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Absurdly, stupidly basic cooking questions (Part 2)


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11 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

I'm having my sister and her friend over for dinner on Saturday.  We are making homemade cannelloni including the pasta for a main course.  There will be freshly baked focaccia as well, but my dilemma is, what do I serve as a side dish?  Is a salad the only alternative?  It seems like the main course needs something else, but what?

 

I think you could use any cooked vegetable that goes with whatever you're filling and saucing the cannelloni with. My preference would be for something with a touch of bitterness like dark, leafy greens, broccolini, broccoli rabe etc. sautéed with a bit of garlic.  Zucchini would work, too.  You could throw some roasted mushrooms in with any of those or just have them on their own. 

If you're not doing a tomato-based sauce, some blistered cherry tomatoes would be a nice contrast on the plate. 

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22 minutes ago, Smithy said:

antipasto salad / plate? Either of those ideas could be served as a first course or on the side at the same time.

 

I like this idea a lot.  Start with a platter of mostly vegetable antipasti and your focaccia and leave that on the table in case anyone wants to continue to have them along with their pasta dish.

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18 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

I like this idea a lot.  Start with a platter of mostly vegetable antipasti and your focaccia and leave that on the table in case anyone wants to continue to have them along with their pasta dish.

Yes, I'd take the leisurely Italian family meal approach.  Not personally a crudite fan (too many of those icy cold glass platter crudite offerings). But I do think a bagna cauda offering with the best of spring/summer vegetables can blend in nicely as the opener and left on table per@blue_dolphin. I also like Melissa Clarks zucchini which is best room temp (if I have not snagged all the brownest slices right off broiler).  https://www.glamour.com/story/dinner-tonight-zucchini-can-be  Good with basil if no mint.

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Thank you all for your suggestions.  I ended up roasting some fresh asparagus with nothing more than olive oil, salt and pepper.  I was going to fancy it up but ran out of time.  

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33 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

Thank you all for your suggestions.  I ended up roasting some fresh asparagus with nothing more than olive oil, salt and pepper.  I was going to fancy it up but ran out of time.  

 

That sounds wonderful!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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39 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

Thank you all for your suggestions.  I ended up roasting some fresh asparagus with nothing more than olive oil, salt and pepper.  I was going to fancy it up but ran out of time.  

 

The best way to do asparagus, in my humble.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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  • 2 weeks later...
32 minutes ago, TdeV said:

What's the difference between Blanching, Scalding, and Parboiling?

 

Scalding is a temp below boiling, say 180-200F?  To scald milk would be to heat it to steaming but not boiling, not sure how else scalding is used as a cooking term.  Maybe when poured over animal skin to loosen feathers/fur?

 

Blanching is quick, a minute or less, and only cooks the very outer layers.  You'd blanch peaches to loosen the skin before peeling but the flesh doesn't get cooked.  Parboiling is extended time and cooks the food more but not all the way.  Like if you're making risotto or pasta for a crowd and half-cook it ahead of time, to be finished later.

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Not necessarily absurdly basic because it's not a common problem, but one I should have solved long ago ...

 

How do you get cocoa butter out of fabric?

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1 hour ago, pastrygirl said:

How do you get cocoa butter out of fabric?

Several ideas here.     My usual go-to is soaking affected area in a strong Oxi-Clean/boiling water solution.    Works for chocolate ganache and greasy tomato splotches.

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eGullet member #80.

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1 hour ago, pastrygirl said:

Not necessarily absurdly basic because it's not a common problem, but one I should have solved long ago ...

 

How do you get cocoa butter out of fabric?


Half and half combo of Dawn dishwashing liquid and hydrogen peroxide.

 

Also gets red wine stains out of carpet.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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1 hour ago, pastrygirl said:

Not necessarily absurdly basic because it's not a common problem, but one I should have solved long ago ...

 

How do you get cocoa butter out of fabric?

If there's a ton of it, you could start with freezing and scraping to remove stuff on the surface, as one would do for candle wax.

For anything oily, I start with using a brush to work in some sort of absorbent powder:  baby powder, cornstarch (I see baking powder and chalk mentioned in @Margaret Pilgrim's link), letting it sit a bit, brushing it out again and repeating that until it's not improving. I usually do at least 3 or 4 rounds of that. 

Only then do I move on to a good stain remover (OxyClean Max Force spray) or your liquid detergent applied directly to the fabric.  Again, work it in with a brush and let it sit. 

Run through the wash and hang dry.  Absolutely do NOT put it through the dryer until you've examined the dried fabric to make sure the stain is gone. 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

In my CSA box this week, I received a couple of broccoli, stems still attached.  There are a LOT of stems.  I cut the stems off, but couldn't bear to throw them out.  I thought I'd google what I could do with them but didn't see anything that great.  If someone uses only the stems, what do you do with them?  I'm thinking I could make a creamed soup with them, straining out any fibers, but I'd really like to use them as a vegetable.  If using them as a vegetable, I'd peel the stalks beforehand but then what?  Any suggestions?

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@!ElsieD 

 

ive just treated them the same as 

 

the bigger broccoli stems

 

as they are thinner , they may not need peeling 

 

and cook based on their thinness 

 

they are delicious 

 

with still som4 body to them/

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42 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

In my CSA box this week, I received a couple of broccoli, stems still attached.  There are a LOT of stems.  I cut the stems off, but couldn't bear to throw them out.  I thought I'd google what I could do with them but didn't see anything that great.  If someone uses only the stems, what do you do with them?  I'm thinking I could make a creamed soup with them, straining out any fibers, but I'd really like to use them as a vegetable.  If using them as a vegetable, I'd peel the stalks beforehand but then what?  Any suggestions?

I suffer through the florets for the stems, though I rarely serve them separately. If I do, it’s peeled, cut into coins or julienne, macerated with salt, rinsed and stir fried alone or with other veg or pickled. Irene Kuo’s out of print The Key to Chinese Cooking 1977 has a good description.

 

 

Edited by blue_dolphin
To remove recipe from cookbook. Copyright? (log)
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8 minutes ago, rotuts said:

@blue_dolphin

 

"" Irene Kuo’s out of print The Key to Chinese Cooking 1977 ""

 

a mighty fine book .

 

Knopf.  back then , perhaps now 

 

always the very best

 

Yep.  I think I got it in 1980.  No photos but between the line drawings and careful descriptions, I learned a lot!

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42 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

I'm thinking I could make a creamed soup with them, straining out any fibers, but I'd really like to use them as a vegetable.  If using them as a vegetable, I'd peel the stalks beforehand but then what?  Any suggestions?

Broccoli slaw - shred or julienne the peeled stems and dress as for your favorite coleslaw.

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The stems are the best part of the broccoli but I must admit that I have never been able to peel them the way that Jacques Pepin suggests is possible. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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1 hour ago, ElsieD said:

In my CSA box this week, I received a couple of broccoli, stems still attached.  There are a LOT of stems.  I cut the stems off, but couldn't bear to throw them out.  I thought I'd google what I could do with them but didn't see anything that great.  If someone uses only the stems, what do you do with them?  I'm thinking I could make a creamed soup with them, straining out any fibers, but I'd really like to use them as a vegetable.  If using them as a vegetable, I'd peel the stalks beforehand but then what?  Any suggestions?

 

If they're big enough in diameter, I peel them and slice thin (I use a mandoline). Then I blanch them until barely tender and use them in a gratin with a cream sauce and topped with panko, like I would for a potato gratin.

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4 hours ago, Anna N said:

The stems are the best part of the broccoli but I must admit that I have never been able to peel them the way that Jacques Pepin suggests is possible. 

I have one grandchild who adored broccoli, particularly the stems.    I have peeled more broccoli than I want to remember.   This Oxo Good Grips has been my salvation.    Without it, I'm nothing.

1189639992_ScreenShot2022-08-07at7_09_51PM.png.855694691d879bea6e931715c15dbeed.png

If I knew his mailing address, I'd gift Jacques one.

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eGullet member #80.

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8 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

If I knew his mailing address, I'd gift Jacques one.

 

My guess is that he has one...see just to the right of the cutting board.

 

However, this is how I do it - pretty easy...

 

 

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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