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fearlessemily's Profile

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How Much Should Houseguests Treat?

I agree with the above, but will say that in some ways I feel that it depends on how close I am with the friends who are staying with me. For my closest friends, I certainly don't expect them to take me out, and wouldn't be offended if they didn't (though sometimes they do). To me, thats part of the privilege of really close friendship -- knowing that just the pleasure of each other's company is present enough.

Jun 29, 2011
fearlessemily in Features

Minimalist Chicken Wings with Maximum Flavor

Reports? Anyone try this yet?

Sep 02, 2010
fearlessemily in Features

Carnitas recipe needed- your recommendations?

I think I've got a good one for you... Check this out!

Aug 02, 2010
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

Scored some fresh apricots this weekend! Suggestions ...

Have I got a recipe for you! I've been getting good apricots lately and have been obsessed with this coffee cake... Not too sweet, honeyed from the macerated apricots, moist from the buttermilk... Heaven!

Fresh Apricot Coffee Cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup buttermilk
1.5 teaspoon vanilla
¼ tsp almond extract
2 cups pitted, diced apricots
1/4 cup sugar to toss with the apricots

1.5 tablespoons demara sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Toss the diced apricots with 1/4 cup of sugar and let sit until juicy
In a large bowl, mix flour, salt and baking powder
In a separate bowl, cream 1/2 cup sugar, butter, and egg until light and fluffy
Mix in buttermilk and vanilla until blended
Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and beat just until smooth
Spread batter evenly into a greased, 8-inch square baking pan
Sprinkle the apricots and their juices over the batter
Dust the whole thing with the cinnamon sugar topping

Bake approximately 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Jul 01, 2010
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

Best thing I've Tempura'd - Chive Blossoms

This sounds fabulous -- do you have a batter recipe you're particularly happy with?

May 26, 2010
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

Pie Crust...I will not be defeated!

The recipe I use for a double crust pie uses 2 cups of flour, 2/3 cup of fat (I use half shortening and half butter) and 6-7 Tbs of water. Sounds like not enough water to me, since your recipe calls for the equivalent of 2.5 cups of flour for the same amount of water.

Also, I long struggled with pie crust in the food processor. For whatever reason, when I switched to a pastry cutter ( it made all the difference (not that I really know why...



May 24, 2010
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

Super casual graduation party... how many wings per guest?

Some of these numbers seem insane to me. I'd say MAX three full wings (6 wing pieces) per person.

May 18, 2010
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

A Ginger Step Forward

This is insanely easy to make yourself (and I have) -- make some simple syrup and add a bunch of ginger while boiling it. Let steep for a while and then strain out the ginger. Done, and for all of about 50 cents!

May 13, 2010
fearlessemily in Features

acceptable "spur of the moment" vegetarian offering?

For what its worth, I think that is totally ridiculous, in NO WAY acceptable, and I'd call the restaurant and speak to the manager now to let them know. I also think you showed a lot of class by not making a big fuss the day of, such that your FIL and SIL didn't have to share in the (unpleasant and absurd) experience.

Mar 21, 2010
fearlessemily in Not About Food

Trying to duplicate THE BEST tomato soup I've ever eaten!

Hey --

I also was converted from a tomato-soup hater to a tomato soup liker, and what I discovered made a big difference was the addition of carrots that are later pureed in. You don't need a lot of them, but I find they cut the acidity with a little sweetness, while giving the soup some earthiness too. I add about two carrots to a normal-sized batch of soup, maybe a third for a really big batch...

Mar 21, 2010
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

home made mozz and the curd.

I've never used store bought curds, so I can't tell you whether mine were similar to that... It was a little while ago, so I don't remember their exact consistency... But rubberyness shouldn't be a result of stretching too little -- as far as I know it is the result of the opposite. That said, there is a thread on chow right now about making mozarella with several posts about people's failures, and there is the same type of thread over on egullet... I guess it helps to know I'm not alone...

Mar 02, 2010
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

home made mozz and the curd.

For what its worth, making your own mozzarella (including making the curds) is considered a more difficult cheesemaking task... I've tried three different times, using a variety of recipes including the ubiquitous Ricki Carroll mozzarella making recipe, and have basically produced rubbery polly-o each time -- nothing like the soft luscious fresh mozzarella I'm going for. Not that this has diminished my desire to get it to work, but just to mention that I know its been a frustrating task for me and several other people I've talked about this with online...

Mar 02, 2010
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

Favorite Marcella Hazan recipes?

One of my all time favorite soup recipes comes from Marcella Cucina -- Swiss Chard, Cannellini Bean, and Barley Soup. Heaven. So rich, with this incredible mouthfeel, despite the fact that it is vegetarian, using just the broth that comes from cooking the barley.

Feb 14, 2010
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

Delicious Italian Meatballs !!

As some others have suggested, I think minced parsley is absolutely critical in getting a perfectly flavored meatball...

Feb 02, 2010
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

What's your cheap, low-class, won't-usually-tell kitchen favorite?

I don't know if this is low-class, but the Debbie Meyer Green Bags are truly amazing, and we use them all the time.They truly double if not often triple the life of vegetables I keep in the fridge. It is almost frightening how long zucchini will stay fresh in them. They can be re-used for a while, and then eventually replaced as they start to get too worn...

Jan 27, 2010
fearlessemily in Cookware

Pepper Mill Recommendation Please

Magnum! Magnum magnum magnum! This thing is incredible -- easy to fill, big capacity, and puts out a TON of pepper. If anything, my complaint would be that the output is so great, it can occasionally give me more pepper than I want. I waited for years to buy it, and now wonder why I waited so long...

Jan 27, 2010
fearlessemily in Cookware

"Whole Fresh Picnic" + Slowcooker + Chinese Prep

I actually disagree with shaogo regarding the lots of liquid -- in my experience, pork shoulder cooked in a crockpot releases tons of its own juices, and there is no need to put much if any liquid in the pot unless you are looking for soup at the end. To get the real unctuousness, you want the pork to basically slow cook in its own fat, rather than steam in a bunch of liquid...

Jan 23, 2010
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

Need a signature dessert! Can I steal yours?

Hi Toronto --

Its actually a pretty fool-proof recipe. I like it a lot because its not too heavy, so I can eat a huge hunk of it without feeling sick! :-) I looked at the Martha Stewart recipe for chocolate babka as a comparison, and although it makes three loaves, it uses 5 sticks of butter and two pounds of chocolate! This loaf pretty much never makes it for longer than 24 hours in our house.

My only note in reading the recipe over again is that if you make this by hand or in a stand mixer as I do (not in the bread machine), note that you need to let the dough rise once before you punch it down and roll it out into the big rectangle... This isn't specified in the text because the text says "when the dough cycle is complete" -- the dough cycle on a bread machine includes that first rise in it.

Otherwise its pretty straightforward. When the recipe says "zigzag in the pan", the idea is that your roll will be about twice the length of your loaf pan (20 inches long, versus a 9 inch loaf pan), and you snake it back and forth in the loaf pan to take up that length, which will give it that characteristic babka look (rather than looking like a cinnamon loaf, where the swirl just runs straight the whole length of the pan).

I think if you wanted it richer you could probably chop up some good chocolate and sprinkle it on top of the cocoa/butter/sugar mix before rolling it up...

Hope you like it!

Jan 22, 2010
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

Need a signature dessert! Can I steal yours?

How about Chocolate Babka? I have a fantastic recipe, that actually isn't even all that bad for you... I can't remember where on earth this recipe came from, but here it is...

Chocolate Babka
1/3 cup milk
¼ cup water
1 ½ TB butter
2 eggs (one separated, reserving one egg white for bread wash)
3 TB sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups flour 1 Pkt of Yeast (2 ¼ tsp)
Put the above ingredients (minus the one egg white) in the breadmaker and start the dough cycle. [Alternatively, just mix this by hand – mix wet ingredients together first, then add in dry ingredients, and knead until dough is smooth and springy]
Streusel Topping:
1 TB softened butter
¼ tsp cinnamon
3 TB powdered sugar
3 TB flour
Mix together with a fork until evenly combined. Set aside.
3 TB cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
1 ½ TB butter melted
Combine cocoa (or cinnamon) and sugar and set aside.
When dough cycle is complete, remove dough from bread maker and knead gently on a floured surface. Roll into a 10x20 inch rectangle. Brush the surface with the 1 ½ TB of butter for filling, leaving a ½ inch margin on all edes. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the melted butter.
Starting with a 20 inch side, roll the rectangle tightly, jelly-roll fashion. Pinch edge to seal.
Zigzag the roll back and forth into a well-greased 4 ½ x 8 ½ loaf pan. Let rise until almost doubled in size (~40 minutes). Preheat oven to 350. Beat reserved egg white with 1 tsp water. Brush egg white mixture over the loaf and sprinkle the streusel topping overtop. Bake until loaf is well browned, about 30 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Jan 21, 2010
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

Your favourite recipe for eggplant

Here are two of my favorites...

Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce --

Eggplant and Tomato Gratin --

Jan 07, 2010
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

Protein bar recipe for afghanistan

It is a lovely idea to make him protein bars... Just know that in order to get enough protein in there, you'll need to buy either protein powder or some kind of textured vegetable protein... A quick google search turned up this site with lots of homemade protein bar recipes...

Dec 29, 2009
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

Your tried and true Cook's illustrated Best recipes.

I agree with Dogsrus that the stuffed peppers recipe in TNBR is fantastic. The only change I make is instead of using tomato sauce or ketchup (can't remember which it calls for), I use salsa -- both on top, and a dollop at the bottom of the peppers.

Dec 08, 2009
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

Besides soup, what to do with butternut squash?

Or try one of my favorite recipes -- this beef and butternut squash stew with Marsala and rosemary. Don't be put off by the foodnetwork link -- its a giada recipe, and really delicious!

Oct 29, 2009
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

Your East Village go-tos?

Orologio -- an italian place on Avenue A between 10th and 11th streets. Reasonably priced, CONSISTENTLY tasty food. Relaxed atmosphere that never gets too loud. I've never had a wait. Make sure to consider the specials, as those are often quite excellent...

Sep 05, 2009
fearlessemily in Manhattan

Corn on the Cob: how to freeze?

Check out this thread, with discussion of freezing the corn in the husk! I'm planning on trying it... The idea of being able to just grill it in the husk, as I usually do in the summer, is irresistable.

Aug 21, 2009
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

HELP! Killed a wild what?

Just had to report my intense jealousy. My husband has always told me that the wild boar meal he had was the best meat he's ever had in his life. Looking forward to hearing more!

Aug 21, 2009
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

Xiao long bao - would I be crazy to try to make them?

Its funny -- one person says the filling is the most difficult part, another says getting enough filling into the dumpling is the most difficult part, and in my two tries at making them, it was the wrappers that were the most difficult part. In my attempts I've had no trouble getting the broth to gel (cooking some pig skin with the chicken broth infuses it with lots of gelatin)... And not much trouble dicing it to put it in the skins... But both times the skins have leaked, such that no soup is left at the end of steaming. If you succeed, please let me know!

Aug 18, 2009
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

Romantic East Village restaurant?

How about the garden at i Coppi (9th street between 1st and A) -- beautiful setting, candlelit, tables not crunched together, easy to hear your guest, and great reliable food.

Aug 09, 2009
fearlessemily in Manhattan

Mark Bittman's Cornstarch Ice Cream

WOW. Just made this for the first time, using his variation with jam -- made black raspberry ice cream with chocolate chunks. So good its blowing my mind! And this was using 2 cups whole milk and just 1/2 cup of cream -- it was still so creamy and flavorful! Note that his jam variation calls for honey -- I stuck with sugar, and just added a generous 1/2 cup jam once the mixture had cooled.

Aug 04, 2009
fearlessemily in Home Cooking

TKettle St. Marks -- delish boiled dumplings (no need for pan-frying, so good!)

Just went there tonight and they were delicous! The skins were fantastic, the filling (house filling -- pork and shrimp) was flavorful, fresh, and juicy. I don't think these are boiled -- a recent article in Time Out indicates they're steamed, though I agree that they in no way needed to be pan fried.

I was there at 9:15 tonight and there was no indication they had sold out, nor any line or crowd at all...

Jul 21, 2009
fearlessemily in Manhattan