Jul
25
2010

  Tivo-Based Cooking

While having a Tivo has made watching our few regular shows more convenient, it has revolutionized my cooking.

I have the Tivo record cooking shows that I would ordinarily never watch. It's very hard for me to remember to do things (like take medicine at regular intervals, hence the neurofeedback cure), so I can only watch a couple shows per season, otherwise I'd forget when to watch them. But with Tivo, I don't have to remember. I don't even know when exactly the shows do come on, it could be 2am every Tuesday, I have no idea. But when I get a few minutes to spare, I do watch what has been recorded.

This week I caught up on some Baking with Julia's from the mid-1990s. And she had someone on there making galettes, so I decided to give it a try. You have to make the dough in advance, since there is a high percentage of butter and it must be very cold in order to work with it, so last night I made enough for 4 galettes. For lunch today I made one with goat cheese, squash, and onions, and T liked it so much, I made another for dinner. For dinner I used mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and heirloom tomatoes. They cook up in 20 minutes, so it's a reasonably quick meal. When the dough is chilled it really doesn't take long to roll out. And it's a good way to use up leftovers. Very much like pizza that way (I usually use up various leftovers as toppings on my weekly pizza night), but it tastes quite different.

I also watched a few episodes of America's Test Kitchen. The woman in charge of creating the idea ciabatta tried her best to explain how it's really worth the time and effort to make at home, but after seeing all the steps involved, I've pretty much ruled it out for myself. Why spend hours and hours over the course of two days to make a loaf of bread, when I can have a delicious fresh loaf with just a few minutes of work? True, my bread is not ciabatta, but I can live with that, since it is delicious nevertheless.

I did, however, make note of their recommendation for baking salmon. They preheated the oven and pan at 500F, and cut slits in the skin to help release the fat to crisp it up. Then the turned the heat down to 275F before putting the fish into the oven, and finished up that way. They also explained why fish sticks to the grill when meat doesn't (the protein molecules in the fish are shorter, and chemically bind to the metal in the grill pan unless you first coat it with TEN applications of oil). The grill part isn't particularly useful to me, since I don't have a convenient place to grill until T builds the deck. But I will try the two-temperature thing next time I cook a salmon filet.