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nankar

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Cranberries?

I can't take credit for this as I saw a friend do it years ago but the best use of cranberries, particularly around the holidays, is to just throw some fresh berries in with candied sweet potatoes and cook until they pop. The color and tartness added to the dish is wonderful!

Best coffee maker and non-stick frypan?

Good question; bad terminology! I don't necessarily require a non-stick coating if the material (hard anodized, aluminum, etc) allows for a nice sear and the food does not stick to it. Thanks!

Make ahead meat for 60

How about old-fashioned swiss steak? Mine is a b____to prepare but can't be beat afterwards in terms of ease of heating and serving. It just gets better the second time! I trim round steak very well, cut into serving size, pound in seasoned flour (pepper and garlic powder), and brown in vegetable oil adding a touch of salt. Then place the pieces in a large pan with a large sliced onion and lots of fresh mushrooms. After dumping the oil and dabbing the frying pan, deglaze the pan with red wine and then add canned, low-sodium beef broth. Pour this mixture on top of the meat and then add some water to almost cover it. Cover the pan and bake in the oven for about 3 hours at 325 until the broth is thick and the meat is tender.

Things to do in NYC in between meals

Walking through Central Park is great. Take in the zoo while you are there. It is small but still delightful. Walk to the Met to explore the wares for sale outside even if you don't go in. Definitely walk across the Brooklyn Bridge for a lovely view.

Best Pizza in Florence and Venice??

Thanks Laura. We will hunt it down!!!

Chicken parm

My partner hates soggy breading so, by happenstance, I have resorted to the following which has turned out great! Brown the chicken in a dutch oven, remove, and then make your favorite sauce in the same pan(I love first adding onion, garlic, a diced poblano and red pepper with a bit of crushed hot pepper flakes). Put the chicken back in the pan and simmer for 20 minutes or so. When ready to serve, remove chicken, put a bit of sauce on top, a slice of cheese, and then sprinkle good bread crumbs on top. Place under the broiler until the crumbs are brown and the cheese is melted. You won't miss the breading and the chicken is delicious.

saw hams in aldi, has anyone tried them?

Hey Willaelise! Funny to read the posts of so many neighbors! I'm in Altoona. Here, we have Wegman's envy! However, you should know that an Aldi's is being built beside Lowe's just off 99.

What food/cooking items did you get for Christmas?

An Accu-sharp knife sharpener which I absolutely love for its ease in use and sharp edge and a Bodum milk frother which is a complete disappointment. It is the battery-operated one with the plastic body. You have to hold the button down manually to operate and it barely froths the milk after holding it down for twice as long as recommended. My old manual model puts it to shame. Bodum should be embarrassed to apply its name to this product.

Ideas for New Year's Eve party Dip

RE the beer/cheese dip: I used to make this frequently but used the sharp cheddar cheese in the "barrel" and 1 clove of garlic. For serving, cut the top and center from a round of dark rye, cube the bread removed, place the dip in the center of the bread and then place it on greens with the cubed bread to dip.

I have recently made a very easy and well received dip with two flattened squares of cream cheese (have used low fat, no-fat and soy varieties), one topped with hot pepper jelly and the other with Honeycup mustard and served with crackers.

Diagnosis: crystallized caramel?

Thanks to all for your thoughtful comments! The recipe does add a small amount of corn syrup. I tried very hard not to overcook as this was the problem the first time. I did, however, stir it constantly so maybe this was the problem.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Cranberry Confidential

If you like candied sweet potatoes, throw in a cup of fresh cranberries about 5 minutes before serving and cover until the berries are soft. The combo of sweet and tart is great as well as the added color.

Healthy & Delicious: Baked Wheat Bulgur with Sweet Potatoes and Almonds

This was my first stab at bulgur wheat. I thought I would try this recipe because I love sweet potatoes and it looked so healthy. Unfortunately, I could not get past the taste of the wheat which I really disliked. This was not a keeper for me.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts...Anyone have a good recipe?

If you are looking for super-easy and reliably delicious, toss the sprouts and a thinly sliced red onion with olive oil. Roast them at 450 until beginning to brown and then drizzle with apple cider vinegar before serving. I use Hanover petite frozen sprouts whole or fresh sprouts which I usually halve.

If you would prefer the skillet method, cut them in half and lightly brown cut side down in butter or oil. If they are not yet tender, just add a bit of water and cover to steam until water evaporates. Mix about a tablespoon of coarse mustard with @ 1/3 cup of cream and then add to skillet to coat sprouts before serving.

You need to season both of the above with salt and pepper before cooking .

SURPRISE!!1!!1 What? Are you OK???

This thread belongs on twitter!

Traditional Guacamole Recipe

Everyone raves (including me) about the guac made to order at a place in Mexico. You can watch him make it with traditional ingredients until he sneaks into the kitchen, adds something, and then comes back to serve. I am almost certain that the "something" is either vegetable oil or olive oil. It is still chunky but has a very creamy and wonderful texture. So.....don't knock it until you try it!

Using lemongrass

I recently used lemongrass for the first time in a tsai spareribs recipe. It called for slicing the white end into rounds and then putting them into the food processor with the other ingredients. No problem whatsoever. the ribs were excellent and I noticed no pieces of lemongrass on the meat.

Let's Talk Potato Salad Secrets

To clarify, the above post should state 1/2 Cup of sugar! My brain is lagging behind today.

Let's Talk Potato Salad Secrets

Here's the recipe for the best I've ever had which is also rather simple. Whisk 1/2 C vinegar, 1/2 sugar and one egg. Bring to boil to thicken. Cool slightly and then mix with diced potatoes. (Similar to the pickle brine effect). After mixture cools, add diced celery, egg, onion and whatever else you prefer. Complete by mixing in dollops of Mayo and sour cream in @ equal amounts until desired consistency.

What to do with Turkey Gravy?

I freeze it until I am ready to make soup. It is quite easy. Just throw in some vegetables (I usually use broccoli) and some leftover chicken or turkey. You can throw in pasta as well. The gravy base makes it taste terrific.

cabbage rolls

Excuse my lack of humility but I have not tasted better than my own! I don't follow a specific recipe but it generally is as follows. Mix lean ground beef, 1 pkg. Jimmy Dean regular sausage, diced onion, diced celery, eggs, uncooked rice, a bit of milk, salt and pepper. Fill cabbage, put any extra cabbage on bottom and top of pan and cover with crushed tomatoes. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for several hours. It is almost impossible to overbake. I put in a crockpot to serve at parties.

Your most memorable meal?

We had lunch on our patio at a resort in San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily, looking out onto the sea. We bought local bread, cheese, olives, and grapes from the little grocery on site and had a bottle of wine from a local vineyard. It was truly heavenly!

ISO recipe for ice cream pie

I make a batch of rice krispie treats and pat half into 2 pie plates, fill with softened ice cream and then decorate as desired. The rice krispie crust tastes so good with the ice cream. Make sure to remove it from the freezer for about 10 minutes before cutting.

Suggestions for extra cranberries

If you are making candied sweet potatoes, throw the cranberries on top and cover during the last several minutes before serving. They are a delicious contrast to the sweetness of the dish and also look great!

How do you like your brownies? (and help fix mine!)

I know this is blasphemy but I use a brownie mix, usually Duncan Hines, to which I add a large amount of chopped walnuts and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. I have not made nor have I eaten better brownies, my friends all ask me to make them and they are so easy in a pinch.

Cheap/creative party food ideas?

How about black olives stuffed with cream cheese and then an almond.

Best coffee maker and non-stick frypan?

My grind and brew Capresso is about to call it quits. Any suggestions for a replacement? I would prefer a built in grinder for the convenience but would consider buying my own. I value the taste of the coffee above all. Also, I need a new large, non-stick frying pan. I prefer one that can go in the oven at high temps. Thanks!

Best Pizza in Florence and Venice??

My partner and I are pizza fanatics. I have come to trust SE readers more than anyone so would love your input as to the best pizza restaurants (sit-down, not slices) in Venice and Florence, Italy where we are traveling next week. Thanks!

Diagnosis: crystallized caramel?

I made my second batch of pecan turtles recently and thought I had corrected the "rock hard" caramel encountered with the first try. They were delicious initially but, after sitting for a few days, the caramel turned sugary. Can the food docs out there tell me what went wrong? Also, can you recommend a good candy thermometer? I have purchased two so far and found both to be very poorly designed and almost impossible to read while caramel is steaming in the pan. Thanks!

Red Onion Woes?

So many recipes call for red onions but each time I use one it is so strong that I regret it. I love onions generally and I like the added color of the red onion. I just used one and put the remaining half in a closed plastic bag in my produce drawer. I opened the fridge to the overwhelming smell of onion and even the apples in the same drawer now smell of onion! Is this the common experience with red onions?

Cook the Book: Greek Baked Beans

Nancy Harmon Jenkin's recipe for Greek-style baked gigante beans makes a whole lotta beans, but any leftovers are easily frozen to use later in soups or stews. Jenkins also suggests that you mash up the tomatoey, honey-sweetened beans to the... More