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Steven Blaski

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Everything posted by Steven Blaski

  1. The fuzzy's quick cycle is simply the regular cycle minus the normal 15 minute soak. I use the quick cycle all the time and don't notice much difference except maybe the rice is a little less tender. You can cook every kind of rice, from white to brown, from wild to sticky to risotto . . . plus porridges, grits, polenta, one-dish meals, and on and on. To get the most mileage out of your rice cooker I heartily recommend you get the cookbook I mentioned a couple posts back. Until I got the book I wasn't exploiting a fraction of the rice cooker's great capabilities.
  2. Get the KitchenAid--it handles bread dough better than the Cuisinart. That has been my experience as an owner of both--(I owned the Pro Custom 11 forever until it died last year; I replaced it with the new model KA). A recent Cook's Illustrated equipment test also recommends choosing the KA. CI's top 2 models were the 12-Cup Ultra Wide Mouth Food Processor (model KTA KFP760) and the 12-Cup Food Processor (model KTA KFP750); the Cuisinart Pro Custom 11 came in third. They recommend the KFP750; it performed the same as the 760, but the 750 retails for about $30 less; plus, CI found that a safety feature of the feed tube in the wide mouth 760 model was somewhat cumbersome. The KA is also sexier and comes in cool colors.
  3. I've always been puzzled by the ubiquitous pairing of chocolate & raspberry. I find it jarring. Anyone else agree?
  4. andiesenji - I made your brittle last night, with salted, roasted Virginia peanuts - it was fantastic! Just as good or better than stovetop brittle and WAY easier. Never imagined I could make great peanut brittle in 10 minutes. I used the minimum suggested minutes for microwaving at each step. For the corn syrup I substituted King golden syrup. Thanks for the tip on using golden syrup, and for sharing the recipe.
  5. Thanks, everyone, for your great ideas and links. Looks like rosemary (usually with parm) is the common demoninator.
  6. Checked all the madeleine threads on eG but all the talk is about the usual sweet versions. I'd like to find some recipes for savory madeleines so I can offer up a couple of different kinds for a buffet. Anyone have a favorite recipe to share? ... or a basic formula I could use to adapt for various flavorings? Thanks!
  7. andiesenji--I'd love to see your recipe, if you have time to post it. Thanks. ← Here's a good recipe for microwave peanut brittle from Bon Appetit: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/2122 ← Thanks, cookman!
  8. Thanks, Ling, those all look delicious!
  9. andiesenji--I'd love to see your recipe, if you have time to post it. Thanks.
  10. I always add a half-cup each of coconut and toasted pecans--or macadamia nuts if I have them-- to my banana bread and sub in some wholewheat for the white flour to add texture. But as far as Wendy's banana *cake*--I wouldn't add a thing to it; I made it recently and it was great -- didn't even need a glaze or frosting.
  11. My copy just arrived. I'm impressed. The design is impeccable and well organized (no surprise). The photographs are both useful (clearly showing techniques and step-by-steps) and of course very beautiful. Lots of good practical tips throughout. The recipes are largely spins on the good old American standbys, but there's quite a few international classics as well, such as French macarons, cannelé, dobos torte, financiers, sfogliatele. As theabroma said, the book looks like a good source of inspiration for when you're looking for new takes on the standards.
  12. Speaking of yeast biscuits, I just came across a recipe from John Martin Taylor for Ham Biscuits in which the biscuit (often called Angel's or Bride's biscuits) contains both baking powder and yeast, so it's like a cross between a biscuit and a roll. Seems like that would make a good textured "sandwich" for a bite of salty Virginia ham (sugar-cured Turner Ham is my favorite).
  13. Here's another vote for the Southern Kitchen in New Market. To really experience the place you need to get their "signature" (not a word they would ever use!) dishes: the southern fried chicken and the peanut soup -- oh, and of course the salty country ham (they sell whole hams on the premises, too) with biscuits. And a merengue pie for dessert. I try to make it there at least once a month, preferably on the all-you-can-eat-chicken-wings night. As has been noted, the waitresses are part of the comforting charm.
  14. Steven Blaski

    Making Tamales

    Thanks for the tips, chezcherie!
  15. Steven Blaski

    Making Tamales

    Abra, I just now read your fabulous illustrated tamale-fest from last year. I was wondering if you could share what you came up with for the vegetarian version, for both the dough (butter instead of lard perhaps?) and the filling (you had mentioned you were considering corn and cheese I think). Thank you!
  16. Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook has lots of tasty spiced nut recipes, including one for pecans (that doesn't involve egg whites).
  17. One of my favorite potato pancakes is a very simple boxty (of Irish origins) that combines both mashed and grated potatoes. The recipe--which I've tweaked from the original--is from Lydie Marshall's wonderful book all about the fab spud called "A Passion for Potatoes," which includes a number of potato pancake recipes from around the world. Boxty on the Griddle 1 cup mashed potatoes 3/4 c. finely grated raw potatoes (I use Yukons) 1 scant c. AP flour 3 TB bacon fat 1.5 tsp salt Freshly ground pepper Butter -- for melting on top Combine raw & grated spuds. Gradually beat in flour and 2 TB bacon fat and seasonings. Knead till smooth. If dough gets too dry add in some reserved potato water. Cut dough into 4 pieces and form into 5-inch pancakes. Cut an X on the top of each one. Heat remaining fat in large nonstick skillet. Add boxties and cook for about 15 minutes on each side or till golden brown. Slice boxties into wedges and before serving spread butter over each wedge (the melting butter is essential!).
  18. I was looking at one of these this afternoon at Target. I was intrigued, so when I got home I did some Googling to find any users' reviews: there's a helpful review (mostly negative) at the link below: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/cookw...5243916954.html
  19. Last year Cooks Illustrated tested six models; here's the results: RECOMMENDED Wilton Comfort Grip Cookie Press 2104-4011 (Trigger) $12.99 RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS Williams-Sonoma Cookie Press (Trigger) $24 Wilton Cookie Max Cookie Press (Pump action) $14.99 Kuhn Rikon Clear Barrel Cookie Press and Decorating Set (Trigger) $15.99 NOT RECOMMENDED Mirro Cookie Pastry Set (Twist action plunger) $21.95 Salton Electric Cookie Press (Electric) $24.99
  20. Maybe the problem isn't how you're greasing the pan but how/when you're unmolding the cake? Unmolding delicate cakes immediately may cause them to fall apart. For a bundt pan cake let it cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before unmolding.
  21. Well, there was much tweaking of Ling's Epicurious recipe, which the above is based on, and when I typed up the "summary" version I tried to include eveyone's tweaks, but couldn't include them all, so I sought a compromise here and there. I think what you're referring to is that nightscotsman reduced the oil in the original ingredients list to 1/2 cup. BUT he added two sticks--one cup--of butter. In the original there is no butter at all. So his version contains 1.5 cups of fat (not counting the dairy) and the one I typed up has 1.25--I used the original oil amount but only added in one stick of butter. So if you lower the oil to 1/2 cup, as you suggest, that would bring the total down to just 1 cup of fat. Also note that subbing sour cream for buttermilk is also adding more richness. So I imagine just 1/2 cup oil would probably work. But I'm sticking with the higher fat version myself.
  22. Here's an oatmeal cookie I developed and posted in RecipeGullet; it calls for rolled oats, but I've used a mix of rolled and quick and it works well, too: Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
  23. In an October 2004 edition of the LA Times, a reader asked for the recipe for the brownies the Recchiuti's sell at the San Francisco Ferry Building. This recipe is much simpler than the Quadruple version and makes a smaller batch; it's for a 9-inch square pan. Here are the ingredients: "Recchiuti Fudgy Brownies" servings: 12 to 16 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter 5 ounces top-quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped (such as 100% cacao Valrhona Etienne Guittard Artisan line, or 99% cacao Scharffen Berger) 2 cups sugar 4 eggs 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, sifted 1 cup top-quality semisweet (such as Scharffen Berger 62%) chocolate, cut into chunks (5 ounces) [fold in after brownies are mixed] High-quality cocoa powder [for sprinkling after brownies cool]
  24. Well, that is their omission. All of us Southeners know what gibbles are. You know . . . gibbles. ← I called them "crunchies" as a youngster. Still do.
  25. My favorite Tex-Mex cookbook is by Bill and Cheryl Jamison (they've written many great books, including several on barbecue): The Border Cookbook : Authentic Home Cooking of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico
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