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Everything posted by thecuriousone

  1. thanks to all. I guess I am harkening to a back to a day when there were distinct differences. Where I shop, they stock several cooking mags from different countries. I can pick up monthly editions in Spanish, Italian, polish and English. Last year when I was in turkey, I picked up a few of theirs. The languages are different, but there is a sameness about them that kind of makes me sad. I have thoroughly devoured, "the making of a cook" 2nd edition and I continue to be inspired by Jacque Pepin's "Cuisine economique" as a book that takes castoffs and makes meals. Its getting harder to find cookbooks that do this and I guess I've developed as a cook to the point where I want to explore the, "less is more" concept. I think that the recession has played a part in this also. I've worked with less than perfect ingredients and I've developed a pragmatic sense that might not have occurred if it had not been for the enforced budgetary constraints of 2008-2013, while the recession cant be compared to post ww2, there is something about those books that speaks to me now. thanks again to all.
  2. While its not solely ragu, you should spend a weekend with Lynn Rossetto Kaspers, "the splendid table". There is a whole chapter on ragu recipes that date back to the 1500's. Do try the ragu of giblets. its 3 days work, but you will be blown away when you taste it. To me, Its a little late in the season to start cooking from this book as most of the recipes are winter "stick to your ribs" food. but if you are looking for ragu recipes, this is the one to give you a lot of ideas. enjoy it, I sure have.
  3. Hello everybody- Can anyone suggest cookbooks or monthly cooking magazines from france or Italy that typify cucina povera? It seems that most of the European cooking magazines exported to the us just seem so lush. Cuisine et Vin de France and Sale e Pepe just seems so... abundant. I have looked at "Una cucina in mese". I am sure they are out there, Im just not sure where to start finding them. I suspect that they are out there and are were published in the 10 years after ww2. Can anyone suggest cookbooks that typify what Im looking for or monthly magazines that are currently published but speak to the regular home cook in either france or italy? Thanks so much for any assistance or suggestions you can offer.
  4. ...Thanks so much for educating me today. Off to Ikea for a scale.
  5. Thanks so much. When I read the recipe, I thought socca, something I have heard of often but never tasted or seen made. The picture looks like a thickened pancake with leeks and Roquefort on top. I was thinking the consistency of injera batter and this batter was much thinner than that. My result was inedible. I left it in a 375 oven for 3 times the required time and while the edges and bottom turned a lovely crisp brown, the center was yuk. An unfortunate waste of good cheese, but you live and learn. It was a wonderful holiday exercise and the only recipe out of the 8 I tried out of that issue to not have a good result. Can you suggest a reliable conversion table when following European cooking mags in US. kitchens? Making the conversion isn't the issue, im just not sure some times how many conversions to make. for example, Am I converting from uk metrics to uk cups to us cups? I usually get a good sense of the recipe, but as with most things, the devil is in the details. Thanks to all and happy new year.
  6. Hello Everyone- I've spent most of this holiday cooking out of a couple of issues of sale e pepe that I got. I'm relying on Google translate to do the heavy lifting and give me a sense of how the recipe goes together. I am working with a recipe called, "cecina con porri e gorgonzola". My issue is the "batter". I've have checked my conversions 3 times and the ratio is 7/8 of a cup of chickpea flour to 2 cups of water. This makes a slurry, not a batter as I understand it. The recipe required that I let the solution sit for 4 hours and I did. Is it supposed to be this thin or is there a better ratio of water to flour I should be using? The recipe requires I put it in the oven for 20 min to firm in, that is where it is now. It seems to be firming up. Are there just differences when working with chickpea flour from working with wheat flour. Thanks for any hints that can help me and have a wonderful new year all.
  7. Hello everyone and thanks. I am making the torta di riso, a dessert on p. 95 of the november issue. I have aborio and carnaroli in the house, so if I'm understanding you, originario throws off more starch that these? wow. OK. I guess I will go out in pursuit of. If I cant find it, arborio is my stand in. thanks for the input. and have a great holiday.
  8. Hello Everyone- I'm cooking out of the November issue of Sale e Pepe. can someone clarify "riso originale"? I live near a large Italian neighborhood so I'm sure I can find it, I'm just a little confused about what to ask for. Also, I understand that there are US ounces and UK ounces. what is the difference? If anyone can suggest a reliable list of Italian cooking terms and where I can find such, I would appreciate it. Thanks and have a wonderful holiday
  9. thanks for the info. Im using whole saffron and may just steep it in a couple of tbsp. of hot water and add it to my slightly undercooked pasta when its done and still warm. Ill try it on a small section before I do the whole batch. The last thing I want is day-glo pasta. Even though it may taste fantastic...the first thing you eat with is your eyes............
  10. thanks to all. I'm getting the feeling that this isn't the recipe to use the imported saffron I so carefully shepherded back from vacation. I had put this recipe aside some time ago because the mix of flavors seemed interesting, but my pasta making skills are erratic. Sometimes the results are wonderful, sometimes not. On another note, in one of the responses a distinction was made between steeping the saffron in "liquid" vs. "oil". I thought oil was always the carrier of flavor? Is saffron an exception to that rule? more importantly, doesn't pourable oil contribute to the amount of "liquid" in a recipe? My reasoning in steeping the saffron in the oil was not to increase the amount of liquid in the recipe. thanks. 
  11. Hello everyone- There is a recipe for saffron tagliolini with pistachio pesto from La Cucina Italiana. The recipe requires that I make the pasta and include the saffron in the pasta dough. I would like to use premade pasta and was wondering what options I had to include the saffron component. the recipe calls for 1/8 of a tsp. My thought was to warm the olive oil for the pesto and steep the saffron in that. Let it cool, strain it and then make the pesto. Is there another way I should consider? Thanks for any help you can offer.
  12. Thanks so much. I was moving in that direction. The plan I had come up with was to cut into the radius at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o;clock and just kind of rock the boning knife against the bones. At least I know I am on he right track.
  13. Hello All- I often purchase lamb necks and they usually come in 1 inch slices. Well..............I went to the slaughterhouse this time and purchased three and each was 5 -6 inches tall. I'm not quite sure how to approach it. I'm just creating chopped meat for some merguez patties so it doesn't have to be pretty, but I have NO idea of what to do first. I'm sure all of the butchers are laughing at me, but any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
  14. To everyone, thank you! this is what the list currently looks like: Largest tin of salt cured anchovies I can fit into the luggage Ditto to above for salt cured capers Basalmic - Im sure that there is a working class "special occasion basalmic" that I can afford a goodly amount of to bring back. I will start my search at Billa but have a list published by the guardian of their 10 best alimentari.in Rome to check out also. Vin santo Hassouni- You are my new best friend. Can I use the spellings you put in this post? Will they know what I am talking about or should I spend some time with google translate? I would be interested in the following things you mentioned: sargol- how will I know sargol or is my only option to ask the vendor? isot- is this spelling anglicized?, if so, how is it written in turkish? domates salçası or biber salçası, ceviz sucuğu,-Is this typically sealed or air dried? Should I look for it air drying in the market or bagged? Tiryaki Çayı-I would love to get some of this.............but is it called anything else that has less of a probability of getting me in trouble if I am mis-understood? Remember, I don't know Turkish for, "No, No take the handcuffs off!! you misunderstood!!!"(Im old enough to remember midnight express, so im just being careful) Your link to the spice vendor (Lezzeri?) no longer exists, error code 404 http://www.lezzetspi...ts/isot-pepper You made a reference to the, :Mısır Çarşısı, is this a vendor in the spice bazaar? I will also be going to Izmir, are my best options in Istanbul? LOS- if its any consolation, my husband and I had the same experience at CDG many years ago. My husband was trying to figure out he he was going to explain to my family that I had snapped on security personel over some cheese......................It made perfect sense to me. I have a weak spot for acetic agents that I have never seen before and have been known to bring back vinegars just because I have never seen then before. Is there anything that I should be on the lookout for? An example would be something called Melfor, that I found in a supermarket in Brittany. It was in the vinegar section of the supermarket and made it home with me. Im still not sure what its made of. all I can say is that my husband always uses it in his "special" vinaigrette. Thanks again for all of the comments and please post more if something else comes to mind!
  15. Hi Everybody- I'm traveling to Italy, Greece and turkey. while i fully plan to see every ruin I can, I am also preparing for my real passion. The pantry. I have already prepared my second suitcase with tons of bubble wrap, and copied every page of the customs documentation on what is allowed. By the question though is what should I focus on to bring back. I have gone abroad enough times to pick all of the low handing fruit. Its simple to find good dijon, good balsalmic (although expensive) and other things here. What I am looking for meets the following two criteria: 1.never makes it out of the county so if you dont get it there, you will never taste it. 2. would cost your right arm IF you could find it in the states. So far, the list has one thing. Saffron and lots of it. I keep hearing about amazing pistachios. I hope to find a level of balsamic that I could not afford at home. What is the one spice I should not leave the grand Bazaar without? I am looking forward to whatever you propose. any brand suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I will also be on the lookout used cooking magazines and saute pans. any ideas of where to find good, used equipment would also be really appreciated. thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  16. Hello- I am interested in the idea of cucina povera or cuisine misere. I keep reading about residents of France and Italy who respond when asked about eating food in the us. immediately speak of how the food at home is more, "straightforward and unadorned". I was flipping through the italian cookbook, :LaCucina and it seemed to speak to this in its recipes, but I wondered if there were the equivalent of, "church fund-raiser/social organization cookbooks" published in Europe? I am assuming that I would find them at flea markets. At one time I had an old copy of Tante Marie's cookbook but didn't see a lot of differences between it and what some more current French cookbooks offer. I have a copy of Jacques Pepin's, "Cuisine Economique" and even though I have had it for years, I find myself coming back to it again and again i am always amazed at how lean the recipes are and how good the food tastes. I have started looking for the european equivalent of "war cookbooks" published during or just after WW2 Can anyone suggest other cookbooks I might want to look at? . thanks
  17. Hello all- I am a home cook that has made the commitment to move the food i cook for those i love in a healthier direction this year. I need some help adapting a recipe. I make the Short-rib recipe in Smoke and spice p. 120 for people i care for. They love it, i love cooking it for them. how can I make it healthier but still robust? here are my questions: 1. What cut of beef can I use instead of short ribs to reduce the fact content but keep the flavor? Brisket? Well trimmed beef shank? beef shoulder? skirt steak? If you could rank these in terms of calorie content i would appreciate it. 2. Am i deceiving myself when I put food in the refrigerator and skim the fat off the next day? I know that it works for stock, but that is pretty straightforward. Does it really work for a slow cooked dish or am i less than honest when i say that you can scrape the fat off and be left with good flavor and few calories? 3. is there a layperson nutritional site where I can go and play with calorie counts/ For example, i have an idea for substituting mayo with highly seasoned yogurt that I have added a tsp of oil. How much fat am I cutting out? 4. I'm trying to sneak calories out first because if Im honest, the portion control issue is going to be a fight. Can anyone give me an opinion who whether the "big flavor, small portions' concept really works or just sounds. good? thanks for any insight.
  18. HI All- I am making the stuffed breast of veal recipe in the december, 2011 BA and in reading the re cipe, it uses white bread for the stuffing. This veal breast is seared and then braised in liquid for 3 hours. It seems like the stuffing would be really wet and heavy. Are there veggies that can be substituted in this stuffing that might make it lighter than the bread? I was thinking maybe sauteing some squash, shredding it and mixing it in as a portion of the bread. any other ideas would be appreciated. Thanks,
  19. Hello Everyone- I wanted to pickle some cornichons. I plan to use Madeline Kamman's recipe from the making of a cook 2nd edition p. 315. I've found small pickling cukes in the market. These cukes are 3 inches long an 3/4 of an inch wide. Should I process them whole or cut them in quarters before packing them in mason jars?? If I cut them in quarters to get them to size, will I forfeit texture? Thanks so much for any guidance on this one.
  20. Hello all- My mom has been put on a vitamin K restricted diet and I'm finding it pretty hard to cook for. Of all the things I think I could deal with eliminating, the idea of cutting out the crunch of fresh greens really gives me pause. From what she tells me she can have a small amount of iceberg and nothing else. At any rate, I have a composed salad recipe that I am cooking and sending to her. The recipe calls for crisp greens, I wanted to substitute red cabbage or radicchio or jicama (even though it has not color and isnt pretty). My solution was to purchase a little red cabbage and blanch it untill it was just soft. My questions are: 1. could I have made a more inspired choice? 2. Would red kale have been OK? Thanks for any observations, I could use all the suggestions I can get my hands on. p.s. the components of the salad are lettuce, red onion, feta, orzo, oregano, basil, tomato,cucumber, oil and vinegar dressing. I am substituting the blanched cabbage for the lettuce.
  21. Hello all- Is anyone aware of an online nutrition calculator that home cooks can use? I would like to enter all of my ingredients and get the nutrition information for the dish I am cooking. More importantly, I would like to be able to play with the amounts of ingredients in order to serve a healthier dish. For example, cutting the butter in 1/2 for sauteing onions may make a minimal change in taste, but a substantial change in calories. It could mean the difference between someone being able to have a serving of something they really miss or not. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  22. Short- Rib update! They seem to be coming along just fine. I opened up the foil and they have that limpid texture. It appears that the connective fibers are breaking down. There was very little resistance when I cut the meat, but the grain was still intact Because I checked at 1:30 I'm amticipating another 3 hours (plus 1 hour if necessary). The stove is set at 225. Thanks
  23. Hi All- Thanks so much for the response. I didnt mention that these are thick short ribs. cut 2 inches across the bone. Each is two inches thick and 6 inches long. (Hey, its christmas, I can splurge) Hopefully, it doesnt make a difference, its all about the temps. Take care and have a great holiday.
  24. HI All- I need some help with a short rib recipe that I have had to make changes in. I usually smoke these over a wood fire for 10 hours at 200 degrees. Well, the place Im cooking them does not have a smoker and I have to cook them in the oven. I have a couple of plans but would really appreciate some help. plan A (the one I am currently executing) I sealed the short ribs in foil at 8 a.m. at 225 degrees. I will check at 3 p.m.and if they are tender and juicy, I will put them under the broiler for 20 minutes to crisp up the tops and then slather with sauce. plan B- Do the above and check them at 3 p.m. If they are not tender and juicy, toss them in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes, then put them back in the oven to crisp the tops and slather with sauce. It is vitally important to me that the connective tissue have broken down and these ribs have that "melting moist" texture. Any suggestions to ensure that would be appreciated. Thanks and have a good holiday.
  25. Hello all- Could anyone tell me where in the US they have seen a copy of Le Fooding Guide 2010 for sale? I would like to purchase a copy but cant seem to find one for sale. Thanks
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