Pet peeves in cooking

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 19, 2011 5:50 AM GMT
    There is a popular cooking method that has always bothered me. It irks me that so many people believe in its 'usefulness' without thinking about it.

    Adding oil to water when cooking pasta.

    It does NOTHING! It doesn't prevent pasta from sticking together. Hello, oil floats on the surface of water. When you drain the pasta, the oil goes through the strainer right along with the water. Additionally, why would you want oil in your pasta? It prevents sauce from clinging to your pasta. Unless, of course, you like dressing your pasta with oil (I often enjoy pasta with just a bit of olive oil).

    The best way to prevent the sticking of pasta is to cook it in a lot of water. Most of the time people use a fairly small pot, so the pasta has very little room to swim around while cooking. You definitely need to bust out a big mama pot and fill that bitch with a lot of water. Once you've added the pasta to salted boiling water, you should stir the pasta occasionally until it reaches al dente or whatever texture you prefer.

    No excuses. Prevent all temptation to add oil to that pot of water from now on!
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    Sep 19, 2011 6:30 AM GMT
    pocketnico saidThere is a popular cooking method that has always bothered me. It irks me that so many people believe in its 'usefulness' without thinking about it.

    Adding oil to water when cooking pasta.

    It does NOTHING! It doesn't prevent pasta from sticking together. Hello, oil floats on the surface of water. When you drain the pasta, the oil goes through the strainer right along with the water. Additionally, why would you want oil in your pasta? It prevents sauce from clinging to your pasta. Unless, of course, you like dressing your pasta with oil (I often enjoy pasta with just a bit of olive oil).

    The best way to prevent the sticking of pasta is to cook it in a lot of water. Most of the time people use a fairly small pot, so the pasta has very little room to swim around while cooking. You definitely need to bust out a big mama pot and fill that bitch with a lot of water. Once you've added the pasta to salted boiling water, you should stir the pasta occasionally until it reaches al dente or whatever texture you prefer.

    No excuses. Prevent all temptation to add oil to that pot of water from now on!


    I have to agree with you though I'm sure others will not. As well, never rinse the pasta after draining it. IF there is some stickiness adding a little of the sauce and stirring it in fixes that.
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    Sep 19, 2011 11:43 AM GMT
    i save some of the pasta H2O to add 2 the sauce. it acts as both a thickening/thinning agent, and creates a veloute shimmer. i always add the pasta 2 the sauce and reheat them together in the pot. anyone else do this?

    btw, who adds oil 2 their pasta H2O? thought that went out like last century.
  • adriaan

    Posts: 27

    Sep 19, 2011 2:38 PM GMT
    Big pot of water with plenty of salted water is all you need to cook pasta. Contrary to popular believe, the reason for adding oil is not to prevent the pasta from sticking, but to avoid the water from boiling over and making a mess on your stove-top.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Sep 19, 2011 4:14 PM GMT
    pocketnico saidThere is a popular cooking method that has always bothered me. It irks me that so many people believe in its 'usefulness' without thinking about it.

    Adding oil to water when cooking pasta.

    It does NOTHING! It doesn't prevent pasta from sticking together. Hello, oil floats on the surface of water. When you drain the pasta, the oil goes through the strainer right along with the water. Additionally, why would you want oil in your pasta? It prevents sauce from clinging to your pasta. Unless, of course, you like dressing your pasta with oil (I often enjoy pasta with just a bit of olive oil).

    The best way to prevent the sticking of pasta is to cook it in a lot of water. Most of the time people use a fairly small pot, so the pasta has very little room to swim around while cooking. You definitely need to bust out a big mama pot and fill that bitch with a lot of water. Once you've added the pasta to salted boiling water, you should stir the pasta occasionally until it reaches al dente or whatever texture you prefer.

    No excuses. Prevent all temptation to add oil to that pot of water from now on!


    You can thank Laura whatever face for somewhat misleading you. One, it doesn't just float there (and you should be tossing it anyways). The pasta itself will get coated and even absorb some (welcome to the wonderful word of diffusion). Two, oil increases the boil temperature (just as salt does). Three, I don't know of many people who pour a ridiculous amount of oil in anymore than they do salt. Four, the better way is to oil the pasta first, then put it in the water,
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    Sep 19, 2011 4:39 PM GMT
    Adding oil to the water does keep the pasta from sticking together. The oil does coat the pasta.

    Also, pasta continues to cook for several minutes after being removed from boiling water. To stop the cooking process and keep the pasta al dente, a quick rinse with cool water will do the trick. This is especially important if you have overcooked the pasta.
  • Syphon

    Posts: 366

    Sep 19, 2011 4:44 PM GMT
    Not having a man to do it for me.
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Sep 19, 2011 5:17 PM GMT
    I got into a fight with an ex once because he wanted to wash a pan immediately after I'd used it. It's actually pretty difficult to explain the intricacies of pan sauces at the top of one's lungs.
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    Sep 19, 2011 5:33 PM GMT
    As others have said, a little oil *does* help with the pasta, and if you use a strongly flavored oil (olive), it can transfer some flavor into the pasta.

    The joys of cooking some 400lbs a week taught me this. You only fuck up a batch of 60lbs of pasta once.

    My biggest pet peeve is when people use metal utensils on coated pans.

    WTFHOMGBBQ.
  • TheAlchemixt

    Posts: 2294

    Sep 19, 2011 5:37 PM GMT
    When someone moves my ingredients around! I rarely get mad but if I can't find something that I KNOW I have I get pretty upset. I really don't know why...icon_eek.gif
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    Sep 19, 2011 5:53 PM GMT
    Adding oil to the water helps prevent the starchy water from foaming/boiling over by altering the surface tension (not everyone has a huge pot to cook pasta with!!)

    that's pretty much the only reason I add a few drops of olive oil when i'm cooking pasta
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Sep 19, 2011 5:53 PM GMT
    Not using refrigerated items in time before they go bad. I've even had times where meat went past freshness and couldn't use it. I hate that!

    And I wish there were more items, especially bagged salad, available in single serving sizes!!!! It is hard to keep salad fresh after opening.
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    Sep 19, 2011 6:27 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidNot using refrigerated items in time before they go bad. I've even had times where meat went past freshness and couldn't use it. I hate that!

    And I wish there were more items, especially bagged salad, available in single serving sizes!!!! It is hard to keep salad fresh after opening.


    Romaine hearts, that come three to a bag, keep better than loose salad mixes.
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    Sep 20, 2011 12:48 AM GMT
    Working clean (keeping up with cleaning stuff off while preparing meals), and washing whatever has been used before eating. That way I feel relaxed (that there's as little to wash as possible after the meal).

    Never keeping the mixing utensil in a pot/pan while it's cooking if it's not being stirred at the time.

    Never leave dirty dishes unwashed after a meal has finished. (Letting them soak less than an hour is still within reason.)
    The exception is if a lot of alcohol has been consumed- then good dishes and glassware must be put aside as-is until sober (so there's less of a chance of them breaking).
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    Sep 20, 2011 12:55 AM GMT
    How expensive ingredients are these days. I'm cooking for 1 and I often throw out food just because I didn't eat it in time... I know I should make and freeze food, but that's a hassle. - Plus I love to cook, and being from the south, I don't know how to cook for 1. I end up going overboard - hence the reason I needed to lose a bunch of weight.

    77 pounds and counting...
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Sep 20, 2011 12:58 AM GMT
    No pet peeves here as I love to cook as well.

    And I'll admit it....I use olive oil in the pasta water!!!
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    Sep 20, 2011 12:59 AM GMT
    GwgTrunks saidAs others have said, a little oil *does* help with the pasta, and if you use a strongly flavored oil (olive), it can transfer some flavor into the pasta.

    The joys of cooking some 400lbs a week taught me this. You only fuck up a batch of 60lbs of pasta once.
    [...]


    If it's a household amount of pasta, then adding the flavored oil after cooking would be the most efficient.

    I guess if it's 60 lbs then:
    1- adding flavored oil to the water would be more realistic (for distribution) due to the huge amount/weight of pasta that would need be stirred.
    2- using olive oil for huge amounts like that in the boiling water would probably be a waste, other vegetable oil would probably be good enough.
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    Sep 20, 2011 1:11 AM GMT
    There was a woman who used to cut her beef roast in half when she would bake it, and her daughter asked her, "Momma, why do you do that?" and she didn't know. "My mother taught me to do this. I am not sure why she did it thought."

    So the woman asked her mother the next time she went to her house. "Whenever you made a roast, you would cut it in half before you put it in the pan. My daughter asked me why and I didn't know. Why did you do that?" and her mother immediately said, "Because my mother always did that."

    "But why?" said the woman and her mother stopped and thought for a moment and said, "I dont know."

    So when the grandmother went to the retirement home to see her elderly mother, they visited and had a great time. But before she left, she asked,

    "Mom, my granddaughter asked my daughter who asked me... why did you cut the roast in half before you cooked it?"

    And her mother smiled and said, "Because we were poor. I didn't have a pan big enough for an entire roast."

    Moral of the story: I learned how to cook by watching my mom cook (and she was excellent). She put a dab of oil in the water and so do I and it may not do a damn thing to the pasta, but it is food made with love and I am going to continue to do it.

    So there.... fuck off!! ;)

    lolllllll
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    Sep 20, 2011 1:12 AM GMT
    coolarmydude saidNot using refrigerated items in time before they go bad. I've even had times where meat went past freshness and couldn't use it. I hate that!

    And I wish there were more items, especially bagged salad, available in single serving sizes!!!! It is hard to keep salad fresh after opening.



    I couldn't agree more... or why can't t hey sell 1/2 a loaf of bread???
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 20, 2011 1:13 AM GMT
    You can freeze bread, you know. Just divide the loaf into what you're going to use within a couple days and keep the rest in the freezer. Thaw out slices as necessary.
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    Sep 20, 2011 1:24 AM GMT
    One of my friends from college came up with something called the 'Ranch Theory'. Basically what she meant was that people who like Ranch as their main salad dressing typically aren't adventurous eaters. I've found that to be true in some cases, haha.
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    Sep 20, 2011 1:48 AM GMT
    pocketnico saidOne of my friends came from college came up with something called the 'Ranch Theory'. Basically what she meant was that people who like Ranch as their main salad dressing typically aren't adventurous eaters. I've found that to be true in some cases, haha.


    I think that is probably true....

    I try to cook healthy. I have a no fat cake recipe that is really good....

    I made a pasta sauce with low fat ranch dressing and some fresh parmesan cheese that tastes EXACTLY like an alfredo without all of the saturated fats. Mix with some grilled chicken, some proscuitto ham, some green peas and it is delicious tossed in a fettucine or linguine.
  • nanidesukedo

    Posts: 1036

    Sep 20, 2011 1:49 AM GMT
    I have two pet peeves...

    1. I bake. I bake a lot. I get my betty crocker on and I ain't afraid to admit it. I, also, before medical school, was sort of a chemist. Bake by mother fucking weight, god damnit! This cup BS is just that...BS! Do you know how much you can differ the amount of flour, or sugar, or brown sugar, or any dry ingredient by packing it in different ways? Baking is a science!!! Dry items should be weighed for consistent results!!!


    2. People who diss crockpots/slow cookers. I'm a good southern boy. I can work magic in a slow cooker/crock pot. Don't judge. It does not make me lazy. It makes me smart..I don't work hard - I work smart.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 20, 2011 1:50 AM GMT
    My friend made up the Ranch Theory to poke fun at a mutual friend of ours who was from Roanoke, VA, who was pretty much accustomed only to American and Southern food. She had an obsession with ranch dressing and typically wasn't interesting in trying other foods.
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    Sep 20, 2011 2:17 AM GMT
    Honestly I think I'm about as non-picky of an eater as a person gets. I only have one pet peeve:

    Adding cilantro to anything icon_rolleyes.gif

    It tastes like a cross between dish soap, grass, and stink bugs to me. Even a small piece overpowers the taste of whatever I'm eating. It's all I can taste. They say it's a genetic thing.

    Just imagine sitting down, ready to eat a delicious smelling meal, but before you take a bite, pour dish soap all over it and garnish with grass. Sound good?