Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by iguana

  1. iguana

    So I bought a duck

    I roasted my first duck last week, using this recipe for a slow-roasted duck from Fine Cooking: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/rosemary-orange-slow-roasted-duck.aspx The basic method is to salt and pepper, stuff some aromatics in the cavity (onion, rosemary, orange), and roast at a low temperature (350°F regular or 325°F convection) for three hours. The meat was very tender and the skin was nicely crisp. There is a pan sauce, but it wasn't really necessary. I would make it every week if duck weren't so expensive!
  2. We really enjoyed these mushroom burgers from Fine Cooking: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/umami-bomb-mushroom-burgers.aspx (May require subscription to view, sorry). The article that featured the mushroom recipe also had a very tasty Thai Peanut Tofu burger that was too spicy for my kid. As some of the reviews note, both of these burgers are a bit hard to keep together in the pan-- they definitely would not work on the grill. For the tofu "burger" I fried the leftovers as crumbles and served them on salad-- very good.
  3. Thread bump, anyone else cooking from the new issue of FC (#123)? They've changed editors and gotten rid of some of the re-design elements that made the magazine hard to read... I made the Key Lime Pie last night, it was quite good-- and the crust was not even soggy today. The pie might last until tomorrow AM...
  4. I'm sorry to report that Boback's (http://bobak.com/) no longer offers the buffet. They are now just selling groceries. Our go-to for Polish food near Midway is Szalas (http://www.szalasrestaurant.com/)-- a highlander restaurant in a huge A-frame, you have to pull a cord that rings a bell to get in. Food is excellent, decor includes taxidermy, waterwheel, etc. They serve lunch and dinner. Cheers, Jen
  5. I'm stunned by the number of people that never sift-- when I sift, I always find lumps, especially of baking powder, cocoa, or malt powder. Once I found a 1-inch twig in my flour-- I think my kid put it in there, but the sifter took it out. Plus, my sifter is a family heirloom from my Great-Aunt Rose, the best baker in the family. Jen P.S. I always double the amount of ginger-- fresh or dried.
  6. The south loop is quite close to Taylor Street, then Black Dog is probably your next closest. Scooter's is closer to Alinea. Judith, I will have to check out Black Dog-- it sounds great! Jen
  7. My 5-year-old and I enthusiastically recommend Scooter's Frozen Custard in the Roscoe Village Neighborhood: http://www.scootersfrozencustard.com/ Also, I believe the place in Skokie mentioned upthread is the Village Creamery. It is also excellent, but a bit of a schlep unless you are driving that way-- I wouldn't make a special trip, especially if you are closer to Scooters. http://www.villagecreamery.com/ I've not tried this one, but my trustworthy sources (the amazing Chicago food board LTH Forum) recommend Mario's Italian Lemonade: http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=14837 BPBNY, where will you be staying or hanging out? Chicago is kind of spread out.... Jen
  8. Aren't ANZAC cookies the classic for shipping to servicemen? Here is a good-looking recipe from 101cookbooks: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/anzac-cookies-recipe.html Good luck and I look forward to your reports, as I have a nephew who is just finishing up basic training. Jen
  9. I recommend Shaker Lemon Pie (uses the whole lemon): http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/04/shaker-lemon-pie/ I've made it-- it's good: Jen
  10. I made pectin jellies today from this book-- wow, easy and tasty. I had some expired liquid pectin, but they gelled perfectly and my 5-year-old had a great time coating them with sugar. The mulberry tree in front of our house is fruiting, so the jellies are mulberry-lime flavored: Step pyramid styling by my junior Egyptologist. I'm enjoying this book-- I just wish I had more time to work on my dipping technique-- maybe this winter! Jen
  11. 10 for $1 at both my local markets this week (Latino area of Chicago). Come on by, we'll make daiquiris! Jen
  12. I was using a chocolate from Poland, Wedel Dark. I love the taste-- in fact, we had a chocolate tasting and it won-- and the competition included all the major brands-- Callebaut, Scharfenberger, etc. I can get Wedel at my local supermarket (A&G at Belmont and Central), but it wasn't working well for dipping-- maybe I could add some cocoa butter. My daughter has been asking for chocolate-dipped caramels, so maybe I need to try again-- candymaking has fallen off my radar! Let me know if you come across a great source in Chicago-- between the poor selection and the high sales tax here, I am thinking mail order (chocosphere, King Arthur flour...) Jen
  13. I've been cooking a lot from Fine Cooking, as part of a Cook the Issue challenge, and I've found two recipes that really rocked my world: Artichoke, Leek, and Taleggio Fritatta from Issue 104: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/artichoke-leek-taleggio-frittata.aspx And Grilled Flank Steak with Cucumber-yogurt sauce from Issue 105: (Edited to add: made with a lovely tri-tip from Heartland Meats) http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/grilled-flank-steak-cucumber-yogurt-sauce.aspx Jen P.S. Fine Cooking challenge: http://www.finecooking.com/contest/cook-the-issue-2010
  14. One of the problems I have with regular cinnamon rolls is that they are too sweet for my husband. I was making brioche dough for the Fine Cooking Cook the Issue 2010 contest (http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/authentic-brioche.aspx) and I had some extra dough. So I rolled it out, spread it with brown sugar and cinnamon, rolled, sliced, and voila: These were just right for us-- rich and cinnamony, but not too sweet. For my 5-year-old, I would add some glaze! Jen
  15. For those of you who are cooking from Fine Cooking, the magazine is having a contest where the more you cook from Issues 104-109 (105 is the current issue, the contest continues until Feb 2011), the more you win. You have to cook a fair bit to get a prize, but it is kind of fun to see how other people fare with the recipes. They had a similar contest when they introduced the new format with Issue 97 and it was a lot of fun. I found it a great way to get out of my usual cooking rut. Anyway, right now there are only two of us participating and we would love some company. Here is the website: http://www.finecooking.com/contest/cook-the-issue-2010 And here is one of my favorites from Issue 104: Artichoke, leek and taleggio fritatta: I just made their brioche and last week I cooked softshell crabs for the first time-- lots of fun. I hope to see you there... Cheers, Jen (Pie-love at FC)
  16. Chris, there was an article by Susie Middleton in Fine Cooking #62, from 2003 that might interest you. It was a series of recipes for marinated roast chicken-- the chicken is marinated, then the pieces are placed in a pan, the marinade is poured over, and the whole shebang is baked for the magic one hour. The recipe suggests that you baste at the 30 minute mark, but I never do. Here is my favorite, the triple-sesame roast chicken: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/triple-sesame-ginger-roast-chicken.aspx?ac=fp and here is the article: http://www.finecooking.com/articles/marinade-roast-chicken-great-pan-sauce.aspx?ac=fp Sorry, these pages do require a subscription. But, aha, Google is your friend-- here is the sesame recipe from some blog: http://unfussyfare.com/2009/triple-sesame-ginger-chicken/ The blogger uses chicken thighs, but FC uses a whole cut up bird-- I find that either works. Also, FC has a fussy way of putting in the garlic-- I just mix it with the rest of the marinade. That reminds me, I should make this again soon, it is really superb. If the traffic reports look bad, you could probably reduce the temperature and cook for longer! Cheers, Jen
  17. Thanks to this inspirational thread, and a large impulse buy of Meyer and regular lemons, I decided to make limoncello. Because I wasn't sure if I would like it, I only sprang for 80-proof Smirnoff. I used a combination of regular and Meyer lemons, about 4:1. Because the alcohol was already at a good proof, after the first extraction step, I added granulated sugar instead of simple syrup. I was a little worried about solubility, but 1.5 cups of sugar dissolved in my 2-qt jar with no problem-- just a little mixing. Here is the aged limoncello, ready for filtering. It's a bit cloudy, because I had just inverted it: The brew: Here it is during filtering: Mmm, "golden hour" lighting is so perfect for photography. You can see that the extraction is not perfect-- some yellow still remains in the peels. One possibility to improve extraction is to use the higher-proof alcohol; another possibility is to decant the first extraction, set it aside, add fresh 80-proof vodka to the peels, let that extract, then combine everything at the end to let the flavors marry. That sounds like work. Never having tried limoncello before, I wasn't sure if I would like it, or if it would just make me think of Lemon Pledge. Well, we had some (served at freezer temperature) as a digestif after a garlic-loaded dinner party and it was splendid. Not too sweet, it went down so easily, I could see that it could be very dangerous. It was absolutely delicious-- as soon as I finish filtering this batch, I will be on the lookout for more organic lemons. This time, maybe I will try 100-proof vodka-- or maybe I won't mess with success. Thanks egullet (and especially Katie!) Jen
  18. iguana

    Baby Food?

    Welcome emunding and congratulations on making your own baby food. I agree with everyone upthread that it is a great thing. You will get better food and save a lot of $$. I used the book "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron, but disregarded her porridge and a lot of her rah rah Super baby talk. Once you get past that, this book is a great introduction for making baby food. Freezing in ice cube trays is a great thing, as mentioned upthread. My daughter's favorites were fruits of any kind. chicken-and-gravy, and pureed string beans. I used my mini food processor to chop up cooked veg with a little liquid. Lora, I love your little pancake idea-- my "little one" is now 5, sigh. Jen
  19. Here is my second batch of dipped chocolates, using the tempering method in this book. My first batch was out of temper, but reading the book allowed me to understand and diagnose the condition of the chocolate and make a fix. As a novice, this book is just right for me. The batch here uses a caramel recipe from Fine Cooking, to which I have added ancho chile powder, cinnamon, orange zest, and pine nuts. The orange and spices combine to make a warm-spice taste. I didn't use very much spice (about 0.5 tsp each for a recipe with 1.5 cups of sugar.) The recipe is here: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/honey-caramels.aspx?ac=ts&ra=fp I have made variations on this caramel recipe for many years as teachers' gifts, but the chocolate coating with its nice snap really brings these to a new level. So clearly my dipping technique requires work-- the chocolate is very viscous and thick once I get it into temper. I'm also having trouble measuring the temperature with either my Thermoprobe, or my other thermometer, which is one of those with a probe and a long wire. Both are very accurate, but I'm getting chocolate everywhere and it's hard to keep the probe in place while stirring. What a mess. I think more practice is in order! Jen
  20. Happy Pi Day to you too! Sweet potato buttermilk pie, using the recipe from Smitten Kitchen http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/11/sweet-potato-buttermilk-pie/ Jen
  21. Thank you for the energy bars, they sound great; I am also considering this granola bar recipe: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/02/thick-chewy-granola-bars/ Also, granola is a great idea, thank you meredithla! Reporting back on the pantry cleanout, I found the "Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes" whole wheat bread to be gummy. My husband and I agreed that it was better (and cheaper) than storebought, but not as good as bread that required a little more effort. So I have been working through the whole wheat flour by making the ww bread from Baking with Julia-- truly an excellent recipe. As for the freezer, I just got a big order of pork from a local farmer, so I am clearing out all previously frozen "industrial" pork. So yesterday we had pork tacos with slow-roasted boston butt (275, 8 hours). Today I found a half-pound of ground pork, so I made italian sausage for tonight's pizza. Next in my sights is some of the CSA produce that I froze over the summer, including several pounds of heirloom tomatoes, which will be made into marinara sauce, and lots of frozen broccoli. Tomorrow is zucchini muffins from frozen shredded zucchini-- also a Smitten Kitchen recipe, http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/07/summer-of-the-bats/. Naturally these will include ww flour! Only 3.5 months until the relentless (in a good way) supply of veg from the CSA starts again-- better get eating! Thank you all for the suggestions and inspiration! Just out of curiosity, who draws their freezer completely down and who is continually refilling as they are cleaning out old items? I am in the latter camp-- in the past few weeks I have added 30 lb pork, dozens of homemade sauerkraut pierogies, applesauce, chicken stock, etc. Jen
  22. This is a great book-- it finally got me over my fear of tempering chocolate! Jen
  23. I'm in for the freezer cleanout, where I need to turn over all the vegetables I froze this summer from our overabundant CSA box (lots of tomatoes, kale, broccoli, etc), plus pork butt, and crabapple puree. Inspired by this thread, I also went through my pantry and found the following, all near or past expiration: If you look closely, you can see that King Arthur Flour has changed its packaging for bulk goods at least twice since I last cleaned the pantry. The buttermilk powder went in the trash. What kind of fool lets chocolate chips expire? So, here are Alice Medrich's Chocolate Chip biscotti from her Cookies and Brownies book: Bonus points for using walnuts from the freezer. The whole wheat flour will be a huge project-- luckily my pantry is cold, so it was not rancid. Here is my first batch of basic whole wheat Artisan Bread in 5 minutes: That used 5.5 cups of flour, or about 1.5 pounds-- so I should be able to make 3 more batches, wow. Anyone have ideas for my dried fruit collection (apricots, cranberries, raisins)? A fine spring fruitcake?? Cheers, Jen
  24. iguana

    Pickles--Cook-Off 32

    Thanks for bumping this thread. I read this thread last spring and ordered Quick Pickles on the basis of multiple recommendations upthread. I had a very busy pickling summer, but forgot to post any of it. The Green Tomato Pickles from Quick Pickles, but using the Spice House pickling spice blend: And ready to eat: Sauerkraut: And bread-and-butter pickles, again with the Spice House blend: One jar has hot peppers, just for kicks. We are a family of 3, but subscribe to a weekly CSA box that gives us about a half-bushel of veg every week. This forces me to eat my veg, and gives me the opportunity to pickle a lot. It is really wonderful to be delving into summer's pickles in the middle of winter. I just finished the last of the green tomatoes a couple of weeks ago and then opened the bread and butter pickles-- I find they really need to mellow for several months to lose their harshness. The sauerkraut is starting to get a little old, so I need to make a big batch of pierogies soon. Next year, more pickles!! Cheers, Jen
  25. Hi Emily, The gingerbread biscotti recipe is here on the FC website: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/gingerbread-biscotti.aspx It looks like it is available without a subscription, let me know if not. Cheers, Jen Edited to add: The recipe is also here: http://www.grouprecipes.com/81243/gingerbread-biscotti.html
  • Create New...