Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ask Red Cooking Edition

Dear Red,

I tried making my own mayonnaise like Dale on Top Chef during one of the challenges and I would end up with a bowl of egg soup. What did I do wrong?


Dear Whipped,

The first trick to making mayonnaise from scratch is to use a warm bowl. The second is to add the oil very slowly. The third is to beat the eggs quickly. If you are doing this by hand then you will need to go at a speed of 2 beats per second. The eggs have to absorb the oil. Cooking shows don't show everything because they don't have time and the have a storyline to follow. The episode of Top Chef you saw was about speed. It would have slowed down the flow of the show to see the extra steps it takes to make mayonnaise.

Dear Red,

Love you, love your blog. I was wondering what is the difference between brown eggs and white eggs?

Venice Beach

Dear Charlotte,

In short, the difference is color, bird, price, and diet. White hens lay white eggs and red hens lay brown eggs. Red hens eat more than the white hens. Since the cost of production is higher, that cost is passed on to the consumer. The only way to taste the difference between the eggs is to raise the hens yourself. The diet directly influences the taste of the eggs, the way that organic gardening makes produce taste better than pesticide protected produce. As a housewife, save the money and go with white.

Dear Red,

No matter how many times I try, my fried chicken is always pink in the middle and my BBQ ribs are never fully done. What am I doing wrong? This is really irritating.


Dear Sara,

I would need more information to know exactly what was going on. My first guess is the cooking side. Always start with the fat side closest to the heat. Fat is an insulator. You need that fat to heat up at a higher temperature so that it may render or drip away from the food. On the grill, cut slits on the back of your ribs to allow the fat to drip down over the coals. Cook this side first. The heat will get to the meat faster and cook it evenly. When you fry chicken start with the skin side down. Control your heat to prevent burning.

Dear Red,

My kabobs keep burning! I'm sure it's something simple but I can't figure it out. I made one with steak, red onion, and bell peppers. I made another one with with chicken. I use a charcoal grill because I can't stand gas. Is this the problem because I don't want to switch to gas grilling.


Dear Beverly,

You're right, you're problem is simple. First test the heat of your grill. You don't need high heat for a kabob. You need medium to low heat. Hold your hand 6 inches over the grill. If you can hold your hand there for 3 seconds your grill is ready. If you can hold it there for 5 seconds you are at medium heat and longer than that is low. When you layer your coals, leave the outermost edges of the grill without coals. If your food begins to burn or cook too fast you can place it there to cool for a second. Inside that area place a single layer of coals for things that don't need as much heat and save the middle of your grill for a double layer of coals. The second thing to do is to brush your kabobs with oil to help them cook evenly. Oil isn't meant to prevent burning. Olive oil burns easily and quickly. Canola and vegetable oil take longer to burn. Use canola or vegetable oil on your kabobs. Third, use your vents. If your grill is too small to organize the coals the way I described, use your vents to control the heat. Closing the vents brings the temperature down by suffocating the fire. Opening them gives the fire air to breathe and keeps the temperature up. I hope that helps!

Have a question for Red? Contact her at TheRedHousewife@yahoo.com

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