Thursday, January 5, 2017

Cooking cheat codes

This is YouTube video from the Brothers Green Eats channel. One of the brothers is missing and their sister appears instead. They are not really cheat codes and they are not hacks, rather, they are simple cooking techniques. Turns out, I use all of these so-called cheat codes and so do the commenters to this video on YouTube. I think this video is for kids, not you. I'm showing the video to convey how much young people don't know. This is new to them, but not to you.

The cheats listed are:
soy sauce
curry powder
curry paste
coconut milk
olive oil and lemon
fried egg
frying bread

I'd say a shorter description is copy the idea behind Thai cooking, to hit every taste bud sensation at once, salt, sugar, sourness, bitterness, umami, along with olfactory sensations of herbs and spices and the heat in chiles. While being mindful of texture and color. This is what they are doing and all that is standard cooking technique. Sriracha is basically chile. It also has vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. See? They rounded it out to hit other spots on the tongue.

The Green kids didn't mention vinegar. Vinegar mixed with sugar, boom, sweet and sour right there, and that added to nearly anything makes it better.

They didn't mention a great cheat code, fish sauce, or anchovy, another additive that transforms nearly anything.

And they didn't mention alcohol; nearly any wine or beer makes everything better. Wine and butter is an especially great combination.

All those items as little additives transform ordinary things into something much better. They talked about rice but did not talk about beans. Add vinegar and something sweet to beans, boom, they're instantly a lot more interesting.

The other videos on the Brothers Green Eats are similar. They're all two young cooks describing what they've learned so far and care to share with their generation.

It cheers me that millennial types make these discoveries of long established traditions and take them for brand new ideas worth sharing. And it bums me out that comments to them are so negative and arrogant as if they should have already known. The thing that caused me to dwell on this is the response in comments to the essay posted by a young person who traveled to Cuba with friends and discovered immediately how messed up the country is. Right off the bat their expectations are shattered. What they imagined or thought that they knew about the world was shattered by harsh reality. The essay is hilarious and a bright description of a hasty and inexpensive adventure to an unknown place, just throwing themselves into it and facing circumstances that they had no preparation for. It's a cheerful facing of difficulties in series, not a litany of complaints, while comments to the discoveries reveal hostility that these kids weren't born with the knowledge that Boomers learned through their decades of living through it. The same thing is showing with this video and the same response is shown in the comments. For Pete's sake, give them a break. You have 3X the life experience, 3X the amount of living under your belt.

Cuba is Actually a Terrible Place to Go, by Bengali Miles Guru, on Travel Codex, via Instapundit. Recommended. The story is fun. Read down through comments, they're obnoxious. I'm ashamed to admit, my generation really is obnoxious especially towards millennials for some reason that I cannot fathom.

My favorite part: "Between one of my friends having the smallest bladder in the universe and my other friend trying to find non-existent wifi, I thought it was time to make an executive decision ..."

And, upon leaving, this:

"... I will never forget the look on their faces. [of the newly arriving tourists] Excitement, curiosity and bewilderment were some ways to describe it. Meanwhile, I caught a glimpse of the three of us in the glass. Defeated, exhausted and battered, one of us still wearing the same clothes as the day before."

Is that hilarious or what?


chickelit said...

In mixology, there's St Germain liqueur, also known as "bartender's ketchup."

AprilApple said...

That was informative! thanks! Tho - I went to the stores yesterday in advance of the of big snow. Now I'm irritated I didn't buy a head of cauliflower.

1st world problems.

ndspinelli said...

My old man spent much of WW2 in Cuba. He loved it and always hoped they would get rid of Castro so he could go back.

AprilApple said...

The rest of the Castro family should be shot or imprisoned and their money removed and returned to the people of Cuba. I'm a dreamer, what can I say.

Alas -the golden leftist dictator family is protected. Be nice if Trump would do something bold. for the people of Cuba.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Great article. I love cooking and Chip's cooking posts!!

Here is another good staple to have ....fermented black beans. Umami taste, salty, sweet, delicious in sauces and added sparingly to salad dressings.

There was an extensive conversation on Reddit among the millenials about how to save money while in college or trying to get a job out of college. Cooking was the number one answer and then they went into a zillion and one things to do with ramen soup. There were some great ideas there.

April: We are digging out from a foot or so of snow and expect more this week...finally a normal winter. I did my 'emergency' shopping for fresh goods like milk, cream for the coffee, vegetables, bread, booze (of course) before the storm. We already have a large pump house (approx 12 x 20) full of canned and dried goods as well as two freezers stuffed with meat and other freezable things. Vegetables, butter, cheese, casseroles.

Because it has stopped snowing for a day or my husband is taking the tractor and going to plow the now frozen solid snow out of the drive and some areas where we can park. Piling it up in big banks out of the way, which will likely last for weeks.

AprilApple said...

If the bomb ever drops, I want to be at DBQ headquarters.

AprilApple said...

I'm glad you finally have some snows. I watch the radar to see what is coming in, and I've noticed CA is finally capturing some must needed moisture.

AprilApple said...

That green curry paste he uses looks really good. Gotta find that brand at a local store.

Sixty Grit said...

We are looking at 100% chance of snow on Saturday, and it looks like that is the same storm that brought snow to California. Of course around here even a forecast of snow causes a run on milk and bread for the all important making of milk sandwiches when one is snowbound.

It was 70 degrees yesterday, it will be 7 degrees on Saturday and back up in the 60s next week. I won't shovel, I'll just wait it out.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I went through this phase where I had eggs frequently and I had this rule that I should season them differently every time. Worcestershire. Dill. Mustard-ketchup-mayonnaise. Penzeys Northwoods. Whatever my wife had around. It was kind of fun.

Don't recall why I stopped. Maybe because I got hooked on protein bars and protein shakes.

ricpic said...

They left out Worcestershire sauce. Almost a requirement to make meat dishes pop.

Chip Ahoy said...

Ricpic is right. Worcestershire is a combination of tamarind and anchovy. And there's that anchovy again making things great. A few drops of Asian fish sauce is the same thing. They ferment the fish. And so did the Romans with their fermented fish sauce, garum. All these things are awful, just awful on their own, but like bitters with alcohol they have fantastic transformative affect.