BBCC Day 1

butterbattle's picture

Welcome to the first day of Butterbattle's Cooking Corner! (or BBCC for short)

Since this is the first day, I've got to make something ridiculously simple so no one has to call the fire department. I'm asian, so I guess we'll start with some white rice. If I can't cook white rice with stir fried stuff, I might as well lose my asian card.

Yay. I hope I put the right amount of water in there.

When I was a little kid (5 or 6), I remember that I loved stir fried eggs and tomatoes. The juice from the tomatoes gave the eggs a subtle sweet flavor that I liked. Plus, it was so easy that my mom could cook it without messing it up. So, let's go with that.

I think I did pretty good job cutting the tomatoes. Although, I didn't keep the pieces together, so when I tried to cut it the other way, there was a bit of struggle. 

And that's that......except, having only white rice and eggs and tomatoes feels bland somehow. Soooooooo

Turkey bacon! It's not a full meal until I've murdered an animal after all.

I just bought vegetable oil. I have a vague concept of some health conscious people in the back of head telling me I should've gotten the expensive olive oil, but....whatever.

Going in!

- I wasn't quite sure when the bacon was done. I know that I don't like for my bacon to be too shrunk and crispy, but it does need some crispiness....

- I put the bacon in first. After I was done with the bacon, I put the eggs in. The eggs actually absorbed a little bit of the bacon grease. After the eggs hardened for a few seconds, I dumped the tomatoes on top and stirred the eggs and tomatoes together. 

- At this point, I mildly regretted not having bought any seasoning or sauces yet. 

Yay.

Rice is done too.

Conclusions:

- Rice was good, but perhaps a tad drier than what I was going for. 

- Bacon could've been cooked longer to get some crispiness out of it. 

- Eggs and tomatoes were good. Although, it would've benefited from a little bit of sugar. Or soy sauce. Or green onions or cilantro or something like that.

-------

success (x)

not success ()

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare

Vastet's picture

I find Oyster Sauce is good

I find Oyster Sauce is good for stirfry. Hoisen too. Even BBQ can do well in a pinch, just add a bit of water to thin it out a bit.

I have never used egg in a stirfry, but if I did I'd do it with the rice. Cook the rice first (2 cups water per cup of rice). Soon as you see little holes show up with steam geysering through them, throw it in the frying pan. Add the egg and stir like crazy.

I'd have cooked the bacon first too. You can make it to your preference much easier if it's the only thing in the frying pan. And it doesn't matter if it gets cold. Surface area is large and volume is small, so if you put it back in with the rice it will warm up fast.

I hate chopping tomatoes. Half the time I'm just squishing them. You need a really sharp knife or a really firm tomato.

No onion? No mushrooms? No peppers? Heresy!

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Beyond Saving's picture

Nice first attempt. With

Nice first attempt. With rice I like to throw it in the pan with the fat (I prefer butter because I have a wreckless disregard for my heart, but vegetable oil will do) and some salt and heat it for a minute or two, just until the tips of the rice become translucent. It breaks down the outer hull and improves absorpsion. Soy sauce definitely would have been an improvement. You are still in Japan right? You should be able to get the good stuff that you can't get in the states without a credit check. I like to add the soy sauce with the water for any asianish dish, usually about 1.5 cups of water and .25 cups of soy sauce for 1 cup of rice. I just eyeball it. Rice is forgiving, if it is getting close to done and it is too dry for your taste, you can add extra water the last 5 minutes. Theoretical best practice is to heat the water to boiling before adding it, but if it is only a little, hot tap water is fine. 

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X

iwbiek's picture

i personally hate doing the


i personally hate doing the whole fingernail-depth-more-water-than-rice careful ratio steaming bit, which is why i almost always use basmati, jasmine, or brown rice. all three can just be dumped into boiling water of any amount (as long as it covers it), then drained in a colander when it's done. basmati and jasmine usually take 10-12 minutes, brown rice about 25 minutes. i like brown rice in egg fried rice. of course, i see you have a rice cooker, and that's absolutely the way to go. i've always heard that every japanese household has one. i have a plastic microwave rice cooker i got from my mom that i'm sure is pretty inexpensive, and it gets it right every time. plus, the cooking vessel itself becomes your serving vessel.

i think you did right by just using vegetable oil. olive oil is not traditionally used in east, south, or southeast asian cooking (if that's what you were going for), and IMO the strong, distinct flavor of olive oil clashes with asian flavors. peanut and sesame oils are used a lot in east and southeast asian cooking, especially toasted sesame oil, and in south asia of course ghee is preferred (but plain old butter works just as well, in my experience). you pretty much can never go wrong with plain old vegetable oil. i've heard it's what the typical asian household uses, just like the rest of the world. it's neutral and won't interfere with anything. that big jug you got there will serve you well. no other cooking fats required, IMO.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson

iwbiek's picture

oh, as for bacon (sorry, i

oh, as for bacon (sorry, i know i'm gushing unsolicited advice, but i love talking about cooking), very low heat and frequent turning is the best method. you get a lot of caramelization and crispiness without rendering everything away and coming out with bacon 1/3 the size of what you put in. plus, you don't have to worry about hot grease exploding all over the kitchen, dirtying up your stove, backsplash, and countertop, and possibly burning you. take it from a guy who cooks a traditional eastern kentucky farm breakfast for his family at least once a week: properly done bacon takes, minimum, half an hour. what i love about europe is that pre-sliced bacon is very rare here. you buy the whole slabs, and i like to cut my pieces to a medium thickness. nothing irritates me more than when i visit the states and have to cook those paper-thin slices again. and vastet is absolutely right: until the bacon is to your liking, nothing else should be in the pan with it. oh, and always start bacon on a cold pan.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson

butterbattle's picture

iwbiek wrote:oh, as for

iwbiek wrote:
oh, as for bacon (sorry, i know i'm gushing unsolicited advice, but i love talking about cooking), very low heat and frequent turning is the best method. you get a lot of caramelization and crispiness without rendering everything away and coming out with bacon 1/3 the size of what you put in. plus, you don't have to worry about hot grease exploding all over the kitchen, dirtying up your stove, backsplash, and countertop, and possibly burning you. take it from a guy who cooks a traditional eastern kentucky farm breakfast for his family at least once a week: properly done bacon takes, minimum, half an hour. what i love about europe is that pre-sliced bacon is very rare here. you buy the whole slabs, and i like to cut my pieces to a medium thickness. nothing irritates me more than when i visit the states and have to cook those paper-thin slices again. and vastet is absolutely right: until the bacon is to your liking, nothing else should be in the pan with it. oh, and always start bacon on a cold pan.

Whoa.......really? I feel like someone told me when I was younger that the stovetop had to be turned to max when they were cooking bacon so that the bacon would be crispy. I feel like I've been deceived.

I have to google this.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare

iwbiek's picture

the bacon does crisp up fast

the bacon does crisp up fast when the stove is on high because everything is rendered out really quickly. that's why there's so much shrinkage. that's also why when you go to turn it, you're shielding your face and holding the fork at arm's length. bacon cooks very easily with little heat. i have a gas stove and whenever i cook bacon, i have the skillet (a full-sized one) on the smallest eye, with the flame completely low or medium-low at most.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson

Beyond Saving's picture

 I agree with iwbiek, low

 I agree with iwbiek, low heat is better for bacon. The reason why, is that the crispiness you get from high heat and low heat are actually two completely different chemical reactions. You have the Maillard reaction, which is caused by amino acids reacting to sugar. This is the reaction that causes the outside of bread to be brown, seared steaks, toast, malted barley, roasted coffee, french fries and many other foods that you might refer to as "golden brown and delicious." The maillard reaction will generally start at around 250 degrees (it actually can occur at room termperature given the right conditions and time, but for practical cooking 250 is a good rule of thumb), and will occur fairly rapidly around 330 degrees. The other process that can occur is caramelization, which is caused by the breakdown of sugar molecules. This starts happening at around 320 degrees and by around 340 it happens extremely fast. The catch is that caramelization will reduce the Maillard reaction, so while your bacon is going to get crisp and have a dark color, you are missing out on the wonderful meaty umami flavors that result from the Maillard reaction. Plus, you run the risk of getting that bitter burnt taste because caramelization can easily go too far. 

The good news is that with bacon it is pretty easy to get the benefits of both reactions. When the bacon is heated to around 300-320 degrees, you will have steady progress of the Maillard reaction, as well as a decent pace of caramelization. Starting with a cold pan allows more time for the Maillard reaction to occur before caramelization starts. As with any cooking, it ultimately comes down to personal taste, so experiment and see which you prefer. I like to cook my bacon over low heat for a good 30 minutes and then the last couple minutes I turn the burner up higher. When you have the time, the oven is a great way to do a side by side comparrison of the difference, put some bacon in the oven at 275 for an hour or two, then when that is done, put more in at 375 which will only take about 10-15 minutes. The bacon should look very similar, but will have rather different flavors. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X

butterbattle's picture

BBCC Day 2 I'm pretty much

BBCC Day 2

I'm pretty much cooking the same thing again (partly because I have another tomato left), so I'll add it to the end of this thread. Whenever I cook something completely different, I'll start a new thread. 

I.e. stir fried eggs and tomatoes round 2!

Reflections on day 1

- I wasn't really sure when the bacon was to my liking, and it ended up being not cooked enough. It wasn't crispy or very savory either.

- The tomatoes weren't cooked enough while the eggs were cooked too much. The eggs need to be fluffy while the tomatoes need to be soft. (the eggs get harder as I cook them and the tomatoes get softer as I cook them! *gasp* mind = blown)

- It was kind of bland.

Here we go again.

I cooked the bacon for a lot longer this time.

These guys. I know both ketchup and soy sauce work pretty well with scrambled eggs. In theory, I'm thinking the ketchup should enhance the effect of the tomatoes making the eggs sweeter. Then, the soy sauce will help give it some flavor. 

99 cents! I could just eat this stuff by itself as a snack. This should counter the flavor of the rest of the stuff and give it a little more texture. 

Done. 

It feels like I cooked the same thing again, but it tastes waaaayyyyy better. I cooked the eggs first, but I took them off the stove this time while they were still a bit runny. At this point, I added soy sauce to the eggs. Then, I put the tomatoes in by themselves and added ketchup at that point. After the tomatoes started getting softer, I dumped the eggs back in, immediately put the cilantro on top, mixed it together, then served it.

Possible additional improvements:

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/06/chinese-stir-fried-eggs-and-tomatoes-recipe.html

This recipe also calls for cornstarch, salt, pepper, sugar, white wine, and scallions. Sugar and salt feel like cop-outs to me. Some white pepper would probably be really good. I don't know enough about how cornstarch or white wine would change the flavor to comment.....Scallions should have an effect similar to the cilantro, but perhaps a bit stronger.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/stir-fried-egg-and-tomato-352835

Welp, this is not far from what I did.

https://cookpad.com/us/recipes/155435-standard-chinese-style-stir-fried-egg-and-tomatoes

About the same thing again.

--------------------

Great success ()

Success (x)

Not success ()

Omg wtf () 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare

iwbiek's picture

white pepper is an essential

white pepper is an essential ingredient in a lot of chinese cooking. also, a dash of chinese five-spice toward the end can work wonders. anytime i use egg in fried rice or stir fry of any kind, i always cook it separately then add it at the end. it's so much better that way. you learn fast. Smiling


i don't cook chinese near as often as i cook indian or thai, nor do i research authenticity as much with it, but my essential ingredients for pretty much any savory chinese dish are as follows:


1. soy sauce (obviously)


2. fresh garlic


3. chili powder of some kind, quite hot and not smoked, and/or fresh chili peppers


4. white pepper


5. toasted sesame oil


6. rice vinegar


7. chinese five-spice


8. scallions

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson

Beyond Saving's picture

butterbattle

butterbattle wrote:

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/06/chinese-stir-fried-eggs-and-tomatoes-recipe.html

This recipe also calls for cornstarch, salt, pepper, sugar, white wine, and scallions. Sugar and salt feel like cop-outs to me. Some white pepper would probably be really good. I don't know enough about how cornstarch or white wine would change the flavor to comment.....Scallions should have an effect similar to the cilantro, but perhaps a bit stronger.

The purpose of the cornstarch is to be a thickener, there shouldn't be enough for you to notice any flavor difference, it is just a texture preference. It would make the ketchup and tomato mixture gel a little bit and get a little sticky. Anytime you add a liquid to eggs before you cook them, it gives them a puffier texture. I usually just add a splash of water, some people swear by milk, but most liquids will do the same. There is some explanation about how the liquid helps the egg molecules form a less dense, more airy structure, but I can't remember exactly why. I'm not sure how noticable the wine flavor would be in the eggs, I've never tried it. Generally, when I eat eggs I like to taste the eggs. Scallions/cilantro is just flavoring, so just whichever is your preference. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X

Vastet's picture

I hate salt, generally

I hate salt, generally speaking. But if you only use a little bit it does do justice to a meal.

Your pics are vanishing. lol

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

butterbattle's picture

Noooooooooooooo

Noooooooooooooo!

Edit: Okay, fixed. Whew.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare

butterbattle's picture

BBCC Day 3 So, I started

BBCC Day 3

So, I started this thing to try to motivate myself to cook. But ironically, I'm having a hard time motivating myself to update this after I cook. Overall, between work, traveling, and generally being a lazy piece of shit, it's been a bit of a struggle.

Obviously, since I am posting in this thread, I continued to make eggs and tomatoes. On the third day, I played around with flavors, and.........it ended up....not good. I added basil to it, and, unlike the cilantro or scallions, it was way too strong. I also tested out some apple cider vinegar, which....also ended up feeling rather overpowering. 

Great success ()

Success ()

Not success (x)

Omg wtf ()

 

Conclusion, basil does not work with this dish and probably does not work with most stir fry dishes that don't have meat. Vinegar is okay, but only a little bit.

 

BBCC Day 4

I decided to make sure I had it down one last time before I moved on to something else. I cooked the eggs first and took it them off the stovetop right when they hardened. At this point, I put some soy sauce on the eggs. Then, I put the tomatoes in. After the tomatoes were a little softer, I put the eggs back in, then added cilantro, green onion, and just a little bit of vinegar. I stirred them together, then immediately plated the whole thing.

Great success ()

Success (x)

Not success ()

Omg wtf ()

I think I've beat this horse to death for now. 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare

Vastet's picture

Yhe great, or horrible,

Yhe great, or horrible, thing about cooking is you're never done messing around unless you start writing down recipes and adhering to them with fanatical devotion.

Try some cheese. Parmesean, chedder, mozzarella, cream, whatever.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.