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jackzchow's Profile

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Eating expired foods

Yeah, it is a PIA that some use codes and not a date. Most canned goods I do buy have an expiration date and I usually adhere to that date. The coded ones are silly. I think today most use expiration dates and not codes.

Apr 18, 2011
jackzchow in General Topics

Eating expired foods

If you email the manufacturer they will tell you. I don't know why they don't just put a date on ?

Apr 17, 2011
jackzchow in General Topics

Eating expired foods

There's a "Sell By", "Use By" and "Expiration Date" and there is usually alot of wiggle room and these dates are usually more of a guide for freshness or manufacturer release from liability.

For most things I find a see and smell test is the best and this does include dairy. right now I have a quart of heavy cream with a 4/5 Sell By and it is just fine. With dairy the temp is a big deal--the cooler the better.

Dry pastas last quite long too and I regret the years I'd throw a box out once the date was reached. I've found the dry Barilla Tortellini's are still fine a year after the exp date.

With most things I think a "see and smell" test works fine.

Cans? For some reason I just don't trust cans past their exp date and once a couple weeks past due--I trash it.

I tend eat ice cream quickly so it doesn't spoil.

Apr 16, 2011
jackzchow in General Topics

Frying in Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

I have sauteed and seared with EVOO's for years without any problems. That said, just because a bottle says it's EVOO does not mean it really is. In fact most EVOO's flunk when properly tested for EVOO characteristics from IOC and USDA. and even more flunk when tested by the newer German/Australian tests. In short--Not all EVOO's are equal. Some are really just Virgin and some less so. Some use chemicals (hexane) and/or heat to extract the last drop and some let the olives sit too long before pressed.

No problems cooking with a good EVOO as long as you know what you are doing. Most good ones will have smoke point of 400F and above. Years ago I was taught that one should NEVER use EVOO for higher temp cooking and luckily I figured out rather quickly--they were wrong. Also I buy EVOO at a great price so no economic worries.

Mar 10, 2011
jackzchow in Home Cooking

How much Cream Cheese Icing do I need ?

Thanks for all the good ideas! Talked to a friend who is the dessert chef at a four star restaurant and she suggested (since I'm a dessert newbie) to go with cream cheese and butter, but use only half the butter and add conf sugar to taste while beating. That worked out really well and on Christmas Day the dense carrot cake disappeared and everyone loved it.

Used 8 0z cream cheese and 4 oz of butter and 1 1/4 cup of the sugar. Cake was 8" round and 2 1/2" high and that was enough for a liberal application of iciing with a little left over.

Next time I'll try the whipped cream or sour cream version. Thanks again.

Dec 25, 2010
jackzchow in Home Cooking

How much Cream Cheese Icing do I need ?

Thanks all. Most of the reciples I had found had a ratio of 1:1 for butter and cream cheese which seemed too buttery to me. The whipped cream method and sour cream method both are something I'll try. Found this thread with more info:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7472...

Dec 22, 2010
jackzchow in Home Cooking

How much Cream Cheese Icing do I need ?

With cakes and frostings I am a novice. I'm making a carrot cake in an 8x8 round, maybe 2-3 inches high.

This is my first cream cheese icing sssoooo....

How much cream cheese icing will I need to make?

Recipe ratios:

4 oz of cream cheese and 4 oz of butter seems like too little ( 8 oz total) and

8 oz of cream cheese and 8 oz of butter seems like way too much (16 oz total).

I'm thinking 6 oz of each may be just right.

Can I use less butter or will that be a problem.

Thanks in advance, JK

Dec 22, 2010
jackzchow in Home Cooking

Experiences w/ Swanson's Stock (boxed)

Well, I tried the Swanson's Chicken STOCK and really found it to be more like a broth. In fact I found little difference between Swanson's broth or stock. Definitely not like any stock (restaurant) I've ever tasted..very weak, thin, and bland. I am better off making my own chicken stock.

Dec 21, 2010
jackzchow in Home Cooking

Demi-glaces --- is anyone familiar with these brands?

I've found the More Than Gourmet French Brown Sauce and Demi-Glace to work fine. I just don't have the time anymore to make my own usually.

Dec 21, 2010
jackzchow in General Topics

Is it worth it to make your own demi glace?

I've been using the More Than Gourmet Veal Glace and French Brown Sauces for awhile and find them to be very good. The best prices are at Amazon and I only buy the 16 oz tubs. Much eaiser than spending at least 24 hours making your own.

Does Saffron taste like plastic to anyone else?

There are many fake saffrons out there and stay away fron the powders because it is too easy to dilute the saffron. I usually buy Spanish Mancha threads and for most recipes only a few threads are needed so 1 gram of real saffron can last a long time. Remember to soak it in warm liquid for 15-30 minutes before adding to a recipe.

Taste can be subjective and depends on the ingredients in the recipe because they will interact with the saffron. To me saffron has an earthy/honey/bitter taste with a metallic hint. Trick is not to use too much.

Nov 04, 2010
jackzchow in General Topics

Rao's maranara sauce @ $10 - What gives?

I usually always make my sauces from scratch and make extra and keep some in the freezer. It takes a bit of time to make. Sometimes I run out and just want a little and I wish I had a jar that was fast and easy. I tried the Rao's and it was the best jar sauce out of all the ones I tried but--I do have a problem with the price at $10 per jar and I don't find the Rao's to be 5 times better, but two times better. I tried all the sauces my store carries and excluding Rao's and I found Barilla to be the best, for me. I noted what it had missing IMHO. I found that if I jazz-up the Barilla I can get a really good jar sauce on par with Rao's. Use whatever you want.
1. In a saute pan I saute a little onion and garlic in EVO.
2. After a few minutes I add a little red wine and stir in half a sm can of tomato paste.
3. I add in cut chunks of 4-5 tomatoes stir them in and raise heat or 5 minutes and let it cook then adding the Barilla and simmer for 10 adding herbs etc and whatever else I want. Use your own variations but you get a quick good jar sauce on the Rao's level for much less.
I'm a coupon nut so I use coupons and get the Barilla for 99cents and my added ingredients cost less than a buck--so for $1.99 I have a nice little sauce. Not as good as my scratch sauce but competes with Rao's for one fifth the price if I'm in a rush.

Oct 07, 2010
jackzchow in General Topics

Freezing Pillsbury Grands: Experiences?

I have read very differing opinions on freezing Pillsbury Grands...the ones in the refridgerated cans. I've never done it myself but this week I have a sale/coupons deal that gives me the Grands for 33 cents a can and thought I would stock up. Freezing? Some people say no problem, some say take them out of the can and freeze in a ziploc, some say you can't freeze them because they don't rise. Pillsbury does not recommend freezing b/c of the yeast, but suggests I buy their Frozen Grands.

And some say to bake them and then freeze them and thaw and heat as needed. I'd prefer to just stick the cans in the freezer. Any chowhound experiences?

Oct 06, 2010
jackzchow in Home Cooking

Grilled Cheese buffet

I don't pay any attention to Oprah or Martha ever but...a couple years ago I went to a local high end restaurant and was amazed to see a grilled cheese appy. I asked my waiter about it and sounded good and I had to try it. I received an assortment of mini-grilled-cheese-sandwiches with different condiments, herbs etc on the plate for each one. These were small maybe 2" x 2" each made with various quality sheep, goat and cow cheeses and it was great. Yummy. A whole new level of grilled cheese. The cheeses were all high quality, like Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Jasper Hill Blue, Gordonzola etc. So good I had to order another for my friends to share or they would have gobbled up my app. Of course I stole this idea for use at home frequently.

Oct 05, 2010
jackzchow in Home Cooking

Experiences w/ Swanson's Stock (boxed)

Any experiences with Swanson's Beef or Chicken Stocks? I usually make my own stock but sometimes I am in a pich and need something quick. I've seen these in my store but haven't tried them. Good results?

Oct 05, 2010
jackzchow in Home Cooking