Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by fooey

  1. Mushroom Tarragon Chicken from the Nero Wolfe Cookbook, to say nothing of the scrambled eggs a in double boiler that uses more heavy creme and butter than should be legal.
  2. I don't have room in my kitchen for this bread slicer, so help me find a solution. It can be anything from a manual solution (something with a bread knife guide, for example) all the way up. Bonus cookies awarded for solutions that have safety features. If you don't use a machine, any unique ideas to safely get uniform slices are welcomed.
  3. Cake shall not be blue. It is axiomatic. Reminds me of the radioactive green key lime pies at Costco. They recently changed to neon orange! I fear them. I intentionally walk around and away from them, much preferring the smell of ammonia in the fertilizer aisle.
  4. That's what I did recently, after slkinsey browbeat me into a temporary submission. It worked OK. On second thought, I guess I used a very small amount to get it going and then a few builds, but never really brought it to the volume Nancy recommends for maintenance. Ditto for the rye starter, which worked well too, albeit much faster. Note: Be careful with the rye starter. It grows fast and high (because it's so sticky, sticky like glue). Be sure to build it in a big container if you're making the volume called for in some of the recipes, or it will spill over. I'm on the fence about using small amounts of starter. It works, but it's not better, in my opinion. I think it makes good bread, consistently good bread, in fact, but not great bread. When I follow Nancy's voluminous method to the letter, I make great bread. I don't know why. The only assumption I have is that there's more playground for the bacteria and yeastie beasites to make their deliciousness. I will continue to using both methods.
  5. A note on Cafe Besalu: It's quite a drive to get to Ballard from downtown, but it's worth the time. It's just a café, nothing special about the ambience, but the pastry is as good or better than Le Panier, which I prefer because they have more traditionally French offerings. Get there as early as you can, because if it's as popular as it once was, the croissants will be gone by 8:30am. I think they limit how many croissants, etc. each person can have so later patrons don't mope, but who knows if/how that works. It's rather hard to find because the trees block the sign (looks like they cut them, so it may be easier to find now). I usually look for the sidewalk sign. Right next door is the Tall Grass Bakery. They make truly excellent artisan breads, by hand. Grab a loaf.
  6. Marcel Desaulniers might work this way. I've noticed that a lot of his recipes have, for lack of a better word, metric-osity to them. When it comes time to portion cake batter into two pans, it always seems that the batter weight is exactly 2000 grams (1000 in each pan), three pans, 3000 grams (again, 1000 in each pan), etc. I really like that about his books, but then he's nothing if not extremely precise. That said, his recipes never fail if you follow them as written.
  7. re: Silpats, Waring blender, and other silicon/plastic items, the warning might be warranted if the damage they're trying to avoid is (not from the water, detergent or spinning blades) from the heating/drying element used by the dishwasher's "heated dry" cycle. That element is basically the same as the element in a conventional electric oven, although I don't know how hot it gets. Hot enough to vaporize water, for sure... I know the silicon oven mitts can withstand 600 F+, but I don't know the upper range for silpats. I wonder if the heating element would melt a Silpat if they touched. I know the heating element will warp/damage some plastic, like the OXO Salad Spinner. The dishwasher once turned my round salad spinner bowl into an oval one. That's was rather neat!
  8. fooey

    Reputation Makers

    This cornbread is awesome. You should bake more often. The amount of sugar gave me pause: I spooned sugar into the mixing bowl; not enough said the scale; added more sugar; still not enough; checked the recipe to make sure I hadn't gone insane; no, not insane; more sugar!; rechecked recipe again to make sure I didn't forget to .5 the sugar (I halved the recipe); nope, math is right; done. And you know what: it's the perfect amount, not too much, not too little. I didn't have corn oil, so I used melted, unsalted butter instead. I also didn't have 9" x 13" pans, so I used two bread pans (8 1/2" x 4 1/2"), buttered to prevent sticking, so butter in and butter around the bread. [Note: we need to start a thread on standardizing cookware sizes too. Try to figure out what the dimension are on pans with slanted sides! Do I measure the top? Do I measure the bottom?] For cornmeal, I used Organic Medium Grind Cornmeal from Bob's Red Mill. Very tasty, but not cheap. Has Bob's Redmill increased a lot in price recently, or am I misremembering? I'll have some with red beans and andouille tonight and for breakfast with milk tomorrow. Grandma made a hearty breakfast of cornbread and milk. It's unusual, but yum: warm some cornbread, microwave will do, break pieces into a bowl, pour cold milk over it, eat. There's a French name for it that sounds like "koooos koooos", but I don't know the actual word. It has an interesting "hot, cold, sweet, savory all-at-the-same-time" aspect to it that's rather neat. Thanks, it's a keeper.
  9. fooey

    Reputation Makers

    A cookbook that might meet the Reputation Maker bar is Caren McSherry's More than Salt and Pepper. Caesar salad? I go to this book. Hummus? This book. Margarita? This book. [Dammit, now I want a margarita!]
  10. fooey

    Reputation Makers

    I agree with poster who said that our reputation is often made by dishes we don't particularly love or want to make. For me, it's gumbo. When people learn I'm Acadian, a request for gumbo (or jambalaya) isn't far behind. I think the reason I keep my heritage to myself is to avoid having to make gumbo for yet another person or group. It's not that I don't love gumbo. I do; but, I've spent a lifetime learning to make so much else. I could make gumbo in my sleep.
  11. That's true for cooking, but for baking, it's a recipe for failure. I forget who said it, Rhulman maybe, but for baking at least, it holds: "Use the scale or you will fail."
  12. Ja, that works if you're adding to the bowl (or have the foresight to write down the final weight as you're making the dough**). I wish I had that foresight. Not only for dough and bowl, but how many times do you have a cake recipe that says something like, "Pour batter equally into two prepared 9" cake pans..." and you have a panic. EQUALLY!? You can get close to "equally" (just eyeball it), but the result is usually a four layer cake with layer heights that are .20, .20, .30, .30. If you know the bowl weight, however, it's easy to figure out there's 1000 g of batter in that 2500 g bowl (scale reports 3500 g total weight), so each pan gets 500 g batter and the layers turn out .25, .25, .25., and .25. **Is problematic at this point for a number of reasons, esp. with dough, because you have to adjust afterwards (while mixing) (i.e. add water, add flour), which increases the original measure. If there's residual dough in bowl or on hook, etc., that decreases the original measure. That's why I like to measure after bulk fermentation. If I know the weight of the bowl, it's simple subtraction / division.
  13. Yes, after mixing; or, more usually, after bulk fermentation, but before shaping. I use tare when adding ingredients, but when portioning whatever I've made (the final product, usually dough), it's hard to know how much is in the bowl if the weight of the bowl is unknown. And, if making 6 loaves, I can't do 1/6 portions, for example, if I don't know what the 1/1 (the whole) weighs. I know my Kitchenaid 6qt bowl weighs 1024 g and the bowl with stuff in it weighs 2048 g, then I know there's 1024 g of stuff in the bowl, so 1/1 = 1024, 1/6 = ~171 g.
  14. Tare yes, but doesn't do less than zero. Am I missing your point or something obvious?
  15. Thread tangent, but one thing I've found to be incredibly useful is to label (with my Brother P-touch label thingy) each of the bowls or containers I use regularly with their weights (in grams). When I have a bowl with dough in it (or some other yummy), and I need to portion (say 6 loaves), it's easy to: Bowl with dough = 7542 g Bowl without dough (check the P-touch label) = 3175 g Dough = (7542 g - 3175 g) = 4267 g 6 loaves = (4267 g / 6) = 711 g each
  16. I have two of them, both not cheap, and both do all of those conversions, but... For ounces, they both do the 17 oz --> 1 lb. 1 oz. switchover. For fluid ounces, they don't; both show 17, 18, 43, etc., so there must be some reason behind it. I'll email the manufacturer for their opinion and post back on response.
  17. I'm with you on that. Short of my sister's children, there's not much I won't put in the dishwasher, not that I'm not tempted. Good knives? Yup, dishwasher! Expensive All-Clad "do not put in dishwasher" Masterchefs? Yup, dishwasher! (and after 10 years, not one single problem). I've even put kitchen electrics in the dishwasher, but I know to let them dry completely before plugging them in. (Caveat emptor: don't sue me if you try this!) Cast iron is the only exception I can think of, but that's because the last time I put the 12" Lodge in the dishwasher, I forgot is was in there. By the time I remembered, it was badly rusted and required re-seasoning, adding another notch to my "cast iron really ain't that great!" belt.
  18. Agreed, metric weight. That would be lovely.
  19. Hulu has a Modern Marvels episode on tea. I enjoyed it, maybe you will too. "The Modern Marvel episode about Tea features a visit to one of the largest tea-bagging factories in the world, the Lipton's plant in Suffolk, VA. Here, an astonishing million teabags an hour - 24 million a day since the operation is 24/7." Don't be put off by the Lipton-centric description. It covers a lot of ground besides and it well worth 45 minutes. They even talk about Puer-erh.
  20. Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Cake Bible and The Pie & Pastry Bible do. I don't own her others, but they might too. Lots of the bread books I own, like Dan Lepard's The Art of Handmade Bread and Nancy Silveton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery.
  21. I love this book something fierce. Three of my favorite meat/seafood recipes are the Fisherman's Shrimp with Chinese Chives ("Yu Jia Chao Xia Qiu"), p. 177, [you'll hang me for this one, but it's a more authentic version of] General Tso's Chicken (Changsha version)("Zuo Zong Tang Ji"), p. 122, and Beef with Cumin ("Zi Ran Niu Rou"), p. 102. Once you figure out the salted chilis (I use the small, Thai ones, which are plenty hot), try the Stir-Fried Chinese Leaf Cabbage with Chopped Salted Chilis ("Duo jiao chao ya bai"), p. 216. Whenever I have leftover cabbage, this recipe makes lunch.
  22. Those against scales have some valid issues, two being: 1. Most people dislike math, even basic math like "1 lb = 16 oz". 2. There's no publication standard or scale readout standard. If the cookbook is kind enough to give me weight (43 oz bread flour), but my scale readout at after (16 oz), let's say (17 oz), changes to (1 lb 1 oz), suddenly, there's math! Easy enough, right? Divide 43 by 16 (note that I know the conversion where most won't) to get 2.6875 pounds. Yay, that was easy, right? So back to the scale I go... OH DAMN! My scale doesn't do decimal! It does (1 lb 1 oz) or (1 lb 1 5/8 oz). So what is the fraction for .6875?! You see where I'm going with this... I love math; I live in it day to day for work; but, this annoys even me. It doesn't mean I'll ever go back to volumetric, but I can understand why so many are against scales. We won't get scales until we get standards for print publications and scale readouts, because without them, there's math. There's also the problem with affordable scales being unreliable for very small measures (1 gram yeast, anyone try that one on their Salter 5065?) Really big applause to the cookbook authors that print several variations.
  23. That was a typo, sorry. I corrected the original post to say: "I did 170 F for 3 minutes and it was great, so maybe I'll risk the off boil." I'm not crazy enough to try for 4 minutes, though. So what do you think? 2 minutes at 195 F?
  24. We need one big name chef to publish a book that does not use volumetric units. It'll never happen, but here's hoping! -- There used to be a very detailed (baking) resource online that gave weights for US volumetric measures. It had all the sugars, flours, eggs, etc. It's gone now. Anyone have a replacement? I'm finding Wolfram Alpha to be an OK solution, as it understands queries like 1 cup of brown sugar = 202 g. I compare the results with the nutrition info on the package and it's usually very close to exact.
  25. Macrina still makes the best bread in the city (fax me a Giuseppe Loaf, please), although the competition is getting closer. Wake up for? Probably not. Have Sunday brunch at Cafe Campagne if Rover's isn't doing brunch. (I don't see it listed on the web site, but a friend assures me they still do. There's a brunch entrée on the menu that has a slice of brioche topped with ham and a poached egg, but sauced with something miraculous. I can't recommend it enough. I think it's the first entrée listed. Also, their frites are second to none, so get a side order. Also try Le Panier's Tarte Belle Helene and a macaroon or three while you're in the market. Delaurenti's is a favorite food and wine shop. I've had great and not so great Malay Satay Hut. Try the black pepper pork chops if they have them. Pagliacci's makes good pizza, but it's nothing to write home about and is overpriced. Delancey's sounds interesting. I shall try it. I enjoyed Lola's the one time I went. The coconut pie everyone raves around deserves its kudos. Careful with the wine list, though; it's dangerous (as in huge% markup). I wouldn't recommend Matt's. Maybe it was an off day, but I almost walked out. They served me guinea hen when I asked them to bring me one of their most popular entrées that would go with the Pinot I was drinking. Guinea hen and grits?! Who eats guinea hen?! It's tasteless and greasier than the greasiest duck. I almost picked it up with my fork and waved it around the dining room in invitation, "Chicken thigh, anyone? Anyone?! Thought not!"
  • Create New...