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Cooking with "Cook's Illustrated"


CaliPoutine
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josho~

gotta love that vodka crust that Kenji developed. It's never let me down.

What is this? I desperately need a crust that won't let me down and that looks terrific! :raz:

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josho~
gotta love that vodka crust that Kenji developed. It's never let me down.

What is this? I desperately need a crust that won't let me down and that looks terrific! :raz:

We actually have an entire topic over in the Pastry & Baking forum devoted to the topic. The general idea is to replace some of the water in the crust recipe with vodka, since alcohol does not form gluten, but still moisturizes the dough, making it easier to work with. I second Josho's recommendation: it really does make wonderful crusts (though of course there are varying opinions on the matter in the above-linked topic).

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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  • 2 weeks later...

I made these pineapple upside down cakes last week when I was in Florida. This is the second time I've made them and they're really yummy. I prefer the coconut ginger version to the plain upside down cake.

Fabulous fresh pineapple makes all the difference.

gallery_25969_665_517239.jpg

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Did you like those enchiladas? Mine were strangely bitter. I don't know what it was from, maybe the poblanos were old? I like Fine Cooking's green chile enchiladas better, they use Anaheim's rather than poblanos. I like the idea of oven roasting, so may adapt the recipe to do that.

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Did you like those enchiladas? Mine were strangely bitter. I don't know what it was from, maybe the poblanos were old? I like Fine Cooking's green chile enchiladas better, they use Anaheim's rather than poblanos. I like the idea of oven roasting, so may adapt the recipe to do that.

I liked them, but I think I like the red chili version better. I thought they were rather tangy. Maybe I didnt put enough sugar in the sauce. I loved the rice from FC. The recipe uses milk along with broth which I thought was kinda strange, but good.

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  • 1 month later...

I made that blueberry pie last night and was very impressed. The filling isn't runny but it isn't gelatinous either! It is just the right texture (and flavor). This was my first time using that vodka crust and it was great as well!

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I made the pizza bianca from the latest issue. I made in on Sunday as the recipe was written using the overnight rise. I topped it with olive oil, salt and rosemary. I must have overproofed it, because it didnt rise in the oven. It was more like a cracker.

I tried it again today, using the regular 2.5 hr rise. I made it like a pizza, making a quick sauce with canned italian cherry tomatoes and fresh mozz and basil.

I didnt love it :sad: This is probably the first CI recipe that I didnt love. The dough was bland. Its a very wet dough and it was easy to work with( you just pour it on the sheet pan). But, the flavor just wasnt there. I think the overnight rise would have helped. I much prefer Peter Reinharts foccacia recipe. CI calls this pizza, but I think its more like a foccacia dough. Anyone else try it?

gallery_25969_665_617316.jpg

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I believe Reinhart says speed is the enemy of the flavor. For your overnight rise in the fridge, could you tell if the flavor was better in that dough? I've done a lot of overnight rises for pizza dough, and it works if your yeast is good. Maybe your stash of yeast is on it's last legs?

Did you have any sticking issues with the dough? Inspired by Fat Guy, I tried to make a simple pizza by shaping out dough into a sheet plan just like you did above. Disaster. Stuck like crazy.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I believe Reinhart says speed is the enemy of the flavor.    For your overnight rise in the fridge, could you tell if the flavor was better in that dough?    I've done a lot of overnight rises for pizza dough, and it works if your yeast is good. Maybe your stash of yeast is on it's last legs?

Did you have any sticking issues with the dough? Inspired by Fat Guy, I tried to make a simple pizza by shaping out dough into a sheet plan just like you did above.  Disaster. Stuck like crazy.

Nope, the yeast is brand new. The dough rose both times no problem. I might have left it on the counter too long( after removing from the fridge) the first time. It didnt stick at all to this pan( its the gold touch by Williams Sonoma, I LOVE THIS PAN). I used maybe 1tbls of oil on the pan. The crust was nice, the flavor was just bland.

I hope you try it so you can let me know what you think. Everyone on the CI message board just loves it and they're making it as written.

eta: yes, the flavor was better in the first dough, it was just like a cracker.

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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I made this the other day, and followed the recipe as written. It was excellent. Since there are only two of us, I froze what we did not eat and I am curious to see if freezing affects it in any way. I used a non-stick pan, oiled it as instructed and had no problems whatsoever with it sticking.

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I made this the other day, and followed the recipe as written.  It was excellent.  Since there are only two of us, I froze what we did not eat and I am curious to see if freezing affects it in any way.  I used a non-stick pan, oiled it as instructed and had no problems whatsoever with it sticking.

What did you think of the flavor of the dough? Like I said, I thought it was bland. I wonder if it has to do with the Canadian flour I used. Its from a local mill and has a lot of the bran left in it( even though its AP flour).

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I made the berry shortcakes for a potluck recently and as always (I've made them many times before) people raved. They are the best shortcakes I've ever had, and for potlucks I make mini sized biscuits, split them, fill the middle with the whipped cream and the berries, then put the top neatly back on. They look so pretty and people snatch them up. I can't remember what issue they appeared in but they are also in Baking Illustrated.

It occurs to me all of my favorite berry recipes are from CI. The other sure fire hit--the one I can't bring anywhere without people asking for the recipe--is the cookie dough fruit cobbler recipe from August 1996.

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I just got the CI American Classics 2008 issue. Out of 25 recipes, I've picked 18 that I want to try! That's a record for me - most other publications have a few I might like to try, maybe one or two that I actually will.

Last week I tried their fish and chips and they were wonderful. The fish batter was perfect.

BTW - has anyone heard about this little brouhaha? I like the magazine a lot, but, golly they take themselves seriously!

Edited by Kim Shook (log)
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BTW - has anyone heard about this little brouhaha?  I like the magazine a lot, but, golly they take themselves seriously!

I agree that the magazine takes themselves too seriously, but in this situation, after reading the original exchange, I have to say the blogger comes off as rather immature.

I think the point at which she lost my sympathy was when she wrote: "I appreciate that you are trying to play the bigger person and be all kind and patient and whatnot. That's my typical M.O., as I consider myself a spiritual and loving individual. But..." It's like saying "I'm not trying to be a ass hole here, as I'm usually a really nice person, but [insert ass-hole-ish thing to say here]." Saying you're usually not like that doesn't excuse your current rude behavior.

Like I said, the magazine does take themselves ridiculously seriously, but personal behavior counts for a lot. Even if I may agree with the blogger's position generally, in this case the blogger just rubs me the wrong way.

Edited by Jujubee (log)
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What seems disingenuous about CI's stance here is that, in their recipes, they talk about how they started off with this-or-that recipe for a given dish, and then modified it until it met their requirements.

They do not generally credit the sources given for the recipes they modify. In fact, they may be violating copyrights themselves.

--Josh

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I just got the CI American Classics 2008 issue.  Out of 25 recipes, I've picked 18 that I want to try!  That's a record for me - most other publications have a few I might like to try, maybe one or two that I actually will. 

Last week I tried their fish and chips and they were wonderful.  The fish batter was perfect.

BTW - has anyone heard about this little brouhaha?  I like the magazine a lot, but, golly they take themselves seriously!

I read the blog, and when I came to

"Potato Salad

INSPIRED BY (UGH) you know who and you know from where... fuckers"

I had tears in my eyes from trying not to laugh out loud.

She did handle the situation very well :raz:

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That reminds me, the CI American Potato Salad is fantastic. Putting a couple tbs of vinegar on the potatoes while they are still hot makes such a difference.

Indeed. I like that technique. However, I'm less of a fan of the use of russets. I know that supposedly makes it "classic" but to me, that's a flaw in classic American potato salad.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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That reminds me, the CI American Potato Salad is fantastic. Putting a couple tbs of vinegar on the potatoes while they are still hot makes such a difference.

Indeed. I like that technique. However, I'm less of a fan of the use of russets. I know that supposedly makes it "classic" but to me, that's a flaw in classic American potato salad.

What would correct that flaw?

I made this potato salad yesterday, and it was good, but it definitely ends up more like mashed potato salad.

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