applgrl's Profile

Title Last Reply

Coconut-Sweetened or Not?

I've switched to unsweetened because the 2Kg bag at Costco is waaaaaay cheaper than the small bags of sweetened in other stores.

Apr 29, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

Rinsing Basmanti rice

Sanjay Thumma of VahRehVah.com explains how to cook basmati:

http://www.vahrehvah.com/plain-rice#....

Apr 29, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

Let's talk about Liverwurst.

I adore it with Inglehoffer Creamy Dill Mustard.

http://beavertonfoods.com/inglehoffer...

No, I do not work for this company. It just blends so well with fine liver sausage.

Apr 29, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

Another Braising & Browning Question

Jamie Oliver talks about his preference NOT to brown the meat in this recipe:
http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/be...

My experience is that both methods are good and add variety to our menu.

When I choose to brown the meat it's more of a sear, as other posters mention. High heat, short time, inner part should still be very soft/raw when you poke it with a finger. Also remember that a pot roast type cut needs to get to 210 degrees F and stay there for about an hour to melt the collagen in the inner fibers, which makes for a tender, silky texture. (CI did the testing on this a few years back.)

Apr 29, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

Posters who Police

Solipsism, Merriam Webster
"a theory in philosophy that your own existence is the only thing that is real or that can be known"

Thanks MGZ! I learned a new word today. Good conversation, everybody.

ummm....no idea why this posted here in the thread. Meant to respond to MGZ further up. I'm sure someone will set me straight....heh heh

Apr 29, 2014
applgrl in Site Talk

Your favorite (non-smelly) one pot/one dish recipes?

That awesome NY Times homemade Mac & Cheese recipe....the scent of Comfort Food...

you'll sell the house in no time!

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/04/din...

Apr 08, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

Muddy-tasting mussels

I've had good luck with the fresh packed mussels at Costco---they are from British Columbia. The package allows oxygen in and they are dated for freshness.

Apr 08, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

Impressive side dish

This may be a little dated, but it travels well hot or cold and has a good mix of veggies. It's a little high in fat calories but I think of that as a bonus when alcohol is being served...

http://www.lindsaymar.com/recipe/viva...

Note: the dish looks more elegant if you slice the tomatoes on a mandolin and omit the breadcrumb topping.

Apr 08, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

Locking flavor into braised or stewed meat.

Was going to say that including red wine in the recipe seems to make the most difference in the flavour of the broth.
Rudeboy's link to Fine Cooking educated me further on how to use wine in a braise....(thanks!)

Apr 08, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

Making Hummus with Kala Channa

I usually buy chickpeas from the Indian section of local markets....haven't noticed any difference from North American brands for hummus.

I do, however, follow a recipe from an Israeli friend that uses baking soda in the cooking water (after soaking all night) and I use an immersion blender to purée. Texture is fine enough for me....the soda definitely softens the chickpeas.

Mar 15, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

When do you use leeks?

Never used them raw. Personal preference to ALWAYS use them mixed with 1/4-1/2 cup fine dice onions or shallots. The two onion flavours meld quite nicely--alone leeks are a bit too subtle for me. I make sure to sweat the mix for a while so that it will mellow and sweeten.

I also put them in cream casseroles, savoury crepes, and lasagne. (You can do a "leek layer" instead of spinach if you want).

As for expense, I buy them when they are a good size and price, this varies wildly from store to store both on and off season.

Jan 19, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

Dressing for Asian/Thai Cabbage Salad?

My girlfriend gave me her recipe, makes enough for a very large salad....
4 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp white sugar
1/2 Cup canola oil
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
splash sesame oil
sambal oelek or red chili flakes to taste.

The weird thing is the balsamic.....could never figure out why I liked her "Asian" dressing better than anyone else's....she uses dry steam-fried noodles in the salad (tossed in at the end).

Jan 19, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

Oil in pasta water yes or no?

Don't forget the soak/don't soak Dried Bean Debate.....lol

Jan 13, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

Cooked Frozen lobster recipe

I would find a good crab/artichoke dip (Food Wishes website has several) and substitute the lobster for the crab. Might heat the basics of the recipe in oven first, then stir the lobster in at the end and sprinkle with some cheese to just heat through.

mmmmmmmm

Jan 13, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

Your favorite ways to use rosemary, thyme and coconut milk?

I grow a rosemary plant to have fresh on hand....my two best uses:

1--homemade focaccia with snipped rosemary

http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca/2...

2--spaghetti sauce
Near the end of cooking put 1-2 entire fronds into the sauce, let it infuse then remove before serving. Doesn't hurt to add a dollop of heavy cream as well....

Jan 10, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

Red Lentils

Try putting 1/2 cup in your next meatloaf or ground meat dish. They soak up excess oil and pretty much disappear into the meat, adding fiber and other good stuff while extending the final yield of the dish.

Jan 10, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

Black Bean Soup?

I made an Indian Dal with black beans this week. This isn't exactly soup, and it it somewhat involved in the prep, but FABULOUS flavours! The smell of fresh tomato, ginger, and garlic was transcendant!!

http://www.vahrehvah.com/dal-makhani-...

I think you could use Vah Chef's methods and perhaps simplify the spices to your liking. The cream and butter could be reduced and the water increased to achieve a soup consistency.

BTW If you want to control the heat in a recipe like this:
--blend hot red chili powder with paprika
--blend sweet bell peppers with hot green chilis

Jan 10, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

I have some of a bunch of nuts and such. What to do?

I like to grind them in the food processor with some chili powder and use them to make a cheese ball or cheese log.

A block of cream cheese mixed with cheddar or any other flavourful cheese is so yummy! (Roll the shaped cheese log in the ground nut mixture.)

Jan 10, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

DO NOT DISCARD THE TURKEY CARCASS(ES)

I made stock from my turkey carcass on Boxing Day, and unfortunately my elderly mother had a small stroke and went into hospital the same day. Three nights later I brought her turkey soup made from the stock and leftovers; By this time her speech had considerably worsened and I had to feed her with a spoon.

Next morning she was sitting up in bed eating a banana and drinking her coffee, back to sensible speech.

Just sayin'. ;-)

BBQ Beans Disaster ... a request for help ...

Baking soda. If you soaked and then cooked for six hours, you didn't do anything wrong. The beans could be old, you might have hard water, acidic ingredients can toughen them, etc etc etc.

Where I live water boils at 209 instead of 212, and sometimes I wonder if that makes the difference. After years of frequently having mixed success with tough/not tough beans, I've gone to using 1/2-1 tsp baking soda in the batch for insurance. Especially seems to be true for the harder legumes: navy beans, pinto beans, black beans. Chick peas absolutely must have soda. Lentils and split peas don't seem to need them.

Nutrition folks might say this decreases the nutrients, but hey----you won't get ANY nutrition if you can't eat them.

Jan 10, 2014
applgrl in Home Cooking

The Pickiest Eater

Hypnotism? ;)

Oct 04, 2013
applgrl in Home Cooking

Question about green tomatoes

We make Green Tomato Mincemeat using McIntosh apples and regular brandy...
http://www.bernardin.ca/pages/recipe_...

Once it's done you can give it as holiday gifts or put it in pre-made tart shells over the season. mmmmmmmm!

Oct 04, 2013
applgrl in Home Cooking

crock pot

I bought an expensive Cuisinart crock pot and re-named it the "Boil-O-Matic". It was over a hundred bucks and would boil a pot roast, on high or low setting, by 11 am in the morning. It was a relief when the cheaply made crock insert cracked and I threw it away.

Water boils at 209 degrees where I live, (your altitude makes a difference!) so my pot would maintain a brisk simmer throughout the cooking time---low or high, made no difference--and the outside edges would scald unless I stirred every hour. Not the point of a crock!!!

I now have a collection of older crockpots in various sizes that I've gleaned from thrift shops. It's the only way to do crock pot staples such as caramelized onions and apple butter. The old ones truly take 3-5 hours on high, 8-10 hours on low for a pot roast and you don't see them come to a simmer unless you tightly cover the top with foil. IMHO either use an older crock or do this kind of cooking in a Dutch Oven in the real oven.

Sep 10, 2013
applgrl in Home Cooking

Foods you pronounce incorrectly.

Had an English co-worker who shortened it to "worst-er". Been grateful to her ever since!

Jul 07, 2013
applgrl in Not About Food

Foods you pronounce incorrectly.

Viognier. After the first glass I can't ever get it right.

Jul 07, 2013
applgrl in Not About Food

Electric vs. Gas Burners

Gaaaar my elderly parents have a smooth top (I use natural gas) and I. Just.Hate.It! I cook for them frequently and usually I opt to cook and home and transport the food.

I'd investigate the new induction tops before going coil or smooth---- a friend has one and its very responsive.

Jul 07, 2013
applgrl in Cookware

baba ganoush with/without tahini?

Tahini can be a love-it-or-hate-it flavour. I'd find out how adventurous your new guy is first before trying eggplant OR tahini..... And btw almond butter is a nice substitute for the tahini. Good luck to you and your sweetie!

Jul 07, 2013
applgrl in Home Cooking

Basic Iced Tea

Maryh110 I keep my tea at room temp in the cooler months and it stays clear for a day or two on the counter. In the summer though it goes cloudy and mouldy tasting within 12-24 hours so I keep it in the fridge. I think it all depends on how hot/cold your kitchen is.

Jul 07, 2013
applgrl in Recipes

I AM NEVER ATTEMPTING PIE CRUST AGAIN!!!!!! (unless you help me)

For me, the resting phase turned out to be the key to it all.

We live in a dry climate, hot in summer; cold in winter. Dunno why, but once I started making pastry the day before, leaving it overnight in a cool place (fridge or cold spot on the counter) then my pastry experience turned a corner.

Try a simple recipe and rest it overnight. Eureka!

Jul 06, 2013
applgrl in Home Cooking

Peanut Butter–Honey Banana Bread

Mmmmmm this is a bowl-licking batter! (yes, I know, raw eggs.) Not a huge banana bread fan but this has won me over; family loved it.

I would use a different loaf pan next time: using a 10x5x3 metal pan didn't work out well. Batter ran over; outside getting overdone and centre was undercooked at 90 minutes. So I'm going to try a taller glass pan, baking at 375 for the first 15 min and then reducing to 325.

Definitely a keeper.

Jul 06, 2013
applgrl in Recipes