Welcome to Thursday Coffee Hour. This is an open topic thread so help yourself to the goodies and sit a spell and let us know what is new with you. I love to cook and have read cookbooks and magazines for years. I currently get Cooks Illustrated, Cooks Country, and Cuisine at Home. I also watch a lot of cooking shows. I have to admit that there are lots of time when I ignore the experts. Follow me blow the orange fleur de Kos as we blithely ignore the experts and do things our own way.
I do enjoy America's Test Kitchen and their magazines Cooks Country and Cooks Illustrated however I rarely make the recipes their way or use the things they recommend. Their recipes look good however having lost both parents to heart attacks I prefer to eat heart healthy and not all that cholesterol, carbohydrates, and sodium. As much as I enjoy Cuisine at Home when I see sodium on a single recipe as over 2000 mg. that isn't happening.
I have a kitchen full of tools I use and some of them I've used for many years. The experts practically foam at the mouth over woks. I happen to have an electric wok that I've used for many years and it works just fine for me. I made Mongolian Beef the other night. I have an electric stove so I know it doesn't get that high of heat. ATK is especially stringent about using a flat bottomed pan instead of a wok. Me, I intend to use my electric wok until it gives up the ghost one day.
I have trouble looking at the results of pan testing. I'm sure a $300.00 Dutch oven is nice. It probably does a good job but be reasonable. I live on Social Security in other words poverty level. I can't afford to blow 300 dollars on one pan. What irritates me is ATK is constantly retesting things and all of a sudden that KitchenAid immersion blender you are using is no longer the flavor of the month and they expect you to toss it and get their new favorite. Or the Oxo mandolin that I saved up and splurged for now they want you to use something else. That's not happening. I don't have money to throw away.
Too many of the tests put the Oxo Good Grips products near the bottom. My kitchen is almost all Oxo because one they are affordable and two I can hold onto them with my arthritic hands. I'll just use my knife sharpener every time I pick up my chefs knife.
As far as food products my criteria are obviously not the same as the experts. I want as few additives as I can. I want no MSG or aspartame. I'm allergic to both of them. I use no salt added every chance I get. I'll make from scratch so I can control everything. I will use pure extracts rather than imitation. I use butter and not margarine. I use decent tasting wines but not expensive ones. I can't afford the sophisticated wines.
So while I enjoy watching and reading cooking experts I still go ahead and do things my way. I would put my Huevos Rancheros up against any experts. After all while I was busy making sure it was heart healthy I also made it taste fantastic with homemade refried beans and homemade salsa.