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HELP! Burnt or Not cooked through on cast iron grill pan

Haha yeah maybe it is really just for the grill marks. The chief reason I got a grill pan was the Jamie Oliver cookbook I bought some time ago. And a novice cook like me does get pretty excited by these fancy grill marks.
I guess I went through the failures stage and now I know that I won't put the heat on high. Will also take note to heat up the pan for sufficient time. Thanks for your reply!

Mar 22, 2013
leeau in Home Cooking

HELP! Burnt or Not cooked through on cast iron grill pan

Maybe I will reserve the grilling pan for my steaks only which turn out great for nicely charred medium-rare..
Right now my oven is mostly a storage space. I should reorganize my kitchen so it is easier to use for daily dishes

Mar 21, 2013
leeau in Home Cooking

HELP! Burnt or Not cooked through on cast iron grill pan

Ok. I should definitely the sear + bake approach.

Mar 21, 2013
leeau in Home Cooking

HELP! Burnt or Not cooked through on cast iron grill pan

Thanks. You bring up an important point. I didn't know using a cast iron pan meant I needed to use lower temperature than instructed. As a novice with not so much natural talent I tend to reverently follow the recipe word-by-word..

Mar 20, 2013
leeau in Home Cooking

HELP! Burnt or Not cooked through on cast iron grill pan

Ok... I shouldn't have blindly followed the recipe calling for 'high heat.' I think I will only use low or at max medium heat for my stove. That will also lower the chance of triggering the fire alarm which I have done few times now with the grease between the grills burning :(
Next time with the pork chop I will try low heat & flipping often. Thanks!

Mar 20, 2013
leeau in Home Cooking

HELP! Burnt or Not cooked through on cast iron grill pan

Thanks for the reply. Is it better to cook it longer at a lower (275 instead of 300) heat?

Mar 20, 2013
leeau in Home Cooking

HELP! Burnt or Not cooked through on cast iron grill pan

Hi all,

I am a home cook who still feels fairly new to the whole thing after ~5 yrs of intermittent experience. Few months ago I bought a Lodge cast iron grill pan which I love to use on my stove.
But the constant dilemma is that I often get result that is charred outside but not cooked through inside.
Now for steaks, I often butterfly the meat, and I take medium-rare, so this is not much of a problem.
But for chicken thighs (with bone) or pork chops (with bone) I like them cooked well through, and I haven't tried butterflying because of the bones. The result is often the outside is cooked well and nicely charred but the thickest part or near the bone is still bloody. This happens even at 'medium heat' level when the recipe asks for 'high heat.' In the end I end up microwaving the result for awhile - this cooks the meat without burning it but it does dry it out :(

I feel very much stuck.. should I try 'low heat' and cooking it longer? Should I attempt to remove the bone & butterfly? So far baking it after grilling feels like it would give me the best result, but I am hoping there is a better option than always having to bake after grilling.

Mar 20, 2013
leeau in Home Cooking

Does wine spoil?

Hi all,

I have

1) a bottle of red wine that has been sitting in my refrigerator for about a year now, unopened

2) a bottle of white wine that had been sitting in my refrigerator for a year, opened two weeks ago, and left in room temperature with the cork on

Can I still use these for cooking?

For those who are wondering why this happened in the first place:
1) a year ago, I bought some cheap wine for cooking
2) then my mom came to live with me for a year and took over the kitchen completely..
3) she left just few days ago, and now I'm organizing the fridge

It's too bad that we both are unfamiliar with wine and rather forgetful. Two weeks ago we found the bottles in the darkest corner of the fridge and out of curiosity opened a bottle and tasted. It was pretty awful. But mom thought that alcoholic beverage like wine cannot spoil and it was still ok to use for cooking if not for drinking.
Now I am not sure if it is really safe.

Could someone please give me some advice on this, and maybe also on how I can keep wine that I cook with for a long time? Thank you.

Jul 19, 2008
leeau in Wine

"Secret single foods"

I laughed so hard reading this post! Hilarious!

It's funny too that I could swear that stacks of saltines with jelly was only my secret shameful food habit:p

When I'm stressed out, I get intense craving for carbs and sweets, but mostly I don't keep sweets at home.(maybe I should) So some of my SSF are

- chocolate chips for baking
- cereal sans milk
- stacks of crackers with jelly
- stacks of crackers with honey
- stacks of crackers or bread spread liberally with super-creamy spinach deep
- raw almonds covered in equal volume of honey
- frozen pork nuggets
- frozen blueberries
- bread with dried, salty seaweed
- rice with any soup
- things right out from pots and containers

and just binging in general.

Dec 11, 2006
leeau in General Topics

badly double-burnt pot problem

My mom got me an IKEA/365+ pot with steamer insert (both stainless steel). While steaming my chestnuts, I let the water completely boil off and the inside and some part of outside of the pot got burnt soot-black.

After trying many ways, it seemed like baking soda + water paste was working better than any. I liberally covered the burnt inside with the paste, and because I thought heat would speed up the process, put the pot on weaker heat.

But alas, I forgot about it again!

When I ran into the kitchen, the pot was again very very hot, and filled with dry baking soda. I noticed some of the bottom parts had turned SHINY like brass, with bright brown color and and some touches of GREEN hue.
After I washed the pot off cursing my carelessness, the initial blacks came off, but the bottom is now blotchy with dark brown spots and some shiny black parts. There is also a greenish black ring left on the side.

What have I done? I am worried that the pot is no longer safe to use. Should I just get a new pot? Should I consult a chemistry forum board?
This is my only pot and my yams, corns and sweet potatoes have been waiting for a long time now.. please help if you have any idea. Thank you!

Dec 11, 2006
leeau in Cookware

COOKBOOK RECOMENDATION FOR YOUNG, BEGINNING BUT SERIOUS COOK

That's a good point.. I also thought one book may not be enough.
Should I say 'Western' or 'North-American', which seems to be mostly from Europe plus combination of influences from S.America, Asia, and Africa?
I guess something in the line of "Martha's Cooking School" http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht.... Topics here include Knives 101, How to Marinate, How to Fry, Eggs 101, and others.

Dec 11, 2006
leeau in Home Cooking

COOKBOOK RECOMENDATION FOR YOUNG, BEGINNING BUT SERIOUS COOK

I've just started cooking few months ago. It's a whole new world and I love love love it!

I looked through the recomendations below, but I was hoping to narrow the search to books that weren't just quick-and-easy just to get you by.
I am rather serious about my food:) - about its quality, taste/flavor, texture, presentation (heart creative/ethnic dishes too)- and being a curious person I am, I want to learn every detail from scratch, and get solid fundamentals to start building up from.

So I'm looking for
1) encyclopedic info on ingredients with colored pics - seasons, how to pick the best, how to store, etc.
2) fundamental, essential tools + techniques + recipes with colored pics
3) LOTS of details and explanations. whys of things.

Examples are
* A Rose Levy Beranbaum's recipe
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...
I haven't tried it yet, but I really like the details and explainations on why I would see certain things, etc.
* Martha Stewart
I came across her magazine in high school (when I didn't have to cook) and I enjoyed her detailed article on few dozen kinds of salt and their specific uses- she seemed to get down to some hardcore basics.

I do love experimenting, but I also want to take a more structured and organized approach to my learning and skill-building.. Thanks in advance and happy cooking!

Dec 11, 2006
leeau in Home Cooking