Alton Brown Recipes

Q&A: Your worst cooking nightmare/embarrassment?

Question by thebassistsgirlfriend: Your worst cooking nightmare/embarrassment?
Okay, so I can’t be the only person in the world who has unintentionally released THINGS from my kitchen. You know. Monstrosities the likes of which should never grace a plate or be seen by sane men. Generally, if you listen to my husband, I’m a damned good cook with what I know, but I’m always learning, and along the way things sometimes get . . . messy.

So! I’d like to hear some stories about your greatest/worst/funniest culinary mishaps. Top Chef premiers tonight, and I need some good tales to get me in the mood. A terrible recipe, a mistaken ingredient, or just a dinner disaster. Best story gets the Best Answer prize, of course, and you get to make some people laugh or grimace with sympathy.

I’ll start. I’m a big fan of Alton Brown (he makes learning fun! :D ) and recently I saw the Duck episode. He basically shows you how to strip down a duck into quarters and cook it in a way that renders most of it’s fat out, making it leaner and tastier. My biggest mistake in attempting this myself a few days later may have been the fact that my knives were about as sharp as playskool safety scissors, but I also had no experience disassembling birds whatsoever. The carnage that day was terrible, I tell you. I abandoned my ill-suited kitchen shears halfway through and simply resorted to hammering on the joints with an extremely dull cleaver. It was like something out of Kill Bill. I de-boned sections that didn’t need de-boning and I did it POORLY. I had bits all over the front of my apron. It took me over an hour for one small bird. To top it all off, I ended up forgetting it in the oven for over an hour while I got distracted in the herb garden by something shiny, like a small, stupid puppy would. Burnt to a brick. Oh well. When my husband got home and asked what was for dinner, I just said “Nothing” and changed the subject. At least it was a lesson in humility.

So come on! Don’t be shy. Share you stories and maybe spare someone else the misfortune of making the same mistake.

Best answer:

Answer by Penny B
Macaroni and cheese that flubbed. It was for a church dinner. I had run out of cheese except for a package of cheap american artficial cheese. Well, needless to say, the cheese did not melt. The mac and cheese tasted terrible, and looked just as bad. I felt like a fool. Well, needless to say, I never made mac and cheese for a church dinner again. I now just take a simple dish of buttered corn.

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Making Jerky, Anyone have experience with different ways?

Question by Gon: Making Jerky, Anyone have experience with different ways?
So, i’ve been looking around, and some of the most effective ways appear to be getting flank steak or eye of the round cuts, marinating them in a jerky solution (i know the recipe and hopefully people answering know too and don’t need it), and EITHER smoking the strips in a smoker, OR using a dehydrator.

Now the only controversy I have seen that really peaks my interest, is abroad all the hunters that do their share of videos, one of my idols, Alton Brown, posted a video a while back about COLD DRYING the jerky?! Granted, he’s the only person who has done this I believe, but it seriously makes sense (I mean heck, i don’t want overdone, cooked leathery jerky…, I want purely chewy).

His basic steps include the ones leading up to the smoking/ dehydrating, and instead using a fan to give the jerky a constant airflow WITHOUT the heat from a smoker or dehydrator (kinda like cold smoking now that I think about it? If you wish to watch the video, the link is on youtube at: )

I am VERY INTERESTED in the differences, and might honestly just make a batch using each. However, to save money, I would like to hear peoples thoughts on all these above ideas, and any experiences they have had with them? Preferably, also describe in detail the final product you obtained (was it rich in flavor? Was it chewy to the point you would have about the same chance of chewing leather? stuff like that).

Thank you very much for answering this question!

Best answer:

Answer by B.
Regular heat smoked with apple wood is best to me.
It all boils down to PERSONAL taste. Find the one that YOU like best and use that. I am not sure I would trust a cold method with meat. Too many ways for it to develop salmonella in my opinion.

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Good Eats S8E6P1: The Big Chili

Have you always wanted to Alton Brown recipe, but thought it was just too heavy? Here you will find an easy way Good Eats S8E6P1: The Big Chili with simple steps

Join Host and cowpoke Gerald P Hobbs

(Alton Brown) and his sidekick Rusty as they rustle, a breath of honest red. Along the way they think about the mythology of chili powder, chili grind your own (it’s chili with an “i”) and a serious work under pressure. Recipes featured in this episode: AB chili powder and Chile pressure cooker.
Video Note: 4 / 5
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Cheese fondue questions?

Question by minty: Cheese fondue questions?
a few years ago i purchased a vintage fondue set. The kind where you put the heat source underneath, not electric. This set is also not metal, it’s like a porcelain or some type of glass set set. this is my first time fonduing and i went straight to an old episode of alton brown’s good eats. he uses an electric fondue set so I am a little confused!

1) do i cook everything in the fondue pot that uses the flame source underneath? or do i cook everything separately and then add it to the heated up fondue pot?

2) if the fondue pot holds 3.5 cups of water, with about an inch and a half of space from the top, how many will this feed for light party snacking (not a full meal of cheese dip)?

3) everyone that is invited drinks and drinks wine, but I remember being young and trying a fondue that had cherry liquor in it and it was terrible, you could taste the cherry and the liquor and it was sweet and alcoholy which didn’t go well with cheese and bread ( in my opinion). If i use a light dry alcoholic cider or dry wine or beer, will this have the same effect or will the taste be subtle?

4)what’s the best kind of heat source for my situation (not electric) and where can I find this?

5) does anyone have an easy recipe they could recommend that would appeal to everyone? nothing like nacho chz, something that you have had with a ciabatta or buttery crusty french bread? i would especially appreciate it if you have tried this recipe before with a flame source underneath.

tom, should I heat up the fondue pot before transferring? thanks for the quick reply

Best answer:

Answer by Tom ?
You can be STERNO at most supermarkets and hardware stores. They are little cans of a flammable gel that you light and set under the fondue pot. The little can is aluminum though and can get red hot so it is best to put it on a flameproof dish that will fit under fondue pot.

My fondue pot is also not electric. This is the cheese fondue recipe that I use and everyone who loves fondue loves this. Your idea to serve ciabatta or french bread is spot on.

1 loaf white country bread
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
1 1/4 cups Swiss fendant or other dry white wine, plus additional for thinning the fondue
1 pound Gruyère cheese, chopped
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons kirsch
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper

Tear the bread into bite-sized pieces

Rub the interior of a medium stainless-steel pot with half the garlic clove. Discard the garlic and add the wine to the pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and add the cheese and nutmeg. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until the cheese is melted. Please note that the cheese and wine will not yet be blended. In a small bowl mix together the cornstarch and the kirsch. Stir the kirsch mixture into the cheese mixture. Continue to stir and simmer until the cheese mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. If the fondue is too thick, add up to 1/4 cup Swiss fendant or other dry white wine.

To serve, transfer to a fondue pot or a chafing dish set over a flame. To eat, spear bread pieces with fondue forks and dip into cheese, continuing to stir the mixture with the forks as you dip.

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