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Everything posted by andiesenji

  1. I have noted several mentions of buttering filo dough to get the right texture and flavor. I thought I had mentioned this a couple of years ago, but maybe it was further back in time. I used to do a lot of things with filo dough when I was catering, both sweet and savory and I was always frustrated with the stuff tearing when I was brushing on the melted butter. Some time in that period I had a brainstorm and began using an oil sprayer and GHEE, since it is already liquid and all the particulates that might clog the sprayer have been strained out. The local Indian grocery carried the best quality ghee in quart jars. Spraying it on the sheets give an even coverage and it is so much quicker - I could do the pastries in half the time. So much time had been taken up with brushing and often re-melting the butter because I worked in a rather cool kitchen. Neither I or any of my clients ever noticed any difference in the more delicate sweet pastries and certainly not in the savory pastries. I got one of the trigger type sprayers that I think held a pint of oil. Since I don't use so much now I have one made by Evo that is smaller. I clean it after each use and store the ghee in its original jar.
  2. Rather than bump up an old topic, I am starting this new one after reading and posting in the topic started by gfron1. We had some fun in a thread last year about odd gadgets (and I have more than a few) with photos posted and folks guessing what specific task the gadget was designed to do. Here's one that no one who has seen it has ever guessed the purpose. After demonstration, they usually say, Dang! I will post it in use later today.
  3. andiesenji

    Ratio of cinnamon to sugar in recipe

    I have some of the Frontier organic Vietnamese cinnamon that can blow your head off, spicy and very "sharp" flavor. I also have some of the Frontier, organic, fair trade CEYLON cinnamon that has wonderful flavor, quite sweet and is terrific in custards, puddings, etc. It has a component that is almost like cardamom. Very aromatic but not sharp. I use a blend of the two - 1 part Viet to 2 parts Ceylon in my cinnamon rolls.
  4. andiesenji

    How do I make Candied melon?

    You can more easily candy this DRIED CANTALOUP from nuts.com than using fresh melons. They also have dried cantaloup chunks. You only need a "light" simple syrup, 1 to 1 heat it in a crock pot on low for about 8 hours and check to see if the melon has become translucent. That is the point to stop, drain well place on a wire cooling rack over a pan and to speed things up use a fan to air dry it.
  5. andiesenji

    Waffle Varieties

    Do you mean like hot fruit compotes - such as spiced apples, similar to what would go on a Dutch Baby pancake or Blueberry or other berry compotes with or without toasted nuts? Or something more exotic? We used to have an omelet and waffle place here in Lancaster and they used the commercial prepared fruit pie fillings for toppings. With some they combined toasted nuts - as with the spiced apple. Slivered almonds with the blueberry, Walnuts with one, I can't recall which. It was very popular but they lost their location when the row of shops was demolished to make room for a supermarket and they couldn't find another suitable location at a reasonable rent. They only offered buttermilk and whole wheat waffles. There are any number of toppings: This Food and Wine article has seven. Here is a list of 101 toppings. When I was catering, I used to do brunches with a "Waffle Buffet" with a line up of toppings that the guests could apply themselves. The hosts and I would choose how many and what flavors of waffles and the same for the toppings. Usual number of hot toppings, other than syrups, was 8 although at a couple where there were many more guests, I did 12. The only one that required someone to serve it was the whipped cream, always last in line.
  6. I had a commercial GAS convection oven - Blodgett - for quite a few years. I used the convection when I had all 7 trays in use. (it was a 10-tray Blodgett but the space for the three bottom trays was taken up by an add-on steam fixture) For most cookies, pastries without thick fruit fillings, I had the temp set at 350°F + convection to get EVEN heating, and 8 minutes to bake. For larger, thicker cookies, the thick gingerbread, same temp 10-12 minutes - I always did a test run first. Most important was to bake all the same TYPE of cookies at the same time. the coconut macaroon cookies which were WETTER, took longer. Some were baked at a lower temp for longer. I had to experiment because the commercial formulas I had at the time or the "home type" cookies that I converted to larger batches did not have the times that I required. And when I first got the oven, the temperature calibration did not hold and I had to get the technician out several times until he added a sensor that did the trick. After that it only needed calibration once a year - except after the '94 earthquake when it was apparently as shaken as I was. When I sold the Blodgett the buyer had all the burners cleaned, new sensors and of course re-calibrated after the move. I haven't spoken to him for a few years but he was able to start baking, using my formulas with no problems.
  7. I bought the original Food That Really Schmecks in 1968 when it was first published. And the More edition. I was interested in Mennonite and Amish cooking. There were Amish communities in the area in Kentucky where I was born and raised so I was familiar with the foods, which are very similar.
  8. I had a set of hole drills years ago that I used for drilling different sized holes in squash, melons, etc., for making centerpieces when I was catering. They were only about 2 inches long so not really long enough to drill through a potato end to end, but they were very hand for my tasks.
  9. They use them to core zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, etc. I have a longer strait one. And two or three apple corers. There was a definite fad about three or four years ago of coring and stuffing all kinds of things. This one overall is 11 inches long.
  10. I have a "vintage" metal one somewhere in one of the boxes of old kitchen gadgets I have collected over the years. And then I have a newer set, a gift from a friend, that is somewhere hidden in with newer junk. I will look for it later, meanwhile here is the only photo I could find of it on line. My friend bought it at the kitchen outlet store on the I-10 on the way to Palm Springs.
  11. andiesenji

    Buttermilk as A Substitute for...

    Yes, the homemade stuff is much thicker. But there are a couple of commercial brand that are thicker, more like the cultured buttermilk and unsweetened.
  12. andiesenji

    Buttermilk as A Substitute for...

    According to a nutritionist friend, KEFIR is equivalent to clabbered milk and can me made with regular milk. The nutritional profile is almost identical, with none of the problems of obtaining raw milk and without the possibilities of a pathogen sneaking in.
  13. I remember this so well and how proud I was when cook handed me a metal pitcher - probably held about a quart - and sent me down to get some fresh molasses at the filter. I was finally big enough to be trusted to carry it up to the house without spilling it. One of my "chores" probably to get me out from under foot in the kitchen. Either my grandpa or my grandmother would put some butter in a bowl and pour in the sorghum and mix it till it looked like marble, the colors swirled together. We called the mixture "scumble" and until I got more control over my flatware, the stuff was applied to my biscuits for me. The bulk of the sorghum was put into gallon cans. Some, that was going to Ft. Campbell for the Army, went into 5-gallon cans. For us kids, the "cook off" of the sorghum was fascinating as it started in one "pan" and when it reached a certain point was filtered into a second "pan" and finally into the "finishing pan" where it was tested with fascinating instruments that we were warned never to touch. Before it went into the tank from which it was canned, there was a spigot on the side of a pipe and that is where one of the workers would draw off the still warm molasses for immediate consumption. It was a clear light amber, close to the color of maple syrup. As it aged, it would darken and it also got thicker. Cook had several things she made with the fresh molasses. A pudding made with cornmeal and apples. Pies, cakes, "stack" cakes and candy. Molasses taffy, which required the cook and both the women who worked with her in the kitchen to "pull" it till it was light and fluffy.
  14. I'm a bit late coming in on this but thought perhaps you might be interested in trying real black currants, freeze-dried. from Nuts.com I use some for baking but mostly I use them to make a black currant drink, often combined with hibiscus and sweetened with stevia since these two things are so strongly flavored, they overpower the residual flavor of the stevia. You can eat them out of hand but they are extremely tart. For baking for each half cut, I mix about 3 tablespoons of sugar into the dry berries and just cover with hot water, putting a weight on top so they stay submerged. They are pretty well plumped after an hour. They are very light so 2 pounds is a large volume. I ordered 2 pounds last December. It filled this 8 liter container and I still have this much left and I used a lot for drinks during the hot weather.
  15. andiesenji

    Buttermilk as A Substitute for...

    If you google it, there are at least a dozen pages.
  16. andiesenji

    Buttermilk as A Substitute for...

    It doesn't curdle if prepared correctly. I have cookbooks from the late 19th century with recipes for buttermilk pie, puddings, fillings for pastries. Buttermilk - cultured buttermilk kept longer than regular milk, the same as "clabbered" milk. Before refrigeration, especially in the south, it was stored in crocks set into barrels, tubs or if they had a "spring house" directly in the stone "run off" from the spring, which was often extremely cold. But cooks in New England used it, the Pennsylvania Dutch used it extensively. When I was little, one of the most common nursery foods was buttermilk blancmange - one of my earliest food memories.
  17. andiesenji

    Buttermilk as A Substitute for...

    Buttermilk custard, buttermilk pie is an old southern tradition. I grew up eating the various types of these desserts. Here is one Recipe and another Some that are similar are made with "clabbered" milk which requires raw milk to start. A good substitute is, if you can find pasteurized milk that is not ultra-pasteurized, like Whole Foods and Trader Joes carry. Is heated and cooked with lemon juice so it starts to form curds but instead of straining out the curds to make fresh cheese, you stir them back into the whey with a whisk and add 1/4 cup of heavy cream for each quart of milk. You can hold this for 2-3 days in the fridge before using in your recipe.
  18. I had a cup like that with an Oster immersion blender from more than a decade ago. The only one I ever had with the flared foot and larger size with the measurements on the sides. I broke the blender and the cup when I left them standing on the counter with the cord hanging, managed to catch the cord, yank them off the counter. I really liked that blender. It had a longer, all metal shaft and was reasonably priced. When I looked for a replacement, it was no longer available.
  19. andiesenji

    Rice cookers for singletons

    I have the Zo induction rice cooker and it will cook any kind of rice or mixed grains, pilaf and have even used it for pasta, setting a timer and shutting it off when I estimate the pasta will be done. (I did some testing) I have posted at length about this Zo before in another thread from a few years ago. I got the 10 cup because the price at the time was the same as the 5 cup and I make larger batches anyway and portion the extra rice, vac seal and freeze it for fried rice or adding to soups, stews, salads or even to make rice pudding. I posted the following in 2014. "Posted June 8, 2014 I live alone but I have the 10 cup Zojirushi IH rice cooker. I cook 4-5 cup batches (or larger) of various types of rice (and other grains) and freeze the "extra" in 1or 2 cup portions so I always have some cooked rice on hand for adding to soups, stir fries, nasi goring or plain fried rice, rice puddings or fruit puddings, for adding to breads, both yeast and quick breads, rice fritters, in omelets or in burritos, with beans. They do not "boil over" so there is no worry in that regard. And it can be used as a steamer for potatoes, vegetables, and other things. Check the recipes here. There are some cookbooks but you don't really need one - there are plenty of recipes right on the Zojirushi site and you can subscribe to their email newsletter that has new ideas every month. (Zojirushi 101)"
  20. If you put the refillable pod in properly and it is sealed correctly, there should be no residue in your cup. The hole for the needle seals tightly around it. If it is perforated in the wrong place the plastic will not seal around the needle, fine coffee grounds can wash out. I use super fine espresso grind with no residue at all coming through. Here are photos of a pod showing the sealing gasket. It should not be visible anywhere when properly sealed the water is pushed through with a lot of pressure. Once completely sealed, the tab next to the input hole should be lined up with the marker in the pod carrier. If the needle perforates the pod anywhere else, then there is a second hole and grounds will be forced out through the first one.
  21. I just spent half an hour on the phone with a representative at Nescafe Dolce Gusto and with fantastic results. Earlier my Dolce Gusto machine died - the digital screen kept saying it was "Out of water" even though the tank was full and I had made a cappuccino earlier with no problems. I tried several options, nothing worked. I scrolled through the various items listed on the screen until I got to HELP, pushed the button and a phone number was displayed. I called and within 30 seconds was talking to a live representative. I described my problem and we went through the process that should have produced water, nothing. She asked for the model number, which I gave her and she checked to see if it could be repaired. Unfortunately this model has been discontinued and repair is not available (would have been free and with free shipping had it been). So they will be sending me a new machine, a Dolce Gusto Esperta™ which is a step up from my model and with more versatility. All free and I can use the shipping box to return my present machine, free shipping. So this is the way to promote brand LOYALTY. GREAT customer SERVICE! Compare that with some of the problems experienced by friends and neighbors who have had problems with Keurig machines and had to jump through hoops to get any service at all - plus waiting on hold for extended periods. Dolce Gusto does it right! This is the machine that died. And this is the one I am getting - Free.
  22. Mine comes out so hot I have to cool it down before I can drink it. If you use dark roast coffee, you will have no problem with strength if you fill the pods the way I described.
  23. andiesenji

    Pasteurizing Eggs Sous Vide

    Since 1960, the date of that study, new strains of Salmonella have been isolated. In particular the Newport strain in 2003 and which was the culprit in a salmonella outbreak from cantaloupes where chicken manure had been used by a large grower. This strain is resistant to antibiotics and can affect animals as well as humans. Long after I stopped catering, I continued to get the bulletins from the L.A. County Health Dept. and there was info from the Journal of Microbiology in one. I know there are several variants of the Newport strain, they mutate the same as every other bacterium and virus.
  24. andiesenji

    Pasteurizing Eggs Sous Vide

    I give up. heating to 130 is not Pasteurizing. Even Baldwin in his Sous Vide for the Home Cook says to heat to 135° for at least an hour and 15 minutes.
  25. andiesenji

    Pasteurizing Eggs Sous Vide

    I was hospitalized for Salmonella in 1977, for 9 days. It was traced to a Caesar salad at an upscale restaurant that prepared the salad at table side. 2 others in my party also were sickened, one hospitalized. We learned later that at least one other patron became ill but no details. The restaurant paid all the medical bills and settled without a law suit. It was not fun and at one point I thought I was going to die because my kidneys began to fail. I take it seriously. This year alone, a quarter of a BILLION eggs have been recalled for salmonella. I have made large batches of Hollandaise with pasteurized eggs, JUST AS THE COMMERCIAL HOLLANDAISE IS MADE, and many other sauces that use raw eggs. My mayonnaise has been praised by people who know foods. When they were available at a local supermarket, I bought Davidson's Safest Choice Eggs, which are pasteurized. More expensive but less work for me. The following is from an article in one of the trade publications for food producers, distributors and end point sales. "Even if investigators have indeed found the salmonella source, you may wonder, how can the bacteria get inside the hard shell of an egg? Let us count the ways.One route is through the insides of a chicken, said Kevin Keener, a food process engineer at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. On average, he said, one out of every 20,000 chicken eggs contains a small amount of salmonella that is deposited into the sac by the hen.Chickens get doses of salmonella bacteria (of which there are 2,300 kinds) from their environment, which is easily contaminated by rodents, birds and flies. These carriers deliver the bacteria to all types of farms -- regardless of whether they're conventional, organic or free-range.Once the bacteria get in the chicken, the microorganisms thrive under ideal conditions, with internal temperatures of about 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet chickens harbor salmonella without any signs of illness, making it impossible to know which animals are infected."Literally," Keener said, "it's a needle in a haystack."Those few contaminated eggs that come out of a hen usually contain a very low levels of bacteria, Keener said, totaling between two and five microorganisms. It takes a level of at least 100 bacteria to make a person sick.But multiplication happens fast if the eggs aren't cooled quickly. And if there's a lapse in cleaning practices or an undetected outbreak among the chickens, the percentage of infected animals -- and tainted eggs -- can also increase rapidly."Salmonella doubles every 20 minutes under ideal conditions," Keener said. "When sitting there for an hour, two could become 32. At two hours, there would be 1,000 organisms. At eight hours, it would be in the range of millions. In one egg. "Rapid chilling to 45 degrees: Keener's group is working on a rapid-cooling technique that uses liquid carbon dioxide to bring eggs down to 45 degrees F within five minutes. At that temperature, salmonella can't multiply. stops growth but does not guarantee that growth will resume once eggs are in the "danger zone" 49°F to 139°F.Salmonella tends to pool in the membrane around an egg's yolk, Keener added. So if you have a sunny-side-up habit, you should probably give it up. For now, consumers can protect themselves by checking for broken eggs before buying cartons at the store, refrigerating eggs promptly and cooking eggs well. For vulnerable groups, such as the very young, the very old those with immune problems, pasteurized eggs are best."