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kathryng's Profile

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Storing Cheese for Longer Shelf life ?

Wrap hard cheese in wax or parchment paper and then put it in a plastic bag or airtight container, and handle it with very clean hands. The wax paper keeps the cheese from developing condensation on the surface (which makes it soggy and gross and leads to mold), and putting it in a container keeps the cheese from drying out. I'm not entirely sure about the clean hands thing, but I've just noticed it in my experience.

Jan 21, 2012
kathryng in Cheese

substitute evaporated milk for half and half?

I second the mornay sauce idea idea. You could just make a basic bechamel. Also (this might be a no brainer, but I'm surprised how many people don't think to do this...), if you have heavy cream, you can mix 1 part cream and 1 part milk to make half and half. It's the exact same thing (I don't even buy half and half anymore--just heavy cream and milk).

If you're good at improvising in the kitchen, it should be no big deal to use regular milk in an alfredo sauce, as long as you thicken it a little with a roux. It won't be as rich, but will be healthier and still tasty.

Jan 18, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

Can't master the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

I agree with the comment about shaking the frozen core. If liquid sloshes around, it's not ready to use and either your freezer is not cold enough or you need to wait longer.

And it's also true that the consistency after making ice cream tends to be more like soft serve. But it sounds like yours is more like a milk shake than soft serve...

Jan 18, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

Best Cinnamon Roll Recipe?

This might not bee too helpful since it's not online, but I like the cinnamon rolls from the bread baker's apprentice (http://www.amazon.com/Bread-Bakers-Ap...). They're really rich and buttery, not too bready.

Jan 18, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

How long to keep smoked salmon

You should check out the website http://www.stilltasty.com/

it has guidelines for the shelf life of most foods. They recommend one week in the fridge after you open it.

http://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/i...

Jan 18, 2012
kathryng in General Topics

What are you cooking for Valentines day?

This recipe for duck (the best recipe for duck I've come across): http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

It's so perfect--during the steaming phase, it renders a ton of fat from the duck without burning the fat (so you can use it later!), and creates a delicious and gelatinous duck stock. Rendering the duck fat prepares the skin to become super crispy, rather than thick and chewy. And it steams it to the perfect doneness. Then you sear it during phase two to create a golden brown crust.

Best duck ever.

Jan 18, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

why does my naan always turn out like pita bread?

I like that idea--I've never tried doing them on the grill, but it seems like a good alternative to a tandoor. I can't figure out why my naan sometimes develops a pocket. They puff up really big when they're cooking, which I think is how the pocket forms. I will keep trying new recipes. I just bought a really excellent book on Indian cuisine, so hopefully that recipe will be solid.

Folks on this thread have mentioned using a skillet over the stove, which seems like another good idea. I think I'm going to try that as well. Just thought I'd mention it in case you're interested in experimenting with another cooking method.

Jan 18, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

why does my naan always turn out like pita bread?

Thanks for all the responses--I looked into making naan with a griddle on the stovetop and found some great results. For anyone interested, here is a video of someone making naan this way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffuKRw.... It seems like it works really well and I'm definitely going to try it next time.

Jan 17, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

why does my naan always turn out like pita bread?

That's a really interesting idea. Do you use a cast iron griddle on the stove top? Over high heat? I might try that.

Jan 17, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

why does my naan always turn out like pita bread?

I think you're all right that temperature is important. Have any of you ever tried grilling naan? Does that work any better than broiling or baking? And muchlove, I think you're right that it might be something else in addition to the temperature, because I've seen photos people have posted online of homemade naan and it definitely looks more naan-like than mine.

Jan 17, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

why does my naan always turn out like pita bread?

I've used several different recipes over the last year or so. Here are the only ones I can specifically remember using: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/naan/ & http://indianfood.about.com/od/breadr... & http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/mem...

I just bought Pushpesh Pant's India Cookbook, and am excited to try his recipe for naan.

Jan 17, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

why does my naan always turn out like pita bread?

I've tried to make naan 3 or 4 times, each time trying a new recipe and each time it turned out like pita bread instead of naan. They come out looking like this (for example): http://www.blogcdn.com/www.slashfood..... They are very tasty, but just not naan.

Any suggestions for what could be going wrong? I don't know if it's that I haven't found the right recipe, or if I'm not using the proper oven temperature (I've tried broiling, using a pizza stone, and using a cookie sheet at 400 degrees), or if I'm not kneading and shaping the dough correctly.

I joke that since I am Middle Eastern, my flat bread attempts are destined to turn out like pita bread no matter what, but seriously, what am I doing wrong?

Jan 17, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

chicken stock fat problem

And the winner is weezieduzzit! I let it sit in the fridge for 8 more hours and it's finally hardened, and seems totally normal.

Jan 14, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

chicken stock fat problem

I just let it sit in the fridge for 8 more hours, and it's finally solidified. I'm not sure what took it so long, but it seems normal. Thanks for the help!

Jan 14, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

chicken stock fat problem

the stock itself is gelatinized, but that's not the issue (the stock itself is good)--the weird thing is that the fat floating on top is also gel-like instead of hard like butter.

Jan 14, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

chicken stock fat problem

There is a thin layer of fat on top (or what I think is fat), but it's gooey instead of hard like butter. Maybe it will harden with more time.

Jan 14, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

chicken stock fat problem

This is what I am afraid of. I wish there were a way to figure out whether it is fat or an emulsification :/

Jan 14, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

chicken stock fat problem

that's a good idea for getting it to solidify--but my concern isn't that I actually want it to be solid, I'm just worried that it's not solidifying at 34 degrees, because it seems abnormal that it isn't solidifying in the fridge, so I'm worried that there's something wrong with the fat and that I won't be able to use it for the matzah balls (like maybe it emulsified with something and isn't entirely fat)

Jan 14, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

chicken stock fat problem

That's reassuring to know that it sometimes doesn't completely harden after 12 hours--hopefully it will with more time. I'm not making the soup until tonight or tomorrow, so I've got time.

Jan 14, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

Cooking for 2 on a budget?

I cook for my husband and I, and face the same problem. It gets really boring eating the same thing two days in a row.

What I've started doing is making something that serves 4, eating 2 servings for dinner, and then freezing the other to servings for next week or next month. That way you don't get sick of eating the same thing so many times in a row.

I have a small fridge/freezer as well, but I try to store things really efficiently, which helps. There are a lot of tips you can find online for freezing things efficiently. Make sure you're not using your freezer as a dumping ground for gross food that you want to forget about, buy some wire shelves from office depot (used for organizing papers) that you can place in the freezer, and you should have a good amount of space.

The best way to save money is not to waste any food (the average American wastes $1,200 of food each year). Try to freeze portions right after you make food (if you know you won't eat all of it) so that they're frozen at the peak of freshness. Reserve 1-2 nights a week for creative ingredient repurposing, so ingredients that you didn't end up using don't go to waste.

Jan 14, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking

chicken stock fat problem

I'm planning on making matzah ball soup tomorrow and would like to use the schmaltz from the stock I made in place of vegetable oil in the matzah balls.

I made the stock last night and chilled it over night in the refrigerator. But instead of hardening onto of the stock's surface, the fat just turned into this fatty gel-like substance. Usually, the fat that floats to the top is the consistency of butter, but this time it's more like the consistency of catsup or regular (not Greek) yogurt--it's definitely a liquid or a gel, not a solid.

I skimmed it off and it seems like it's fat, but it's just so gel-like (i.e., I don't think it's just that the stock gelatinized and I'm mistaking the stock for the fat). It's the proper temperature and everything.

Anyway, has this ever happened to any of you? Why isn't my chicken fat hardening?? And do you think I can still use it in the matzah balls? or should I just use vegetable oil?

Jan 14, 2012
kathryng in Home Cooking