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Old 08-18-2009, 08:22 PM   #1
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Post Michael's Boondockers Cafe

It's hard to cook pasta al'dente at 10,000 feet

Is it just me?
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:26 PM   #2
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Ya' killin' me here! It's 95/95 degrees/humidity outside. We just set the pasta on a tray, outside, and it's done in 30 minutes
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ArtStream View Post
It's hard to cook pasta al'dente at 10,000 feet

Is it just me?

Add salt to the water - it will help. Drink some wine while you wait - that will help too
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Janet View Post
Drink some wine while you wait - that will help too
If it still doesn't help, drink more wine. Then you won't care...
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:26 PM   #5
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To heck with the pasta, just drink the wine!

Actually, the higher the altitude, the easier it is to boil water because of the lower air pressure and lower demand for energy, i.e., heat, to cause the boiling to occur. But this means that you need to cook longer in order to get your pasta al dente. Think temperature multiplied by minutes - (lower temp x longer time) = (higher temp x shorter time). Take a look at cooking directions for baking a cake, it also has instructions for cooking up high.

We, too, are "cooking" at nearly 100 F here in Eugene, Ore, time for more wine!!

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Old 08-18-2009, 10:54 PM   #6
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Speaking of pasta, I just made pasta creole style. Slice up pancetta and fry slowly, remove when crispy, keep the grease in the pan, then slide in cut up baby okra with some garlic and a pat of butter. Saute about 5 minutes. Mix all with cooked pasta.

The reason I call it creole is that this is the way Lillian Hellman starts her cajun gumbo recipe. I started to make it once, only got as far as cooking the okra and it tasted so good, I ate it all and forgot about the gumbo. When you use only baby okra and cook it quick on a medium to high heat, you don't get the slime factor.

I stay out of the heat by cooking late at night...
And of course, you drink wine while cooking it!

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Old 08-19-2009, 06:08 AM   #7
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Sounds yummy, Carol! Okra has never had any real appeal to us, except in gumbo---where its' presence is absolutely required. But anything in pasta is an improvement!
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:14 AM   #8
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Chez Michael, what wine would you recommend to accompany a Koala Flambe'?
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:03 AM   #9
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the key to high altitude pasta cooking

pressure cooker

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Old 08-19-2009, 09:27 AM   #10
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I was born and grew up in Colorado (and Wyoming). High elevation cooking is an art that must be learned. I can't remember the formula for the change in the boiling point of water, but everything takes longer to cook.

When I moved my family to Cedaredge, CO (about 6400 ft) in 1958, my wife had a real challenge learning to adjust for the higher elevation and the coal range. Oh, the many fallen cakes, underdone bread, etc. The Presto cooker was a life-saver!

When I was a kid my dad and grandpa used cheap alcohol anti-freeze in the car radiators in place of the very expensive ethylene-glycol. Since the boiling point of alcohol is only about 180 degrees at sea-level (if memory serves me), and since the cars had non-pressurized cooling systems, cars steaming by the side of the road were common in those very high elevations.

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