JoanN's Profile

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Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Love the idea of my food "dancing." Makes me happy. Thanks.

I've tried to learn to toss, but my wrists just aren't strong enough. Much easier for me to use a spatula. I originally (many years ago) bought a large 17-1/2" spatula, but that didn't seem the right size for my 14" wok, so I now use a 14" spatula and that seems a perfect fit. And it's easier for me to manipulate.

I'm curious, though, about the difference between using a chuan (spatula) and a hoak (ladle) in a round-bottomed wok. Does it make a difference? In Chinese restaurants it seems they always use a ladle rather than a spatula. Anyone know why?

about 2 hours ago
JoanN in Cookware

SNAP POLL—WOULD YOU USE A COOKWARE “LENDING LIBRARY”?

Meaning you don't want maybes? ;-) If that's the case, I'll change all my answers to "no" until I have more information.

about 14 hours ago
JoanN in Cookware

SNAP POLL—WOULD YOU USE A COOKWARE “LENDING LIBRARY”?

1. Maybe; guessing it would be fairly expensive to ship my deBuyer 12" MineralB fry pan which weighs more than 5 pounds and would be awkward as hell to wrap.
2. Maybe; depends on how long I'd have to be without it.
3. Maybe; depends on how much.

about 15 hours ago
JoanN in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

I've always used, and thought preferred, a "pow" style wok. And I've never had a round-bottomed one. Nonetheless, I'm very excited about this and am eager to see how it works on my new range with a power-boil feature that I hope will get me closer to the elusive wok hei.

about 15 hours ago
JoanN in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Same here. Been following this thread from the beginning but always thought maybe, some day, some time. This seemed to be the time. I was afraid that WS might be out of stock, but my order went through so I have high hopes. I like my very well seasoned, inexpensive, flat-bottomed wok from Chinatown well enough, but I also know the pleasure I get from cooking with my higher quality cookware. I figure I've spent $100 on much more ephemeral stuff that couldn't last anywhere near as long as this will.

about 16 hours ago
JoanN in Cookware

Is Marcella Hazan's green lasagne bolognese worth it?

<My guess is she likes her food a little more well done.>

I think that's true. And I also think it's typically Italian. She, as well as some Italians I know, seem to like vegetables cooked softer than I do. None of this al dente stuff for veggies, just for pasta. I nearly always cut back a bit on timing with many of her recipes.

1 day ago
JoanN in Home Cooking

Weight Watcher's Foodies -- The H H H Edition! July 2014

I've only barely begun to go through "A Change of Appetite" with an eye toward what can be made Simple Start compliant and have already marked quite a few recipes. In fact, one is on schedule for tomorrow night. Looks very promising, even though she does use more butter and sugar than I would have expected, both of which I'm avoiding right now. I'll adjust as necessary.

1 day ago
JoanN in Home Cooking
1

July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Pasta, Fish

Seared Scallops on Sweet Pea Puree (page 174)

Totally shameless, I know. I took one look at CMCooks photo, read her report, and knew I had to make this ASAP. Coincidentally, I was making a Costco run this morning, so picked up some frozen scallops. Making this Weight Watchers friendly, I ditched the butter and used 1 tsp of oil when blending the peas, and 1 tsp of oil to cook the scallops. No question it would have been better with butter (isn’t everything?), but I used a very good fruity oil and it was just fine. I blended the peas in my Vitamix and think I got an even finer puree than is shown in the photo in the book. And I had vermouth. Not sure what it added in terms of flavor, but it did add a lovely glaze to the scallops. As I said I would, I stole CMCooks idea of serving it with corn off the cob. Brilliant pairing. And a really good dinner that will be repeated. Probably soon.

1 day ago
JoanN in Home Cooking
4

Trader Joes fruit recall....see that place is going to kill all you loyalists!

Yes, the one on 14th Street has a separate entrance and I believe is the only one in the city that sells wine. There is, or at least was, also a state law that limits the stores to only one location per licensee. Quite a few years ago Governor Paterson proposed changing those laws, and also raising the tax on liquor. But the liquor store lobby (who knew there was such a thing? but why should we be surprised?) put the kibosh on that.

Jul 23, 2014
JoanN in Chains

WHICH FISH SAUCE? Different ones for different purposes? Oyster sauce, too.

I used both Three Crabs and Golden Boy before buying Red Boat, which I did after reading the section on fish sauce in "Smoke & Pickles." Edward Lee says it's the best he's had "this side of the Pacific." Red Boat contains only anchovies and salt, whereas most of the others include water, anchovy extract, fructose, and/or hydrolised vegetable protein (whatever that is). Red Boat is somewhat saltier and has what I can only describe as a "brighter" flavor. Yes, it's expensive. But you don't use all that much of it and it lasts for a long time in the fridge. Once I tried it, what was left of the others got trashed.

Jul 23, 2014
JoanN in General Topics
1

Trader Joes fruit recall....see that place is going to kill all you loyalists!

With regard to liquor and wine at TJ's, a lot depends on state law. Here in Manhattan, I believe only one TJ's sells booze. Something to do with requiring a separate entrance, if I recall correctly.

Jul 23, 2014
JoanN in Chains
1

July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Pasta, Fish

How did I miss this? Probably just wanted to avoid the butter. But it looks and sounds terrific, even if the purée wasn't as smooth as you'd have liked. What else is it that I see on the plate? Corn off the cob? Great idea. Think I'll steal it.

Jul 23, 2014
JoanN in Home Cooking

Weight Watcher's Foodies -- The H H H Edition! July 2014

Didn’t lose any weight this week. But at least I didn’t gain any, either. And after a long weekend in the country, eating on plan some days but indulging in prime beef, too much champagne, apple pie a la mode, and copious amounts of cheese on others, I’m content with that. No Simple Start meals to report on. One meal I cooked was a repeat of the seared tuna with corn, which both my friend and her (supposedly non-tuna-eating) daughter liked tremendously and the other was prime strip steaks on the grill for six. (Kinda funny that I, the only one of us who lives in an apartment and practically never gets to grill over charcoal, was in charge of the steaks. But I brought my trusty Thermapen with me and at least was able to ensure that MY steak was just barely medium rare when everyone else wanted theirs closer to medium. Why was I so surprised that so many people who care about really good food wanted their steaks medium? Seemed a shame, but at least everyone was happy.)

Jul 23, 2014
JoanN in Home Cooking
3

Baking Sheet with rack?

Reviving this thread because I'm not finding quarter sheet pans with racks that fit. I'm finding racks that are about an inch narrower and three inches shorter than the standard quarter sheet pan. Even in professional cookware catalogs all I'm finding is 8" X 10" racks to fit a 9" X 13" pan. Is there no such thing as a quarter size pan with a rack to fit?

Jul 22, 2014
JoanN in Cookware

vintage KA mixer question

Surprised that even on ebay there were that many of them. I know other people here on the boards said they rarely saw them for sale, and then only at garage sales. Wouldn't sell mine for $1500.

Jul 16, 2014
JoanN in Cookware

vintage KA mixer question

Forgot to add that, yes, I do think it's a good price. Perhaps not a bargain price, but older KAs aren't easy to come by these days. I think it's definitely worth snagging while you have the chance.

Jul 16, 2014
JoanN in Cookware

vintage KA mixer question

Most are, but some, like the ice cream maker, are not. The KA Web site will tell you just which attachments are compatible with which machine.

http://www.kitchenaid.com/shop/counte...

Just to add, I've had my KA 45 for nearly 40 years. It "walked" itself off the counter once, got a small ding in the housing, and stopped working only because the plug pulled out. Put it back on the counter, plugged it in again, and it kept on going. And has kept on going ever since.

Jul 16, 2014
JoanN in Cookware

July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - 10 Minute Salads, Vegetables and Side Dishes

I think it's a little iffy if a family would consider this a full meal on its own. Perhaps if the baguette contained something a little more substantial? a bruschetta, perhaps? Or if it were preceded by a cold soup? On the other hand, using tuna in oil might make it feel more filling. I'll be curious to read what you decide and what your family thinks.

Jul 16, 2014
JoanN in Home Cooking

Weight Watcher's Foodies -- The H H H Edition! July 2014

Down 1.8 this morning. Whoot! Best Simple Start meal of the week was the Seared Tuna with Fresh Corn & Wasabi “Cream” noted above. Also excellent, Fennel Pollen-Dusted Whole Branzino with White Wine, Tomatoes and Fennel Broth from “Avec Eric.” I know. The fish looks as though it wasn’t cooked. I assure you it was. Perfectly. Also good, Chilled Asparagus Tonnato from “Radically Simple.” I’m sure that last, meant to be a first-course salad, would have been considerably better with the tuna in oil that was called for, but even using tuna in water and cutting way back on the amount of additional oil in the recipe, this was a lovely, very satisfying, and super quick to prepare dinner on a hot, muggy night.

Off for a long weekend in the country. Hoping it isn’t too much of a challenge since the friends I’m visiting aren’t heavy drinkers and are generally healthful eaters. I’ll be bringing up prime strip steaks for the grill and one of the hosts will be making potato salad, neither of which are on plan. But that will be only one meal. I think I ought to be able to cope.

Jul 16, 2014
JoanN in Home Cooking
3

Is grinding black pepper part of your mise en place?

Ya got me. I think that might be the one time I really would measure, ipse.

Jul 15, 2014
JoanN in Home Cooking

July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - 10 Minute Salads, Vegetables and Side Dishes

Hardly. Just someone with way too much extra luggage around the middle who will be in a bathing suit, in Hawaii, in front of other people, in three months. Just about the best incentive there is.

Jul 15, 2014
JoanN in Home Cooking
3

July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - 10 Minute Salads, Vegetables and Side Dishes

Chilled Asparagus Tonnato with[out] “Confetti” (page 46)

Cook, shock, drain, and dry medium asparagus. Plate and drizzle with oil. Combine canned tuna and it’s oil with garlic, more oil, and two thin slices of lemon in an FP and process, adding lemon juice and water as necessary, until sauce is very smooth. Pour sauce over asparagus and sprinkle with mesclun “confetti” and capers.

My version: My asparagus was quite thin. To make the dish Weight Watcher friendly I used tuna in water, added only 1 tsp of oil to the food processor, and no oil to the asparagus. What is called mesclun in the ingredients list looks like tiny flower petals in the photo. I was fresh out of tiny flower petals, so skipped it. Fresh out of capers, too. (And in BIG letters on the photo it says “don’t forget the capers.” Oh, well.

So after all those changes, it almost seems unfair to review this. But I will anyway, because it was pretty damn good. Certainly quick to prepare (maybe 12 minutes) and quite a satisfying dinner on a hot, steamy night. I have some excellent, imported Spanish tuna in oil in the cabinet. Talk about restraint! I can only imagine how much better it will be when I can make it with that tuna. With the oil.

Jul 15, 2014
JoanN in Home Cooking
2

Is grinding black pepper part of your mise en place?

I don't think I've ever measured pepper in my life. I grind over whatever it is I'm peppering and eyeball it. Taste, and add more if necessary. If I added too much, I'm shit out of luck. Been working for me, a lot more often than not, for more than 40 years. Don't think I could change now even if someone here convinced me I ought to.

Jul 15, 2014
JoanN in Home Cooking
1

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

I believe Paris Commune closed comparatively recently, didn't it? '08 or '09? It was originally on Bleecker, in a building a dear friend still lives in, and we went often. I thought it went considerably downhill once it moved to the larger space on Bank Street.

Also had a friend who lived around the corner from Cal's. You're right; nice neighborhood joint.

Jul 15, 2014
JoanN in Manhattan

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month August 2014

Oh well, then . . . nevermind.

Jul 15, 2014
JoanN in Home Cooking

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month August 2014

I have the book and I agree with you. Even a used book on Amazon is very expensive. And the New York library system has only one copy, and that copy can't be checked out. I would love to see this as COTM at some point, but I think we need to wait until it's accessible to more people.

Jul 15, 2014
JoanN in Home Cooking

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month August 2014

I find that either before trying a recipe or after I've made it, I go to the adjunct and do a Ctrl > F to look for that specific recipe. I very rarely read one of those threads in it's entirety, unless it's something I've been contributing to all along. As you say, too overwhelming.

Jul 15, 2014
JoanN in Home Cooking

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month August 2014

Not sure if you’re just pointing this out or if you’re objecting to having as COTM a title with an active adjunct thread. I know there have been some objections in the past to having such a book as COTM (in fact, I may have been one of the objectors—:-( ). But we’ve had some very successful COTMs that started as “cooking from” threads. Witness “Radically Simple” this month, which had nearly 300 posts in the adjunct thread. “Around My French Table,” “Bon Appetit Y’All,” Ottolenghi, “Fish Without a Doubt,” “Asian Dumplings,” “660 Curries”—all had more or less active threads before becoming COTM. I, for one, have come to realize that the existence of a previous thread doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm for a book once it’s been chosen. In fact, that so many have posted, usually with good results, seems to encourage others to want to join in. And for the most part, those who have cooked from the book in the past and know it delivers are more than happy to explore it further.

Jul 15, 2014
JoanN in Home Cooking
5

What's for Dinner #312 - the July Super Moon Edition [through July 17, 2014]

I must say, Gio, you pick and choose very, very well. I have no excuses, and I'm sitting here eating a chopped lettuce salad for dinner.

Jul 14, 2014
JoanN in Home Cooking
5

Removing Oil Stains From Fabric - Any foolproof methods?

Ah. Hadn't seen (or perhaps just hadn't remembered) your earlier post. Interesting that the J&J link says one of the ingredients is "fragrance" and the container I have does not. Perhaps they make one without added scent for hospitals? Anyway, good to know. I suspect that from now on I'll be traveling with a small container of Johnson's Baby Powder.

Jul 14, 2014
JoanN in Not About Food