Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:37 AM
So here, we ask questions about cooking techniques. Like, for instance, how do I keep my hollandaise from separating, or how do I make my chocolate mousse more fluffy, etc. Yes yes, you can find all that online, but here, you get to hear what other amateur cooks have tried and recommend. Plus, we're better than the rest of them. :-p
To start off:
How do you make roasted mixed vegetables crisp and tasty without them turning soggy?
Here's what I have made in the past:
2 large potatoes (russet), peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 small butter squash squash, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
6 carrots, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 medium onion, each cut into 8 wedges
1 pound of white button mushroom, halved or quartered depending on size
3 to 4 small heads of brocoli, cut into bite size florets
3 gloves of garlic, minced
I start a large sautee pan over medium high heat and some oil, then I sautee the potatoes until they start to brown, then I add the onion, until it starts to wilt, then I add everything else, season it (salt, peper, thyme, parsly flakes, rosemary), and transfer everything into a large pyrex baking dish (so the rest only get some residual heat and no direct sauteeing). It is then bakeed, uncovered, at 400oF, for 30 to 40 min.
The problem I have with this is that I tend to get water issue, meaning there's some liquid at the bottom of the dish when it's done. I suspect it's the mushrooms and the squash. Because of this, everything tends to turn into a mixed mush. I've tried just roasting it for longer time to get the water to evaporate but that didn't seem to work.
I have a few ideas on how to proceed, but would like some input:
1. Roast everything on a wire rack over a cookie sheet
2. Don't add mushrooms or squash (but they taste great!)
3. Roast at higher temp (maybe 425 or even 450?)
4. Skip the sautee part and just roast them all raw (will the potato get done that way?)
So, suggestions or experience of your own to share?
Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:53 AM
Hot oven, ceramic baking tray - oil and butter in the tray. Vegetables in when the tray is hot. Stir them about a bit. Then leave them to roast until they are done. I 've never tried roasting mushrooms I 've always roasted the cloves of garlic whole not minced (doesn't it just become a sticky burnt mess if you mince them? Probably not if the whole lot is wet.)
Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:55 AM
Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:01 PM
Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:17 PM
like Lummel and the rest of the legions of the lazy I simply roast vegetables in the oven but are you washing your mushrooms in water or rubbing them clean with a sponge?
Given the opportunity a mushroom will soak up liquid like Hereward at a whisky tasting and disgorge it later to the shock and discomfort of all around.
Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:39 PM
Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:40 PM
As for the mushrooms, I wiped them with a moist paper towel. I found brush to be more frustrating than anything. The potatoes and squash get a rinse after the skins come off, but no water contact after cutting.
Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:48 PM
Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:48 PM
Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:56 PM
As you cut them up put them in a bowl of water, then put a couple tbsps of oil in the water. Swish them around a bit, take them out. Put on greased cookie sheet, sprinkle with whatever herbs you want. Roast at 375 for 20 min, stir 'em around then roast for maybe another 20 min. Voila!
Haven't tried it with anything other than potatoes though.
Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:02 PM
Suggestion: start off just roasting the dense vegetables (potato, carrot, squash, onion) , they need longer, then add the broccoli later (is that going to need more than half an hour?) I fear as my countryman suggested above the mushrooms maybe a source of moisture - why not wrap them in tin foil with a bit of cheese & garlic and let them roast in their own juices separately?
Edited by Lummel, 05 March 2012 - 01:03 PM.
Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:04 PM
Have you considered the vaccum cooker? It's more pricy, for sure, and I'm not sure if it's the solution you want. But it works by trapping the heat with a vacuum layer and using that to keep the cooking going, so a constant heat that won't cause things to brun at the bottom, much like a slow cooker.
If you need to replicate it with just pots and a stove, the 2 solutions I can think of is
1. Nonstick pot, covered, over very low heat.
2. Dutch oven, covered, set in an oven at about 300F.
I use Aunt Jemaima's pancake mix.
The trick to a fluffy pancake is: Do not overmix. You want lumps in your batter. Small lumps, but lumps. You do not want it completely smooth.
For flavor, a 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract will do wonders.
Now, I did make my own batter from scratch, and I honestly can't say it was better than the box stuff.
Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:43 PM
in a restaurant setting it is highly unlikely that one would cook all of those things together. there is a pretty simple reasoning behind that. the reasoning is different moisture content, density and size. not all them cook the same so why cook them together?
it sounds like a nice and tasty. but, perhaps think of it more that way. for me root veggies typically get cut into the size i like, tossed in duck fat, bacon fat, olive oil or melted butter, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper, some chopped thyme and put on a baking sheet making certain they are not crowded and roasted at 400 or so until they are to my liking. stir them a bit. they like it.
mushrooms are best sauteed. in a combo of oil and foaming brown butter with a sprig of thyme, sea salt and a crushed garlic clove will be a revelation.
broccoli roasts nicely the same process as the root vegetables. and i would include winter squash in that formula as well.
your onion is going to offer a bit of liquid as well.
on the subject of pancakes i am a fan of using self-rising flour and yogurt or sour cream in the batter. some lemon zest and blueberries will change your world. my pancakes are 3/4" thick, tender and amazing. they will take aunt-object-of-old-school-racism brand and kick her ass.
Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:49 PM
What is the heat source you are using? On gas there are some metal plates that help temper and homogenize the flame, and are useful for simmering.
edit: heat diffuser was the term I was looking for.
Edited by Seli, 05 March 2012 - 01:54 PM.
Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:04 PM
Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:05 PM
Cannot speak to squash, have yet to actually attempt to make it.
Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:33 PM
Terra, the vacuum cooker might be a good alternative. Have you or anyone else for that matter used one? I was looking for an alternative for chili or stew. The former I do in a pot and simmer a while, the latter I do in a pressure cooker. I'd use it for pot roast and other things as well, I found a nice short ribs, apples and veggies recipe a couple of weeks ago.
Seli, the diffuser could be an option but alas we have an electric stove.
I've tried making my own pancake batter, we use the box stuff. I wouldn't use box stuff, Bisquick for example, for dumplings though.
Mash makes great roasted potatoes. Olive oil, herbs/spices, toss them in the oven, yum.
Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:35 PM
Posted 05 March 2012 - 03:36 PM
Posted 05 March 2012 - 03:43 PM
I'm particularly curious about the addition of the yogurt or sour cream. I've done blueberry pancakes before, but the addition of lemon zest sounds divine!