal i stick with tuttorosso, not because they are best (they arent) but because without their use the dish doesnt remind me of what i grew up eating.

I have a lot of fairly strong opinions on italian american cooking, especially as it relates to sauce but I dont want to go on a diatribe that loses sight of your initial question.
We got all the time in the world....diatribe away
 

Luigi_M

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What @Lizard23 said.
You want to cook sauce as little as possible to preserve the freshness of just picked tomatoes. Then almost every variety can give you a good, or at least acceptable, sauce.
I myself, when in a hurry, use canned san marzano. Enjoy experimenting!
 

Lizard23

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We got all the time in the world....diatribe away
Not a ton of time right now, but for starters, with regard to “red sauce” (I grew up calling it gravy and typically still refer to a long simmering tomato sauce with braised meats as such):

1. tomato sauce without meat should be made with only sweet white onion, olive oil, salt, and some white wine or vodka (i usually use vodka, as the main reason for the booze is to get some of the tomato flavors that are only alcohol soluble). I chop the onion fine and sort of confit it in the olive oil over low heat for a long time until they get jammy but not too dark. Then add tomatoes (if you must, basil) and let simmer for an hour. No garlic. No red wine. Not ever.

2. With ”gravy”, the meat gets browned first in olive oil. I like to make braccciole, but also sausage, pork neck bones, spare ribs, short ribs, etc are all acceptable. I do not believe in long simmering meatballs, although my mon did it. The meatballs just get dry and hard. Meat sauce must have lots of fresh garlic and if you want onion, it should be red. I like garlic cloves left whole ad I enjoy them smeared on bread with the meal. Meat sauce gets red wine. Always. I make a simple version of this with just ground beef for my sons and try to make it the same way my mom and grandma made it for me. They love it. Everyone loves it because there is nothing not to love.

3. My favorite take on this it to buy lamb shoulder and grind it up and make a tomato ragu using the ground lamb, lots of garlic, rosemary, and red wine. half the lamb gets browned, half goes in with the tomatoes. Cook for multiple hours. Eat with paccheri.

***please note this is an entirely different category than authentic italian food, which I also love (i.e. all roman pasta, etc), but did not grow up eating.
 

Luigi_M

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Not a ton of time right now, but for starters, with regard to “red sauce” (I grew up calling it gravy and typically still refer to a long simmering tomato sauce with braised meats as such):

1. tomato sauce without meat should be made with only sweet white onion, olive oil, salt, and some white wine or vodka (i usually use vodka, as the main reason for the booze is to get some of the tomato flavors that are only alcohol soluble). I chop the onion fine and sort of confit it in the olive oil over low heat for a long time until they get jammy but not too dark. Then add tomatoes (if you must, basil) and let simmer for an hour. No garlic. No red wine. Not ever.

2. With ”gravy”, the meat gets browned first in olive oil. I like to make braccciole, but also sausage, pork neck bones, spare ribs, short ribs, etc are all acceptable. I do not believe in long simmering meatballs, although my mon did it. The meatballs just get dry and hard. Meat sauce must have lots of fresh garlic and if you want onion, it should be red. I like garlic cloves left whole ad I enjoy them smeared on bread with the meal. Meat sauce gets red wine. Always. I make a simple version of this with just ground beef for my sons and try to make it the same way my mom and grandma made it for me. They love it. Everyone loves it because there is nothing not to love.

3. My favorite take on this it to buy lamb shoulder and grind it up and make a tomato ragu using the ground lamb, lots of garlic, rosemary, and red wine. half the lamb gets browned, half goes in with the tomatoes. Cook for multiple hours. Eat with paccheri.

***please note this is an entirely different category than authentic italian food, which I also love (i.e. all roman pasta, etc), but did not grow up eating.
Good enough for ed ...
But you already knew, don't you?
 

Luigi_M

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I mean, of course this is not authentic italian cuisine, but our friend ed is still refining his taste
 

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