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My guilty secret: I deliberatly burn certain foods for the browned, crispy edges!

  • m

I admit it. I like to overcook certain foods so that I can nibble at the burned edges. I do it to enchilada casserole, mac and cheese and potato kugel. I even sometimes do it to brownies and cookies too. Does anyone else do this? What do you like to overcook?

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  1. sauteed onions. fried chicken. potato latkes. and i love to overcook ratatouille. love the mush eggplant turns into.

    1. Sounds like an oxymoron, but I make easy-over eggs with burnt edges, and half-burnt English muffins and half-burnt bacon.

      1. guilty! guilty!

        I like to make my grilled cheese with shredded cheese, which I let drip over the side of the bread and burn to a crisp in the pan.

        Sometimes I just microwave mozzarella cheese until it turns hard and burn-y, then eat it like hard, cheesy cracker.

        I let my rice cooker stay on warm too long so my rice gets a hard, burnt bottom.

        Sometimes, I let the popcorn stay in the pot just a nano-second too long so some of it burns a bit.

        And I love a piece of burnt-edge lasagna.

        6 Replies
        1. re: puddin head

          that slightly burnt rice has a name.... koge (koh-gay) great for putting in the bottom of your teacup. yummm.

            1. re: link_930

              I knew there was a name for it, thanks! does it still apply if it's more than "slightly" burnt? :)

              1. re: puddin head

                humm... koge rice is generally the fair side of black. noorunji sounds korean or chinese perhaps?

          1. re: puddin head

            This reminds me of something I do sometimes when I'm making quesadillas. I melt some queso quesadilla in the skillet until it gets hard and burn-y too, then cook the cheese onto the tortillas. Amazingly delicious.

            1. re: puddin head

              we used to fight over the burn at the bottom of the rice cooker when mum cooked sweet rice using milk and sugar. gosh that was goooood.

            2. I keep a plumber's torch by the stove so I can finish off things that aren't burned enough. If I make pizza and the cheese doesn't have a few dark spots but the crust is perfect, running the flame over the top fixes that just fine. Also works well on onion toppings that aren't sufficiently singed.

              I will sometimes lay out stoned wheat thins and other crackers on a cookie sheet and flame the edges to a nice brown. It's easy to brown home-made breads enough in the oven so they don't need the torch.

              A commercial product that appeals to some charophiles is the Utz Extra Dark Special which are well-done pretzels.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Kunegunde

                What a great idea to keep the torch there! I have a little one for creme brulee, so I might have to try that.

                I know this is weird, but I like to overcook frittatas. Not much, but just enough so all the parm I put on top gets nice and crispy to contrast the soft egginess. YUM!

                Also, ditto to all the crispy cheesy edges!! Grilled cheese, mac n cheese, quesadillas. Oh geez, now I'm hungry!

                1. roast pumpkin - mmm charry goodness :)

                  1. I love crispy cheese edges. I like them best just shy of charred. Also, potatoes or winter squash. When roasting either I use the little crispy pieces when I dish out as the "cook's snack."

                    1. Sugar cookies, especially the store-bought mixes/doughs. But not burned too much. Just a nice, warm, brown color so that you can taste that lovely caramelize sugar...

                      Corned beef hash, homemade or out of the can. Gotta love the crispy bits.

                      1. Oh, I LOVE slightly burnt pizza, casseroles - anything with cheese! I like nice hard cookies, too, not icky soft ones. :)

                        Contrari-wise, there are some foods I like undercooked, too - I love soft bacon. While I'm cooking bacon, I will pick out hot-but-barely-cooked pieces to eat while the rest of it cooks to normal safe eating doneness.

                        1. I'm not in the majority here... I detest anything that is even slightly burnt. As soon as I can taste that char, it's ruined for me- both texture and taste-wise. My SO loves burnt bits of everything, though, so there's no waste, I guess...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Smorgasbord

                            I'll bet what some of these posts are calling "burnt" is really just well-browned and not charred.
                            Charring makes things taste bitter, but well-browned is caramelizing, hence sweet. The sought-after "burnt ends" of brisket in barbecue joints are not quite at the point of charring.

                            The pictures you'll see in magazines of Christmas sugar cookies are usually too pale. They look nicer this way if they are being only partly covered by decorations, but taste better if they are closer to paper-bag brown. A good excuse for icing the whole top!

                          2. My Pampered Chef pizza stone is perfect for this - I load it up with cheese and blast it in the oven - take it out while warm and wrap the gooey pieces around some Snyder's sourdough hard pretzels and heaven has arrived...

                            1. I love to top over easy eggs with some nice fresh grated parm right before flipping them.

                              Let the cheese get nice and dark then flip again and slide over a plate of polenta.

                              1. Onions...marinated in Italian dressing...then burned to a crisp on the grill...YUM! I have to cut thick slices for my husband (who doesn't like his so "crispy") and thinner ones for me.

                                Also, the crispy ends of well-done french fries!

                                And...severely overcooked fried eggs "over well broken."

                                1. Recipes always say to be careful not to burn the garlic. But I like the taste of slightly burned garlic. Onions too.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: NYCkaren

                                    I always overbrown my onions too. Cook until translucent but not browned? Naaah, burn them babies a bit. It has been said my recipes begin with "Chop onions and burn them".
                                    Garlic I prefer just barely colored though.

                                    1. re: NYCkaren

                                      me too! also love mushrooms and peppers burned to a crisp on the grill.

                                    2. Since I've begun roasting vegetables so frequently, I've found more and more of them that are good just this side of burnt: okra, Brussels sprouts, green beans, tomatoes, zukes and (of course) onions.

                                      I still miss the BBQ joint in Atlanta whose specialty was "burnt end tips", which is more or less the only part of a brisket that I really enjoy.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: mandycat

                                        Yup, I always try to get at least one side of the veggies nice and coffee-colored, but not burnt!

                                      2. Butter mochi is not done baking until the top looks scorched. Well, for me anyways :D

                                        1. Any baked pasta dish.
                                          My kids always complain about the hard pasta at the edges-but I love it.

                                          1. Oh, yeah. Burn it, burn it, burn it. Start the bacon in a cold oven so it'll REALLY be crisp at home, but in a restaurant we tell 'em, "Burn the bacon, please." The weirdest burnt food that people look at funny but rave about if they taste is black okra. Once it's fried just brown, add onions and tomatoes. Keep frying until you cannot see onions or tomatoes, only black lumps. It's the only way I will eat the stuff. Put away a cup of it and put it in the gumbo--oh my Lord it's good gumbo. (BTW, this subject is a good one to repeat, and obviously memorable, since it looks like the last comment was 2008.) Ditto to almost everybody else's burned favs.

                                            1. Unlike some my cabbage rolls are not swimming in sauce. Next day heating in buttered frypan caramelizing the outer leaves they are fantastic.

                                              1. Haha! I just saw your post to the "Straight to a Man's Heart" and wanted to see if we had other posts in common... I actually love burnt things as well. In particular my marshmallows for smores have to be entirely black on the outside but white on the inside.

                                                Also I love burnt popcorn. My sister always said I loved it because it tastes like death, and I say yes: I love to taste death.

                                                1. Hot dogs, sausages, fried chicken livers, potatoes & onions, bacon, skillet cooked corn...

                                                  1. Check out Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way by Francis Mallman. He talks about char being an important flavor component of grilled dishes.


                                                    1. Growing up, I worked in an Italian restaurant that made a GREAT lasagna. All of us used to "fight" over who would get the caramelized tomatoey, cheesy edges... mmmm! Thanks for bringing that memory back. Went to Chi-town last summer to head to a Cubs game. We got in Friday night, checked into the hotel, and jumped back in the car, headed for Morton's Grove to get some pizza from Burt's Place. Cheesy and tomatoey crispy, chewy edges, reminded of the lasagna scuffles.

                                                      I do like burned...errr...crispy Bratwursts, corned beef hash, Goetta, sausage, too.