b

borntocook1's Profile

Title Last Reply

Secrets of the Perfect Salsa

So... anticlimax? After the buildup, where's the actual recipe? Or are we going to have to reverse engineer this salsa ourselves all over again?

I also have a story to share. We wanted to reverse engineer the filling for the lettuce wraps at PF Changs. (And no, they don't share their recipes either). So, what did we do? (1) downloaded a bunch of "PF Chang's style lettuce wrap" recipes from the web to get the basics of what others were putting in. (2) brought home a take-out order of the stuff and started tinkering in the kitchen to match it. (e.g. needs more dried mushroom, more water chestnut, no bamboo shoots etc.) And voila, after a few tries we had a version that was even better than PF Changs. And yes, I do share all my recipes, so request it if you want it.

Nov 02, 2010
borntocook1 in Features

The worst thing, bar none, that you ever did or that ever happened to you in a kitchen"

Here's the promised drawing.

Oct 26, 2010
borntocook1 in Not About Food

The worst thing, bar none, that you ever did or that ever happened to you in a kitchen"

Here's a truly unusual "kitchen" disaster and a great story. It happened back in the 1980's, when somehow I got the bright idea to hard-boil 6 eggs in the microwave oven at our office, by placing them, with water to cover, in a Corningware pot with a glass lid, and setting the oven on "high" to cook for 6 minutes. I had completely forgotten that microwave ovens are not egg-friendly, and the only way to safely do an egg in them is out of the shell, and by first pricking the white and yolk with a fork so the egg does not explode. The microwave was located in a storeroom that served as a makeshift kitchen as well.
About 3 minutes into the cycle, everyone in the office heard a loud "bang" as if someone had just dropped a large box of books onto the floor. We ran in and discovered rotten-smelling egg shards and water dripping all over the counter and floor. The 6 eggs had acted like depth charges and when the fat inside the yolks got hot enough they all blew up. The force blew the lid off the pot and made a hole in the plastic ceiling of the microwave. Also blew out the circuit.
We cleaned it all up, called the repair service and the oven was still under warranty. When the serviceman arrived, I said innocently, "It just stopped working," hoping he wouldn't notice the obvious hole. He never said a word. It was just a blown circuit breaker.
Afterwards we had an office contest for the best "egg bomb" poem. The winner (me as it turned out) was awarded an egg salad sandwich from the sandwich shop downstairs. I think it was the line, "try eggs St. Helens, micro-popped" that won it. I've posted my husband's entry which I thought was the funniest of all. It's a parody of the "cooking eggs in the microwave" instructions that came with the oven. In case you can't read the text with the drawing it reads, "PREPARING HARD-COOKED MICROWAVE". Cooking eggs in their shell is a microwave egg NO. Because you are unable to pierce the shell or the egg membrane, there is no place for the steam to escape. The result would be a messy oven, bursting inside the egg."

Oct 26, 2010
borntocook1 in Not About Food

The worst thing, bar none, that you ever did or that ever happened to you in a kitchen"

I had a similar experience once -- making some fancy gourmet flageolet beans for a pot-luck party with friends (at our home). When the beans (which were delicious and almost perfect), needed some more broth, I added a jar from the freezer of what I thought was chicken broth but turned out to be fish broth my husband had made for a future fish stew (he almost never did anything like that). It nearly blew my mind when I tasted the beans again and they were distinctly fishy. No time to buy more and start over. What to do. I tried pouring off all the liquid and rinsing them in several changes of water, then adding new chicken broth and tomato juice. The result was barely edible, but I was stuck, and none of the guests complained about it. There was a ton of it left, so I sent them home with plastic containers (should have just thrown it out, of course). They never mentioned it later either, so I guess I pulled it off somehow. Also, we did save the fish broth I'd poured off from the beans at the beginning, and later made an absolutely delciious bouillabaise with this -- the bean liquid didn't hurt a bit. So I guess the catastrophe did have a silver lining.

Oct 25, 2010
borntocook1 in Not About Food