this is gonna sound weird but...

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by keithocanada, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. keithocanada

    keithocanada

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    I just moved back to canada after 4 years in Louisiana. While there I enrolled in a cajun cooking class and now can make decent gumbos, red beans and rice, shrimp etouffe and stuff like that...I also have been experimenting with making my own rubs for blackening fish and chicken as well as for grilling ribs. My quandry is this...I love liver. I have cooked it the same way for years- soak in milk...dust with flour..etc etc...boring. I'd really like to try to give it a good rub and let it marinade for 4 or 6 hours and then grill it. I'm kinda leaning towards some combination with the spices that includes; sage, white pepper, bit of salt, maybe just a touch of ground bay leaf and a pinch of cayenne...toying with the idea of adding mustard but think that this would have to be a starting point for a totally different rub...any comments/ ideas out there? I'm not really used to working with liver in this way.
    Thanks Y'all
     
  2. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

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    Hi Keith,

    I love liver too.  I don't usually give it a dry rub, but smoked parika tossed thru some flour, maybe with oregano with that could work.  What I tend to do is the milk soak, dry it off, toss into seasoned flour, quickly fry (sliced nice and thin).  Out of the pan, keep it warm, make a quick red wine and beef stock reduced sauce. Liver back into the sauce to reheat briefly.  You really don't want to overcook it.  The flour on the liver will help thicken your sauce. Goes really well with crispy fried bacon and fried tomatoes and fried sliced mushrooms.  All on top of mashed potatoes.  Yum.

    Helps if you skin it too - much better result.  And of course get all the tubes out before anything.
     
  3. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    A couple of problems about dry-rubbing liver and cooking it any other way than grilling on a grate. 

    First, liver is inherently pretty wet and the moisture will get to the dry rub and the liver will want to stick to the pan.  Drying the surface moisture is part of the purpose of flour.

    Second, you want to watch your seasoning choice pretty carefully.  Liver is not a big friend of bitter, and blackened spices tend to run pretty much in that direction. 

    Not saying it can't be done beautifully.  Just sayin' you want plans to control the most likely problems is all.

    Good luck with it. 

    Yours in the love of liver,
    BDL 
     
  4. mgchef

    mgchef

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     Also, might sound obvious, but make sure to salt after cooking when you add it to the sauce, or else it can dry out much faster than usual.
     
  5. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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     Just got done making a Crawfish gumbo, and I was thinking of all the spices I need to restock. I still think it cooks best in Bacon grease and served with sauteed onions, Ketchup has always been the dipping sauce of choice. I thank it would be a good idea to build a smokey flour base rub, you want it to stick to the liver...............Good luck..............ChefBill
     
  6. keithocanada

    keithocanada

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    Hey BillyB (et al),
     Where the heck do you find crawdads? Can you buy them live where you are? Also, I'm getting low on gumbo file...should be able to find them at one of the plentiful ethnic markets here in Montreal, but have had little luck so far. I did manage to find ground bay leaf and that was worth the wait, but if I could find file and crawdads I'd be really happy.
     
     My veal liver turned out great but I had to cook it conventionally 'cause the butcher sliced it too thin to put on the BBQ safely.
     What DID turn out fantastically on the grill were the lamb chops I got...about an inch thick- I marinated them for 24 hours in a dry rub I made with salt pepper thyme and a touch of fennel ( just a touch) before cooking I let them warm to room temp and then brushed 'em with some hot pepper infused olive oil...DAMN!
     Thanks for you advice all- next time- esp Boar_D_Laze -  I'll ask the butcher to cut the liver thick 'cause I really want to try this.
     Okay- so my next inquiry is this- Last night I made my Chicken/sausage gumbo in advance of my wife and daughter returning from Fla. today. My wife really likes okra and this time I capitulated and went out and got some. I remember hearing somewhere that you can eliminate some or most of the slimy nature of okra by 'smothering' it in vinegar...which I did for a couple of hours...and then rinsed. It was still pretty gooey but I just rinsed it and added it anyway...is there a better way?
     Cheers all
     
  7. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Yeah, use a sharp knife.

    No, I'm not being sarcastic. The sharper the knife, the less slimy okra is.
     
  8. keithocanada

    keithocanada

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    Well I'll be...what do you figure is the reason for this? I don't get it...I mean okra is either slimy or it isn't....right?
     
  9. french fries

    french fries

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    Although I didn't know that technique, it does make sense. Imagine cutting an onion with a sharp knife, then imagine cutting it with a blunt knife. The difference is the amount of juices that are extracted from the onion as the blunt knife puts pressure on the onion rather than slicing through it. I'm assuming that's what happens with the Okra's slimy juices? Hopefully KYHeirloomer will confirm/deny/clarify my assumption.
     
  10. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    You know I was just having a discussion off-list with one of our more scientific minded members. What I told him was that I'm a pragmatist in the kitchen. It isn't always necessary to know why something happens. Only that it does.

    So it is with cutting okra. Why does a sharp knife make a difference? My considered opinion is: I dunno. And you can quote me on that.
     
  11. french fries

    french fries

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    Agreed. Empirical knowledge can be very useful in the kitchen.
     
  12. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    A sharp knife cuts, cuts smoothly, cuts accurately, and requires little effort.  A dull knife requires extra effort, requires a hard grip which makes it inaccurate, and wedges (i.e., tears) and crushes instead of cutting.  A serrated knife doesn't cut smoothly, it saws, leaving a wide and ragged kerf.

    You could assert that as "scientific knowledge," if you like.  It's certainly empirical, explanatory and predictive.  Explanatory and predictive are pretty much what we're looking for.   

    And fwiw, empirical knowledge is merely objective knowledge gained through experience.  It does not mean theoretical knowledge nor does it specifically mean scientific knowledge.   Science happens when observations of natural phenomena suggest questions, an hypotheses is put forward to explain them, predictions are made on the basis of the hypothesis, the predictions are tested by experiment, and the hypothesis is rejected, or refined as a result of the experimental data.  In science, strong theories like quantum mechanics, general relativity, and evolution are derived from lots of observation and well tested hypotheses. 

    That doesn't necessarily mean they're right, but they are certainly good science.

    Nearly all modern science is empirical.  The idea was important a long time ago when classical theory was more important than scientific method (which incluses experiment).  Still, it's important to watch out for those who try to impose "theory" over reality rather than the other way around.  You see a lot of that in the regular world, and not just from people who anoint religious and political beliefs as science.  There's plenty of what I call anti-science going around.  You even see some of it here, and some of that in knife posts. 

    No biggie though.  No one is above a certain amount of sloppy thinking.  Especially not me.  Taking intellectual short-cuts is part of human nature. 

    Just two cents,
    BDL
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010
  13. mgchef

    mgchef

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    I agree, and a sharp knife makes a huge difference in cutting, it's neater, quicker, and you lose less essential oils. And also, you should ask yourself why things happen. It is necessary, because once you know how something works, you can prevent it from happening, you can make it happen, or you can make it easier to happen. For example, make a beurre blanc. Why does it seperate? Well, someone who knows its structure and it's bonds will be able to prevent it from seperating way easier than someone who doesn't know why. Also, if you make a custard you might think, why is it not thickening. Again, you either know why it thickens, or not. You know why, and you have a higher chance of making it correctly.
     
  14. fr33_mason

    fr33_mason

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    Occam's Razor theory is best used here.

     If you aren't familiar with this theory here is a link to the definition:wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

    Or in layman's terms: All things being equal, the simplest solution is preferred.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  15. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Occam's Razor ain't near sharp enough to cut okra. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
     
  16. fr33_mason

    fr33_mason

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    [​IMG]  Touche`...   ...Now I want to make something with okra.  I know.... madras curried okras with extra sweet onions,  smoked mazzano peppers and slices of....ohhh cacio cavalo in a roti wrap. Thanks I was needing a snack.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  17. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    While you're at it:

    Bamia
    (sweet and sour okra)

    1 lb small okra pods
    2 tbls olive oil
    1 tbls honey
    Salt & peper to taste
    1 tbls lime juice
    1/2 cup water

    Wash okra and pat dry. Top and tail them, discarding any blemished or hard pods.

    Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and saute okra 3-5 minutes, turning each pod once. Add the honey, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and water. Cover, lower heat, and simmer 15 minutes, adding more water if necessary.

    Okra Bruschetta

    12-15 okra, sliced
    6 garlic cloves, minced
    2-4 paste tomatoes, diced
    Handfull basil chiffonade
    White wine
    French bread
    Extra virgan olvie oil
    Large garlic clove

    Slice the bread thinly, on the diagonal. Arrange on a sheet pan. Toast until browned and crisp, turn, brown the other side. Brush each slice with a little evoo and rub with a garlic clove.

    Saute okra in olive oil, 3-4 minutes, then add garlic and continue cooking until garlic just turns color. Add tomatoes and a dash of white wine. Season with salt and pepper.

    When juice starts to flow add the basil. Cook until tomatoes have fully softened and their juice combines with okra and reduces somewhat.

    Top each bread slice with some of the mixture.
     
  18. allie

    allie

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    Based on my experiences, I would think the technique of cooking the okra has to do with how slimy it is.  If I put sliced okra in soup, the soup isn't slimy.  If I stir fry it with cornmeal in a pan (Grandma's method), it isn't slimy.  But if I cook it in a bit of water, it is slimy.  Cooking whole pods in with peas also makes for a lot of slime.
     
  19. keithocanada

    keithocanada

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    BDL,
     Wow...who'd-a-thunk that a thread related to okra and knives would lead here eh?
     Sorta reminds me of when I was studying animation and one of my teachers took me aside and pointed out that each one of my drawings was close to a  perfect compostion when viewed as a 'stand alone' or static piece. I was a bit startled and told him that this was a totally intuitive process on my part and by no means was it part of my goal when I first started...he replied that it doesn't really matter how we achieve the end result...by design? Okay!...by trial and error? That's good too!
     This is also how I approach cooking- Bobby Schwab- the 'swamp Cajun' who I took the southern cooking with pointed out that you by no means have to follow the reipe exactly as stated...you've gotta find yer own 'gumbo path'...or etouffe or whatever you are fixin'....fun, fun, fun.
     
  20. fr33_mason

    fr33_mason

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     To the bami recipe, I give: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]  Three droolies out of five...

    The bruschetta I give [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]  four droolies out of five...