WhatThePho's Profile

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Heart healthy brunch ideas?

We do a twist on homemade potatoes o'brien. Maybe 1 small yukon gold per person, diced, some diced green and red pepper and onion, then soak all overnight in water.

In the morning, drain and rinse, then put them in a frying pan with a lid. Cover with chicken stock and a little s&p or creole seasoning. Let them cook in the stock. When they're almost done, remove the lid and add just a little olive oil. Crank up the heat to like Med-hi. The remaining stock should simmer out, the potatoes should brown a bit in the oil.

You end up using wayyy less oil than traditional hashbrowns (especially frozen ones; they are often made with the hydrogenated junk), and I think they taste just fantastic this way. These are also great in a breakfast burrito, if you end up doing a burrito bar.

Feb 20, 2014
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

Depressing Places You Like

Oh my gods, I love this. But I don't know how I got here. L.A. board sucked me in all the way from Fargo. :P

Wow I may continue to lurk, this is just such a fabulous topic. I am loving everyone's descriptions.

Feb 20, 2014
WhatThePho in Los Angeles Area

60's Theme Party and I Need Help, Appetizers , Main dishes from 60's era

On my last birthday I received a great vintage cookbook from my fiance. It's called, "Come for Cocktails, Stay for Supper," it was published in 1970, and let me tell you, it's fabulous. He knows me so well lol.

Oh, I wish you could just see this book! Canapes and "Oriental Shrimp," Pinwheels, Gratins, Casseroles, Aspics. And the desserts! You be in 60's heaven. Sounds like you're having the kind of party I've been dreaming about since I received it. :)

Here's a recipe, then, for Puffed Cheesies
Adapted from Come For Cocktails, Stay for Supper
Marion Burros & Lois Levine

Knead together:
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Form into ball and chill 15 minutes or more. Roll tablespoon-size balls, then flatten into 1/4" discs. Line up on baking sheet, about an inch apart.

Beat
1 egg with
1 teaspoon water

Brush egg glaze over puffs. Sprinkle with
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese

Refrigerate until needed.

When ready to serve, preheat oven to 425 F, and bake for 10 minutes, till puffed and lightly browned.

Very happy cooking to you!

Feb 20, 2014
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

60's Theme Party and I Need Help, Appetizers , Main dishes from 60's era

What a great keepsake.

Feb 20, 2014
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

how long do I cook fresh manicotti in oven?

Hi, I know by now your manicotti is nothing but a distant memory (I hope it is a spectacular one)! I thought I would still reply in case someone else stumbles across this thread searching for an answer.

The standard stuffing for manicotti has raw egg in it, so cooking time for manicotti should reflect the time it takes the stuffing to reach an internal temp of a safely cooked egg (160F with no rest time). This will also ensure the manicotti "sets up" correctly.

Also, I understand that you don't want your pasta to be soggy, but with fresh pasta you're okay erring on the side of cooking too long. As you may know, fresh pasta cannot be cooked al dente, only dried pasta can be that firm "to the tooth," because reboiling previously dried pasta not quite to full hydration is what creates that texture. Pasta cooked al forno (in the oven, normally in sauce), even when dried pasta is used, is cooked soft instead of al dente due to this longer cooking time. I believe fresh pasta is more or less a non-issue when dealing with al forno pasta dishes.

I have a few recipes which call for an hour cook time for previously cooked pasta, and one which uses crepes (unconventional, but it's really good that way) which calls for a 425F oven for 40 min. I just did a batch using conventional "dried" (and boiled) pasta, and I baked it for about 25 min from room temperature, topped it with cheese, then 25 min more. I would have gone longer, but it was up to temp and I was short on time.

Another note on baking pasta in sauce: high temps or long cooking times cause sauces to reduce. There are vastly differing opinions on how to handle it. I say go with what you like. Foil it for the whole time, or take the foil off 15 minutes before it's done, or even longer if you enjoy a greatly reduced and jammy sauce with a bit of brown on top. Other than the odd bit of sticking-up pasta getting browned and chewy (which I enjoy), it really has no effect on the pasta part of the dish.

Happy baking!

Feb 18, 2014
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

Vietnamese Rice Paper for Fried Rolls?

Update: I just did samosas fried in about 3/4" oil, then flipped and fried on the other side. The results were certainly not like a traditional wrapper, but they did turn out significantly better than our baked version. Definitely edible, we considered this one a keeper.

(Again, we were looking for a simple gluten-free alternative to wheat wrappers)

Sugar in the soak water didn't brown the rice paper noticeably, but I didn't fry them for a long time either: maybe two or three minutes per side? Just till they got crunchy.

Thanks again, CHers, for all the helpful input!

Apr 07, 2012
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

Vietnamese Rice Paper for Fried Rolls?

Hey! This thread's a great help, although I see I'm late to the party.

My mom and I just tried baking spring rolls brushed in oil, as I've seen some recipes direct you to do. Celeste, you're right: the texture wasn't great.

We also tried steaming them. After (about) ten minutes the texture of the wrap was like that of a cooked noodle, or a steamed wonton. We liked it. I would urge you to use a metal colander and grease it slightly if you try it, as ours stuck to the steamer and fell apart. She's allergic to wheat, so this was a happy surprise.

I'm definitely going to try sugared soak water. Also trying samosas with rice paper for the same reason, no wheat. I'll report back. Thanks for the tips!!

Apr 03, 2012
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

Pho Noodles

I haven't seen this discussed elsewhere, forgive me if this is a repeat question.

I'm planning to try Steamy Kitchen's Crockpot Pho and plan to serve it pretty much as soon as I'm home from work. Has anyone tried leaving (dried) rice sticks to soak for a longer period of time, say 8 hours? It would be nice to put them in water in the morning and have them ready when I get home. The Mongolian grill near us has them on the line this way, I wonder if anyone has tried it at home?

Also I remember hearing somewhere that refrigerating rice sticks is a no-no. So maybe soaking on the counter?

I've never had good results dunking dry noodles in boiling water, I normally soak in hot tap water for 1/2 hour. Thoughts before I screw up a whole package of noodles? Thanks!

Mar 25, 2012
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

Torte? Petit fours? What word am I looking for?

Yeah, Chowser! That's what I remember them looking like. I've never had them glazed like they're supposed to be, sounds very very sweet! :)

Bushwickgirl, you're probably right about just using sheet cake cut-outs being the smarter method.

The more I think about it, the more I think they're supposed to be for snack-size bites of banana bread, or for cracker size slices of rye for topping...maybe? Pic soon.

Dec 27, 2010
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

Torte? Petit fours? What word am I looking for?

Quickbreads! I bet you're right about that. Mine are the length of the pan but would slice into cute 2' x 2" pieces. I will try and post a pic soon.

Dec 27, 2010
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

Breaded and Pan-fried FAQ

My brother taught me a trick he learned at work for making chicken parm. Pat the chicken dry, then coat in cornstarch. Then proceed to the wet coating, then dry coating, then fry.

Dec 19, 2010
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

Torte? Petit fours? What word am I looking for?

That must be what it's intended for, I can't imagine what else it would be. So I think that the petit fours and layered tortes that we used to get were exactly those things, just dipped in "bark" coating instead of frosted or glazed in the traditional way.

Dec 19, 2010
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

Torte? Petit fours? What word am I looking for?

I am trying to search the boards and the web for a recipe, but I don't really know what the name of the dish is, maybe you guys can help.

I received a silicone pan for Christmas with three long skinny reservoirs, like 2" x 2" x 8" or so. I don't know what its intended use is, it's not labeled in any way. But the dessert I'm thinking of is that size and shape, layers of white or chocolate cake with filling--almond, lemon, buttercream, cherry and chocolate are the ones I remember having--in between layers, and there was a hard chocolate or "almond bark" shell on the outside. We used to get these around Christmas when I was a kid, I'm pretty sure they came from a food catalog.

I know I could wing it, but I'm looking for inspiration, maybe some pictures. I'm sure there are some awesome ones out there if I could just figure out what to search for! Thoughts? Thanks in advance.

Dec 19, 2010
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

Please help me fix my chicken soup!

Late post, and this is maybe another "quick and dirty" suggestion. To my palate chicken soup stock never tastes "full" without simmering celery w/ the leaves, carrots and onion. Strained and salted, you wouldn't even need more chicken. Throw a whole sprig of fresh thyme in to really fill it out :) :) :) Oh chicken soup.

Dec 18, 2010
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

The Vodka Cringe

Very informative, thank you JMF. I've always wanted a better answer for customers who ask the question, "If the $10 vodka is distilled 7x, why isn't it as good as the $20 bottle that's only distilled 3x?"

Not a vodka /lover/ but I use it to add a backbone to mixed drinks a lot, and so all I want is "smoothness" and lack of off-taste/aroma. Just had a vodka martini (don't judge) with rail vodka because I mistakenly assumed my bartender would continue to serve me Stoli products, and it was really terrible. Just erased any self-doubt I had about whether or not a regular schmuck like myself, and not just "vodka-snobs," could detect a difference. ^_^

Dec 18, 2010
WhatThePho in Spirits

Pool party foods to sit at ambient temperature

I guess I didn't mix the dressing together, just squeezed lemon juice on the corn and drizzled olive oil. Cracked pepper, a little salt, chopped cilantro, chopped raw tomatillo, chopped up chipotle en adobo with whatever sauce clung to the peppers. I don't really know how much I used or proportions, but I didn't use much oil.

Sorry I'm not being more helpful!! :)

Jul 03, 2010
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

Ricotta and Mascarpone?

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/276527

Do a ricotta vs mascarpone cannoli taste test! :) And I'll be right over to help with all that tedious tasting.

Jul 03, 2010
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

Pool party foods to sit at ambient temperature

Second the tomatillos! It's excellent with some chipotle en adobo chopped fine and (if you're a fan) cilantro! Ohhh I'm getting hungry.

Jul 03, 2010
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

Food-industry people you'd invite to dinner?

gahh +drool+

Jul 03, 2010
WhatThePho in Not About Food

Would you eat "synthetic meat"?

o_O I did NOT know that. I thought "canola oil" was just their way of finding a more attractive name for the rapeseed.

Jul 03, 2010
WhatThePho in Not About Food

Would you eat "synthetic meat"?

lol In adulthood I've begun to come around.. I'm not a huge fan of sweets in the first place, and the texture and ... well, i know this is blasphemy, but dry blandness of pie crust, just never appealed to me. I find that if I know who made it, then it magically tastes a whole lot better. :)

Jul 03, 2010
WhatThePho in Not About Food

Would you eat "synthetic meat"?

Can I try again? Ok thanks.

Wild meat has a distinct taste, based partly on species, but in large part on diet. Corn-fed venison vs grass-finished beef vs factory farm cement-finished beef? I don't know how they would synthesize this without the use of the sort of advanced processing methods that make "food" not real food.

Different cuts of meat have different flavor, due to their function and the surrounding tissue. So will this new industry be willing to grow bone and fat and sinew or will they just flavor the meat? I would guess growing everything in a manner that would replicate the taste would be cost-prohibitive.

Kidney? Heart? Liver? Taste the way they do because of what passes through them.

If all that had to be synthesized to make it taste right were the actual tissue you eat, I would say yes. Absolutely. But because it will take so many more steps than just that, I am guessing the finished product will not appeal to me.

Also, the farther something is from the earth, the more unhappy I feel eating it. There IS a certain amount of emotion tied up in that, but it's how my mind wraps itself around food. It is important to me.

Jul 03, 2010
WhatThePho in Not About Food

Would you eat "synthetic meat"?

Wow, actually I believe that is part of this discussion. People have asked the question, "Will the taste be comparable?" As far as I know, the added ingredients would be the only way to answer yes to that question.

I suppose my answer to the original question is, "No, because it would be very bland and not comparable to on-the-hoof meat." And if they fixed that problem? Then my answer is, "No, because I avoid processed foods."

And just for the record, cow's blood in it's natural habitat, cow meat, is one thing. After you start fussing with it, preserving it, injecting it, I just see the potential for altering the taste and nutrition.

Jul 03, 2010
WhatThePho in Not About Food

Would you eat "synthetic meat"?

"none of it exists as of yet, so what it will be is purely supposition - but there is no reason to not also grow collagen and fat as well."

And probably add artificial flavors, texture-enhancing agents, maybe some sweetener to replace the flavors like "grass-fed." Iron? Real cow's blood? (The industry probably has more than it knows what to do with..) This is the direction I envision it going. Just another highly processed food. But who knows.

Jul 02, 2010
WhatThePho in Not About Food

Would you eat "synthetic meat"?

Maybe...Butter is minimally processed. It is just separated from the non-fat part of milk; margarine is highly processed. If it were liquid oil, it wouldn't taste like butter. It's hydrogenated, colored and flavored to mimic butter. Which, in my mind, is what makes it synthetic.

I don't like pie either.

Jul 02, 2010
WhatThePho in Not About Food

Would you eat "synthetic meat"?

Synthetic: man-made; not of natural origin; prepared or made artificially. Margarine qualifies.

From what I've heard the laws regarding the word "imitation" as it refers to foods have been loosened. It used to be that margarine, "Bac-os," and cheese whiz were all imitation, in that they are not butter, bacon or cheddar cheese. These days I can't imagine how many products would be labeled imitation.

Jul 02, 2010
WhatThePho in Not About Food

Sam Woo Chili Oil?

The Hot Cock!! :) Love it! Yes cock sauce is all we call it. It doesn't have a name other than that.

Jul 02, 2010
WhatThePho in General Topics

Sam Woo Chili Oil?

I think this stuff is crazy good. In my fridge at all times. Just the right amount of heat and the flavor's Awesome.

And due to the rooster on the front we can call it all sorts of inappropriate names! :)

Jul 01, 2010
WhatThePho in General Topics

Potluck Showstopper Needed

I'm liking cucumber rounds. I'm gonna think more today.

Jul 01, 2010
WhatThePho in Home Cooking

Potluck Showstopper Needed

It's too late, but thanks. :D

Jul 01, 2010
WhatThePho in Home Cooking