Things I've Googled this week #3

Sunday, September 6, 2015

This is going to be a fun segment of the blog where I share the tips that I have been learning along the way.  I am forever googling things to make sure I am not missing any of the finer details of different cooking processes.  Maybe I can save you a little time and share what I have learned.

Q: Do graters get dull?
Yes, kind of?  I ran into some people who are using their grandmother's box grater and it is still going strong.  Then there are others who claim they need to use lots of pressure to grate anything, and worry about their delicate fingers paying the price.  I am an in-between.  My grater is fine, but it does seem dull-ish.  It can be done, sharpening a grater that is, but it hardly seems worth the time and effort.  Below are just a sampling from amazon, and they run around $7-$20.  I did learn some good advise though.  The dishwasher will dull your grater faster.  You should clean it right away to prevent dulling from having to scrub off dried up cheese or vegetable goop.  And if you are grating something soft and having trouble (soft cheese or fruits) freeze those things first and you will have an easier time grating.  The more you know.

Q: Sliced into half moons?
One of the recipes I made called for a serrano cut into half moons.  I thought at first it meant slice the whole pepper in half, length wise so you half of the long tube, then sliced so you have a bunch of little 'c' shaped pieces.  Turns out my instincts were correct, yay!

Q: What does curdling look like?
Curdling seems like one of those things that you'd know it if you see it.  I needed more information though.  Answer, very chunky.

Q: Sirloin vs NY strip
I am not yet a meat expert.  If it isn't ribs, I have no idea where cuts of meat come from on a cow.  My only concern between sirloin and NY strip was that the recipe I was making called for sirloin.  So I am wandering my grocery's meat department looking for sirloin.  There were 100 Ny strips, and 3 sirloins, however to my naked eye, I could see little to no difference.  Though that could be said for most all cuts of meat!  I found out that these two are very similar.  They come from a muscle that goes down the spine of a cow (kind of like where a girdle would go?) .  The end closer to the spine is a bit more marbled with fat, which is sirloin.  The NY strip is leaner and further down the side of this muscle.  I think this is right...I start reading this stuff and my eyes glaze over a bit.  Long story short, I could have used either.

Q: Cleaning inside crock pot
I was way too nervous about ruining my crockpot when the mango pulled pork incident happened.

Thankfully this isn't a rare problem, so the internet was super helpful.  I knew of course not to submerge the inside in water, that would ruin the electrical components.  I read that you can either leave a cup of ammonia inside the crockpot with the lid on.  Those harsh fumes clean the gunk right off.  You can also use over cleaner with really stubborn messes.  Both options were a little harsh for my liking, so I just took dish soap and my trusty scouring pad and scrubbed it all off.  The heating element is pretty well protected in the wall of the unit, so nothing was damaged with the minimal wetness that got in there.

Q: Can you freeze pulled pork after 3 days?
Aaron and I ate pulled pork sandwiches for like six meals in a row and we still had over half of it.  We need more friends to invite over!  I didn't know if it was safe to freeze after it had been cooked for a while.  I couldn't find any information against this idea.  So I went ahead and froze it, but I froze it in single serving amounts.  I didn't want to unfreeze three day old pork and not use it all the day I unfreeze it.  Stay tuned to see if I have any food poisoning to report in the coming weeks, lol!

Q: Why do people like sweet pickles?
I couldn't find the answer.  They are disgusting and I have no idea why Aarti suggested they go on the pulled pork sandwich and not dill.  I used dill and they were amazing.  Sweet pickles, blegh!

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