Why are a restaurant's roasted vegetables so much tastier than homemade ones?

Originally published at: Why are a restaurant's roasted vegetables so much tastier than homemade ones? | Boing Boing

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Your potato recipes/dishes will improve 100% if you hydrate [w/ H2o] the spuds in cold water for 1 hour prior to cooking.

You’re welcome…

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Makes me wonder if using a stock instead of water to hydrate (and then making soup after you pull the potatoes out to cook them separately) would be even better.

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That’s an interesting idea, please if you do try it out, let my know the results.

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I could swear they are adding sugar.

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I’d like to also make a note about ingredient selection. It’s not specific to veggies, but commercial wholesalers can make sure restaurants get ingredients that are as consistent as possible in size, shape, ripeness/freshness, made by the same producers and from the same regions, etc. Your local grocery stores generally can’t do that, unless you’re lucky enough to have one near you with unusually good buyers, so you’ll have to adapt to what you can get on any given shopping trip. And no, buying local is not a guarantee of quality or value either, there’s lots of terrible produce and meats in farmer’s markets too.

For me, switching to using higher quality butter and salt was one of the things that made the biggest difference. This includes trying different butters for different recipes sometimes, but generally I find Irish and New Zealand butters to be fantastic for everything, and worth it if you afford them (Kerrygold and pink salt at Costco are not too pricey compared to other options).

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This is basically all restaurant cooking in a nutshell. They use way more oil, butter, sugar, and salt than you think they do. That’s 90% of why it’s so good.

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Looking at the nutritional information page of any restaurant with 20 or more locations - particularly the sodium and saturated fat contents - is an eye-opener.

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The peanut butter milkshake (medium size) at my local diner chain is almost 2000 calories. People have no idea.

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Homemade:
1 medium size banana
2 tblspoon peanut butter
1.5 cups whole milk

505 calories
~$1.25

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I’ve had the occasional duck fat roasted potato that was better than homedone, but for the most par, we have roasting veg down pat, our secret weapon for doing things like cauliflower, brussel sprouts and carrots, etc is olive oil, salt, and roasting trays like these: Enamel Bakeware Roasting Tin 35 x 24.5 x 5cm | Roasting Tins & Oven Dishes from ProCook

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Make that a frozen banana and chocolate milk (cow, soy, oat, whatever) and it’s well-nigh perfection in a glass.

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When I worked in various restaurants as a kid, baked potatoes were always covered with oil and rolled Kosher salt then baked for hours in a drawer where they were held for serving. They were always awesome. And mashed potatoes, either fresh or instant always had white pepper added. I still do that.

I don’t eat roasted vegetables but my wife soaks them in Italian dressing and then sticks them in the air fryer, she says they are very good.

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I myself skip the choco milk (too much sugar) and just add cocao power.

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Oh sure, absolutely!

But definitely, a FROZEN banana makes a huge difference.

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After getting them ripe, we pre-slice and freeze most of the bananas we bring in. A few others are kept out of the freezer for later addition to oatmeal! Yum. Yum.

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The tip about salt is especially true (though I wish everyone would put some more effort into seasoning things). It’s not just the quantity of salt though. There are so many nice kinds of salt available, but most people seem to rely on table salt or fine sea salt at best. It’s been a few years since I’ve been in Japan, so it may no longer be the case, but Muji’s used to carry dozens of regional salts in their food department. A wall of bottles with the location and type printed on each label.

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Yes, but better is goose fat. Yummmmmmm!

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“flavor enhancer” = MSG. I think that’ll pretty much do it.

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FWIW, I used to pre-slice until I realized that a frozen banana (peeled and wrapped in tin foil instead) can be broken up easily when needed, and I usually want a whole banana anyway. One less step, two fewer items to wash…lazy can be good!

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