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Scallions: my favorite "new" ingredient

They rock! What took you so long to discover them? I use them in salads and especially in Asian dishes and soups.

Mar 06, 2013
bigwave in Home Cooking

What are good, modestly priced Blue Cheeses?

I am in San Diego, CA. Looking for cheeses under $10/lb and salty with strong blue cheese flavor. Not mild.

Mar 06, 2013
bigwave in Cheese

Cast Iron seasoning won't turn Black and stay

I've had this same problem and this is after extensive research on the internet and trying every method many times. It is a complete mystery to me too.

Mar 06, 2013
bigwave in Cookware

What are good, modestly priced Blue Cheeses?

TJ's and elsewhere

Mar 06, 2013
bigwave in Cheese

How do I make the rice they serve in Greek restaurants?

No, it's definitely rice.

Aug 11, 2012
bigwave in Home Cooking

How do I make the rice they serve in Greek restaurants?

It has big, loose, separate grains that are not at all sticky.

Aug 11, 2012
bigwave in Home Cooking

What is a good ice cream maker?

One that is under $100 and doesn't use salt.

The Cuisinart ICE-21 seems to be a good one.

Jul 16, 2012
bigwave in Cookware

What is a good value in a fillet knife?

Around a 7 inch blade length

Jul 16, 2012
bigwave in Cookware

Looking for a good, inexpensive balsamic vinegar

Does TJ's have one?

Apr 05, 2012
bigwave in General Topics

seasoning cast iron: contradictory methods, and which is best?

After more than 20 years of research, practice, and cooking I have perfected the below method and it is gospel!

Materials needed for “seasoning” your pan: Crisco or palm oil, clean cotton rag, paper towels (don’t use vegetable oils as they tend to be sticky.) Crisco should not be used for cooking because it is hydrogenated oil but it is the best for seasoning. This is because it is converted into a polymerized oil & carbon layer that seals the pan but does not enter into your food.

1. Preheat the oven to 250F. for 15 minutes (it is imperative to preheat gas ovens to remove all moisture.) Place clean, uncoated item in the oven, set at 250F, and bring the item up to temp for 20 min. The pre-heat before applying Crisco or oil is essential to this process. Using an oven mitt, remove pre-heated item and set on a large baking sheet or newspapers (place hot pads under sheet to protect counter.)

2. Wipe on Crisco or palm oil with a clean rag, inside and out, and then wipe off all the excess with paper towels. Be careful not to leave particles from paper towel. Wipe it down until it looks like you've wiped it all off. Even if it looks dry, it's not. Very little coating is needed. If you TRY to leave a little bit on, then that’s too much. This prevents forming “splotches.” Now it won’t drip off so just put it right on your oven rack.

3. Return it to the oven, still at 250F, right side up on the oven rack, for 10 min. Then, using an oven mitt, take pan out, wipe once more with folded up paper towel to remove excess oil. Return pan to the oven, and raise the temp to 300F. After another 10 min. , take pan out, wipe inside once more with paper towel to remove excess oil. Return to oven, raise temp to 450F, and bake for one hour. Open a window as this produces some fumes.

4. After one hour at 450F just turn off the oven and leave it in, without opening the oven, to let it cool slowly for at least an hour.

5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 above four more times, but only apply Crisco or palm oil on the cooking surface. For the last time bake at 450F for 1 ½ hours (90 minutes) to set the finish. Let cool as in #4 above. Your cookware should be nearly black and not sticky. Your pan won't be sticky if the carbonization is complete.

The pan will gradually turn jet black and glossy after using it to cook foods. Be gentle with utensils until it develops a hard, slick black coating. Use a stainless steel spatula (not chrome-plated steel) with a perfectly flat, smooth edge and rounded corners so as not to scratch the nice black layer you have made. A well-used one is ideal as it has its edges smoothed and rounded from use. Clean with hot water only - no soap or detergent. Avoid cooking bacon, ham, or anything with sugar until it develops a hard, slick black coating. The sugar in bacon and ham tends to stick to the pan until it has been used for awhile cooking other foods.

Right before using it wipe a little Crisco or spray a light coat of Pam on the cooking surface. Wipe off with a paper towel. This cleans and prepares the surface. Now add whatever fat or oil you are going to use for cooking. NEVER start heating a cast iron pan on high! This can cause a hot spot and permanently warp the pan. Pre-heat with medium-low heat for a couple minutes. Or place the pan in your oven and set it at 350 degrees and let it preheat for 7 minutes. This is the best method for larger skillets (#10 and larger) and Dutch ovens. Then you can put it on the range burner and turn it up to medium-high (if you are searing meat.)

Oct 20, 2010
bigwave in Cookware