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Marmalade Fiasco

I did try the cold plate to make sure my thermometer wasn't the problem. No dice…...

Dec 11, 2014
junipero in Home Cooking

Marmalade Fiasco

Thanks. That is helpful too. I estimated the extra sugar based on the recipe I was using. The recipe only called for 5 cups of sugar for the initial 6 lbs of fruit - although it wasn't the whole fruit. The recipe called for the rind and then had me wrap the flesh of the fruit in cheesecloth and steep it in the mix during the initial cooking phase.

But I do have a nice fancy new gourmet stove so I don't think BTUs could have been the problem.

Dec 11, 2014
junipero in Home Cooking

Marmalade Fiasco

Thanks. Sounds great. Or maybe I will just make something fool proof like granola!

Dec 08, 2014
junipero in Home Cooking

Marmalade Fiasco

Well, I added the sugar at the beginning per the recipe instructions. The consensus seems to be that trying to make more than a single batch was the problem so maybe that was it. I am a little gun shy now but I guess I should try it again with a small batch as a test of that theory. And I will try your suggestion of adding the fruit first. I am still wondering if the high humidity could have been a factor, but I won't cry if I only have a small unsuccessful batch…..

Dec 08, 2014
junipero in Home Cooking

Marmalade Fiasco

Can anyone help me figure out why I had to throw away 10 lbs of fruit and an afternoons worth of labor for the a second year in a row? (A glutton for punishment or just a sucker for free fruit?) I tried to make an orange / lemon marmalade yesterday and could not get the temperature any higher than 215 no matter what I did. I tried a gel test just to be sure it wasn't my thermometer and it didn't gel so it wasn't an equipment error.

Here are the facts: I live at sea level. Actually I live right at the beach so humidity was probably between 80-90%. (I know that's an issue but does it make it IMPOSSIBLE to get to temperature?) I used an 8 qt stainless steel stockpot. I used this recipe but had some extra citrus so added 3 lbs of grapefruit and increased the sugar by 3 cups. (http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ha...) Everything went fine until I got to the part where I was waiting for the temp to rise from 210 to 220. The recipe said about 20 minutes. I waited 45 minutes and it still wasn't any hotter. I tried raising the heat. I tried covering the pot. Then I burnt the bottom. Undeterred, I lowered the heat back to medium and kept cooking it uncovered for another 30 minutes until the whole batch had turned caramelized brown. At this point, there was hardly any liquid left and the temperature still hadn't budged. I gave up. By then it looked and tasted like crap. Same as my attempt last year. It went in the trash. Any idea what happened? Is it the humidity? Is there any way around it?

I would appreciate any insight. I am so frustrated!

Dec 07, 2014
junipero in Home Cooking

Fresh figs?

Whole Foods in venice had a huge table of beautiful ones today

Jun 01, 2014
junipero in Los Angeles Area

Candied orange slices?

Here is the video. It's actually meyer lemon peels not orange slices:

http://www.marthastewart.com/334672/c...

Dec 15, 2013
junipero in Home Cooking

Candied orange slices?

Ok. Thanks for the pep talk. I'm going to do my own recipe again. I'll post pictures next week!

Dec 12, 2013
junipero in Home Cooking

Candied orange slices?

Thanks for the link. Very intriguing. I'm still not convinced it would get me the exact result I'm looking for but I may try it. Next year, I guess as it's too late for this Christmas. Two weeks of changing sugar every day! Jeesh. Now that's a whole lot of commitment to a candy. Curious though. And I suppose you are right about the conveyor belt process.
Also I did just look closely at the ingredients of some candied pineapple I saw at the gourmet supplier. Corn syrup & HFCS. It reminded me that my caramel recipe has corn syrup in it and I'm trying to remember it's properties and why it's in there. I knew once upon a time. That may be a key as well.... Maybe I should just be happy with my tried and true recipe. It's not like I've evert had any complaints. Quite the opposite, just my own obsessive foodie perfectionism keeps me wanting to take it a step further!

Dec 11, 2013
junipero in Home Cooking

Candied orange slices?

Thanks. She offers a good tip to add cream of tartar to prevent crystallization but its still not the secret ingredient I was hoping for. She is just doing peels and I do it with the fruit attached. Looking for a tip to keep that fruit part firm and intact. As I do it now it requires a long sugar simmering time which causes some breakdown of the fruit. The chocolate shop version somehow avoids this.

Dec 11, 2013
junipero in Home Cooking

Candied orange slices?

Hi! For many years I have been making chocolate dipped candied orange slices for the holidays. I usually just cook up the blanched slices in a heavy sugar syrup and leave them out to dry for a few days. They are delicious, but the pulp tends to fall apart a bit so they don't look as perfect as I would like and they have a short shelf life as they get much harder and chewier with time. I always wish they were a little more like the ones I buy in a candy store. You know the chocolate dipped ones where the actual orange meat is intact and perfect and the texture is wonderfully soft & chewy without being overly sticky? I am assuming they use some gelatin or something in addition to the sugar. Any ideas or recipes before I just start experimenting? Thanks!

Dec 11, 2013
junipero in Home Cooking

Convection or Conventional Oven for Roasting the Turkey

Here is an interesting link with a kitchen test of convection oven cooking a turkey. They actually determine that cooking it (a brined unstuffed bird) on convection at 375 yields the best result. They start with the legs & breast covered in foil. :
http://www.sfgate.com/recipes/article...

Nov 28, 2013
junipero in Home Cooking

Ahi Poke to go?

I think it's called Poke Poke but not sure. It is a few blocks N of Venice BLvd on the boardwalk right at the end of 18th street maybe? There are a few surprisingly foodie-ish outposts there one next to the other along the 18th St side / corner of Ocean Front Walk right at the edge of the paddle tennis courts. It is right next to Schulzie's Bread Pudding & a new organic farm fresh food place.... The ahi is good and fresh and high quality, they make it with kale & macademia nuts and avocado & other yummie stuff. They also have acai bowls.

Feb 07, 2013
junipero in Los Angeles Area

Ahi Poke to go?

There is an excellent Poke place in Venice Beach on Ocean Front Walk right across from the paddle tennis courts / Muscle Beach.

Feb 06, 2013
junipero in Los Angeles Area

Too many lemons! Ideas for using them?

A friend just gave me a giant bag full of lemons from her tree. There are probably 50 of them! I was planning on making limoncello with some of them, but I will still have dozens left. Any good ideas for what to do with lots of them? So far I am thinking lemon curd & maybe preserved lemon although I have never had it. Anything ideas that would go in a jar or the freezer would be helpful....

Jan 27, 2013
junipero in Home Cooking

Quail eggs on the Westside?

Mitsuwa. Perfect. Right down the street. Thanks!

Jan 12, 2013
junipero in Los Angeles Area

Quail eggs on the Westside?

Anyone know where I can buy fresh quail eggs? I live in Venice so the closer, the better. Thanks!

Jan 12, 2013
junipero in Los Angeles Area

Jar source on westside?

I want to make some jam this weekend before all the figs go, but I want to make lots and I would love to use a more commercial / modern shaped jar like a straight tall or short cylinder. I am seeing them online at glass bottle suppliers and even found one downtown but do I have to drive that far? I want them cheap and by the case (50 cents ea?) so Sur La Table and Surfas are probably out. And I don't want standard Ball jars. Ideas?

Sep 12, 2012
junipero in Los Angeles Area

What do do with bucket of green guavas?

Oooh. Love the agua fresca idea. I went ahead and added some to my batch of nectarine jam today which added a nice subtle floral dimension to the flavor. I guess I will leave the rest out to see if they get riper and either enjoy them raw if they do and/or make a batch of agua fresca. Does it sound strange that they would need to ripen more after dropping off the tree?

Sep 09, 2012
junipero in Home Cooking

Name this fruit! It's some kind of guava.....

I inherited a big bucket of these guavas from someone's tree and at first was all excited thinking they would be like those pink, luscious guavas I had eaten in Hawaii but, of course, they aren't and now I am trying to figure out what to do with them.

I have Googled them and they fit the flavor description of a green apple guava, but they look like a pineapple guava. I think. They had fallen from the tree so I have to assume they are ripe, right? They are not creamy inside. They have the texture of a mealy apple. The skin is soft and tart. The flavor of the flesh is mildly guava-ey and slightly fragrant.

Can you tell me what I have and give me ideas for what to do with them? Wlll they make good jam? Cook with the skins or not? (I've also got a big bag of bruised farmers market nectarines so maybe I could combine them?)

Sep 09, 2012
junipero in General Topics

What do do with bucket of green guavas?

Someone gave me a big bucket of green guavas from their tree. I believe they are apple guavas? I say that because I Googled them and they basically fit that description. They are kind of dry and apple textured inside with a mild floral guava/apple taste and the skin is quite tart and not very flavorful. They are pretty unappetizing raw. Not terrible, just not very flavorful and a little mealy in texture. At first when I didn't realize there were different varieties of guavas I thought, Yay! Luscious, pink, fragrant guava jam like I had in Hawaii! But now I realize this is a totally different fruit and I don't know what to do with it.

I also have a big bag of bruised farmers market nectarines that I was planning on using for jam so I could probably add the guava to that but......Any other ideas?

Sep 09, 2012
junipero in Home Cooking

Where can i get my hands on some boysenberries? and not just the Knott's Berry Farm Jam

Be prepared to spend lots of $$$ for enough fresh to fill a pie:(

Apr 02, 2012
junipero in Los Angeles Area

Where to find Farro or Emmer flour on Westside?

Does anyone know where I can find farro or emmer flour preferably on the westside? I saw Farro grain at WF and I suppose I could grind it if I have to, but would rather get it already ground.

Nov 02, 2011
junipero in Los Angeles Area

"Country" Phyllo

I used regular in a recipe that called for it. It worked although I don't know if it was exactly what it was intended to be. (are you making that orange cake from epicurious?)

Oct 23, 2011
junipero in Los Angeles Area

Rome recommendations with a snoozing or wandering toddler?

I have been in Rome for the past two weeks alone with my two year old and so far our dining experiences have been less than exciting, which is fine and maybe to be expected given that my priorities are different than they used to be. Six years ago I lived in Rome for 7 months and I had my share of wonderful meals then. Now, we have visited a few of my old favorites and had disappointing meals at them. I have avoided others because I thought they would be too difficult to manage with a toddler. Anyway, Da Gigetto, Da Sergio, Al Galletto. All have been mediocre meals. Possibly they have gone downhill in the many years past, possibly they had a bad night and possibly we have been eating too early and are getting lunch leftovers (soggy fiori di zuchinni at Da Gigetto?)? I don't know. Random bars & caffeterias and pizzerias have been better. And we have been cooking at home, which is always good:)

But.....my parents & husband are arriving this week for a few days and I would like us to have better sit down meals so I am looking for recommendations. I have read many of the posts, but I could use help finding some places that will work with our toddler. That means one of two things. If he is sleeping in his stroller, a terrace works well, because it is not as loud as indoors, or a not too raucously noisy & cramped indoor location would be fine. If he is not sleeping, a terrace still works well but especially when it is in a piazza or on a street with restricted traffic. He tends to want to wander and although I will watch him, I can't relax if there is a lot of traffic and I worry that he will be run over if I take my eyes off him for a few seconds. Budget is not so important, we can splurge or be frugal. We are staying near Campo dei Fiori.

Also, on a side note, my husband & I will have one night out without the baby. (Thanks nana & papa!) We had wanted to go to Hosteria Del Pesce which we used to love, but it seems to be closed. Can you recommend a good alternative?

Thanks!

Sep 27, 2010
junipero in Italy

Need an idea for a roasted squash lasagna topping....

One of my favorite meals I make is a lasagna with layers of lasagna noodles, roasted butternut squash, sauteed chard & sometimes ricotta. I usually serve it with a sage butter on top. (It is very delicious and reminiscent of a pumpkin or squash ravioli with a sage butter) There are similar recipes on the internet and they always call for a bechamel sauce on top, but this never seems quite right to me. I find bechamel so.....uninspired. There has to be something better to top it with so the noodles don't dry out. Any ideas?

Apr 02, 2010
junipero in Home Cooking

East Hollywood / Koreatown recommendations?

My mom is moving from Culver City to Koreatown and while I have a few favorites over there (Beverly Soon Tofu & Scoops) I was hoping some of you could help with a better list. She will be living near Vermont & 1st and we are curious about some if the Central American places as well as the Korean. Any tips?

Mar 25, 2010
junipero in Los Angeles Area

Bittman Granola in NYT

I think your addition of wheat germ is what helped it clump. I read elsewhere that it was a "clumping agent". Also I think you need to let it cool in the pan so that the liquids set up. I just tried a batch adding 1/2 cup wheat germ, 1 cup sesame seeds, pecans, dried cherries and 1/2 cup canola oil because I just couldn't bring myself to make granola without oil. I have to say I didn't love it. It is fine for a granola to eat with a spoon and milk or yogurt, but I don't think it can compare to my favorite recipe which has plenty of butter and oil and maple syrup in it. I prefer a granola that makes big lumps good for snacking on with your hands.

Mar 20, 2010
junipero in Home Cooking

Help! 14 Family Friendly Madrid recommendations?

Hi Chowhounders! Ok, here is the situation, I am in Madrid (Plaza Santa Ana) with my husband and 2 year old for the next 2 weeks. It was a very last minute trip with my son & I following my husband who is working here for a few weeks. I didn't have time to do much research before we came and although I have been reviewing past posts, I am finding it hard to make sense of where the recommendations are located and whether they are good choices for us.

In the "old days" before we had a child, when we travelled we would eat at a combination of recommended restaurants and any place that looked interesting and had a crowd of locals. Price and time weren't often a concern so we tried many of the finer places and we were happy to wander until we saw something that looked appealing. Life is a little different with a toddler. First of all, we aren't inclined to spend $100 Euros on dinner when it may be eaten while chasing the baby around the restaurant. Secondly, due to both the baby's and husband's schedule, it makes more sense for us to eat at 8:30 or 9pm and it is hard to randomly choose a restaurant when it is empty:)

We do plan on finding a babysitter for at least one night out. I think then we will try either La Terazza del Casino or La Broche. And I know not everyone loves them, but we will probably make our way to Casa Mingo and Botin with the baby in tow. Beyond that, I was hoping someone could help with some recommendations within a 15 minute walk of Plaza Santa Ana, where we are staying. We aren't as picky as we used to be. Just looking for anything good, reasonable and casual. I would love to eat some grilled meat, roasted chicken, pig or lamb and a great paella while we are here. I also would love to try a great "cocido madrileno" and some bunuelos. Any other "must try"s?

The hotel has so far only recommended questionable and expensive places and last night after a frustrating search (It was a monday, so many restaurants were closed and I was craving grilled meat so we passed over many tapas bars) we ended up giving up and having a depressing meal at a place that struck me as Madrid's answer to "Denny's". Help!

Feb 02, 2010
junipero in Spain/Portugal

venice beach boardwalk suggestions

Although not on the "boardwalk" per se, you can sit on the patio, people watch and get a pitcher of sangria at Mercedes Grille on Washington Blvd a few doors up from the beach. The cuban(ish) food is pretty good.

Sep 21, 2009
junipero in Los Angeles Area