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Help: Absurdly Successful Boletus/Porcini Hunt!

Freezing would also work, if you mean to use them later in braises or stir-fry.

1 day ago
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Help: Absurdly Successful Boletus/Porcini Hunt!

You're killing me....

Consider drying what you have left from fresh:

http://www.splendidtable.org/story/ho...

Bravo!

1 day ago
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Got a big butt

I'm going to try this recipe today. Thanks for reminding of it--saw it before, but have not done it.

I notice that the recipe gives no indication about the actual serving, but I suppose it's not elaborate. Interesting that there are two different sauces, but no comment on how they should play together.

1 day ago
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Got a big butt

OP here, and I agree that sometimes "the act of observation fundamentally changes the intrinsic nature of the subject."

My subject line was a momentary whim, and it's interesting to me now whether some people might not have replied simply out of a greater sensitivity than I have to whether our own butts are big or not. In which case, my apologies...

Oct 16, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Got a big butt

Pork shoulder, that is. (I couldn't resist.) Eight pounds of pork shoulder, and I'd welcome fresh ideas. In the past, I've roasted these with spice rubs and also slow cooked to make pulled pork. Both delicious. But I wonder about new approaches. Also, I've since got a Big Green Egg, which makes smoking an option...

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

Oct 15, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

favorite fish dish

Paella was my other first thought...

Oct 14, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics

favorite fish dish

If done well: Bouillabaisse!

Oct 14, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics

Salvaging gross breaded fish

You might consider cutting the predominance of the breading by chopping the frozen filets into fish-taco chunks. That would knock of some of the breading, and what's left might be masked or lost in a second, homemade breading or just in the other elements of the taco. You could deep fry in a small saucepan.

If you don't like the breading because of some heavy seasoning already there, this might not work. Some things are unsaveable.

Oct 14, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Meals for Family Struggling with Illness

Thanks for this. Thanks, too, to you and others insisting on the "sweet treat" thing.

Indeed, I am one of those people who really doesn't think much about desserts. I've always wondered why, because even though I find them mostly delicious, I just don't crave them much at all. I'd be just as happy with nothing, or a perfect peach.

Oct 14, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Poor Man's Lobster? OMG! What Did I Do Wrong? Monkfish Disaster!

Monkfish sometimes comes with a membrane worth removing, btw.

Oct 13, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Meals for Family Struggling with Illness

OP here. Thanks for all these terrific suggestions. This is new to me. To weezleduzzit's good query: yes, they're using a site like you mention, in this case:

http://www.takethemameal.com

That does help to ensure that I won't duplicate much. I will explore whether Asian or some other lighter preps might be welcome, because they're getting chills, ribs, and lasagnas left and right. Also, whoever suggested freezing soups in flat gallon bags: that's another thing I think I'll do. Thanks everyone!

Meals for Family Struggling with Illness

I recall seeing a thread along these lines way back when but cannot feel certain how to search it up. So here goes: I'd like to make a meal or two as part of a group effort to support a family of four with a sick parent.

They seem open to anything mainstream Americans like, and the ill parent favors savory and even slightly spicy things (though the rest of the family is pickier). The only no-no is apparently mushrooms and/or mushroom sauce (a little unclear there).

Plenty of others are signed on to deliver chills, ribs, lasagna. I think I can make a great chicken cacciatore even sans mushrooms, but I worry that the noodles I usually use to accompany might not fare well in delays.

Another ideas: green enchiladas.

Finally, I make a wicked good crusty sourdough bread, so things that pair well with that would be welcome ideas.

Keep in mind, these are to be delivered ready to eat at a certain time, but foods that are time sensitive are not ideal here.

I'd consider going Indian or otherwise Asian but am not sure if that's their thing. I'll find out.

Oct 13, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Lovely, tongue tickling Neapolitan style pizza at home. Tips?

Those pan pizzas are great--usually done in a lightly olive-oiled pan and not at super-high heat (I'd say 400-450, depending). Those crispy fried crusts are not wood-fired Naples style, but they're great (actually another form of southern-Italian/Sicilian style).

Oct 10, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Fried Rice Help

Using a wok or skillet on high heat, I first partially cook any animal proteins in oil with some curry paste (I'd use yellow in your circumstances; prefer the redder ones). Then I remove the protein, add a bit more oil to heat, and then stir fry onion wedges and (if present) bell peppers; then add in some garlic and ginger.

If the pan lacks ample room, I'll then remove all that and leave some residue of reasoning in the pan (or add more paste) and stir-fry the rice itself for a while. Sometimes, if the rice is quite dry, I will add a bit of chicken broth and some fish sauce here, cover the rice to warm it up, and then uncover to evaporate fluid and being frying proper. Then stir in all the reserved ingredients with an egg or two and any fresh herbs. (Parsley's good.) The proteins finish cooking in residual heat.

Oct 10, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Fried Rice Help

I prefer Thai-styled fried rice. I don't think it's got any "authenticity" going for it, but it's delicious. Desirable additions to your list to do this would be yellow onion, garlic, some form of Thai chili paste, fish sauce, and if possible an egg or two. Plus any animal protein that might suit. Also, I'd caution you that the tomatoes will have moisture that could interfere, depending on how you treat them.

If this interests, I can write some more on the how-to end.

Oct 10, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Winter Emergency Stock-Up

It is interesting how a little snow can muck up a place that's not prepared for it with plows. I swear that 1/2 inch of snow can turn Washington, D.C. roads into parking lots.

I used to live in North Dakota, so I know both ends of this thing. Now I'm in Indiana, sort of a middle ground.

Oct 10, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics

Lovely, tongue tickling Neapolitan style pizza at home. Tips?

I'm confident that it's possible to reproduce--technically if not emotionally--your grandmother's pizza. Her equipment and ingredients can hardly have been better than what we have around here--unless she had a wood-fired oven, which remains unfortunately out of reach for most of us.

Oct 09, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Ideas for super healthy food...

A super-healthy food that I often get for free is beet greens. My supermarket routinely cuts the greens as they wilt and tosses them, so when I see beets with fresh greens, the produce staff doesn't mind cutting away a big bunch for me.

Sauteed beet greens are delicious, milder than chard, and right up there with the most nutritious foods of all.

Oct 09, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Recommendations For Decaf Drip-Ground Coffee Beans

FWIW: Cooks Illustrated's 2009 taste test placed Maxwell House Decaf Original Roast first, then Peet's Decaf House Blend.

Oct 09, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics

how do doctor up canned baked beans?

This is an interesting-looking recipe. I'll try it. I am surprised, though, that you indicate adding the beans with the liquid (presumably that in the can). I've always been prone to rinsing canned beans and using broths.

I know Goya is a good brand, though, and maybe their liquid is better, too.

Oct 08, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Food mythbusters . What's your belief or not ?

I find it untrue that sourdough starter is finicky and needs to be babied and fed weekly or whatever.

I've let mine sit 6 months in the fridge untouched several times, and it just takes a few days to wake it up again. (When it's in more active use, it wakes up right away with new flour and water.) Stir in the gray water on top. Keep vessels and utensils scrupulously clean.

Oct 06, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics

Bread Machine Loaf Fell

I use instant yeast exclusively--bread, pizza dough, whatever. I guess I never noticed "bread machine yeast" in supermarkets because I buy my SAF bricks at Sam's Club or at the GFS store, both oriented a bit more to commercial markets.

Oct 05, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Bread Machine Loaf Fell

Interesting. I didn't know that "bread machine yeast" was a thing. Same as instant, then...

Oct 05, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Bread Machine Loaf Fell

Also, consider switching to instant yeast, which requires no proofing and is, I think, better adapted to bread machines. (I buy SAF brand in foil bricks, and keep it in tupperware in the fridge.)

You fill the pan first with liquid, then put in the flour, and create a little well in the flour into which the yeast goes, to keep separate from the water until the actual mixing begins.

This allows also for delayed baking. In fact, my own machine has a standard "pre-heat" phase of about 15 minutes or so, where it brings ingredients to a consistent temperature before beginning to mix and knead.

Oct 05, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

German-style chef knife?

I've had this Messermeister for maybe 15 years of steady use. Great knife and my favorite all around. It was a gift from a friend who herself had an F. DIck knife, and I imagine the two are pretty comparable.

Oct 04, 2014
Bada Bing in Cookware

Bread Machine Loaf Fell

That's actually a pretty decent crumb for a 100% whole wheat loaf. You might try cutting back 1/4 cup on the milk and going to 2tsp salt. Don't increase yeast.

If you don't mind, mixing in some white bread flour would help.

Of course, that's all IMHO. Good luck!

Oct 04, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Questions about Nespresso machines and Frothers

I've had a Gaggia Classic machine for over 15 years and it works great. I recently got a Nespresso (Pixie) as a gift, and it's now my go-to.

Backstory: with the Gaggia, I always got the best results with really fresh, freshly ground beans. Sometimes I bought some preground Illy brand coffee, which is quite good, too, but only for the first day or so. My sense is that once ground coffee is exposed to air, it's got little shelf-life for espresso purposes.

So what impresses me about the Nespresso is that the coffee remains perfectly sealed until the very moment of brewing. It's brilliant, like opening a fresh can of Illy every time, but not having to waste or suffer through the dregs of the can.

Also, it matters that I'm a low-volume user. Two cups a day, give or take. If I had a household with kids and spouse and friends going at the Nespresso all day, I'd hide the thing on expense grounds!

Oct 03, 2014
Bada Bing in Cookware

Thanksgiving and Christmas in the US

I'll attempt a somewhat different reply to the others. Except at college age, when young people are often collectively displaced from family and gather for "ad hoc" parties, I find that these holidays are pretty intensively family-oriented and governed by family traditions. But many people are quite open, too. I would suggest thinking about whether there might be anyone in Tennessee that you could express this interest to, because an ideal situation would be to join a larger group. Brace yourself for football on the TV as one possible side dish.

At the food level, Turkey rules at Thanksgiving, but deeper pockets might go with duck or goose. Roasted bird that's not chicken, anyway (for the "special" factor).

I travel every year to meet my extended family, with multiple occasions around Xmas, and with each member hosting a different event: one does an adult cocktail party with games before Xmas, another hosts a Christmas eve party with ham and a music show mainly by kids, another does a Christmas brunch (very informal), and another does a Christmas dinner with prime rib of beef. I know that if we had an awareness of it, we'd be happy to plug in some people who were new to town and not so richly situated.

But the spirit of these holidays is key, and that can be celebrated in any way that answers what you need and aspire to. If it were just me and a spouse in a new area, I'd consider doing one or both holidays in travel, or if the budget is tighter, just make some special food to share, and bring some ceremony (maybe Champagne, too) to the occasion. I'd think duck for Thanksgiving; lamb for Xmas; and in each case a toast to each other and your new home.

Oct 02, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics

Substitute fresh for dried fish?

Consider adding a teaspoon or two of fish sauce to make up for the lacking fermentation or whatever it actually is that happens in the drying process.

Sep 28, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking
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Good vs. Bad Pizza: Is there such a huge difference?

Am I the only one recalling what I think is an old analogizing of sex and pizza? "Even when it's bad, it's good."

I'm not sure I'd go quite that far in either regard, but there is something to be said for that direction of thinking.

Sep 27, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics
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