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Everything posted by Mottmott

  1. It's not clear from the postings on this thread if many are aware of how much GM product is on the supermarket shelves. I'll defer to someone with more knowledge, but it is my understanding that most of the corn oil and corn syrup (present in so much processed foodstuff) is from GM crops. Ditto on soy. My mindset when shopping is that if it doesn't say organic and contains something made from corn or soy, it is probably GM.
  2. Making a simple syrup I poured in a couple cups of kosher salt instead of the sugar.
  3. Mottmott


    Bouland's a la carte site has a wonderful report on carry over: http://www.hertzmann.com/articles/2002/cook/
  4. Saveur has some good recipes, though, last time I checked, the search wasn't satisfactory; the BBC at http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/
  5. Addendum: (dummy that I am, I can make pate brisee, but can't find the edit button) To be very specific: --I used the same flour all the time til I got my act together - King Arthur all purpose. (Beranbaum makes some recommendations) --I use unsalted butter, usually Plugra, a European style butter at domestic prices if you have a Trader Joe near you. Don't fortget to add the salt.
  6. I second ladybug. I had lots of trouble with pie dough until I realized that all the admonishments about using the least amount of water are wrong. Assuming you are talking about home baking, I would add that I also often bake pies on a pizza stone. If it's something rustic, like a free form pissaladiere, I put it on a piece of parchment or foil and bake directly on the stone. (I don't like the butter melting into my stone). If it is another sort of tart in a pan that will bake for 45-60 minutes , say fruit. I will put it onto the stone directly, but move it higher towards the end of the baking to keep the bottom from darkening too much and to brown up the top crust better. If it's something with a custard type filling, I will start it on the bottom on a sheet pan, then move it up. I find doing this (and glazing the bottom with something before adding the filling) helps keep the crust from sogging. I also prefer an all butter crust which I make in the processor. Lastly, take the refrigerate commands seriously. I refrigerate the formed crust before filling when I have time. And with something like a fruit or onion tart, I will even make the whole thing ahead and refrigerate until dinner time.
  7. This thread has stimulated my interest in a slow cooker. I've always been against having gadgets that do tasks that more basic equipment can handle. For example, I do not own a toaster and make my toast on a cast iron griddle. This saves counter space and, I like the texture of griddle toasted bread better - not dried out inside. No electric coffee. Etc. But times change, one's body changes, and I now think maybe I will get an electric can opener. And now, maybe, a slow cooker will lead to yet more pissaladieres. I love caramelized onion tarts! and braises and stews in winter. Besides, if I don't like it, I'm sure my DIL would love it. Am I right in assuming that they will do pot roasts? or does everything need to be cut up into smaller pieces Of the new, wider ones, could someone share experience to suggest the features to consider that are more for use than show and which brand has them? An automatic timer that will turn it off after a certain time, etc?
  8. Mottmott

    Pasta Machines

    The KA pasta rollers are super.
  9. Suvir has mentioned bitter almonds. Is there a way to get them in this country? I've little energy anymore for smashing through to the apricot pits. (Or perhaps someone has a trick to extricate them.)
  10. I've tried Herme's chocolate pound cake with ginger and apricots from his chocolate book. It was very good, though not a hit with the kiddies. Be careful not to overbake it. I did slightly, so it wasn't as gooey as it's supposed to be. That may because of the different proportions of the US 9x5 bread pan instead of the French.
  11. Thanks Steve, looks just like (almost) the gadget soda fountains (when there were soda fountains) used to decorate sundays and sodas! I guess they use the same little gas canisters to make the fizz?
  12. Does anyone have a link to a photo of a Profi? You could save me wandering (still more) in Googleland with all sorts of results in several languages.
  13. And how do you know they're not here already?
  14. Ripe fruit, perfectly ripe fruit, any perfectly ripe fruit. Seen, alas, all too seldom. No one seems to have mentioned one of my favorites: persimmons (Hayachi, not the Fuji). Also, I'm surprised so few people specified the variety of apple, pear, cherry, as I don't find all varieties equal.
  15. Mottmott

    Wondra Flour

    I believe I learned about Wondra from Julia Child when she was young and black and white.
  16. Mottmott

    Making pasta

    During the recent pasta discussion/slam, Jonathan Day said, " With pasta, at it's simplest, it is flour and eggs, boiling water and salt. Period. The culinary challenge here (apart from saucing) is far tougher, technique at its very essence. Contrary to what's been posted elsewhere, not [just] anyone can make superb pasta, and most cooks don't. Including in Italy." How many among us make pasta? I've recently gotten the KA rollers and made a couple batches for the first time. I was pleased and surprised at how well they turned out (used the processor to make the dough, an egg pasta). For those who still like pasta, and make it from scratch, what are some of the finer points of technique and calibrating ingredients to kinds of pasta?
  17. Seawakim, I have a KA 4C from the early 60's and a K5-A from either late 60's or early 70's. As for your original question about the sort of machine to buy today, I'd be cautious about the current KA which is no longer manufactured by Hobart. Search around on the web to see if you can find out about the Kenwood and perhaps other high end manufacturers. King Arthur catalog (which sells both of them ) did a comparison of Kenwood & KA which sort of gave the edge to Kenwood (Kenmore? too lazy to go check). Hobart still makes a mixer in the home kitchen size, but I believe it costs about $1000. Check their web site. Also, it is possible to find older KA's for sale on EBay. Bux, what I like about the KA meat grinder is that a single grinding gives the rough texture that I prefer for hamburgers or ragus. But I'll give the Cuisinart a try next time.
  18. I have had the meat grinder attachment for 20-30 years and use it any time I need ground meat, as I like the texture. Now there is reason to be concerned about the healthiness of store-ground meat (or worse yet, processing plants), which makes it even more useful. I recently bought the pasta rollers. WOW! It's a great attachment. Making pasta is a breeze.
  19. Mottmott

    Judging Doneness

    I use a thermopan digital which has the sensor in the first 1/2" of the tip, so I aim it whatever way will get me to the part of the meat that will heat last: in a roast that has bones, the area near the bone; in a boneless roast, the center.
  20. Mottmott

    Smithfield Ham

    I recall Alice Toklas writing that when they were in the south of France during the Occupation, they had a ham that they bought to see them through it (gastronomically speaking). Does this mean that these country cured hams have such an extended shelf life that it can last months, even years, after cutting into it? What is the shelf life of these country/Sheffield hams once opened up? I assume they should be refrigerated???
  21. Y'all must be using more upscale sponges than I do. Cheap, colorful supermarket sponges cause less care: use them on dishes awhile, transfer to floor duty, then toss them.
  22. What an amusing thread! As a live-alone, I dine everywhere in the house: sometimes on the counter (sitting on a stool, not standing) sometimes in bed, most often at my round Italian marble kitchen table (inherited from my mother), sometimes on an enclosed porch or outdoors in summer, or at my round Victorian dining room table. It's all a matter of mood, the way the day went, what I'm having for dinner. (Order in pizza is always in bed with the TV, you can guess how that day went!) Some meals demand the dining room even if dining solo. My solo meals are on an assortment of glass plates, a set of white plates, another of Italian pottery, some white and gold British Airways china someone gave me, cobalt blue or cranberry stemmed glasses, and some gold-rimmed low-ball glasses that are great for ice cream, puddings, etc.; and I usually use stainless or a small set of silver inherited from an aunt. These meals at table are on simple place mats that are more protection than decoration. Every now and then I will use china, crystal, and my mother's silverware (given to me before she died. I always keep a largish ornate square silver serving piece in the center of the table with a fern or flowers resting on it and a pair of low silver candlabra flanking it. When I dine there solo, I don't usually light the candles, but the light over the table is on a dimmer. My style is a lot less formal than it may sound, it's just that I like a pretty and warm looking table. For entertaining, which now is mostly family, I usually set the table with one of the lacy cloths crocheted by my mother. I seldom use my linen tablecloths anymore, and do little more than look at the cutwork embroidered linen cloth & napkins my mother made for me. I've never cared much for complete sets of china, so I have different china for different courses. I also like to use some silver and crystal or cut glass serving dishes. Mostly they are either from my family, my in-laws, or antiquing. I have a set of Wedgwood platters that are large enough to use as chargers for some smaller Haviland plates and some Haviland-Limoges soup plates in different patterns. As they all have some red in them, they work well together. I like using the cranberry glass water goblets with the grey Fostoria wine glasses. I also have a set of silver rimmed goblets, but I reserve them for appetizers served away from the table as they do not go well with my china. (I no longer use my mother's crystal from the 30's as it is much too fragile.) I have a variety of crystal and silver serving bowls and trays and serve family style or from a serving table at the side. I always use silverware and napkins and candles when entertaining. I have other soft lighting around the perimeter of the room. Sometimes it tilts slightly formal, mostly it tilts casual. I do some food decoration, first by taking care to have colorful food arranged so that it needs little decoration other than herbs, lemons, etc. A swirl of creme fraiche or something contrasting on squash soup or even a slice of lemon floating on it, entrees with some contrasting sauce, fruit, vegetable, or herbs are as far as I go - no carved flowers. But dessert is always very pretty, sometimes complex. When doing an informal buffet (particularly outdoors) I will serve from black LeCreuset and copper pots, wooden and stainless boards and bowls, attractive casserole dishes. And, if outdoors, I will use plastic plates and utensils but I hate using them inside. Unless it is a very large crowd, I will usually put out some stainless utensils even outside. (Plastic forks, faugh!) But I do like to use those clear plastic cups that don't break if they hit the patio. I enjoy shopping for these things in consignment and antique shops and may even begin checking out the auctions. Much of my tableware is inherited, much of the rest of it has be foraged in shops but not new as such. I like using tableware and furniture that has some history, even when I don't know that history. I'm in the processes of expanding my kitchen storage space, soooo...
  23. In the 60's and 70's calling food "artisan," "natural," "organic," etc. made them "hippy-dippy"; today they're trendy, yuppy, and marketed.
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