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Catherine Iino

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Everything posted by Catherine Iino

  1. I'm puzzled about the silpat insulating/slowing down the baking. I've had the opposite experience--the bottoms of cookies baked on silpat seem to me to brown faster than those baked directly on the sheet. I had been wondering whether heat didn't get trapped or build up between the mat and the baking sheet. Not a professional, by the way; mine is just a home kitchen.
  2. Tzadziki: Drain the yogurt until thick; grate, salt, and drain a seeded cucumber (and squeeze out as much liquid as possible; put a clove of garlic through a garlic press; mix together. Let sit for a few hours, refrigerated. Serve with pita. We live on this all summer. Smoothies: can't beat yogurt, orange juice, berries (fresh or frozen), banana (fresh or frozen), all whirled in a blender. We live on these all summer, too. Lemon frozen yogurt: Drain the yogurt until thick. For 1 quart (predrained quantity), stir in 1/4 cup light corn syrup, 3/8 cup sugar, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp grated lemon zest. Freeze in an ice cream maker. Use the whey from drained yogurt in quick breads (muffins, pancakes, whatever) in place of milk. This makes for very tender baked goods.
  3. Let me add my thanks to those already posted. The two Matts were so unaffected, relaxed, and generous, they could between the two of them change the stereotype of chefs. Terrific day all around. I am once again impressed by what good community Egullet is.
  4. I'm curious about the "peasoup." From your description, it sounds like it has a texture like polenta rather than being a liquid--albeit a thick one--as it is here. Is that right? Do you slice it to eat it? How is it prepared? (I don't think it is sold in the Ikea in New Haven.)
  5. Interesting about the Jannson's temptation. I've seen recipes for that all my life, but I always imagined it with the kind of anchovies I'm used to--the salty, fermented ones. I haven't made it, but that sounded good to me. I can't quite imagine it with these sprats. I guess I'll have to experiment. I tend to be more interested in ingredients, or things I can use as ingredients, than in prepared foods, but I do like the little rusks Ikea sells in bags. Now I'll have to try the mustards and the caviar.
  6. I was poking around the food section at Ikea the other day and came across some interesting products I hadn't seen there before, such as 1) Dark Baking Syrup--"Mork Sirap" (with an umlaut over the o in Mork). Says it's "from sugar beets" and is to be used "to bake authentic Swedish Limpa Bread." This seems a little sweeter and less acidic than Grandma's molasses, more flavorful than Karo dark corn syrup. I think it would make a mean pecan pie. 2) Anchovy-style sprats fillets--These are nothing like anchovies, except maybe in size. They are preserved in a sweetish (and Swedish, I suppose) brine. The tin--size and shape like a sardine can--shows the little fish on an open-faced sandwich, but I think that would be terribly salty. I diced some of the sprats and added them to a salad of lettuce, orange segments, and shallots; it was quite tasty and refreshing. 3) Anna's ginger thins--These are sold all over the place, but now they carry the label "Zero transfats," although hydrogenated oils are still listed among the ingredients (not to mention palm oil). I understand that there is a hydrogenation process that produces less transfat than other methods, but I have no idea how unhealthy these cookies are. I would like to use them for crumb crusts, etc. 4) Frozen cooked prawns--I'm looking for information on whether they are environmentally acceptable. They seem to be wild, not farmed, from Norway. I couldn't buy them because I wasn't going home for quite a while and had no way to keep them frozen. There were also some expensive, nice-looking bottles of berry vinegars--Has anyone tried them?--and Swedish pearl sugar.
  7. I'm not sure you should fill the cracks with beeswax or anything else. I'm not sure where you are, but if you are in a cold place with central heating, the cracks will probably close up again in the spring or summer, when the humidity rises. Then I would oil the hell out of the board.
  8. Absolutely. And I'm sympathetic to the chefs, who really don't know what the customer's background is and don't want to play to the lowest common denominator. And, of course, everyone would rather hear praise than criticism.
  9. Yeah, doesn't it bug you when peasant food becomes an exotic luxury? Like paying through the nose for lamb shanks or oxtails.
  10. I had the same experience: I made the felafel recipe on this site somewhere, which uses a combination of chickpeas and fava beans. I soaked and then peeled the favas by hand and vowed not to do that again. But couldn't find the split peeled ones anywhere . . . until I went to Istanbul last month. I actually brought back a half kilo. Sorry not to be of more help. They do look different from the ones in the peel, by the way. They're quite pale, and surprisingly small. But you will know them when you see them. I'll let you know if I track any down in this country.
  11. I went to a lovely wine-tasting dinner last evening at a restaurant in Rhode Island. Two courses--a roasted quail and a braised short rib--were excellent. One course, a lobster risotto, was seriously oversalted and undercooked (actually, the rice was undercooked and the lobster was overcooked). When the chef went from table to table toward the end of the evening, I complimented him on the good courses and mentioned that the risotto needed work. Do chefs want that kind of feedback? Was I impolite? I didn't want to be mean.
  12. That was over the top--almost too many different tastes to savor. (But what would we have forgone? I liked even the turnip cake.) Thanks to Chris yet again. To tie up one loose end in the conversation: "The origin of the name Braintree is obscure. It is believed by some scholars that the name of the River Brain came later, and so was named after the town, rather than the other way round. One theory is that Braintree was originally Branoc's tree, Branoc apparently being an old personal name. Another theory is that the name is derived from that of Rayne, which was actually a more important settlement in Norman times. Braintree was called Branchetreu in the Domesday Book. Other scholars say the "Brain" element in the word is accepted to be derived from "Brid/ Brigantia/ Bride/ Bigit/ Britain". This is the ancient Celtic, and possibly pre-celtic name for the Goddess of the land of Britain. She is the reason the Romans called these islands "Britannia". She was worshipped all across the North of Britain in Roman times. The River Braint in Anglesey is another one of these names. "Tree" comes from the Saxon suffix, more usually spelt "try", denoting a big village." That's from Wikipedia.
  13. Since I recently read this blog, this story caught my ear this evening: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display...twater_farming/ Maybe we'll have a lot of Salicornia in our future!
  14. Thanks, Carolyn. It took me until just a little bit ago--after I posted the query--but it turns out that Sazji himself blogged a year ago. I'm in the process of reading it right now. It's great--and since he was blogging in December, it should answer my question. What would I do without egullet?
  15. Hi, all-- I'm leaving for Istanbul in a couple of days. No longer looking for hotel recommendations, but I wonder if the knowledgeable folks among you could talk about food that we're likely to encounter now, in the middle of winter. Will there be significant differences from food in the other seasons, and is there anything we should look for in particular in this season? Thanks in advance for any insight.
  16. Andie, thank you so much for your quick and, as always, informative answer. Our pigs are much cruder, but the design feels almost like a family heirloom. Interesting about the rice flour. My brother and I had discussed using rice flour, but I use it in bread baking precisely because it doesn't absorb moisture as readily as wheat flour, so I thought it might not absorb the oil either. I suspect the cornstarch in the confectioner's sugar does some of that, so we thought maybe a very small amount of cornstarch might work. Anyway, a million thanks.
  17. Help! After Elk Candies in NYC went out of business a couple of years ago, my brother (a furniture builder by profession, not a confectioner) took it upon himself to make our traditional Christmas marzipan pigs, using almond paste and confectioner's sugar. Last year they were terrific. This year, he's having a problem with almond paste being very oily. Does he just need to add more confectioner's sugar, or is there some other way to deal with this problem? Our whole clan would be grateful for any advice you can give that I could pass on to him.
  18. Like others, I've made--I normally make--pizza with middle-aged dough, never having made it to 9 days. Definitely excellent flavor. The thing is, when I tried making pizza with my sourdough starter, rather than commercial yeast, the results have been awful. Couldn't get a crispy surface, couldn't get any color in the baked crust. The different species of yeast just seem to behave totally differently. So I'm interested to know that your 9-day dough produced a sour but nevertheless crispy, nicely browned crust.
  19. I've been using the vanilla extracts--Tahitian and Madagascar, in vodka--that I started in March for a few months now. I think the flavor has continued to evolve a bit. The Tahitian is distinctly more floral than the Madagascar, and I use the two extracts differently. For example, I would use the Madagascar with chocolate or cinnamon flavors; I think the Tahitian goes nicely with pears. So far, I have left the beans in the vodka. Is there any reason for me to take them out? Will I start to get off flavors or spoilage or anything?
  20. My husband and I will be in Istanbul for a week in January. Can anyone recommend a hotel? My husband will be put up at a very expensive place for several days for a conference; I will be joining him later, but we want to move to a less expensive place. Thanks in advance for any advice. Cathy
  21. Does anyone know if this is any good? http://www.amazon.com/Rick-Bayless-Mezzalu...K1QHQ7736TXKEEK
  22. Thank you, Megan! We have an oyster-centric Thanksgiving, and I will love sharing that quote.
  23. V. gautam, I wish I could taste the honeycrisps you describe. I suppose the moral of your story is "taste before you buy." It sounds as if there are just too many factors of which we usually have no knowledge, much less control.
  24. I used to buy Macouns from a sort of urban farm stand before greenmarkets were a twinkle in the eye of anybody, and they were my favorite apple. That stand went out of business long ago, and I have been so disappointed in the Macouns I have had in the last few years that I stopped buying them. Now I know why!
  25. This morning at about 8:30, after an hour and a half of campaigning outside a local diner in the blustery cold, I ate a honeycrisp. It was sweet and juicy and crisp, and I enjoyed it immensely. Still not as tangy as I would like, but like a hot dog in a ballpark--Go Sox--it was great in context. Interestingly, the woman who runs the farmstand where I bought it agreed with me that honeycrisps are over-rated. She favors Macouns, but allows that they don't keep well at all.
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