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Catherine Iino

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Everything posted by Catherine Iino

  1. Thank you, Hiroyuki. This is like uncovering a culinary Kantian category: little pancake spheres. I think the depressions in the aebiskever pan are a bit larger than the ones in the takoyaki griddle, but it should work fine, I think. I'll let you know.
  2. Could someone explain, for the uninitiated, what takoyaki are? What is the batter, normally? They look a whole lot like eibeskivers (I have no idea what the correct spelling is), the spherical Danish pancake, which is, in fact, often filled with sweet fillings. There could be some interesting cross-cultural uses for the pans.
  3. The old New York Times Bread and Soup cookbook had the following recipe for "Mexican Oatmeal Soup." Why--how--Mexican, I can't say, but it was marked as one of the most requested recipes, so I tried it and loved it. I have to say, my husband never could get past the idea of oatmeal soup, so I haven't made this in ages. I think I probably cut down on the butter when I made it, and I am sure I used canned tomatoes. I would probably add some jalapeno pepper if I made it now. Mexican Oatmeal Soup 1 1/3 cups rolled oats 8 tbsp. butter 1 large onion, chopped 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped or crushed 2 large tomatoes, chopped 6 cups chicken broth salt Toast the oats in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the oats are lightly browned. Remove the oats from the skillet. Add butter to skillet; sweat the onion and garlic. Add the oats; stir to coat with butter and saute them a little. Then add tomatoes and broth. Simmer about 10 minutes over medium heat. Salt to taste.
  4. May I ask, Peter, are you using natural gas or propane? This range sounds interesting, but when retrofitted to propane, a lot of ranges lose substantial BTU output. From the company's description, it sounds like this might not be the case with the Premier, but I can't tell for sure.
  5. Still, that was quite an amusing rant, Busboy. I truly did laugh out loud (though I wouldn't be caught dead abbreviating it).
  6. Catherine Iino

    Sirloin tips

    Made a beef stroganoff with the rest--essentially PCL's suggestion, with mushrooms and some well-drained yogurt. Actually, I was going to do fajitas but had no limes. Brief cooking over very high heat and then a very quick braise seems to work fine. I did learn something from my personal sirloin tip mini-seminar. I've never mastered the browning of cubed meat, even with heeding the admonitions to get the pan really hot, make sure the meat is really dry, allow space around the individual pieces, and so on. What I discovered is that using an adequate amount of oil makes a big difference. My tendency had been to use as little as possible, usually less than recipes call for, because the heaed oil seemed to coat the pan just fine. Last night I put in a good solid couple of tablespoons in each pan, divided the meat, and watched the pieces brown beautifully and quickly. Duplicated the results tonight. I'm thrilled!
  7. Another thing that works well is an Exacto knife, with the basic #11 blade. It's so pointy that there is nothing to catch the dough with.
  8. Catherine Iino

    Sirloin tips

    Thank you both; I'm sure grilling would work well. Today in Rhode Island, however, grilling was not an option. I ended up making Shaking Beef, using the Slanted Door Recipe that's on the web (obviously, replacing the filet mignon called for with the sirloin tips). Wondeful! I strongly suspect that the sirloin tips were actually an improvement; they had a really nice flavor and a bit of texture. I have a few left; I'm thinking maybe fajitas tomorrow.
  9. My local upscale grocery store just started carrying Brandt aged beef. I had never heard of this brand before. When I looked at what they had today, the sirloin tip steaks actually looked the best-- well marbled, pretty strong grain--and were relatively inexpensive, so I bought a bunch. But I have never cooked this cut before. Any suggestions for how to cook it? I had been thinking of a braise, but when I got home and started researching, I discovered it's not supposed to be a good cut for braising. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
  10. Melissa's childhood was quite a bit more recent than my childhood. I would definitely try ersatz Shrinky Dink idea if Dannon had not stopped using the plastic lids. Also, Melissa, my clementine crates all seem to be made from some sort of very thin plywood, so I worry about putting them in the woodstove. But plastic jugs of OJ it is; thanks, Fifi. And Brian, one of the few Erma Bombeck columns I ever read was a hilarious riff on how America's greatest achievement was nonremovable labels. That was obviously a while ago--before nine-tenths of the stuff the labels were affixed to was imported from China.
  11. Ah, caraway--I wouldn't have guessed. Definitely not cumin. Thanks so much.
  12. Excuse me, may I tag on a question here? A friend from Lebanon brought me some wonderful herbs and spices, in clear triangular boxes, from a store called Goody's. They are labeled in English and Arabic, which I don't read or speak. I can identify most of them, but I was wondering if you could help me with a couple: Carvi, and Sweet Pepper. I think sweet pepper might be allspice, but I'm not sure. Thank you all in advance.
  13. Thanks for the suggestions. I have used the crates as gift boxes--not quite as nicely done up as Martha's--but we have eaten a LOT of clementines, and I guess I don't have that many friends. I do need kindling rather desperately; why didn't I think of that? But what is a shrinky dink? Fifi--Is it better, environmentally speaking, to buy orange juice in wax cartons or plastic jugs?
  14. Early signs that I was a foody: 1) I really did think the line was "Sleep in heavenly peas." 2) I pronounced mausoleum as if it were a table spread, with the accent on the o. 3) There was a corner store/deli in our neighborhood called "Tak-Ome" foods (at least I think that's how the name was written; that was a long time ago.) I thought it was a Japanese food store, couldn't figure out why there was no Japanese food.
  15. Triscuits are the best. And not so guilty a pleasure, I think: maybe a little too much fat and salt, but all whole grain, and even for a foodie, it's the meal (sometimes, yes) you cannot make at home.
  16. Ah, yes, those nonrecyclable yogurt containers are a problem. I can't stand to throw them away, so I save them and store stuff in them and freeze stock in them, etc.--but I have way too many, even though I've started making my own yogurt. Does anyone have some esoteric use for them? Also, the little wooden crates from clementines? I actually do have one good idea for those: When I'm starting seedlings indoors, I stack the crates upside down to keep the little plants about 4" from the light, then remove the crates as the plants get bigger. A very low-tech plant-starting system. But I have too crates now even for that purpose. Help!
  17. It did come out just fine, thanks. By the way, since it was cool by the time I served it, I did it up my favorite way: cut wedges, sliced the wedges in half horizontally, buttered the non-crust sides lightly, and grilled them on a griddle until they were lightly browned and crisp. Extra crust, mmmm.
  18. Oops, Moroccan, yes, I knew that. I actually think the big ones look really impressive. Anyway, sounds like fish is it for this year.
  19. John Thorne's lemon ice cream. Sorry I don't have the recipe with me, but it's just cream, sugar, and lemon juice and zest. I think several other cookbooks have it, too, with some variations in ratios. So delicious.
  20. Thank you, fifi, for that really quick reply. Now I know what to do when the bread comes out in about 7 minutes.
  21. Andie, May I bump this thread to ask you a couple of questions: I am just making your cornbread--it's in the oven now--and I ended up added quite a bit more buttermilk than you called for to get the texture to resemble yours. Do you think this might be because I didn't grind my own corn (I did mine my own baking soda) (just kidding), and so the cornmeal may be drier than yours? I am using Jonnycake meal, so another possibility is that that kind of corn is drier than yours. Just wondering if you have any thoughts. A more crucial question: we won't be able to eat the cornbread for a couple of hours after it comes out of the oven. Do you think I should take it out of the pan or leave it in? Sometimes things go a little funky in cast iron. Thank you for the great demo. We will be eating the cornbread with chile this evening.
  22. Interesting, but the catalog description is a little bizarre. How would you make a lasagna in it? Even a pot pie seems like a stretch. And what's with this: "Capacity equivalent to 9" x 9" pan, but will fit most 9" x 13"-pan recipes."
  23. Hi-- The suggestions about cornish hens brought to mind B'stilla, the Persian pigeon pie in phyllo dough. Big wow, but little last minute fussing. By the way, I agree with something you said last year, about one big dessert being more impressive than individually plated ones. Especially for birthday parties--even if you don't do candles--and because it's something you don't usually see in a restaurant. Home cooking is its own virtue. Have a great meal.
  24. Catherine Iino


    The best yam/sweet potato recipe I know is a sweet potatoes anna, thin slices of sweet potatoes layered with thinly sliced leeks, butter, thyme, salt, and pepper, baked until tender. You can weight it down and unmold it, but I usually don't. I just serve it from the dish. People who don't like sweet potatoes love this.
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