Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by JAZ

  1. We used to teach a 3-day "Kitchen Basics" class for beginners in which we always included a lesson on "salting to taste." I'd make a pretty basic asparagus soup, but use water instead of stock and no salt. We'd give each student a bowl of soup, plus a little bowl of salt. We'd have them taste it plain first, and virtually no one liked it. We'd talk about how the asparagus was sort of bitter, and the wine was too assertive, and that the soup just seemed unbalanced. Then they'd add a small pinch of salt and taste again, then keep going until they liked the taste. Over the years we taught the class, it was striking just how similar most students' taste was -- some would add a little more or less salt, but everyone was pretty close. At the end, I'd offer them the option of adding a very small pinch of MSG (Ac'cent) to see what that changed. Almost everyone agreed that it helped -- adding flavor and a richer mouthfeel. It's interesting to me how salt and umami elements seem to enhance each other, which is why I think salty elements that also include some glutamates -- like soy or fish sauce, or aged cheese -- are often more effective seasonings than plain salt.
  2. If they're big enough in diameter, I peel them and slice thin (I use a mandoline). Then I blanch them until barely tender and use them in a gratin with a cream sauce and topped with panko, like I would for a potato gratin.
  3. Yes, substitute the same amount total of paprika and cayenne if using Espelette -- so 1 3/4 teaspoons.
  4. In Wine Enthusiast, there's an article with a few non-alcoholic cocktail recipes gathered from bartenders: 4 Nonalcoholic Cocktails Perfect for Summer. While they all require purchased non-alcoholic beverages and a couple require making additional ingredients, they seem interesting. (Side note: the author is long-time eG member alacarte.)
  5. You can get chicken skin that's kinda crisp if you run it under the broiler after pressure cooking (that is, sear it, then pressure cook, then broil). I've used that technique in past books, and it's not a bad compromise. For this book, the editor didn't want to require any cooking outside the Instant Pot, so I couldn't use it. As Nancy mentioned, I didn't originally call for using bone-in, skin on thighs, but they wanted to use the recipe for the cover photo so asked me to change it. I wish now I'd argued against it, because it really only made the recipe more complicated. My compromise was to add the "even easier" note and hope that people would make that version. It's not "sexy" but is quite good and has an excellent reward to effort ratio. Oh well. (Now you know what authors go through; maybe if I was Ina Garten I'd have more control!)
  6. Yes -- no problem opening the doors. There are a few inches from the wall; we positioned it that way both for the door and also so we can store a broom between the fridge and the wall.
  7. Before we remodeled our kitchen, we spent a few days with Dave's brother and sister-in-law, who had recently remodeled theirs. They had a counter-depth fridge (Sub-Zero) in the kitchen, but a regular depth Frigidaire in the pantry, and much preferred the Frigidaire. We found the same model on sale so we went with that. But the placement of the fridge is such that it doesn't seem too awkward (to me at least) that it sticks out. The "wall" between the counter and fridge is a full sheet of our cabinet material and the shelf above the fridge is the same material (we both hate cabinets above the fridge). Our cabinets along that wall are actually less deep than standard cabinets; our kitchen is on the small side, so we went with cabinets designed for a bathroom. That gave us more space between those cabinets and our peninsula, but meant that the fridge sticks out even more.
  8. Sorry for the failure! I think the half-and-half may have played a role -- as I understand it, the fat in the cream helps to coat the starch molecules so they don't get so gummy. But from the photo, it seems that you smashed the potatoes into smaller pieces than I do, and than I intended in my instructions. I probably should have been more clear, but I what I meant is that they should just be lightly crushed into chunks. Maybe the problem is the recipe title -- "smashed" seems to indicate more, well, smashing, than I do. Other potato types could certainly stand in -- I like using reds because they don't need peeling, but Yukon golds could be worked more without getting the gluey texture.
  9. Right -- just break the dried noodles up and add them so they cook with all the other ingredients.
  10. Sorry that wasn't clear in the lasagna recipe. I used the regular lasagna noodles that you're supposed to boil first -- they stand up to the cooking time. And where we live (not sure of the nomenclature elsewhere), petit tenders or mock tenders are slices one of the muscles that makes up the chuck. They're nice for pressure cooking because like any chuck or shoulder cut, they become more tender upon cooking and don't dry out. Since they're cut from one muscle, you don't end up with a lot of fat and sinew to dispose of after cooking. Here's a little more information: https://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/cuts/cut/2452/chuck-tender-steak. I'm sure Dave will weigh in if I got anything wrong.
  11. Just to be clear, not all the recipes can be done in 30 minutes, and some require more ingredients. The premise of the book was that there are several ways to make it easier and faster to cook in the Instant Pot or other multi-cooker, and we tried to take advantage of all of them. So any given recipe will hit at least one of several categories -- quick prep (5 minutes or less); 5 ingredients or fewer; under 30 minutes; or "one-pot" -- where you get a complete meal using only the Instant Pot. Some hit more than one category, but all are pretty easy, and I don't think any require more than 10 ingredients. But thanks, Nancy, for starting the topic, and if anyone has questions, I'll try to answer them.
  12. I make that recipe often for holiday dinners, and have found that it refrigerates very well. Since the potatoes are simmered in cream, they don't discolor. Just take it out of the fridge ahead of time, or add 10-12 minutes cooking time if it's still cold when it goes in the oven.
  13. We have made a version of pommes Anna using half sweet potatoes (the usual orange ones) and Yukon golds, and have not noticed that the potatoes get mushy, so maybe it is the liquid. I don't know what the answer would be in a gratin, though.
  14. I wonder if a light dredge in a 50/50 combination of AP flour and rice flour might help retain the crispness of the skin. We use that combination with fried chicken (as well as onion rings and artichoke hearts), and while the texture is not that of just-roasted crisp chicken skin, it does stay quite crunchy, even when refrigerated overnight.
  15. Some years back, I needed a few non-alcoholic cocktail recipes for an event, and came up with these: The Faux Margarita 1-1/4 oz chipotle orange syrup (recipe below) 2 oz lime juice 1/4 oz grapefruit juice 1 oz water Shake over ice and strain into chilled, salt-rimmed glass. Or pour over ice if desired. Chipotle orange syrup Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add 1 dried chipotle pepper and 2 strips orange peel. Cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes (liquid should be slightly spicy but not overtly hot). Strain out the pepper and orange and add ¾ cup sugar. Bring back to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool. Twisted Mojito 1-1/2 oz jalapeno mint syrup (recipe below) 2 oz lime juice 3 oz club soda or seltzer Shake the syrup and lime juice over ice. Pour into an ice-filled hurricane or tall glass and top with club soda. Jalapeno Mint Syrup Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add 2-3 sliced jalapeno peppers and leaves from one small bunch mint. Cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes (liquid should be slightly spicy but not overtly hot). Strain out the peppers and mint and add 1 cup sugar. Bring back to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool. These days, when I want something tasty but non-alcoholic, I tend toward fresh citrus juice (orange and grapefruit are my favorites) with tonic water (I use Fever Tree) and a big splash of Angostura bitters. The bitters do contain alcohol, although you add so little, it's not much. If you can't have any alcohol at all, you can use Fee Brothers brand bitters, which as far as I know are non-alcoholic. Their Aromatic Old Fashion bitters is pretty close to Angostura. Also, unlike back then, today there are quite a few non-alcoholic "spirits" such as Seedlip and bottled or canned non-alcoholic cocktails like Curious Elixer and Kin Euphorics. I haven't tried any of these, but they get good reviews.
  16. We recently ordered martinis at a restaurant that had Boodles as their well gin. It'd been ages since I'd had it, but it makes a nice martini.
  17. That will be fine. I know that most electric pressure cookers say you need a cup of liquid, but in most cases that isn't necessary. I use very little added liquid in many of my recipes with no ill effects. All meat and most vegetables release quite a bit of liquid pretty quickly as they cook, so you'll end up with enough liquid to come to pressure. For instance, in my latest book, I have a recipe for hoisin beef and broccoli that uses 1 pound of beef mock tenders, 1/3 cup of hoisin sauce, and just 3 tablespoons of water, and the dish ends up with plenty of sauce for the beef and broccoli. (Also, if your book is by Urvashi Pitre, her recipes are very reliable.) Edit to add: The recipes where you have to be careful to add enough water are those with ingredients like rice or pasta that absorb water, or those in which you're steaming food on the trivet.
  18. JAZ

    RIP member Toliver

    What sad news. I always enjoyed his posts.
  19. Well, you can steam in an IP without pressure -- just use a glass lid and keep the water at a boil. But I have a dedicated stove-top steamer, so that's what I use.
  20. Absolutely. Eggs in a pressure cooker are wildly unpredictable -- I've cooked many for my books, since my editors always want egg recipes. But aside from recipe testing, I never do hard- or soft-cooked eggs in the IP. I have the most consistent results and best peeling when I steam them (not under pressure).
  21. In the book I wrote for the Ninja Foodi (their first combination pressure cooker and air fryer) I did a whole turkey breast for 13 minutes at pressure, with 8 minutes natural release time. Then I roasted it with the air fryer lid for 15 minutes to crisp the skin and finish cooking. Are you planning to roast or crisp it after the pressure cooking?
  22. The only thing that seems remotely possible is that if the lid was really hot, and there was a flaw in the glass, and some cold liquid dripped on it, that might cause the shattering. But that's a lot of "ifs" -- seems unlikely. Could water have dripped on it?
  23. Sorry I'm late to this, but yes, I'd guess that your co-worker's beans were older. One of the reasons I recommend soaking in my books is that I assume my readers are using supermarket beans and have no idea how old they are. In those cases, I think soaking in salted water helps even out the hydration so you don't end up with unevenly cooked beans, or beans that break down from too much cooking time.
  24. JAZ


    A long time ago, I had a recipe for gazpacho that started with V8. It was fine, if you like the sort of gazpacho with pureed mixed vegetables. These days, I prefer Clamato to V8 (and use it in a sauce for a Mexican-style shrimp cocktail).
  25. I like it in salads, as was mentioned before. Here's a recipe I did for one of my Instant Pot books, although truth be told, I don't ordinarily use a pressure cooker. Just cook the bulgur however you usually cook it. https://recipes.instantpot.com/recipe/greek-salad-with-bulgur-wheat/
  • Create New...