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Your tried and true Cook's illustrated Best recipes.

Boo! thepiggly-wiggly.com page has been taken down.

Mar 28, 2014
msmarm in Home Cooking

Uses for Anchovy Paste (Other than Caesar Dressing)?

Would a bit be good added to guac in place of salt?

Mar 15, 2014
msmarm in Home Cooking

Sweated vs caramelized onions

As a self-described 'peasant cook,' my instinct is always to brown/soften sliced/chopped onions rather than just sweat them - "brown food tastes good." But there must be applications where the sweetness of longer sautéing isn't best...

When do you just sweat the onions and when do you caramelize?

Dec 29, 2013
msmarm in Home Cooking

What Are Your Most and Least Favorite Pasta Shapes?

Not really on topic, but what can rigatoni #24 be Creatively used for?

Haven't done this, but I have a vision of it cooked nearly to al dente, stuffed half way with seasoned ricotta, tightly positioned vertically in a sauce-coated baking dish, filled to the top of the noodle cylinder with frozen/thawed peas, sauce over the top, then mozzarella/Parm, and baked.

Might be a fun meal for kids to make....

What other pasta shapes besides shells can be stuffed - and with what?

Dec 28, 2013
msmarm in General Topics

DO NOT DISCARD THE TURKEY CARCASS(ES)

Lucky pets!

Dec 01, 2013
msmarm in Home Cooking
1

DO NOT DISCARD THE TURKEY CARCASS(ES)

Just curious - other than resulting in a lightly salted broth, is there anything to consider using the carcass if the turkey was brined?

Nov 28, 2013
msmarm in Home Cooking

Roasted Butternut Squash and Pears

re helou -
Having grown kabocha, I discovered that fresh-off-the-vine hard squash carries a HUGE amount of moisture compared to the average store-bought winter squash varieties. When halving and roasting fresh, the kabocha releases lots of water - thank goodness I used a lipped sheet pan.

Roasting store-bought older fruit (who knows how much time it's in storage evaporating its moisture?) requires that I add water to the sheet pan or the result is dry and usable only to chunk up and toss into soup.
When cutting FRESH kabocha into 1" cubes (skin-on), tossing in oil/seasoning and roasting, convection is best since it's so wet, but store-bought cut in 1" chunks tossed in oil/seasoning and roasting conventionally the same amount of time, I ended up with hockey pucks.

I haven't figured out how to choose a moisture-filled store-bought winter squash. Anybody have clues?

Nov 04, 2013
msmarm in Recipes

Cutting/peeling butternut squash

+1!
Then there's, "Oh, Honey, do you have a few minutes to help me in the kitchen?"

Oct 11, 2013
msmarm in Home Cooking

Parmigiano Reggiano v. Pecorino Romano

Chimayo Joe, re odor of vomit..... +1! Didn't realize others had the same reaction.

Oct 04, 2013
msmarm in Cheese

Cutting/peeling butternut squash

Laterally, is there any easy way to peel the zig-zag exterior of uncooked acorn squash?

Or does one just scrape out the cooked meat with a spoon? (Not for fancy get-togethers....)

Oct 04, 2013
msmarm in Home Cooking

Cutting/peeling butternut squash

The few times I've engaged someone in conversation who was taking off husks/silk, they said they'd rather the market toss the tossables than fill their home kitchen garbage cans. They don't realize the value in keeping the ears protected until ready to cook, and I didn't enlighten them....

Oct 04, 2013
msmarm in Home Cooking

Spaghetti Squash Cakes

Suggestions for alternatives to the toasted caraway seeds?

Sep 11, 2013
msmarm in Recipes

Doya Doya Okonomiyaki - Kansai-style Okonomiyaki

Thanks to bulavinaka's comments, when we were in Torrance on a Thursday recently, we made a point of going to Doya Doya for lunch. Although an older Asian couple was at the only other occupied table, we tried to be low key not giving away that we were complete newbies.

We got the basic okonomiyaki, and I didn't know what to do with the kewpie mayonnaise although it was presented with the order. I put the shaved bonito flakes on like the couple across the room did and enjoyed the waving movement from the effect of the hot, steamy pancake.

Watching the couple, I used the flat-edged, cutting metal utensil, then chopsticks. There was enough pancake left over to take home for dinner (served with leftover veges and put the veges to shame).

A really enjoyable experience, we'll absolutely go back when we're anywhere near Torrance.

Is there a place that serves okonomiyaki anywhere near the San Fernando Valley?

Jun 29, 2013
msmarm in Los Angeles Area

Canned Seafood Varieties & Ideas

What are some of your best ways to use refrigerated white anchovies vs either canned, from the deli, or paste?

Jun 21, 2013
msmarm in General Topics

Tapenade

What's a good substitute for Cognac or brandy?

May 20, 2013
msmarm in Recipes

HELP! Craving REAL hot chocolate (thick) and CHURROS!

40ish years ago there was a booth at the early Agoura Ren Pleasure Faire with a machine that extruded dough that dropped into a vat of fry oil. Experiencing those random lengths of churros with a crispy, brown, ridged exterior and tender center tossed in cinnamon sugar, wrapped in wax paper and handed to you steaming was revelation of the senses to remember.

May 09, 2013
msmarm in Los Angeles Area

HELP! Craving REAL hot chocolate (thick) and CHURROS!

Years ago when sons were kids we used to go to that Burrito King from Van Nuys to buy a dozen machaca burritos at a time, some to gorge on, some to freeze. Memories.

May 09, 2013
msmarm in Los Angeles Area

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Step 5 says "discarding the skin."
Browning skinless chicken pieces (unlike browning beef) would just dry out the meat.

Feb 08, 2013
msmarm in Recipes

The 10 Best Burger Joints in Los Angeles

So, fess up -- which Chow department created this list?

Why are none of the Top 10 burger joints outside the strip of northwest of downtown toward the beach?

(If you say the biggest vote-getters are both those situated in the area populated by people who live/work in this same area and are also from the group who is most likely to be purveyors of burgers vs. $150/plate dinners, then this list may be accurate.... but then your demographic of voters is really skewed.)

Jan 02, 2013
msmarm in Features

applesauce apples

I'm confused. I was advised that when cooked, Fuji and red delicious apples have little flavor and not to use them in applesauce. I see on Chow that some applesauce recipes recommend Fujis.

Apples for applesauce would be chosen for their flavor, tartness/sweetness, texture and so on, right? What selections of apples do you Hounds use for applesauce?

Dec 16, 2012
msmarm in Home Cooking

Sneakiest Chef Ingredients... a MSG rant

For me, not counting foods that don't please my palate (i.e. sea urchin, shiso, beets and produce high in capsaisin), MSG seems to be the only item, preservative or otherwise, that I have a physiological reaction to.

Oct 08, 2012
msmarm in General Topics

first experience cooking skirt steak

Has anyone had the experience of inconsistent tenderness? Most times skirt steak is like butter, occasionally other times, it's like pink pearl eraser. What's up with that?

And regarding the sometimes large veins of fat (realizing fat is flavor), is there a way to cook/melt part of that away and still have the inside rare to med-rare?

Aug 31, 2012
msmarm in Home Cooking

Nutritional Yeast?

My guess is that "yeast" conjures up thoughts of either dough-rising or physical discomfort you-know-where (sorry). "NUTRITIONAL yeast" describes a product with a health component.

And I wonder if the healthy/vitamin B aspect of nutritional yeast is somewhat destroyed by cooking with/heating it. Anyone know?

Jul 27, 2012
msmarm in Home Cooking

Hot "pantry" dinners that aren't pasta...

If the beans are "bbq" style from a can, adding a good T mustard (any) will cut the sweet somewhat and add another layer of flavor.

May 04, 2012
msmarm in Home Cooking

What unusual ingredients have you used to make pasta sauce?

I wanted something other than a tomato-based or cream-based sauce for pasta the other day, so I stood there staring into the open refrigerator. I pulled out a baked yellow sweet potato, red miso and butter. While about 2 T butter and about 1/4 C water warmed in the micro, I mashed the sweet potato well with a fork. After dissolving about 1 T red miso in the hot butter-water, I stirred in the mashed sweet potato. (Results should be creamy; if too thick, add more water.)

The result had a distinct miso flavor from my tasting spoon, but when mixed with cooked pasta and some leftover veges, the whole thing seemed to come together nicely. I'd definitely do it again.

What unusual ingredients have you used in making non-tomato-based pasta sauce?

Apr 26, 2012
msmarm in Home Cooking

What Are Your Most and Least Favorite Pasta Shapes?

Just had calamarata for the first time. Got my imagination to twirling.... With the current penchant for things tiny, savory and sweet -- mini-muffins, mini-cupcakes, mini-brownies, etc....

For the creative/experimental souls (or maybe this has been done already), how about using the al dente calamarata pieces as a form to stuff, cold as party finger food, or baked with/without sauce.

And as kids like to play with their food and eat what they've made, how about a junior chef experience in the kitchen - stuffing the calamarata with a healthy mixture?

Then there's wrapping a stuffed unit with a half a strip of bacon or ham (thereby the enclosing savory hors d'oeuvre, bottom and top). Or for a dessert version, fill with something sweet and wrap once around vertically with a piece of fruit leather.

Apr 26, 2012
msmarm in General Topics

Acid-Free Mystery Citrus

Maybe what you found was a cocktail grapefruit. My experience is that it is low acid, a delicious cross between common grapefruit and something else that reduces the sharpness (acid?) fresh grapefruit juice can have, has tons of seeds, can have from a yellowish to yellow-green rind. Although I didn't try it, I'd imagine the zest would be a wonderful substitute for other citrus zest.

http://www.melissas.com/Products/Products/Cocktail-Grapefruit.aspx
http://food.gather.com/viewArticle.ac...

Apr 20, 2012
msmarm in Features

Cooking with Coconut Oil

Is coconut oil harder to digest than other oils? Easier?

Apr 20, 2012
msmarm in Features

Asparagus Frittata with Horseradish Sour Cream

Looks good. Seems easy enough for little hands in the kitchen to help with parental supervision. Picture shown looks like a crust is used, but maybe not....

Mar 31, 2012
msmarm in Recipes

Garlic--I keep buying fresh garlic that has a green and bitter center

I've recently discovered when looking for 'fresh' garlic that if the cloves are fattening and pulling away from one another and from the center that green sprouts are forming. Usually all in that batch come from the same source and are beginning to develop sprouts. The sprouts seem to take up half the clove, so when you remove them, there's not much garlic meat left!

Also I asked a couple of Central Valley growers at our local So Cal farmers' market when was the best time to plant. Answer - by the end of October for spring harvest, otherwise the plants had to over-summer for fall harvest, that is unless you wanted 'green garlic.' I'm growing garlic for the first time and have planted several wide shallow clay pots - just need to keep them from drying out all winter.

Jan 09, 2012
msmarm in General Topics