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#61 Jujubee

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 11:46 AM

The other night I made the Golden Northern Cornbread from the September 1995 issue, and I was quite disappointed with how it turned out. From the article:

This cornbread is moist and light, with the rich taste of corn. Use stone-ground or water-ground cornmeal for the best taste and texture. Either yellow or white cornmeal bakes into a handsome, delicious cornbread.

In my opinion, there was very little flavor, it was a bit dry, and it was not very "Northern-like" at all to my tastes (that is, it was not soft, moist and sweet). What gives? I could swear I have made a successful CI-recipe cornbread before, it must not have been this one! I was left wondering if it was the cornmeal itself: I used a stone-ground organic that had lots of germ in it, so I was hoping for a lot of great flavor, as the article promised me! Is there another Northern-style cornbread recipe in a more recent issue that I could be thinking of? (I feel like it might have actually had corn kernels in it, anyone remember that one?)

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I'm not a big fan of their Golden Northern Cornbread either. It's still firmly in the savory camp, and I think that type should be sweet. (Please, if you're a southerner, don't shoot me). Were you maybe thinking of their corn muffins? I tried those a while ago, and while they are not cake-sweet, they do have a nice sweetness to them and a softer, moister crumb. They offered a few variations on the muffins; I can't remember if one included corn kernals or not.

#62 Jujubee

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 11:52 AM

The other night I made the Golden Northern Cornbread from the September 1995 issue, and I was quite disappointed with how it turned out. From the article:

This cornbread is moist and light, with the rich taste of corn. Use stone-ground or water-ground cornmeal for the best taste and texture. Either yellow or white cornmeal bakes into a handsome, delicious cornbread.

In my opinion, there was very little flavor, it was a bit dry, and it was not very "Northern-like" at all to my tastes (that is, it was not soft, moist and sweet). What gives? I could swear I have made a successful CI-recipe cornbread before, it must not have been this one! I was left wondering if it was the cornmeal itself: I used a stone-ground organic that had lots of germ in it, so I was hoping for a lot of great flavor, as the article promised me! Is there another Northern-style cornbread recipe in a more recent issue that I could be thinking of? (I feel like it might have actually had corn kernels in it, anyone remember that one?)

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Oh wait, I just looked online. The Corn Muffins don't have corn kernels in them. I think you were looking for their All-Purpose Cornbread from January 2005:

http://www.cooksillu...?recipeids=1985

#63 Chris Hennes

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 11:56 AM

Oh wait, I just looked online.  The Corn Muffins don't have corn kernels in them.  I think you were looking for their All-Purpose Cornbread from January 2005:
http://www.cooksillu...?recipeids=1985

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Bingo---that's the one I was thinking of. I know I've made that one in the past and it was really good. Maybe I will give the muffins a shot too, but I'm definitely staying away from the Sept. '95 recipe: it's just not very good.

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#64 Josho

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 12:02 PM

Oh wait, I just looked online.  The Corn Muffins don't have corn kernels in them.  I think you were looking for their All-Purpose Cornbread from January 2005:
http://www.cooksillu...?recipeids=1985

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Bingo---that's the one I was thinking of. I know I've made that one in the past and it was really good. Maybe I will give the muffins a shot too, but I'm definitely staying away from the Sept. '95 recipe: it's just not very good.

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I had the same experience you did. I counted their 1995 cornbread recipe as one in the "failures' list. I was surprised at how dry and flavorless it was.

--Josh

#65 CaliPoutine

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 01:23 PM

Oh wait, I just looked online.  The Corn Muffins don't have corn kernels in them.  I think you were looking for their All-Purpose Cornbread from January 2005:
http://www.cooksillu...?recipeids=1985

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Bingo---that's the one I was thinking of. I know I've made that one in the past and it was really good. Maybe I will give the muffins a shot too, but I'm definitely staying away from the Sept. '95 recipe: it's just not very good.

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I made the Corn muffins( using organic stone ground corn meal) and I wasnt impressed. I'm always comparing corn muffins to my favorite corn muffins from a Jewish Bakery in FL. The muffins as I made them were grainy. Maybe I was supposed to whiz the cornmeal in the cuisinart?

#66 CaliPoutine

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 06:48 PM

The new issue is out. Anyone( Chris??) made anything yet?

#67 phatj

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 07:06 PM

The new issue is out. Anyone( Chris??) made anything yet?

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I definitely want to try the Enchiladas Verdes. The Pasta with Olives, Garlic and Herbs looks good too, although I'm skeptical of the addition of bread crumbs.

The recipe for Grilled Sausages with Onions amused me. Not that it's impossible to screw up, but any idiot with a grill can make this just fine.

#68 Chris Hennes

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 04:42 AM

The recipe for Grilled Sausages with Onions amused me. Not that it's impossible to screw up, but any idiot with a grill can make this just fine.

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I got really excited when I saw it in the index: then I opened the recipe and they meant store-bought sausages!!! Weak. I thought a charcuterie recipe from CI would be awesome. I like their recipe for red-sauced enchiladas from the past, but wasn't so hot on the tomatillo variation they came up with for it. Maybe this new enchiladas verdes recipe will be an improvement. Alas, I'm in "clean out the cabinets" mode right now, so I won't be joining in much of the fun with this issue for another month or so. Made the fried rice again a couple nights ago, though: I love that recipe!

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#69 CaliPoutine

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 05:16 AM

The recipe for Grilled Sausages with Onions amused me. Not that it's impossible to screw up, but any idiot with a grill can make this just fine.

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I got really excited when I saw it in the index: then I opened the recipe and they meant store-bought sausages!!! Weak. I thought a charcuterie recipe from CI would be awesome. I like their recipe for red-sauced enchiladas from the past, but wasn't so hot on the tomatillo variation they came up with for it. Maybe this new enchiladas verdes recipe will be an improvement. Alas, I'm in "clean out the cabinets" mode right now, so I won't be joining in much of the fun with this issue for another month or so. Made the fried rice again a couple nights ago, though: I love that recipe!

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I love those red chilie chicken enchiladas. I'm excited to try this new green version. I'll have to wait until I can bring some tomatillos back from MI. Thats one vegetable I've never seen here( even in London). Its funny though, my small town grocery store does sells gooseberries( tomatillo's are a relative of) , but they always end up on the reduced rack.

#70 Chris Hennes

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 06:03 AM

Better Bran Muffins (May 2007, p. 25)
Recipe here if you have online access.
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OK, I admit this isn't really a Cook's Illustrated recipe anymore after I got at it, so let's call it "inspired by Cook's Illustrated." I'm trying to empty the cabinets, so I made a few substitutions. First, the recipe calls for raisins, and I used dried cranberries. It also has you soak them in warm water, but I figured that everything is better soaked in rum, so I did that instead. Next, it calls for a half cup of whole wheat flour, which I am out of, so substituted with a blend of bread flour and wheat germ. It calls for three tablespoons of light molasses, but I only have regular (actually, I don't even know what "light" molasses is...doh!), so I used half regular molasses and half Lyle's Golden Syrup. Finally, it calls for 1 2/3 cup yogurt, but I was stupid at the store and only bought a 6oz container. This is where things got hairy: I also had a small tub of sour cream, so I used that. But that still didn't make 1 2/3 cup, so I topped it off with buttermilk, probably about 1/4 cup. So now, the "simple" recipe is not so simple after all, since I have nearly doubled the ingredient count! Anyway, for the most part they turned out quite well (better than the cornbread, anyway!). Who knows what they are like when you actually, you know, follow the recipe, but I think the inclusion of the whole wheat flour is a nice idea, as is the powdering of half the All-Bran. And frankly, they really ought to have you soaking the raisins in rum in the first place... :biggrin:

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#71 Josho

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 03:47 PM

I made the Best Blueberry Pie from the new (July/Aug 2008) issue today. Haven't cut into it yet -- it's supposed to cool for 4 hours minimum. But it smells wonderful.
Posted Image

My only problem was that I seem to have made the crust too thin in one area -- you can see that the filling bubbled through there. Otherwise, it was a breeze.

--Josh

#72 merstar

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 05:01 PM

I made the Best Blueberry Pie from the new (July/Aug 2008) issue today. Haven't cut into it yet -- it's supposed to cool for 4 hours minimum. But it smells wonderful.
Posted Image

My only problem was that I seem to have made the crust too thin in one area -- you can see that the filling bubbled through there. Otherwise, it was a breeze.

--Josh

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That looks incredible!
There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

#73 Josho

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 08:25 AM

That looks incredible!

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I'm happy to report that it tastes pretty much as good as it looks (although I think if I'd used fresh rather than frozen blueberries, it might've tasted even better -- but around here, fresh organic blueberries are going for $5 a half-pint).

My wife is by far my severest critic -- probably fewer than eight times in all the years I've known her has she not had at least a couple of criticisms of anything I've made. This was one of those rare instances in which she could not think of a single negative word about this pie, and I love those instances because they help me justify the cost of the subscription to CI. :-)

The filling is, as advertised, not runny in the slightest -- yet it doesn't have the mouthfeel of something that's been stabilized. The apple is indetectable. I was able to taste the lemon, but my wife and her best friend didn't know it was in there and didn't detect it -- a good thing since my wife tends to find it intrusive. The crust is the usual -- gotta love that vodka crust that Kenji developed. It's never let me down.

BTW, we also tried out that Oxo Mango Splitter/Seeder this morning, that's reviewed in the latest issue. It works like a dream.

--Josh

#74 Andrea Dodge

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 12:18 PM

My experiences with CI have been mixed. It's fabulous that there's an organization out there that can bring that level of attention to detail. I tend to really enjoy (and reuse) their savory recipes, but the desserts I've made have left me cold. I'm not much of a baker so from the gorgeous photos upthread I have to believe their baking chemistry is first-rate. The easier dessert recipes I've tried haven't been as successful. I made their cherry cobbler and found it absurdly, distractingly sweet. I made the lemon meringue pie for a group of friends and they liked it, but I thought it was dull in flavor, too-sweet, and with too much corn starch. I realize that I just have to translate the test kitchen's desired sweetness to mine, but I don't have the interest in most desserts to bother. That being said, CI is my go-to source on any technique that I want to try for the first time.

#75 Chris Hennes

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 02:41 PM

Thin, Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies (March 2001, p. 23)
(Recipe here if you have online access.)
Posted Image
This recipe produces a shatteringly-thin chocolate chip cookie without any of the toughness I usually associate with crispy cookies (I generally prefer the thick and chewy variety). I managed to follow the recipe this time, although I used Toll House Morsels instead of whatever their preferred chip is. I did end up making them too large since I only have a 1.5 tbsp scoop and the recipe calls for a 1 tbsp. They spread much more than the regular Toll House recipe, so I ended up with square cookies that I had to cut apart, but the taste was very good.

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#76 dockhl

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 05:25 PM

josho~

gotta love that vodka crust that Kenji developed. It's never let me down.


What is this? I desperately need a crust that won't let me down and that looks terrific! :raz:

#77 Chris Hennes

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 05:31 PM

josho~

gotta love that vodka crust that Kenji developed. It's never let me down.


What is this? I desperately need a crust that won't let me down and that looks terrific! :raz:

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We actually have an entire topic over in the Pastry & Baking forum devoted to the topic. The general idea is to replace some of the water in the crust recipe with vodka, since alcohol does not form gluten, but still moisturizes the dough, making it easier to work with. I second Josho's recommendation: it really does make wonderful crusts (though of course there are varying opinions on the matter in the above-linked topic).

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#78 dockhl

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 06:51 PM

Thanks, Chris, I'll check it out. I so rarely bake, I never visit that topic. (Which is also why my pastry sux :wacko: )

#79 CaliPoutine

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 07:01 AM

I made these pineapple upside down cakes last week when I was in Florida. This is the second time I've made them and they're really yummy. I prefer the coconut ginger version to the plain upside down cake.

Fabulous fresh pineapple makes all the difference.

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#80 CaliPoutine

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 09:38 AM

Enchilada's Verde from the latest issue. Served with green rice( fine cooking)

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#81 choux

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 12:04 PM

Did you like those enchiladas? Mine were strangely bitter. I don't know what it was from, maybe the poblanos were old? I like Fine Cooking's green chile enchiladas better, they use Anaheim's rather than poblanos. I like the idea of oven roasting, so may adapt the recipe to do that.

#82 CaliPoutine

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 12:14 PM

Did you like those enchiladas? Mine were strangely bitter. I don't know what it was from, maybe the poblanos were old? I like Fine Cooking's green chile enchiladas better, they use Anaheim's rather than poblanos. I like the idea of oven roasting, so may adapt the recipe to do that.

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I liked them, but I think I like the red chili version better. I thought they were rather tangy. Maybe I didnt put enough sugar in the sauce. I loved the rice from FC. The recipe uses milk along with broth which I thought was kinda strange, but good.

#83 Gruzia

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 05:35 PM

has anyone ever tried their new york style cheesecake? it is my go-to cheesecake recipe - tangy, creamy - yum!

#84 kiliki

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 01:52 PM

I made that blueberry pie last night and was very impressed. The filling isn't runny but it isn't gelatinous either! It is just the right texture (and flavor). This was my first time using that vodka crust and it was great as well!

#85 Josho

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 01:58 PM

Kiliki,

I've made that blueberry four or five times now, for various functions, and it never fails to delight. Really a superior recipe.

--Josh

#86 CaliPoutine

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 05:47 PM

I made the pizza bianca from the latest issue. I made in on Sunday as the recipe was written using the overnight rise. I topped it with olive oil, salt and rosemary. I must have overproofed it, because it didnt rise in the oven. It was more like a cracker.

I tried it again today, using the regular 2.5 hr rise. I made it like a pizza, making a quick sauce with canned italian cherry tomatoes and fresh mozz and basil.

I didnt love it :sad: This is probably the first CI recipe that I didnt love. The dough was bland. Its a very wet dough and it was easy to work with( you just pour it on the sheet pan). But, the flavor just wasnt there. I think the overnight rise would have helped. I much prefer Peter Reinharts foccacia recipe. CI calls this pizza, but I think its more like a foccacia dough. Anyone else try it?

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#87 jsmeeker

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 05:58 PM

I believe Reinhart says speed is the enemy of the flavor. For your overnight rise in the fridge, could you tell if the flavor was better in that dough? I've done a lot of overnight rises for pizza dough, and it works if your yeast is good. Maybe your stash of yeast is on it's last legs?

Did you have any sticking issues with the dough? Inspired by Fat Guy, I tried to make a simple pizza by shaping out dough into a sheet plan just like you did above. Disaster. Stuck like crazy.

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#88 CaliPoutine

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 06:26 PM

I believe Reinhart says speed is the enemy of the flavor.    For your overnight rise in the fridge, could you tell if the flavor was better in that dough?    I've done a lot of overnight rises for pizza dough, and it works if your yeast is good. Maybe your stash of yeast is on it's last legs?

Did you have any sticking issues with the dough? Inspired by Fat Guy, I tried to make a simple pizza by shaping out dough into a sheet plan just like you did above.  Disaster. Stuck like crazy.

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Nope, the yeast is brand new. The dough rose both times no problem. I might have left it on the counter too long( after removing from the fridge) the first time. It didnt stick at all to this pan( its the gold touch by Williams Sonoma, I LOVE THIS PAN). I used maybe 1tbls of oil on the pan. The crust was nice, the flavor was just bland.

I hope you try it so you can let me know what you think. Everyone on the CI message board just loves it and they're making it as written.

eta: yes, the flavor was better in the first dough, it was just like a cracker.

Edited by CaliPoutine, 04 August 2008 - 06:27 PM.


#89 ElsieD

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 08:18 AM

I made this the other day, and followed the recipe as written. It was excellent. Since there are only two of us, I froze what we did not eat and I am curious to see if freezing affects it in any way. I used a non-stick pan, oiled it as instructed and had no problems whatsoever with it sticking.

#90 CaliPoutine

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 11:44 AM

I made this the other day, and followed the recipe as written.  It was excellent.  Since there are only two of us, I froze what we did not eat and I am curious to see if freezing affects it in any way.  I used a non-stick pan, oiled it as instructed and had no problems whatsoever with it sticking.

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What did you think of the flavor of the dough? Like I said, I thought it was bland. I wonder if it has to do with the Canadian flour I used. Its from a local mill and has a lot of the bran left in it( even though its AP flour).





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