IronGAF Cookoff (hosted by OnkelC) Vol. 2

any tips to make chili (con carne) more interesting?
Mine is pretty good but it lacks a certain punch, it's fairly generic, just the typical ingredients(onions,bell pepper,tomatoes,mince,chili,beans etc.).
Was thinking maybe adding red wine or brandy or worcester sauce. I've heard about adding beer or black coffee but that seems weird.
Check out the Serious Eats recipe for chili con carne. They use a lot of actual chilies, which is probably a great place to start. They've got a whole list of other kinds of chili, too, so you might find some inspiration there.
 
Would anyone here recommend that "wonderbag" basically a nonelectic slow cooker?

The wife's uncle is raging about it but I'm not entirely convinced so looking for additional experiences
Super back of the envelope, but:

Using a slow cooker for 8 hours on low (180W) cooks your food with 1440WHs or 5600 kilojoules of energy.

The wonderbag claims to do as much with just boiling water. At best you're putting in about 500 kJ of energy to heat 6 quarts of water to boiling from room temp and using that energy to cook the food over a long period. Even if it's perfectly efficient (no heat lots to the environment) it seems far fetched.
 
any tips to make chili (con carne) more interesting?
Mine is pretty good but it lacks a certain punch, it's fairly generic, just the typical ingredients(onions,bell pepper,tomatoes,mince,chili,beans etc.).
Was thinking maybe adding red wine or brandy or worcester sauce. I've heard about adding beer or black coffee but that seems weird.
I'll throw some of these around, not all at once though just change it up each time

paprika
cumin
marjoram
chipotle chillies

Out of the norm but chickpeas or chorizo go alright in there too.

Touch of sour cream when serving.
 
marjoram better than oregano?
How many chipotle chilis to add to +-1kg beef to keep it reasonable. Not sure how hot they are.
Either works, I just find oregano in so much food already so something a little different is welcomed.

Love spicy food, so we like it hot but for 1 kg I'd go 1.5 chipotle chillies in adobo sauce if you want reasonable. If you're eating Chili I imagine you like a bit of heat, 2 chillies isn't unusual :)
 
Would anyone here recommend that "wonderbag" basically a nonelectic slow cooker?

The wife's uncle is raging about it but I'm not entirely convinced so looking for additional experiences
That thing costs $35+? Don't bother. You save more money just putting your slow cooker in the oven. Slow cooking not only keeps the food at high temperature, but also reduce the sauce, therefore enhance the flavor.
 
That thing costs $35+? Don't bother. You save more money just putting your slow cooker in the oven. Slow cooking not only keeps the food at high temperature, but also reduce the sauce, therefore enhance the flavor.
Yeah that's another point, the wonderbag seems like a goddamn bacteria incubator. There's no way it's a perfect heat trap so the temp will drop over time, as soon as it gets cool enough you'll be selecting for some pretty hearty bacteria. A slow cooker or oven keeps a high temp and kills everything.

Get an instant pot instead.
 
any tips to make chili (con carne) more interesting?
Mine is pretty good but it lacks a certain punch, it's fairly generic, just the typical ingredients(onions,bell pepper,tomatoes,mince,chili,beans etc.).
Was thinking maybe adding red wine or brandy or worcester sauce. I've heard about adding beer or black coffee but that seems weird.
I always put cinnamon in my chili, I think it makes it lighter and more refreshing, because it can get pretty heavy sometimes.

And if you can get some venison throw a little unsweetened cocoa in there, too.
 
Thanks lads I'll just upgrade my current slow cooker instead so.

Getting my kitchen redone so I'll finally have something I've helped designed and suited to my specs. At times I'm glad my wife doesn't cook she basically gave me free reign for design and appliances since I'll be using them the majority of the time.

I've recently started making random flavoured chips (fries for Americans and a few other nations). Made parmesan paprika chips last night. Wonderfully delicious
 
I did a little of everything today.

First I started off making ramen based on the YouTube channel Jun's Kitchen. I did just about everything he lists, except I didn't make a clam based soup to add in with the other soups he has. There are lots of things that could've been better in the ramen, but it was still really satisfying. Any advice on how to get good noodles? These were fresh noodles from an Asian market, but I don't know which brands are good.

Then I made ravioli with a ricotta and chard filling. I have filling leftover so I'll probably make more tomorrow and freeze most if it.

Maybe I should make my own ramen noodles. . .
 
I did a little of everything today.

First I started off making ramen based on the YouTube channel Jun's Kitchen. I did just about everything he lists, except I didn't make a clam based soup to add in with the other soups he has. There are lots of things that could've been better in the ramen, but it was still really satisfying. Any advice on how to get good noodles? These were fresh noodles from an Asian market, but I don't know which brands are good.

Maybe I should make my own ramen noodles. . .
Unless you can get Myojo (ok qualitys) or Sun Noodle (best quality) you may have to stick to possibly a dried noodle (chucka soba) but theres also fresh chinese noodles that can work if you market carries them.
 
Never tried a recipe by Stella Parks but her cookbook, BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts, just came out and it looks like it could be fun. Seems like something I'll keep my eye on (put it in my Amazon Wish List :D). Since she contributes to Serious Eats, I'm sure she's pretty meticulous in her instructions for her recipes, which I always appreciate. Also I could always try some of her recipes from Serious Eats to get a better idea of what her book might be like.
 

Mario

Sidhe / PikPok
Haven't done much cooking lately having been on the road a lot, but asked a couple of guests to turn up with whatever ingredients and I'll pull something together. The result was roast pork ribs with homemade roasted apple sauce, roast potatoes, earth gems, and broccolini.

Pork ended up a shade dry as I doubted the oven instructions I found on Google (I've never made pork ribs before).

Apple sauce turned out well though. Just cut some granny smith apples in half, pulled out the centre pips and core, filled the centre with maple syrup and spiced rum, drizzled with a little olive oil, and put face up in the oven with the pork. By the time the meat was cooked, the apples were just mush that I scooped out, fished out the skins, and then basically served.
 

Cosmic Bus

pristine morning snow
Never tried a recipe by Stella Parks but her cookbook, BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts, just came out and it looks like it could be fun. Seems like something I'll keep my eye on (put it in my Amazon Wish List :D). Since she contributes to Serious Eats, I'm sure she's pretty meticulous in her instructions for her recipes, which I always appreciate. Also I could always try some of her recipes from Serious Eats to get a better idea of what her book might be like.
I made her chocolate cream pie last Thanksgiving and was very happy with the end result; recently tried her no-bake cheesecake and found it to be disgusting. So... ymmv, I guess?
 
I made her chocolate cream pie last Thanksgiving and was very happy with the end result; recently tried her no-bake cheesecake and found it to be disgusting. So... ymmv, I guess?
Ah. Thanks for that feedback Cosmic :) Surprised there was such a wide range in results. Hmmm, guess I'll try out some of her recipes on Serious Eats before I blindly buy her recent book, just to be safe :)

edit: BTW, do you have any thoughts on what went wrong with her no-bake cheesecake recipe?
 

Cosmic Bus

pristine morning snow
edit: BTW, do you have any thoughts on what went wrong with her no-bake cheesecake recipe?
It just wasn't anything like I want cheesecake to taste, i.e. mellow, smooth, creamy, rich.

Was incredibly sugary and tart simultaneously (which doesn't sound like it makes any sense, but there ya go) and the texture kind of grossed me out. I've had no-bake cheesecakes that are quite nice, but this wasn't one of them. Still, going by other people's experiences with her recipes, I think the good/bad ratio is a hell of a lot better than, say, Christina Tosi's Milk Bar books which are all trash. That woman's success really bugs me, hah.
 
Are those sushi rolling devices? I'm... confused.

BTW Mario, Grant Mark says hi, we've been working with him the past few months and he came out to visit, we had some nice meals together.
 
It just wasn't anything like I want cheesecake to taste, i.e. mellow, smooth, creamy, rich.

Was incredibly sugary and tart simultaneously (which doesn't sound like it makes any sense, but there ya go) and the texture kind of grossed me out. I've had no-bake cheesecakes that are quite nice, but this wasn't one of them. Still, going by other people's experiences with her recipes, I think the good/bad ratio is a hell of a lot better than, say, Christina Tosi's Milk Bar books which are all trash. That woman's success really bugs me, hah.
Thanks for explaining regarding the cheesecake, Cosmic :)

Ha! I have Tosi's book, Momofuku Milk Bar, on my wish list as well :D Never got around to seriously think about buying it (it's been on the list since December 2014), but I think I'll pass on ever buying it based on your comments ;) :D BTW, do you have any thoughts on Rose Levy Beranbaum? Her books seem to get good reviews. I normally find lots of recipes to try online so I don't buy too many cookbook but I was getting the hankering for a baking cookbook. I still really like A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman that I got years ago which has given me a number of good recipes. :)
 

Sesuadra

Unconfirmed Member
Are those sushi rolling devices? I'm... confused.

BTW Mario, Grant Mark says hi, we've been working with him the past few months and he came out to visit, we had some nice meals together.
yes, and they're expensive, slow, dirty..

rather spent a few bucks for rice and cucumber and learn to do it yourself. Will be faster, cleaner..
 

Cosmic Bus

pristine morning snow
Thanks for explaining regarding the cheesecake, Cosmic :)

Ha! I have Tosi's book, Momofuku Milk Bar, on my wish list as well :D Never got around to seriously think about buying it (it's been on the list since December 2014), but I think I'll pass on ever buying it based on your comments ;) :D BTW, do you have any thoughts on Rose Levy Beranbaum? Her books seem to get good reviews. I normally find lots of recipes to try online so I don't buy too many cookbook but I was getting the hankering for a baking cookbook. I still really like A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman that I got years ago which has given me a number of good recipes. :)
Like you, I don't use cookbooks very much, but I do have a couple of Rose's that were given to me several years ago. She's not always exciting, but they're very good examples of optimal, tried-and-true recipes. She's not shy about being heavily influenced by Julia Child, and that's a good thing!
 
a little over a year when my home got flooded with over 4 foot or ran. we are almost back in the house. so i ended up buying a baking stone for some multipurpose stuff.

lets find out how many times i use it LOL
 
a little over a year when my home got flooded with over 4 foot or ran. we are almost back in the house. so i ended up buying a baking stone for some multipurpose stuff.

lets find out how many times i use it LOL
was thinking of buying one
noticed that it was just a slab of ceramic

noticed i had a leftover huge-ass square porcelain tile from some construction job

works like a goddamn charm, tbh >_>
 
why not? put a thermometer in there and see what temps ya can get. If the temp's good and the opening is large enough, can't see any reason not to do it. Not like you're doing bbq in the thing and would have to worry about fat drippings and the like.
 
I was planning on buying a cheap rice cooker like the Aroma 8-cup rice cooker, since I really want to make things like chicken fried rice easily enough. However, I've also thought about making stews/soups or casseroles and am wondering if I should just buy a 3-Qt Instant Pot instead. It's twice as much (but $60 USD is still reasonable for me), some reviews point out that rice recipes come out worse though. I'm just too indecisive.....
 
Instant pots are pretty handy for risottos (and a ton of other stuff), so you might wanna just do that instead.

Ive certainly been using mine a lot for that exact purpose. Brie+white wine risotto is quite the thing.

Tbf, given that regular Rice can be done just fine in a regular pan, cant quite see why an instant pot in the sautee function would have trouble doing it.
 

Stinkles

Clothed, sober, cooperative
Oven question for science gaf: I have some slow cooking baby back ribs in the oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for four hours. I have to go take care of something and now expect to be at least an hour late. I suspect that lowering to say , 220 will stop them from being destroyed. Thoughts?
 
Oven question for science gaf: I have some slow cooking baby back ribs in the oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for four hours. I have to go take care of something and now expect to be at least an hour late. I suspect that lowering to say , 220 will stop them from being destroyed. Thoughts?

Better safe than sorry. If youve a probe, just shut the thing off for now and resume cooking later. Undercooking is usually fixable. Overcooking, tho...
 
I went ahead with the Instant Pot which has built in options for rice and a billion other things. Hopefully it will adjust to different types of rice easily enough. It also claims to be a yogurt-maker, which I know nothing about but it makes me want to try. All the yogurt in the U.S. has a fuck-ton of sugar in it.
 

Datwheezy

Unconfirmed Member
I've actually been meaning to ask for rice cooker recommendations even though I have a 6 qt Instant Pot. I have not tried to make rice with it before.
I went ahead with the Instant Pot which has built in options for rice and a billion other things. Hopefully it will adjust to different types of rice easily enough. It also claims to be a yogurt-maker, which I know nothing about but it makes me want to try. All the yogurt in the U.S. has a fuck-ton of sugar in it.
I've had good experience with 1:1 rinsed basmati or jasmine, and just hitting the rice function (which i believe does 12 mins at low pressure), then allowing a natural pressure release. I generally only do 2 cups at a time, so not sure how well it scales up.
 
Anyone familiar with storing/frying rice paper? I'm planning on making meat-filled samosas, but instead of the usual dough I use I'm trying a new method and substituting with rice paper (gluten-free alternative for a friend). With the other dough I've always prepped the day before and fried them when it's time to eat. Would it be possible for me to store these rice paper wrapped samosas in the fridge or freezer??
 

Cosmic Bus

pristine morning snow
Going by similar questions on a few cooking sites, it sounds like the rice paper doesn't hold up well to storage once it's been moistened. Better if the filling can be made and held separately, and assembled closer to when you'll be frying the samosas.
 
Going by similar questions on a few cooking sites, it sounds like the rice paper doesn't hold up well to storage once it's been moistened. Better if the filling can be made and held separately, and assembled closer to when you'll be frying the samosas.
Yeah this looks like the route I'm going to take. It's just lame because my day is so jam-packed and the assembling takes the longest :/
 
I went ahead with the Instant Pot which has built in options for rice and a billion other things. Hopefully it will adjust to different types of rice easily enough. It also claims to be a yogurt-maker, which I know nothing about but it makes me want to try. All the yogurt in the U.S. has a fuck-ton of sugar in it.
Making your own yogurt is pretty simple though it does take an investment of time. I have a Dash Greek Yogurt Maker which is just for making yogurt. I can't say I find it to be that much better in taste than the Greek yogurt I normally buy (Fage) but it is definitely cheaper ;-) I only wish it was bigger so I could make a larger batch each time. :)
 
Making your own yogurt is pretty simple though it does take an investment of time. I have a Dash Greek Yogurt Maker which is just for making yogurt. I can't say I find it to be that much better in taste than the Greek yogurt I normally buy (Fage) but it is definitely cheaper ;-) I only wish it was bigger so I could make a larger batch each time. :)
We make ours in an instant pot and we bought a $5 200 micron strainer that fits in a big bowl. You could make a gallon at a time that way.