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  1. willows

    Cream cheese

    I feel like you've answered this question for yourself: Buy the 4oz package. You could also just double the recipe in question, but I think it's probably better to just get over whatever urge it is that makes you buy more cream cheese than you need, since, in fact, you do not use it up as planned.
  2. We use Icoa whenever a white chocolate application comes our way. I find that the undeodorized cocoa butter gives it a much more interesting, complex flavor profile.
  3. Huh, I didn't know that meringue powder had all those additives. Teaches me to read labels! I'll keep that in mind, thanks.
  4. I was just poking around the baking aisle and came across some meringue powder. Has anyone tried using this stuff as a substitute for egg white in cocktails? It struck me as an interesting experiment, but I'm not going to have the opportunity to run any tests in the next few weeks, so I thought I'd ask.
  5. (Necroed) Anyone have tips for making fruit-based (no dairy or fatty substitutes like coconut milk) ice pops less icy and crunchy without using corn syrup or gelatin? I'm experimenting with adding some jelly to my mixture at the moment in hopes that the pectin and sugar content will help. Another possibility I've thought about is prefreezing my pop mixture into a slush, blending it to break up the larger ice crystals, and freexing in the molds, but it seems like that will add a lot of labor. I'd prefer to just pour and freeze.
  6. This year we are growing some extremely exciting mild habaneros in our garden (~800 SHU, NuMex Suave from the New Mexico Chile Institute) and if they turn out well, I'd like to preserve them without dramatically changing the flavor. I've done Fuschia Dunlop's Hunan salted chiles before, but they tend to really change the peppers they're used with. What can I do to preserve and bring out their aromatic qualities?
  7. So we made chilli crab for dinner tonight, and it was delicious. However, my paranoid girlfriend became concerned about dark black striations on the cooked meat-- mostly around the joints. The claw meat was almost uniformly black. Now, the black bit was mostly on the surface of the meat-- the interior of the flesh was all a lovely, creamy white. We bought these dungeoness crabs already cooked, and basically tossed them in the stir-fried sauce at the end. Was it cooking technique? Spoilage? Just an idiosyncrasy of this type of crab? It didn't taste spoiled, but then, we used a lot of salted thai chilis and siracha.
  8. Recently I've been experimenting with different crusts. The local Turkish market carries yufka sheets, a leaf-type pastry somewhat thicker than phyllo. About five layers of yufka, each layer brushed with olive oil, makes a sturdy crust with a mild olive oil flavor and a satisfying, shattering crunch. It seems to need a moisture barrier between it and the sauce, though, so we generally build our pizzas with crust, a thinly spread layer of seasoned ricotta (or mascarpone, if low-cost is not an issue), thin slices of fresh tomato, and torn-up mozzarella. It's relatively quick, easier than tomato sauce, and simply incredible.
  9. nakji: second heidih. I make quadruple-strength tea with hot water, dilute it to double-strength with cool water and refrigerate it, and then serve with ice and simply syrup to sweeten, or if there's no ice just watered down 1:1. Lately I've been drinking (unsweetened) iced tea mixed with ginger ale for a little bit of bite and sparkle. It's very refreshing.
  10. Fried onigiri work! But I don't have a lot of experience with cooking nori while it's in contact with something wet. I think the flavorings in sushi rice would contribute to the browning, too. That might be nice. I also know of a few places that do the aforementioned tempura maki. Yaki-maki seem like a worthy experiment, at least.
  11. So, I've been making quick-pickled red onions for immediate use, sliced into strips and marinated in a vinegar brine just until they change color. Can I keep these for longer than a couple of days? Is there another, similar red onion pickle recipe that lasts a little longer? It'd be nice to have a jar of crunchy, tart, pungent onions to put on sandwiches or what-have-you.
  12. I don't know a ton about the rice-or-bean as thickener technique, but Julia Child covers rice pretty well in a couple of her works. One other thing you could try is using velouté instead béchamel; stock will bring out your chicken flavors, whereas the cream in the béchamel is going to cover them up.
  13. I'd consider leaving out the dairy entirely and working on getting the pre-dairy bit right. Then once you're happy with those, start adding butter. I'd stay away from milk or cream, 'cause they'll not only soften the flavors of your pan sauce, but also introduce another variable into the recipe. Also, in my experience wine and milk are touchy when combined; milk might curdle if the environment is acidic enough. Cream and butter seem to be significantly more stable.
  14. I wonder if this is easier to do with a water-based bacon stock, analogous to pickled eggs or Chinese tea eggs or what have you.
  15. willows

    Edible stenciling?

    I suspect you can use ground herbs and spices to stencil in a harmonious color & flavor... but spraying the plates with fat might be a bit much. Maybe just swipe the area to be stencilled with an oiled towel to leave a light film. (I've done this in a non-food application, but I imagine that it won't make much difference, as long as your powders are ground very finely) For extra neatness you could use the stencil to block your oil application, then dust and remove the stencil; if you oil the surface and then use the stencil to block the powder only, you'll get smudging around the edges that will be difficult to remove neatly.
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