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what to do w/ combo setting on convection-microwave

Hi, folks, we have this Panasonic convection-microwave oven that has a combination setting, and we've never used it in the three years we've owned the oven. There are 4 temperature settings, ranging from 275F to 375F, and each uses 30 percent microwave power. There is no information in the instructions about what one would use this combination for, nor how to choose which of the 4 settings to use.

Do any of the 'hounds use the combination convection+microwave settings in their C-M ovens? If so, for what kinds of foods or dishes? Why use the combo rather than just, say, convection? Does the microwaving and, uh, convecting happen at the same time or sequentially? Any learning experiences to pass on about what to do with the combo setting and what not to do with it?

Looking forward to hearing from the convection-microwave-combo-cook pioneers……!

Dec 20, 2014
vjb in Home Cooking

Are there unmentioned steps in this pea soup recipe?

Smoked pork jowl….. I wonder if I could find _that_ in Toronto. Hmmmm. I know I can find unsalted pork belly in Asian supermarkets. Might smoked pork jowl be something available in Asian supermarkets? Or is that something local/traditional from your area, Puffin3?

May 23, 2014
vjb in Home Cooking

Are there unmentioned steps in this pea soup recipe?

I'm making this dish at the request of my aged aunt; she found the recipe in _The Canadiana Cookbook_, which belonged to her parents. She chose it over the recipe in the Laura Secord cookbook, so I assume she wants the recipe with the mustard and the hominy.

I'm willing to make modifications to the recipe. After all, I'm using split green peas (auntie dislikes yellow peas), but I'm under the impression that Quebecois pea soup used to be made with whole peas akin to marrowfat peas, or even marrowfat peas proper.

[I once tried to make marrowfat peas, but I did _something_ wrong, because 12 or more hours of soaking and hours of cooking did not render them edible, let alone mushy]

Would the salt from the pork make the peas difficult to cook? Hence the 3 to 4 hours?

I had assumed that the herbs are dried simply because I'd assumed that any 'traditional' recipe relying on salted meat, dried legumes and lye-washed corn isn't going to include anything as outlandish as fresh herbs. As for the hominy, it's actually easier to find the dried kernels than canned ones. I'll soak _them_ for 12 hours and then cook for 3 or 4. I'll just add the peas later.

Maybe the cookbook was made more as a symbolic representation of Canadian cooking (whatever that was or is) than as a volume of usable recipes.

But my aunt makes few special requests, so I want to make her something with these kinds of ingredients -- dry mustard, herbes salées, pork, hominy, etc. I just don't want it to be disgustingly greasy or salty.

May 23, 2014
vjb in Home Cooking

Are there unmentioned steps in this pea soup recipe?

I have never used salt pork, and I want to make Mme Jehane Benoit's recipe for pea soup ("soupe aux quatorze affaires"). But I want to know whether there are unspoken steps involving the salt pork.

Her recipe calls for "1 lb. salt pork, lean and fat" (for 1 lb. of dried soup peas and 8 cups of water). The instructions for dealing with the salt pork are to rub it with 1 Tbsp of dry mustard, cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. Then put it in a pot with the peas, herbs and aromatics, and cook the lot for 3 or 4 hours. The last steps mention nothing about removing the chunk of salt pork.

Before following all of Mme Benoit's steps, does one need to boil the salt pork to remove some of the salt? Does one need to cut slices into it or cut it into chunks? Or does one slice or chop after the 12 hours in the fridge but before 3-4 hours in the pot? Is most of the salt pork supposed to melt away? Or does one just leave the chunk in the bottom when freezing and/or serving the soup?

I look forward to your responses!
fyi, here's the recipe: http://www.foodgeeks.com/recipes/fren...

May 23, 2014
vjb in Home Cooking

Flavours for Japanese Cheesecake other than lemon?

I seriously like your ideas for the glaze! If I can fit in some Japanese-Cheesecake-baking into my Xmas baking extravaganza, I'll turn the pineapple-ginger jam into a glaze with rum! Thanks!.

By the way, the snake's blood was disgusting, but only because it had been mixed with that multi-purpose, omnipresent Chinese liquor called Bai Jiu (literally White Alcohol). It has a vile aftertaste that lingered for hours and hours and hours. Feh!

Dec 20, 2013
vjb in Home Cooking

Shortbread question

No, not a sacrilege. It's just that, in my opinion, the sugar-butter-flour combo in the 1:3:8 ratio (and especially if one uses both unsalted and salted butter), creates an exquisite, subtle flavour. Eating one of these cookies is a little zen moment in mindful savouring.

I once tried adding cocoa powder to the dough, but there wasn't enough sugar in it to make the cocoa into an interesting presence. Now I leave the recipe alone.

Dec 18, 2013
vjb in Home Cooking

Flavours for Japanese Cheesecake other than lemon?

Thank you, everyone, for your ideas.
I think the crowd I'm going to bake for won't go for green tea cheesecake, but I'll bet they won't turn their noses up at a sake cheesecake.
I have some jams we've received as gifts but that I won't eat because they're too sugary, but maybe I can make a glaze for the cheesecake with one of them (pineapple-ginger, or quince, for example).
I followed for link, greymalkin, to see all the ideas for Japanese cheesecake. I almost yelped at the idea of a durian-flavoured cheesecake! In the 1990s, I spent a couple of years in China, where I was always willing to try foods I'd never encountered before. I ate snake (three different times, and drank the blood), water beetles, donkey meat, dog meat (twice), silk worm thingies (cocoons?), oh, lots of things. So when someone offered me a durian-flavoured candy, I gamely unwrapped it and popped it in my mouth. Several seconds after that, I contravened (knowingly) one of the most basic rules of polite behaviour there and plucked the thing from my mouth.
I'm intrigued by the idea of savoury cheesecake.
Thanks, again, everyone.

Dec 18, 2013
vjb in Home Cooking

Flavours for Japanese Cheesecake other than lemon?

I looooove ginger in things! I wonder if I could combine ginger and lemon.

Dec 18, 2013
vjb in Home Cooking

Flavours for Japanese Cheesecake other than lemon?

I don't know what yuzu is. I imagine that if I looked about, I could find some for sale in Toronto. What is the flavour like compared to lemon? Equally sour? A bit sweeter?

Dec 17, 2013
vjb in Home Cooking

Flavours for Japanese Cheesecake other than lemon?

Hello, 'hounds,
The recipes I come across for Japanese Cheesecake all use lemon as a flavouring, if there's any flavour added at all. Can I use other flavourings in a Japanese Cheesecake? If so, what, how much, and when, or to which mixture of ingredients, would I add it?
Does it have to be a liquid (i.e. juice, liquor)? Can it be a thick liquid, such as pureed berries? Can I add anything solid, like cocoa powder, or smashed overripe banana? Can it be in between, like fruit spread? Or would I be better off turning whatever flavour I want into a glaze for the top of the cake?
Also, what does the cornstarch do? What would happen to the structure/texture/mass if I didn't use cornstarch? Inquiring minds want to know.

Dec 17, 2013
vjb in Home Cooking

Shortbread question

Oh, I want to add one more thing:
I have used both regular granulated white sugar and "instant dissolving" sugar (a.k.a. superfine or bar sugar, and it's possibly the exact same thing as caster sugar), but without varying the quantity, and both versions turn out wonderfully. Here in Toronto, superfine/instant dissolving sugar is not something available in large bags. That's a shame, I think, because a lot of baked things come out better with it.

Dec 17, 2013
vjb in Home Cooking

Shortbread question

Janniecooks has posted the instructions, I see.

In the instructions I received (and I'm darned if I can recall whom I got the recipe from), the temperature I was given is 350 degrees Farenheit. I bake for 20 minutes at the most. Last batch had a bit of tanning around the edges, but they tasted fine.
Also, I was never instructed to poke holes in the cookies or to sprinkle with sugar. But I always cut very small cookies (1.5 inches diameter at the most), and when they're small and half an inch thick, they don't seem to want to pop up.

I bought a cookie sheet that has an air gap in it (for making buttermilk biscuits), and that cookie sheet is great for keeping the bottom of the cookies from getting too dark.

Love, love, love these shortbreads. Not overly sweet, not overly greasy, dense, subtle, yum.

I think I"ll try baking my little shortbread cookies at 300 to see if they'll set just as nicely but without the touch of tanning around the edges.

Dec 17, 2013
vjb in Home Cooking

Shortbread question

I just have to tell you, janniecooks, that I second your shortbread recipe enthusiastically. I _hated_ shortbread until I had cookies made with this recipe.
It had never occurred to me that I could roll the dough into a cylinder and freeze it. Thanks for the great idea!

Dec 16, 2013
vjb in Home Cooking

Pimms Cups: Limonta or Schweppe's Bitter Lemon?

_Really_ late to the party, but…..
Bitter Lemon
Bitter Lemon
Bitter Lemon!

Almost 30 years ago, when my sister and I went to BC to visit our father, we discovered the awesome combo of Pimm's & Bitter Lemon, a cocktail Dad unintentionally mixed because he'd mistakenly picked up a six-pack of Bitter Lemon rather than ginger ale.
My sister and I aren't drinkers, but, GollyBoyJeepers!!! We _loved_ that Pimm's & Bitter Lemon!
We named the drink after the place we first had it: Dad's boat, The Exocet.
The Exocet's amazingness has been augmented, we're sure, by its scarcity: Bitter Lemon was so hard to find in Toronto bars and shops back then, and is now impossible to find.

I've no tolerance for alcoholic drinks anymore, but I want to bake Pimm's, lemon juice and tonic water into a cake, in the style of a Harvey Wallbanger cake. Yum!

Nov 30, 2013
vjb in Spirits

Scarborough Gems

Has anyone tried the Pagel Patisserie on Markham Rd, at Painted Post, or the Village Tea Room in Cliffcrest Plaza?

Sep 08, 2013
vjb in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Scarborough Gems

Hubbie & I like LaSani Grill, right smack next to Tangerine in the plaza at Markham Rd & Ellesmere (NW corner). It makes & serves South-asian (Pakistani, I think) food. Really cheap lunch specials: loads of flavour; I don't think the naan are handmade there (happy to be proved wrong), but they're always freshly baked; love the rice. Many dishes are too spicy for me (I wish I could eat them because I like the taste of the other spices in the dishes, but the heat defeats me), but hubbie loves that stuff. I like the dal and mild dishes. The place gets really busy, but it has a lot of seating.

I prefer it to Tangerine for lunch. There are only one or two things on Tangerine's lunch menu I find really flavourful. They have a bigger range of dishes at dinner, but we usually find ourselves there for lunch.

Sep 05, 2013
vjb in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Can one make a HarveyWallbanger-esque cake sans alcohol?

I agree about the licorice extract. I love licorice in candy, and I'll even chew on a licorice root/stem, but I don't want to put licorice extract in things.
I'll consult with my aunt today about the alcoholic content and see what she wants. I don't want to try to sneak anything into it. If she gives the original version the nod, I'll go with that. But now I'm intrigued by the idea of a vanilla and orange cake with an anise and ginger soak. Mmmmmm. Maybe I'll try revani (sp?) that way.

Mar 15, 2013
vjb in Home Cooking

Can one make a HarveyWallbanger-esque cake sans alcohol?

My teetotalling aunt has asked for a Harvey Wallbanger cake for her 82nd birthday; she says she had it once at the birthday party of one of the children in the extended family. I'm pretty certain there was no alcohol in the child's birthday cake. My aunt loves orange flavours in baking, so I guess that's what she remembers about the cake.

So I've been looking for a way to make a Harvey Wallbanger-like cake but without the Galliano and vodka. I imagine that the Galliano has a particular effect on the flavour, but I just don't want to buy a whole bottle of the stuff to make a cake (cuz I won't drink the sugary, syrupy stuff), and I think my aunt won't want a booze-ridden cake.

_I_ like licorice-y/anise-y flavours in things. I've seen licorice extract suggested as a substitute for Galliano, but that seems rather simplistic. Could I grind some aniseed and star anise and add it, along with vanilla, to the cake batter? If I do that, should I apply the ground spices sparingly? Liberally?

As for the vodka, I can't imagine what _it_ contributes to the cake in the way of flavour or texture. Can I substitute just plain, old water for the vodka? Or is there a je-ne-sais-quoi, beyond booziness, that vodka contributes to a licorice-y, orange-y bundt cake with licorice-y, orange-y glaze? If so, what substitute could approximate that je-ne-sais-quoi?

Thanks.

Mar 14, 2013
vjb in Home Cooking

Need help fleshing out old, ultra-concise baking recipes

Gingershelly, my Dad's parents were born in towns on either side of the French-Swiss border, so my Bonnemaman was from the southern end of Alsace. But Bonpapa's family were originally from the Bas-Rhin, and Dad's parents lived in a minuscule speck of a hamlet in Haut-Rhin, so both sides, really, were Alsatian. The Alsatian influence can be seen in the recipes with German names or in foods common to the area (no quetsch pie in the binder, though!). There are two recipes in the binder for something called Gouglouffe. Googling gouglouffe turned up nothing, but trying kouglouffe turned up kouglof/kouglhupf/etc. According to one website, gouglouffe is the pronunciation/spelling used by previous generations in Belfort, which is where Bonnemaman grew up. Thus, I figure some of these recipes come from my grandparents' own childhoods.

My Dad maintained lots of French-ness (salad after the main course with homemade vinaigrette, escargots bourgignons, stinky cheeses, pâté, baguettes, wine with dinner, a very dry, often archly sarcastic sense of humour, etc.) but also became very North American (watching Canadian football while drinking beer and eating peanuts, barbecuing steaks, seeing to it that all calves grew up to give us beef -- i.e. he owned a cattle ranch).

If I can manage to scan all the pages and learn how to find/make a repository on the web for them, I'm happy to see people take the recipes and use them.

Dec 10, 2012
vjb in Home Cooking

Need help fleshing out old, ultra-concise baking recipes

I was going by info on a few websites I found:
http://www.familles.com/v4/forums/for...
www.supertoinette.com/mesures-equival...
www.cieldefrancoise.com/kit_02/trucs_...

One is rather confusing because it says a verre contains 125ml of liquid but a verre d'eau is 20cl/2dl/200ml. One of those tells how many ml is meant by a mustard glass. The superantoinette site gives volume and weight equivalents to things like "grand bol", a measure that appears in a couple of the recipes in the binder. I notice now that it gives "four doux" as a temperature as low as 90C.!!!

Dec 09, 2012
vjb in Home Cooking

Need help fleshing out old, ultra-concise baking recipes

Thanks, ninrn. I also googled "four doux" and found quite a range, from 110C to 150C. That's 230F to ~300F. 160C = 320F. I also found a website that said baked goods made with nut flours rather than wheat flour need to be baked at much lower temperatures.
Well, I'm going to have to be willing to experiment and sacrifice some almond meal, sugar, eggs and carrots or chocolate. I hope the failures will be edible! :-)

I, too, wondered whether some of the recipes were some kind of super-abbreviated notes. But there are other recipes that mention flour (and butter, and egg yolk, and egg whites, and yeast or baking powder).

Dec 08, 2012
vjb in Home Cooking

Need help fleshing out old, ultra-concise baking recipes

I can provide only the raw ingredients, so to speak. :-) People who are very skilled in cooking and baking can take things several steps further.

Dec 08, 2012
vjb in Home Cooking

Need help fleshing out old, ultra-concise baking recipes

For the Bonnes Madeleines recipe, at what stage should I incorporate the flour? After combining the eggs-butter-sugar but before folding in the egg whites?

Dec 08, 2012
vjb in Home Cooking

Need help fleshing out old, ultra-concise baking recipes

Would 300F be adequate, then, for the ground-almond/hazelnut recipes? And could I use the convection setting if I lower the temp to 275?

Dec 08, 2012
vjb in Home Cooking

Need help fleshing out old, ultra-concise baking recipes

Please let me know how they turn out if you try them, blue room! I want to make the chocolate croissants for Xmas day.

There are, I would guess, more than 200 recipes in the binder, which was my father's. There are a lot of recipes for sauces, a lot for meat dishes (most often for veal), a few fish dishes, and a small number of vegetable dishes. Lots of recipes for deep-fried-dough things, not all of them sweet.

Now, my sisters and I have been wondering whether the range of recipes reflects what his family ate, or whether it reflects Dad's tastes, and, therefore, which recipes he asked for. Dad hated vegetables. He ate corn. He ate romaine lettuce (a salad after the main course at dinner was a must). He ate onions and garlic. I don't recall his stand on celery; he may have cooked with it.

Maybe I'll start a new thread and over the coming weeks post some translations of the savoury recipes. I don't know if they're extraordinarily yummy; I haven't tried them yet. But at least they may be interesting. Stock up on eggs and butter. And veal. (What was with all the veal? Was it more economical to slaughter calves than to feed them into adulthood, there in western Europe?) I think I'll start with the recipes for rabbit.

Dec 08, 2012
vjb in Home Cooking

Need help fleshing out old, ultra-concise baking recipes

Thanks for the link. I would think of doux as gentle or mild when talking of heat.
I guess one bakes slowly in a slow oven. I have on occasion come across a recipe for a cake to be baked in a 300-degree-F oven, or even 275. I tried one for a semolina cake, which cake ended up in the "epic fail" bin. Has anyone on these boards ever baked something other than macarons at 275 or 300 and succeeded?

Dec 08, 2012
vjb in Home Cooking

Need help fleshing out old, ultra-concise baking recipes

There plenty of recipes from the same source that use flour and lots o' butter in the baked goods. But they have more detailed instructions.

There are also a lot of recipes for desserts that call for "pains au lait" soaked in milk. Maybe they're a use for no-longer-fresh breakfast rolls.

Dec 08, 2012
vjb in Home Cooking

Need help fleshing out old, ultra-concise baking recipes

I knew it was pound, but I forgot it was much more than 200gr. Thanks. See response to Paulj below.

Dec 08, 2012
vjb in Home Cooking

Need help fleshing out old, ultra-concise baking recipes

Oh my gosh, that's right! Thank you, Paulj.

So, for the little hazelnut cakes, it's 250g each of ground nuts and powdered sugar. The chocolate croissants are 250g each of ground nuts and sugar, and 125 of chocolate. Carrot cake: 250gr each of sugar, carrots and almonds. Chocolate cake: 250gr of sugar and 125gr each of ground almonds and grated chocolate. The tea cakes were already in grams.

I know why I got 200 stuck in my head. One of the measurements that appears in several recipes is a "verre", which someone online said is 200ml (that is if it doesn't specify a verre a moutarde, or something like that). One recipe calls for a teacup of flour and 3/4 of one of sugar. Any guesses at what a "tasse à thé" was to an Alsatian cook around the 1920s? About 180ml maybe?

These recipes are in a binder of photocopies from, I presume, my grandparents' cook, and maybe even from their parents' kitchens. Not all the recipes are for baked goods. But it occurs to me that the baked goods requiring only the whites of eggs may have been useful in the meals whose main dish used only the yolks (and there are many such recipes in the binder).

I've had to decipher, first, the European cursive script, then the French (the specific cooking/baking terms were the big challenge), then the abbreviations, and then the measures.

Dec 08, 2012
vjb in Home Cooking

Need help fleshing out old, ultra-concise baking recipes

Hello,

I have some old, handwritten, ultra-concise recipes from Alsace that seem like aides-memoire for the cook. Where they mention an oven temperature at all, they say only "gentle oven" ("four doux" in the original French), and I don’t know what that means. Most lack baking times. Some list only ingredients. By the way, egg whites are "battus en neige", which I take to mean they’re beaten into stiff peaks and not just frothy. Any French-speaking bakers out there, please correct me if I’m wrong.

Sometimes weights of dry ingredients are given in grams, sometimes they're given as 1/2 livre or 1/4 livre. According to a source I found online, one livre is 200 grams, so I've rendered such recipes in grams using that formula.

If you were to turn the following ‘recipes’ into recipes-for-stupid-people, what would you add to the instructions? The translations are mine, as are comments/questions in square brackets.

1) Little hazelnut cakes: 100gr hazelnuts ground with a bit of sugar, 100 gr powdered sugar, 8 egg whites, lemon zest. Beat the egg whites, mix with the hazelnuts and the sugar. Butter the moulds and bake in a gentle oven.

2) Chocolate croissants: 100 gr ground almonds, 100 gr sugar, 50 gr chocolate, 2 egg whites (use a little more if the eggs are small), not beaten, a pinch of cinnamon, one ground clove. When it’s well mixed and the dough is of even consistency, roll it out and form little crescents. Let bake slowly.

3) Chocolate cake (good recipe) [sic]: 6 eggs. Beat the yolks with 100 gr of sugar, 50 gr of ground almonds, 50 gr of grated chocolate, beaten egg whites. Butter the pan with melted butter. Gentle oven.

4) Little tea cakes: 4 egg whites, 300 gr of sugar, 200 gr of flour, some ground almonds and a little fleur d’oranger.

5) Carrot cake: 100gr of crushed sugar [powdered sugar? orig: sucre pilé] , 100 gr of cooked then grated carrots [sic], 6 eggs, 100gr ground almonds, lemon rind. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar, add the carrots, then the almonds and the beaten egg whites. Also add the lemon rind. Butter the pan and put into the oven 3/4 hour. [I'm leaving out the icing instructions]

6) Good Madeleines [sic]: 8 eggs, for flour the weight of 7 eggs and for butter the weight of 6 eggs, for sugar the weight of 8 eggs. Cream the butter, then the eggs and the sugar for half an hour. The egg whites beaten. [what might beating by hand for half an hour translate into for a mixer?]

Thanks.

Dec 08, 2012
vjb in Home Cooking