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JAZ

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  1. I sometimes use plain cheese, but more often mix in cooked chopped shrimp or chicken. Crabmeat would be good too. My favorite addition lately is chorizo, browned and cooled (so it doesn't melt the cheese). If you're interested, here's the complete recipe I've been using: chiles rellenos.
  2. I can't really tell how large those chunks were, but I'm surprised that it took 90 minutes to cook them. I generally cut pork shoulder up into chunks or strips about 2-3 inches thick and it's done in 25 minutes (with natural release). It's always easy to pull into chunks or shred, but stays very moist. What was the texture like?
  3. I'm not familiar with breading and frying chiles before stuffing them. However, I have been making chiles rellenos for a long time and have developed a pretty good method. After reading a recipe for chiles rellenos by Rick Bayless, I switched from charring the poblanos over a gas burner or under the broiler to frying them in very hot oil to remove the skin. I find that you lose less of the flesh and you can better control how firm the chiles remain. If you fry them just until the skin starts to blister and blacken, the chiles will be firm enough to keep their shape. They're really easy to stuff like that, but they're not quite done enough for my taste; they're still a little tough even after battering and frying. I prefer to cook them longer, until the skin is all dark brown to black and the chiles are just barely starting to collapse a bit. After cooling, you can rub the skins pretty easily with a paper towel.
  4. Pimento Cheese

    I had never tasted pimento cheese until I moved to Atlanta, but almost all the versions I've had here are just cheddar and mayo -- no Velveeta or American cheese. A very few contain a little cream cheese. I based my recipe on one from Duke's Mayonnaise, with a few modifications by way of Linton Hopkins and Sean Brock's recipes. I also use piquillo peppers because I can't readily find decent pimentos. Here's a link. (I originally wrote the recipe when I was running About.com's Cooking for Two web site, so it makes a very small batch. I usually double it; I guess I should probably update the recipe.)
  5. If by "better" you mean "better tasting," it's probably not going to be. On the other hand, you can make it in one pan instead of two and a colander to drain the macaroni. And you don't have to stand and stir. So it's definitely more convenient, and if you use a good recipe, it's as good as or better than many stove top mac and cheese versions.
  6. If you cook potatoes in a pressure cooker, you only need enough milk to bring the pot up to pressure, not enough to cover the potatoes. So, as in the recipe Anna linked to, it's possible to cook them with just enough cream or milk and butter to mash when they're done. But if you don't have a pressure cooker and you're concerned about losing flavor to the cooking water, why not just steam the potatoes?
  7. When I was researching my first book, I saw times for pork shoulder or beef chuck that were ridiculously long -- 90 to 100 minutes -- and I still see recipes with these times on blogs and in books. Some people seem to believe that the goal with these cuts is to have the individual meat fibers falling apart, which is what you get with these long times. Needless to say, you end up with really dry meat. Unless a piece of pork shoulder is more than 2-3 inches thick, it will only take 25 minutes (with 10-12 minutes natural release) to dissolve the collagen and most of the fat. That should result in meat that's tender, easily shredded, but still moist. That being said, the texture is different from long and low sous vide, so if that's what you're after, I'm not sure you'll get it from pressure cooking.
  8. Thanks. I did see the specs on the website, but didn't think to download the manual.
  9. Does anyone have the new Duo Plus 9-in-1 6 qt. Instant Pot? I have a quick question about how it differs from the plain Duo version.
  10. When I was working on recipes for my book, I experimented with potatoes and eggs for potato salad. The only way I could get it to work without the potatoes turning into mush was to use medium sized red potatoes, quartered. They cooked in the same time as the eggs, and then I just broke them up with a big fork when making the salad. I think that cubed russets would disintegrate in the time it takes to cook the eggs.
  11. I'm so sorry the cake didn't turn out for you. I will say that "baking" in the instant pot doesn't create the greatest looking cakes -- they don't brown. That's why I call for the extra browned butter and confectioner's sugar to finish. And it should be somewhat dense, but lighter than that. The only things I can think of that would cause the extra dense texture are old baking powder or overmixing. I have occasionally had reports that my cooking times are slightly too short, so perhaps my Instant Pot (I also have a Cuisinart pressure cooker) cooks hotter than standard. I'll try the recipe again and see if I can shed more light on the problem.
  12. Here's one of the other Cuisinart models -- on Amazon -- and on the Cuisinart site, the mini models are at the top of this page: mini processors.
  13. Something like this mini-chopper from Cuisinart would work -- Kitchenaid makes a similar product, and there are other Cuisinart models as well. I used one of the Cuisinart ones for a few years, and they're great for grinding or mixing small batches of ingredients.
  14. Has anyone read the book Ingredient? It's been out for a while, but I just heard about it. From the "Look Inside" glance on Amazon, it seems to be what the author of the original article is looking for. From the description: "There are ingredients, and then there are Ingredients. An ingredient is a tomato, a tortilla, or some tarragon. An Ingredient (with a capital "I") is a fundamental building block or recurring theme that works behind the scenes in everything we cook. There are millions of ingredients, but only eight Ingredients: Water, Sugars, Carbs, Lipids, Proteins, Minerals, Gases, and Heat. Each Ingredient has its own personality, a set of things it does or doesn’t do. Ever been blown away by a wonderfully fragrant dish? From soup and mashed potatoes to French toast and barbecue, lipids act like glue to stick aromas to your food. Is a batter too thin or sauce not clinging correctly? The best bets for thickening any liquid are carbs and proteins, which we can find anywhere from a bag of flour to a roasted garlic clove or a piece of braised meat. This book teaches you the personalities of the Ingredients, where to find them, and how to put them to work. Ingredient isn’t a book of recipes, nor is it a definitive treatise on the science of the kitchen. It’s an illustrated guide to visualizing and controlling food’s invisible moving parts, regardless of your skill level or how you like to cook."
  15. I'm sorry -- it was so long ago, I'm afraid I only have a vague idea of what I did. I generally use the proportions in Harold McGee's Curious Cook, if that helps.
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