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Is pasta making just time and practice?

what do you mean "holes in it"? Actual holes or is the pasta sheet tearing or is it more or less "crumbling" when it is going through the rollers?

If it is the "crumbling" holes it could be one of two things - 1) the pasta dough was too dry or 2) your dough got too sticky (not enough flour on the outside when rolling) and the rollers are causing it to tear because it is essentially sticking to the rollers.

If the dough was too dry - that is harder to fix. It is hard to add just a little bit of flour to already made pasta dough. Lesson - it is always better to have your dough a little too wet because it is much easier to add a little more flour.

If it crumbled when rolling, you just need to dust a little more flour over your pasta sheet. But to fix the crumble, my recommendation is to fold the sheet in 1/2 THEN dust with flour and re-roll (you may have to back up a number depending on thickness). If you dust and then fold in 1/2 you run the risk of preventing the two sides from sticking back together and then when you get to the next number down, the flour pocket you created can cause it to tear again.

Hope those help if that was your issue. Home made pasta is the best, so keep on rolling!

1 day ago
thimes in Home Cooking
1

"Old school" people who fry in cast iron . . . .

Exactly but since I was cooking for one this time it looked more like this. … ever measured your temps?

Ps I'm now a fan of foil to help with cleanup.

Sep 20, 2014
thimes in Home Cooking

substitute for fleur de sel?

interesting solution. I "liked" a poster's response above because I do think Fleur de sel has a specific crystal structure that allows it to dissolve quickly on the tongue (as opposed to more solid crystals like those in Koser salt).

I'll have to try this to see if it creates that same "quick dissolving" structure.

Sep 20, 2014
thimes in General Topics

"Old school" people who fry in cast iron . . . .

So tonight I had a craving for fried chicken, which I haven't done at home for years, since there is a food truck (the kids these days with their trucks) a few blocks away with great fried chicken. But the food truck was closed with no reason given. So, having fried for years, I decided to make my own fried chicken (which turned out great, for those interested - and I made enough for a small army since I couldn't imagine just frying 2 pieces of chicken).

My question though is this . . . For those that have learned to "fry" in cast iron, have you ever actually measured the oil temp during frying?

I haven't before. I learned to fry chicken in cast iron from people who fried before thermometers were ubiquitous kitchen items. I know the oil is hot enough based on the bubbles that come up from the back of a wooden spoon . . . and then I know it is hot enough during frying based on the bubbles coming off the chicken.

This time (no reason why), I decided to put my thermometer in the oil while I was cooking. The chicken went in at about 360 - but it spent the next ~12 minutes slowly coming up from about 230.

When I read about frying, the "books" say to keep the temp at about 350 . . . is that "real" for you? Does your grease (or oil - but I learned to fry in Crisco) stay around 350 during frying? Really? or are you guessing?

Just curious about the "reality" versus "the theory" from people that are old school fry people . . . . .

**Ironically, the Splendid Table had a short piece on fried chicken tonight - that argued "gas station fried chicken in Virginia" used "fresh" peanut oil to fry their chicken . . . while I'm a fan of peanut oil for frying . . . I doubt the chicken is cooked in it . . . and I doubt it was "fresh" . . .just my life experience. . .

Sep 20, 2014
thimes in Home Cooking

Every Once In A While, Someone Invents Something Truly Amazing

Well isn't this cleaver. I couldn't find the direct video link.

Sep 19, 2014
thimes in General Topics

Issue roasting chicken thighs on foil lined baking sheet?

Like others said, just not long enough most likely. I cook until about 170 as well but with resting time you should have gotten to that temp anyway.

The timing and temp also depends on what type of thighs you were cooking. . . .

So yes, 20 minutes seems short for bone-in, skin on thighs - but if you were cooking boneless skinless thighs (which are getting more and more common in my grocery stores), the recommendation for 45 minutes will be too long . . . .

Sep 18, 2014
thimes in Home Cooking

4 lunches in Madrid in mid-Sept; interesting food, 100-120 E a couple (w. wine)

Well, from reading your blog, it sounds like it wasn't a rousing experience overall. I'll have to keep doing some research before I go.

I have to wonder how CH "promotes" the international boards to get posters. You're right, France has a lot of contributors that have a lot of knowledge. If the Spain board has the same it is hard to see that.

But if you talk to a Spaniard, they certainly have passion about their food . . . so I don't know where the disconnect comes from - or why the Spain board doesn't have the same local interest as the France board.

I don't follow enough of the other international boards to know how they compare either . . .

Thanks for posting back.

Sep 17, 2014
thimes in Spain/Portugal

Easy hard boiled egg peeling tecnique.

I'm always surprised that people feel they have a tried and true method. I've tried all these methods and I'm at a 50%/50% chance of having them peel easily or being a total pain . . . . regardless of method and egg freshness.

Sep 17, 2014
thimes in Home Cooking

4 lunches in Madrid in mid-Sept; interesting food, 100-120 E a couple (w. wine)

John - heading to Madrid in late October, so please post back on where you ended up. This board isn't as robust on restaurant options as the Paris board is, was hoping I'd find more but maybe it's nice that it isn't - can't decide right now.

Sep 15, 2014
thimes in Spain/Portugal

Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

Didn't mean to derail the thread and bring up an overdone thread.

In the spirit of this thread …

If there is no secret menu, then it isn't authentic because the authentic stuff in the US lives on that secret menu.

Sep 15, 2014
thimes in General Topics

Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

Yeah, I've seen that thread. I may normally get bent out of shape over it - but this place is virtually on campus and most of those dishes would scare the hell out of most of the Ohio students (maybe they would like them but they would never order them), so in this instance I cut them some slack.

I know she has most of those dishes on the menu to give the foreign students a little taste of home while they are here.

Sep 15, 2014
thimes in General Topics

Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

For 99% of us this is easy . . . .

Before you go into the restaurant, look to the left, look to the right . . . are you in the USA? . . . then it isn't authentic.

I don't mean that sarcastically (okay a little) but finding the types of dishes that you'd actually get in China is very difficult in most of the US and for some reason people running Chinese restaurants don't feel compelled to recreate those dishes here.

The only restaurant in my town (Columbus, OH right now) that comes close is adjacent to the University, where we have a lot of foreign students, and they have 3-4 pages in the back of the menu that are all in mandarin - are dishes that aren't on the rest of the menu - and when you ask about them (unless you are VERY regular) she says "those aren't for you". LOL

Sep 15, 2014
thimes in General Topics

Fennel fronds

you could make a fennel pesto, that would use up a lot more than you may normally use, which you could then freeze in small portions.

Toss with pasta/rice etc to serve as a side with fish/grilled meat/etc. Add to soups.

Sep 15, 2014
thimes in Home Cooking
1

What happens if you freeze raw kale?

I've never frozen it for a long period of time. But I do freeze it regularly when I'm going to put it in soup.

If you freeze the leaves - take them right out of the freezer - and crush them immediately you get great little shards of kale for soup/beans/etc. It's a great trick and it doesn't get slimy . . . . learned that from an Italian chef.

Sep 14, 2014
thimes in Home Cooking
1

Keeping ravioli fresh before dinner

I was going to suggest the freezing route as well - it is my go to method when doing something like this for a crowd.

While I typically make my own dough, I have had success with wonton wrappers in a pinch. The key is finding wonton wrappers made with egg, which seems to be more difficult now than it used to be. They other type becomes way too gummy and begins to dissolve. When I find them the two are labeled (at least in English) the same way, so be sure to check the ingredient list.

Sep 06, 2014
thimes in Home Cooking

Can this be made a day ahead and baked the day of the dinner?

Yes, this should be able to be done ahead and baked the day of the dinner.

I would undercook the pasta, as instructed, mix with the cheese sauce - but instead of continuing to cook until pasta is done (step 2 of "assemble") - I would mix the pasta with the cheese sauce and refrigerate.

Then the day of the dinner, heat in the oven until hot and bubbly. I would caution against overheating too much as you do run the risk of your cheese sauce breaking, so I might heat in a slightly less hot oven since you will be starting from a cool mixture instead of essentially just browning the top of a hot mixture in the instructions given. . . .

Sep 06, 2014
thimes in Home Cooking
1

Polyscience Immersion Circulator

Fair enough - I can't see any of those situations being relevant for me but if they are for you that's great.

For me, the advantage of sous vide is that it has a pretty generous window for holding once something comes to temp - so I can't ever see being so delayed that I would need to turn down the bath.

I guess the ice bath to cooking bath could be interesting (though again not for me). I've never really done sous vide from a cold bath, always once the water comes to temp. I can't imagine that will make too huge a difference but if you try it, please post somewhere on how it works for you.

I can see a perk if it was able to send an alert if the machine malfunctions during long cookings (though chances are I wouldn't be able to just leave work to go home to "save" dinner).

One thing to be aware of with many wifi devices and notifications with respect to power outages. That alert is often triggered by the equipment, not the server. So for me in my house, when the power goes out so does my wifi - thus no notification.

If they get funding and you use it with wifi - let us know when it was useful - always looking for new ways to use my sous vide.

Aug 26, 2014
thimes in Cookware

Polyscience Immersion Circulator

Why would I need my sous vide circulator wifi enabled?

Aug 26, 2014
thimes in Cookware

Anyone still using chipped beef?

Thanks for sharing her recipe.

Aug 25, 2014
thimes in Home Cooking

Polyscience Immersion Circulator

I have their Chef series circulator - I bought it years ago before they had other, less expensive, versions. It is definitely "more machine" than I need - but it works great, though it is louder than I would like (I'm not sure how loud the newer models are or how other brands are). In a professional kitchen you'd never notice but if I'm doing something for a long time (48 hours/etc) I can hear it upstairs overnight.

Aug 25, 2014
thimes in Cookware
1

Tick bites that lead to red meat allergy

When humans are exposed to alph-gal through ingesting meat (which anyone who has eaten meat in their life has), we don't have a immune response to it.

However when the tic injects alpha-gal into our blood stream, our bodies react differently and mount an immune reaction.

Once that happens, the next time you eat meat, the body, which used to be fine with alpha-gal, now reacts differently causing this severe immune reaction.

calling those bakers!

Ah yes, of course. Sorry I misread (and mistyped) in my reply. Thanks

Aug 14, 2014
thimes in Home Cooking

calling those bakers!

Yes you can do this (see caveat below). The baking soda will have two actions - one when combined with the liquid, and one when heated. So you will still get a rise.

My recommendation would be to agitate the batter as little as possible after it is mixed. So rather than remixing and/or pouring out the batter into the muffin pans, I would use an ice cream scoop and scoop out the batter to try to keep as many of the "first action" bubbles in the batter.

My only other concern with your recipe, is that I have not done this with a recipe that has so many "add-ins". If your raisins, apples, pineapple, carrots, nuts all settle out to the bottom of your batter - you may not have a choice but to re-mix to redistribute all those . . . . . that is something to consider with this specific recipe. If you do need to re-mix then you will be loosing a lot of the initial CO2 created by the baking soda, which could cause a problem. ... .... .it's a gamble given that, for this recipe.

Aug 14, 2014
thimes in Home Cooking

Witches Finger grapes

I would describe them in a very similar way as you did. Glad I tried them but nothing special other than their shape. They also are fairly small and the long shape makes for a higher skin to flesh ratio which was okay, just another observation.

Aug 13, 2014
thimes in General Topics

Tick bites that lead to red meat allergy

I just read an article about this too. It's crazy.

Aug 12, 2014
thimes in Food Media & News

Witches Finger grapes

So I like to think I've been around a little at my age, done some traveling, seen some things . . . . . but yesterday I was in a remote grocery store in Idaho and came across something I had never seen before -

witches finger grapes

Has anyone else seen these? How long have they been around? Has anyone tried them?

I regret not buying them, so I'm going back today to see if they still have them. I'm so curious, I'll report back if I can get them.

(Image just a grab from the internet)

Aug 12, 2014
thimes in General Topics

Cookbook recommendations as gift for amateur home chef?

I was going to suggest her first book - Barefoot Contessa. The recipes are very easy and straight forward, they taste great, and don't use any really unusual ingredients.

I get it for most "new cooks". I also think the photography makes the recipes approachable and unlike the "big" cookbooks, there aren't so many recipes that the book becomes overwhelming for a beginner.

The added bonus, you'd enjoy eating any of the recipes should she choose to cook for you.

Dessert Italian Style

I do love Italy and Italian food, but I have to say they are not really "know" for their desserts. While many of them taste great (peaches in wine is one of my favorites mentioned above), they are usually very simple. I don't think that is a negative in "real life" but if you're looking to Wow in a competition they don't typically have that wow factor. They more often rely on a great ingredient, often seasonal, which like I said is great but a competition dessert needs more than that. (Of course all IMHO).

Do you want to stay traditional Italian or "Italian inspired" as mentioned in your OP?

(I imagine I'm going to get pummeled for this one but I stand by it …)

Aug 02, 2014
thimes in Home Cooking

Got a whole carton of double yolk eggs from Costco

I certainly don't know what causes it - but your experience is the same as mine. I can go years and years without every seeing a double yolk and then all of a sudden I'll get one carton that seems to have 1/2 of the eggs with double yolks - never just one egg, always multiple eggs. Very strange indeed.

I have heard that young chickens are more prone to laying eggs with multiple yolks like mentioned above, still strange that so many end up in a single carton.

Aug 01, 2014
thimes in General Topics

Overlapping text

I think they were commenting that they could now read your time stamp because nothing was overlapping it.

Aug 01, 2014
thimes in Site Talk
1