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Need ideas for cooking meals without a kitchen

Thanks, everyone. I didn't even think of the slow cooker I have and the rice cooker as options. I can certainly toss some chicken in the slow cooker with a can of tomatoes and some spices for something quick. I think I'm going to get an electric skillet to add to the mix.

I just hope I survive the actual work :)

Oct 16, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking

Need ideas for cooking meals without a kitchen

Yes, I will have the refrigerator.

Oct 16, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking

Need ideas for cooking meals without a kitchen

We do have a charcoal grill, I guess I'll have to be outside in my jacket a few times at least.

We have a toaster, but not a toaster oven. I suppose we could buy one just for this, because normally I wouldn't use it and it just takes up counter space.

I do plan to eat out more or get delivery, but that will get old quickly, I fear.

Oct 15, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking

Need ideas for cooking meals without a kitchen

So, week after next I will be starting a full kitchen renovation. The contractor says I will not have a kitchen for about six weeks or so.

I need some help with bright ideas for cooking some meals with just a microwave and my coffee table for counter space. Also, keeping in mind that I will have to be washing up in the bathtub. Any ideas appreciated :)

Oct 15, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking

Ideas for super healthy food...

OK, if it makes you feel better, call them "Weight Watchers Stewed Green Beans" :)

Oct 09, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking

Central Square walk-ins on a Thursday night?

I'd suggest something a little out of the ordinary for you, the Asmara cafe on Mass Ave. It's Ethiopian food and one of my favorites in the area. You most likely will be able to walk right in and sit down without a reservation on a Thursday night.

Oct 08, 2014
mwk in Greater Boston Area

Ideas for super healthy food...

I didn't say the olive oil wouldn't add flavor, but given the requirements from the OP, leaving it out won't hurt. It's not absolutely necessary. The beans will still be tasty.

Oct 08, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking

Question about cooking chicken

Dark Meat chicken will fall off the bone if cooked long enough, and will be tasty. White meat chicken is a different story. I wouldn't normally cook white meat chicken long enough for it to fall off the bone, without it being tough and stringy and nasty. Does that answer your questions?

Oct 06, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking

Question about cooking chicken

If by "easier to eat" you mean that the meat would come off the bone, then my answer is yes.

In the case of your braise, if the chicken wasn't falling off the bone after 25 minutes, you could have let it go a while longer without any ill effects. However, even in a braise of liquid, if you leave the chicken in there for too long, it will eventually become tough and stringy, even if it is falling off the bone.

The best suggestion I can give you is to follow your recipe's suggestions for cooking time and take a piece out at that time and check it for YOUR definition of doneness. If the meat isn't falling off the bone, give it another 15 minutes or so to cook and check again. But, you can't just let it stew forever without ill effects.

Oct 06, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking

Ideas for super healthy food...

Black bean soup? Black beans, carrots, celery, green peppers, onions. Normally, recipes say to sautee the vegetables first in some oil, but really you can skip that step. I've skipped it sometimes when I'm in a rush and I can't taste much difference.

Soak the beans overnight, put them in a pot with water or vegetable stock and the vegetables. Cook until tender and then you can use an immersion blender to partially puree the soup to thicken it. You can also remove one or two cups and blend in a blender and return to the soup.

If you are allowed vinegar on this cleanse, adding some apple cider vinegar to the soup will give it a nice tang and brighten the flavor. I like mine with a healthy shot of vinegar.

I also love Greek Style stewed green beans. Fresh green beans, chopped onion, a bit of cinnamon, garlic, fresh green beans (or frozen), throw in a pot with a can of crushed tomatoes and simmer for 30-40 minutes or so until the beans are quite tender and the flavors have come together. To finish off the dish, I like to add the zest and juice from one lemon. It's quite tasty. Normally, the recipe calls for some extra virgin olive oil in the mix, but leave it out.

Butternut squash and apple soup. Roast the butternut squash for extra flavor, then throw in a pot with sliced apples (peeled or not, once you puree the soup, the peels aren't that noticeable), some cinnamon, nutmeg, a bit of sage and water or vegetable stock. Cook until everything is very tender and puree. Again, many recipes I have seen for this call for other ingredients like cream or butter, but just leave those out. It will still be quite tasty.

Oct 06, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking
1

Pressure Canner - Effects of Too Much Pressure?

In a pressure cooker, pressure=heat. The higher the pressure, the higher the temperature of the water in the cooker. A very slight difference between 11 and 12 Psi isn't going to make much difference.

Oct 06, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking
1

Question about cooking chicken

Usually, wet cooking methods will produce fall-off-the-bone meat, more than dry ones do. So for chicken thighs, if you poach/boil them, stew them in a sauce, pressure cook them, etc., the meat will pull right off the bone. If you try and roast dark meat chicken until it's pulling right off the bone, chances are that the meat on the outside at least, will be tough and dry.

As for pork shoulder, it's generally the same thing. My favorite way to cook pork shoulder is in one of those plastic cooking bags. I put some chopped carrots, celery and onions in the bottom of the bag, along with a can of chopped tomatoes, some red wine, whole peeled garlic cloves and salt/pepper. put the pork shoulder in the bag and roast at 300 for around 6 hours. Keeping it covered in the bag will mean that when it's done, you can pull the bone right out of the meat cleanly.

As for right temperature, dark meat poultry should be cooked to 180 and white meat poultry should be cooked to no more than 170, although I prefer 160. But at that temperature, it might still have a faint pink color which you might not want.

Oct 06, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking

October 2014 Openings and Closings

Where am I supposed to get my motor oil...I mean my Hot and Sour Soup from now? :(

Oct 06, 2014
mwk in Greater Boston Area

pressure cooker question

Higher heat does not equal faster cooking, assuming you are heating enough to maintain pressure. A pressure cooker is meant to allow up to 15 PSI of pressure. I believe that equates to 240 degrees (I'm not 100% sure of that). If you push the burner higher under the cooker, you increase the amount of steam being released to compensate, and eventually you may trigger the emergency release valve to release more.

If you turn the heat down too low, and you see the button drop down, that means you do need to turn it up a bit.

Oct 03, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking

pressure cooker question

It looks like yours operates the same way mine does:

"In addition to a pop-up pressure indicator and a simple steam release mechanism, there is an overpressure plug that will let off steam if it builds up excessively."

Mine has a little yellow pop up button that pops when pressure is reached. As long as the button is popped, that's what matters. Most of the time when I'm using mine, there's very little steam coming out of the regulator, but I check the button to be sure it's still popped up.

Oct 02, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking

September 2014 Openings and Closings

I suppose it's got to be an improvement over Remick's, right? I wish that web site had a menu or something posted.

Oct 02, 2014
mwk in Greater Boston Area

What’s So Bad About ‘Natural’?

I'll remember that. I'll try to control my impulse to pour gasoline and set fire to the display next time I'm in BJ's

Oct 01, 2014
mwk in Food Media & News

Flour Bakery

Well, either I should have ordered a different cake, or you and I will need to agree to disagree on that. I don't remember the specific type of chocolate cake it was, just that it was very disappointing.

Oct 01, 2014
mwk in Greater Boston Area

Flour Bakery

She gets so much love for her baked goods, but I also find most of her offerings just acceptable, but nothing outstanding.

I'll never forget when she opened her original location on Washington St., about a block from where I was living at the time. I decided to get a birthday cake from her. I ordered a chocolate cake that supposedly served 6. It was a tiny, tiny thing and it cost $25. The cake was dry and the chocolate frosting was OK, but I can tell you that the following year, I went back to my old standby, Maria's Pastry in the North End and was MUCH happier.

Oct 01, 2014
mwk in Greater Boston Area

Lunch Near North Station

In the little strip mall on Staniford St., across from the "bunker" state office building there are two little gems that I love. One is Viva Burrito which is wonderful. The other is fairly new, I ate there for the first time last week. It's called Bishop's Mediterranean Grill. Excellent Lebanese food.

http://www.bishopsmediterranean.com/
http://www.vivaburrito.com/

Oct 01, 2014
mwk in Greater Boston Area

What’s So Bad About ‘Natural’?

I think you missed my point entirely. My complaint wasn't that they labeled the Natural and Artificial flavors. My complaint is that something with artificial flavors is labeled as "Farm Fresh".

Oct 01, 2014
mwk in Food Media & News

What’s So Bad About ‘Natural’?

These meaningless marketing terms really anger me. It's a giant scam meant to fool less savvy shoppers.

I was in BJ's yesterday and they had a large display of Apple Cider Doughnuts right by the front door. The display had a big banner sign on it saying "XXX brand Farm Fresh Apple Cider Doughnuts". When I got a closer look and picked up a box, the label actually says "XXX brand Farm Fresh Apple Cider Doughnuts with Natural and Artificial Flavors"

I want to visit the farm where they grow the "Artificial Flavors". It's probably a warehouse in Newark...

Sep 29, 2014
mwk in Food Media & News

Matzo balls disintegrate - please help! I've brought shame to my Jewish family!

I always use the matzoh ball mix, usually Streit's, and they come out perfectly every time. Lots of flavor, light fluffy and intact.

I don't know why you'd be altering the instructions on the box? Try making them by following the recipe exactly as stated on the box of mix. One thing to note, when they are fresh out of the pot, they are very fragile, and I usually fish them out of the pot with a spider or large slotted spoon and gently put them in a strainer to drain. Once they have cooled a bit they are much more solid, and once they have been refrigerated, even when they are reheated in the soup, they are much more solid.

Sep 29, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking
1

Dumpling cafe, Chinatown

Yes, it's definitely busier than when it first opened. We used to go more often back when it was new, but there were many times it was just us and one or two other tables filled. I'm glad, because busy means successful, means it will hopefully stick around.

Sep 29, 2014
mwk in Greater Boston Area

Something GUD - Locally Sourced Farm-To-Table Grocery Delivery

I just looked at the web site. They do operate year round, and they deliver whether you are home or not, which is nice. I just wonder how they plan to make any money without charging for delivery? I used to love using HomeRuns for grocery delivery but the free delivery thing ended up killing them.

Sep 29, 2014
mwk in Greater Boston Area

Dumpling cafe, Chinatown

One of my favorite places in Chinatown right now. I don't know why it doesn't seem to get the love that Gourmet Dumpling seems to have, with lines out the door all the time. Although, I've noticed it's gotten more crowded recently than it used to be. Those chicken meatballs are a must have dish whenever I go.

Sep 29, 2014
mwk in Greater Boston Area

"Naturally" GLUTEN FREE baking/dessert recipes, without weird ingredients

I found a recipe for "Paleo-friendly" Banana pancakes, which are really yummy and incredibly easy to make. I was wondering if they could be made into a dessert by just using them as a crepe and filling them with some jam, or spreading with Nutella, or some stewed fruit.

http://paleomagazine.com/2-ingredient...

Sep 26, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking

favorite websites/blogs for yummy, reliable recipes?

I second this board and Food52. I also use allrecipes, SimplyRecipes, and SeriousEats.

Sep 26, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking
1

Suggestions of what to make with 3 pounds of shredded cabbage

My favorite go to cabbage dish is fried cabbage with Kielbasa. It's best with a really good smoky kielbasa, if you happen to have a polish market nearby to buy some. Otherwise, if I'm using Hillshire Farm type sausage I'll add some bacon into the mix as well.

It's very simple. Fry an onion in some butter until translucent, throw in the sliced sausage and bacon and fry until lightly brown. Add the shredded cabbage and toss around a bit to mix. Add a little bit of salt to help break down the cabbage and put the cover on the pan. Let it cook covered for 15 minutes, then uncovered for another 15, and serve.

I also have some minor variations: I'll add a heaping tablespoon of the Italian style wet crushed hot pepper, or some Tabasco to the mix for some heat. Since I am trying to avoid pasta/carbs, I'll rarely do this, but it is also insanely delicious if you mix in some cooked wide egg noodles.

There is also a very simple recipe that I got from Trisha Yearwood's cookbook which is very tasty and healthy. You just sautee the cabbage with carrots and celery for a great side dish. The carrots and celery really add a great flavor to the cabbage.

Sep 24, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking

Favorite brown bag lunches that don't require reheating

I guess I won't be inviting you to any picnics I have :)

Sep 24, 2014
mwk in Home Cooking