e

everybodyever's Profile

Title Last Reply

Lobster pie?

I'd go with live ones and understeam them so their meat doesn't get tough in the oven. To that end, I might also pre-bake the bottom crust, add the undercooked lobsters in their sauce, add the top crust, and finish cooking. I wonder, too, if you could stick it under the broiler or raise the temperature for the final cooking phase so as to cook the top surface faster but not overdo the meat. Or maybe I'm full of it; I am emphatically not a baker, but man do I love lobster.

Regarding lobster purists... I would just try to use very little, or at least a very simple, sauce if I wanted to appease those who thought (as I sort of do) that eating lobster in any form more elaborate than a roll is gilding the lily. If you sort of imagine the pie as a baked, gooey lobster roll and present it as such, maybe your family will be more amenable.

As for the crust thickness thing... Sorry, can't help you here. Both because I'm not a baker and because I don't really understand how a pie crust can be thick, exactly.

Good luck, and I'm curious to see your eventual recipe!

Oct 19, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

Tomato question

I never remove skins from tomatoes when making pasta sauces, and to my knowledge neither I nor anybody who's eaten 'em have been bothered by them. Personally, I only remove skins for coulis-type sauces or for pizza sauce.

Also, if I were cooking with a fancy tomato like you have, I would probably want to keep pieces of it relatively intact. So no, I would not skin it.

Oct 19, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

I just steamed & ate littleneck clams. Can I make stock from the shells?

I just bought and steamed 18 littleneck clams in half a beer and ate them for dinner. They were delicious. (And I'd've eaten them raw, but those suckers are hard to open!)

Now, my question: Are their empty shells good for anything? Namely, making stock? I've never made clam stock and don't really know if it's even a thing. Also, the shells have already been steamed for five minutes or so to open the clams, and they contain no meat except that tiny connective muscle.

I'm planning to make corn and clam chowder in the next few days from canned clams and frozen corn. I have a bunch of kernelless corn cobs in the freezer that I was gonna turn into stock for it, so I'd just add the clam shells if y'all think they'd do anything. If the shells would impart enough flavor, I'd skip the addition of clam juice to the chowder.

Thanks!

Oct 19, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

At what point should I add black kale to risotto? Should I precook it?

This is what I'm leaning toward. Thanks!

Sep 22, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

At what point should I add black kale to risotto? Should I precook it?

I have no problem with the vegetable's bitterness; it's an asset, as far as I'm concerned. In light of that, is there something you recommend I do, or do you think it matters?

Sep 22, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

At what point should I add black kale to risotto? Should I precook it?

Good call on the fried garnish, I think I'll try that.

I'm confused about the following: "at the very end of the risotto rice cooking process, right after you add the butter." I don't add butter at the end. Are you referring to adding butter once it's done just to make it creamy or something?

Sep 22, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

"Dirty" recipes that are crowd pleasers

The ingredients for this are certainly pretty dirty -- but the fact that it requires a spring-form pan might render it high-class. Its presentation certainly is; friends who work in high-end restaurants, foodies and everybody who's ever tried it just LOVES this cake. When I was a kid, I requested it annually for my birthday, and I still make it for my boyfriend's and friends' birthdays now. It is eye-rollingly good and will not last more than 24 hours.

ICE CREAM TORTE

2 pints chocolate ice cream (I prefer Haagen Dasz)
2 pints coffee ice cream (again, I go with Haagen Dasz)
1 box Famous Chocolate Wafers, crushed into crumbs
1 bag of semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. heavy cream
1-2 Tbsps. brewed strong coffee, or 1/2 tsp. dry instant coffee
about 1 c. broken-up toffee or almond roca (like Heath "bits o' brickle" toffee, which is sold bagged in many stores by the chocolate chips)
tiny bit of butter

equipment: 9 or 10"-wide spring-form pan (at least 2" deep)

1. Make the chocolate sauce: Heat the chocolate chips in a small saucepan until melted, stirring most of the time. Sdd the cream and coffee and keep heating and stirring till you've got a sauce. Set aside.
2. Start assembling the cake. First: Butter the bottom of the springform pan. Then: Spread half the cookie crumbs on it. Then: Get out your coffee ice cream, and create in the pan an ice cream layer that it comes about halfway up the pan's sides. (I find this is easiest and least messy if I slice the entire pints into 1"-thick discs, cutting right through the cartons. Once I have all those ice cream discs, I cut them into smaller pieces and fit them like puzzle pieces into the pan, working as quickly as possible.) Then pour 1/3 of the chocolate sauce on top of that layer, and quickly stick it back in the freezer and let it freeze up for a little while.
3. Once the cake's a bit more solid, spread the rest of your cookie crumbs over the layer of sauce. Layer the chocolate ice cream on top of this crumb layer, using whatever technique worked best for the coffee ice cream. Pour another 1/3 of the sauce over this ice cream layer, and then spread a thin layer of the broken-up toffee on top.
4. Freeze for 4-5 hours, or until it's solid. To serve, you'll need to pop off the outside of the spring-form pan and then cut it with a large knife soaked in hot water. Let people drizzle the last 1/3 of the sauce over their slice, although the torte really doesn't need it.

Sep 22, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

Super-Frugal Meals -- around $1 per serving -- Beyond Rice and Beans

I second this and recommend using pork shanks or knuckles instead of turkey (and instead of veal), too. Pork shanks (which a lot of butchers don't seem to call shanks, so also try asking for knuckles or raw hams if you want more meat) are really cheap from my local European butchers because they're not terribly desirable parts of the pig. I almost like this osso buco variation better than the veal original, although I base it on Marcella Hazan's recipe. It is incredibly good.

Sep 22, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

Super-Frugal Meals -- around $1 per serving -- Beyond Rice and Beans

Sometimes you have to ask the deli guys if they've got any on hand or if there's a designated day of the week when they package and display them. At my supermarket I regularly get the ends and scraps of high-end meats like prosciutto and smoked salmon for a fraction of the usual price, usually around $7 a pound. They keep in the fridge for forever and are in fine shape to be added in small quantities to sauces.

Sep 22, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

At what point should I add black kale to risotto? Should I precook it?

I cook black kale all the time, and I make risotto all the time, but I've never put the former in the latter. I usually just saute the kale (and occasionally braise it or put it in soup), so I don't really have a concept of how it would best be added to risotto.

Should I pre-saute the kale and then set it aside to add to the risotto at the end? Should I pre-boil it, reserve its cooking water to add to the risotto along with the stock, and then add the kale to the risotto at the end, as per an Epicurious recipe?

Should I not cook the kale at all beforehand, but chiffonade it and add it raw to the risotto at some point during the process, so that it will cook along with the rice? If that last option, how long before the end do you think I should add it, e.g., how long do you think the kale would need to cook? (FWIW, when I make risotto the rice always takes far longer to soften than any recipe has ever advised.)

I assume that whatever I do I shouldn't just add it at the beginning of the risotto-making process when I'm sauteing the onion and then rice; I assume the kale would break down too much, and I like it to be a little chewy but still tender. But y'all tell me, please!

And if you have a favorite recipe or other advice for adding kale to risotto, point me to it, too.

Sep 22, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

what to do with a big bunch of basil, not pesto!

There's a really simple salad I like to make with raw zucchini, raw (if it's really fresh and sweet, otherwise cooked) corn, grape tomatoes and lots of basil. I believe it's this recipe (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...), but you can omit the sugar entirely and cut back on or omit the oil (I often use just lemon juice) -- and, like I said, leave the corn raw if it's good stuff. Or use frozen corn. It's incredibly good, thanks in part to the tons of basil.

Another thing I like to do with lots of basil is make pappa al pomodoro, or tomato-bread soup, which can take lots of whole basil leaves. You don't really need a recipe for the soup; I just saute garlic in oil, add hunks of stale bread, brown them a little, add a 28 oz. can of good tomatoes, mash everything up, cover with broth, season and simmer till it's all warm and soupy. And then I top it with tons of fresh basil and pepper.

I also put lots of basil in my scrambled eggs. And I like adding whole leaves to spinach salad, for a nice surprise when you think you're biting into a baby spinach leaf.

I've also had fabulous basil ice pops from Las Paletas in Nashville that are probably pretty easy to replicate; they have basil ground up into a sweetened milk base so the whole thing is pale green.

May 03, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

I pureed bean burger ingredients too long; now they're wet glop. What to do?

I added instant polenta, dried stuff that had been sitting in my cabinet for forever; I didn't need much in order to be able to shape patties, which I then froze. I haven't eaten them yet, but I like the idea of cornmeal along with the Mexican-ish flavors of the beans. Thanks for the suggestion!

May 03, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

I pureed bean burger ingredients too long; now they're wet glop. What to do?

I would if it weren't full of chili powder and adobo from canned chipotles. Honestly the whole mess is a little gross to me in its current state; I can't imagine adding sauce to it.

May 03, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

I pureed bean burger ingredients too long; now they're wet glop. What to do?

Pancakes, yeah -- that could work. Thanks!

May 03, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

I pureed bean burger ingredients too long; now they're wet glop. What to do?

Thanks, maybe I'll try this -- albeit with not much beans, since I don't have canned around and only have a few chickpeas cooked.

May 03, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

I pureed bean burger ingredients too long; now they're wet glop. What to do?

Ooh, tamales sound good. I'll try the cornmeal on some of it, though.

May 03, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

I pureed bean burger ingredients too long; now they're wet glop. What to do?

Using Mark Bittman's basic bean burger recipe, I threw everything -- two cups of beans (pinto and chickpeas), an onion, an egg, half a small zucchini, half a cup of oats, some chili powder -- in my too-small food processor. I had to process it for a while in order to get everything on top chopped, which I think is why the mush wound up WAY too wet and gloppy. Or maybe it's because I didn't sufficiently drain the beans. In any case, I can't shape anything with it.

Draining the mixture in a sieve doesn't seem to be doing anything. Can anybody recommend what, other than oats, I could add to stiffen up the mixture so I can shape it into something? Or maybe what I could make, instead of burgers, with the mixture? I'm up for anything except deep-frying.

Thanks for your help!

May 02, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

Got a 2 lb. piece of pork shoulder. How can I make barbecue?

Thanks, janniecooks. I'd seen some of other posts on pulled pork but needed to know how to adapt the usual recipes for a smaller piece of meat. I'll definitely incorporate some of those other tips too.

Apr 14, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

Got a 2 lb. piece of pork shoulder. How can I make barbecue?

Thanks! I'd come across that latter recipe in my search and salivated over it -- but I'll have to use the oven since I live in a small apartment with neither a slow cooker nor a grill. What temperature would you recommend? Before you oven-roast, do you usually score the skin first or add liquid? Do you cover the pan? I really cannot remember what I did last time.

Apr 14, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

Got a 2 lb. piece of pork shoulder. How can I make barbecue?

Cheryl, thanks for the recipe; I'll try it. I don't have a slow cooker, though -- what temp would you recommend keeping the oven?

Apr 14, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

ISO delicious, easy-to-make, high calorie soups for a person who's ill

You could try a Senegalese peanut soup, which would have lots of fats and sugars from the peanuts and also from the customary coconut milk. This would be good in case the patient's vegan or lactose-intolerant, too.

Same goes for pappa al pomodoro, or tomato-bread soup. This is a favorite of mine that's really great for using up stale bread (seriously, I use even rock-hard old baguettes that turn beautifully chewy in the soup). Cook some garlic in butter, add chunks of the stale bread to brown them, add a can of good diced tomatoes, cover with chicken stock, bring to a boil while breaking up large bread chunks, and simmer for a while before adding whatever herbs you want to add. Top with lots of cheese and some fresh basil before serving. Alternately, try Florence Fabricant's chorizo-laden Spanish variant: http://www.thewednesdaychef.com/the_w...

Pozole verde packs a lot of flavor and calories, what with all those tomatillos (you can use jarred salsa verde to simplify matters), that hominy and whatever meat you choose. And it too lends itself to lots of garnishes, some of them calorie-laden (avocado, cilantro, radishes, lettuce, cheese...).

There's always Brunswick stew, which I always crave when sick. And pho, whose fabulous broth almost beats the many cuts of meat, heap of noodles, and thicket of herbs that always fill it. Pho more than any other soup feels rejuvenating for me when I'm not well.

This soup is also really good, and the recipe (which isn't as complicated as it looks) lends itself to alterations: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Alternately, you could just make any ordinary soup and add grated potato, small pasta shapes, cream, or cheese to it to make it heartier. I often use the old parmesan rind trick (if you have any grated-to-death rinds around, throw them in and fish them out eventually) to thicken soups and make them more pungent and creamy.

And just about any soup is better with sausage added to it.

Apr 14, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

Got a 2 lb. piece of pork shoulder. How can I make barbecue?

Most recipes I've seen suggest working with a much larger piece of meat, but I bought a two pound hunk of pork shoulder (with skin but no bone) at an Asian market yesterday. I'd love to make some kind of eastern NC-style barbecue within my kitchen. Can y'all recommend a basic method for pulled pork, or a particular recipe? Covered in the oven for many hours at a low temperature, I'm guessing? I've only made pulled pork once before, ages ago, and would love to hear from you cooks.

Apr 13, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

Ideas for goat cheese

Goat cheese grits are heavenly. Stir it (and maybe some raw spinach leaves) into the grits right before you remove them from the heat.

Also great: Green bean salad with halved grape or cherry tomatoes, black olives, raw garlic, fresh thyme, vinaigrette, and little hunks of goat cheese. Blanch and then shock the beans in ice water before mixing them in with all the other stuff.

Apr 09, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner XXVI

Last night: Ma po tofu, plus fried rice with zucchini and corn (made from rice leftover from earlier in the week).

Tonight: Some kind of asparagus-fennel tart with some kind of cheese. (Any ideas?) I have some tart dough I should use up, leftover from the other night's fabulous zucchini-lemon-ricotta galettes, plus a little bit of leftover chopped blanched asparagus and chopped raw fennel. I'll also make collard greens with pancetta.

Apr 09, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

What are your favorite cost-saving cooking tricks?

I dump veggie scraps in one of two bags in my freezer: the one of southeast Asian scraps for pho broth (lemongrass stalks, ginger trimmings, mint stems, etc.) or the one of all-purpose western stock basics (onion ends, fennel stalks, thyme stems, etc.).

I freeze things constantly, and I now finally keep my freezer in a semblance of order. I label indeterminate-looking things (pints of cooked beans, homemade salsa verde, bags of chipotle pepper ice cubes) with masking tape with their contents and the date I froze them. Because I don't buy convenience foods, I make my own (for instance, potstickers or pesto) to freeze. I frequently rely on an old book my mom once found and gave me, hilariously titled 'Will It Freeze?' (The answer is usually yes.)

Oh, and although I throw most things in the freezer before they can go bad, I keep stale bread around for pappa al pomodoro.

I too have taken to using meat mostly as a flavor enhancer; often I use small quantities of anchovies or pancetta in sauces or vegetable dishes, or I add Italian sausage or kielbasa from my local Polish meat markets to soups. For fresh meats, I mostly cook pork since it's so cheap and lean (and since I've been cooking so many Chinese and southeast Asian dishes lately).

By the way - some stores (like Fairway here in New York) will sell oddly sized scraps of prosciutto, other cold cuts, and smoked salmon for a fraction of the usual cost. That's the only way I buy such stuff anymore. Meanwhile, I usually shop for spices, herbs, dried mushrooms, much fresh produce and basic cuts of meat at Asian supermarkets, where they're far cheaper. And since the only expensive processed groceries I buy are juice, oils/butter and ice cream, I stock up on whatever decent brands are cheapest at local American-style supermarkets each week.

I like your meat sauce idea; subbing tofu for beef would not have occurred to me. I used to make lots of meat sauce, too, and once I got sick of eating it on pasta, I'd add spices and beans to turn it into chili.

Oh, and I wholeheartedly agree with Beckyleach regarding her advice to let your food dictate your recipes. Sticking to a prescribed shopping list bores the hell out of me. I just give myself a budget, keep track of what my shopping cart's contents will cost as I browse, and pick things I figure can work together for meals. This not only prevents me from having to hunt around for ingredients for particular recipes but also encourages me to try new ones. (And, of course, I still pick up staples. I never go shopping without coming home with a pound of coffee beans, a bag of mushrooms and some olives). Say I go to the store, think "hmm, haven't had fennel in a while, I'd like to make something with fennel -- oh, and chard, too," and then grab a pound of each. I then come home, Google those ingredients and invariably end up making some new dish I love.

Oh, and my biggest cost-saving method: I brew my own beer.

Apr 09, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

Eggplant Conundrum

Try serving him the skinny, lighter purple Asian varieties of eggplant. Even in large chunks, stir-fried or braised, they tend to be a lot less spongy and so maybe might not offend him.

Also, I second the moussaka idea. My boyfriend claims not to like eggplant, but he loves my moussaka and a Thai sauteed/braised eggplant with basil dish that I make.

There's a recipe from a book called New York Cooks -- here it is, http://nymag.com/listings/recipe/gril... -- for a grilled eggplant and feta salad that's always a hit with non-eggplant-loving friends. I recommend slicing the eggplant far thinner than the 1/2" the recipe recommends and grilling it till super crispy.

Apr 05, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

Tomatillo recipes?

I've made salsa verde using a lot of different recipes, but now thanks to this imperfect one (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...) and the comments on it, I've come up with a version I find pretty perfect:

I broil about two pounds of fresh tomatillos, a quartered onion, a couple of jalapenos, and several unpeeled garlic cloves -- turning them all maybe once -- until everything's pretty charred. (Sometimes I remove the garlic first if it gets too black.) After discarding the garlic peels and pepper stems, I dump everything in the blender, add at least half a cup of cilantro leaves, sprinkle in some salt and lime juice, and puree.

I freeze large batches of the stuff so I can make pozole or pork shoulder with it in the winter. It's also really great on its own, as a sauce, since it has that unmistakable piquant freshness and also a great smoky flavor from the charring of the onion and garlic.

Mar 23, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

Matzah arancini for Passover--how would I do it?

I've always heard that they're called arancini because they resemble oranges in their size and shape. Wikipedia tells me the term is primarily Sicilian. I've often seen them called suppli on Italian menus, and as suppli, they're often a bit smaller.

Mar 23, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

Go-to cookie or bar recipe for a crowd?

I generally feel the same about cookies, but I love ginger cookies and have often made the following recipe (original source unknown; I got it from a neighbor) for groups:

INGREDIENTS
2 1/4 c. flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 c. molasses
granulated sugar for frosting

PREPARATION
1.) Combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, soda, and salt.
2.) With an electric mixer set at medium speed, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and molasses. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture until just incorporated.
3.) Chill until firm, about one hour.
4.) Preheat oven to 350°.
5.) Shape dough into 1-inch balls, roll in granulated sugar, and place about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
6.) Bake until edges just start to brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.
7.) Cool on baking sheets about 2 minutes before removing to racks.

Feb 24, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking

How should I use a large amount of sour ceam?

Pierogi. A lot of recipes include sour cream in the dough, and you can use what doesn't go into the dough as a topping for the finished pierogi.

Feb 24, 2010
everybodyever in Home Cooking