Please tell us sometime about the "mouth-feel" must be pro lingo.
Julienne, chiffonade, emince...? Fancy names. Simple concepts. Find clarity here.
Think about a tender premium beef tenderloin cooked to perfection vs. the toughest chewiest piece of steak you have every eaten. Completely different textures in your mouth. Or Penne pasta and Angel Hair pasta (very thin spaghetti). The minute you bite into food, your brain is unconsciously evaluating the food on texture, often even before you evaluate the flavor of the food. It is an important part of the eating experience for everyone, even if you weren't aware of it.
Here's the Wikipedia description:
Here's a good blog post on it:
Hope this helps.
Mouth feel is also very big with sauces. Imagine a smooth and silky sauce compared to one that has been reduced too far. A silky sauce will melt and almost glide in your mouth.
Whereas a sauce that is too thick, (like a demi glace that has been reduced too far) will feel almost gummy in the mouth. You know that "feeling" when the sauce almost sticks to your mouth because it is just a bit too thick...this is all about the "mouth feel".
One of the questions asks steaks should be tempered by bringing to room temperature 1-2 hours before cooking. I would like submit that the question (the answer was true) should actually say bring to room temperature FOR 1-2 hours before cooking.
There is a rather long thread on this subject that was started in the pan frying lesson discussion tab.
The short answer...yes quality of olive oil matters - here is a Drill-down called "Choosing Quality Olive Oil"
As for what to use...we almost always use grapeseed oil when pan frying, as it has a higher smoke point. Again here is a link to a Drill-down called "Smoking Points of Oil"
Hope this helps!
Thanks Dawn, shortly after I posted my previous question I found the lesson on Pan Frying and read the thread you just linked. Tonight I made Prime Rib Eye steaks (using grapeseed oil!) with Cognac-Pepper sauce, using the fresh batch of chicken stock I made yesterday, following the instructions on this site. It was great! I absolutely LOVE your site. Thank you so much for doing this.
Depends. If your chicken needs washing, it wasn't too fresh. Check the date. But smell it. If it doesn't smell of anything, simply pat dry.
Vacuum sealed meat needs to be washed and patted dry as its blood develops an off odour in an anaerobic environment. Wrapped red meat does not; simply pat dry. If it does smell, it has likely gone bad.
Always unwrap packed meat and pat dry immediately when you take them home. Cook within a day or so. If not, marinate or brine for longer storage time.
I did some research on the crust topic. Turns out it has to do with the hemoglobin in the blood oxidizing. Our blood does the same thing.
In this lesson just before cooking the steaks are lightly coated with oil. But in the lesson on how to cook premium steaks the pan is heated, oil is added, and then the steaks put in when the oil has just started to smoke. My question is whether the step of oiling the steak (which makes my hands greasy) can be omitted because the pan will have oil in it, or if there is a reason to oil both the steaks and the pan?
Good observation. Here again, you have options. You can either oil the steaks beforehand for additional moisture or you can simply season the steaks and put oil in the pan prior to cooking. It's up to you and what works for you best. Cheers!
If I buy steaks and I want to freeze a portion, would I air dry the steaks and the freeze them or vice versa?
Also, if I want to cook a steak a couple of days after buying it (before having to freeze it), what is the best method to store it for the first day or two before air drying, tempering, then cooking?
Question # 4 asks true or false, you can temper the steak by putting directly into water. the answer they say is true, but I say false, because to me it left out the most important word , and that was placing it in a "resealable bag", then placing in warm water, as is demonstrated in question 7, with the answer being all of the above, and (b) stating you can temper by placing in a sealable bag in warm water 30 min. I answered #4 as false because to me without the words "resealable bag", it implies you just place the steak in water, please explain how I could have misunderstood question 4
You didn't misunderstand the question regarding tempering steaks by putting them directly in water. You are correct that the answer is, in fact, false because the words "resealable bag" are missing from the question. If you answered "false", the quiz marks your answer as correct. I checked the quiz and everything seems to be working fine. If you are having problems with the quiz where it is marking "true" as the correct answer, please let us know and we'll contact you offline to sort it out. Cheers!
Air dry only to make sure they are dry, not aged. I don't recommend tempering small pieces of pork simply because it's a meat more susceptible to going off than red meat. Though some chefs do temper all meats, thís is one I'm not comfortable seeing the home cook do. But make sure to rest your chops after they are cooked just like a steak.