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bitchincook's Profile

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Easter Dinner Ideas

I understand your concern about the soup being too filling. I solved that problem by serving my favorite, but filling, shrimp bisque in demitasse cups for Christmas.

Apr 12, 2014
bitchincook in Home Cooking

mayo help

It sounds like you are not using any acid. You absolutely need lemon juice or vinegar to make it work.

Apr 12, 2014
bitchincook in Home Cooking

Packaged Mixes, Sauces, Spices & Boxed Items You Use

Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice, original recipe. It rocks.

Apr 12, 2014
bitchincook in General Topics

Quiche pie crust question

I use Julia Child's technique from her first book, and it always works well for me. I blind bake the crust first, covered with non-stick aluminum foil (she suggests buttered foil) filled with dry beans. That goes for about eight minutes. Then I remove the foil and beans and prick the crust with a fork before returning it, empty, to the oven for another two minutes or so. The idea is to let it become slightly golden and let it pull away from the pan slightly.

Then I take it out, fill it, and return it to bake in a slightly cooler oven.

The fork holes are intended to prevent the crust from puffing up while it bakes uncovered. They never leak.

Mar 31, 2014
bitchincook in Home Cooking

bon appétit april édition

But do they still use that small font that is pretty much impossible to cook from?

And do the photos still all look like messes at the kids' table?

I canceled my subscription several years ago, and recently leafed through a recent issue at the library and was not at all impressed.

Mar 31, 2014
bitchincook in Food Media & News

U of A in Tucson for 1.5 days

Feast is near campus and is excellent. They don't do breakfast, but lunch and dinner have the same menu, which changes every month. It's probably above the budget of most grad students, but it would be a good choice for a birthday celebration. Be sure to make reservations, or the wait will likely be long.

Mar 21, 2014
bitchincook in Southwest

Tucson - Poppy Kitchen

Could be, though it looks like the wine list is limited, uninspired and overpriced.

And what is a "chicken sammie"? If it is what I fear it is, it belongs on the toddler's menu, if anywhere.

Mar 21, 2014
bitchincook in Southwest

hard boiled egg not peeling right [moved from General Chowhounding]

For eggs that always peel perfectly, steam them instead of boiling them. Get the water boiling, take eggs cold from the refrigerator, then steam, covered, 10 minutes for a large egg, 11 for extra large, and 13 for jumbo.

Immediately afterward plunge them into a bowl of water and ice.

You can peel them as soon as they are cool enough to handle, or you can keep them in the refrigerator unpeeled for weeks. Either way, you will never struggle with a stubborn shell again.

Mar 18, 2014
bitchincook in Home Cooking

The North America What's In Season Thread

Here in Tucson, my grapefruit tree is groaning with ripe fruit.

Mar 18, 2014
bitchincook in General Topics

Pan Searing Beef & Finishing in the Oven ???

I often sear beef tenderloin steaks on the stove and then finish them in the oven. Two things are key: After I sear the meat, I transfer it from the hot pan to a foil covered baking sheet. And I always use a thermometer, the kind that broadcasts the temperature of the meat to a receiver on the counter top.

The first step keeps the side on the hot pan from overcooking, and it also allows me to use the pan to make a sauce for the meat while the meat finishes.

The thermometer allows me to pull the meat out of the oven at 105, which after resting a few minutes yields beautiful rare steak. It will throw off some juice in the meantime, which I add to the sauce I am making.

Mar 08, 2014
bitchincook in Home Cooking

Tucson Fancy Lady Lunch with Great View?

Hacienda del Sol was the first thing I thought of, but it is not open for lunch. The food at Westward Look is good, or I wouldn't have suggested it.

Mar 01, 2014
bitchincook in Southwest

After Hiking in Harriman State Park -- where to?

When I was a girl I went to camp in Harriman State Park, and on visiting day my folks took me to lunch at Bear Mountain Inn, which was an incredible treat. I'm pleased to see that the place is still there. Maybe it would suit your needs.

Jan 28, 2014
bitchincook in New York State (exc. NYC)

Tucson Fancy Lady Lunch with Great View?

I would suggest Gold, at the Westward Look resort. It's elegant, open for lunch, and has stunning views.

Jan 23, 2014
bitchincook in Southwest

Discontinued at Trader Joe's: January 2014-June 2014

I miss that as well. It was a really good product.

Jan 16, 2014
bitchincook in Chains

Your favorite products to order on Amazon?

I buy Douwe Egberts coffee on Amazon. My husband loves the stuff, and I have yet to find it anywhere else.

Dec 26, 2013
bitchincook in General Topics

My Christmas pot roast doesn't have much flavor

What grade of chuck roast did you use? USDA Select, as opposed to Choice, is tasteless. This is why I have given up on buying beef at Safeway. While it's too late to rescue your pot roast at this point, paying attention to the grade of meat can help in the future.

Dec 26, 2013
bitchincook in Home Cooking

Going to be in Tucson for a week over Christmas w kids 6 and 9...need recs for kid friendly and relatively cheap eats (without resorting to greasy chains). Thanks!!

I live near La Paloma, so here are some places I'd recommend in the area:

Vero Amore (on N. Swan and Fort Lowell) has decent pizza and is large and family-oriented.

El Charro has several locations, but the one on N. Sunrise and Kolb is near you, not expensive, and kid-friendly.

Fini's Landing, on N. Swan is a very popular beach-themed place where kids are welcome.

Shlomo and Vito's is a New York style deli (on Sunrise and N. Cambell) that is large, family-friendly, and quite reasonable.

Zinburger, on River Road just west of N. Campbell has great burgers and shakes. It's more expensive than a chain burger joint, but you may think it's worth it.

I hope you enjoy your visit!

Dec 26, 2013
bitchincook in Southwest

What I do NOT want in a Cookbook

I do not want a cookbook written using small, faint or sans-serif font.

I do not want a cookbook that assumes I have a butcher available to do my bidding.

I do not want a cookbook that refers to other recipes within the book and fails to provide a page number.

I do not want a cookbook that lies about the correct temperatures for when meat is done. If I want those lies, I'll consult the USDA.

I do not want a cookbook that mentions "Veggies."

I do not want a cookbook that uses fake food, such as that obscenity, "non-fat half-and-half," or "lite" anything.

Dec 16, 2013
bitchincook in Home Cooking
11

Should I get a Costco membership?

I didn't renew my membership when it expired, mainly because shopping there was a lot of work. It would start when I got to the parking lot and had to hunt for a space. Then, after a long hike to the store, and a long time finding oversize packages of the things I needed, there was inevitably a very long, very slow, check-out line to contend with.

They packed my groceries in boxes that were too heavy for me to lift without hurting my back, so after I finally pushed the cart all the way to my car, I had to unload the items a few at a time, taking them out of the box and putting them into my car until the box was a manageable weight and I could lift it into my car. Then I had to load the loose stuff back in the boxes so it wouldn't roll all over the place on the drive home. Once I got there, I did the whole thing in reverse.

Unfortunately, that was not the end of the work. I had to find storage space for the gigantic packages of dry goods, something that is scarce in my house. And I had to disassemble packages of perishables and repackage them for the freezer, as they were too big to use as they were. Finding that food that got buried in the freezer to use it some day in the future was another job.

Then there were the prices. I found that in general I could do just as well if not better if I shopped sales at my local Safeway. It's five minutes from my house, (Costco is 35) and I can buy as much or as little of something as I want. The lines are always short, and they'll open another one if the lines back up, which is respectful of the customer's time. They pack my groceries up in manageable bags, and they'll even load it in my car.

Nov 21, 2013
bitchincook in Chains
1

Dealing with non-chowhounds

To be fair, having lived in Paris I know that there is spectacularly good food available at chacuteries that you take home and simply heat up. My husband and I went to restaurants as often as we could, usually twice a week. Most of the time I cooked dinner, using the incredible ingredients available at the markets along Rue Clair. But occasionally he'd pick up something from a chacuterie on his way home from work, and most of it was every bit as good as anything you'd get at a one-star restaurant.

Nov 21, 2013
bitchincook in General Topics
2

Not on MY holiday table.

Wild boars roam freely where I live, the foothills north of Tucson. So I could get one, I suppose, but I wouldn't want to have to deal with the hassle of gutting it.

Nov 21, 2013
bitchincook in General Topics
1

Thanksgiving Stuffing/Dressing

I thought all stuffing came from a mix until I found myself living in Europe one Thanksgiving and had to figure out how to make it myself from scratch. I've never gone back to the boxed stuff since.

It's easy, so easy it's a method, more than a recipe. I start out a couple of days ahead by cutting up good bread into cubes and then leaving them on cookie sheets to dry. I do enough for about four cookie sheets. Or you can do this the day you make the stuffing by putting the cubes of bread in a low oven for an hour or so.

While the bread is drying, I dice onions, carrots and celery, as much as you like. I usually do two onions, two carrots, and four large ribs of celery. Then I cook them very slowly in lots of butter, about 2 sticks for a big batch in my 12" pan, until they soften but do not brown. This takes about 20 minutes over a low heat.

The key to my stuffing is lots of sage. I often use three kinds, fresh, powdered and dry rubbed. I add sage, salt and pepper to the vegetables, then, when they are softened, mix in the dried bread. Then I add warm low sodium chicken broth a bit at a time until the whole thing is moist but not sodden. At this point I taste for seasoning, and it invariably needs more sage and more salt.

Then it goes in the bird, and that's all there is to it.

Nov 18, 2013
bitchincook in Home Cooking

Really good Southwestern food [Tucson]

If you mean Mexican food, there are lots of threads on that. But if you mean New American, Southwest-influenced that's a different question. A couple of places that used to do that well are gone, but a relatively new and tasty option is Epazote.

Nov 18, 2013
bitchincook in Southwest

Cookbooks: In or Out?

Occasionally I'll find a recipe I want to make from Epicurious and I used to sometimes have on my phone app in the kitchen, but that just didn't work for me. For one thing, my hands are frequently wet and/or covered with some sort of food while I'm cooking or prepping, and the last thing I want to do then is touch an electronic device. Also, my phone screen will go dark if I don't touch it regularly, and then it's a pain to turn back on while in the middle of measuring or cooking something.

So I've gone back to paper.

Nov 04, 2013
bitchincook in Food Media & News

Williamsburg, VA Restaurant Recommendations

The restaurant at the Williamsburg Inn is excellent. The lobster bisque is by far the best I've ever had anywhere.

Aug 08, 2013
bitchincook in Mid-Atlantic

Best All-Clad general purpose pan for electric coil?

The 11.5" pan will work just fine on the 8" coil; the entire pan doesn't need to be in direct contact with the coil for it to conduct heat just fine.

I have had an All Clad pan of that size for maybe 25 years and five different stoves. It worked fine on two separate electric coil tops and two gas stoves. Where it was awful was on a smooth top electric. Though I blamed that on the stove, not the pan.

I got rid of that stove and kept the pan.

Jul 24, 2013
bitchincook in Cookware

Frozen bread cubes

You can also use them to make stuffing. Just cook diced celery, carrots and onions in butter and lots of sage. Add the bread cubes and enough chicken broth to moisten. Stuff inside poultry or bake, covered. Once I figured out how to make my own stuffing, I never went back to the packaged variety.

Jul 18, 2013
bitchincook in Home Cooking

CHOW Reviews: KitchenAid 5-Speed Custom Metallic Blender KSB580

I really like this blender, which I bought to replace another, Krups, I think, that was so difficult to put together I got rid of it. This one couldn't be easier to set up and use, and it works great. It made some wickedly delicious frozen margaritas last night that made it a breeze to get through an evening with in-laws.

My only concern is that the blender will walk around the counter, so I can't leave it untended while it works on something, like crepe batter, that needs prolonged blending.

Jul 01, 2013
bitchincook in Cookware

Houseguest doesn't eat gluten, lactose

I don't usually cook with dietary restraints in mind, so I am short on ideas of how to accommodate a house guest who will be here for ten! days and doesn't eat food containing gluten or lactose. I'd like to serve great food that everyone can eat, not specially formulated foods for the guest alone.

Any and all ideas will be greatly appreciated.

Jun 25, 2013
bitchincook in Special Diets

two pounds of carrots for two people

I wound up with a two-pound bag of organic carrots, and I'm looking for ideas to use them. I'd rather not cook them, as it's 100+ degrees here these days, and I like them raw better anyhow. Do you have a favorite carrot salad, or some other dish that uses raw carrots?

Jun 17, 2013
bitchincook in Home Cooking