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The site is really good so far,
but I'm really interested in learning more about this topic,
in order to contrast the monopoly of Western-styled cooking knowledge.

In the Beginner's section of "Introduction To Smart Kitchen" is a modern cooking topic,
but when will the last topic, "Topic 5: Cooking Disciplines & Styles" finally be released?

As of Fall 2015, all the Coming Soon webpages indicated a summer release date.
Ask a Chef Questions / Best sourdough for bread
« Last post by EricofAZ on May 19, 2015, 10:01:15 PM »
Teaching chef, when I was younger I worked in a great pizza restaurant.  Top winner year after year in my home town.  We made sourdough from scratch every day, but it used active yeast from the store.  I read online where it is better to make your sourdough starter by adding water and flour (either unbleached universal or rye (rye being the more active)) and letting it set on the counter top with a cover that allows air flow (muslin or cheesecloth).

Feed it twice a day with more flour/water.  After a week, ya got  a sourdough starter that goes in the mixer in place of the dry active yeast.

I read where the air is important, so in San Francisco, they have the best air for the starter and therefore the "best" sourdough.  I'm in Tucson.  The air here is ok.  I can make this and ferment it.

I learned the hard way to not over-ferment it or allow too much air.

What are your teachings?  Any way to change the air or a different flour?  Any health concerns?  Tips, ideas?

Thank you very much for this website.  I came across another that was here and found it just as exciting.

- Eric
General Discussion / Re: Hello
« Last post by EricofAZ on April 29, 2015, 04:36:49 AM »
Great, you folks are wonderful.  Love to hear from the other members here too!
General Discussion / Re: Hello
« Last post by pchef on April 28, 2015, 05:41:52 AM »
Hi Eric, We are really glad that working with Smart Kitchen is helping you out. We are also glad that we got the access issues worked out with your account. We are working on the text wrapping issue now. : )
General Discussion / Hello
« Last post by EricofAZ on April 27, 2015, 09:38:22 PM »
Hello, glad to meet everyone here.  Hope to hear from you.

This is an awesome site.  I am a 55-year-old bachelor (funny how life moves by).  Thought I knew how to cook.  Used to joke about "cooking by color" ... "if the color matched it went in the pot.   
Anyway, it is great that this site is here.  I looked into other culinary sites and they were way too expensive. 
The start to finish guided training is best for me.  Experimenting later is fine, but getting the basics down first made a huge difference.
I found this site when I was conscious enough about food to want to kick all the packages and GMO and preservatives.  Been losing weight and eating whatever I want (as long as I make it).  :)
Hope you are enjoying this site.
Ask a Chef Questions / Ask a Chef #64
« Last post by pchef on February 17, 2015, 03:36:44 PM »
Question From: Indence

Dear Chef, I am confused on the definition of Broth vs Stock.
Depending on what you read a lot of people say Broth has no bones but
adds spices, where stock is used with bones and little to none
seasoning. However, the definitions on the site, is that a stock is
just a strained broth. So I am really confused.



Hi Indence,

Thanks for writing us at Smart Kitchen. We are very excited about your question about the definition of a Stock and a Broth and the differences between the two. We know that there is a lot of partial information and mis-information out there on the net. It is hard to get straight answers sometimes.

Our short practical version is that stocks are supposed to be refined, in both the classy and "pure" sense, and broths are not. Said another way, broths have stuff in them (seasonings, fat, gelatin, meat, gluten, etc) and stocks are refined (processed) to remove as much of the secondary stuff as possible so that the stock is a good ingredient for future use.

Smart Kitchen uses the definition with straining, because the act of running the Broth through a sieve or strainer takes the impurities (the stuff) out. Of course, degreasing and skimming are good practices too.

The background reason is that purity is an important concept. It can help you make practical decisions in the kitchen as you proceed into Sauce Making, Soups, etc. For example, if you are making a Demi-Glace you want it to be as pure as possible for good, unadulterated flavor and a shiny uniform presentation. If you are just making a rough beef barley soup, it can be a little more "rustic" and "cloudy" with impurities.

You mentioned the definition that uses the presence or absence of seasonings to make a distinction between a Stock and a Broth. We have heard of that one, and we don't really agree with it. Seasoning is flavorful and something helpful to consider, but seasoning alone is not the whole difference. You can throw bones and meat and vegetables and water in a pot and simmer them and then take the bones and meat and veggies out with a ladle and have a bland broth. It would be boring and unseasoned but still a broth.  : )  You can also add ingredients to a stock and turn it into a broth.

We hope that helps explain "What's the difference between a stock and a broth" and we also want to repeat that we don't like to argue and are not going to split hairs with other chefs about how many sauciers can dance on the head of a spatula." If you want seconds of whatever they are doing; we think they did a good job. We just want to give a functional, actionable definition, that fitsin with the actual practice of Stock Making.

By the way, there is no definition for Broth in Larousse Gastronomique the last time we checked and if you read the definition for "Stock" in Larousse it does not mention "straining" in the definition. But every one of the recipes they give for making a Stock has straining as a step.

Fish or Stock Concentrate - "Strain through a muslin bag or fine sieve."

Fish Stock with Red Wine, or Fish Fumet with Red Wine - "strain through a muslin bag or fine sieve."

Game Stock - "Strain through a muslin bag or fine sieve."

Light Brown Stock or Estouffade - "Strain the whole through a muslin bag or fine sieve.

Brown Veal Stock - "Strain through a muslin bag or fine sieve."

Thick Veal Stock (aka thickened veal gravy) - "Strain through a muslin bag or fine sieve.

Tomato Veal Stock - "Strain through a muslin bag or fine sieve.

White Stock - "strain through a muslin bag or fine sieve."

We love your question because it is the sort of thing that Smart Kitchen is geared to help with. In general, chefs are artists and not educators which is why, in our opinion, the folks at Larousse Gastronomique missed the commonality of the straining step in their definition.

We like to take these complex subjects, which often have all sorts of folklore and internet posts around them, and boil them down (pun intended) so that you know what to do at home. That is part of the reason that Smart Kitchen claims to be The Smartest Way to Learn to Cook™.

We hope we have given you a practical path to follow in your cooking. If you were writing to win a bar room bet let us know and we can "restate" more favorably : )

P Chef

Smart Kitchen

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