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Favourite Food 'Sights'

I hope I haven't worded the title TOO weirdly, because I don't know of any other way to express myself!

But recently I cooked a version of Linguine alle Vongole, and I love, love LOVE the sight of the clams opening up in the steam! I know it's nothing new or exciting but as a fellow CH (can I call myself that?) I have a few quirky kitchen habits myself. I just loved seeing the clams open and to paraphrase, "yield their meaty juices" as I'm sure I've heard Nigella say that before.

Any of you have any favourite 'sights' in the kitchen? Other than seeing other people chow down on your food of course =p

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  1. My absolute favorite is a perfect whole steamed fish with bright herbs, before it is all torn into.

    1. Bacon sandwich before the top slice goes on. Slice of pappy white supermarket bread, a very generous portion of bacon (absolutely not crispy!), speckled with dots of ketchup. 'Tis a wondrous foody sight.

      1. Seeing (and hearing them gossip), a group of elderly Mexican ladies making beef tamales during the Christmas season.

        1. I've recently been amazed to see how chapati are made in India...the flat, rolled-out, tortilla-like dough is cooked on a dry pan till it starts to bubble a bit, and then it's put on an open gas flame and puffs up like a balloon. Beautiful!

          1. I make mung bean jelly, and I never get tired of seeing the milk-like starch & water solution turn to a clear gel. It's like making glass from sand, a little miraculous.

            1 Reply
            1. re: small h

              Oooh, I feel the same way when homemade ricotta coagulates magically!

            2. i love the whole Asian Hot Pot/Nabenomo type set-up with the beautiful assembly of perfectly cut morsels ready to be dipped into the steamy cauldron with all the conviviality of eager, happy palates ready to be pleased.

              I also think well-made tostadas are beautiful to look at, and with me usually making a mess of the thing.

              1. does a clean counter and sink empty of dirty dishes count? ;)

                some of the many things i love to see:
                - perfectly browned, crisp skin on a roast chicken or turkey when i pull it from the oven.
                - a beautifully puffed soufflé
                - the profile of a slice of any well-constructed layered dish (e.g. lasagna, terrine, layer cake, Italian rainbow cookies) where you can see all the beautiful and [hopefully] even levels.
                - a blistered thin pizza crust
                - a composed salad

                1 Reply
                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Ghg, I'm pretty sure the clean kitchen counts. It would be my #2 :)

                2. The moment in making a dark chocolate ganache when the chocolate melts and what started out as a lumpy, speckled mass evolves into creamy, chocolatey goodness.

                  1. The bubbles rising in lemon pie filling (family name for them, "eyes"), accompanied by the slight pull on the spoon as it thickens.

                    1. someone that you love taking a first bite of something you cooked for them and loving it. that is the reason i love cooking and food!

                      1. Fresh hot donut floating in the deep-fryer.

                        Oh, and a perfect scoop of ice cream.

                        1. A beautifully made savory tart. Very light golden brown crust, perfectly smooth, set filling...and I love the sight of perfect concentric rings of tomato...with a fresh sprig -or two- of rosemary. Ahhh.......

                          1. i'm with ghg on the clean kitchen, but alas...

                            -Puff Pastry... you know, puffing
                            -Perfectly Brown Crusty Boule
                            -Golden Shimmering Challah Wreath
                            (...apparently I like the sight of rising?)
                            -the perfect piece of sashimi -- preferably unseared albacore or ahi
                            -egg whites (alone or in a frosting or meringue or whatever) coming to stiff peaks - impresses me every time :)
                            -sugar turning into caramel

                            1. I love it when I see high grade basmati rice expand in length to the size of several centimeters in boiling water. It is as if the rice grains have become spaghetti-like.

                              I love watching tapioca wafers expand in hot oil, too.

                              1. The sight of a beef brisket after 14 hours in the smoker alongside a pork shoulder. All that lovely crisp dark bark just waiting to be torn into. Oh, and no sauce. If you need sauce you screwed it up.