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.
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.
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.
(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."
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?
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?
Do we now have to learn to type HTML code just to incorporate basic keyboard symbols in our comments? This problem cropped up with the last site upgrade, and still needs to be addressed.
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?
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.
(the mighty Stillwell's, again)
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...
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!
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.
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).
I just got an ice cream making attachment for my KitchenAid mixer. Hit me with your favorite homemade ice cream, gelato, and sorbet recipes, please!
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:
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
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.
Mmm, stirring the pot.
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:
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".
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
Manhattan's Chinatown is a huge neighborhood that just seems to keep growing. Although it's a good thing that the neighborhood offers a nearly endless number of eateries, you may be overwhelmed by all the choices. Where do you go on an empty stomach? What do you order?
Made with Middle Eastern sweet sesame paste and studded with cashews, pistachios, and almonds, this ice cream is creamy and nutty and absolutely delicious.
Good flan should have slight jiggle, but more along the lines of a trainer-tightened posterior than a waterbed. Good flan is minimalist and sleek, like an expensive silk blouse.
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.
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.
[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...
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.
You won't need eggs for this ice cream, which is thick and dense thanks to the plums and honey. A couple spoonfuls of plum brandy helps as well, both for texture and to amplify the plums' honeyed flavor.
Raw zucchini is wonderful when sliced very thin, carpaccio-thin. In this recipe it's topped with feta, dill, and walnuts for a Greek spin, but it would be equally delicious with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, basil, and pine nuts.
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?...
I have long resented the use of the word "vanilla" to mean bland, blah, and boring. Real vanilla is deep and complex. Anyone who thinks vanilla is boring hasn't tasted this ice cream.
I've been working with a new crust recipe i adapted from a fantastic baguette recipe, and it works GREAT at producing an airy, chewy but crispy crust that hold up great to ingredients. I owe an acknowledgment to dmsnyder and...
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...
Who knew that trying to find apple cider in August would be like searching for fresh watermelon in February? Earlier this week, with my heart set on making this delicious scallop dish, I went to one farm stand and three...
The tartness of cranberry is one of the few things that can rein in that over-the-top sweetness of white chocolate. What a perfect ice cream that would make, and what an unexpected Thanksgiving dessert to scoop next to a slice of pumpkin pie.
I'd never really given much thought to why apple cake was synonymous with Jewish desserts until reading the intro to this Polish Hanukkah Apple Cake from Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous by Joan Nathan. As it turns out, the Jewish part comes from the fact that the cake is parve (made without dairy) and therefore acceptable in a meal served for the main course.
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.
Braising brisket with sweet elements is pretty typical Jewish holiday fare—my grandmother used to braise hers with a can of Coke and a bottle of chili sauce. But Rose's version is more elegant, with flavors that can almost be described as light (if you can ever call brisket light). 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.
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.
A one pot wonder that cooks in 10 minutes, this cranberry chutney brings together the holiday flavors of sweet-tart cranberries, bright orange, and spicy ginger. A touch exotic, and touch homey, all at once.
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...
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...
Velvet Hammer Chili: I loved the name of this coffee so much that I invented this recipe for it. Now I am looking for more ideas for recipes that use coffee.......
This cake is intensely chocolate, rich, moist and an utterly decadent treat. The cake layers and mousse can be made a day or two ahead. Keep refrigerated until assembly time. Then the whole thing goes into the freezer until serving...
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.