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What to do with a Buddha's Hand?

I've always wondered the same thing, anxiously waiting to read responses!

Dec 11, 2014
acecil in Home Cooking

What's your go-to method for roasting a chicken?

My husband uses the Zuni recipe when he's roasting chicken and it's delicious, but the smoke alarm goes off every time. When I roast one, it's pretty straight-forward in my mind - I rub with olive oil and spices, usually something like oregano or sage or some kind of italian herb blend, both on the skin and under. I stuff the cavity with a lemon or orange cut in half, parsley, garlic and may be more oregano or sage. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper all over and put into a hot oven at about 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes, then turn oven temp down to #325-350 for the remainder of cooking. Gives a nice crisp skin and super favor throughout. If we are cooking on the grill, It gets spatchcocked and rubbed with olive oil and paprika with salt and pepper, and cooked a little more slowly.

Dec 11, 2014
acecil in Home Cooking
1

America's 25 Favorite Home Cooked Dishes

Inspired? In short, no. The top 4 might be be things to enjoy occasionally. But most of these are just foreign to me, as an American who cooks most of my meals at home. :-)

Dec 11, 2014
acecil in Home Cooking

America's 25 Favorite Home Cooked Dishes

don't forget the chicken wings/fingers

Dec 11, 2014
acecil in Home Cooking

BRINING!? Good, bad or ugly?

I'd like to try your turkey - sounds great! But I'm afraid I don't have that kind of commitment to turkey. Now, oyster dressing on the other hand....

Dec 11, 2014
acecil in Home Cooking

BRINING!? Good, bad or ugly?

Only if it hasn't already been injected with salt or other additives, which is the case for most supermarket birds. I brine every year, and the only time we had a bad bird was when we didn't plan ahead and had to buy a pre-brined bird.

Dec 11, 2014
acecil in Home Cooking

make ahead meals

Hey Chowhounds -
I have to travel a lot for work, staying in hotels ~8-10 nights months. I can't afford to eat out every night and am tired of all the frozen microwave meals I've been eating.

So I'm looking for ideas for simple make-ahead meals that I can enjoy, are inexpensive and are reasonably healthy. Suggestions don't have to necessarily be make-ahead, but when you're living out of a hotel refrigerator, it's hard to have super fresh food without a lot of waste and wasteful expense. my limitations - I usually have to drive several hours to each city, stay for 2-3 nights, in hotels with microwave and refrigerator (If I'm lucky the 'fridge will have a freezer, often not), rarely have a stovetop, don't want the hassle of lugging a large cooler, and am usually eating off paper plates. Get the picture?

Things I've been doing to this point (besides buying frozen meals from Trader Joe's) include small frozen portions of soups, taking homemade salad dressing and buying lettuce etc once I get in town, and leftovers if I have something that travels well. It's not unusual for me to make a big pot of pasta with a simple tomato or pesto sauce and freeze individual servings. I'll sometimes include things like canned sardines or recently discovered individual portions of goat cheese at Trader Joes to add to a salad. Breakfast is usually coffee (I bring my own) and yogurt with fruit. Is there any good way to fix eggs in a microwave? Good ideas I have found so far include individually frozen homemade burritos (I have always hated the frozen ones, but think I could do much better), and breakfast sandwiches with egg/bacon/cheese/english muffin.

I know you guys are a creative bunch - am looking forward to any on the road food ideas! Thanks -

Dec 11, 2014
acecil in Home Cooking

CHOW's Green Goddess Dressing

I though this was delicious. I added an extra anchovy and about a bit of serrano pepper as someone else suggested, and it was fantastic. If I had extra tarragon, I would have added a little more of that, too, but it was great as it was.

May 15, 2014
acecil in Recipes
1

Stock pot or french oven??

I appreciate the thoughts, and I'm trying to take all those things into consideration. Trouble is, my kitchen is running out space for new pots, and Ill probably be getting this as gift since I'm out of money, too!! I'll probably just have to make a decision which one I want to get first.

Thanks!

Apr 03, 2014
acecil in Cookware

Stock pot or french oven??

So I need to replace my stock pot. I make stock frequently (chicken and veggie mostly in the pot I'm replacing, but also fish and shrimp though usually in smaller quantities). The one I currently have is very deep, large enough to cook down a whole chicken, sometimes two if I'm just using the carcass - but I don't know exactly how much it holds, maybe 6-8qts? I also use it to make soup, but that about it.
I would thinking of replacing it with an enamel coated cast iron french oven to have something more versatile, but don't know what size to get. I want something large enough to make stock like I do currently, but also serve double duty to make stews and braises cooking stovetop and in the oven, maybe even roasting a chicken. I was thinking the 7.5qt Le Creuset looks like a good size, but am not sure.
Any recommendations or suggestions of things I should consider? Other brands than Le Creuset that I should consider??

Thanks chowhounds!!

Mar 31, 2014
acecil in Cookware

how do you store your spices?

I have gobs of spices. Seriously, easily 50-75 or more. I have a large rectangle plastic Ikea container about 10 inches deep that fits a more shallow one inside it, creating two layers. I keep the spices I use most frequently in the top bin, which lifts out easily, and in the bottom I keep the ones I use less frequently and the ones I buy in larger quantities and keep in bags because they can store flat (bay leaves, dried peppers, etc.). I keep the whole kit on the floor in my tiny panty cabinet, which is in sort of like a small closet in my ktichen. Yes, I have to bend down to get what I need, but it keeps my spices in the dark and away from the heat of the stove. But it's no more inconvenient than reaching for a can of tomatoes or grabbing an onion. And I haven't found any drawer or cabinet organizing system that works better than this for this large number of spices.

Mar 31, 2014
acecil in Cookware
1

Canning question

Thanks for this - I had no idea how it would compare to simple lemon juice, which I think might be just fine in the end. BTW, I might not have enough apricots to make for the gifts I had planned to ship anyway. I just found out my husband has been snacking on the apricots this last week while I was away!! And I have nowhere local to get more. So now I'm scrambling for something else for gifts, that I already have ingredients for at home. Ughhh! Thanks anyway chowhounds. I knew you guys would help me out!
:-)

Dec 09, 2013
acecil in Home Cooking

Canning question

I hadn't thought about contacting Ball, I suspect they would probably give me a similar generic answer, especially since it's not one of their recipes.

Dec 09, 2013
acecil in Home Cooking

Canning question

I've also heard of people using Fruitfresh, citric acid I think (?), to increase the acidity. Do you think this would work? If so, do you think it would alter the final flavor any more or less than lemon juice?

Dec 09, 2013
acecil in Home Cooking

Canning question

Ok, thanks. Those sound like petty good suggestions. I don't think adding that little amount of lemon juice would affect the flavor negatively at all.

Dec 09, 2013
acecil in Home Cooking

Canning question

I'm making a batch of Dried Apricots in Cardamom Syrup from the Splendid Table ( here's the link - http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/...) for gifts and I want to be able to ship jars without leaking, so was thinking I would heat process the jars. I don't have a lot of experience canning though, so am looking for advice. I'm using half-pint jars, and was thinking I would process for 15 minutes. I'm thinking that would be long enough to get a good seal, but would that also ensure longer preservation without the need for refrigeration until it's opened? I've read that fruit in general is acidic enough that there is no worry, but I don't want to poison any friends or relatives! Thanks -

Dec 09, 2013
acecil in Home Cooking

Camping suggestions?

Ooh, we have of those we never use. That's a great idea.

Aug 01, 2013
acecil in Home Cooking

Camping suggestions?

Yeah, it's definitely more glamping! Like I said, it's car camping, so we'll be able to have a big cooler and we're not going to be far from civilization at all. In fact, if we could afford it, we would be in a hotel. So I plan to splurge a bit on the food, but don't want to have to spend a lot of time on anything complicated. Figs sound good, maybe on a grilled flatbread with some goat cheese!

Aug 01, 2013
acecil in Home Cooking

Camping suggestions?

So I'm planning a car-camping trip this weekend. Last minute, so I'm looking for simple, but yummy ideas. We will be camping 3 nights, near a busy coastal town, so plan to eat lunch out each day.
I'm thinking bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese for breakfast two days, maybe breakfast or brunch out one day. For one dinner, I'm thinking grilled fish and pesto or steak with blue cheese butter, either with corn or baked potatoes and simple salad. I'm leaning toward fish since we will be on the coast. For a second dinner, grilled sausages and veggies with polenta. I'm struggling to come up with a third.
Baked Brie and good bread one night for an app is a must. Any other simple but indulgent ideas welcome!

Aug 01, 2013
acecil in Home Cooking

Lisbon & Porto in May! What am I eating?

Any other places to report? I'll be there next week, and my to do list is awfully similar to yours!

May 12, 2013
acecil in Spain/Portugal

Lisbon food and music

Well, you didn't get too many replies! :(
Did you find any places YOU would recommend?

Apr 13, 2013
acecil in Spain/Portugal

Ponto Final

My husband and I will be in in Lisbon for a week in May. Having lunch or a sunset dinner at a place like Ponto Final sounds like something we would really enjoy doing one day. I'm just wondering if Ponto Final is the best place - is it a very touristy place, overpriced, or is it really as good as reviews I've read? I would love to find a place that is low key and local, where we can enjoy well prepared food and a good glass of wine for not too much expense. If the food is really fantastic, we wouldn't mind spending more, but we don't want to pay just for the view (and reviews!)

Any other recommendations for restaurants on the water or with particularly good views in Lisbon would be welcome. But again, we hate the feeling of paying for mediocre (or worse!) food or service just because a place has a good view and is frequented by tourists.

It looks like there are lots of past posts on this board about Lisbon that I'm looking forward to reading, but thanks in advance for any replies -

Feb 26, 2013
acecil in Spain/Portugal

October trip to Lisbon and small towns - Guincho, Nazare, Batalha, Tomar and Evora

Hey - wondering if you would like to report on your trip, places or food you particularly enjoyed?

Feb 26, 2013
acecil in Spain/Portugal

Lisbon food and music

I'm looking forward to following this thread, as my husband and I will be for a week in May. I hope you have a fabulous time!

Feb 26, 2013
acecil in Spain/Portugal

October 2012 COTM: 660 Curries -- Contemporary Curries, Biryani Curries, Curry Cohorts

Rice ith Yogurt and Mustard Seeds (p 710)

I know it's not Oct any more, but I'm getting ready to make this rice and am confused by the recipe as written in the book.
After rinsing the rice multiple times, at the end of step one it calls for a final soak in 1 1/2 cups of water for 20-30 minutes, then drain.
Then step 2 calls for bringing the pot to a boil - but here's my confusion... there's no longer any water in the pot to boil, it was just drained! Am I misreading something, is there a typo, or are you really just supposed to heat the soaked rice without any additional water?

Jan 18, 2013
acecil in Home Cooking

Need to Shop at Whole Foods - What to Buy?

Definitely check out the 1. bulk bins - all kinds of grains (whole and ground), beans, nuts, granola, snacks; 2. cheese dept; 3. produce
I've found all of these to be comparable in prices to many other supermarkets and often much better selection and/or quality. The suggestion to check out what they have on special is a good one, too.

I agree that their prepared foods are overpriced, and hit-or-miss in terms of flavor (never a question of freshness though). And I usually don't buy seafoods or meats there, because they're out of my budget, but they do look great in terms of quality and freshness. But it sounds like your budget is closer to mine!

Jan 18, 2013
acecil in Chains

Skinned split black lentils?

Thanks chefs, I will give it a try!

Jan 18, 2013
acecil in Home Cooking

Skinned split black lentils?

Thanks, I did see that and have been trying to read through some of it. I'm sure there will lots if good suggestions.

Jan 17, 2013
acecil in Home Cooking

Skinned split black lentils?

Oops, posted too soon. It sounds like you're familiar with them, so do you think I could substitute another lentil for them in these recipes that call for just a small amount? I have whole black lentils, split yellow lentils, brown lentils, and red lentils.

Jan 17, 2013
acecil in Home Cooking

Skinned split black lentils?

I'm sure that's true but the nearest Indian food store is more than 2 hours from me, that's why I would order online. And why I'm trying to find a substitute for last minute plans.

Jan 17, 2013
acecil in Home Cooking