We here at Atomic Toasters recently had a behind the scenes discussion on the merits of using food as a viable tech topic. There were plenty of pros and cons, and it was agreed that we all love food, but in the end nothing was really agreed upon other than the obvious fact that we are easily distracted by it, as evidenced by the recurring use of the word poutine.
Or perhaps we did agree on something, but I was obviously too distracted by the poutine (delicious BTW) and promptly forgot what we were talking about. In any case, our fearless leader Dearth-vad-air has left us mice the keys to Atomic Toasters for the weekend and made us promise not to run amok.
So just in time for a big fat weekend breakfast, let’s run amok!
Several years ago my better half and I were watching TV together, a rarity as she is hopelessly addicted to reality and cooking contests while I generally prefer playing music radio or LPs while farting around online for entertainment.
On this day however we were watching a PBS cooking show, which I occasionally enjoy as I have always loved to cook. And of course eat (pats growing belly, heck, we plan most of our vacations around restaurants seen on TV).
“Break your eggs on a flat surface and you will never end up with shells in your eggs again.”
I immediately looked up from my game of Angry Birds and asked her to rewind that last part. Sure enough, he said it again.
My brow furrowed and one eyebrow rose. Hmmm…Really? This went against everything I had ever been taught or seen, and seemed too simple a technique to be true. While I considered myself a pretty experienced egg cracker, even I had been digging the occasional crunchy-bit out for as long as I care to remember. And after all, shells in one’s eggs have been one of mankind’s greatest foils since the day we first started stealing from them none-too-bright clucking-birds. EVERYONE knows you break an egg on a sharp object. Right?
But hey, this is Iron Chef Batali! He has never steered me wrong, unlike SOME TV food personalities. And the dude obviously knows what he is doing. So the very next morning I made some of my famous omelets and gave it a try.
(whack!) (whack!) (whack!) (whack!) (whack!) I’ll be damned. It worked!
I served breakfast and proudly shared the results of my little experiment with my wife, who promptly asked why the omelets were so big.
These days thanks to that one bit of “technical” knowledge, I look forward to grabbing eggs when cooking breakfast which has become an even happier part of the day. And since then only once have I had a shell in my eggs, a result getting a little too clumsy and cocky. Gone are the days of using fork tines to chase frustrating tiny white specs around a slippery bowl.
If this isn’t a technical skill that helps advance mankind then I don’t know what is.
There are lots of little secrets out there that can transform how you cook, from using 425 deg as your default oven temp, to making sure the pan is piping–hot (except for bacon, always start with a cold pan) to using water for lighter fluffier omelets and milk to make them stronger and easier to flip.
So let’s hear it; what is YOUR best kitchen technical secret/tip? We want to hear your greatest discoveries and stories. And let us know, should we include more food-tech articles?
If enough people are interested, maybe I’ll share some of my secret omelet tips.