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Posts posted by KarenS

  1. I grew up with tossed salad too. My parents used iceberg too (remember that it was a new thing when they were small- it was introduced to them by their parents). We had red onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, bell peppers, sprouts, garbanzo beans, carrots, etc... We almost always had the Good Seasoning dressing (made in the carafe with water- my sister is a diabetic, I was shocked the first time I was served a salad with oil on it. I thought that it was so weird).

    My dad and my uncle still prefer iceberg- and call the lettuce that their children like to eat "rabbit food"- though they will eat it.

  2. I too, enjoy the "Process" of using fresh pumpkin- and the anticipation of fall seasonal produce. I've been baking professionally for over 20 years- and have never used canned pumpkin- even when I was in a hotel and responsible for four restaurants. To me, the canned smells funny and I don't like the color. It is once again about personal preference (I love butternut squash too!)

  3. I love Le Creuset. It is an addiction though- I keep buying more pieces. My newest is a 9 inch gratin and I am very happy with it! I use my grill pan a lot too. My favorite is the 7.5 qt French oven.

  4. I only use fresh, I think that it is so much better. I use sugar pie pumpkins or kabocha. I cut them in half (and do not clean), and place them cut side down in a roasting pan with a couple inches of water in it, cover with foil and bake til soft (45-60 min). I cool them covered, then scoop out the seeds and innards and toss. I then puree the rest (scooped out of skin) in the cusinart. Often I need to add water if the puree is too thick. I find only jack-o-lantern pumpkins to be watery (they are not good for baking).

  5. O.K. , I have to admit that I watched the Cora- Simon hamburger battle. I realize that it is just a TV show, and not a restaurant kitchen. What is the deal with Kerry Simon's hair? I was horrified at the shaggy heap hanging around all the food. I work in a kitchen everyday- and have my hair pulled back in a hat. It just looked very bad. i hope that he doesn't work in his restaurant kitchen like that! I am sure that I was not the only person who reacted like that. (and PLEASE don't say,"he is the rock and roll chef"- what is that crap).

    (Cat Cora, Mario Batalli, etc... all pull their hair back)

  6. I've only done that for sucre. My opinion is that you want the fat in small pieces wrapped in flour- to make it flakey. Since you don't generally use sugar in pie dough, I don't really see working the butter to a paste. I like to have the fat as cold as possible, so that the small pieces will get wrapped with flour without creaming into it.

  7. I would cut it down to 2# cream cheese (by a third). Yes, you can freeze this dough. Since you are adding protein to the dough, try not to 'knead" or overwork the dough. I also stack up the scraps and put them under a piece of fresh dough (not squish them together).

    It depends of the size of pie that you are making (11- 12oz patties are a good size for 9- 10 inch pies).

  8. I use cream cheese dough all of the time for fruit pies. It is flakey, easy to work with and has a rich tang that balances well with the fruit.

    7# 2 oz pastry flour

    6#cream cheese

    6 # butter

    2 T kosher salt

    Cream butter, add cream cheese.

    Add flour and salt- pulse mixer on and off to combine (do not overwork).

    Rest overnight.

    When I make pie dough I do a modified version of the one I learned at Chez Panisse.

    10 1/2c flour

    3 # 6oz butter (frozen and cut in small cubes)

    1 1/2c crisco (yes, they used crisco)

    3 c ice water (with the addition of the juice of two lemons- part of the 3c measurement)

    2T kosher salt

    Cut the fats into the flour (this will fit in the 20 qt)- until mealy with streaks of crisco.

    Add the water and pulse to combine.

    Rest overnight.

    Like Wendy- I bake my pies frozen. They are ready to bake first thing in the morning, and will be ready for a lunch special. I roll doughs, fill pies and tart pans at the end of my day so that they are ready for baking off right away.

  9. I couldn't eat since yesterday 'cause of tests. We went to Hugo's tonight- which was really great. Loved the trio of salads, the duck in red mole, the squash blossom and corn fungus empanadas.

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