Posts Tagged ‘Kung faux pas’

The week before last I prattled on about my favorite kitchen gadgets. This week I thought I’d also thought I’d relate the story of one of my biggest gadget kung faux pas in recent years.

I’ve had my trusty Cuisinart food processor for about ten years. I love it, and it’s just as powerful now as the day we brought it home from the hospital Santa gave it to me for Christmas. But as one often does after eight years or so my eyes started straying to the new, hot models and I started fantasizing about their amazing features. Multiple sized work bowls. A dough hook. Wide mouthed feeders.

Oh yeah, baby. So I took the plunge and dropped $250+ on the new hotness, relegating my old faithful to the basement. I shredded, sliced and pureed in my HUGE new machine. And there was the first sign that my kitchen karma was turning south.

It was giant. And heavy. And barely fit under my counter. And the huge lid was another monstrosity that took up twice the room in my dishwasher as the old one.

Then there were those magical nesting work bowls of different sizes. The thing is in order to use any of them you also have to use the large one. That means at least two bowls to clean instead of one. More to clean = kitchen fail.

Finally one day I went to make mayonnaise. I put my small work bowl into place (with the large beneath it, both of which would likely need to be washed at the end of the production), added my egg yolks and mustard and let it rip. As I slowly drizzled in my olive oil it became clear that I had no emulsion. Zip, zero, nada.

Kind of important for mayonnaise.

Unable to revive my would-be mayo, I tried again. And again, I failed to emulsify.

What the heck?

It would seem that the blade was not close enough to bottom of the work bowl to properly blend my egg yolks and mustard. My giant new food processor was a total let down.

That was the last straw. I went down into the basement and retrieved Old Faithful. She was not spiteful of my cheating ways. I added my ingredients to her slightly chipped old work bowl and POW. Mayo: smooth, creamy and beautiful as always.

The robotic monstrosity is still under my kitchen counter, and when I have need to shred 15 pounds of cheese or make hummus to feed a crowd, it is there, ready and waiting. But so is Old Faithful, and I pull her out 9 times out of 10 when I need to take something for a spin.

Old Faithful, the new model

Read Full Post »

For labor day, I decided to…uh…labor…over an old-fashioned fish fry. On the menu: fried catfish, tater tots and coleslaw. And beer. I didn’t make the beer. Or the tots. Sue me.

First, the slaw. I used to hate cole slaw, but I recently decided I’d give it another shot and have come to appreciate its crunchy goodness. For my slaw, I made “Mom’s Cole Slaw” which I found on Allrecipes.com. I love allrecipes. I used Napa cabbage for the base. It was a bit of a pain to grate, and quite messy. But that’s all part of the fun, right? Next time I will shred it rather than grate it. It turned out a bit on the soggy side (even though I did let it drain for a few hours after grating) and I think shredding it will help prevent that. It was, however, extremely tasty and I recommend it.

For the tots, I opened a bag of frozen 365 brand tater bites and deep fat fried them according to the package directions. I’ll endeavor to make my own french fries another day.

Finally, the catfish. I used the fish portion of Alton Brown’s recipe for Chips n’ Fish (he’s my hero, after all). This is where Kung Faux Pas #1 comes in. This recipe is a batter fry. Do not lay batter-laden fish strips in the fry basket and lower them into the oil. I ended up retrieving a basket with fish completely adhered to the bottom and sides of the basket like that’s the way God wanted it to be.

Fish Fry Station

Being the crafty girl I am, I decided to ditch the basket and just fry it straight in the fryer. Kung Faux Pas #2. This probably voided my factory warranty (it does specifically say not to do what I did). It ended up working, however every now and then a fish would get stuck on heating element at the bottom of the vat (probably why they say not do it) and I’d have to knock it off with my tongs. This is likely not good for the fryer and is something I don’t recommend.

That said, the fish ultimately turned out golden brown and delicious. We enjoyed our fish fry with a nice cool one (as evidenced in the fry station photo) and basked in the fruits of our labor.

Fish Fry Plate

Fish Fry Plate

Read Full Post »