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cookie question

Just about any OR cookie recipe can be made crispy by either reducing the amount of butter or increasing the amount of flour. Start with 1/4-1/2 cup more flour in whatever recipe you're using or 1/4-1/3 less butter. You'll have to watch the baking time because the butter-flour ratio's changed.

about 11 hours ago
Rigmaster in Home Cooking
1

How can I get rid of the toaster oven on the countertop?

Hide it behind an appliance garage - looks like a bread keeper, at least one I saw on HGTV did.

The simplest thing is to clean it and put it away after use or when company's coming.

Apr 15, 2014
Rigmaster in Cookware
1

Graniteware

If you're going to use it on the stovetop, watch the heat. For sweating onions, I'd suggest lowering the heat a little and covering so that steam helps the process along with less heat. You just have to allow for some of the water to escape after the initial softening.

As others have indicated, it shouldn't react.

Apr 14, 2014
Rigmaster in Cookware

Self-Rising Flour?

1.5 tsp per cup of flour is about right. Making your own self-rising flour and cake flour are good for reducing the number of flour sacks in the pantry.

Mar 24, 2014
Rigmaster in Home Cooking

Better to cut a London Broil into two pieces and freeze half, or cook the whole thing and have leftovers?

Depends on when you plan to eat the second portion. If it's in 3-5 days, make it all at once. I generally would do the first serving hot and the subsequent serving(s) as sandwich - cold. LB tends to tighten up when reheated.

Mar 24, 2014
Rigmaster in Home Cooking

Confusing Information on using and caring for pizza stones.

Never heard of oiling stone. It's not metal and won't rust so probably no need. Unless I'm doing a recipe that calls for a cold start, I preheat most of the time.

As for cleaning - just hot water. You can use mildly soaped water, but it won't be necessary.

Mar 24, 2014
Rigmaster in Cookware

Full sheet pans for home oven use?

I don't care for full sheet pans with home ovens because the heat can vary quite a bit from the outer edges to the middle of the rack. Large sheet pans will only exaggerate that issue.

I use half sheets in a double oven.

Mar 24, 2014
Rigmaster in Cookware

Pizza in Hamilton (Mercer County) I haven't tried

Gennaro's Brooklyn Pie - best in Mercer.

Mar 13, 2014
Rigmaster in New Jersey

What to bake asparagus in?

I make it almost every week. A cookie sheet lined with the non-stick side of aluminum foil baked at 400-425* for approx. 30 mins with a flip or turn at the 20 min mark. Season as you wish, but it will need a little oil to prevent burning and sticking.

No cleanup if you do it this way.

Mar 13, 2014
Rigmaster in Cookware

stainless steel

There's not a specific definition for "surgical" steel but one condition manufacturers must comply with is that it be "corrosion-resistant." Technically, surgical means that it's application in medical environments is safe.

316 grade is the most common, but it has higher nickel content. 420 and 440 are common with knives and cutlery as they have higher carbon content and chromium added to make them stronger.

Will nickel leach into your food from 316? If it's poorly manufactured. However, 316L is used for most food applications (and jewelry) specifically because it's manufacturing process greatly reduces nickel leaching likelihood.

Most likely the kitchen and food items you've been exposed to or using throughout the years is either 316 or 316L. Some of the higher-end cutlery is more likely the 440 or 420.

Mar 13, 2014
Rigmaster in Cookware

Do I really need to oil my cast iron everytime? I don't use them a lot, and don't want the oil to go rancid..

I oil every time, but it's probably less the 1/2 tsp for a full-size 12- to 14-inch pan inside and out. I use my pans regularly though so I don't worry about rancid oil.

Oil goes rancid due to bacteria/microbes, oxygen, or water. Plant oils tend to be less rancid, but even some of them go bad quickly.

Mar 13, 2014
Rigmaster in Cookware

I didn't see this question asked recently. If I have gas burners, should I get a round or flat bottomed wok?

Flat bottom will give you more options than just Asian or stir-fry. Round bottoms really are much more limited to that style of cooking.

Electrics almost necessitate flat bottom so they can conduct more heat to the pan. Gas flames will go over the bottom and up the sides to some degree on their own.

Mar 13, 2014
Rigmaster in Cookware

Grilling?

What do you want to grill? It's not hard to do steaks, burgers, and chicken indoors with a somewhat "grilled" feel and taste. You can get "grilled" flavor by liquid smoke too.

I'd suggest you start out by highlighting a few things you want and the 'hounds can help you.

Mar 13, 2014
Rigmaster in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Drew's Bayshore Bistro, Keyport

Just went there for the first time. The food was fabulous. The parking - a little troublesome and sparse. The service - a bit grumpy and snobby - took our waitress a few trips to begin smiling. Actually, the servers who delivered the food were a gem - it's just the person who took our order didn't give off a very welcoming vibe.

Food highlights - the pork meatballs with grits and shrimp and grits entrees were incredible and the Salted Caramel Tart was the best dessert we've had in a long, long time. Voodoo shrimp appetizer was good, but I'd say a bit overrated.

Heavy hand on the spices so people not wanting N'awlins-lite will be overwhelmed. It was great for me though since virtually no place offers authentic flavors that aren't mostly salt - I appreciated that Drew got the spices balanced with the salt.

Our table wasn't near the window so I can't comment on structure. I wouldn't want a window seat on a cold, windy night any way.

Mar 06, 2014
Rigmaster in New Jersey
1

CHOW Reviews: Vitamix 5200 Standard

What's up with this review? This model has been and still continues to be the standard against which all serious blenders are measured, including VM's new releases.

The tamper's only needed when the machine is so crowded that food cannot circulate. That's it. Want smooth peanut butter without using the tamper - fill to half volume, start slow, and increase blend until butter begins to form, open top clear drop-in add more peanuts, increase speed and blend until smooth. By the way, I can get peanuts to burn-hand hot in less than 5 mins so I'm not sure why this reviewer couldn't do hot soups.

That's pretty much how to blend ANYTHING unless you want a rough chop.

The only advantage newer VM's have are the shorter, not better, jars.

Mar 06, 2014
Rigmaster in Cookware

De Buyer Mineral B - reseasoning ?

It will take many meals to develop a deep, stick-resistance season. In that way, CS pans are a lot like CI pans.

As I mentioned in the CI thread on seasoning, just cook and care for it and it will come. I used to gnash over my seasoning until my 100-yr old aunt asked me why I thought I'd be able to accomplish in days, weeks, or months what took her and her mother several decades to do. She laughed at me and ask if I was either arrogant or stupid enough to think it would be different. Good question - still can't answer it.

I've never worried about seasoning since....

Mar 06, 2014
Rigmaster in Cookware

Still yet another Italian restaurant to open in Marlboro

I grew up in Ohio. He just doesn't know where to go. Plenty of places have authentic pizza, but they're mostly local. Cincy has some Jersey-acceptable pizza joints.

Pizza's just not the revered food there like it is here in NJ and NY.

The single biggest downfall in OH (and in many joints here in NJ) is shredded cheese. I hate it. I need fresh mozzarella, crushed tomatoes or darned good sauce, basil, and EVOO.

Mar 05, 2014
Rigmaster in New Jersey

Has anyone made a pork loin roast this way?

Never heard of that. It's not for me. Slow even roasting works perfectly so the extra steps seems, well .... extra???

Mar 05, 2014
Rigmaster in Home Cooking

[Yet another] cast iron seasoning problem

I've never used anything more than hot water and a nylon scrubber for normal clean up and kosher salt with hot water for caked on items. If you're cooking with high heat and have built a crust of cooked items, have 1-2 cups of water nearby to "deglaze" while the heat is on. Crust comes up fairly easily if deglazed off. You can still do the primary clean up after eating, but there's no point in letting the crust just air-bond.

Mar 05, 2014
Rigmaster in Cookware
1

Oatmeal Bars

Did you use honey? Lots of recipes use it and only have juices for flavor.

Mar 05, 2014
Rigmaster in Home Cooking

[Yet another] cast iron seasoning problem

It takes years to build up a really good season. Initial seasoning helps, but nothing replaces the years of micro-layers that only comes from repeated use and cleaning.

I used to get frustrated by this, but my 100-year old aunt asked me why I was so rushed and obsessed with trying to do in a few days what took her and her parents decades to do. And that is all I needed to hear.

I now just use and clean and have seen my season build throughout the years. It feels good to know that CI and carbon steel pans simply get better with age.

Mar 05, 2014
Rigmaster in Cookware
4

Avocado ideas

Chopped avocado, tomato, onion with salt, pepper, and garlic, and a squeeze of lime to season. Basically it's an unsmashed guac but still tastes pretty darned good and can be done in less than 3mins.

Use the leftovers to make a guac for the next meal.

Feb 25, 2014
Rigmaster in Vegetarian & Vegan
1

Can you freeze fennel bulbs?

You can freeze them for cooking in a stock later, but don't expect a defrosted one to taste and feel like fresh after freezing. I'd only go straight from freezing to cooking without defrosting, similar to pearl onions.

If you try it, get as much air out of the container as possible.

Feb 25, 2014
Rigmaster in General Topics

fried chicken tenders help needed

Oil temp varies by type, but 350-375* is a common range. Cooking time will depend on the size of the strips and density of the breading. I generally deep-fry strips and wings in an Oster or FryDaddy.

Since you're buttermilk soaking, I'd recommend s simple, lightly seasoned flour-only mix. That gives the cleanest taste, which is good on it's own or can be dipped in any sauce you prefer.

I don't care for double dredged, but I do recommend you let them sit for 15-20 mins before frying so the breading won't come off during frying.

Feb 19, 2014
Rigmaster in Home Cooking
3

Going vegan

I've seen his book - not a fan. I've just come to avoid meat whenever possible. I'd categorize my diet as "probably suspect of most meat, dairy, and poultry-laden" meals and foods.

I have a healthy respect for the choices of vegans - a far, far cry from where I used to be. In fact, I used to eat meat 3 meals a day and 7 days a week. I'll never go back that way again.

Feb 18, 2014
Rigmaster in Vegetarian & Vegan
1

Kitchenaid Diamond Blender better than Vitamix??

Don't laugh. The first time I made nut butter, I did it on the phone with VM customer service. Just peanuts and slow speed increase, then a little slow-med-fast cycling. Didn't even use the tamper - for nut butter!

I've had other top-line KitchenAids (3), and none has lasted. It's always been the motors. Annoying because my KA mixer's never even blinked at anything I've thrown at it.

Feb 18, 2014
Rigmaster in Cookware

Going vegan

I lasted about 1 week trying full veganism.

Going vegan and going vegan diet aren't the same, as I learned from a dedicated vegan who avoids anything animal-related, including clothes and household items. It's a very different lifestyle indeed that I understand but fall short of following. As to the diet, I do it in small doses like vegan lunch or vegan breakfast followed by no meat/dairy other meals on individual days. It's just a bit too far for my palate to do full-time.

I don't do any diet adjustments for ethics - it's all about what's better for health.

Feb 17, 2014
Rigmaster in Vegetarian & Vegan

No Waffle House in NJ

I would love to see WH in NJ, but it probably won't happen because of the love affair with small diners. Some diners are good, but a great many of them are pretty bad. WH is just a known, consistent decent place.

Local towns probably won't be too anxious to let them in, but there are a lot of strip malls that should be glad to get something steady.

As to the "class" of WH diners, not sure anyone can be so general about it. There are a lot of very wealthy people eating at WH's when visiting their WH-loving children in college.

As with any other place, it's all about the local employees and management.

Feb 17, 2014
Rigmaster in Chains

leaking problem with new Vitamix 750 64 oz. container

Let us know how it goes with VM's response. That handle so close to the top doesn't look like it does anything for "balance." The older 5200 models didn't need it. I'm not sure why the shorter, squat new containers would need it.

Check with VM, but I'm almost positive I saw on YouTube or read somewhere that the old containers fit and work on the newer base. If height's not an issue, that can be an option as well.

Feb 17, 2014
Rigmaster in Cookware

searing meat

I always sear beef and pork for the additional flavor it brings out. I then deglaze with liquid and vegetables to make sure I get all the bits (flavor). I don't bother to sear chicken or seafood because they seem to absorb rather than impart flavor.

Oh, almost forgot. I tend to sear with boneless meats more than those with bones and to cook for longer periods. With the bones, searing seems a bit less valuable.

Feb 15, 2014
Rigmaster in Home Cooking