Cooking 101: An Infographic is worth a thousand recipes.
November 7, 2014 8:37 PM   Subscribe

 
Explanations and more detail are presented at cooksmarts here.
posted by storybored at 8:39 PM on November 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


These are neat, but it seems real weird to conflate "salt" and "umami".
posted by Greg Nog at 8:42 PM on November 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


I grew up in a household where neither parents cooked. As a result, I've no idea how to do the even the simplest of the cooking "basics."

Also, I'm very aesthetically picky, so this isn't just helpful - it's pleasing to me in so many ways.
posted by ourt at 8:52 PM on November 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Bookmarked! Even though I'm a boss in the kitchen, this website is a gold mine for specific cooking info, and as a thing to pass onto friends who are bad in the kitchen.

Greg Nog, those two are radically different as flavors. Go put a whole chicken in a crockpot, for 4-6 hours on high heat, and then taste the broth before adding salt - that's umami flavor.

ourt, I really recommend Tim Ferriss' The Four Hour Chef. It teaches cooking as a how-to-do-processes - although some of his recipes are mediocre, the spice mixture list he includes with scrambled eggs (infographic version) is worth the 15$ for the digital download alone.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 9:01 PM on November 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Greg Nog, in their explanation of flavor profiles, they seem to say that the conflation was done to make the infographic simpler without compromising the principles of flavor enhancement/balancing.
posted by storybored at 9:08 PM on November 7, 2014


The Spice chart is great. Every month I get a free jar of Penzy's featured spice and sometimes I don't really know what to do with it, and I also tend to get into spice ruts.

I predict this will become "The Gift of Fear" of cooking Asks.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:09 PM on November 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


My only regret is that I have but one favorite to give for this post.

Super fantastic, thanks for posting this! I love Mefi cooking threads too, which is a bonus.
posted by nevercalm at 9:47 PM on November 7, 2014


Are they holding a regular page-viewing experience by making me post this to Pinterest or give up my email address?
posted by Lukenlogs at 9:53 PM on November 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


What does one do with radishes?
posted by oceanjesse at 10:00 PM on November 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Fresh radishes are to be cut and served with herbed butter and salt and left alone.

They're also nice in salads or as a topping to steak.

Also good in Tacos

Radishes, eat them more.
posted by The Whelk at 10:09 PM on November 7, 2014 [13 favorites]


Sadly, how I cook vegetables:

1) Buy Vegetables
2) Leave them sitting around for way too long
3) Cook old vegetables
4) Throw out vegetables since they taste horrible, being old
5) eat a burger. Hey, it has lettuce on it.
posted by Justinian at 10:13 PM on November 7, 2014 [15 favorites]


Radishes get thinly sliced and added to cottage cheese along with scallions and chives plus salt & white pepper to taste.

Warning: Radishes may evolve into becoming an appetizer eaten before a healthy serving of Tums :(
posted by Room 641-A at 10:50 PM on November 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Gah. I apologize. Dammit. G-d Dammit. I really want to like this. I like the "Key" row for flavor profiles for spices and herbs. I hate the whole rest of the website. It's at once too broad and too narrow. Please don't take my crititcism personally storybored because it very much isn't.

I suppose my frustration is a consequence of the impossibility of representing the multi-dimensional relationship among texture, salt, sweet, sour, umami, and the complicated molecules that are herbs and spices. It's impossible to communicate that via the mostly two dimensional internet in table form.

These websites are a good start though, perhaps similar to learning to play scales in music and then using that skill to improvise.

And Basil goes with everything.
posted by vapidave at 11:29 PM on November 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Being the main cook in the extended family, I'm sending this to all my relatives hoping to forestay long calls trying to rescue their "experiments." Not that it'll help...it's like being the one kid in the family who knows how to use google to fix a computer problem.

Very cool find, excellent presentation.
posted by digitalprimate at 11:29 PM on November 7, 2014


If you have a pressure cooker, you can have artichokes ready to eat in 15 minutes. This assumes that you like to play with your food: pull each leaf off, rub it on butter, scrape the soft part off with your teeth. Of course you discard the fuzzy, prickly part, then chop up the base and eat it with butter. Dieting? Have carrots and celery sticks instead.
posted by Cranberry at 12:22 AM on November 8, 2014


That Pin Me thing is so annoying I just can't.
posted by evil_esto at 1:57 AM on November 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


What does one do with radishes?

I reproduce below a recipe from Fergus Henderson's Nose to Tail Eating. I strongly recommend that book, and Henderson's restaurant, St John near Smithfield Market in London, to anyone interested in an understated and soothing approach to food.

The recipe looks really specific, but I have also found it to be excellent with roast pork, and I don't see why it wouldn't work as a side dish to something like a macaroni cheese or similar.
Radishes to Accompany Duck or Goose

The fresh, peppery radishes make a perfect foil for the rich birds.

Ingredients:
3 bunches of radishes with happy leaves
Juices from the roasting pan of the duck or goose, or duck fat and a splash of chicken (duck) stock
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method:
Remove the leaves from the radishes and wash both the leaves and radishes. Heat up your roasting juices or fat and stock, then add the radishes. Let this sizzle, stirring frequently. In approximately 5 minutes the radishes will have changed to pink blushing orbs, still crispy but with a hint of giving. Add the radish leaves and remove the pan from the heat. The leaves do two things: they give a wonderful flavor, and they add a structural weave, preventing your radishes from rolling all over your plate when served. Season and stir, letting the leaves wilt a moment, then serve with roast duck or goose.
In general, do not neglect the radish leaves when you buy bunched radishes. They make an excellent salad. However, bunched radishes need to be eaten quickly, preferably on the day of purchase, because they wilt fast. If you want to store them, I suggest cutting off the leaves from the bunch first.
posted by howfar at 2:23 AM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


What does one do with radishes?

If your radishes are a bit old and thus no longer the best raw, you can roast them like you would a potato or turnip in a little fat and salt. At the last minute put your roasting dish on the stove, melt some extra butter on there and add peas and any fresh herb you have on hand (I like mint, rosemary was good once). Toss and cook until the peas are done, consume happily with crunchy bread.

If your radishes are hardier and more peppery, cut into matchsticks and toss with shredded cabbage and carrot. Dress with lime juice and zest, S&P, a dollop of sour cream or crema (crema is best), scant spoonful of sugar or small dollop of honey. Add jicama if you have it, adjust ratios of vegetables to your preference, but I think the more radish the better. Tastier the next day.
posted by Mizu at 3:26 AM on November 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Nice looking site, well presented with lots of useful information but beset by the modern sin of social-everything, (tweet this, pin that, here's a photo of a suscriber, ...). Will enough people pay to keep it going? I doubt it.
posted by epo at 3:29 AM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


What does one do with radishes?

With red radishes - there are different sorts with different uses - you can make a very pretty pickle. Use smallish radishes for preference:

Make the pickling brine by dissolving a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of sugar with a half cup each of white vinegar and water. Top and tail your radishes, and put them in a jar or other small and deep container. Pour the pickling liquid over them - you can add a little more water if necessary, or make more brine. Put them in the fridge, and eat them in a day or two. The radishes' color will permeate the flesh and brine, making everything a rosy pink.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:16 AM on November 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Radishes are great great things for many things but here are two odder* things:

Moroccan radish and orange salad, here's a good recipe

Mango/radish salsa, I don't have a recipe but: dice or process radishes finely, add diced mango, diced tomato, a bunch of lime juice, salt, pepper, and chopped cilantro.

where I live, anyway
posted by Ella Fynoe at 4:25 AM on November 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


It's probably the wrong thing to do, but I'm going to make a confession here.

I've been coaching some of the contestants of Master Chef Junior.

These are little kids. Eight years old, maybe twelve years old. And they know how to cook.

Some of them can cook amazingly well, considering that they haven't reached reached puberty yet.

But Gordon Ramsey is an asshole. No two ways about it.

So these are exactly the types of tips I try to teach these kids.

Flavor with spices. Flavor with fresh herbs.

If you don't, Gordon will beat you.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:27 AM on November 8, 2014 [19 favorites]


Metafilter: radishes with happy leaves
posted by sammyo at 4:27 AM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Okra is far better roasted than sautéed. It can get slimy when it's sautéed.
posted by workerant at 5:00 AM on November 8, 2014


If you send me an email, I'll send you an image from my website. Which is resizeable, but covered in crufty z layers and unreadable.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:04 AM on November 8, 2014


ourt — I grew up in the same type of household but have learned to be a reasonably competent cook. (I don't have to become an excellent cook because my wife and in-laws are better than I could ever be... but I could.) I recommend getting the book How to Cook Everything, because it is more detailed and consistent in formatting than any internet resource I've seen, and doesn't go overboard on super-complicated recipes. It gives you a technique, and then tells you safe variations you can try that can be as complicated as you like, but that won't ruin dinner.

After that, the world's your oyster. (Except Julia Child, I have cooked basically nothing out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. As much as I love her, her recipes are impractical beyond belief.)
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:30 AM on November 8, 2014


What does one do with radishes?

Cut off the leaves, and then cut off the radish tops & throw them away (that's where the grit settles). Wash the leaves well.
Cut the radishes in halves or quarters, depending on size.
Brown them lightly in a heavy oven-safe skillet.
Roast in oven at about 400F for 10m or so.
Put back on stove top and reintroduce leaves. Stir until cooked.
Serve. The radishes will be much milder and shouldn't be mushy yet (adjust the oven time down if they're too mushy or mild for you).

Note: Don't just take the advice to make salad out of radish leaves without trying a raw radish leaf first. In fact, if you've never used the radish variety you've got, always try the leaves before you serve them raw or lightly-cooked in a dish.

Why: Because radish leaves are often quite bristly and it can be off-putting as hell. Cooking takes the edge off that.
posted by lodurr at 6:31 AM on November 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Okra is far better roasted than sautéed. It can get slimy when it's sautéed.

Where my parents grew up, it wasn't okra if it wasn't slimy. Avoiding the sliminess kind of defeated the purpose of eating okra.

(I hated "the slickness" [as Justin Wilson used to call it] when i was a kid, but I kind of like it now. It's what made the corn meal coating taste so good.)
posted by lodurr at 6:33 AM on November 8, 2014


generally, though, the question of 'what does one do with radishes' gets a lot simpler if you think of them as being similar to turnips or a particularly sharp type of cabbage, depending on how strong the flavor is. So they're great as a base for relishes, salads, salsas, etc. I've put them into pans of roasted vegetables (which are a holiday staple in my house) alongside brussels sprouts, small potatoes, yam, onions, and whatever the hell else we think of to put in.
posted by lodurr at 6:39 AM on November 8, 2014


It's probably the wrong thing to do, but I'm going to make a confession here.

I've been coaching some of the contestants of Master Chef Junior.


!!!!!!

How much are you allowed to tell us without violating NDAs and whatnot? I would be very interested. (And FWIW, the one time I met Ramsay--in a professional context--he was extremely charming and engaging).

As to the post: I think these are great, but I'm giving the biggest sideeye ever to the salty/umami conflation; it's going to steer a lot of people wrong.

Radishes: pan-seared black cod on a small bed of couscous, tomato & fennel broth, daikon/jicama/apple slaw on top. Nom!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:44 AM on November 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I would also like to here more about Master Chef Junior!

Also, in re radishes: I like to shred 'em with a cheese grater and add 'em to chili! It gives it a lovely earthy tone!
posted by Greg Nog at 7:09 AM on November 8, 2014


I just watched MasterChef Junior for the first time last night and was charmed beyond belief. Except for the part where 12-year olds cooked 1"-thick chops to perfection because HOW???

Very cool confession, twoleftfeet!
posted by Room 641-A at 7:40 AM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I like to pickle radishes. It makes them marginally less heart-burny that way. Bonus, you can jam them on anything on which you'd put pickles!
posted by winna at 7:44 AM on November 8, 2014


I only caught the first half of MJ last night, and honestly, those (utterly adorable) moppets terrify me. YOU ARE TEN YEARS OLD STOP MAKING ME LOOK BAD is more or less something I yelled at the TV.

That said--and twoleftfeet can, hopefully, correct me if I'm wrong--I suspect the judges are giving a lot of leeway about 'perfectly' cooked. I do want to dig up the latter half of the episode though; my neighbour texted me to tell me about the NINE YEAR OLD (sorry) who did something with chicken livers and poached apple.

NINE
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:45 AM on November 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh man, all the spicy brassica family plants (including radishes, turnips, mustard greens), simply serve in fats with some vinegar of your choice. My personal favorite:
2tbsp butter
1tbsp coconut oil
add aromatics I have on hand (usually onions and garlic, sometimes mushrooms, radishes)
optional but fun: take a potato peeler and slice some squash really thin. Absorbs all the excess fats so you have less sauce but more yummy flavorful stuff.
cook until onions are beginning to caramelize
add protein
when protein is mostly cooked, add greens and salt (to offset the bitter of the greens) and any spices I didn't use with the aromatics
add vinegar to flavor and serve

optional: if spicy isn't your thing, have a cup of kefir or yogurt with it. Between the fats providing a barrier, the sour masking the flavor of spicy, and the kefir to help keep your stomach from getting upset, it'll knock your socks off and you can do it as many ways as you can think of spice combinations.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 8:49 AM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh - I cook everything in a single 14" cast iron skillet - that detail is important. A wok would work just as well if you had one.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 8:50 AM on November 8, 2014


storeybored, thank you for this post. I can only cook by recipe and have always been baffled on how some people know that, say, rosemary goes with chicken. As a bonus, we now know what our kitchen decorations/art will be.
posted by sfkiddo at 9:20 AM on November 8, 2014


The best cooking knowledge enhancement tool I've ever purchased is The Flavor Bible. I think I've mentioned it before in other cooking threads, but I'm going to keep pushing it until it's a standard part of every kitchen.

There's even a vegetarian version now!
posted by nerdler at 9:22 AM on November 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


For a beginner cook, I found "How to Cook Without a Book" ESSENTIAL. She breaks down into really, really basic, simple ways how to start with a basic recipe (rice pilaf, frittata) and improvise flavors and additions based on what you have in your pantry. She explains what the key parts of the recipe are that you have to do or it won't work, gives you several recipe variations, and then just suggestions for flavors to play with. That was a giant lightbulb for me and I have a much better sense now of how to improvise!

After that I was much more prepared for Mark Bittman!

(I also found reading Mastering the Art of French Cooking very enlightening since she explains so many techniques, but I only cooked a few things out of it.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:52 AM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


threw these all into a slightly more accessible and less pinnable imgur album
posted by p3on at 10:37 AM on November 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


If you have a pressure cooker, you can have artichokes ready to eat in 15 minutes.

The sole reason I do not have a pressure cooker is that I would probably end up blowing my entire month's food budget on artichokes.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:42 AM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


To anyone who has cooked, there are many non-cooking techniques and laughably wrong information here. That whole spice chart is a head scratcher. Some nice layout but I suspect a lot of the information wasn't edited or kitchen tested.
posted by bobloblaw at 11:56 AM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


bobloblaw, can you expand on that? like what?
posted by canine epigram at 12:50 PM on November 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


The best okra I've had in my life was from Crossroads in LA, and the secret was that they fried it and coated it in chili powder (and garam masala IIRC) so it was like delicious, airy poppers. So good.

(The site is kinda meh on my end but I can imagine it being really helpful if you didn't know any basics of cooking at all.)
posted by klangklangston at 2:30 PM on November 8, 2014


canine epigram, it's lots of little things. Conflating umami with salt, for example; while, yes, sodium is often present with glutamates (e.g. MSG) it isn't always. They are two different tastes. A marinara recipe that adds sugar. It seems pretty pertinent that the only person on the team (per the 'about' page) with actual culinary training is their 'social media maven.'

It's not all bad. But this site is mainly a whole bunch of enthusiasm without a lot of knowledge to back it up. Very much worth reading the masturbatory "what I learned while trying to be the Next Food Network Star" series of posts. (Spoiler: Didn't learn much. Poor title, not much content.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:47 PM on November 8, 2014


Every month I get a free jar of Penzy's featured spice and sometimes I don't really know what to do with it, and I also tend to get into spice ruts.

Mmmmmm, spice ruts.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:42 AM on November 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


feckless_fecal_fear_mongering: But this site is mainly a whole bunch of enthusiasm without a lot of knowledge to back it up.

To me it's not so much the lack of knowledge as the lack of empirical data (a.k.a. 'experience'). They're doing that thing you see on teh internets where someone figures out that everyone's been doing something wrong forever because when you reason it out from first principles, blah blah blah.....

That said, I agree if you do have enough experience to recognize when something isn't likely to actually work, these are mostly pretty useful. They're a damn sight better than a lot of the nonsense that shows up in many traditional cooking shows on TV.
posted by lodurr at 4:49 AM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think that's the problem really. This site brands itself as sort of this springboard from zero to hero in the kitchen, right? But those little nuggets of flat-out-wrong (eat spinach raw for 'more vitamins' is total BS) could lead to things not working out quite so well and discourage people who don't know much about cooking.

I mean, it's not hard to get things right, you know? Having someone actually trained in food acting as a reality check here would polish off the rough edges and make this site unambiguously useful.

Also I find it totally weird that when you get their meal plans, they come with gluten free/vegetarian/paleo 'variants.' That's not only inefficient, it also means you're not actually getting good things. Especially with paleo, balances will be totally off unless the recipe is actually more or less rebuilt from the ground up. At that point, it makes more sense to just create the most delicious paleo plan, the most delicious gfree plan, the most delicious vegetarian plan and hit bullseyes everywhere rather than 'eh, good enough.'

Don't even get me started on the utterly ridiculous hiring process. Fill out a form, fill out another, make a ten minute video, the list goes on. They also have bonkers notions of recipe development--in the hiring bumf they break out expected working hours for someone they hire, which works out to something like 3-4 hours of actual cooking. Real recipe development takes longer because you need to test variations of ingredients and processes, and if it's a recipe aimed at non-professionals, needs a lot of beta testing. It seems like what they do is just glom recipes from wherever, then stack them together in meal plans, with substitutions for v/gfree/paleo. (NB: I haven't actually gotten any of their plans; I don't want what I suspect will be an avalanche of spam from them cluttering up my inbox.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:52 AM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Having someone actually trained in food acting as a reality check

It took me much too long to figure out that "food acting" is not a thing.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:24 AM on November 9, 2014


It so is. Watch the Food Network sometime.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:26 AM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


My nickname around the clubs is "Flavour Star". I usually just chill with my boys Food Pyramid and Pizza Shapes. One time this guy from out of town called Cheese Tesseract showed up and we had a dance-off, it was pretty wild.
posted by turbid dahlia at 1:50 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Endives are not just for salad - Caramelized Endive with Gruyère (I boil them and then cut them in half rather than pan frying them though).
Arugula is not just for salad - Lemony Pasta with Wilted Arugula.
Both of these recipes will knock your socks off.
posted by unliteral at 6:53 PM on November 9, 2014


Cheese Tesseract

Does this mean there's a way for me to get to cheese without such a long trip?
posted by Room 641-A at 7:31 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


" At that point, it makes more sense to just create the most delicious paleo plan, the most delicious gfree plan, the most delicious vegetarian plan and hit bullseyes everywhere rather than 'eh, good enough.'"

Oh god, especially because the main sin of crappy vegetarian recipes is that they almost always underspice them.
posted by klangklangston at 10:17 PM on November 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh for sure. The problem with most vegetarian recipes is that they are derived from omnivorous recipes with a couple of stupid substitutions. Piss off, you can't really do that. Plus, every cuisine everywhere is chock-full of vegetarian recipes! How many classic pastas, for example, don't ever have animal flesh come near them? Plus plus, 1/7 people in the world live in a country with an astonishing depth and breadth of vegetarian cooking: India. Recipes that are built from the ground up to eschew meat and they are delicious (you can pry my dal and my chana masala from my cold dead hands). See also basically most of Asia for that matter.

I think part of the problem there is how much of Western/Euro cooking is predicated on the cuisine of the elites, with flesh as the central part of basically every meal; cooking as aspiration rather than making delicious suff out of what you've actually got. Yes of course poverty/farm/country cuisine is a Thing--but even there, animal proteins take a pretty starring role. Then you look at everywhere else in the world, and you'll notice diets much higher in vegetables and fish, and lower in large and inefficient quadrupeds.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:57 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


YOU ARE TEN YEARS OLD STOP MAKING ME LOOK BAD oh god let me tell you now please don't ever get into any form of competitive cycling or snow sports then, just saying.

Thanks for this post, this will significantly improve life in the lfr household because it's just the sort of thing the mister needs. easy shiny infographics.
posted by lonefrontranger at 4:11 PM on November 10, 2014


how come they don't mention sage with eggs?
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 2:36 PM on November 20, 2014


...because coriander and/or cumin with eggs is so, so much better?
posted by lonefrontranger at 4:58 PM on November 25, 2014


They're both good! Eggs are great with pretty much any spice, honestly.
posted by klangklangston at 5:10 PM on November 25, 2014


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