e

ellabee's Profile

Title Last Reply

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

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.

2 days ago
ellabee in Home Cooking

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

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!

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!

{rubs hands together} Eeeeexxxxcellent...

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

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.

Favorite cookbooks for parents and kids

Best luck, then. What book(s) did you use with your daughter?

What, in fact, is the point of using a book, if a child is still too young to read?

May 17, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking

Favorite cookbooks for parents and kids

Cooking with children is one thing, cooking with very young children is something else again -- in particular, it's not really "cooking" because of the severe limitations wrt attention span, motor skills, understanding of cause and effect...

It might be a worthwhile activity of some sort, but it won't be cooking. Similarly, I can't imagine a cookbook that would be enjoyed by 3- to 5-year-olds *and* their parents. It is conceivable that there's something of the kind aimed and parents and their elementary-school-aged children.

May 17, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking

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

Our dishwasher is 30 years old, and just died a few months ago. Probably someone who knows what they're doing could bring it back to life, but this household of two is not going to seek out that someone, or buy a new one (that would probably last 20% as long as this U.S.-made "hurricane in a box").

I've always been a wash-as-you-go person with pans and utensils, and now have trained myself to do likewise with dishes. When the dishwasher was functioning, we were also good about scraping and rinsing dishes waiting for the wash; that's just as critical for fast and pleasant hand washing if they do stack up.

When that happens, it usually takes less time that you'd think to work through the stack. I just put on some good music and go to it with a plastic tub, rubber gloves, and hot, hot soapy water. And a sizable towel-covered area for drying; when you're in rubber gloves you need to keep going until everything's washed and rinsed, and only then do the finishing-off with a drying towel.

[Edited to add:] We may have had the same Kitchenaid model as Gio, and it may have been as old; my parents got this one during a period I lived far away. It was the very opposite of today's water- and energy-efficient models. As a result, I doubt very much we're using more water (we're on a well, so no meter to prove it). I know we're using less electricity and gas (yes, gas; it was a rare beast of a machine, using the natural gas hookup to heat up the water).

May 17, 2015
ellabee in Cookware
1

Alton Brown's Knife-Buying Tips

"Do not use a honing steel. You'll put your eye out!" is ridiculous advice.

A) Honing is *the* way to keep knives sharp between sharpenings.

B) Honing, done correctly, happens nowhere near the face.

'Don't use a honing steel like show-off "chefs" on TV', maybe, but advising against honing takes a valuable, even crucial skill out of the home cook's hands. Booo, Alton Brown, boooooo!

May 12, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

Should I downsize my bakeware? Things I should add?

Important tip, Duffy, thanks. Especially crucial because the newer, stoneware French White "Corning Ware" is made in many of the same shapes and sizes as the great old stuff.

May 12, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

Should I downsize my bakeware? Things I should add?

Are you talking about enameled cast iron? Or enameled steel?

ECI cooks beautifully for that purpose, but its weight can be an issue for cleaning and storage, given that it's an inherently large pan. Also pretty pricy if acquired new, these days. Enameled steel is lighter, but also seems prone to hot spots, which will translate into tougher cleaning even if it doesn't affect what's been cooked.

A sale gave me the excuse I needed to replace a chipped 9 x 13 Pyrex baker with an Emile Henry stoneware version, which is a good inch deeper. That extra depth makes a real difference with lasagna and other layered casseroles. My second favorite thing about the EH is the very, very slick glaze, which makes cleanup very simple: soak (once it's cooled a bit), drain, wipe with a paper towel, and then just simple washing -- there's never anything left that needs intense scrubbing.

May 12, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

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

Hmm. Before reading the online version carefully, I noted it to Eat Your Books as a linkable version of the cookies in Flourless -- but now see that it's an adaptation, a shortbread incorporating hazelnuts instead of almonds. And that it calls for the use of a food processor (which I could probably work around) *and* a mixer, to cream the butter and ground-oat flour. Back to the find-this-in-a-bookstore plan.

May 10, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking

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

A million thanks, Caitlin! Now off to town tomorrow for lavender buds. (My garden won't supply any until a month from now.)

May 10, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking

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

Thanks, sedimental. Now I will hie myself to a bookstore, as this sounds like something I might actually make.

May 09, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking

Vintage All Clad query

Useful, great pan -- and a wonderful find for $5! All-Clad produced and sold the stainless-lined aluminum for a year or maybe more before they gave it the MasterChef name (when they started stamping the base). So I'd say the odds are good you have a very early piece.

May 07, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

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

Just went to the Eat Your Books listing in hopes of it being a recipe with an online version, but nope. The ingredients alone make me salivate. Does it require a mixer?

May 07, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking

Should I downsize my bakeware? Things I should add?

If you do decide not to bake with Pyrex, they're still hugely useful for prep, as others have pointed out.

If you're a minimalist, you could replace them with Corning ware, the older pyroceram kind [not the new stoneware]. Those really can go from freezer to oven (especially handy for pie and quiche pans), and can be set in the sink to soak while still hot (handy for baking/roasting pans). Cleanup's easy if the interior is still slick. They're plentiful and cheap on the used market in Canada and the U.S.

You doubtless have a long list of move-related things to do, so don't feel you have to make madeleines before you go. But promise yourself you'll make some in your new kitchen by the end of the year!

Apr 30, 2015
ellabee in Cookware
1

Le Creuset color samples

Is there no collectors' group -- on the auction/sales sites, on Facebook or other social media?

Apr 30, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

Chiles Rellenos - Meh?

Yes! It takes about 20 minutes at 350F.

My chiles usually split lengthwise while I'm peeling them, so the baking method allows me to just roll the cheese up in a half-chile and lay them in the gratin like stuffed cabbages. That part can be done well ahead, and refrigerated. So at the end, while oven preheats and baking dish comes to room temperature, make up the batter and pour over the dish.

Craving some right now, and just realized that I have poblanos in the house! Will be making some this evening.

Apr 25, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking

Chiles Rellenos - Meh?

I usually use poblanos; if they seem mild, I use pepper Jack cheese. Or even if they don't...

After making these fried once or twice, I started baking them and haven't looked back. (Same batter, poured over the filled peppers in an oiled gratin pan.) Sauce is a tomato puree cooked with a bit of cumin and cinnamon.

Apr 24, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking

Pressure cooker and mixing bowls

It's not worth it to purchase different sized pressure cookers, at least sizes as close as 6 qts and 8 qts. I'd be able to make a case for getting a 10-qt (the Fagor Chef in that size can be used for canning -- four wide-mouth pints works well) and a 6-qt. Smaller than 6 qt is only useful for small households (like mine; I use the 4qt part of a 4/6qt set often, for brown rice and other grains).

Apr 20, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

Any tips for cooking with induction?

Do you already have an induction cooktop? Is it a full cooktop or one of the portable units?

If you're just considering a full cooktop and want to get familiar with how your existing pots and cooking techniques work on induction, it might be worth it to get one of the under-$100 portable units to experiment.

If you are thinking just of getting a portable unit, not a full cooktop, I think the Vollrath Mirage Pro is the best value for the money ($400-$500; full cooktops are at least $800+ and most are closer to $1500 and up). The advantage over the cheap single units, which is worth the difference in price, is much bigger range of power and temperature settings, with finer gradations between them (so that you can achieve a true, stable simmer, or temper chocolate, e.g.).

A portable unit can supplement your existing cooktop, which means you won't have to get rid of any cookware.

Apr 20, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

Handles and Rivets for Copper Cookware

:: Mauviel 2.5 with stainless handles that I didn't know existed. ::

Nor did I! It's possible that it's really 2mm, not 2.5.

Apr 17, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

Handles and Rivets for Copper Cookware

No, just interested. They actually do seem still to have a 5-piece and an 8-piece set in the 2mm, with 3 rivets, but they don't appear to be marked with the W-S/France circle. Hard to tell, though; they're all a stock image with only one angle. The mark is almost always near the left side of the handle attachment.

Apr 16, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

Handles and Rivets for Copper Cookware

Just checked the Williams-Sonoma site. As I expected would happen pretty soon, the W-S branded Mauviel 2mm copper-stainless is now gone; there were still pieces of it and even a basic set before the holidays. Now they're just selling the straight current Mauviel production: mostly 1.5mm with brass handles, and some 2.5mm with iron handles.

There are a few pieces still of the 2mm with brass handles (and, yes, W-S and Mauviel still calling the handles "bronze") -- a 3-qt Windsor and a 6.5qt Dutch oven/soup pot. They're 'Exclusive', but appear not to be marked with the W-S name as previously.

Apr 16, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

Cookware you're obsessed with...

kaleokahu :: You can amortize the cost difference over your life with the pan ... And you get to cook in (and look at) something beautiful every day ::

Yes, that's the beauty of cookware -- frequent use over a long period makes even pricey pieces a better value than many other things you might spend money on.

I've had serial cookware obsessions, but blessedly they seemed to fade once I got pieces that filled the need (which, I admit, is not only pure function but also that daily-enjoying-the-beauty thing).

The items here that still give me a little thrill every time I use or look at them are a slick black Wagner cast iron skillet from my grandparents' house, a set of ribbed depression glass mixing bowls by Hazel-Atlas (mid-1930s), and a copper skillet with a long, comfortable stainless handle (Mauviel Cuprinox Style).

Apr 15, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

Steaming--can you flavor things?

Couscous made in the traditional way is steamed over a stew. The fundamental idea is to take advantage of the cooking steam, but I'd assume that the flavors in the stew would influence the couscous as well.

Apr 12, 2015
ellabee in Home Cooking

Replacing electric appliances with non-electric cookware

Spice grinder ---> mortar and pestle.
Immersion blender/blender ---> food mill.
Coffee maker ---> French press or pour-over filter setup.
Can opener ----> manual Swing-away or the like.
Toaster ---> oven or broiler
Microwave ---> stovetop, oven
Food processor ---> For pastry, a D-shaped pastry blender. For cutting up/shredding veg, finely chopping nuts, etc.: sharp knives.
Hand mixer ---> whisk.

Apr 09, 2015
ellabee in Cookware
1

Handles and Rivets for Copper Cookware

Maybe there are Mauviel pans made with bronze handles. I haven't seen any. The line that they make/made for Williams-Sonoma, 2mm copper lined with stainless, with pouring lips on all the pieces, has brass handles. Those handles get hot significantly more quickly than cast iron or cast stainless handles. While I was trying to settle on a frying pan, ebay bargains allowed me to make a true apples-to-apples comparison: the brass-handled Mauviel/W-S 9.5" skillet and a stainless-handled version of the same pan, from Mauviels's Cuprinox Style line.

[Typical pieces seem from the Mauviel/W-S line, 2mm copper/stainless lined are: a 9.5" skillet, a 9.5" saute pan (~3.5 qt), a 9.5" soup/stock pot/Dutch oven (~5-6 qt), a 9.5" saucier (~3 qt) and some saucepans. Most of these were part of sets as well as sold open stock. There was also a larger saute, 28cm, with a helper handle (also brass).]

Mar 28, 2015
ellabee in Cookware

Handles and Rivets for Copper Cookware

No idea about the grey/silver rivets on tin-lined copper pieces, but re handles: My strong impression is that the metal of the handles on many copper pieces is not bronze but brass. Bronze has a distinctive brownish appearance, where brass is gold-colored and shiny.

Mar 27, 2015
ellabee in Cookware
1