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Everything posted by gulfporter

  1. Love the convenience of their frozen crushed garlic cubes (plain and with basil); imported from Israel. They thaw quickly and are great for a quick vinaigrette. None of that funky aftertaste like the jars of crushed garlic. Also in love with their meringue cookies of various flavors. Way better quality and low price compared to those found in most groceries. My nearest TJs now is almost an hour away, but there is a new one slated for opening later this year within 15 minutes from me. Yippee!!!
  2. My sweet treat is often accompanied by a 'short' sherry or port.....shhhhhhhhhhh, our little secret!
  3. I have to work hard to maintain my weight (I went from a size 14 to a size 8 about 15 years ago and have kept the weight off). I find the best solution for desserts is portion control. I don't make 'low fat, low sugar' recipes; I make the most luscious recipes I can find. BUT, but I only allow myself a tablespoon of mousse; a slice of pie the equivalent of 1/32 a pie. When I make panna cotta, I use wide shot glasses; when I cut brownies, they're never more than 1" squares. I freeze leftovers and only thaw a few portions at a time. I eat desserts/sweets just a few times a week and usually mid-afternoon, then take a nice long walk (I average 2 miles a day walking). That's what works for me, YMMV.
  4. Most of the splatter occurs when it's on the side-burner and lands on an adjacent bougainvillea, which doesn't seem to mind too terribly
  5. But won't hot stuff (like your candy) melt the wax in the wax paper??
  6. And what is it good for?? It seems so old fashioned, I'm surprised they still sell it. Between parchment, foil and cling wrap, I don't see a need for it. But wax paper (or is it waxed??) is economical compared to the others....are there good uses for it in the kitchen these days?
  7. When I type "gremolata' at epicurious.com, I got five pages of recipes. Ingredients included: grapes, jalapenos, onions, pinenuts, pomegranate, horseradish, tarragon, dried chilies, dill, spinach, hazelnut, rosemary, chives, grapefruit zest, pecans, fennel....it goes on and on. If Bon Appetit and the former Gourmet are comfortable calling it gremolata, so am I!
  8. If he's not a pasta fan, how about Polenta Lasagna?? I have made and frozen with good results. Polenta Lasagna (8 servings) 3 3/4 cups water1 1/2 cups cornmeal1 tsp salt 3 tbl olive oil2 med. head escarole, chopped2 c chopped onion1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes1 c fresh basil, chopped1 1/2 cups red wine1 can tomato paste16 oz neufchatel cheese (or low fat cream cheese)1 large egg2 c grated parmesan2 c shredded jack cheeseOPT: 4 links hot Italian sausage to put in sauce Butter a 9x5 loaf pan. Bring water to boil, add meal and salt and whisk to make polenta. Transfer to pan, cover chill 3 hours or overnight. Heat oil in large pot over med heat. Add sausage (if using) and onion and saute till done...8 to10 min. Add escarole and saute 3 more min. Add tomatoes, basil, tomato paste and garlic. Stir. Add wine and simmer 20 min. Season s&p. Beat neufchatel cheese in large bowl till fluffy, add egg and other cheeses and combine. Oven 400. Oil 9x12 pan. Cut polenta into 20 slices.Spoon 1/3 sauce on bottom of dish. Arrange 10 slices polenta on top of sauce. Spoon `1/3 sauce over polenta. Drop cheese mixture over. Arrange 10 more polenta slices, then top with remaining sauce. Bake on baking sheet 40 to 50 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then cut and serve.
  9. Of course I'm including Asian soups. Asian-style gremolatas I have made include variations of the following: lime juice, lime zest, Thai bird chiles, green onion, garlic, shallots, chives, ginger, tamarind, peanuts, coconut, sesame seeds,sesame oil, cilantro, basil, mint, in whatever combo hits me at the time of tasting the soup. Whatever complements or is even in, the soup or stew (I'm sure I've left out some others).
  10. I had one and YES it dulled my knives quickly. The only 'plus' to a glass cutting board is the visual....virtually invisible on my granite counter and the glass doesn't scratch, so it was nice to leave it out on the counter, rather than stowing it away which I do with my other boards. But really....it dulled my knives in a matter of a week!
  11. What are three little foodie things you do regularly to rather routine food items that make people say, "Why didn't I think of that?" And, then, when you visit them, you find they've adopted your little trick. I'll start: No matter what the soup or stew recipe is, I make a fresh gremolata to spoon over it at the table. I keep a can of whipped cream in the fridge expressly to top our morning coffee. Puts an early smile on everyone's face. Whenever I serve sangria (I'm partial to white sangrias), no matter the recipe, I use frozen grapes as the 'ice cubes.'
  12. Love crisp duck breast, but oh, the splatter! My new method is to use an old dented cake tin, line it with parchment paper and sear it on the side burner of my gas grill for 10-12 minutes on skin side, medium flame. At the same time, I use the grill itself for the side, usually grilled radicchio or asparagus. After the duck beast skin is crisp, I flip it and park the tin on the high rack inside the grill at around 375 degrees for a few minutes. Bring it in the house, let it rest a few more minutes, then enjoy.
  13. Basic nutritional information, at the very least calories and sodium content per serving.
  14. The microwave...ugh, soggy mess. The oven....dries it out. The solution is your gas grill. Reheating on the grill actually improves the taste by imparting some smoky flavor. Preheat to around 500 degrees, then turn burners to low, throw on the slices, cover down. All grills are different as far as distance from racks to gas, but my usual reheat time is 4 to 5 minutes. Watch it closely the first time until you get a feel for your grill.
  15. The absolute best (and rather cheap) chocolate we've ever had was in Guatemala. Specifically Antigua Guatemala where there are a number of high-end chocolatiers (again, not expensive); also, the local dark chocolate bars are excellent (and dirt cheap). I've never tried to order them, but plan a return visit and will bring a LOT more home.
  16. In Merida look for menus serving native deer. Only Mayans are allowed to hunt deer in the Yucatan. We had some excellent deer entrees in Merida, but I cannot remember the restaurant names. Thankfully, most restaurants in Mexico will post their menu outside their restaurant.
  17. Use your fave apple pie recipe...but throw in a healthy handful of Red Hots candies. They will sorta-kinda melt and when you hit those 'hot spots' in a bite....mmmmmmmm.
  18. Grilled fish recipe from Mexico. Pescado Zarendeado 4 large dried ancho chiles2 dried chiles de arból (omit if you prefer a milder sauce)½ small onion, chopped8 ounces canned tomato sauce4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced3 tablespoons Ponzu sauce (or substitute ½ soy sauce, ½ lime juice)3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce½ teaspoon salt½ cup mayonnaise2 kilos Pargo blanco or red snapper (huachinango) one 2-kilo fish or two 1-kilo fish. Butterflied from the belly out. Remove and discard the stems and seeds from chiles. Place the chiles in a bowl and cover completely with boiling water and then soak for 40 minutes. Remove the chiles and place in a food processor with ½ cup of the soaking liquid, the onion, tomato sauce, garlic, Ponzu, Worcestershire and the salt. Process until very smooth. Sieve the mixture into a bowl, then add the mayonnaise and blend. Set aside 2/3 cup of the blended sauce to serve with the cooked fish. The rest will be used to prepare the fish for the grill. Slather the flesh-side of the fish with the sauce and then place, skin-side down on a hot charcoal or gas grill. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the fish. (About 15 minutes for a one-kilo snapper on my gas grill at medium-high, lid closed). Place cooked fish on a large platter; use a spoon to remove the flesh. Serve with fresh tortillas and pickled onions. Pass the reserved sauce. Pickled Red Onions Thinly slice a medium red onion into a glass bowl, toss with the juice of a large lime, one or two finely minced serrano chiles and ¼ teaspoon salt. Best if marinated overnight in the fridge.
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