Profile

salpico

Is it safe to cut mold off of cheese?

Blue/green or white mold on cheese is "safe".
Red or black mold on cheese is dangerous. Throw it away.

Non-kitchen items in your kitchen?

I have a digital postage scale from Staples that does double-duty as a kitchen scale.

Meatloaf: In the pan or on a sheet?

I've done it both ways. The method is less critical than the quality and balance of the ingredients. Good quality meat won't be greasy. I get mine ground at my German butcher the same day I make it.
Of course, the taste and texture improves the next day, after chilling in the refrigerator.

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 carrot
1 red bell pepper
1 medium tomato
1 large yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups coarse homemade white breadcrumbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup Hunt's ketchup
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
California sweet paprika

Preheat oven to 375F.
Dice and sweat the onions in the oil in a large saute pan. Dice the rest of the veg, and add to the pan. Cook until the veg begin to soften, then remove from heat, and cool.
Gently mix everything in a bowl. Do not over work meat. Transfer to 10 inch pyrex loaf pan. Score the top of the loaf with the tines of a fork, then sprinkle generously with paprika. Bake at 375F to 155F in center.
Rest 10 min. in pan to let some of the juices reabsorb, then pour off any remaining liquid from the bottom of the dish.

Sam Sifton's Basic Cranberry Sauce

My recipe is similar to this one. I use a little bit less sugar, 2/3 cup, and a pinch of salt.
I also add 2 tsp. Lebanese orange flower water to give it a wonderful citrus aroma.

Kitchen Gadgets: Unexpected Hits?

I have a battery-operated Aerolatte milk frother for cappuccino, but I also use it to quickly emulsify salad dressings, and whip egg whites.

Favorite Jewish Foods to Cook?

@smsingram, It's not sweet, it tastes just right. If you can let it rise longer than the recommended time before baking, it will be even lighter.

Favorite Jewish Foods to Cook?

HONEY APPLE CHALLAH
Prep plus cooking time 5 hours

1 envelope rapid rise active dry yeast
7 oz. fresh cider or unfiltered apple juice
3 extra large eggs at room temp.
3 tbsp. light olive oil
1/4 cup honey
24 oz. all-purpose flour, sifted (4 cups)
1 heaping tbsp. Diamond Crystal kosher salt

EQUIPMENT
instant read thermometer
food processor w/plastic dough blade
pastry brush
baking sheet
Silpat or parchment paper

Whisk one egg with one tbsp. honey for egg wash, and reserve.
Combine two eggs, remaining 3 tbsp. honey, and oil in the food processor. Pulse until mixed. Heat cider to 115 degrees in the microwave. Stir in yeast until dissolved. Pour yeast through the feed tube of processor and pulse. Add half the flour and salt to the workbowl, and process until smooth. Add remaining flour and salt. Process until dough pulls away from the sides of the workbowl in a ball. Place dough on a lightly-floured work surface and gently knead for 30 sec.
Place dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Place covered bowl in a warm place until it doubles in volume (approx. 2 hrs.)
Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide into three pieces and gently roll into ropes approx. 12 inches long and 1 inch thick. Place ropes on baking sheet covered with parchment. Braid three ropes into a loaf. Pinch ends together, and tuck under.
Brush loaf with the egg wash. Cover loaf with plastic wrap. Return to warm place to rise again for 2 more hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center position. Bake for 20 to 22 min. until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Culinary Torch Recommendations

The basic, Bernz-O-Matic brass pencil head will run you about $35 at a hardware store. Also buy a blue propane cylinder, which should last for months, if not years. Might be a good idea to buy an ABC fire extinguisher for your kitchen at the same time, if you don't already have one.

Good Bread: Challah To Seek Out for Rosh Hashanah in NYC

Why not bake your own?

1 envelope active dry yeast
3 eggs
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup honey
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
Diamond Crystal kosher salt

Equipment
Instant read thermometer
Food processor w/plastic dough blade
Pastry brush
baking sheet
parchment paper or Silpat

Combine two eggs, honey, and olive oil in the food processor. Pulse until mixed. Stir yeast packet into 7 oz. of warm water at 110F to 115F. Pour yeast mixture into the processor through the feed tube while running. Add half the flour. Process until smooth. Add remaining flour and 1 tbsp. salt. Process until dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the workbowl. Place dough on a lightly-floured work surface and gently knead into a ball.
Place dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with a damp towel. Place covered bowl in a warm place until it doubles in volume (your oven may have a "proof" setting for this).
Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide into three equal pieces and gently roll into ropes 12” long and 1" thick. Place ropes on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Braid three ropes into a loaf. Pinch ends together. Cover loaf with damp towel. Return to warm place to rise again for one hour.
Preheat oven to 350F and set rack in center position. Separate third egg and whisk 1 tsp. water to make egg wash (white not used). Brush top of loaf. Bake for 25 min, or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Glass cooktop

That cooktop cleaning cream works, but it is very messy. I don't use it.
Remove heavy build-ups of burned-on food with a razor blade. Smaller messes can be cleaned with a "gentle" (blue) scrubber sponge and soapy water, or Comet cleanser. A Brillo pad is safe, if you are careful. However, a heavy-duty (green & yellow) ScotchBrite scrubber sponge will scratch it, do not use that. After cleaning, buff the glass with a dry kitchen towel.
Small scratches are inevitable, but avoid dragging rough-bottomed cookware over the surface, especially cast iron and enamelware. Remember this mantra: "Pick up and set down...pick up and set down..."

Roommate/College Food Stories

I guess this is a roomate/college food story, sort of.
I went to school in Boston, and my roomate and I decided to go SCUBA diving one day in Nahant, which is a little peninsula just north, where the Coast Guard has a maritime station. I parked my car on the street, and we entered the water. When we came out, the car was gone. I should mention, at this point, that my car was sporting a little SCUBA flag decal on the bumper, and NJ plates.
We're standing there in our black rubber wetsuits, not sure what to do, when the local cops roar up and jump out of the car, practically with their guns drawn. "OK, where are the lobsters?" they barked. "We don't have lobsters", I insisted.
"You must be poaching the local fishermen's traps down there, what else would you be doing?". "Just doing a sport dive", I protested.
"Well, you are not allowed to park on the street around here, punk, your car has been towed to Lynn."
All my ID, and what little cash I had, was locked inside the car, so I had to hitchhike to Lynn, dressed head-to-toe in a dripping wet black wetsuit, while my friend waited behind. I looked like an alien! I finally got a ride, and when I got to the impound lot, the fine was cash-only, and, of course, I did not have enough money to reclaim my car. I took my wallet out of the glovebox, and set off down the street.
Soon after, I realized that it was a holiday, and all the banks were closed (this was before the days of ATM's). I needed to cash a personal check, and badly, because it was getting late in the day.
I spied a pharmacist leaving his store, locking the door behind him. I accosted him, and, still in my black wetsuit, pleaded with him to cash my out-of-state check for $10. He must have thought that I was from Mars, because it took a lot of convincing, but I finally got the ten, and walked back to the lot for my car.
I got there, and now the Lynn cops were waiting for me, ordering me to open the trunk, again searching for the stupid lobsters. They were quite disappointed that they couldn't lock me up in the pokey for the crime of the century.
I returned to find my roomate, shivering. We both vowed never to dive at Nahant again. BTW, lobsters only cost $2 a pound in those days. It never occurred to me to steal them. The End.

Wusthof Silverpoint II 10 Piece Set vs. Classic 7" Santoku?

A bunch of cheap knives, half of which you will never need, is not a good value. Get one good knife, and build on that. A 7" santoku is very useful. In addition to that, look for a 3.5" parer, a medium-sized serrated knife, and an 8" or 10" chef's knife. Those four knives will suffice for at least 90% of the kitchen tasks you will encounter.
If you want to learn what's on the market, spend some time browsing this website:
http://www.cutleryandmore.com/cutlery.htm

Chorizo

Sorry, check that--Wednesday through Saturday.

Chorizo

Don't know if you live in the NYC metro area, but Lopes Sausage Co., 304 Walnut St., Newark, NJ, (973) 344-3063 produces amazing applewood-smoked sausages, including chouriço, chorizo, linguiça, morcelas, morcilla, and salpicao. Their retail butcher shop is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday. They do ship.

If you could have one cooking item...

I have a whole arsenal of very sharp knives, but mandolins scare me. Instead, I got a 1mm slicing disk for my Cuisinart. It's perfect for things like making potato chips, or julienning a fennel bulb for a salad.

What should I get at local asian supermarket? (Vegetarian)

I buy bok choy, mustard greens, soy sauce, katsu sauce, hoisin sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, Thai coconut milk, genmaicha (roasted brown rice green tea), matcha (for green tea ice cream), jasmine brown rice, red rice, somen, soba, and udon noodles, wasabi, and Japanese snack mix.

R. Kelly themed party - need to make punch that looks like pee.

Why not use the real thing?

Embarrassing childhood foods

@cookiequiz
Fine idea, and timely. I have to make four PB&J sandwiches to carry in my pockets for a 100 mile bike ride tomorrow. They are sure to get squished, so I will make them with lightly toasted Arnold Brick Oven white bread (easier to digest than whole wheat).

Scoopable ice cream: corn syrup, alcohol, both?

Never tried vodka, although a tablespoon or two of liqueur is a good idea, as much for flavor as texture. Many of my recipes include 1-2 tsp. vanilla extract, and/or 1-2 tbsp. rum, Tia Maria, Chambord, Grand Marnier, etc.
I tried corn syrup once, but I don't think it is the key. If you get the custard right, with the proper fat and sugar content, freeze the churned ice cream overnight, then let it thaw for a couple of minutes on the countertop before scooping, it should be creamy. You can spoil the party if you try to add pureed fruit with a high water content, i.e. strawberries. Cook the fruit down to a thick coulis on the stove before incorporating it, and if it is still ends up being a large volume of liquid, reduce the milk accordingly.

5 egg yolks, as fresh as possible
1-3/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1/8 tsp. table salt
plus flavorings

Embarrassing childhood foods

I would have to bring matzo sandwiches to school for a week. I was teased and bullied anyway, not necessarily for that. But, by forcing gratutious and silly religious superstitions on me as a child, my parents succeeded in turning me a card-carrying athiest as an adult.

Easy Apricot Chicken Recipe

Cubed Spam instead of the chicken, or on the top?

Crispy Cookies

This is a good recipe for THIN & CRISPY OATMEAL COOKIES. The secret is the proportion of baking powder to baking soda. The cookies will rise in the oven, then collapse and crisp up as they brown. Store in an airtight container. I use Tupperware without a problem. Recipe yields two dozen 3 inch cookies.

14 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened to room temp
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. table salt
2-1/2 cups Quaker old–fashioned oats

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg and mix until incorporated. Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together in a bowl, add to batter, and mix until just combined, then add the oatmeal and mix.

Scoop batter into balls with a #40 (2 tbsp) ice cream scoop and lay out 8-up on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper. Flatten batter balls with the heel of your hand to about 3/4 inch thick.

Preheat oven to 325F. Bake one sheet at at time for 15 min, or until cookies are golden brown with crisp edges. Place cookie sheet on a wire cooling rack, and cool the cookies on the sheets.

Ice Cream Maker Recommendations?

I buy inexpensive, canned coconut milk at the Asian market, which all seems to be imported from Thailand. I like CHAKOH brand, but it doesn't matter, as long as you use unsweetened coconut milk, not "lite" coconut milk, coconut water, or coconut cream. More accurately, my recipe calls for two 13.5 oz. cans.
I also use unsweetened coconut flakes for the topping, but you can use sweetened baking coconut, if you prefer.

Ice Cream Maker Recommendations?

I have the KA mixer attachment, and I use it year-round. If I didn't own it, I'd get the Cuisinart. You can find used, basic Cuisinarts on eBay for $20-$40. A new one will run you $50-$60. It's fun to make your own frozen treats. Here's a simple recipe to get you started:

5 egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch salt
2–14 oz. cans unsweetened Thai coconut milk
2 tbsp. rum
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup shredded coconut

1) Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl. Combine the coconut milk, salt, and sugar in a 2 qt. saucepan, and heat to barely a simmer. Slowly whisk a little of the cream mixture into the bowl of eggs, to temper. Transfer back into the saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the custard thickens. Strain the custard into a 1 quart pyrex cup. Place cup in an ice bath to cool down. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
2) Toast the coconut in a 300°F oven, in a pie plate, until golden. Cool.
3) Add the vanilla extract and the rum into the cooled custard. Churn in the ice cream maker 15-20 min. Transfer the ice cream into a 5 cup plastic container using a large rubber spatula. Sprinkle the toasted coconut over the top. Chill in freezer overnight.

San Francisco: The Doughnut Burger at Straw

Sickening, disgusting, and just stupid.

Please Change The Fonts

As a long-time member of this site, I want to say that there is more quality food related content then I could ever explore, and for that I am very grateful, but whoever designed the new graphic look should rethink it.
There are too many different fonts used. The topic headings are too big, and should be displayed in a san serif font. The body copy, especially in the Talk comment postings, is too tiny, and should be in an easier to read serif font. Come on, guys, you can do better.

I suck at making...

Revisiting an old thread...Many of us consider ourselves accomplished cooks, but cannot pull off one particular dish. For me it is mac & cheese. I've tried a number of different recipes and techniques, but it invariably disappoints. Too gummy, too grainy, overwrought, over thought.
Discuss.

Gluttonous murderer ruins it for everyone

(AP) HOUSTON - Texas inmates who are set to be executed will no longer get their choice of last meals, a change prison officials made Thursday after a prominent state senator became miffed over an expansive request from a man condemned for a notorious dragging death.

Lawrence Russell Brewer, who was executed Wednesday for the hate crime slaying of James Byrd Jr. more than a decade ago, asked for two chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, fried okra, a pound of barbecue, three fajitas, a meat lover's pizza, a pint of ice cream and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts. Prison officials said Brewer didn't eat any of it.

"It is extremely inappropriate to give a person sentenced to death such a privilege," Sen. John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, wrote in a letter Thursday to Brad Livingston, the executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Within hours, Livingston said the senator's concerns were valid and the practice of allowing death row offenders to choose their final meal was history.

"Effective immediately, no such accommodations will be made," Livingston said. "They will receive the same meal served to other offenders on the unit."

Confessing The (Dinner Party) Blues

My serial misanthropy now extends to friends and family, over food. It seems like I never get a good meal, unless I make it myself, or go to one of the few local restaurants that I think is worth it. Not to say that I am a great chef, I am not, but I have learned to cook out of necessity.
When invited to a party or holiday meal by friends or family, I get served mediocre or downright bad food, and I am the only one who ever seems bothered by it. I am growing resentful.
Just last weekend, we attended a party to which we had been invited a month in advance. For dinner, I was seved cold fried chicken and day-old salads from the supermarket deli counter. The woman had recently remodeled her kitchen, and has two ovens (I have one), yet she couldn't even be bothered to warm up the store-bought food. This was not a picnic, it was a sit-down dinner.

When I have a party, I go all out with a large and varied menu, everything made from scratch, sometimes spending days on the preparation. My wife hates my irascible complaining, and thinks I am insufferable. I'm told it's not about the food, it's about getting together with people. I say, if you are inviting me to your home for a meal, serve me halfway-decent food, and don't expect me to bring a dish, either. Right or wrong?

Strawberry ice cream failure

I have tried to make this several times. The problem is the water content of the berries ruins the creamy texture. As we know, the standard recipe for ice cream base is 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup milk, 4 egg yolks, three quarters of a cup of sugar, plus a pinch of salt and a little vanilla extract.
I've tried eliminating the milk entirely with a quart of pureed, macerated fresh strawberries, but it is still does not freeze well.
The only thing I have not tried is first cooking the strawberries down with some of the sugar to thicken it and burn off some of the water. Any advice?

Please recommend Memphis BBQ

I will be spending several days there next month. Please recommend the best restaurants, especially BBQ, in the Memphis metro area. Also, which blues clubs around Beale St. are noteworthy?

Coconut cream pie

With all the discussion of banana cream pie, some homage should be paid to coconut cream pie.
I know people who hate coconut. I find it so interesting how tastes differ. I would eat dirt if it had coconut mixed into it.

http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/ae275/105f2/ccp.jpg
(the mighty Stillwell's, again)

ThermoWorks Thermapen

Why do I covet one of these gadgets? I've already managed to survive for half a century without one.
Seriously, I wonder if we can band together, and get some sort of quantity discount through SE, because there's no way in hell I'm going to spend a hundred bucks on a meat thermometer.

...such pretty colors...must have...

Winter: What's it good for?

I don't ski or ice skate, so, although I live in the northeast, I never learned to appreciate cold weather. However, it is an excuse to enjoy hearty soups and stews, and a steaming cup of hot cocoa in front of a roaring fire. What are your winter comfort foods?

Today's subfreezing tempertures gave me a counterintuitive inspiration. I usually have trouble keeping the bowl of my KA ice cream maker cold enough for the duration of the churning process in my hot kitchen, so I did the whole thing it outside on the deck. I made Frangelico (hazelnut) coffee ice cream, and it came out denser and creamier than ever.
My spouse won't eat ice cream except between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but I have no such qualms, so more for me!

Making Ice Cream: Raw vs. Cooked Eggs

Having made about ten batches of ice cream and gelato since I recently got my ice cream maker, I want to share an observation.
The basic, crème anglaise method involves combining the equal parts heavy cream and whole milk in a saucepan with sugar and beaten egg yolks, gently cooking it to 170°F., and then cooling it down completely before churning. This yields a rich, dense ice cream.
Most of the Ben & Jerry's cookbook recipes use raw, whole beaten eggs, plus two parts heavy cream to one part milk. This yields an airy, light, almost mousse-like ice cream.
Regardless of how you do it, you still have to "age" the ice cream in your freezer for 12-24 hrs. before you get a good finished product.
Beating egg whites into the mix works a heck of a lot more air in the ice cream, which, to me, defines the difference between cheap, supermarket "box" ice cream, and so-called "premium" ice creams, even more so than the butterfat content. I think Ben & Jerry are dumbing it down, for the sake of ease and instant gratification, rather than producing the best possible result.
On the other hand, maybe this rant just reflects my personal taste regarding how dense I like my ice cream.
Comments?

Made my first batch of ice cream

I used my new KitchenAid ice cream-making attachment to make my first quart of coconut gelato from less than $2 worth of ingredients:

5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-14 oz. can Thai coconut milk
1 cup whole milk
1/4 tsp. table salt

Following the guidelines in Bruce Weinstein's, "The Ultimate Frozen Dessert Book", it came out great!

Next time, I'll think I'll add some chopped, chocolate-covered macadamia nuts (drool).

Ridiculous kitchen gadgets

I'm a sucker for kitchen gadgets, I have drawers and drawers full of them. Whenever I visit a housewares store, I am drawn to the displays with childlike curiosity.
While some gadgets are sheer genius, others are just silly. This one, famously advertised on TV, makes me laugh. EZ Cracker, a cumbersome $20 contraption, that perfoms the seemingly impossible task of cracking an egg:
https://www.ezcracker.com/

Short Ribs: Next Time I Won't Miss the Bone

Beef short ribs are one of my favorite comfort foods, perfect for a cold winter evening. But, when preparing bone-in short ribs, you have to deal with a lot of fat. Some recipes call for cooking the meat the day before, then cooling, congealing, and scraping away the fat layer, before reheating and serving. That seems like a compromise to me.
I got some nice, cryovac boneless beef short ribs at Wegman's recently, and came up with this simple, Asian-style braise.

3 lbs. boneless beef short ribs.
3 tbsp. peanut oil
1 medium onion chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 finger of fresh ginger, peeled and minced (2" piece)
1-1/2 cups orange juice
6 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. ponzu sauce
1 tbsp. sriracha
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Pat the meat dry with paper towels and season with salt. Heat the oil in a medium-sized dutch oven or heavy pot with lid, and brown the meat well on all sides. Remove and reserve. Add the onions, cook until translucent. Deglaze the fond from the bottom of the pot with a little water, if necessary. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook until the onions begin to caramelize. Add the OJ, soy sauce, ponzu, hot sauce, and sugar, and bring to a boil. Return meat and drippings to pot, cover, and transfer to oven. Braise 3 hours, or until meat is very tender. Slice the meat thinly across the grain, and serve over rice.

Best bite of food ever

Describe one singular bite of food that was so heavenly that the memory was imprinted in your mind forever.

A few years ago, I spent several days vacationing in the medieval town of Ribe, Denmark. Danish food is pretty boring, but they do one thing extremely well: Dansk Wienerbrød. This is not a hot dog on a roll. You know it as Danish, or Danish pastry. What other country has invented a dish so good, that it's name has become genericized throughout the world? I mean, who says, "Let's have a cup of coffee and a Canadian?"

I found myself sitting on a bench in the town square, in the same spot where Vikings sat thirteen centuries before, with an Almond Kringle, a marzipan-filled yeast pastry, still warm from the bakery. I slid it from the bag, and took a bite. My wife wanted some but, here's what happened:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzwi9eF3QOw

Back from the Front: Holiday meal report

How was your holiday meal, and what did you eat?

Here's what awaited me at my MIL's on Xmas eve, after a 40-mi. drive from NJ to Queens which took over 3 hrs. in bumper-to-bumper traffic:

Appetizer/Nosh--a small bowl of unsulphered dried prunes and pitted dates.

Salad--wilted red leaf lettuce, a few shards of bell pepper, a sad tomato, and spoiled mushrooms. Bottle of Kraft Italian dressing on the side (ingredients: water, sugar, canola oil, xanthan gum, spices).

Main course--baked chicken breasts, straight from the supermarket package into the oven, no seasoning whatsoever, no sauce, but yellow skin intact.

Homemade applesauce--Granny Smiths, peeled, quartered, covered with water and boiled for 30 min. Nothing else in it.

Mashed potatoes--peeled red potatoes boiled in unsalted water to disintegration, then held over in hot water for several hours. Drained, mashed with milk, no butter, salt, or pepper. Looked like wallpaper paste, tasted like the vacuum of outer space.

MIL's signature side dish (served at every holiday meal)--Unseasoned broccoli, steamed on the stove from the time we arrived to service (1 hr., 15 min.) I kid you not.

Dessert--Two white bakery boxes tied with string on the kitchen counter looked promising, but, only after I asked for dessert were we served a plate with three, tiny rugalach (for 4 people), plus a few homemade spritz cookies, which were burned on the bottom, and looked like they were made by a 4-year-old in an E-Z Bake Oven.

And, my wife had to clear and clean up after the meal, because MIL was too tired from "cooking all day".

The SE Gimme Some Tongue Awards

Folks, tomorrow evening is the big holiday dinner at my MIL's, and before I descend into the maw of madness, I want to thank everyone on SE who make this site my favorite place for the exchange of culinary ideas. If I don't make it, just know that this was all in fun. However, if I have still managed to offended you, please feel free to unfriend me. The management here disavows any knowledge of my actions. Winners shall remain anonymous for their own protection.

#10 My bud, who shares a hot tub, not with a naked babe, but with a lukewarm bag of yogurt.

#9 The poster who doesn't eat any form of meat, non-organic dairy products, anything out of a can, anything heated in a microwave oven, any uncooked fish, any take-out pizza chain pizza, or supermarket white bread, but isn't a picky eater.

#8 The poster who is grossed out by cream cheese, unless, of course, it is mixed with smelly blue cheese.

#7 The kindred spirit, who shares my pathological fear, imprinted in childhood, of Cream of Wheat.

#6 The posters who may have watermelons growing in their stomachs.

#5 The poster on the "no white foods" segregated diet, who, apparently, took it literally when I told her she was permitted, when eating blue cheese, to eat the blue part, but not the white part.

#4 The poster who enjoys eating animals' organs, but finds a braised onion repulsive.

#3 The poster who has never tasted tongue, but has an entire, whole cow's tongue languishing in her freezer, just waiting for that special moment when she has the irresistable urge to try it.

#2 The poster who doesn't like tongue, unless it is mixed with pig blood and stuffed into the aforementioned animal's intestine.

#1 The poster who is willing to eat dog, as long as it is not her beloved KoKo.

Spitting out food in order to eat it

I hate eating something, and having to spit part of it out while chewing in order to eat it. Watermelon (seeds), cherries, olives (pits), etc.
Similarly, having to literally dissect the animal on your plate after it has been served up, like a cornish game hen, or a whole fish. Anyone else here dislike having to spit out tiny, pin bones while attempting to eat dinner in a restaurant, in order not to choke?

I don't eat any of that Vegetable Crap

These are the immortal words of a friend, proclaimed in a local sandwich shop, when asked if he wanted onions, lettuce, and tomato on his submarine sandwich.
Most of us are adventurous eaters, but what food will you simply refuse to eat, and why?

Have you heard the expression, "no tongue"? Here is the origin of that phrase. As a kid, our family ate thinly-sliced tongue sandwiches. It tastes like rolled beef, another Jewish-style cold cut, or, perhaps, salami, but more salty than garlicky.
Anyway, it is supposed to be peeled. One day, my mom brought home a whole tongue. I took one look at it, and that was it. I don't want my tastebuds tasting something else's tastebuds. No tongue. Ever again.

Worst meal of your life

Snowed in tonight, I've been pondering some deep philosophical issues, like why, over time, I remember the awful things I've eaten much more vividly than the wonderful things.
For purposes of discussion, I am limiting this to meals that you have paid for, to your chagrin, in restaurants. In other words, drunken binges, dinners at MIL's house, etc. don't count.

For me, it was some years ago, in Greenwich, England. We stopped at a pub for lunch. It was called Macdonald's. I thought, how quaint, we have McDonald's, and they have Macdonalds. My spouse ordered a roast beef sandwich, and I ordered the specialty of the house, trout. (don't ask me why-I am adventurous, and impulsive).
The sandwich was one, thin slice of a tough, grey, leather-like substance on white bread with butter.
The slimy, disgusting trout looked like it was just fished out of the filthy Thames, gutted, steamed for about a minute, and thrown on a plate. I sat there, just staring at it, and it stared right back at me. I didn't touch it, but the memory has haunted me ever since.
And, the beer was warm.

Herb dressing or savory bread pudding?

I make a pretty-standard herb dressing from seasoned white and whole wheat bread cubes, to which I add sautéed veggies, and chicken broth beaten with a couple of eggs to bind it together as it bakes.
How about adding cream to the liquid to make it into a savory bread pudding? Does anybody think that this is appropriate for Thanksgiving, and, if so, how much heavy cream should I add to four cups of stock and two eggs?

Help! Gummy bottom pie crust

I make a lot of fruit pies in the summer. One problem I have not been able to solve is that the bottom crust doesn't crisp and brown, probably due to all the moisture in the fruit on top of it. These are double-crust pies, so blind-baking the bottom crust is not an option. I usually use a pyrex pie plate. Would ceramic or metal yield more even cooking? Position the pie higher or lower in the oven? Change baking temperature?
Suggestions welcome...

Cooking hard boiled eggs

I am shocked at how many restaurants do not know how to properly hard cook an egg. A sulfurous-smelling hard boiled egg with a rubbery white and a greenish/black-ringed yolk is unappetizing. I can excuse the home cook, but not a professional.

Jacques Pepin's method is so easy and foolproof. I am posting this as a tribute to the chef who has taught me so much in his books and on his TV shows.

Pierce the end of the egg with a thumbtack to release the air when cooking. Gently lower the eggs into a pot of rapidly boiling water, reduce heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 10 min. Drain the cooking water, shake the pan to crack the eggshells slightly, then drop the eggs into an ice-water bath for 10 min. to cool and dissipate the sulfur. Peel under running water.

EVO and Yogurt Loaf Cake

This week's recipe is an olive-oil and lime variation on the cake I usually make with flavorless vegetable oil and lemon. It's great both ways, but I think the evo (extra-virgin olive oil) rendition has a richer flavor. More

Scooped: White Chocolate Mint Ice Cream with Pomegranate Molasses

White chocolate, of course, isn't chocolate. It's comparisons to the dark stuff that so frequently disappoint tasters. So let's step past the unfortunate comparisons and consider white chocolate on its own terms. Once you get by the whole chocolate malapropism, white chocolate's flavor is pretty awesome: a buttery vanilla with strong hints of mint and other leafy herbs. More

Mint Julep Ice Cream

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz] What bourbon you use is in this ice cream is up to you. I'm partial to Bulleit, which has enough spicy rye kick to cut through an ocean of cream. But if you like it in your... More

Strawberry Dream Pie Ice Cream

The goat cheese base for this ice cream is flexible enough for a range of fruits and other flavors. Want to use blueberries instead? This base is lemony enough for them. Prefer brownie chunks with a swirl of dulce de leche? Goat cheese is savory enough to counteract the sweetness. But it's pretty awesome with strawberries, as used here. More

Please recommend Memphis BBQ

I will be spending several days there next month. Please recommend the best restaurants, especially BBQ, in the Memphis metro area. Also, which blues clubs around Beale St. are noteworthy?... More

ThermoWorks Thermapen

Why do I covet one of these gadgets? I've already managed to survive for half a century without one. Seriously, I wonder if we can band together, and get some sort of quantity discount through SE, because there's no way... More

Bake the Book: Cardamom Caramel Palmiers

Palmiers are some of my favorite cookies. I'd always thought of them as the perfect combination of flaky pastry dough and crisp cookies mixed with just the right amount of caramelized sugar. But this recipe for Cardamom Caramel Palmiers from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich took these cookies to the next level by mixing in aromatic cardamom and a pinch of salt. More

Brisket with Ginger, Orange Peel, and Tomato

The lemon and orange zest permeates the meat with bright citrus, the cider vinegar and white wine add a slightly sour note, and the ginger lends the tiniest kick. And like any brisket recipe worth its salt, it comes out of the oven exactly two and a half hours later fork-tender, ready to be sliced, sauced, and served with the sweet carrots that have been cooking in the braising liquid. More

Holiday Treat: Sweet Potato and Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwiches

This is a sweet potato dessert that won't get mistaken for pumpkin. We used almost a pound, lightly caramelizing it in butter first for good measure. We went light on the spices—just enough to enhance the potato's inherent spicy qualities without turning it into pie. But this isn't tame stuff—just ask the bourbon, a sweet potato's best friend. We added it after cooking the custard so its alcohol would remain in the ice cream, contributing to a fantastically creamy texture and a kick strong enough to remind those nosy relatives who's boss. More

a reliable sweet dough for tarts

No, I don't have one - I NEED one. I wrote a bit ago about the Meyer lemons, and made a lemon tart using an Emeril recipe, but was disappointed in the way the dough behaved and ultimately tasted. The... More

Stuffing- dressing recipes

I love reading the variations everyone uses. Would love to read what you put in yours and general idea of how/when you prepare it. I don't usually host Thanksgiving but when I make stuffing, I am pretty old school, toasted... More

The Basics of Chocolate Mousse

What makes a great chocolate mousse? Well, it really depends on your tastes. Some people like a sweet, creamy chocolate mousse that's lighter than air. Others prefer a darker, denser flavor and texture. You can make mousse with milk, white, or dark chocolate, and it's easy to punch up the flavor with espresso, liqueur, sea salt, or any number of spices. We like this classic recipe from Pierre Hermé—and since it's from Hermé, you know it's gonna be bulletproof. More