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Everything posted by gulfporter

  1. I did not soak the no-boil noodles and they came out perfectly in the recipe. I will post the recipe under "recipes."
  2. Here's my review of no-boil lasagna noodles. I used Barilla since that was the only brand available where I shopped. I made a spinach lasagna with a bechamel sauce; after removing from oven I let it sit for 20 minutes before cutting and the squares came out beautifully neat and 'clean'...they held together without any slippin' or slidin' on the plates. I used a deep pan and I made four layers of noodles, sauce, cheese and spinach. The no-boil noodles were a real time saver and they had a mouth feel closer to fresh pasta than the standard dry lasagna sheets which always struck me as a bit too thick.
  3. Q: Are you planning to provide lunches for a school, where the staff will heat and serve? Or you planning to make meals for kids to tote to school themselves? If it's the latter, you'll need to develop menus that don't require a lot of reheating or last minute cooking. The grilled cheese sandwich on your sample menu is practically compulsory in school cafeterias, but I don't see how you can achieve a gooey toasty grilled cheese sandwich that's brought from home in a brown bag.
  4. I like a touch of sweetness with foie gras....a dot of fig jam is nice.
  5. I've never eaten them or used them and looking for tips, suggestions and warnings. We will be care-giving my 91 year old FIL for the coming week. It's challenging, yet rewarding (his regular caregiver takes the week off, so she won't burn out). Instead of our normal routine of one meal out per day, we're cooking 3 squares a day (at 91 he has a very healthy appetite). We're having 8 people over towards the end of our stay, to celebrate his 91st birthday. We are thinking of making a casserole and Martha Stewart's Spinach Lasagna with a bechamal sauce will please him and our vegetarian niece. The recipe calls for no-boil lasagna noodles, so this isn't a substitution. Because his BD will be busy and crowded, I wouldn't mind giving up the boiling of lasagna noodles, but am wondering if the time-saving will still produce a decent white lasagna.
  6. I am lazy. I buy Dorot brand crushed frozen garlic at Trader Joe's. It is sold in little ice cube trays; grown on a kibbutz in Israel and thaws so quickly. I make fresh salad dressing every few days and it is the perfect texture and taste. My freezer always has several packs of this stuff.
  7. Marinating beef is more common. While not a true brine, I personally use marinade recipes with lots of soy sauce, which is quite salty.
  8. I use it to fry eggs. It complements the egg better than bacon fat. Not just good for breakfast eggs, but especially nice to have a duck fat fried egg atop fresh asparagus. When I can get quail eggs, I also fry in duck fat and serve over slices of baguettes with a bit of serrano ham.
  9. gulfporter


    Yo no se (I don't know). I googled some recipes and based on the taste profile as I recall it, Rick Bayless' recipe seems to be the closest. FYI, there's a typo/omission in his recipe; the 2nd item leaves out the important words, Ancho Chilies. Here's the link: http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/grilled-fish-with-ancho-tamarind-sauce-and-eggplant/
  10. gulfporter


    Una margarita tamarindo, por favor! Very popular all over Mexico and very enjoyable. Tamarind is also commonly used as a base for a sauce that is served with fish, shrimp and chicken. I do not recall tamarind served in a hot beverage when we lived in Mexico (though the temperature there rarely called for a hot beverage).
  11. This is one of those silly recipes that people always seem to like; when I serve it (It's my MIL's recipe), it's fun to have people guess the ingredients. 3 egg whites1 c sugar1 tsp vanilla14 Ritz crackers3/4 c walnuts1 c cream, whipped to stiff Beat egg whites with sugar and vanilla till stiff and glossy. Spray pie pan with PAM. Make crust by crushing Ritz crackers; lay them in pie pan. Cover with walnut pieces. Top with meringue, leaving a slight 'well' in the center. Bake 325 for 30 min. Cool, then top with whipped cream and serve.
  12. Thx for the advice; we will have it at 7PM as the more we thought about having it in the afternoon, the more we feared it would be viewed as a kiddie party. And, as a non-parent but an aunt who entertained umpteen nieces and nephews, including them in 'adult' party situations is a good way for them to enhance their social skills and good manners. Of course this is assuming the adults are setting a good example
  13. I moved earlier this year. Our new neighborhood is a mixed-bag of singles, young families, retirees. We have been invited to 3 parties since our arrival. Two were mid-afternoon weekend BBQ's, one was a 7PM wiener roast. All invitations were done via notes left on car and doorstep; this seems to be the MO here. We don't even know people's last names or phone numbers. This Valentine's Day is a Saturday and we'd like to host a Just Desserts Party. We've hosted these before in our old home and started at 7PM; there were no kiddies, all neighbors were retired or semi-retired and we knew most of them ate dinner around 6PM. But with kids in our new neighborhood, aged 5 to 14, plus mostly younger singles and couples, I'm not sure of the best start time. We never had kids, so we aren't sure of their eating times, bedtimes, etc. We don't want to exclude the kids. Opinions welcome re: would it be better to have a mid-afternoon dessert party or best to keep it an after dinner party? We like the after dinner party, personally, but Is it better to have kids all sugared-up earlier in the day vs. close to bedtime? When we've hosted after-dinner Valentine's dessert parties before, we always had a case of champagne and not certain that would be an appropriate mid-afternoon offering, though it is a holiday and people are welcome to BYOB (other parties in the neighborhood were BYOB). Don't want to walk around and 'poll' neighbors on what would work for them ... fearing a different answer from each home, plus many have odd work schedules and we rarely even see them.
  14. Our NYE dinner is grilled rack of lamb served with a cherry chipotle sauce. The lamb is already slathered in marinade in the fridge as I type. Side of grilled radicchio with a reduced balsamic dressing. We're in FL this year in our new home and taking advantage of the warm evenings for outside cooking. Our NYD meal will be pork belly tacos with fresh cabbage slaw and salsa verde. Side of Texas caviar. No desserts nor heavy starches as we face the reality of the post-holiday bathroom scale.
  15. I married young and knew little about cooking. My in-laws gave me a few cookbooks, good ones, by James Beard, Julia Child and Craig Claiborne. I looked at them, but all we could afford at the time were cheap hamburger (sold in those 5 pound rolls) and pancake mix. Like I said, we were young (19 and 20) and food was not a big deal to us. As we aged and as our careers/business flourished, we started paying more attention to food (we could finally afford to go to restaurants where you didn't order at the counter). Sometime in the 80's, my in-laws gave me subscriptions to both Gourmet and Bon Appetit (my FIL at age 91 still renews my BA). It was these magazines that brought out my interest in cooking. Maybe it was the slick presentations (as I recall the cookbooks were mostly line drawings of food). I made a point to make one recipe a week from one of the current magazine issues. I did this up until we retired in 2003. I still enjoy BA and probably make a recipe from their current issue once or twice a month.
  16. re: Hominy for New Years: Posole was traditional for the Holidays where we lived in Mexico; there it was always red. I prefer the green posole which you see a lot of in New Mexico.
  17. You will enjoy Oaxaca Al Gusto...I have a copy in the original Spanish, signed by Diana. I was lucky to meet her at a small luncheon in Central Mexico where we were living when the book came out. Have visited Oaxaca several times and the chapulines are fabulous, especially at the open air markets, where they are grilled to almost a char and served crunchy and hot...the way grasshoppers are meant to be cooked!
  18. Yes, black-eyed peas are a must in the south. I'm also not fond of the traditional Hoppin' John so I usually make a version of Texas 'caviar' with them; it is a cold salad and quite good. When we moved to rural Virginia, imagine my shock at the local Safeway before New Years when the meat counter was full of pig faces. Local tradition. I was young then and grossed out; now I wish I had tried them.
  19. Even if evap is 1/2 the calories of the real deal, it's not much of a caloric saving. I'd rather use 1/2 the amount of the real stuff. After struggling with my weight since childhood, fifteen years ago I lost 42 pounds and have kept 40 of them off. After years of diet failures that used low-cal low-fat low-sugar substitutes, I found portion control of 'regular' foods worked best for me. A little dab or dollop of butter, whipped cream, dessert, etc. will satisfy my hunger far better than any amount of low-cal alternatives. YMMV.
  20. A vegetarian Wellington. I have not made, but there are several recipes out there (including Jamie Oliver's) and they do indeed look impressive for the Holidays.
  21. Would I have better luck with either clams or mussels on the grill, as far as opening all the way on the grill? I'm looking for some sort of hard shell seafood to add to a cookout party, that I can throw on the grill then serve without a lot of intervention on my part, other than having either a dipping sauce or adding a splash of sauce/seasoning to the opened shell.
  22. Fry Daddy Deep Fryer Bread Machine Ice Cream Maker All given away after we gained too much weight!!
  23. Thanks all for the advice! I will experiment soon.
  24. I have a medical condition in both hands that makes shucking oysters too painful. I would like to serve them at an upcoming cookout from my gas grill. Anyone have experience in grilling unshucked oysters...will they magically open all the way once heated this way? Approx. how long will they take to open? I would like to add something to them after they open (garlic/herb sauce or ???).....will they oysters open enough to allow for me to drop something onto the bottom shell? Or are they just going to slightly open and need to be removed from the grill and the top shell taken off by hand? Appreciate any advice; have not worked with oysters, other then those purchased already shucked.
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