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Which book would you recommend for Bread Machine Recipes ?

I am looking for a cookbook specifically for baking in bread machines. I recently got a Zoji Breadmaker and have been trying out the various recipes in the booklet, with some success. I bought the "Bread Machine Magic" book and have tried out a few with some okay and some not so good results.
I was wondering if you have any favorite go-to cookbook when it comes to making breads. I am interested specially in breads and savory snacks like rusks and crackers, not so much in cakes.
Do you use the baking cycle in the machine or use the oven instead ? Thanks for sharing !

Jan 21, 2013
calchef12 in Home Cooking

Discoloration of food on De Buyer Pan

I have read before that tomatoes should not be cooked on carbon/mineral steel pans, but somehow didn't remember it while cooking. I regularly prepare a dish of eggplant with tomatoes and herbs in my stainless steel pan, but today I made it on my De Buyer mineral steel pan. While the taste was a bit different, the color was totally off. It was much more darker - almost uniformly black unlike the vivid brown, green and red that I get on my stainless steel pan - and did not look appetizing at all.
My question is - is this expected when tomatoes are cooked in De Buyer pans ? Other than the looks of it, does the food become somewhat toxic or is it safe to consume ?
Thanks in advance.

Jan 20, 2013
calchef12 in Cookware

Need Your Opinion on a New Blender

Thank you, I will check out those videos. When I saw all the recipes in the cookbook that came with the blender - there are all kinds of breads - they explain step-by-step how to prepare those easily with this blender - I tried a few. The banana bread came out well - its batter is not stiff. The problem happened with a recipe they call - half and half honey wheat bread that has a stiff batter.
Probably they should stop promoting it as a one machine that can do it all. I never thought that there would be a problem with trying out the recipes as they suggest in their cookbook.

Dec 03, 2012
calchef12 in Cookware

Need Your Opinion on a New Blender

I have a Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus 4-Cup Food Processor, which is okay for making pastes and purees, but just small. Also when I grind dry spices in it, the jar gets totally scratched, so would be good to have one with glass/steel jar.
I also have a Cuisinart SmartPower Duet - Blender/Food Processor. The blender assembly is clumsy. One time the locking ring at the base got stuck and no matter how hard we tried, we could not take it apart for washing - and we could see the smoothie had leaked to the threads inside the ring. We had to just throw it away. We got another one, same kind, new model. With that, twice, we had the locking ring break - it looks like very cheap plastic and not well made. I did not get the replacement part this time around. This is the one that I am looking to replace.
My budget is in the range of $500. By heavy-duty I mean - it will be used everyday - for smoothies, purees and pastes, soups, and dough for bread and cakes. Occasionally I will also use it to grind dry spices.
I also have a Waring Pro Juice Extractor and a Citrus Juicer - that I am happy with.

Dec 03, 2012
calchef12 in Cookware

Need Your Opinion on a New Blender

Thanks, escondido. So there is no one machine that can-do-it-all.. ? Which is what Blentec and Vitamix advertise. I don't like Cuisinart because of their flimsy parts that broke frequently. Which food processor would you recommend ?

Dec 02, 2012
calchef12 in Cookware

Need Your Opinion on a New Blender

I recently bought a new blender - "Blendtec Home The Professional's Choice Total Blender" (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000GIGZXM/r...). Having used Cuisinart before, I have been amazed by the performance of this machine. Very smooth blends for sauces and dips, easy to prepare batters for cakes and breads, and so on. However within a week of use, the motor burned up while I was making a dough in it - following one of the recipes in Blentec's own cookbooks. ( strong burning smell of metal, and smoke coming out of the motor base).
Talked to amazon and they said I could return it for a refund. So now I am back in the market for another blender.
It should be something that stands up to daily use. Most of what I would be using it for - tomato, garlic, ginger pastes and purees, batters and doughs for bread, soups and smoothies.
I am still inclined to buy a blentec - assuming the one I had, was probably a lemon. Has anyone had a similar problem before ?
If this is a common problem with blentec, I can go for a something with a comparable performance. Most online reviews mention Vitamix, which is a little more expensive. I can go for it, if it is really worth the price and can stand up to heavy usage.
What do you suggest ? Would love to hear from anyone who has experience with these blenders.

Dec 02, 2012
calchef12 in Cookware

De Buyer Crepe Pan has purple spots

Thanks Chem, so its not so bad. I was hoping I didn't ruin it. The salt seasoning - I just did based on what the De Buyer booklet said, for suppressing odors.
As for the seasoning, I just washed the pan in very hot water, then dried and added a little oil, heated it and then wiped with a paper towel. Not sure if that's all that is required for a pan out of the box or if it needs to be done more. The eggs did stick some when I cooked them, but I thought that's because its new.
Now that you mention, I do notice that the finish on the crepe pan is different from that on the frying pans. Its darker and smoother and the material is thinner. The manual describes it as "Carbon steel frying pan".
On the other hand, the manual that came with my other 2 frypans ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00462QP0W/r...), call it "Iron frypan".

Nov 18, 2012
calchef12 in Cookware

De Buyer Crepe Pan has purple spots

Thanks to everyone for steering me towards the mineral steel pans. I have two of the De Buyer fry pans and so far they have fared well. I just got a crepe pan for eggs - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00462QP34/r.... It is about one mm thinner than the fry pans.
After the first use today, I washed with hot water and used salt to remove the smell of eggs (heated on high with salt for about 2 minutes) as per the De Buyer instructions (see below) for "purifying the pan". However the pan is now discolored with purple spots all along the sides. Is this normal with these pans ? Or did I not do the salt treatment correctly ? Will it affect the cooking in any way ? Or is there anything I can do that can help restore it.
Thank you, appreciate your responses.

Quoting from the instruction booklet " Purify the pan from time to time : heat up cooking salt over a fast heat during 1 min 30 and wipe with a kitchen paper. The salt helps to suppress the residues and the odours from previous cookings."

Nov 18, 2012
calchef12 in Cookware

Non-stick alternative Pan for Omelette and Searing Fish

I just sauteed some okra (cut in small pieces) on my Le Creuset pan last night. I usually cook it on medium to medium-high, to dry up some of the sticky stuff inside, with just a little bit of seasoning and few tablespoons of oil. I used lower heat settings than I used to with my teflon pans. It still stuck to the pan.
Maybe I got some bad habits by cooking on teflon before and need to re-learn some techniques/proper temperature controls to cook in the non-teflon world. I don't want to go back to those teflon pans again.

Feb 19, 2012
calchef12 in Cookware

Non-stick alternative Pan for Omelette and Searing Fish

Thanks Trouttr. I was considering these too, they do seem like a good alternative. However a lot of reviewers on amazon complained about the nano-ceramic coating peeling off in a few months. http://amzn.com/B00448EUA0. Hopefully those are a few isolated cases, and not the general experience.

Feb 19, 2012
calchef12 in Cookware

Non-stick alternative Pan for Omelette and Searing Fish

Hi Mikie, Thanks for this info. So teflon coated pans may not be so bad after all by the time it reaches the consumer ? As for 570 deg temp, assuming I am cooking on a gas stove on high, how long is it before it reaches this temperature ? I understand it will also depend on the contents of the pan..is there a rough ballpark or a way of knowing that I am leaving the safe temp zone ?

Feb 19, 2012
calchef12 in Cookware

Non-stick alternative Pan for Omelette and Searing Fish

The main issue I have with Cast Iron is that I can't use soap - its hard to get the stuck-on food out with just a lodge pan scraper, salt and water.
As for the seasoning - not sure if I am doing it right - I spread olive oil all over the inside with a paper towel and let it sit in the oven at 450 deg. for an hour. Seems nice and coated when it comes out of the oven - but only till I use it the next time.

Feb 18, 2012
calchef12 in Cookware

Non-stick alternative Pan for Omelette and Searing Fish

Hi,

I recently threw away my teflon coated pans after I learnt about all the ills of PTFE and PFOA.
Since then I haven't been able to make a perfect omelette or pan-sear a fish fillet like I used to with my teflon-coated pans. Everything sticks, no matter how much oil I use.
I have tried - Cuisinart Stainless Steel skillet, Lodge Cast Iron skillet (seasoned after every use ) and Le Creuset enameled cast iron pan - all without luck. Is there something I am doing wrong ?

I was thinking of Cuisinart Green Gourmet Skillet or the GreenPan San Francisco Frypan (found those on amazon). They seem to have mixed reviews on amazon.

Any help will be appreciated.

Feb 17, 2012
calchef12 in Cookware

Le Creuset Skillet : Enamel worn off after first day

Hi Kaleo,

You were right - it probably was food residue. BKF and Scotch brite did the trick. Thank you so much. (Btw, the LC manual advises against using the green scrub pad, but it seems fine to use it, so far at least.)

Feb 17, 2012
calchef12 in Cookware

Le Creuset Skillet : Enamel worn off after first day

This is my first Le Creuset enameled cookware, purchased just 2 days back from amazon. I bought it after getting rid of all my teflon coated cookware, having read some reviews of this being a good alternative. I cooked ground turkey in it, using a generous quantity of olive oil at medium heat. It was sticking a little; after washing, I noticed the enamel had worn off, exposing the cast iron surface and ugly spots all over. I had used wooden utensils, did not cook on high and had cleaned with a soft sponge. Not sure if this is normal or if the item is defective.. Is there anything I could do to season the surface ? Please advise.

Feb 17, 2012
calchef12 in Cookware