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Everything posted by HungryC

  1. Cake? That's what you're gonna get if you use 1/2 cup sugar! It will be coarse, but sweet like cake. Go Salty or Go Home. ROTUS, this is a very standard southern cornbread recipe, nothing special for the toaster oven. I put about 2 tsp Arizona Dreaming into the batter when I'm serving SALTY cornbread with chili, etc. Cornbready things are super flexible--I taught a 3 hr cooking class just on cornbreads a few weeks ago. Cornmeal/maple biscuits, cornbread waffles, faux--corndog mini muffins (make your fav cornbread and poke 1/2" segments of weiner into each one prior to baking)....
  2. 9 x 13 is a standard US size for boxed cake mix...or a scratch recipe designed for two 8" or 9" layers. If you can squeeze in a 9 x 13, you can bake beaucoup desserts, as it's an incredibly common pan size in US dessert recipes. (Second is probably the 8" or 9" square pan, which will fit with ease.) I make cornbread by popping a 9" round Le Creuset braiser (round, shallow, small loop handles) into the oven while it preheats and I mix the batter. A few pats of butter or bacon grease go into the warm skillet, are swirled, then the excess fat is poured into the batter. Batter goes into the hot, greased skillet and it bakes until well browned. Easy as hell, mixed in one bowl, and doesn't heat up the kitchen. Can be done in the time it takes to prep a salad and reheat some soup. I like 2 cups cornmeal to 1/2 cup wheat flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp baking powder, NO SUGAR, 2 eggs, a cup of buttermilk (or soured milk), and season as you like (smoked paprika, corn kernels, grated pepperjack cheese, Penzeys Arizona Dreaming blend, peeled crawfish tails, chopped up fresh jalapenos...but not all together, mind you).
  3. I don't have a fancy pants Smart Oven, I have a regular ol' dumb Black n Decker toaster oven. Cost around $40-$50. I use "regular" recipes. It's a teensy bit too small for a quarter sheet pan, but the pan that came w/the oven is only a shade smaller. It has a rounded bump-out on the back (to accomodate a 12" frozen pizza) which allows me to use round pans with ease. Cast iron skillet cornbread, muffins, biscuits, single cake layers, pound cake, etc all work exactly the same as my "big" oven. I roast veg (on a foil-lined pan), potatoes....and reheat countless things whose texture would be ruined by the microwave. My only mod is to tent the top of loaf cakes w/foil--they're tall and closer to the upper heating element, so they tend to brown a bit too fast.
  4. HungryC

    Pimento Cheese

    I use the jarred roasted red bell peppers--I find that whole peppers have less water & more flavor than the strips/sliced or the (more traditional) diced pimento peppers. A hit of smoked paprika does wonders for 'minner cheez, too, along with two or three drops of Worcestershire sauce or Pickapeppa sauce.
  5. Hank Shaw writes about acorn eating at this time of year: http://honest-food.net/2010/01/14/acorn-pasta-and-the-mechanics-of-eating-acorns/
  6. I have non crystal Bormioli glasses and they're fine (small cordial glasses, etc). In my area, Bormioli is often found at TJ Maxx, Marshall's, and other discount/closeout stores. Odd sizes, different patterns, but deep deep discounts. For sturdier every day glasses, I swear by Duralex Picardie. I have every damn size made, and in years of hard use, only one has broken (cracked in the dishwasher's heat, probably due to a hairline fissure).
  7. Sounds like the problem was related to precooked rotisserie chicken...the same old problem of mass production spreading foodborne illness. Buy raw ingredients and cook 'em yourself; best way to avoid food pathogens. Don't buy cut up fruit or precooked meats stored in the same cases as raw meats/poultry (some supermarkets merchandise certain items this way, like precooked/prepacked sides snuggled up to the raw ground beef, etc.) Cooking, the age-old protection against pathogens.
  8. Hmm, I'd be tempted to pay for an experience, not for "stuff". Use the dough to take a class at the San Francisco Baking Institute: $598 will get you a mid-November workshop on baking in a wood-fired oven. http://sfbi.com/artisan-breads-wood-fired-oven-baking.html Or fly all the way to Vermont and take a baking workshop at King Arthur Flour's lovely campus in Norwich, VT: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/visit/school.html?utm_source=kaf&utm_medium=redirect Or use the $$ to eat your way through a particular cuisine or neighborhood in the Bay area. Me, I'd probably spend it on the beginnings of an outdoor pizza oven.
  9. I dislike recipes with ridiculous notes about technique. Seriously--I don't want the author telling me how to cut a carrot. It is tedious, clogs up the instructional portion of the recipe, and assumes that the reader knows nothing. Tell me in the ingredients list what I need to have: "8 oz carrots, cut lengthwise, with cores removed", for example. I can figure out, all by myself, how to do that. So no, I don't follow savory recipes to a T. I would never, ever bother to cut the cores out of carrots (unless a specific shape was necessary, but then I'd probably say "f the precise shape" anyway). RE: (sweet) baking, if you bake long enough, you'll begin to wander into improv territory. Learn enough about baking chemistry, and you'll know whether the ratio of ingredients will produce a texture you like, or whether the recipe is decently written...or whether it's over-leavened, etc. Ditto for bread.
  10. HungryC


    I put all the kernels in at the beginning. Re: seasonings, try a few shakes of Tabasco (or other concentrated hot sauce) into the oil with the kernels. Mmm spicy, and not all the heat ends up in one place as when you shake on the hot sauce post-popping. I also like cheddar cheese powder sprinkled lightly....
  11. Sorry...here's the table: http://www.thermoworks.com/emissivity_table.html There are others on the web, I just linked to the Thermoworks version, as my unit is from Thermoworks.
  12. I use the flat bottom of a narrow juice glass to tamp. Works like a charm, and you can chill it.
  13. Don't overlook the weight factor. If you haven't carried much extra weight throughout your life, it doesn't take much gain/loss to impact BP, especially if you have a small frame. Also look at your OTC meds: Aleve (naproxen sodium) can shoot up BP, as can decongestants, bronchiodialating meds, etc. You don't want to be medicating your BP x 3 while inadvertently increasing it through your painkiller choices.
  14. It's the same as seasoning cast iron. The oils are heated to a high temperature at which they polymerise and create a protective layer which provides a barrier to oxygen which prevents it from rusting. IIRC, you have to use one of a few types of oils that go through this polymerisation at high temperatures, otherwise they just burn away. If done properly, the oil should be completely burned away after seasoning and won't produce any off flavours. Question - can you use an IR thermometer with this, or is the surface of the steel too shiny to give an accurate reading? Depends on your IR themometer....mine has adjustable emissivity settings. Yours might as well. Here's a chart from Thermoworks w/emissivity ratings. My baking Steel surface isn't too shiny--it's dark and kinda crusty after several months' hard use. (Yes, I scrape it, but there's a fair amount of carbon building up.)
  15. Chambers stoves are beloved for their ability to retain heat....but this translates to a long preheat. You might need to adjust your ideas about preheating times.
  16. You don't need sugar (or honey) to feed the yeast. You changed batches of yeast, so your comparison isn't valid. Also, the artificial sweetener (you don't say what kind) may be contributing something to the loaf that inhibits yeast performance. But seriously, you do not need to add ANY sort of sugar, artificial or real, to get a loaf to rise.
  17. I didn't realize this was new or different; it's a pretty well entrenched tradition in low income neighborhoods in parts of the US South, esp in rural areas without many restaurants or in areas where historically, racial segregation placed restaurants off-limits to a segment of the population. It's a cousin to the "supper", a/k/a rent party or bail party. Some person needs extra cash (like the aforementioned bail, rent, or medical assistance; or money for kids' graduation, prom, etc expenses), so a home cook makes a large batch of something inexpensive (smothered turkey wings, spaghetti w/meat sauce, fried fish, red beans & rice) and sells plates to friends & neighbors. My better half's office is located in a historically African American, lower-income neighborhood, and people frequently make the rounds selling lunches/dinners. More organized proprietors will print tickets/chits to be sold in advance so they'll know how much food to prepare...it also allows ppl who want to support the individual to buy a ticket and not be required to pick up the food. Of course, this violates the state & local health codes, which prohibit home preparation of hot foods for commercial sale.
  18. Jade choker (as in the necklace)
  19. HungryC


    Bone out the loin and fry....very delicious. A typical Cajun treatment is rabbit sauce piquante; rabbit is braised in a spicy, highly seasoned tomato gravy. Sauce piquante is used to tenderize and tame gamy meats like wild rabbit, squirrel, alligator, and turtle. John Folses version herehttp://www.jfolse.com/recipes/game/rabbit03.htm And Marcelle Bienvenues recent here: http://blog.nola.com/recipes/2007/11/rabbit_sauce_piquante.html
  20. Gorgeous! I have the 1/4" version, and I've been very happy with my results. I have found I need to oil the steel fairly often, but that might be caused by my leaving the plate in the oven all the time. I have a batch of 75% hydration, wild yeast, half whole wheat dough fermenting on the countertop right now. I'm still tweaking the WW crust...
  21. Sorry, I can't help you figure out your local pricing on rice, but I will make a pitch for TX grown basmati (sold as "texmati"). Keep an American farmer in business! Also good is the Louisiana grown jasmine variety sold under the "Jazzmen" label.
  22. Usually shop w/ hubby....we often split the list and get it done twice as fast. It also allows me to hound him about his nutritional choices, LOL.
  23. Midwinter is wonderful here in the coastal gulf south: blood oranges, LA sweet oranges, all sorts of other citrus, greens of every hue from cavolo Nero and mustard to red leaf lettuce, fennel, brassicas from napa cabbage to colored cauliflower, green onions, spinach, a wide variety of herbs, some beans, etc. it's not as colorful as summer, but the weathers cool enough to enjoy shopping outdoors and cooking.
  24. I dunno, I was seriously underwhelmed by the NYC location. Not a wide range of brands available in the package goods. Boring to lame in the chocolate and sweets, ditto for several other categories.
  25. If you're a lazy sod, don't get any animal. Aside from the work, laying hens outlive their egg productivity. So you either need to plan to keep a non laying bird or be prepared to slaughter. Animal shelters in the US are reporting a huge upswing in surrendered chickens; spur of the moment backyard hobbyists lose their enthusiasm and abandon the birds, apparently not realizing that chickens can live 8 years+.
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