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MEH's Profile

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Kitchen remodel - need appliance help!

Hi!

I don't have any experience with the appliances that you're looking at, but I just wanted to bring up something I learned when we re-did our kitchen about 2 years ago.

The counter-depth refrigerators are really cool and we have one. But, it's pretty tough to fit a large size pizza box in there. I can manage by placing the box on something else in such a way that it fits between the shelves on the door, but it's a very tight fit. I know that I could just move the pizza out of the box and put it in some container that fits in the refrigerator better, but cold pizza just tastes better to me out of the box the next morning for breakfast!

So, you might want to check on the counter depth refrigerator you're looking at to see if there are any issues like that. Just a thought!

Have fun with the remodel!

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 15, 2009
MEH in Cookware

turkey burgers

Hi!

I make turkey burgers pretty often. I always use the dark turkey meat. Here's how I do it:

I saute a small onion in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft and let it cool. I add the softened onions and olive oil to about 1 1/4 pounds of ground turkey along with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and mix gently. I form this into 4 burgers, placing a half of a slice of cheddar cheese in the middle of each and cook on a lightly oiled nonstick pan over low to mdeium heat for about 5 minutes per side. Serve on toasted bun with the condiment of your choice.

Good luck!
Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 15, 2009
MEH in Home Cooking

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Hi!

Here's my favorite Mac and Cheese recipe. Like the NY times version, you don't have to make a separate cheese sauce. It's so easy and very tasty. I use rigatoni for the noodles because I like the bigger shape, but you can use any noodle you like. I also sometimes use H&H instead of the heavy cream and 2% instead of whole milk to bring down the fat, and it turns out good. But, surprisinygly enough(!), I like the full fat version the best. Enjoy!

Macaroni and Cheese

Butter, for greasing dish
12 ounces rigatoni
1½ cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt, plus more for pasta water
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (packed) grated Fontina (about 7.3 oz.)
¾ cup (packed) finely grated Parmesan (about 2.5 oz)
¾ cup (packed) grated mozzarella (about 4.1 oz)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Butter a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Cook the rigatoni n a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Drain well, but do not rinse.

Whisk the cream, milk, flour, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper in large bowl to blend. Stir in 1 cup Fontina, ½ cup Parmesan and ½ cup mozzarella. Add the rigatoni and toss to coat. Transfer the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish. Toss the remaining 1 cup Fontina, ¼ cup Parmesan, and ¼ cup mozzarella in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the noodle mixture. Bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheese melts and begins to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 12, 2009
MEH in Home Cooking

Where can I find a scale for home baking?

Hi!

I've bought a couple of kitchen scales, all digital and all made by Salter. They work well. My only suggestion for you (besides echoing that I think digital is the way to go) is to look for a scale where the readout is readable when something is on the scale. I don't if I'm explaining this right, but one of the scale I bought was completely flat (you can see it at this link at amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Salter-11-Pound... ). The problem with that is that you can't see the readout if you had an even medium size plate on it because the radout is obscured by the plate. This issue can make it kinda hard to use! Anyway, just something to keep in mind.

Good luck!

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 11, 2009
MEH in Cookware

HELP! Out of a Gazillion food processors, which one?

Hi!

I've had both KA and Cuisinart food processors and they're both great. I really don't think you'll be unhappy with either brand. I use a food processor on a daily basis and both brands have really held up well.

And, I throw everything right in the dishwasher, so clean up isn't really an issue. I'm like you - I don't have bad knife skills, but it'sstill a lot faster to do significant vegetable chopping in a food processor rather than by hand, especially if I'm not too worried about the pieces being too uniform.

It seems like the Cuisinarts are more expensive than the KA's, but I can't really say that I've noticed a big difference in quality, so I'd buy the one that's the best price. The clearance on KA's at Macy's that karmalaw mentioned seemed like a great deal!

Good luck!

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 11, 2009
MEH in Cookware

2 quart saute pan, is it worth it?

I have the AC 2 qt saute pan, but I don't really use it that often. There are only 2 of us, but the 2 qt often isn't big enough. I usually go for the 3 qt instead. Of course, maybe we just eat too much!

Good Luck!
Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 10, 2009
MEH in Cookware

So many roast chickens recipes, but do you have a favorite?

Hi!

Here's how I roast my chickens. The result is crispy and juicy. I don't remember for sure, but I think I got the recipe originally from a Julia Child cookbook.

I just rub a little softened butter on the outside, season the bird inside and out, tie the legs and tuck the wings under and put it on a rack in a pan at 425 degrees. After 15 minutes, drop the temp to 350, throw a couple of veggies in the bottom of the pan and let it go. Total roasting time is usually about 45 minutes plus 7 minutes per pound. The drippings make a great gravy.

Good luck!
Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 10, 2009
MEH in Home Cooking

Is it ok to keep chocolate in the fridge?

Hi!

I think the issue is that chocolate can bloom in the refrigerator. This is when the cocoa butter separates out from the chocolate, and you get this a thin layer of cocoa butter on the surface of the chocolate. The chocolate is still fine to eat, it just doesn't look so good.

Good luck!

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 09, 2009
MEH in Home Cooking

stir fry pan

My favorite is the Joyce Chen Carbon Steel stir fry pan, but it needs to stay seasoned and that's something that you said you don't want to do. I understand completely because I used to think that way. But, once you get it seasoned, it's actually pretty easy to maintain.

That being said, as others have mentioned, there's the Joyce Chen Peking Pan which has a nonstick coating. I used to have one of these, but I gave it away. With the higher heat of stir frying, I didn't feel comfortable with a nonstick. But, that's just me. I know other people who use that pan and really like it.

Good luck!

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 08, 2009
MEH in Cookware

Ina Garten's Chicken Pot Pie [Split from Food Media & News board]

I'm glad to hear that the '4 servings' idea on that recipe is very low. I've never made Ina's pot pie recipe, even though it looks good, because I've always had an issue with using what amounts to like 3 sticks of butter for 4 servings! Holy Cow, I don't cook low fat, but that's a lot of butter! Sounds like in reality, it's more reasonable than that. Good!

Has anyone tried the pastry part of the recipe with all butter?

Thanks!

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 08, 2009
MEH in Home Cooking

Do You Hang on to Expired Food?

Hi All!

I'm pretty much in agreement with latindancer on this. Freshness is important to me and it's one of the main reasons I cook - to give my family fresh and healthy food. And, I also think there's a health factor to freshness that can't necessarily be measured. It may sound wierd, but I believe that fresh food has a 'life' to it that is healthy for us and that goes away over time. So, I pay attention to the expiration dates. I do everything I can to not waste food, so I try to not buy more than I'll use in a reasonable time. But, at the end of the day, the freshness of a food is more important. And, expiration dates are the measure I use to determine that.

Take care!

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 07, 2009
MEH in General Topics

Can I still buy a nonstick box grater?

Hi!

When I Googled 'nonstick box grater', a number of them came up, but they were all at non-U.S. stores. I guess if you're willing to pay the shipping you could get one from one of these places.

Good luck!
Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 06, 2009
MEH in Cookware

Brand Names of Restaurant Style Frypans?

I have both carbon steel fry pans and nonstick aluminum frying pans from the local restaurant suppy stores (the brand is Winnco if that helps). I like both, but they really serve different purposes for me. I use the nonsticks for eggs mostly, which I cook over very low heat. And, I toss them directly into the dishwasher. When they show any wear, I replace them - not a big deal since they're pretty inexpensive.

I use the carbon steels for things that I want to cook at a higher temperature or that I want to put under the broiler. They're great for that. But, they also require more care since you have to be aware of keeping them seasoned.

Good luck!

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 06, 2009
MEH in Cookware

Recipes/Uses for My New Immersion Blender?

Hi!

I love my immersion blender!

I love making orange juice shakes because I can pretend that they're healthy! I blend 2 cups of orange juice with 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. This makes one very large serving or two nice size servings.

Enjoy!

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 05, 2009
MEH in Home Cooking

Best Slow cooker Pulled Pork recipes?

Hi!

I make pulled pork using the following recipe:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

But, I make it in the crockpot, on low for 8-10 hours. It's very good.

Good luck!

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 05, 2009
MEH in Home Cooking

Healthy foods you crave

Sometimes I just absolutely crave tabouli. Or sometimes it's hummus and toasted pita.

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 05, 2009
MEH in General Topics

Do You Hang on to Expired Food?

Yikes! But, you're probably right!

I'm pretty uptight about the whole expiration date thing. I throw things away if they're past their date. But, I try to minimize that by going through things regularly and if they're getting close, I try to use them soon.

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Jan 05, 2009
MEH in General Topics

Food processor recommendations?

I'm a big fan of Kitchenaid Food Processors also.

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Dec 24, 2008
MEH in Cookware

your favorite way to use ground lamb?

Hi!

I'm of Middle Eastern descent, so we use lamb a lot. My favorite way to use ground lam is in kibbeh. Kibbeh is ground lamb mixed with bulghar wheat, minced onions, salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice and basil. We either fry it in patties or bake it in layers with a pine nut/onion mixture in between. Both ways are served with pita bread. Yummy!

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Dec 24, 2008
MEH in Home Cooking

Problems with flour

Hi!

Interesting.

The higher the protein content a flour has, the more it is able to absorb water. I know that in the past, Cook's Illustrated determined that KA AP flour had the highest protein level of any of the major brands. I wonder if that has changed and maybe they're using softer wheat for part of it. The KA website still lists the protein content of the AP flour as 11.7, the same as stated in the cook's illustrated article from 2003. Hum. Just thinking out loud.

All that being said, I have to say that I really haven't noticed any difference in the flour. I just made 48 dinner rolls last night with the KA AP flour and it seemed the same to me. I wonder if the issue is regional.

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Dec 24, 2008
MEH in General Topics

How can I save a full pan of homemade caramels that didn't solid up

Hi!

I agree that the caramels would make a wonderful sauce for ice cream or for dipping apples.

But, don't give up on making caramels. I've made them a lot, but for a while there, they weren't getting solid. It turned out that my candy thermometer was off. I got a new one and things are working out much better again!

Good luck!
Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Dec 22, 2008
MEH in Home Cooking

Melting white chocolate -- burned it! Can I resurrect it?

Unfortunately, I'd have to agree. When I've burned chocolate in the past, I've had to toss it all because the remaining chocolate tends to taste a bit like charcoal!

Good luck!
Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Dec 22, 2008
MEH in Home Cooking

Foods you eat strangely

Hi!

I loved your post!

I eat rod pretzels in a rather odd way. I like to break off the ends of the rod and then sip coca cola through it before eating it. No joke! I started eating pretzels this way when I had jaw surgery about 15 years ago. I wasn't allowed to eat solid food for 6 weeks, so this was a way I found to get the pretzel down. The habit stuck.

Nothing wrong with me either!

Take care-

-Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Dec 22, 2008
MEH in General Topics

Roast chicken help

Hi!

Here's how I roast my chickens. The result is crispy and juicy.

I just rub a little softened butter on the outside, season the bird inside and out, tie the legs and tuck the wings under and put it on a rack in a pan at 425 degrees. After 15 minutes, drop the temp to 350, throw a couple of veggies in the bottom of the pan and let it go. Total roasting time is usually about 45 minutes plus 7 minutes per pound. The drippings make a great gravy.

Good luck!
Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Dec 20, 2008
MEH in Home Cooking

Scallops on Chef's Knives...Really that much Better?

Hi!

I have Santokus, both plain and with a granton edge. Honestly, I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference.

Good Luck!
Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Dec 20, 2008
MEH in Cookware

Someone please extoll the virtues of electric stoves

The virtues of an electric stove?

Hmmm....

Well, they never give up that tiny hint of smelly gas.

Does that help?

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Dec 20, 2008
MEH in Cookware

Is there such a thing as a bad Oxo product?

Hi!

I generally like Oxo products, but the Mandoline Slicer was bad. The blade was too dull and turned everything I tried to slice with it into mush. Not good!

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Dec 20, 2008
MEH in Cookware

Induction and cast iron

Hi Amazinc,

The term 'Stainless Steel' actually refers to a pretty wide range of alloys that usually contain steel, chromium, and sometimes nickel . Stainless steel made from steel and chromium is magnetic - 'Magnetized Stainless Steel'. But, if nickel is added to the mix, it changes the properties of the steel to make it non-magnetic.

The key here is that a pan has to be magnetic for magnetic induction to work. There are lots of pans that are - I know All-Clad's stainless line work. But, there are also lots of cookware that doesn't work - All-Clad's MC2 and LTD lines don't work. So, the easiest thing for you to do is to go looking for cookware and bring a magnet along. If the magnet stick to the cookware, it should work on your induction burner. If not, it won't.

Hope this helps!

Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Dec 19, 2008
MEH in Cookware

Help! Do these foods go together?

I agree with Roxlet. I don't think serving the two together would work, but as separate courses would.

It just so happens that I've had the following recipe for veal marsala in my list of things to try and it has sage in it:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ma...

Good luck!
Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Dec 19, 2008
MEH in Home Cooking

Did I break my KitchenAid?

No problem! And, from your other posts, it sounds like you just got married. Congratulations!

Take care-
Mary
www.BestinKitchen.com

Dec 18, 2008
MEH in Cookware