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How long will my home-made mayo last?

You're entirely correct Violatp; adding some whey (strained off plain yogurt) is the key.

The trick is to add some whey and lemon juice to the ingredients, whiz up the mayo, then leave the finished mayo out on the counter overnight. Leaving it at room temperature the first night after you make is actually safer than putting the mayo directly in the fridge, because the lemon juice kills bacteria better at room temp, and the whey will culture the mayo, which prevents the nasties from growing.

Your mayo will last a long time in the fridge if you do this.

Jan 15, 2013
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

Best sources to buy obscure ingredients online?

I was wondering about Amazon, good to know that the food stuff they sell is decent. Thanks!

Nov 28, 2012
GardenFresh in General Topics

Best sources to buy obscure ingredients online?

Unfortunately I live far enough outside the city that I only ever get into Boston every couple months at most. I have gotten some things in Chinatown on occasional outings, but online sources are a much better option.

Nov 28, 2012
GardenFresh in General Topics

Best sources to buy obscure ingredients online?

Hi all!

I'm really trying to get into more ethnic cooking, and am hoping to try to cook more authentically, rather than just the Americanized versions of ethnic dishes.

I'm super excited, and can't wait to get started, but the problem is that the suburban area where I live is really lacking in any kind of ethnic markets or even fancy food stores, so I'm having trouble getting certain ingredients. The other day I tried making real ramen, but there was no miso paste to be found anywhere near my house, let alone even more obscure (to Americans) ingredients such as kombu or bonito.

So I'm thinking I need to buy a lot of ingredients online, and would love to know which websites you guys recommend. The options are overwhelming, and it's hard to know which sites are reliable and carry good quality products.

I am currently leaning toward certain Asian cuisines, mostly Korean, Thai, etc. but also may branch out into others eventually. So recommendations for sites that focus specifically on Asian ingredients are great, as well as maybe sites that have a more broad range of options.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Nov 28, 2012
GardenFresh in General Topics

New PBS series: The Mind of a Chef

Oh that makes sense. I'll have to see if i can get my hands on a copy then. Thanks.

Nov 13, 2012
GardenFresh in Food Media & News

New PBS series: The Mind of a Chef

So far I'd mostly love the specifics of his Korean burrito from the Memories episode, though I think if I re-watch the episode I can get the basics to work off of (I just didn't write anything down the fist go-through).

Nov 11, 2012
GardenFresh in Food Media & News

New PBS series: The Mind of a Chef

Was able to watch the third and fourth episodes tonight; they were very interesting. It's not really clear to me why Bourdain is narrating but not really there... but I've come to tolerate him over the years.

Now I'm wondering if PBS will be sharing any recipes from the show. Lots of the items he made seem very do-able in a home kitchen, and I would love to give some a try. Anyone know where they might be found?

Nov 09, 2012
GardenFresh in Food Media & News

Do Tomato Seeds Cause Bitterness in Sauces? Science or Folklore?

Apparently Cook's Illustrated / ATK just came out against the need for seeding tomatoes. In fact they found that leaving the seeds in makes whatever you cook taste much better, more tomato-y. I'll take that as permission to skip the annoying step of seeding tomatoes myself!

Nov 01, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

What to do with the liquid strained off yogurt?

I just found out that you can use whey to lacto-ferment homemade mayo, which not only provides nutrition benefits but also acts as a natural preservative – win/win! [The key is to add 1 or 2 T. of whey depending on how much mayo you made, then leave it out on the counter for 6-12 hours to allow the fermenting, then store in the fridge.]

Oct 10, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking
1

Does passing spaetzle dough through a cheese grater really work?

I use my potato ricer, and it works really well.

Sep 24, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

Your favorite additions to egg salad, please

My basic is what I call Deviled Egg Salad, with paprika and a pinch of cayenne.

I also love avocado chunks mixed into the salad. I admit it doesn't end up looking very nice – the avocado and yolk combine to a sort of gross olive green color. But it tastes really good.

Lastly, when I have roasted beets on hand, beet chunks and fresh dill are delicious in an egg salad.

As with most salads, homemade mayo makes all the difference. (I make mine with garlic, lemon juice, and a small dollop of Dijon).

Aug 03, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

Family Dinnerware

Same experience with Corelle; we use them everyday, and they are pretty resistant to breaking, but when they do break... wow! They break into a million sharp little pieces that are a nightmare to clean up.

Jul 10, 2012
GardenFresh in Cookware

Pitting cherries without a pitter?

Food52 just did an article with a similar method for pitting cherries into a bottle: http://www.food52.com/blog/3795_hacki...

I have an OXO cherry pitter that I like, but it's also very messy with the seeds flinging out. I like the idea of containing the seeds and any juice spray in a bottle.

Jul 06, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

Where to eat on a short trip to Maryland (Easton and Baltimore)

Thanks everyone for the great suggestions – can't wait to try some of them when I get down to the area later this month. Won't be going for another week, so if any more occur, I'd be happy to hear about those too. Thanks. Cheers!

Jun 10, 2012
GardenFresh in Washington DC & Baltimore

June 2012 COTM, The Homesick Texan: Sides Hot and Cold; Breads; Sweets

End of Winter Carrot and Raisin Salad
http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/200...

Your basic carrot-raisin salad with the interesting addition of fresh orange juice and a bit of spice.

I used 5 pretty big carrots, I would say I ended up with 3 cups of shredded carrots. So for that amount, and because I don't like too-dry slaw-type salads, I upped the amount of dressing. Here are the ratios I ended up with:
1/4-1/3 cup each plain yogurt (didn't have Greek on hand) and homemade mayo [I started with 1/4 c. each and added a spoonful extra of both
]1/2+ cup each golden and dark raisins
1/2 orange, squeezed
dash each of ground ginger and cinnamon

I really like the OJ in the mix; it added enough sweetness so that I didn't feel that I needed to add my usual honey. However, I did find the mix a little one-note, so I added a good splash of apple cider vinegar, which really brightened things up.

Overall a very good salad.

Jun 07, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

June 2012 COTM, The Homesick Texan: Beef, Pork, and Fowl; Seafood

Roasted Mayonnaise Chicken with Chipotle (website)

Just made this tonight, and as Gio said, very easy.

I decided to serve it with HT's carrot-raisin salad and what has become my family's favorite side dish this past winter, a stove top riff on Mexican corn on the cob... so basically dinner ended up being an ode to mayo haha. Given that, I decided to start with making my own mayo (the awesome small-batch method with the stick blender).

I ended up having 8 drumsticks (double the recipe from the website), but I found that the sauce amount didn't need to be doubled. Next time I would say for 8 drummies, 2/3 c. mayo at the most would be enough. I had to go light on the chipotles as some members of my family don't like things too spicy, and had to omit the cilantro entirely for those same people (good thing I love them...).

Mine only took about 40 minutes to cook, and they were beautifully browned on top, but I found the skin itself to be pretty flabby – Gio were yours crispy? Overall, I'd say this would be good if I had been able to use as much spice as I'd like, and I bet the cilantro would have made a big difference. As is, not sure I would bother to make this for the same group, but maybe I will experiment with the technique. I do love mayo after all!

Jun 07, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

Where to eat on a short trip to Maryland (Easton and Baltimore)

Hi all,

I am visiting my dad in a couple weeks, who just moved to Easton, MD. This will be my first time to Maryland, and I'd like to really experience all the great food I know is around there (and I don't trust my dad to know yet where the good places are!).

So I know we will be spending a day each in Baltimore and Annapolis doing some shopping for his new house, and some time around Easton as well. I would especially love to have some soft shell crab, as I understand it should still be the season for that in a couple weeks, and where better to have it for the first time than in Maryland!

Otherwise, I would love any suggestions anyone has for can't miss spots in any of those three places, including someplace for a nice birthday dinner and some more casual hole-in-the-wall places.

Thanks so much in advance!

Jun 06, 2012
GardenFresh in Washington DC & Baltimore

How do you dress up your Kraft mac & cheese?

Butternut squash puree, with spirals (if it's the blue box it HAS to be spirals). I make the sauce as is (well, close enough, I don't pay very close attention) and stir in plenty of the puree with a handful of shredded cheddar; it makes the sauce so thick and creamy and delicious (and, I convince myself, healthy).

Beats the version I used to make in college with Easy Mac, which had 1 hot dog cut into pieces, a generous squirt of ketchup, and a few Ritz crackers, crushed into the bowl. Salty, creamy, crunchy – hit all the right notes at midnight when I was 18. Now I need my extra veg :)

May 24, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

Planting apple trees

Great choice, Roxbury Russets are really delicious apples (and I don't just say that because I grew up & live near Boston!).

I actually work for an organization that plants heirloom apple trees, and one of the most important things to keep in mind is that apples need another tree within at least a quarter / half mile (preferably closer) of a different variety in order to set fruit when it gets to that point. So if there are no other apple trees (including crab-apples) in or around your parents' yard, I would suggest getting another tree (not another Roxbury Russet) and planting it nearby.

We have a list of instructions on our website that includes a video on planting apple trees: http://www.bostontreeparty.org/resour.... Elsewhere on our site we also have a list of other heirloom apple varieties that are great: http://www.bostontreeparty.org/resour....

Lots of community groups do apple pruning workshops, and pruning can get pretty complicated especially as trees age, so if there are any of those offered near your parents I would really recommend they consider attending an in-person workshop – it really helps to see an expert do it in person before you tackle your own trees!

May 24, 2012
GardenFresh in Gardening

June 2012 Cookbook of the Month Voting is Now Open!

A YEAR IN MY KITCHEN please.

May 16, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

April 2012 COTM: Melissa Clark Month, In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite: Chapters 1 and 2

Extra-Sharp Leeks Vinaigrette (p. 44)

Excellent side; I don't tend to use leeks much, certainly not often in a way that highlights them, so this was a nice change of pace for us.

5 medium leeks (I used the whole length, just trimming off the very darkest green parts) are cut in half lengthwise to be rinsed well. MC calls for tying all the halves back together then cooking them in a stockpot of boiling water. That sounded like too much bother (and too much wasted water) for me, so I just heated water in my biggest saute pan and lay the halves seperately, curling them to get them to fit. Next time I would just go ahead and cut the leeks into 3-4 inch lengths (which is how I cut them after cooking) and boil them that way, it would be much easier.

After cooking until just tender, the leeks are drained (and I chopped mine), then mixed with the dressing of 5 Tbl Dijon mustard (the hottest you can find, I used Trader Joe's brand because I find Grey Poupon very mild), 1 Tlb. lemon juice, 1/2 Tbl. red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, and S&P.

Served as a side to Garlic and Thyme-Roasted Chicken with Crispy Drippings Croutons (p. 140) and it was a wonderful dinner.

May 15, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

April 2012 COTM: Melissa Clark Month, In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite: Chapters 3, 4, and 5

Garlic and Thyme-Roasted Chicken with Crispy Drippings Croutons (p. 140)

My turn for this chicken. Like all the others, I found this to be amazing! I followed the recipe, with the addition of the mustard idea offered in the variation (but skipping the plan to cut up the chicken, which is a process I don't particularly enjoy).

I spread all my (pretty thick) bread slices with sharp Dijon mustard then put it in a small, heavy dark metal roasting pan, and following MC's suggestion put that on a cookie sheet for a little more insulation. I also lowered the temp to 400 and roasted the whole chicken on the bread without any fussing.

The chicken was indeed wonderfully moist and flavorful – but the BREAD!! Oh the bread! Soft on the top with the chickeny juices, but amazingly crisp on the bottom. I could have happily made a whole meal of just the bread itself. So great.

I served this with Extra-Sharp Leeks Vinaigrette (p. 44), which was a great combo.

For the leftovers, I cut the bread into big chunks and re-toasted it to get crispy again, then chopped the chicken and leeks and tossed it all with some walnuts and lots of arugula for a sort-of panzanella salad for another dinner, and it was excellent.

May 15, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

June 2012 Cookbook of the Month Nominations Are Now Open!

I guess I'll have to start cracking open my Canal House books then and get on that thread! Maybe I'll try and do that this weekend.

May 15, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

June 2012 Cookbook of the Month Nominations Are Now Open!

I second SKYE GYNGELL - A YEAR IN MY KITCHEN. Beautiful book I've been meaning to dive into for awhile now.

I would love to cook from Diana Henry's books too, but I would be interested in holding off until the fall when her new book, Salt Sugar Smoke, comes out in the US and do both that and Plenty together (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1845...).

May 15, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

June 2012 Cookbook of the Month Nominations Are Now Open!

Breadcrumbs, I've been thinking about the Canal House books too (I have the first six and have yet to delve into cooking from them). I haven't ever nominated them for COTM because of their seasonality, but I've been thinking of starting a separate thread for the series in Home Cooking if I can find the time to start cooking from #1, summer, when summer starts.

May 15, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

Summer Oatmeal (cold)

I did try toasting the oats with the nuts one time, and honestly I didn't feel like it made any difference in taste or texture.

Apr 30, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

Summer Oatmeal (cold)

I prefer my muesli Swiss-style, which I understand is made with grated apple and orange juice instead of milk. I make a big tub of oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, then make a serving the night before with about 1/3 cup of the mix, about 1/4 of an apple (grated right into the bowl), a sprinkle of golden flax meal, a few good dollops of plain yogurt, and enough OJ to make it quite loose.

Overnight soaking in such an acidic environment helps break down the least digestible aspects of the oats, nuts, and seeds and really softens the dried fruit nicely. The grated apple gives it excellent texture. Sometimes I also add a few fresh berries in the morning right before eating if I have them on hand.

Some of my favorite combos for the dry mix have been:
pecan, dried cranberry, and coconut;
hazelnut, dried cherry, and pumpkin seed;
walnut, sunflower seed, and golden raisin; and
pistachio, dried apricot, and cinnamon

Apr 29, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

April 2012 COTM: Melissa Clark Month, Cook This Now: Winter

Grilled Sausages with Celery Root Salad with Hazelnuts and Arugula ( p 40)

As LN pointed out, a quick and easy meal, and the salad is an unusual, interesting side with sausages.

We used hot Italian sausages and had some bread on the side and it was a very nice meal.

I did find the salad a little bland at first, however. The dressing was nice and creamy with the mustard, but not sharp enough (maybe because my mustard was too bland?). So I ended up adding more mustard, vinegar (I used red wine instead of sherry because that's what we had on hand), some lemon juice, and chives. It was better the next day, when I also added sorrel from my garden in addition to the arugula. So next time I would try making this at least a few hours ahead or maybe even the day before (without the nuts or greens stirred in of course, to keep them fresh).

One note about the sausages – I did cook them under the broiler as the recipe states, which I had never done before. I was amazingly fast BUT I think I had the rack one rung too close to the heating element, so we had a little flamage. Very minor, but next time I will definitely make sure to have the sausages closer to the middle rack in the oven.

Apr 29, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

April 2012 COTM: Melissa Clark Month, In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite: Chapters 3, 4, and 5

Thanks :) If there's a way to add garlic to any recipe, I will find it. My family and friends call it a sickness. I call it delicious!

Apr 22, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking

April 2012 COTM: Melissa Clark Month, In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite: Chapters 9, 10. 11. and 12

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake (p. 356)

A really beautiful cake – moist, delicious, exactly what I think all cakes should be! Plus, with olive oil, plain yogurt, and oranges it's practically healthy! (That's what I tell myself, we all have our harmless delusions, right?)

I used regular (I think they were Cara Cara?) oranges because I couldn't justify the expense of blood oranges for a non-special occasion, and it still turned out wonderfully!

Apr 22, 2012
GardenFresh in Home Cooking