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Platypus3702's Profile

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Freezer phobia - what freezes well and doesn't compromise quality?

I've had a Food-Saver vacuum sealer for years, and when I remember to use it, the results are awesome. Similar to what Ttrockwood suggests, for liquids I put it in an unsealed bag and freeze before vacuuming the rest of the air out and sealing it in the vacuum bags. The rolls of vacuum bag are great so I can make portions be whatever sizes I want. This is really helpful for ingredients or sauces that I have to make in large batches but only want to use in smaller quantities (e.g. ground roasted chestnuts, or fresh basil pesto). I find it a hassle to use the vacuum bags for stuff that I am keeping in the fridge and needing to reseal repeatedly, but it's fantastic for keeping meats, sauces, etc. unharmed by freezer burn for long periods of time.

Feb 17, 2014
Platypus3702 in Home Cooking

Allergy etiquette question

I love the idea of keeping a notebook with preferences and allergies. At my wedding we actually opted to go with a wide array of appetizers rather than a sit down meal, because between our two families, there were so many food issues we couldn't figure out what entrees would be okay! Cooking holiday meals can be equally tricky.

Nov 26, 2013
Platypus3702 in Not About Food

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

I am looking forward to trying this out. I discovered this year that I have become lactose intolerant and "fresh" cheeses like ricotta and mozzarella just destroy me, so I've been avoiding them. I just bought some liquid lactase enzyme to add to any milk product, so here's hoping this is the beginning of delicious cheeses I can actually eat. :)

Nov 26, 2013
Platypus3702 in Recipes

Cucumber, Hummus, and Lemon Tea Sandwiches

Looking forward to trying this. I always loved cucumber sandwiches but have become (sadly) lactose intolerant with age. This looks like an acceptable alternative.

Jun 24, 2013
Platypus3702 in Recipes

Herbed Potato Salad

When I worked as a prep cook I learned to let the chopped shallots sit in the vinegar for 10-15 minutes in a ramekin before mixing in the other ingredients; it softens the sharp oniony taste somewhat.

Jun 20, 2013
Platypus3702 in Recipes

Orange Angel Food Cake with Strawberries

KayeJ- cake flour is a finer, lower gluten flour than regular all-purpose flour. In the U.S. we can usually find it in the baking aisle, the brand name that comes to mind is Softasilk but I don't know if it's available in the U.K.

Feb 06, 2013
Platypus3702 in Recipes

Winter Greens Lasagna

Sundanceb- I made this using fat free ricotta, and divided it into 12 servings, here is the nutritional info I ended up with:

Per Serving: 405 cal, 28g carbs, 26g fat, 12g protein, 88mg cholesterol, 3g fiber

You could probably lower the fat and cholesterol by using (fat free) milk in place of the cream. Honestly by the time it is done cooking the noodles absorb so much liquid that I don't think I would notice a huge difference myself.

Jan 14, 2013
Platypus3702 in Recipes

Turkey Meatloaf

This is my go-to meatloaf recipe. Husband LOVES meatloaf. I do admit I add ketchup on the top for a glaze, and sometimes add a bit of sriracha to that as well. :)

Jan 02, 2013
Platypus3702 in Recipes

Mushroom-Stuffed Chicken with White Wine Sauce

mrosenblum- you could try prosciutto or canadian bacon or even ham as a substitute for bacon.

Jan 02, 2013
Platypus3702 in Recipes

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce

I dislike using vegetable oil in cakes; I can taste the oil in the finished cake. I might try this substituting room temp or melted butter for the oil.

Dec 13, 2012
Platypus3702 in Recipes

Butternut Squash Lasagna

I made this, loved it, and made it again. Due to the amount of prep involved I suggest making a double recipe and freezing one, or making single servings in ramekins if you want to pull just a serving or two at a time. This freezes well, too, although I have been assembling it and freezing it before baking rather than after, with 2 layers of saran wrap and some foil on top of that.

Both times I added nutmeg to the bechamel. I added a layer of sauteed kale the first time, and this time I added a middle layer of ricotta and sauteed spinach, as well as onions. I like the additional color, flavor, and nutrition. Finally was able to use up all my ground roasted chestnuts that have been in the freezer! :) I prefer to use the Barilla flat no-boil lasagna noodles, they come out perfect.

Dec 04, 2012
Platypus3702 in Recipes

Celery Root and Squash Gratin with Walnut-Thyme Streusel

I made this last year for Christmas dinner and I loved it. I did discover that I had to be pretty careful to keep the slices on the thin side, though, because when I pulled it out after the recommended baking time, it definitely had more crunch in the squash and celeriac than I would have liked and I had to bake it for a bit longer.

Sep 26, 2012
Platypus3702 in Recipes

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

This salad is fantastic (I omit the hardboiled egg by preference). My husband really liked it and this is so far the only way I have convinced him to eat brussels sprouts- he wouldn't even eat them when I cooked them with bacon which he loves. :)

Sep 26, 2012
Platypus3702 in Recipes

Prosciutto-Wrapped Macaroni and Cheese Cups

Any suggestions on a vegetarian alternative to the prosciutto for the cups?

Oct 11, 2011
Platypus3702 in Recipes