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If you have a question for Doctor John, send an email to moc.oohay@nevarkeerc

December 3, 2007

Here we are three weeks from Christmas and counting. I hope all of you have your shopping done. I feel compelled to advise everyone to watch the holiday calories. I never do, but it seems making people feel guilty for enjoying themselves is the politically correct thing to do.

The diet that works for me is the "Moderation Breakthrough Diet." Instead of eating a dozen chocolate chip cookies, only eat ten. You'll save over a hundred calories right there. If you skip enough cookies during the holidays, you can be down to one-hundred and forty-five pounds by Ground Hog Day. Yes, the Doctor does keep cooking sherry on hand, why do you ask?

Kaye needs enlightenment:

Dr. John: As a visitor to Texas I am confused by some of the terms I see on the menus. For example, what is the difference between "chicken fried" and "country fried"? And what is "pan broiled"?

Kaye: "Chicken fried" is a term used to describe something battered and then fried, usually deep fried. "Country fried" is meat dusted with flour and then fried in a half-inch or so of hot oil. "Pan broiling" is where you season meat and cook it in a skillet with as little oil as possible. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Clayton asks:

What is pan barbecue?

Clayton: Pan barbecue is meat cooked in a pan of sauce in the smoker or on the grill. The meat is not submerged in the sauce. Just enough sauce is used to keep the meat basted while it cooks. I have always thought this method should catch on but, for some reason, you seldom see it used. I have a cousin who used the method frequently and the product was outstanding. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Mark wants to know:

I have heard of putting raw egg in camp coffee. What does that do?

Mark my boy: After camp coffee has boiled to the desired strength, it is taken off the fire and an egg is cracked and dropped in shell and all. The egg white will collect the coffee grounds and bind them together in the bottom of the pot. The yolk and shell are just for show. The main thing it does is make a big mess in your coffee pot.

My advice to campers is to get a decent drip-o-later or a percolator. Either way you don't have grounds mixed in with the liquid. With the drip-o-later you pour boiling water in the top of the pot, and it drips through the grounds held in a strainer under the top reservoir. This is the way your Mr. Coffee works. I assume everyone knows how a percolator works. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Marie says:

Dr. John, I cannot master the art of frying eggs. They either come out with the edges burned and the yolk still cold or the thing is cooked too hard all the way through. Help.

Marie: First rule in cooking eggs is to have them at room temperature when you start. Set out what you will use the day before you plan to use them. There will be no health issues as long as the eggs are not cracked.

The traditional way to fry eggs is to put them in a semi-hot skillet in about one-eighth of an inch of hot oil like melted butter or shortening or bacon grease. As they cook, you splash or spoon some of the hot oil on top to cook the yolk. This takes a bit of practice, but it works very well.

My favorite way of frying eggs is to use a non-stick pan with a tight fitting lid. Put just a small amount of butter in the pan say, a quarter teaspoon full. When the butter has melted put your eggs in and put the lid on. Without you doing anything the eggs will cook to perfection. You just have to learn how long to let them cook. If you always use the same temperature and a timer you can quickly work out the drill. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Bettie says:

Sometimes my chili comes out tasting a little bitter. What am I doing wrong?
Bettie: More than likely you are doing nothing wrong. Some chili powders come with a natural bitter taste to them. This is not intentional on the part of the manufacturer; it is just that different crops of chile peppers can vary in taste. Some are sweet and some are bitter. One thing you can do is if you find a really good can/bottle of chili blend, buy up several portions and keep them in the freezer.

When you get a pot that is a tad bitter, try adding just a little liquid brown sugar. You want to be careful as to not get too much sweet in the pot. Start with a little and work up until you get the desired result. Some of the competition chili cooks use a mix of liquid brown sugar and lime juice as a "kicker" for their pot. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John


If you have a question for Doctor John, send an email to moc.oohay@nevarkeerc
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Traditional Texas Food Articles
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