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Really Random Panna Cotta Recipe Question

What is PB2?

about 7 hours ago
ellabee in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Roll out those lazy crazy days of summer, July 2015 edition!

While we're all waiting on the new Wolfert, have you ever taken a look at Paula Wolfert's World of Food, which was an earlier collection of her favorites? I haven't seen it myself, but I imagine the headnotes might be equally appealing.

about 7 hours ago
ellabee in Home Cooking
1

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Roll out those lazy crazy days of summer, July 2015 edition!

Another Kindle bargain that moves an annoyingly gigantic book off my kitchen shelf (and onto the library book sale donation pile): Stephen Raichlen's How to Grill is currently just $2.99. Quite of few of the recipes in it have become regulars in the summer & fall rotation here, and it's a sound introduction to grilling technique, but how nice to have a little space instead of another Workman doorstop!

Not getting any of the books below, but they represent pretty good values at $10 for those who'd prefer having the Kindle version (given that used physical copies are available for even less):

James Peterson's Essentials of Cooking,
Crescent Dragonwagon's Bean by Bean,
Charmaine Solomon's Complete Asian Cookbook.
Raichlen's Barbecue Bible.
The Frog Commissary Cookbook,
Outlaw Cook by John Thorne
The James Beard Cookbook.

Jul 05, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking
1

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Roll out those lazy crazy days of summer, July 2015 edition!

The recipe in My Bombay Kitchen that I'm most determined to make someday is the green chutney souffle.

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Roll out those lazy crazy days of summer, July 2015 edition!

Since Pepin has come up: www.gq.com/story/food-and-life

La Technique helped me make a leap forward with my cooking in the early 1980s, so I've been grateful to and respectful of Pepin for a long time. But the story above captures his personal warmth and charm of the non-surface type.

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy early summer, June 2015 edition! [Old]

Thanks, nikki!

Lebanese emigration has globalized that cuisine, sometimes in really interesting ways. Just a couple of weeks ago I learned that tacos al pastor = shawarma: Lebanese and Syrians who came to Mexico in the late 19th century adapted the technique to pork, with equally delicious results. Learned that here: http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-05-07...

Jul 01, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking
1

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy early summer, June 2015 edition! [Old]

That is funny. I'd love to know how the headnotes in A Gracious Plenty make the connection between kibbeh and Southern cooking.

Jun 28, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking
1

list your favorite kitchen gadgets

Big silicone spoonula with metal handle -- has all but made my wooden spoons obsolete, and so great for minimizing waste and speeding cleanup.

Tiny silicone spatula, a throw-in on a cookware order that has proved invaluable for scraping down the pestle when I'm using the mortar & pestle.

Big-hole stainless grater that sits horizontally on silicone-shod "feet" -- fits over a plate, so cheese/potatoes/etc. can be neatly collected, and has much more cutting surface than a typical box grater. An excellent complement to fine and medium Microplanes. Sadly, the mfgr. discontinued this model.

Old-school manual can opener with thick, comfortable plastic-coated handles. Has worked beautifully for more than a decade; dreading the day it wears out, as I understand most new ones aren't so long-lived.

You'll pry my instant thermometer, scale, and mortar & pestle from my cold, dead hands -- but I don't really consider them gadgets.

Jun 24, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

Pondering silverware...

Selling it yourself, on ebay or another online site, will give you the best price. To do that successfully, you need to know what you have (maker and pattern) and provide decent photographs, and be aware of what kind of price you can expect.

Selling it to someone else who will re-sell is the simple way, but you will get significantly less -- because those sellers will be doing the work you would have to do to sell it yourself (put together accurate description and images, know the market).

With no idea of the size of your set (how many settings + how many serving pieces), or the age, maker, and pattern, it's hard to determine how interested dealers might be. Some patterns are in much more heavy demand than others.

Jun 23, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

Your best Egg Plant recipe

My favorite use involves eggplant pulp from big black-purple types roasted on the grill or in the oven: baba ghanouj, so satisfying but light in the dog days of summer.

I'm also fond of a Chinese cool or room-temp salad with sesame oil, ginger, and garlic, for which the chunks of eggplant can be steamed (recipe from The Victory Garden Cookbook, Marion Morash).

But they're good so many ways: souffle (Vegetarian Epicure recipe), moussaka (Victory Garden again), ratatouille...

Jun 13, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking

Julia Child and All Clad 2001

Nice handy size, even more useful as a stovetop saucepan than as an oven casserole. I believe it will accept any A-C 8" lid -- or most 20cm lids from anywhere. Essentially, it's a shallower, two-handled version of the All-Clad 3-qt saucepan.

As such, it would also be a great base for the 8" steamer insert that A-C offered (and maybe still do) in a long-handled and two-handled version.

I have the cookbook, which I'd recommend to cooks at all levels of experience. It's a handy quick reference for a wide range of recipes that takes up very little space on the shelf; I'm sure it's available on the used market for next to nothing.

Jun 13, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

Anyone buy used kitchen stuff?

My batterie de cuisine would be seriously impoverished if everything I've gotten used were to vanish; ebay has been my ticket to quite a few items I could never afford new, and to others no longer made.

When I started out cooking on my own, it was with a pan already used for 40+ years, a cast iron skillet from my grandparents' kitchen. I inherited several pieces from my mother that are in frequent use: a large enameled cast iron gratin, Pyrex bowls and casseroles (one from the 1930s), Corningware casseroles, and a variety of aluminum baking pans.

Less used but still excellent when needed: enameled cast iron terrine, enameled steel bundt pan, and a 1950s waffle iron.

In the last decade, I've added:
Corningware pie pans (the old Pyroceram kind), which can go from freezer to oven.
Cast aluminum crepe/omelet pan made in 1970s.
Le Creuset enameled cast iron gratins, in sizes not produced for years.
Large skillet, original All-Clad Master Chef aluminum lined with stainless (a bit thicker aluminum than MC2), not manufactured since around 2000.
Medium-heavy copper (2 and 2.5mm) pans lined with stainless: skillet, saute/braiser, and large saucier.
Set of green Depression glass fluted mixing bowls, beautiful in use and at rest.

ETA: A 10-qt Fagor Chef pressure cooker/canner for half price on ebay. Have hardly bought canned tomatoes or boxed stock since.

Jun 13, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

Which pan(s) should be copper

Sauciers and saute pans -- for even-ness of heating / avoiding hot spots, and for quick responsiveness to burner heat going up or down.

There's also something to be said for making your main skillet a lined copper one, since (for me, anyway) that's the most often used pan. But if you do, it's good to have a different material (carbon steel or cast iron) for searing.

Weight is a real issue as you deal with larger pans; for my 12" skillet I happily trade the perfection of copper for the maneuverability of aluminum-stainless (old Master Chef) -- still way more even and responsive than tri-ply stainless.

The absence of helper handles on many copper sautes makes them less useful than they could be, as it makes getting them into the oven or pouring off contents harder.

Jun 13, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy early summer, June 2015 edition! [Old]

Thanks so much to rasputina and others on the thread who alerted me to the Kindle bargain on Around My French Table. I'd taken it out of the library several years ago and was so disappointed that its gigantism made it difficult to use (uncomfortable to read in bed, almost out of the question in the kitchen) and the blown-up-bigger-than-life food photos were unappetizing. Both problems solved automatically with the e-version! Off to update my EYB listings.

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy early summer, June 2015 edition! [Old]

Strained and kept in a tightly covered container in the fridge, bacon drippings are good for at least several months -- up to six months.

Jun 06, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking
1

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy early summer, June 2015 edition! [Old]

Thanks so much, sr44. One of the most illuminating and enjoyable online reads of the last year. Now I admire DM even more.

1960s cookery - Vincent Price

Well, in the sense that I've read some of it, yes. I got it for reading more than cooking-from -- but will have a look at the sites you posted to see if there's anything that makes me want to take it into the kitchen.

Jun 06, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking
1

Help me identify this copper skillet

Almost certainly a Mauviel, most likely 2.5mm. Great find! I have one very similar that I need to sell online this fall (got it on sale, but not at a thrift store price, and found it just a bit too heavy for me). Will last forever; congrats!

Jun 05, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

1960s cookery - Vincent Price

I just bought the Treasury a week ago, so this is a timely pointer. Thanks!

Jun 05, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking
1

Help me build my kitchen

People use plastic cutting boards for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with being afraid of wood -- i.e., inexpensive, light weight, can be put in a dishwasher, sold in grocery stores. Etc. Try not to impute unworthy motives when simpler explanations are at hand.

May 30, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

i am not planning to replace the dishwasher when it dies.

None of this is a matter of virtue or superiority. Every system has its advantages and disadvantages; I was simply highlighting the advantages of washing-up as you go.

Yes, the corresponding disadvantage is that it's work -- the cooking equipment doesn't wash itself. But it's a much smaller amount of work, psychologically and in the space it takes up, to clean them as they get used rather than tackling a whole sink or counter-ful of pans, utensils, and dishes. It also means they're always available, rather than waiting for a dishwasher-load to be run and emptied.

10 favorite cheeses

Appalachian - tomme type http://www.meadowcreekdairy.com/appal...

Belle Etoile - bloomy creamy

Mobay (Carr Valley) - tasty combination with ash layer

Willoughby - washed rind http://www.jasperhillfarm.com/willoug...

Cornish Yarg - spring http://www.nealsyarddairy.co.uk/chees...

Bufalo mozzarella - summer

Comte - fall

Stilton - winter

Parmiggiano Reggiano - pantry essential

Grana Padano - a childhood peak experience (in Italy, age 5)

May 28, 2015
ellabee in Cheese

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy Spring has finally sprung, May 2015 edition! [OLD]

Not fluff, exactly; more like artisanal chocolates... <g>

Have you read other Reichl? I got a lot of pleasure from her first memoir, and this one sounds like a most enjoyable read. But I'd be hoping my library would get to it...

May 27, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking

Bamboo cutting board carfe and questions

A bamboo board is my main cutting board. I apply mineral oil about once every six months, when it starts to look pale and dry. I don't think it's necessary, just keeps it good-looking, and does seem to help inhibit staining.

One of my favorite things about bamboo is that it's easy to keep clean if you give it a bit of attention right after you're done chopping. It's a main work surface for me, not just for cutting. I keep a section of perforated foam shelf liner under it for stability, and reverse sides once a month or so.

I use a plastic cutting board for meat so that I can subject it to more prolonged hot, soapy water than I would want to do with the bamboo, and for speed of prep (not having to stop to do a thorough cleaning of the board before cutting up the next item).

It is harder on blades than wood, particularly end-grain wood, but a good compromise IMO given low cost, relatively light weight, and ease of cleaning.

May 27, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

i am not planning to replace the dishwasher when it dies.

The bowl to wash the leeks, microplane, measuring cups, and box grater all get washed immediately after use and set out of the work area to dry (or get dried for re-use) -- just takes a few seconds for each, and it's just part of the prep. After the crepes are made, the blender jar and ladle go into a dishtub to soak while you assemble the sauce, leeks, and crepes. They get washed while the crepes bake, followed by the pans used to cook the leeks and make the Mornay sauce.

When you sit down to dinner, there's nothing to clean up in the kitchen. This is a major reward of cleaning as you go, even if you use a dishwasher after the meal for the dishes, silverware, glasses, and gratins.

May 27, 2015
ellabee in Cookware
1

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy Spring has finally sprung, May 2015 edition! [OLD]

No, I haven't looked for it. I understand that book 2 has a lot of focus on growing veg & herbs (and then cooking with what you grow), and that's an area where I feel much less in need of assistance.

May 24, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy Spring has finally sprung, May 2015 edition! [OLD]

A Treasury of Great Recipes by Vincent & Mary Price. Published 1969, it's a great window into Fine Dining of the postwar era -- restaurant menus from everywhere, adapted for U.S. kitchens by the Prices.

It's one of a handful of big classic cookbooks still unindexed at Eat Your Books despite being on close to 100 members' shelves. All of them face the same stumbling block: with around a thousand recipes, they take four or five times as long to index as a typical newly published book -- so they keep being pushed back in the queue.

In a class by itself is Escoffier, which has close to 3000 recipes and is on 250+ members' shelves; they acknowledge that they're just going to have to bite that bullet sometime.

But 'Treasury' is in a group with a few other 1000-recipe bibles that only time and Requests to Index will move to the front of the line at EYB:

The Professional Chef [9th ed., 2011] from Culinary Institute of America; The New Doubleday Cookbook [1990] by Jean Anderson; The Southern Living Cookbook [1987], the original collection, drawing on the first 20 years of the magazine; and Leith's Vegetarian Bible [2002], a U.K. staple.

They're currently indexing a 1700-recipe book from 1987, The American Country Inn and Bed & Breakfast Cookbook. I have to assume it had a lot of requests, but still it gives hope for the remaining tomes.

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy Spring has finally sprung, May 2015 edition! [OLD]

Agree completely with this. I'd recommend it strongly for anyone starting out because of its manageable size, yet excellent coverage. I got it when I was re-starting to cook again, after a decade of too much takeout etc. Invaluable.

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy Spring has finally sprung, May 2015 edition! [OLD]

{rubs hands together} Eeeeexxxxcellent...

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy Spring has finally sprung, May 2015 edition! [OLD]

I've lobbied, and they'll get to it eventually. One drawback is its size, 1000 recipes or more; they can do three or four new cookbooks in the time it takes to do one Doubleday or Escoffier or the like.

If you haven't requested it be indexed, please click that button; every one of those requests helps move it up the queue. At this point there are relatively few books on 100 or more members' shelves that aren't indexed. They're not going to do the Betty Crocker and BHG books unless there's a surge of requests, because other editions are indexed. But the Doubleday stands alone, and is enough of a bible to warrant making it a priority.