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Romertopf clay pot

Hi - I just found my very old Romertopf clay pot in the garage. I remember that both top and bottom must be soaked in water for 15 minutes before using and that it has to go into a cold oven, but I have no idea what I used to make in it. Does anybody still use one? What is it particularly good for?
Thanks

Jan 24, 2013
noeldottir in Home Cooking

Making those vinegary marinated big white beans you see in deli or olive bar

Just saw this. Thanks very much!

Sep 01, 2012
noeldottir in Home Cooking

Making those vinegary marinated big white beans you see in deli or olive bar

Yes, those are gigantes, or gigandes. Once you find a source (try online? I get mine from a local italian/greek deli and they're about $6/12 oz bag. Ouch.), soak overnight, bring to a boil in lots of water on top of stove, skim, add a bay leaf and whatever else you want, then BAKE @ 350, don't simmer stovetop. It's much more gentle, beans don't break up. I salt the water about halfway through, and check occasionally to be sure the beans are still covered in water. If not, top up (they absorb a lot of water). When they're done, let cool to lukewarm in the liquid, which also helps prevent them from breaking, drain, add to a vinaigrette flavored however you want (garlic and herbs for me, good vinegar and oil), along w. the roasted peppers you like. I like to add chopped pickled peppers, as in pickled cherry peppers or peppadews. Let cool completely, taste again for seasoning, eat happily. Hope this helps.

Aug 27, 2012
noeldottir in Home Cooking

Restaurant seeks cake recipe

Why not have dry mixed in bulk, which would include the leavening, and wet mixed and held separately, then when an order comes in, add whatever measure of wet to whatever measure of dry, mix, bake? You'll have to work out ratios but the technique should work. It's more of a quick bread/muffin kind of thing but you could play with it until you get something you like.

Aug 27, 2012
noeldottir in Home Cooking

Picked up a different kind of pectin. Not sure about it.

It's been years since I used it because I prefer to use no pectin at all but, as I remember, it worked well and allowed a lot of leeway as to how much sugar and what kind of set you prefer. Give it a whirl, it should work fine. Good luck!

Aug 10, 2009
noeldottir in Home Cooking

Trying to ID a vintage Le Creuset

I have a similar LC grill pan with that same distinctive handle, but mine is rectangular and black inside and out. I think I got it when I worked in a kitchen store about 30+ years ago. I use it frequently and it's still going strong.

Jun 21, 2009
noeldottir in Cookware

Looking For Online Food Gift Suggestions

Every year I send a relative a gift of food. She's elderly, lives alone, loves good food but isn't into making the effort to produce it, and doesn't eat much so it has to come in single serve portions or be enough for no more than two meals, i.e. a vat of mac and cheese, even if it has lobster in it, will just overwhelm her and go uneaten. She doesn't love sweets and, besides, I'm looking for something filling and nutritious. Previously I've sent fantastic canned tuna (Tuna Guys), frozen soups (Farm Country soups), cheeses and breads(Zingerman's), individual lobster pot pies (Hancock Gourmet), spanish ham and manchego (La Tienda), small packages of smoked fish (Ducktrap). I'm running low on ideas. Has anyone tried Millie's Pierogi? Any other ideas would be very helpful. Thank you.

Oct 08, 2008
noeldottir in General Topics

Does anyone own "Baking from the Heart"?

Here you go:
1 c. cake flour, 1 c. all-purp. flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, 6 tbsp unsalted butter - softened, 1 1/2 c. sugar, 2 lg. eggs, 4 c. chopped granny smith apples (3 lg. apples), 1/3 c. raisins, 1 c. chopped pecans

Oven 350. Spray 9"x 9" cake pan w. non-stick spray. Sift together dry (cake flour through cloves). In electric mixer, cream butter and sugar about 1 min (medium speed), until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beat on high 1 more minute. On low, add flour mixture, beat only until incorporated. By hand, fold in apples, raisins, nuts. Spoon into prepared pan, bake on middle rack 40-45 min, until firm to the touch. Cover with foil after 25 min if browning too fast. Cool. Enjoy!

Oct 01, 2008
noeldottir in Home Cooking

Looking for Ice Cream Info

Does anyone know of a website or blog specifically dealing with ice cream and/or soda fountain drinks?
Thanks.

Jul 27, 2008
noeldottir in Food Media & News

Cake Baking Question

My son can't decide between chocolate or yellow cake for his birthday and since it's his 16th, I said I'd do both. I want to bake one layer of choc. cake, one layer of yelllow cake, split each, and alternate to make a four-layer cake with coconut filling (his favorite). Here's my question: instead of baking two separate batches of cake and ending up with two extra layers (since I only need one layer of each), is there any reason I can't make a standard yellow cake recipe, bake half like it is and add some melted unsweetened or bittersweet choc to the rest of the batter before baking? That way I only end up with one layer of each flavor and presumably they'd be pretty close in texture. Any obvious reason this won't work? Is there anything else I have to add in addition to the melted chocolate?

Jun 17, 2008
noeldottir in Home Cooking

Birthday Dinner for 10 in PDX

Any suggestions for a celebratory birthday dinner for 10, ranging from kids to adventurous eaters? We're a raucous crowd and don't want to overwhelm but we're looking for something a little swank. Maybe Cafe Castagne or Park Kitchen? Here's the kicker: we need it for this Saturday night. Any and all suggestions appreciated. Thanks.

Dec 19, 2007
noeldottir in Pacific Northwest

ISO best babka recipe-lots of chocolate, streusel and buttery dough

DinB, this recipe sounds fantastic - can I ask where it comes from? I like to know so if I love a recipe, I can go find others from the same source. I made the babka from Gourmet last year (linked in op) and it was really delicious although I think I remember finding the dough a little delicate when rolled out before filling and shaping. Although I don't have an archtypal chocolate babka to compare it to, to me it was rich and just chocolatey enough without going overboard. No streusel, though. I'm going to change that this year!

Dec 15, 2007
noeldottir in Home Cooking

Afternoon Tea - Seattle

Sounds great, thanks very much.

Mar 05, 2007
noeldottir in Pacific Northwest

Afternoon Tea - Seattle

I'm looking for somewhere to have afternoon tea with a few friends for a birthday celebration. Any suggestions? We've been to the Fairmont, hoping for someplace new. Other hotel teas welcome, or tea houses, or restaurants. I'd like to avoid anything too frou-frou. Thanks.

Mar 04, 2007
noeldottir in Pacific Northwest

Whatcha making for Christmas morning B'fast?

Christmas breakfast comes between opening the stocking presents and the tree presents, so it must be fast, down and dirty. We always have a bowl of satsumas, a huge pile of thick-sliced bacon from a local smokehouse, and whatever bread I've produced, this year a chocolate babka, with last summer's jam. Maybe also a crumb cake because it's fast and easy and can be prepped the night before then popped in the oven while stocking madness is going on. In addition, there's grapefruit juice and plenty of coffee with (plenty of)kahlua, hot chocolate for those who prefer it. Merry Christmas everyone!

Dec 24, 2006
noeldottir in Home Cooking

What to do with Apple Cider?

We like hot cider with rum or bourbon.

Oct 11, 2006
noeldottir in Home Cooking

Help me make this from the ingredient list

I just made a batch of ginger biscotti last week with virtually the same ingredients except- and this is a big except - it used wheat flour instead of spelt. I've never baked with spelt and don't know whether it's something you can just substitute for the wheat measure for measure. Surely someone else on this board has that info? Otherwise the ingredients are:
4 0z crystallized ginger, finely chopped - this makes very spicy biscotti. I used less.
1 1/4 c. whole almonds, toasted
3 c sifted unbleached flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking pwdr
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp finely ground white pepper (I used black)
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried mustard powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 c sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 c mild honey

In large bowl, whisk together flour through sugar (inc. sugar), stir in crystallized ginger bits and nuts. In small bowl, whisk together honey and eggs, add to dry ingredients. Stir until everything is completely moistened. Dough is sticky. On 2 pieces plastic wrap form 2 logs of dough 13"x 2 1/2" to 3 1/2" wide, no thicker than 3/4". Pull the plastic wrap up around the dough and use your hands to shape and smooth the logs. Place them still wrapped on a cookie sheet and refrigerate or freeze until firm. Preheat oven 300 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment. Turn the dough out diagonally, one on each sheet, peel off plastic wrap. Bake 50 minutes. Reduce oven to 275, remove sheets from oven, place the baked dough on a cutting board, peeling off parchment, and slice diagonally while still very hot, 1/4" to 1/3" wide. A serrated knife works best for this. Place cookies back on sheet pans, flat side down, bake 275 about 25 minutes or just until dry. Cool on rack.
This is a recipe from Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies. They are really crunchy (no butter, no oil) and really scrumptious and perfect for the season. Good luck, I hope this helps. Sorry I can't help with the spelt problem.

Oct 08, 2006
noeldottir in Home Cooking

Cuisinart Food Processor -7 cup model. True that it leaks?

Thanks for the post but there is definitely a difference between having too much liquid for the bowl capacity, which I've certainly done before, and what happens each and every time I use the machine, regardless of the amount I'm trying to process. And except for the spewing problem, I like the 7-cup size, it's appropriate to my use of it (I don't use it for doughs, huge amounts of slicing, etc. - and ever since I got a stick blender, I don't even use the cuis. for soups). Even flour or ground nuts will fly out of it where the top locks on to the bowl, hence wrapping it with a dishcloth (and swearing).

Sep 27, 2006
noeldottir in Cookware

Cuisinart Food Processor -7 cup model. True that it leaks?

Nope, the top's on the right way, for sure - it's just a bad fit. I guess I could contact Cuisinart and try to get a replacement top, I've just never bothered. But I do curse every time I use it. And it's never happened on any of the other Cuisinarts I've had through the years.

Sep 27, 2006
noeldottir in Cookware

Cuisinart Food Processor -7 cup model. True that it leaks?

Mine does, where the top attaches to the bowl. It's very inconvenient - liquid sprays out, dry stuff flies out. I deal with it by wrapping a dishcloth around the top every time I use it. On the other hand, my son's doesn't - although now that I think of it, I've never actually asked him, so maybe it does!

Sep 27, 2006
noeldottir in Cookware

Cookbook of the Month: Chowhounds cooking together? What do you think?

Fantastic idea! Let's start in October and I vote for All About Braising for the first book - Oct. is such good braising weather - but I'll go with anything.

Sep 11, 2006
noeldottir in Home Cooking

What Did/Does Your Dad Cook Best?

Grilled hamburgers with everything piled on - called "garbage burgers" in my family - but absolutely raw in the center. Raw! He died 4 years ago and this thread is making me cry.

Sep 09, 2006
noeldottir in General Topics

A Canning Question

Sure - it's from Perfect Preserves by Hilaire Walden. For what it's worth, I ended up calling two different county extension agents because the first woman I spoke to seemed unsure of how to answer. The second one said sure, go ahead, there's sufficient vinegar to make it safe for hot water bath processing, so I made it. But maybe I just kept asking around until I heard what I wanted to hear. Ingredients are:
2 lbs tomatoes (peeled, cored, chopped), 3/4 lb zucchini chopped, 3/4 lb eggplant chopped, 1 1/2 lb red bell pepper chopped, 3/4 lb onion chopped, 3 cloves garlic minced, 1 tbsp paprika, 1 1/4 tbsp lightly crushed coriander seed, 1 tbsp kosher salt, 1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar (5% acidity), 2 cups brown sugar. I also added hot chiles and messed around with the spices. Heat all vegs, garlic, salt and spices in covered pan about 10 minutes, until juicy. Uncover, bring to boil, simmer until everything is tender and liquid is mostly reduced, stirring, about 1 hr. Add vinegar and sugar, simmer about 35-40 minutes until it looks/tastes done (a spoon dragged across the bottom will leave a clear path). Fill sterilized jars, process in boiling water bath 15 minutes, let sit 1 month before eating. This made about 6 1/2 cups for me but I didn't use all the peppers. Good luck!

Sep 07, 2006
noeldottir in Home Cooking

A Question for Candy re: Tomato Jam

I don't usually make jams with pectin, so I just want to make sure that the pectin you said to use in the recipe you posted for me the other day - "1 box dry light fruit pectin" - is not the regular pectin, but the no/low sugar kind, right? But why use low sugar pectin when the quantity of sugar called for is almost equal to the quantity of tomatoes needed? Just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing here, thanks...

Aug 19, 2006
noeldottir in Home Cooking

A Canning Question

Okay, original poster here, trying to wrap this up, in case anyone is as interested in this conundrum as I am: Following Toodie Jane's good advice, I called the local extension service and they said not to can this chutney using a hot water bath, despite the vinegar and sugar in it. And although she said that vegetables and fruits have to be treated differently when being canned, she was unable to tell me why there are many millions of safe recipes for things like zucchini relish and various other all veg. relishes that are safely made in a hot water bath. So I'm still confused but I guess I'll take the high road and not risk killing my family, who probably wouldn't have eaten this chutney anyway - although I think it sounds delicious (that's pretty much the way it goes for me and cooking for my family, alas). Thanks everyone for all the feedback.

Aug 17, 2006
noeldottir in Home Cooking

A Canning Question

Fantastic, thanks very much. Can't wait to try it.

Aug 17, 2006
noeldottir in Home Cooking

A Canning Question

Oh yeah, please post. Tomato jam sounds divine!

Aug 16, 2006
noeldottir in Home Cooking

A Canning Question

I have that book but the recipes are all over the map, there's nothing similar with eggplant, and there's no consistent veg/sugar/vinegar ratios because they test everything carefully and adjust accordingly. Maybe I'll just make it and stash it in the fridge, it ought to last for ages. Or I'll add more vinegar, less sugar (I like chutneys tart), and process for 15 minutes, like Candy suggested. Thanks.

Aug 16, 2006
noeldottir in Home Cooking

A Canning Question

Actually, a while back in another post you mentioned making tomato preserves. That's the recipe I want! Is it from the Ball Book? And about the chutney in my original post: Do you think 15 minutes for half pints or pints? And are you pretty confident about this? Thanks.

Aug 16, 2006
noeldottir in Home Cooking

A Canning Question

I have a recipe from a British cookbook for “Mediterranean Chutney”, which sounds kind of like a tarted-up caponata- ratatouille hybrid. It calls for 2 lbs tomatoes, 3⁄4 lb zucchini, 3⁄4 lb eggplant, 3⁄4 lb onions, 1 1⁄2 lb red bell pepper (which I want to partially replace with more of the other vegs and some hot chiles), 11⁄4 cups red wine vinegar, 2 cups br. sugar, garlic, salt, spices. It just says to “heat process in a boiling-water canner”, no times mentioned. I’m pretty comfortable making/canning jams and fruit chutneys. Is there any reason to be nervous about this one? Does it have enough vinegar per total yield (only given as “about 4 lbs”) to make it qualify as high-acid and therefore safe for processing in a hot water bath? (I know the sugar also acts as a preservative.) Any suggestions on how long to process this? I guess the eggplants and zukes are making me nervous – I’d really hate to kill my family! (I asked at homecanning.com but they were unwilling to express an opinion - understandably, since it's not their recipe.) By the way, the same book also has a great-sounding recipe for a chutney made of squash, which I want to make come fall, but it has a higher ratio of vinegar to veg. so I’m less nervous about it. I think. Thanks for any help on this.

Aug 15, 2006
noeldottir in Home Cooking