B2 High-Intermediate 12 Folder Collection
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(hands clap)
- I gotta get better at this plant slap.
My name is Andrew.
You might recognize me from the show "Worth It"
where I eat foods at different price points
with my pals Steven and Adam.
Today, I'm going to be recreating one
of my favorite dishes I ever had on "Worth It",
fancy ranch and tofu nuggets.
Wait a second Andrew, you never ate nuggets
and ranch on "Worth It."
That's partially true.
So in the double cheeseburger episode,
we go to a place called Burgerlords which does a lot
of vegan and vegetarian interpretations
of classic fast food dishes.
In particular, they had these amazing tofu nuggets
and vegan fancy ranch.
That's what they call it.
It's actually called fancy ranch
which I think is pretty spectacular.
Often times on the show,
we'll eat foods that don't make it in the final cut
of the video.
Great opportunity to show you
some previously unaired footage.
- Oh, that is so good.
- When you think of a meatless version of a chicken nugget,
it's not obvious where it's getting its deliciousness from.
I think that these recipes explore something
that I'm really interested in which is
the fundamentals of why something tastes good.
Holy (bleep).
Nuggets are a little weird.
They're a weird food when you think about it.
Also ranch.
What is ranch?
Shard of ice just went into my mouth.
It was startling.
So to start, I'm gonna call Fred from Burgerlords to get
a little bit more information about these recipes.
Hey Fred, how's it going?
- Good, how are you?
- Pretty good.
Last time on "Worth It", we were trying
the double cheeseburgers, but we also
had these incredible tofu nuggets as well as this ranch.
It's ranch dressing, right?
- Yeah, yeah it's ranch dressing.
A lot of what we do is about nostalgia.
So recreating familiar food and they're things
that we make from scratch, like our recipe.
- How do you achieve a really delicious nugget?
- I think the most important part is the nugget skin
(laughs) I guess you would call it.
I mean it's not skin.
Like the nugget batter.
It's super crunchy, flavorful.
It's like cavernous and has all of the little cracks in it.
And then the tofu's actually seasoned really well,
so we break it down and process it.
It has dried mushrooms for umami flavor,
and then it actually has something called chicken spice,
but it's like a salt blend.
But there's no chicken in it.
It says chicken spice.
I've checked, you know, multiple times.
(Andrew laughs)
But that kind of helps push it over the top.
You're getting flavor through the whole thing.
- I look forward to making these nuggets.
- Awesome, yeah.
And let me know if you need any help or anything.
Just like text me or email me.
- First stage is going to be assembling
the tofu into nugget shape with some flavoring ingredients.
The first ingredient we're gonna deal
with is actually one that I already have,
dried shiitake mushrooms which I personally use
in things like soups.
This is what we're dealing with here.
These may in fact be porcini mushrooms.
I'm not sure.
I threw away the label.
We're gonna take these mushrooms
and actually grind them up into a powder
so it can flavor the entire nugget.
(food processor whirring)
Oh, I have created like a mushroom sawdust.
We need to crumble the tofu.
This is a really annoying packaging.
There's a lot of liquid here.
Okay, here we have our tofu.
Look at that.
Do I like tofu?
I do.
Unfortunately, my introduction to tofu was
with poorly executed health food,
and it wasn't until I had Chinese dishes, like mapo tofu,
that I came to really love it.
So my instruction was to use firm tofu.
I'm gonna break it apart into the texture of ricotta cheese.
I will add our mushroom dust.
The next ingredient is chicken seasoning.
A blend of seasonings.
Salt, garlic, paprika, turmeric, sugar, onion, white pepper,
cumin, black pepper, we also have monosodium glutamate, MSG
which has gotten a bad rap in the past
for being, like, this artificial thing
that could get you sick.
Those myths have been debunked.
It's really no worse for you than regular table salt.
And in fact, it's a thing that naturally occurs in a lot
of foods high in umami like Parmesan cheese,
tomatoes, fermented foods, seaweed.
(clears throat)
It does have this flavor combination
that I associate with chicken.
Oh.
You know what it tastes like?
Chicken flavored instant ramen plus a nacho cheese Dorito.
I mean, it definitely looks like Dorito dust.
Okay, and then the recipe also calls
for a little bit more salt and black pepper.
Okay, it's funny, I do really associate this smell
with chicken.
It's kind of like the pumpkin spice fallacy
where people think that pumpkin spice stuff has pumpkin
in it or that that flavor is pumpkin,
but really it's the spices that flavor pumpkin
and not pumpkin flavor.
I'm also gonna add more tofu 'cause I didn't do
the directions right.
(water dripping)
This is the good stuff.
Okay, cut this whole part out.
Hmm, okay.
It's not my favorite sensation.
It's so wet.
These are supposed to be a half inch.
There's really no other binding agent here?
Have I, Oh, ho, ho, ho-o.
Okay, I needa text Fred to make sure that this is okay.
I just texted Fred.
He said this is it.
Okay, so these are supposed to be about half an inch thick.
Remind myself of what that is.
This is too thick.
Man, I love any food that is in the take
a homogenous squishy mixture
and put it into a shape category like makin' meatballs.
Okay, so these nuggets now have to go in
the freezer for 24 hours before they can be breaded.
See you tomorrow.
I may actually have to rearrange some stuff in my freezer.
Okay, so we're breading the nuggets.
The first thing we're gonna do is make a vegan buttermilk
to dip the nuggets in before dredging them in flour.
An Ener-G egg replacer.
When I was looking for this in the store,
I was looking for a liquid.
Did not expect to have it be a powder.
This contains stuff like, potato starch, tapioca
which is gonna be doing some
of the thickening action required
to make this like a buttermilk.
Absolutely zero odor off of that.
100 percent zero.
Something actually Adam told me is
that I smell things too much.
It's like a habit of mine.
(mellow guitar music)
O-kay.
Chef Merito makes a second appearance.
I made salmon for dinner last night.
Put a little Chef Merito on the crispy skin, amazing.
Soy milk.
I was supposed to shake this.
(soy milk sloshing)
Main liquid component of this buttermilk is soy milk
which I usually don't buy 'cause I don't think
it's particularly tasty however, we went to Taiwan
for "Worth It.'
We had that soy milk the first dumpling restaurant, wow!
Big time wow.
It's similar satisfaction to having a milkshake, truly.
I tasted this.
It's not the same.
What do we got now?
A little Dijon-- (spoon tapping)
I'm just gonna eyeball it.
A couple tablespoons of mustard.
(spoon clanking)
Whoo!
Mustard is really pretty frickin' good.
I love mustard, wow.
Well, these are two things I never thought I'd
be whisking together.
Distilled vinegar, got it.
I'm lookin' at dairy and I'm smelling vinegar.
Having flash backs of the pie episode.
Oh, you know the smell is not pleasant currently.
Okay, liquids going into the dry.
Shall I taste?
(mellow guitar music) (tongue smacking)
(coughing)
Not very pleasant.
Now also occurs to me
that I've never tasted regular buttermilk.
Not really sure what my point of reference
is supposed to be.
Next up we're gonna be making a flour dredge to bread
the nuggets in.
Wipe the dust out of this.
It's clean.
Everything's very clean in my house.
Pepper, milled by hand.
Salt, cayenne pepper and the last thing here is Old Bay.
Old Bay is like this iconic American seafood seasoning.
It's ingredients are celery salt and paprika,
salt and pepper basically.
That's entirely it.
I think I just realized for the first time
that Old Bay just smells like celery.
Really makes me feel like I'm doing some,
kind of like, witchcraft, you know?
The last instruction is to add a little bit
of this buttermilk to this flour.
The goal here is to make clumps in the flour so
that those clumps can then stick to the outside
of the nugget giving it more texture.
This is very satisfying.
This has a very similar satisfaction
to like playing in mud as a little kid,
Time to get the frozen nuggets.
Wow, they look extremely unappetizing,
but that's what they look like.
Look at that.
Kind of like oatmeal cookies, right?
Pretty weird.
I dunk, mm.
Then this goes here.
There you go.
That's a frickin' nugget.
You deep fry that.
How could that not taste good?
All right they will freeze for another 24 hours.
So we're making Burgerlords' vegan ranch
which they call fancy ranch.
What are the key flavor components of ranch?
Like why does it taste so good?
- It's number one the herbs,
dill, parsley, tarragon, and just a mix of that
with the onion and garlic.
It tastes like a ranch.
I imagine myself on the bottle of Hidden Valley.
It's that feeling, you know, when you have that.
- Vegan mayonnaise.
What really distinguishes it from regular mayonnaise
is that regular mayonnaise is oil
and eggs emulsified together and this is primarily oil
then other things to stabilize its emulsion
like soy protein.
Okay, and the rest of this is pretty straight forward.
There's garlic powder, onion powder.
There's a little bit of plain salt,
white vinegar mixing this up now.
Doesn't that look good?
And then lastly there's a bunch of herbs.
First we have tarragon.
Uh-huh, okay.
Here's all you need to know about tarragon,
tastes like licorice.
All right, here we go.
Tarragon.
Next we're gonna do eight grams of dill.
Dill's one of my favorite herbs.
Dill shows up in a lot of Ukrainian cuisine
which is the cuisine of my family.
Dill is kinda unlike any of the other herbs.
We won't do the super thick parts of the stem
although, those are perfectly edible.
How do you describe dill?
If grass was delicious.
It's the one that is most classically associated
with the flavor of ranch.
Last but not least, parsley.
Herbs might be my favorite category of food.
Is that a dumb thing to say?
Okay, this is our ranch.
Oh. (laughs)
It's funny.
It just immediately started smelling like
what I associate ranch to be.
Wow, fancy ranch.
It's very fresh tasting.
I'm ready to start deep frying.
I've got my Dutch oven here about halfway full of oil.
This is what they look like.
Actually fairly nervous for this.
If this is the documentation of my apartment burning down,
please show it to no one.
Here goes nothin'.
Seems okay so far.
See what that looks like.
Oh yeah!
Look it's getting nugget-y already.
Hell yeah.
Can you see that camera two?
These are giant nuggets. (laughs)
The first time (laughs) I appreciated just
how giant these nuggets really are, okay.
At this precise moment, I'm convinced that,
if you really want a excellently made tofu nugget,
you should go to Burgerlords.
Frying at home is very troublesome.
Oh yeah.
Now it's gettin' really golden.
I think this one looks particularly good.
They look like nuggets.
Adam, you're about to receive a text message from me.
I bet your response will just be a single exclamation mark.
Frying foods is one of these things
where you think it's done, but you should really
just wait another 30 or 40 seconds and then you like,
"Oh, there, there it's done."
Okay, we've done frying.
It's time to try the nuggets.
(utensils clanking)
Is this in the shot?
My nuggets.
Look at these suckers.
I think these look pretty close.
Okay, nugget into ranch, yes.
Look at that nugget, huh?
These are huge. (laughs)
Mm, wow.
Oh, those are good.
I'm thrilled with how these came out.
In my opinion, they are far superior
to regular chicken nuggets because the inside
is a much softer texture,
so you have this way bigger contrast between
the outside and the filling inside.
Adam always says that the inside is like the texture
of scrambled egg.
I kind of have to agree.
I'm going to fry up some fresh ones for Adam,
drive them over to him and see what he thinks.
- These nuggets are huge.
- Yeah, aren't the Burgerlords' ones pretty big?
- They're big, but these are like...
I don't know if you can even call these nuggets.
(upbeat 80s pop music)
- So what else is going on at Burgerlords right now?
- With quarantine and trying to get the restaurant back
in a rhythm, we were able to do a few special projects.
We're making meals for senior citizens.
We partnered with a shelter in Skid Row
to provide meals for homeless.
Just recently we partnered with some friends
to do a fundraiser burger for NAACP legal defense fund.
It's giving us some time to reflect and be able to,
you know, integrate a more charitable aspect
to the restaurant.
(mellow keyboard music)
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I Made This Fancy Ranch And Nuggets From Worth It

12 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on July 3, 2020
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