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How do you tell when liver is done?

I love both chicken and beef liver, but I always dread cooking it, particularly beef liver, because I have a lot of trouble telling when it's done because it seems like the inside remains quite reddish way past done-ness. I don't have much trouble with regular meat but I feel like with the brown reddish color of the liver meat I really have no idea when it is done and I usually end up trying to play it safe but overcook the liver. The texture of the liver is also very different than muscle meat and I find the 'press test' doesn't help me much.

Do you have any tips on how to tell when the liver is done?

Also, is it ok to eat liver less than well done? I've only ever seen it served well done so I've always just assumed unlike muscle meat it's not ok to eat less than well done, but if I'm wrong let me know.

Feb 26, 2014
truth1ness in Home Cooking
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Which brands of coconut milk are emulsified?

Just to clarify for people telling me to just use the blender, I like to use coconut milk as a quick and easy non-dairy creamer in my drinks and stuff, like people use evaporated or condensed milk a little at a time. It's just annoying to have to blend or shake (and you can't shake it after it's opened) each time I just want a cup of tea or other drink (and if it's a cold drink it just floats around in lumps). I don't mind the regular stuff for cooking, but for creamer purposes I just want something I can punch a hole in and pour a little bit at a time. Please answer with some brand names if you know of them, I'm not going to make a batch of my own coconut milk for every cup of tea/drink I make.

Apr 09, 2013
truth1ness in General Topics

Which brands of coconut milk are emulsified?

I'm looking for coconut brands that are emulsified, ie they don't separate into a solid cream layer but rather stay like milk. Just to save time on the trial and error, which brands do you know off hand that are emulsified?

Apr 09, 2013
truth1ness in General Topics

Exploding sardines

I usually eat my sardines out of the can but I decided to fry some up to get the skins nice and crispy and mix with some other food. I used the sardines in olive oil. However, once they hit the hot pan I was dealing with the most violent oil explosions I've ever dealt with even with the heat way down. My whole stove was covered in oil by the time I could dig out my splatter screen. I love sardines and they came out delicious (if a bit shredded up from the explosions) but have been afraid to try again since. Why did these explode so violently? Is it because they are soaked in olive oil so their innards are a volatile mix of oil and water? Is there any way to fry these and get them crispy without oil flying everywhere or should I only cook with sardines packed in water?

Sep 25, 2012
truth1ness in Home Cooking

Why doesn't pho congeal?

There's a number of pho places around me and occasionally I or a roommate will take home their extra unfinished soup. Now my impression of Pho is that the broth is so awesome from boiling tons of bones, which means it should have a ton of collagen. However, everywhere pho place we've saved soup from in the fridge hasn't congealed like my homemade bone broth does. Is restaurant pho generally just more diluted? Or are they not even using bones and just some powdered flavoring? They are all quite well rated places so I was surprised.

Jun 22, 2012
truth1ness in General Topics

What size pho bowls

Hey, I was wondering what size a typical Large sized bowl of pho is that you would get at a vietnamese restaurant. I'm looking to order some larger pho bowls for deliver as mine are way too small and I'm not sure what size to get. Also, do you know of any bowls available online you could recommend?

Dec 11, 2011
truth1ness in Cookware

So which direction are you supposed to hone knives?

Haha. Problem solved.

Nov 13, 2011
truth1ness in Cookware

So which direction are you supposed to hone knives?

Interesting, I've never heard of or seen strops before. Reminds me of the tip I heard to resharpen disposable shaving razors by running them across an old pair of jeans.

Nov 13, 2011
truth1ness in Cookware

So which direction are you supposed to hone knives?

I see conflicting instructionals about how to hone knives with a steel, namely the direction to face the knife. They all say to have about a 20 degree angle, but some have the sharp end of the knife going Into the steel while others have it away from the steel. It's a bit hard to describe in text so here's two videos:

Towards the steel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUdrRE...

Away from the steel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syvvxx...

Is one better than the other? Are there certain cases or knives that do better with one or the other?

Nov 12, 2011
truth1ness in Cookware

Further fermentation of store bought yogurt/kefir?

I was curious if I could further ferment store bought yogurt/kefir for a stronger taste. I make my own kefir and I make it pretty strong, but I'm away from home and was thinking that taking bottle of store bought kefir or yogurt and letting it sit unopened overnight at room temp would basically make a more intense kefir or yogurt. Anyone know if this would work? Or would the bacteria be too dormant after being refrigerated and made shelf stable to ferment any further, or possibly even be overcome by other bad bacteria?

Also, I know less about yogurt. If you think the above would work, would room temperature work or do I need to heat it up a bit?

Nov 01, 2011
truth1ness in Home Cooking

Continuous stock making

Cool, I will check to see how hot mine runs. My older one actually ran really hot.

I'm curious, what temperature do you all aim for when you simmer the stock on the stove. It'd be interesting to know if there's an 'ideal' minimum temperature. Especially since it's such a long cooking item, each degree saved could save a good bit of energy. I'm guessing 160 is as low as you'd want to go to keep out bacteria but is that enough to get all the good stuff out?

Oct 08, 2011
truth1ness in Home Cooking

Continuous stock making

Hehe, actually the idea came because I was making some kefir where you kinda just keep feeding the kefir grains new milk on a continual basis as they convert it to kefir and I was like "I should do this with my stock!"

Oct 08, 2011
truth1ness in Home Cooking

Continuous stock making

Cool, thanks. I was wondering how restaurants usually do it. I figure there will be some extra energy costs but then again some of that will be offset by not having to freeze plus save on bags or water for always cleaning extra containers.

Oct 08, 2011
truth1ness in Home Cooking

Continuous stock making

I've been using stock more and more regularly when I cook and right now it's a bit of a hassel; have to time out when a batch will be finished, sort it into bags and freeze/melt for each subsequent use, clean extra containers, etc. I was thinking maybe I could make things more efficient skipping those extra steps by just having a crockpot dedicated to continuously making stock. Since the cooking time for stock is pretty wide (12-72 hours from what I've seen) I could just let it run and ladle out whatever I need at each meal, and replace what I've taken out with more water and occasionally switching in a new beef bone or whatever's on hand.

Do you think this would work? Are there any downsides to running my stock continuously like this rather than making discrete batches (like buildup, weird taste over time, etc)?

Oct 08, 2011
truth1ness in Home Cooking