Caitlin McGrath's Profile

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What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy New Year January 2015 edition!

That blog link led me to the site of the bake-through group she's a part of, Baked Sunday Mornings, which supplies the recipes from the books (with permission) and posts bloggers' links to their write-ups. I'm bookmarking this one: http://bakedsundaymornings.com/

about 2 hours ago
Caitlin McGrath in Home Cooking

What to do with cooked duck?

I've used shredded, cooked duck in a quick ragu before with good results. Saute aromatics (onion, garlic, small amounts of finely diced carrot and celery) in some duck fat, add some chopped or crushed canned tomato and dry red wine, herbs of your choice (thyme is great here), simmer, add duck and simmer more till flavors blend. You could serve this over polenta.

about 4 hours ago
Caitlin McGrath in Home Cooking

Announcement Thread: February 2015 COTM "Mighty Spice"

I thought you meant odd as in strange, rather than as in not even.

Announcement Thread: February 2015 COTM "Mighty Spice"

It's not really an odd amount, when you consider that British recipes use metric weights of butter, rather than North Americans' neat divisions of a pound. 250g is a pretty standard measure.

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - January 2015 [Old]

I picked up a bag of blood oranges at an Oakland, CA store. These are not Sunkist, the label indicates they're from Wawona Packing Co. They're juicy and not sour, with very deep red flesh, but they're also not terribly flavorful.

Jan 29, 2015
Caitlin McGrath in Chains

Announcement Thread: February 2015 COTM "Mighty Spice"

So it is 7 tablespoons, just a very light drink. Thanks for checking.

Jan 29, 2015
Caitlin McGrath in Home Cooking

Announcement Thread: February 2015 COTM "Mighty Spice"

While our UK pals are enlightening us about error in the final chapter, please tell me that there is an error in the lemongrass, ginger and rum cocktail recipe. Surely it's meant to be 7 ounces of rum, not 7 tablespoons (in a recipe for 4 drinks!).

Jan 28, 2015
Caitlin McGrath in Home Cooking

Announcement Thread: February 2015 COTM "Mighty Spice"

Interesting. And makes sense. I also assumed it was an error, but my own google search only netted a copy directly from the book. I included Mighty Spice in my search terms, which didn't turn up the link you posted (Mighty Spice isn't mentioned on that page even though both recipes are from the book; it may have accompanied an article without a backward link, I guess).

It's a shame they decided to go with the US standard of not using weights vs. volume for a lot of things. (It's especially a pet peeve of mine that butter is always given in cups and/or sticks, because people from elsewhere understandably don't know what that means.)

The UK edition includes both metric and standard weights for ingredients, based on the Amazon UK preview, and I really wish they'd just left those in the US edition and added volumetric measures, instead of converting. I'm becoming more and more wary of buying North American editions of British books, since conversion errors seem so rife.

Stateside Bakery coming to Berkeley Nov 2014

I walked in there a month or so ago and took a look, but didn't try anything. They had some cupcakes, but most of the inventory seems to be upscale recreations of supermarket junk food (Oreos, Nutter Butters, Pop Tarts, Twinkies, etc.).

https://statesidebakery.com/

Announcement Thread: February 2015 COTM "Mighty Spice"

Okay, desserts don't play a big part in this book, but my mind is boggling a bit as I read the ingredients list for the Dark Chocolate, Clove and Cinnamon Brownies. Over a pound of butter for a 9-inch pan? Yikes. The (in)famously rich Ad Hoc at Home recipe uses 12 ounces, and a lesser amount of chocolate, at that. (Like that recipe, this one uses both chocolate and cocoa powder.)

Jan 28, 2015
Caitlin McGrath in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? Happy New Year January 2015 edition!

Well, I've never had oranges react with baking soda in such a way before, but this is the first time I've made a cake with blood oranges, and the flesh of these was a very dark red, so who knows.

What are you baking these days? Happy New Year January 2015 edition!

I had an odd experience. I made a blood orange cake that involved pureeing the whole fruit (cut in chunks, of course), skin and all and adding olive oil to make an emulsion. This dark pink mixture was folded into the beaten eggs and sugar, along with the dry ingredients, leaving the batter just a little streaky with the tiny bits of pulp. The odd part came when I cut into the cooled cake, and found the crumb was green! Clearly some sort of chemical reaction (with the eggs?), but quite unexpected. The flavor and texture were fine, considering the oranges themselves aren't very flavorful, the appearance...different.

Jan 26, 2015
Caitlin McGrath in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? Happy New Year January 2015 edition!

My experience with those Payard cookies was that they needed to be baked on parchment, left till completely cool, and then the parchment peeled off the cookie rather than vice versa.

Was the yeasted olive oil dough Martha Rose Shulman's recipe? I like that dough a lot, but have found that it needs to be rolled quite thin if you want to avoid it being too bready in a galette.

Announcement Thread: February 2015 COTM "Mighty Spice"

The bulk of that thread is about Mighty Spice, with only a few reports on MSE, so I don't see how setting up a dedicated thread for the latter would be problematic. And it would then be part of the COTM record, so easy to find in the future.

The French Laundry victimized by Christmas Day wine heist [Update]

Apparently, the stolen bottles, or at least the bulk of them, were recovered in North Carolina.

http://napavalleyregister.com/news/lo...

What are you baking these days? Happy New Year January 2015 edition!

The baking spray incorporates flour, however.

Jan 21, 2015
Caitlin McGrath in Home Cooking

Can You Identify This Dessert?

Ah, it makes complete sense that it would be a frozen prepared item in ad for a convenience store.

Can You Identify This Dessert?

I have a Nordicware muffin pan with a dozen little bundt-shaped wells, each with a lesser capacity than a standard muffin cup, and the center "tube" makes an indentation but only extends two-thirds of the height of the pan, so there's no hole in the cake. This is considerably smaller, so I'd not be surprised if it were baked in a pan of similar construction, with the cake forming a muffin "top" because it's so tiny (mini-muffin size, judging in relation to the other object in the photo).

Can You Identify This Dessert?

I doubt it. That's a really tiny cake - just look at the scale relative to the croissants and coffee cup. An apricot half would be way too big to fit.

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month February 2015

Those posts sum up all that's key: No technical expertise necessary; new coordinators don't go into it blind (outgoing ones pass on key info); and there are a bunch of prior coordinators still active in COTM who are most likely *all* happy to offer any assistance needed.

Truly, no one otherwise interested should be intimidated, there's nothing tricky about it!

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 3 & 4

Braised Fish in Black Bean Sauce, p. 137

This recipe is written with whole small fish in mind, but LLA also allows for using 1-inch-thick fillets instead, and that's what I did, using Pacific ling cod. The fish is seasoned with salt and black pepper and dredged in flour, then browned for a few minutes in a covered pan before being turned. Once it's been turned, sliced green onions, slivered ginger, and minced ginger are sprinkled around it and it is left to brown, after which a sauce of water (which I reduced by a third), shao xing wine, black bean sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch is added and the pan is covered and simmered at lowest heat for a final few minutes, until the fish is done. The fish is lifted out, the sauce given a final stir and poured over, and more sliced green onions are sprinkled over.

The fish was perfectly cooked and moist, the sauce aromatic and deeply savory, if borderline too salty, though that last is due to operator error. I reduced the water from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup because I could just tell that 3/4 cup would mean too much liquid (this seems to be a recurring thing in the book, based on my observations and others'), but I kept the volume of other ingredients the same, so they were more concentrated - or I meant to keep them the same, not thinking about the further concentration, but actually accidentally added more soy sauce than called for. (I realized before dealing with the fish, so didn't use salt on the fish.) Saltiness aside, there was more than enough sauce for a pound of fish fillet using 1/2 cup water, so if you make this I'd take that into account in choosing ingredient amounts for the sauce. I didn't serve this with rice, but on top of completely unseasoned, simply stir-fried collards and spinach, which did nicely to soak up the sauce and save me from my errors.

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy New Year January 2015 edition!

My favorite found in a cookbook is a post-it on a recipe in a Maida Heatter cookie book I bought that says, in a child's handwriting, "Can I make? Please please please? We have all the ingredients." I hope the kid got to make the recipe before the book was sold on!

What are you baking these days? Happy New Year January 2015 edition!

rstuart's aunt's cranberry cream cheese pound cake recipe (I'm thinking buttertart mistyped when she wrote sour cream?), from last month's thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9989...

Jan 17, 2015
Caitlin McGrath in Home Cooking

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month February 2015

While I'm honestly usually game to pitch in, surely there are enough regulars that someone new can jump in and we don't need to start falling back on those who've done it before?

I can attest it's not onerous, doesn't take a great time commitment (a few hours a month at most), and is actually fun. And if there's a timing conflict in a given month or two, there are always others willing to help out.

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy New Year January 2015 edition!

I try to buy used books only from sellers who give a description applying to the specific copy they're selling, rather than just going by the like new/very good/good framework. As others have mentioned, it's not all that uncommon to receive a book in much better condition than expected.

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 5 & 6

Tangra Masala Chicken and Shrimp, p. 191

Another spicy (if you want it that way) and flavorful recipe. I have eaten Desi Chinese dishes (Gobi Manchurian, Chicken 65, etc.) in Indian restaurants, but this is the first time I've cooked one, or encountered one in a cookbook to my recollection. Chicken and shrimp are two of three variations given for Tangra Masala Beef (the third is lamb), and I decided to do a full recipe using half chicken and half shrimp.

For the masala, I used fresh garlic. I divided the egg white mixture between the chicken (once again, cut into bite-size chunks) and shrimp (shelled and halved lengthwise, per the recipe). While the shrimp is meant to be cooked till just pink, I undershot and cooked them until mostly pink, so the final minute or two in the pan later would finish them without overcooking. I used considerably more of the onion and jalapeƱo than the respective 2 T. and 2 tsp. called for, and I used spring onion greens in place of green onions.

Overall, my opinion of the dish is similar to delys's, I think. It was nicely spicy (I used a lot more fresh chile than called for) and flavorful, but imperfect thanks to the treatment of the masala. For me, the issue with the masala was less its texture and more that it had a raw paprika edge, attributable to the large amount of paprika (2 T.) and the short cooking time thanks to stir-frying rather than braising. The headnote explains that in adapting the restaurant recipe for home, LLA has forgone food coloring and relies on the paprika for the dish's brick-red color, but I think simply halving it and cooking the masala on low heat for a longer time would go a long way toward fixing the raw/gritty problem (I don't think the other dry spices are an issue, because there is so much less of them).

Jan 16, 2015
Caitlin McGrath in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? Happy New Year January 2015 edition!

Claudia Fleming's Guinness Stout Ginger Cake is delicious, keeps very well (actually improves as time goes on), and is simple to mix up with just a whisk. I've made it with other stouts, e.g., oatmeal. Gingerbread's flavors always feel well suited for the winter months to me, with the warm spices. This works well in a 9-inch springform pan or two smaller loaf pans (great if you want to freeze one) as well.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 1 & 2

That looks and sounds delicious, Mel, and that serving dish is beautiful.

Jan 13, 2015
Caitlin McGrath in Home Cooking

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 5 & 6

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Jan 12, 2015
Caitlin McGrath in Home Cooking

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 5 & 6

NCW, the recipe is reproduced here, if you're interested (the chicken version is exactly the same save for using boneless, skinless thighs in place of beef): http://www.thestar.com/life/food_wine...

Jan 12, 2015
Caitlin McGrath in Home Cooking