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Everything posted by HungryC

  1. I probably eat more of the Barilla Plus (a multigrain version of the usual stuff) than anything else. I do like the texture--it's a firm bite.
  2. HungryC

    Cooking Dried Beans

    I'm with the posters who claim the fault lies in the bean. Very old beans will often refuse to soften, or remain grainy/hard in spots. Buy from a store with higher turnover.
  3. Thank Gawd PBS still does food/cooking shows. I'm enjoying John Besh's new series, Family Table: http://www.wyes.org/john-besh-family-table/
  4. Fresh is not necessary...though if you like it, use it. The meats provide plenty of fat, along with the oil in the olive salad.
  5. Cajun 'em up.....smothered with onions, garlic, a little cayenne, some diced tasso or smoked ham or andouille, and new potatoes. Recipe here: http://bouillie.us/2012/05/15/green-beans-new-potatoes-les-haricots-sont-sales/ The texture is soft and succulent, and the new potatoes are creamy yet firm, soaking up the smoked meat and slightly bitter green bean flavors. Bonus points if you serve it over rice.
  6. Thermopen. You won't need to buy another one ever. $99 gets you an infrared thermometer with a 12" range and a port to plug in the thermocouple. Best of both worlds in one unit. http://www.thermoworks.com/products/ir/irk.html#ProductDescription
  7. I wish no particular harm to bees, however in North America bees are an invasive species, or at least a non-indigenous species. North Americans ate fruit and vegetables before bees were introduced. That being said, I'd still rather not have GMO food if I had a choice. Many of the fruit and vegetables you're eating are not indigenous to North America (with the notable exceptions of corn, some beans, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and squash). Apples, oranges, pears, almonds, filberts, all of the brassicas, melons, figs.....it's a long, long list. Without pollinators (whether bee, wasp, midge, etc), we're sunk.
  8. HungryC

    Worms in fish

    The bigger the fish, the bigger the worms. Seriously. I've seen large sheepshead whose flesh looked like it was studded with spaghetti. I toss the really wormy bits, but I'm on the Gulf Coast and have access to beaucoup seafood. I routinely freeze fish in my lame old home deep freeze. No, it's not as good as fresh, but it's not horrible either. Standard practice, in lieu of a vacuum sealer, is to cover filets with water and freeze in an airtight container. The sooner you can use, the better. Long-frozen fish is best used in a dish where subtlety is not required--like deep frying or making fishcakes.
  9. All of the flavoring additives are extracted from oranges which is why there's no requirement for them to be labelled. It's hard to imagine how they could be substantially more harmful than the oranges they were extracted from.I wasn't suggesting that it was harmful, just highly processed and not labeled as such. People have been trained to look at labels--when they see "not from concentrate" and only "orange juice" listed on the label, they don't understand the contents are not an industrially processed mixture of treated liquid. The added flavoring should be disclosed on the label, IMHO. I think the big, legit fear about transgenic plants is the potential for unintended effects on pollinators. Bees are suffering....no bees, no fruit or veg. We may inadvertently wipe out the pollinators in our race to eliminate pesticides and diseases through transgenic modification. It's important to distinguish between traditional (and ancient) plant breeding and seed selection and inserting genes from completely unrelated organisms into plants.
  10. Yes, I usually saute Thai curry pastes in a little oil to "loosen" before adding other ingredients. The paste flavors the oil, thins it, and everything seems to combine better. Dunno if this is traditional or typical, but it works for me.
  11. Citrus greening has made it to my locale, with a few scattered cases showing up in commercial groves and backyard orchards. It's not yet widespread, though no one really knows why. Commercial OJ is, to me, a marketing marvel. Most people actually believe it is a natural product. How has that industry managed to disguise the extensive manipulation of the "juice" for so long? Extraordinarily weak product labeling requirements mean US customers don't understand that a whole host of flavoring compounds and additives are ALREADY in their OJ. At this point, will GMO oranges matter to the average consumer buying it? I seriously doubt it. As long as Tropicana continues to pump out TV ads showing orchards and white-guy farmers picking fruit, some segment of consumers will continue to drink it down.
  12. I offer you Lizzie's Amish Cookbook, a spinoff from an Amish romance novel series. Aside from sme decent bread recipes, it offers excerpts from the novels and recipes filled with processed ingredients. http://www.amazon.com/Lizzies-Amish-Cookbook-Generations-ebook/dp/B008OPDCCG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1374240844&sr=8-3&keywords=Amish+romance+cookbook
  13. I don't have the Breville blender, but I do have the B'ville juicer (Juice Fountain elite, I think). It's a beast, no problems after a couple years' use. I also have a B'ville espresso machine used multi times each day for 5+ years: still works great.
  14. Or quit worrying about the top cracking....figure out some sort of topping that will cover the cracks. Sour cream, fruit compote, etc.
  15. Go for the crunch...how about peruvian style cancha (toasted big corn kernels)?
  16. I'd probably bring the old pickle juice to a boil before reusing to make a quick pickle. Will help to kill off anything introduced into the brine by fingers, unclean utensils, etc. As previous posters mentioned, use immediately or keep refrigerated for just a very few days.
  17. Some community and church fundraising cookbooks offer sections on "cooking for a crowd" or "cooking for 50". While these are not professional recipes, I've found lots of practical tips on volume cooking, often with ordinary-equipment workarounds (when you don't have resto scale pans, storage, etc). Groups who do shelter cooking, provide meals for volunteers, etc can be good sources for the nonprofessional cook using a nonprofessional kitchen set up.
  18. I don't have problems with pantry moths, but black sugar ants will periodically invade my kitchen on scouting runs. They bring the whole damn colony if they find anything worth eating. Sealed plastic containers for everything, that's my rule. Keeps bugs & humidity out.
  19. Olmoelisa pointed you in the same direction I was going to suggest: a small, rich cookie or confection made with almond (or other nut) paste. Melt-proof, humidity proof, and interesting enough to be remembered. Sugared, spiced pecans or other nuts.
  20. Now that you've told us the wedding is casual dress in a garden, with no plates, I think you'll get more useful suggestions. A layered smoked salmon (or veggie) terrine, made with cream cheese or chèvre, can be made in a fairly deep sheet pan, then easily cutt into bite sized portions. No crumbs, can be made in advance, and safe for quite a while at room temp. Crostini do not hold well for any length of time, unless the topping is dry....think cheese spread rather than something wet like tomatoes. Food on picks will help to overcome the no plates obstacle. Skewered shrimp in a remoulade, cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella interleaved with basil (caprese on a stick), or grilled veggies dressed with a spicy vinaigrette, prosciutto threaded with melon, watermelon and chunks of feta.....many "salad on a stick" possibilities abound.
  21. Halved new potatoes, hollowed out with a melon baller, make another edible, crumbless container.
  22. I agree...most people like to sample a second bite of something they particularly liked. Only 40 of each means all will not get to try what's available....someone says "oh, X was so tasty" to a fellow guest, who then looks in vain at the spread, trying to find one for him/herself. Which brings up another point: are all of these items passed, or laid out in a buffet? If it is a buffet, count on ppl taking multiples of the same item. It's human nature....narrow the selection and increase the number of each provided. I love eclairs and filled pastry, but they're pretty messy. Pastry cream squeezes out with every bite....unless you're making single-bite tiny versions.
  23. I've not seasoned it deeply a la cast iron, but I have scraped the burnt semolina, occasional scrap of cheese, etc off of it and reoiled. Did notice some light rusting when I left it in the oven while baking a loaf of bread w steam.
  24. I have all gas (natural gas is cheap in my locale). No, you cannot switch on the oven & broiler at the same time, but it doesn't matter. Here's my method: baking steel preheats for an hour or so at max oven temp, then turn on the broiler to high and let it blast the steel w/heat for another 20 minutes. The surface of the steel exceeds 750 (as measured by IR thermometer) at the end of this preheat period. A 65% hydration pie cooks in 2-4 minutes (depending on toppings). I'm buying a new range within weeks, and it will be an all-gas Bluestar, selected because it has nothing electronic.
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