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What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition, part 2! [old]

The child in Xian chowing down on noodles is alone worth the price of the book! (The discussion of noodles is a particularly fascinating section, too.)

Dec 07, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking
1

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition, part 2! [old]

The paperback.

Dec 07, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking

Trying to find a James Beard monkfish recipe

My first thought was, "Library book sale for the win!"; I just got James Beard's 1976 New Fish Cookery there last month for a dollar. (It was the revised and updated version of his original Fish Cookery in 1954.) Sadly, it does not contain a single reference to monkfish.

To judge from Eat Your Books indexing, the later printings of New Fish Cookery published after Beard's death (1989, 1994, 1999, 2009) are simply re-issues, not new editions.

So I'd be interested in learning which Beard cookbook(s) the monkfish recipe with oven instructions appeared in.

Dec 06, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition, part 2! [old]

Update: Have learned so much from just a first pore-through of Silk Road Cooking, and am very interested in cooking from it when I recover appetite (down with chest cold-plus for more than a week now).

But I'd be so much more likely to use the book over the long haul if it were physically smaller and lighter! Silk Road Cooking won't fit on my kitchen shelf, just to start with -- so has to be exiled to the next room. The paper stock is way too heavy, exacerbating the effect of the oversize dimensions to the point of making the book actually uncomfortable to hold.

And there are no chapter tables of contents, despite plenty of room for them: each chapter begins with a double-spread photo. This at least was a defect I could remedy. I typed up chapter TOCs, printed them out, and stuck them into the book. Editors and publishers: please don't make your readers do your job.

There are some good points to Silk Road's formatting: not one recipe in the book forces you to turn a page. In fact, all but one or two recipes are contained on a single page. (Of course, I grumble, you jolly well ought to be able to do that when you make the pages this big.)

I've bookmarked at Eat Your Books a list of recipes of interest, and will report back when I've made a few things. Still a day or two away from being up to cooking more than tea... Though SRC has several tea recipes, too!

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition, part 2! [old]

Couldn't wait for Christmas and need something to read on the obligatory Thanksgiving trip, so I got a nice used copy of Najmieh Batmanglij's Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey, on the recommendation of chow poster AmyH.

It's beautifully photographed as well as full of intriguing recipes (some of Amy's favorites here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9680...). Normally I'm not necessarily looking for visuals in my cookbooks, but this one's a window into another part of the world as much as it is a cookbook. Floating flower markets, exotic spices, saris, pomegranates -- just what I need to banish November grey. Thanks, AmyH!

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition, part 2! [old]

I'm fascinated by starter books, and Peternell's sounds like a particularly excellent one. Not holding my breath for him to show up at any of the local farmer's markets, though! <g>

Nov 15, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition! [old]

The Good Cook. They added 16.99 and 3.99 and came up with 21.98. PayPal is just a payment medium; their fees are charged to the seller who accepts PayPal.

Nov 11, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition! [old]

I've had a number of not-good experiences with The Good Cook, and will be closing my account (or trying to) after the arrival of The Spice & Herb Bible, my last order.

Their latest trick: adding a dollar to the invoice total via "math error". I paid via PayPal and the dollar isn't worth wrangling over, but it's an ugly little tactic. And highly profitable if applied to every order... check your invoice.

Nov 11, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition! [old]

The beans are gorgeous. ;>

Nov 10, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking
1

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition! [old]

I can't get past the cover image of those heavily tattooed arms; it takes my appetite right away.

Nov 07, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition! [old]

Our county recycling center has a Little Free Library, which warms my heart every time I take in the cans and bottles.

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition! [old]

There's a Georgian menu in Nigella Lawson's Feast that includes the cheesy bread that made an indelible impression on me. Quite a bit of prep and involved cooking, but her description of the original meal that inspired it makes you want to begin preparing right now. [It involves slices of perfectly ripe melon, so obv not Right Now in our climate...]

Which cookware for cooking for 1, 2, or 3 people?

I was thinking entirely stovetop & oven, and it is a very minimalist list. In real life, vs. a "go bag" scenario, I use a bunch of additional stovetop/oven pieces regularly: sauciers, a rondeau/braiser, a crepe/omelet pan, the bigger 6-qt pot in the pressure cooker set (stovetop only, usually the induction unit), a cast iron skillet, a set of enameled cast iron gratins, and small to large-ish ECI casseroles.

When I cook in the microwave I use tempered glass -- but usually things that have other uses, too (mixing bowls, measuring cups, prep bowls, fridge storage containers). Or, for just heating things up, everyday plates or bowls.

Sep 29, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition! [old]

Oh, man. You had me at "white nectarine". You Californians be so spoiled! <g>

Sep 24, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking
1

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition! [old]

I very much enjoyed Saving the Season (see my post in the August 'what cookbooks' thread here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9810...), and feel I have the best of both worlds since the local library has it. The blog is well worth your time, too; Kevin West is talented.

Sep 24, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking

Which cookware for cooking for 1, 2, or 3 people?

I cook for two. Using herring's method (several years before this thread), I determined that my most-used cookware, hence minimum "set", was:

medium skillet (9.5 inch)

boil pot (4 qt, 9 inch diam) <--part of a pressure cooker set; I use it more often with a regular lid than as a p.c.

small saucepan (2 qt)

large saucepan (3 qt)

baking sheet with fitted grid rack <--used as often for prep as for baking

Sep 24, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Have you ever used a Pressure Cooker?

Most pressure cooker recipes for beans will give a range of times at pressure, and when starting off it makes sense to go with the shortest time. Then, after natural release, you can always just cook the beans a little longer with a regular lid if they need it. After one or two sessions with a particular bean, the right time under pressure becomes clear.

Sep 20, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

What kind of vinegars do you keep on hand?

Thanks!

Sep 13, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking

What kind of vinegars do you keep on hand?

And you've used the black vinegar to make...?

Sep 13, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking

What kind of vinegars do you keep on hand?

They last well in the fridge, so over time I've accumulated quite a few kinds as recipes call for them:

cider vinegar - when I was young, this _was_ vinegar.
red wine - basic, and produced by a not-far-away winery
rice wine - in Asian marinades, salads
balsamic - no substitute when called for
sherry - in Mexican as well as Spanish dishes
malt - ?? need to look up some recipes and make more use
white wine - see red wine vinegar above

Is there anyone here who has or uses Chinese black vinegar? None of the local food stores, even the most adventurous, have this available from their distributors.

Sep 12, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking

Mistakes, I've made a few

That's the one; just about exactly what I paid for mine three-plus years ago. Spring and summer seem like the times to get bargains on cookware, while prices firm up once the weather cools and the cooking/entertaining season approaches.

Sep 04, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Mistakes, I've made a few

If I had extra money lying around, I believe I *would* try to snag this duplicate 'Style' skillet. Just to sell later; the current listing doesn't convey what's special about it.

I'm sure if I started doing that kind of thing, I'd also end up with a sizable pile of original All-Clad Master Chef, another superior product no longer made. Right now there's a 3.5 qt. saucepan with the rarely seen helper handle; hard to overstate what a handy pan that is. Over the winter and spring I've had similar pangs over an original MC 2 qt. saucier, a 1.5 qt. saucepan, and a two-handled 4 qt. soup pot [which was *truly* original -- from before they standardized the handles, and before they called it Master Chef].

Sep 02, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Mistakes, I've made a few

I already have one just like it! Not in need of another; was mentioning in case anyone here might be interested.

Sep 01, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Mistakes, I've made a few

Just now checked ebay for the first time in a month or so, and what's there but my favorite skillet! The combination of a long, comfortable, cool cast stainless handle and 2mm copper-stainless isn't made any more (the handles are available on Mauviel pieces, but only on 1.5mm copper.)

I've only seen one or two 'Style' skillets on ebay since getting mine more than three years ago. The auction, with two days left, is at an extreme bargain level at the moment.

Sep 01, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Which cookware for cooking for 1, 2, or 3 people?

Herring's advice is unbeatable.

And would be a good m.o. for anyone who's interested in paring down, whether cooking for one or many.

Aug 31, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Best omelet pan?

Putting in a good word here for cast aluminum, if the pan is only used for omelets (and crepes).

In the 1970s a company called Gourmet, based in northern Illinois, made omelet and crepe pans with walnut handles. They look very similar to the bare aluminum skillets from the same era put out by Copco (I believe those were manufactured in Japan rather than in the Danish foundry where their enameled cast iron was made).

Both of those can be found used on the online sites. [A very similar pan recommended by Julia Child in the same era is still made by a Boston company, but for an unreasonably large amount of money.] Cast aluminum omelet pans last forever if not washed. If anything ever sticks (like a bit of cheese leaking out of the omelet, just let the pan cool a bit and scrub out with kosher salt and a paper towel.

Aug 31, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Mistakes, I've made a few

That 2-qt Tribute is an excellent pan -- a third of what the Falk cost even in the olden days of 2011, and vastly superior to most saucier offerings. If I'd gotten it instead of the Demeyere, I'd probably never have sprung for the Falk -- and would have a good bit more whisking leeway for souffle bechamel base...

Aug 31, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Mistakes, I've made a few

It would indeed! I'll make a note for the ebay description... <g>

My small saucier is the 18cm 'try me' from Falk, which can handle a quart of liquid (technically about a third of a quart more, up to the rim, but in real life, with stirring, a quart is the limit). My big one holds 3 quarts, 9.5" across. I wish it had a helper handle, and that the long handle it has were stainless rather than brass -- it gets hot quickly. It's a great pan for curries, risotto, etc., and larger quantities of sauce (though a helper handle would make it easier to pour from). I'm glad it's only 2mm copper, because it would be that much harder to pour from if it were even heavier.

If I could only have one saucier, I'd want it to have about the same capacity as the Demeyere, 2.5 qts, but be a bit deeper and narrower, 2mm copper lined with stainless, with a pouring lip and a cast stainless handle. There apparently was exactly such a pan once, made by Mauviel from sometime in the mid-2000s to 2011, in their 'Cuprinox Style' line. My absolute favorite pan is a 9.5" skillet that was part of that line.

Aug 31, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Mistakes, I've made a few

The $200 Demeyere 2.6 qt saucier ("conic sauteuse") that I craved for a year before treating myself to it. It's a good, high-quality pot, but vastly inferior to the larger and smaller copper-stainless sauciers I got for significantly less $.

The main annoyance was the lack of a pouring lip, combined with a slightly too-shallow shape. I wasn't fond of the tubular handle, either -- a shade too big around, and I have fairly large hands.

I thought the lack of interior rivets would be oh-so-important, and the ability to use it on induction. But as it turns out, I use sauciers on the front gas burner because they're in use for highly interactive cooking, and the rivetlessness just isn't a big deal.

It remained the least-used of my pots and pans for more than two years, and last winter I moved it to the garage with the little pile of cookware I intend to sell on ebay this fall. This year for sure!

Aug 30, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Please recommend your cooking utensils

My most-used utensil is a melamine spoon with a gently squared-off, blunt end. Melamine utensils are no longer recommended in combination with high heat, and I'd ditch it if I were a lot younger or were in a household with children. But as it is, I love its versatility, ease of cleaning, and impermeability. I have a wooden version (olive wood) whose blunt end is even more spatula-like; excellent for making pan sauces.

Stainless tongs are indispensible. Mine are fairly cheap, from a kitchen supply store, and seem as if they'll go on forever. They lock by pulling a ring at the base, and can be unlocked with one hand (press the ring against your hip, or any convenient surface). I'd be constantly accidentally locking the kind that lock with a flipping latch.

Other tools that are extremely handy and that I just love to use because they're so solidly made: Cuisipro silicone spoonula with metal handle, WMF all-stainless 'spider' strainer, and an all-stainless whisk that's sealed where the wires meet the handle, for ease of cleaning.

And a Lamson-Sharp slotted fish turner (see snax's nearby post) -- nothing better for hash browns, frying tofu, fritters, and even the occasional piece of fish.

Aug 28, 2014
ellabee in Cookware