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Posts posted by rlibkind

  1. Endosing two methods mentioned upthread:


    For peppers, I've stopped using the gas burner and instead put them in an aluminum foil pan under my electric oven's broiler, set on high. After five minutes or so I turn them, keep a reasonably close eye on them and turn one or two times more, as required. Takes no more than 10 minutes. Then into a paper bag for 15 minutes until cool enough to handle and charred peel (at least most of it, having a little stick doesn't bother me) comes off easily enough. Made a tasty casserole last week using Poblanos this way, with fresh corn kernels, Mexican chorizo and Chihuahua cheese; quite tasty. A lazy man's version of chile rellenos.


    For tomatoes, the blanching-ice bath method is easy and always works. I also use it for peaches.

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  2. Content is king , and that includes clarity of the writing of both recipes and text.

    For a cookbook intended to be used as a cookbook, binding. As noted earlier, is critical. Likewise, typography, I.e., don't use a sans serif face in 8 pt over a wide column. Use a clean, easily readable face.

    Index by both recipe name and primary ingredients, plus techniques.

    Illustrations can be useful on showing technique, but some of my most used cookbooks have none or very few.

  3. Another technique you might want to consider for smaller but not especially tender cuts, like lamb breast (separated into riblets or groups of riblets) and lamb shoulder chops in particular, tho I imagine it would work on similar pork cuts:

    Braise in appropriately seasoned liquid for as long as it takes cook (only 15-25 minutes for riblets), then finish under the broiler after slathering with spice and a sugar rich glaze (lightly crushed cumin seeds, orange marmalade thinned on the stove with a little lemon juice or cider vinegar, perhaps?) to develop some crunch.

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  4. I love to suck on a rib steak bone when the steak has been nicely charred on the grill and finished with lots of garlic. I don't care what cooking science says!

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  5. Just saw a recipe from a farmers market in which beets are used in brownies. Anyone have experience using beets baked goods? This sounds intriguing. Color and sugars from beets (cooked and puréed first) sounds like it might work.

    The beets apparently replace the butter/fat, otherwise not a radical brownie recipe .

  6. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and day it's a one- time screw up, if only because of the comp make- up. But if I went there again and there was a second screw- up, no matter the dish , I wouldn't go a third time ,

    Now. If the mussels were billed as out of the shell in the first place to save the diner the trouble...

  7. Definitely go to a local farmers market. Ask the grower what's best, take his or her advice , enjoy.

    Today I picked up two musk melons (the common canteloupes grown in these parts) from a South Jersey farmer, A T. Buzby. Way better than the French seed ' lope I picked up from a "Star" boutique farmer at same market (tho prices were't that far apart.

    One of the two melons I'm eating fresh. The other has already been puréed and mixed with simple syrup and a few secret ingredients to become sorbet for tomorrow's block party. It also makes great ice cream.

  8. Since some of the posters seem to think pasta is a no-no for diabetics, let me comment .

    It 's counterintuitive, but plain old boxed dry macaroni products (spaghetti , penne , etc,) don't seem to cause a rapid rise in blood glucose in most diabetics, whether type 1 or 2. Of course , this doesn't hold true with large portions. And the amount and ingredients in the sauce will play a role. But a 45-60 gram serving (weighed before cooking) seems fine.

    Fruit, in moderation, is okay. But "moderation" means two servings a day, tops, with no more than 15-20 grams carbs per serving. A serving is would be a medium peach or apple, or six ounces of cubed canteloupe.

    Regarding yogurt: Greek yogurt, particularly of the non-fat variety, is a diabetic's or dieter 's best friend. Lotsa protein, low carbs, no fat. I mix it with flavor extracts and Splenda, sometimes add a very small portion (10 grams) of unsalted nuts, maybe a sprinkle of unsweetened shredded coconut if I'm not combining it with one of my fruit servings.

    But all this is minutiae: all you need to do is provide healthy food with plenty of choices: lean meats, fresh vegetables, carb sides that aren't fat-laden, I.e., don't make mashed potatoes like Joel Robuchon with a pound of butter! Ditto for dairy.

  9. As mentioned upthread there are only two things you must do:

    1. Ask your guests what they 'd like. Don't guess .

    2. Don't combine carbohydrate side in a single dish with the protein.

    Don't worry about glycemic index, etc. stick to No. 1 and No. 2 and all will be well.

    Some random thoughts, not rules:

    For most diabetics, legumes are friendly foods. But not everyone likes them.

    Do make available the ingredients for a simple green salad.

    You don't have to avoid fats, since they help create a sense of satiety. But don't go heavy. Meals high in fat can produce a delayed but high spike in blood glucose.

    Above all, go back to No.1. Each person with diabetes can have different reactions to different foods. Your guest knows best, so ask and don't sweat. So long as you have good choices available, he or she can eat what they want. And don't freak if they decide they want ice cream or another sweet: with good planning a diabetic can accommodate into his/her regular diet a planned treat.

    Serve a balanced, reasonably healthy meal devoid of over-the-top excess and your guest will be appreciative.

    If he/she uses insulin they are probably prepared with their own supplies in case of low blood glucose. But it would be nice to have available a couple small juice boxes and graham crackers or similar carbo source just in case. Make sure they know where these are since low glucose tends to strike insulin users at 2 or 3 a.m.

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  10. Coarse grind. 37 grams coffee to 24 ounces water (adjust to your taste). Five to ten seconds after my electric water kettle auto shuts, it's at about 205F (195-210 is recommended temp). Pour and stir to set grounds. I like a 6 minute, 30 second brew time ; your mileage may vary.

  11. Weinoo, your analysis of the bagel woes hits it right on the head. A bagel should be 100 grams, not 140 or 150. Otherwise, the crust-to-crumb ratio sinks way too low. Montreal-style bagels aren't the bagels of my youth (Watson Bagels, Newark/Irvington) but they're closer than most anything else in Phila. area.

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  12. If you're near an Ikea, buy their mini pastry cups then fill with your smoked fish product of choice. For fancy I've filled them halfway with Greek yogurt or sour cream, then topped with salmon caviar. Or just fill them up with the smoked cod roe, salmon paste or crab paste Ikea sells in squeeze tubes for an easy, cheap and extremely fishy canapé.

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