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Everything posted by browniebaker

  1. Tomato juice and sugar mixed into agar-agar and chilled until set makes a delicious dessert.
  2. I just ask for "some biscotti" or "one of the/your biscotti."
  3. I had the same response when I read that you couldn't live without your boyfriend's cooking. wow. hahaha. ← it's just so good! and i have a tendency to burn things.... ← I could say the same thing about pimento cheese and me! The difference is, boyfriends come and go, but pimento cheese is forever. But my underlying point is that these lists are necessarily subjective, and there can be no right and wrong answers.
  4. I had the same response when I read that you couldn't live without your boyfriend's cooking. wow. hahaha.
  5. Ling, my sweet tooth loves your breakfasts! If would do it, too, if I didn't have to set an example for the kids.
  6. Now that summer's here, let's not forget to bake up a large skillet of cornbread so as to have leftovers and make cornbread salad. Mmmmm. I cut up this morning a couple of juicy-ripe garden tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, canned pimientos, and sweet onion; stirred in a good-size dollop of mayonnaise, pimiento juice, salt, and pepper; tore the crusty cornbread into bite-size chunks; and tossed it all up into a salad that's chilling in the fridge for dinner tonight.
  7. Cake mix or from scratch? I think it's just a matter of what taste and texture one grew up with, is used to, or has become used to. In my case, I grew up with both mix and scratch, as my mom was ecumenical. I, too, was ecumenical until I started taking baking "seriously" ten years ago. Now I simply find that scratch cakes taste better. Plus, I like avoiding the chemical additives. That my husband is firmly of the from-scratch school is a major consideration. And my four-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son have never known different from scratch. Last year, though, in a moment of desperation brought on by a mixture of fatigue and laziness and egged on by manufacturer's coupons, I decided to use a boxed mix and canned frosting for my daughter's birthday cake. A Pillsbury yellow cake, topped with Pillsbury vanilla frosting. Oh, the recriminations! The ignominy. The cake ended up mostly in the trashcan. My family still kid me about that cake.
  8. I butter danishes and croissants. Isn't that gilding the lily?
  9. Someone, please help me pronounce dulce de leche, or just the first word of the phrase, actually. My high-school Latin probably does not help here. Thank you!
  10. Putting the soup into the rice is practical esp if you are sharing a tureen of soup. But when I have my own bowl of say soft tofu stew, I seem to enjoy it better when I spoon a bit of rice and soak it in the chigae then eat. Sort of reverse of the way it's normally done. I've never seen anyone else do this but was wondering if anyone had tried it. ← But we're talking about the same thing: spooning some rice from your own bowl and soaking the spoonful of rice with soup from your own soup bowl just before eating it. Among Koreans it doesn't seem to be "the reverse of the way it's normally done," since it's commonly done. Am I just misunderstanding your meaning?
  11. The polite way to say thank-you is kom-op-sum-ni-dah.
  12. Disclosure just is not an issue at my table. I always say what a dish is when it comes to the table. It seems natural to do so. If the main ingredient is horse, everyone is going to know, right then and there. I wonder whether some people find it amusing to serve exotic ingredients to unaware companions at table, perhaps to test how perceptive or sophisticated others' palates are. That's catty and immature. Anyone who did that would not stay a friend (or spouse) of mine for long.
  13. http://www.asiafood.org/koreafood.cfm http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Korean-cuisine ← This is proof that you shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet. What I know of Korean dining etiquette I got from my Korean family-by-marriage, who tell me (because I asked) that every Korean person they have ever seen eats rice with chopsticks, including on the most formal occasions, and, no, they are not low-brow, low-born ignoramuses, but quite the opposite, so that's good enough for me.
  14. Actually, Korean etiquette requires that rice be eaten from the rice bowl with the chopsticks, not with the spoon. The only time the rice is taken from the rice bowl with a spoon is when one spoons a bit of rice, carries it over to the soup bowl, lets some soup flow into the bowl of the spoon, and eats the spoonful. This rice-bowl-to-soup-bowl move is distinctively Korean. Perhaps you were referring to this exception to the rule that rice is eaten with chopsticks. You are absolutely right, though, about not picking up the rice bowl.
  15. The banchan is eaten throughout the meal, as an accompaniment to your main course(s), despite that they are often brought out to the table before the main course(s).
  16. Diana, were you working with the dough at room temperature? I think it's one of the beauties of this melted-butter pastry: it does not require chilling and handles marvelously well at room temp, even in the summer months, when my kitchen is 78 to 80 degrees F. Once, I tried rolling it out a little chilled, and it was too crumbly. This crust also holds its shape well during baking, without the 30 minutes in the freezer that I give other crust-pastries just before baking. With this dough, the crimp I give the crust is in the same shape when the pie comes out of the oven. Having tried this crust for the first time just recently, I'm well and truly loving it by now. When pie-crust is this easy, it's so easy just to whip up a pie any time. Life can't get better than this.
  17. Adding a little sugar to oil pastry will give you neither pate brisee or pate sucree. The mixing technique for oil pastry is different from that for pate brisee, and the respective textures are quite different. For the oil pastry, barely stirring until the mixture just forms a dough creates flakiness by mixing the fat and liquid evenly throughout the dough and, in addition, prevents toughness. Pate brisee is quite different in texture not only because it typically has a much higher ratio of fat to flour than does the oil pastry but also because the fat is thoroughly and even mixed throughout the dough.
  18. Okay! Baked a pie this morning and am back to report happily that, yes, the addition of 1/4 teaspoon baking powder does make this crust more tender, yet still flaky. I got the idea for adding baking powder from Rose Levy Beranbaum's _Pie and Pastry Bible_ (which is my bible, actually). RLB adds baking powder to her cream-cheese crust, saying it makes the crust more tender by aerating it. I just love the butter-and-milk version of oil pastry. Hard to believe, but it really is flaky, despite how easy it is to make. If you take care not to overmix, you will see, as you roll it out, a marbleized patterns of areas that have more flour mixed with milk contrasting with areas that have more flour mixed with butter. When you cut into the baked crust, it shatters into shards, as a flaky crust should.
  19. Isn't that the oil-based pastry recipe that Ken Haedrich says is from an old lady who has won county-fair pie contests through the years? If I recall, it was simply mixing together 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 1/4 cup water before stirring in 2 cups all-purpose flour and maybe 1/4 teaspoon salt. Reading that this ridculously simple recipe makes a pretty flaky crust, I had to try it. But being a fan of butter, I tried it with melted butter and milk instead, and it is indeed pretty flaky. For flakiness, the trick is, first, to mix the fat or water togther until you see small beads of fat and, second, to stir just until a ball of dough forms in the bowl -- avvoid over-mixing. Now this is one of my favorite pie-crusts because it's very easy to make, is flaky, is relatively low in fat, does not need to sit in the fridge for any period of time before rolling out, handles beautifully at room temp, and holds its shape weel during baking even if I do not freeze for 30 minutes just before baking (as I do with my other pie-crusts). This is the recipe I came up with: 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 1/4 cup milk 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 cups all-purpose flour (using dip-and-sweep method of measuring) Mix butter, milk, and salt. Add flour. Stir just until dough forms. Take care not to overmix. Roll out at room temperature between two sheets of plastic wrap. Makes pastry for two 9-inch, single-crust pies. I even used this crust for a chess pie I took to a potluck last. It was the first time I had used a stir-together crust recipe, and I was nervous. But someone even said, "You made this crust yourself?!" Now, I realize that 1/2 cup melted butter contains slightly less fat than 1/2 cup vegetable oil, since butter can the as much as 20 percent liquid. So maybe you'll want to use 9 or 10 tablespoons butter and decrease the milk a bit, if you're exacting. I just like the ease of plunking a stick of butter in the bowl. My next experiment (today, actually, as I have to make a coconut custard pie to satisfy a craving) is to add maybe 1/4 teaspoon baking powder to aerate the crust. I want to see whether this will tenderize it. (The recipe as is makes a very crisp crust. Another experiment for more tenderness could be using a pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour. Another day.) I'll report back on the results in a day or two.
  20. Moet & Chandon is Dutch?? ← Sorry, I'm wrong. I was thinking Jouet, and got carried away. And with Jouet I'm only going on the word of someone I trust, so maybe that's not wholly true. Retracting, retracting, retracting. . . Moet is FRENCH. Has NEVER been Dutch. Named after Claude Moet. But the "t" is still pronounced. ← Both Moet et Chandon and Perrier Jouet are French Champagne. As matter of fact any Champagne appelation is French. As for the "t" in both names, unfortunatly it is not pronounced whatsoever. ← ← Was this copied in answer to my question about Bonnes Bouches? If so, I don't get it. Can someone provide a phonetic pronunciation for me? Is it something like "bone-ay bo-shay" or am I screwing it up entirely? I know absolutely nothing about French..... ← It's simple: bun boosh.
  21. dao fu fa....YUM! I finally had this delicious dessert again last October. It had been years since I used to get this treat when I went to the market in HK with my gung gung. I love watching the vendor use the thin scoop to ladle out thin slabs of dao fu fa into bowls, then topping it with a slathering of simple syrup. ← I think fa means "flower" (hua in Mandarin). We call that tofu dao hweh in the Taiwanese dialect of Chinese, hweh meaning "flower."
  22. Lobster. Can you believe it? I just don't like it, okay? People always give me grief about this, as if I were insane. I think it's tasteless and rubbery. Perhaps it's because lobster is so often overcooked to the point where it is rubbery in texture. Perhaps it's because I grew up in a stridently pro-crab family; we would all sit at the table and praise crab while criticising lobster as vastly inferior in texture, fragrance, and taste. When I take a bite of lobster, I think: crab is so much better. I did have delicious lobster once -- once! -- and it was at a wedding at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, California. Unfortunately, I married into a lobster family, so I am always having to defend myself. Mother-in-law insists that the lobster I had at the Ritz-Carlton must not have been Maine lobster, must have been "langoustino." Nope, I tell her, the menu clearly stated Maine lobster. The implication behind her accusation is that I just don't appreciate real (i.e., Maine) lobster. I wish I could tell her, no, I do like lobster when it's cooked well, but you simply overcook your lobster.
  23. I don't like the waiter to sit down in the empty seat next to mine. The one time this happened, I was so taken aback that I gasped, and the waiter popped right out of the seat and resumed standing. The next day, I wrote a short note to the management and was surprised to be told that the waiters are not instructed to sit down at table with customers when taking orders. It seems this one waiter took it on his own initiative to do this. Maybe he thought he was being chummy. I did tip the full amount, though, for he seemed new at waiting tables.
  24. Pimiento cheese. Anyone who did not grow up with it (in the South) seems to feel revulsion on sight. It's the sight of the little red-pepper bits in the bright orange cheese-and-mayo goop that puts people off. If people could just get past the appearance to try a little bite of heaven! I grew up on that goop and have to have a pimiento-cheese sandwich just about every day.
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