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Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

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Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby Sakkarin » Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:59 pm

As I was making my pizza earlier, I got a mental flashbook top an image of the guy making naans in the local tandoori shop, using the pizza technique, and wished that I had mastered the art of pizza-spinning. My pizza-making technique is dreadful, a mixture of stretching, rolling, pulling and pressing the dough until it's the right size, and it invariably shrinks back the moment I let go of it too, so I have to pull it around some more to get it in shape.

Are there any food prep techniques you wish you'd mastered? And I wonder how much you would you be prepared to pay for someone to teach you? I'd throw in £20 for a pizza lesson.

Maybe someone here can offer advice if you have a gap in your expertise.

There's a few that I know that the answer is just practice - piping and "flipping" the contents of a pan are two that spring to mind.

I'd love to be able to sharpen knives properly too.

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby Pampy » Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:09 pm

I gave up trying to sharpen my knives years ago - I always ended up butchering them. I now have a 3-stage sharpener which is excellent.

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby Pepper Pig » Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:55 pm

Pavlova.

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby Hickybank » Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:09 pm

No I am brilliant at everything :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby herbidacious » Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:11 pm

I can't even seem to make my knife sharpener work :(

I don't chop onions 'properly'.

Poached eggs. (I don't try often enough.)

Kneading. I have been trying on and off for much of my life.

i.e. quite a few fundamental things.
Last edited by herbidacious on Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby Suelle » Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:17 pm

I've given up on the things I never managed to master properly - there are plenty of alternatives, life's too short to worry about what I can't do.

French Macarons was the one thing I would have liked to get right, but trying was getting too expensive and demoralising.
Traditional home baking, and more:
http://mainlybaking.blogspot.co.uk/

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby smitch » Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:20 pm

I can’t make poached eggs either. Have tried multiple times using different techniques and just end up with snotty eggs. I don’t eat eggs very often so would rather just save them for a treat in a cafe!

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby karadekoolaid » Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:02 pm

I´d love to have learned how to make proper puff pastry so I can prepare millefeuilles as it should be.
There´s a pastry chef at one of Caracas´ best clubs who makes the very best - but it takes him a couple of days. The final result is nothing short of ethereal.
I´m ok with pizzas, because I quite like a thick crust, and a few months ago, I finally made some naan which I was happy with, just by lowering the oven temperature a bit.
Poached eggs? Yep - lousy at making them the traditional way, but I get round that by using plastic wrap and they come out perfect; plus I can make ten at one go if pushed.

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby KeenCook2 » Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:01 pm

herbidacious wrote:I can't even seem to make my knife sharpener work


I'm with you there, Herbi :lol:

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby PatsyMFagan » Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:12 pm

Pampy wrote:I gave up trying to sharpen my knives years ago - I always ended up butchering them. I now have a 3-stage sharpener which is excellent.


KeenCook2 wrote:
herbidacious wrote:I can't even seem to make my knife sharpener work


I'm with you there, Herbi :lol:


So glad it isn't just me ... I bought one of those electric Andrew James branded ones on the recommendation of several Wildies a few years ago .. each time I have used it the knife has finished up blunter than when I started. :roll: :twisted: :cry:

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby herbidacious » Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:34 pm

Yes mine was a rather expensive one recommended by Ian in France. I am sure it's very good, and it's me that's not. I was hoping that it might be the sort of thing that would appeal to husband, but he didn't bite.

Smitch those are my thoughts on poached eggs, too. I really enjoy them when I occasionally have them (usually in cafes) and they are a real treat.

I do 'fry' eggs sometimes by cooking them so gently (just enough oil to make the pan non-stick) that they just cook and don't crisp.

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby Earthmaiden » Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:35 pm

Although I have made both many times, I am never really happy with making bread or roasting joints of beef (other meats are fine).

The thing I would really love to do is a whole course on Patisserie. So expensive that unless you are young and going to make a career of it it can't be justified. To produce things that looked as if they'd just come out of a French patisserie window would give me such pleasure.

DS can pizza spin. He learned at Dominos.

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby Renee » Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:42 pm

This is the knife sharpener that I have and it works well:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Taylors-Eye-Wi ... g=mh0a9-21

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby Pampy » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:09 am

That's the same as mine - I'm very impressed with it.

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby scullion » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:20 am

i'm pretty good at sharpening things - i had stropping and honing lessons, at college, for sharpening scalpels and blades.
but as a quick sharpen i use the unglazed part on the bottom of a mug.

what i would like to be able to do is 'coffee art'.
i do have a book but they run courses at one of the coffee roasters near us - i'm thinking of gifting one to my partner for his birthday or christmas - in better times.

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby Kacey » Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:23 am

Pastry! Because I'm rubbish at it I don't make it often enough to practice and improve. Though that's probably a good thing as I love eating it and if I could knock up a batch in minutes it would be too tempting.....

The technical department in our house sharpens knives, he uses this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spyderco-Sharp ... B000Q9C4AE - a bit pricey but he reckons its the bees knees, especially for serrated knives.

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby halfateabag » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:32 am

My Dad bought me a stone for sharpening knives and showed me how to use it. I cannot abide a blunt knife, life is so much easier with a well honed knife. Thankfully I have Sabatier knives. :thumbsup

Chopping onions annoy me as they slide about and ping all over the place. Having a dodgy wrist does not help.

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby Gruney2 » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:44 am

Getting the different parts of a roast dinner to come together at the same time - for example, roast potatoes and meat - specifically chicken - cooked at different oven temperatures.

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby herbidacious » Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:25 am

My knives need sharpening.

There are a number of skills which I really feel I need to be shown - both culinary and otherwise.

I would like someone to stand next to me while I am making jam. YouTube is great but of course it's not interactive. ("no not like that like this..." would be useful.) A lot of this is confidence, or lack of it. (And practice.) My jam-making seems to be really hit and miss. One perfect batch of marmalade last winter. A week later a runny batch. The year before, an inedibly overcooked one. I am just not sure what it's supposed to look like, exactly, re. the wrinkle test.

Threading my sewing machine is one I need to try to master without a teacher this autumn.

re kneading, I just don't have the right technique. Not sure this can really be taught. Generally I have a problem with my brain getting my fingers to do the right thing - I know what to do, but hands just won't do it. This was particularly evident when I tried to learn how to crochet. Bad hand eye coordination? Possibly partly why I am so bad at sport too.

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Re: Is There A Technique You Wish You'd Mastered?

Postby Stokey Sue » Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:12 am

I wrote a reply yesterday but it doesn’t seem to be here
I have never got the knack of sharpening knives with a steel, I can sharpen small blades like scalpels and penknives on a whetstone but I invested in an electric Knife Wizard sharpener some time ago, and I had 3 good knives professionally reground and they are great now

One thing I wish I’d learned to do properly is to prepare fish, I’m possibly a bit better than the average home cook at cleaning and filleting simple fish like mackerel because I’ve grasped the anatomy but flat fish confuse me, and I know there are lots of techniques I don’t have.

I too wish I had the technique for making pizza base and flatbreads, but I think I could get that by practice, and sort of similar I wish I was better at all the fiddly folded things like samosas, filled pasta, dim sum

I don’t particularly want to get deeply into patisserie but perhaps being able to make viennoiserie such as croissants would be good, I’ve not done much, and had mixed success

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