A cooking forum would be nice. Italian cooking question

Page 1 of 3 [ 31 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

kokopelli
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Nov 2017
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,520
Location: amid the sunlight and the dust and the wind

06 Dec 2017, 11:38 pm

Since we have no cooking forum here, I guess this is as good a place as any.

Years ago, I used to go pretty often to a very good little family owned Italian restaurant in Houston. One of my favorite dishes was something called "Chicken ala Mama" which I assume means "Chicken like Mama makes".

It was basically a chicken breast and some sauteed vegetables -- potatoes, onions, and maybe green peppers if I remember correctly -- in some kind of sauce. I've never figured out how to make the sauce. The restaurant had a fire a few years ago and no longer exists so even if I went to Houston again, I wouldn't be able to ask them how to cook it.

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I stopped at an Italian restaurant in another town that I occasionally go to. The meal was great. It was about 2 pm so the lunch crowd was long gone. It was just me and the restaurant employees. And really good jazz background music.

I ordered something I'd never seen before -- Chicken Pomodoro. The sauce they had in the Chicken Pomodoro was, as far as I could tell, the same as in the Chicken ala Mama.

When I got back to the office, I looked up how to make Chicken Pomodoro on the internet and see that there is a pretty wide latitude on the sauce. Some have chopped up tomatoes in it and the sauce becomes red.

In this case, the sauce looked kind of like Italian Dressing. There were cherry tomatoes sliced in half in the Chicken Pomodoro. In the one cooking video on Chicken Pomodoro that had cherry tomatoes that I watched, the cherry tomatoes were put in just prior to serving and were not part of the sauce.

I've tried replicating it, but it doesn't have the garlic taste of the sauce there. In sauteing the garlic, it cuts the taste a whole lot.

I'm starting to think that the sauce may be nothing more than olive oil with chopped garlic added just before cooking. That is what I'm going to try the next time I try to fix it.

Is anyone sufficiently familiar with Italian cooking that they can tell me if this is a good guess -- olive oil with chopped garlic stirred in?



BTDT
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jul 2010
Age: 56
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,122

07 Dec 2017, 9:44 am

https://www.reluctantgourmet.com/deglaz ... why-do-it/
You can't taste the tasty brown bits if they are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Wine helps to separate them from the pan. Though brandy may be more cost effective if you don't drink, as the high alcohol content will prevent spoilage without refrigeration.



smudge
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Sep 2006
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,944
Location: London

07 Dec 2017, 10:22 am

I would PM Dox47, he’s a genius at cooking and is a professional chef. He would know what to do.



kokopelli
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Nov 2017
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,520
Location: amid the sunlight and the dust and the wind

07 Dec 2017, 1:53 pm

smudge wrote:
I would PM Dox47, he’s a genius at cooking and is a professional chef. He would know what to do.


Thanks. I'll do that later today.



BTDT
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jul 2010
Age: 56
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,122

07 Dec 2017, 5:50 pm

You need to add salt as a flavor enhancer.



Last edited by BTDT on 07 Dec 2017, 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kokopelli
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Nov 2017
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,520
Location: amid the sunlight and the dust and the wind

07 Dec 2017, 5:54 pm

Always salt.

I was on a salt free diet for a short time while in the hospital when I was 20 and it was terrible. My parents smuggled me in a hamburger and fries and I thought that was the greatest thing I had ever tasted.

Whenever I've tried to make the sauce, I always sauteed the garlic pretty well. I'm tempted to save half of the garlic and stir it in less than a minute after taking it off the heat.



BTDT
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jul 2010
Age: 56
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,122

08 Dec 2017, 5:32 pm

You are also using fresh garlic and not that stuff in bottles?

The art of cooking is buying tasty fresh food to begin with and then tailoring recipes to best make use of the flavors you have available. If you have really good meat you shouldn't hide it in hot sauce.



kokopelli
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Nov 2017
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,520
Location: amid the sunlight and the dust and the wind

08 Dec 2017, 6:13 pm

BTDT wrote:
You are also using fresh garlic and not that stuff in bottles?

The art of cooking is buying tasty fresh food to begin with and then tailoring recipes to best make use of the flavors you have available. If you have really good meat you shouldn't hide it in hot sauce.


Fresh garlic.

Last night I tried again and tossed the garlic in after the chicken was half done but it wasn't much improvement.

Next, to try it when there is only a minute or two left. I may save some back and after trying it with a minute or two, adding some fresh that won't be sauteed at all.



BTDT
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jul 2010
Age: 56
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,122

08 Dec 2017, 8:48 pm

I use a microplane instead of slicing garlic for a more intense taste.



Kelby
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Dec 2017
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,132

10 Dec 2017, 2:07 am

Press the entire clove of garlic, with the flat edge of your knife, or with an actual, garlic press. What enhances the flavor of garlic, is the release of alliinase, which becomes allicin. Allicin is what causes garlic’s flavorfulness. Hope this helps a bit.



BTDT
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jul 2010
Age: 56
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,122

10 Dec 2017, 12:18 pm

Thanks! I have at least one of those but didn't know what it was for!



kokopelli
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Nov 2017
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,520
Location: amid the sunlight and the dust and the wind

10 Dec 2017, 1:24 pm

Kelby wrote:
Press the entire clove of garlic, with the flat edge of your knife, or with an actual, garlic press. What enhances the flavor of garlic, is the release of alliinase, which becomes allicin. Allicin is what causes garlic’s flavorfulness. Hope this helps a bit.


I nearly always press it with the knife to get the dried outer hull (or whatever you call it) off.

I used to use a garlic press until it broke and have never felt a need to replace it.



Esmerelda Weatherwax
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Sep 2017
Age: 65
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,749

10 Dec 2017, 1:29 pm

Kelby wrote:
Press the entire clove of garlic, with the flat edge of your knife, or with an actual, garlic press. What enhances the flavor of garlic, is the release of alliinase, which becomes allicin. Allicin is what causes garlic’s flavorfulness. Hope this helps a bit.


^^ yes! This! and then let it sit for a minute after it's crushed.

You might also see if making the sauce one day before, and letting it get all familiar with itself in the fridge overnight, helps. It's shocking how much more flavorful a tomato-based sauce is with overnight sitting.

[Disclaimer: not a gourmet, not even a real foodie. Just like to cook.]


_________________
"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are the good people and the bad people," said the man. "You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides."
-- Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!


kokopelli
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Nov 2017
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,520
Location: amid the sunlight and the dust and the wind

10 Dec 2017, 6:51 pm

My spaghetti sauce tends to be somewhat heavy and overwhelming, but I like it. It's little more than tomato sauce with seasonings sprinkled in and usually some browned ground beef. Sometimes I also include a sauteed coursely chopped onion.

I often which it would come out somewhat lighter.

One thing about my spaghetti sauce is that I never put in cheese. For me, just a little cheese can create a very long lasting nausea. It doesn't take much to have me vomiting, but even amounts too small for most people to detect can leave me miserable for hours afterwards.

Not all cheeses will do it, but I have no interest in trying to determine which cheeses bother me and which don't.

Because of this, I tend to avoid every kind of a creamy sauce on pasta because my basic assumption is that it has cheese in it.



Esmerelda Weatherwax
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Sep 2017
Age: 65
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,749

10 Dec 2017, 6:53 pm

^^ oh, I'm sorry! That sounds like an allergy, and a particularly nasty one.


_________________
"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are the good people and the bad people," said the man. "You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides."
-- Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!