Friday, November 14, 2008

Good Eats

One of my favorite food shows is Good Eats with Alton Brown. I've not only made a lot of the recipies on his show, but also tried out several of his goofy cooking techniques. Here are some of my favorites:

1) Pulled Pork - I actually made the flower pot cooker from this show. It still ranks as one of my most fun cooking experiences. Not only was it the first time I'd had pulled pork, but I also got to make the cooking vessel using pots I'd bought from Home Depot. Kind of a 'Wow! This is the best thing I've ever eaten!' experience mix
ed with a splash of 'Hey! I can't believe this really worked!' I have since moved on to other cookers, but I will still make sure to brine my pork shoulder any time I make pulled pork. I think it makes that much of a difference.

2) Scrambled Eggs - Seems like a pretty simple dish, right? I mean everyone knows how to make scrambled eggs! Well, apparently, I didn't because when I followed Alton's techniques, my eggs came out a million times better.

3) Individual Peach Upsidown Cake - These are unbelievably good...They're the perfect thing to make during peach season. And they're easy too. Me and Mrs. BigKat will work together to make these. One of us will work on putting the butter, brown sugar, peaches, and crystalliz
ed ginger in the cups. The other will mix up the batter. Everything is assembled in 15-20 minutes. 
Then just pop them in the oven (although our cooking times run longer than those stated in the recipe). Like I said, too easy! Probably doesn't require the crystallized ginger if you don't happen to have it on hand, but it does add a bit of sophistication too them and works quite nicely with the other flavors.

4) Hamburgers - I will always choose to grind my own meat for burgers now. It makes a huge difference.

5) Beef Jerky - Best beef jerky ever! I wish flank steak was not so expensive, or I'd make this all the time. It is seriously difficult for me to stop eating it. It's just that good! I don't have a box fan (I wish I did though! It looks fun!), so I use my ceramic cooker at a low temp to dry the meat. The result is probably a bit different than what you get if you dry it Alton's way, but it still tastes great.

Here are a couple of things I've tried that did not turn out so well:

1) Skirt Steak - I love the marinade he uses. But you can definitely skip the whole putting the steaks right on top of the charcoal thing. If you're dead set on trying it out, for
 goodness sake, make 
sure you use lump charcoal and not briquettes. Otherwise, you're going to be eating a nice pile of ash with your meat. My suggestion, if you're worried about flare-ups, just go with a nice hot cast iron pan.

2) Acid Jellies - These sounded like they were going to be so good. They were very easy to make and looked great coming out of the pan. Unfortunately, they never really developed a sugary crust on the outside. They just were kind of slimy. Too bad.

I have more good and bad experiences. I'll try and put some more up another time.