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dmd_kc's Profile

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Pesto with Mortar and Pestle ... who knew?!

I don't do it that way often, but I agree with you totally. Did you ever see this super-cool Chow video about the pesto at Farina?

http://www.chow.com/videos/show/the-p...

Jun 22, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

How do you handle it when the waitress adds a wrong charge to your bill?

You did nothing wrong, and if you were polite about it (as it seemed you were), she wouldn't have been embarrassed. In my job, I **like** knowing when I've done the wrong thing according to company policy.

How funny, because almost EXACTLY this same thing happened to me tonight, except it was getting charged for a full cup of soup a la carte instead of the "add a cup" charge of 99 cents. The manager was actually over-the-top nice and gave us two free entrees on our next visit. Talk about a place we'll continue to patronize for a long time.

Jun 20, 2010
dmd_kc in Not About Food

What simple cooking mistake inspires disproportionate rage?

Eh, that's nothing. I once did the same thing, but with the dough in a plastic bowl.

Needless to say, the bowl melted down over the grates and onto the electric coils. That oven stunk to high heaven for MONTHS afterwards. GRRRRR!

Jun 20, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

Bumper crop of tarragon - your ideas please!

Well, I **thought** I did. But apparently not!

Jun 20, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

Bumper crop of tarragon - your ideas please!

Well, why was my search-fu so awful!?! Thanks GHG, as always!

Thought I'd already tried that...

I just whipped together a little spread with some yogurt cheese and a bit of garlic. It's awesome!

Jun 20, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

Bumper crop of tarragon - your ideas please!

My tarragon is already growing like a weed this year. I've recently seen a suggestion here of a strawberry/tarragon jam, which sounds intriguing. I'm not a huge sweets fan, so what do you do on the savory side when you find yourself with a lot of this delicious, but rather particular, herb?

Jun 20, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

Electrolux 30" dual-fuel freestanding range - big thumbs up!

Called Electrolux. Couldn't have been more helpful!

Jun 20, 2010
dmd_kc in Cookware

Canning jars leaked a little in processing--okay or not?

The only rule of thumb you need:

If not doing Action X will make you worry every time you take a bite, then YOU MUST DO ACTION X.

Re-process them. They're most likely just fine, but you'll fret that you're poisoning your family every time you watch someone take a bite if you don't.

To be honest, they're probably not OK to leave on the shelf.

Jun 19, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

What to do with too much Gorgonzola?

If you can't manage to use it all up, crumbly/fatty cheeses like Gorgonzola freeze surprisingly well.

Jun 19, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

Pesto dillemna

You'll be absolutely fine adding everything else later if you like. This way, you have a more versatile product anyhow.

Check out this Chow video below. This chef advocates soaking the basil first. I've done that recently, and it does lock the color nicely:

http://www.chow.com/videos/show/the-p...

Jun 18, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

Electrolux 30" dual-fuel freestanding range - big thumbs up!

Actually, no -- they sent out a replacement part. It's just the metal ring that you remove to clean it. Popped the new one on (they actually sent a technician -- no need for that) and now the center part of the burner ignites first. Sounds like yours has the same issue mine did.

Jun 17, 2010
dmd_kc in Cookware

Experimenting with besan (chickpea flour)

Pancakes are as forgiving as anything using flour. Yes, you'll be fine -- just test a little bit of the batter first for density and adjust with AP as necessary with your final product.

Jun 16, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

What simple cooking mistake inspires disproportionate rage?

I've been enjoying these replies mightily. As much as I love my father, he has imparted to me a terrible habit of overreaction to ultimately minor irritations. I'm working on it as diligently as humanly possible -- but it's really difficult.

The angriest I've ever been was the time I burned the living daylights out of an otherwise absolutely perfect grilled pizza -- probably one of the best (and most expensive) specimens I've (almost) produced. I'm mortified to this day to admit I actually flung the thing across the counter tops, where it smacked into the backsplash and made a mess. I'm still beating myself up over that, and it was over a decade ago.

Another one I've done more times than I can remember: Dropping and breaking glass, especially a light bulb, in the kitchen. I'm EXTREMELY paranoid about shards of glass (not that unreasonable, I guess). In my previous house, I once dropped a heavy glass spice jar onto the one-inch glass mosaic tile floor. The jar and two tiles absolutely pulverized immediately, and the debris went absolutely everywhere -- including all the way up to the counter tops, where I had three different dishes working. Needless to say, all that went into the trash, and we ordered a pizza (after at least 30 minutes of vacuuming, mopping, vacuuming, mopping, sweeping, then vacuuming some more).

I have cork floors in the new house. Waterproofing be damned, there's no way in a million years I'd cook on tile again.

Jun 16, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

Cooked lobster- how to reheat or make a simple dish

As others have suggested, reheating already-cooked lobster is far from optimal, as your instincts tell you. If you want to highlight it, just make a lobster salad, or top the salad of your choice with the chilled, steamed meat.

For something a little bit outside the box, what about serving it with lettuce leaves, herbs and some nuoc cham for dipping?

Jun 16, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

What am I doing wrong with Sockeye Salmon

No, I usually make it myself, but sure, ghee would work great!

Jun 15, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

What am I doing wrong with Sockeye Salmon

Baking is safest, yes. However, pan-frying good salmon in clarified butter is the single best fish in the world to me. Set your pan to medium/medium-high and use a fish spatula. If you're feeling really wicked, use a ton of fat (part oil is fine) and baste the fish as you go.

The time all depends on the thickness of your fish, but I just use the Bittman technique -- peek inside with a small, sharp knife. Ignore that nonsense about "letting the moisture out," as if a piece of flesh is a plastic baggie.

Jun 14, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

Can you make my vegan bolognese sauce any better?

Here I'm talking more personal preference than anything else, so take it with a grain of salt. But in my many vegetarian years, I always had a major aversion to fake meats of most kinds, and especially those that purported to imitate ground beef.

So if your question is how to make this sauce more like the real deal, I'm not going to be of much use. But if you want to make it BETTER, lose the tempeh. It's a food I like very much for what it is, but I think it's a terrible substitute for ground meat. I also question what the lentils are going to do for you texture-wise here. They're mushy rather than chewy, which is what you want.

Instead, try a block of frozen tofu, thawed, drained and crumbled. Or how about some dry-pack dried tomatoes minced? I can imagine those bringing tons of flavor along with the texture you're going for. Maybe even some raisins or other dried fruit? I'm pulling that out of thin air, obviously.

And since I like bolognese with a little creaminess, some cashew milk would go a very long way here.

Jun 14, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

That's So Salty! It's Not Salty Enough.

This is a wonderful post - and it underscores my personal feelings too. It can't be said enough, as above: "All salt, whether fine or coarse, sea or table, is sodium chloride."

Rose Levy Beranbaum is an entitled clod (see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/693956 for the debate) but she's right about baking and pretty much all other cooking where salt is incorporated into other ingredients. Regular un-iodized table salt should be your go-to for any recipe that doesn't specify a brand. And spare me those recipes that demand sea salt or any other esoteric emperor's-clothing variety that you mix into other ingredients. If you dump expensive sea salt into a brine or pack it around a whole fish, please send me your extra cash, because you clearly don't care where it goes.

I like my Diamond Crystal and fleur de sel for the reasons enumerated above. I keep Diamond or Morton's by the stove for seasoning while I cook on the stove top -- but I add those by feel and taste.

Jun 14, 2010
dmd_kc in Features

Kitchen Gadgets You've Come Around to Liking

I own a similar one that has a smaller handle on the opposite side as well, and I love it. I align the long handle with the handle of the pot, slip a tubular leather pot holder around that, and then pour away. With only two of us, I rarely need to make pasta in a pot so big that this strainer won't handle it.

Jun 14, 2010
dmd_kc in Cookware

Help! Electrolux or GE Cafe Gas Range

You mean the back panel that sticks up at the back with your controls? Why don't you check out the built-in models, such as this one?

http://www.electroluxappliances.com/k...

They're not really that custom an install job. I love my Electrolux pretty much without reservation.

Jun 14, 2010
dmd_kc in Cookware

Is it possible to remove the convection apparatus from a Wolf range?

Wow, I'm floored that worked -- but really happy for you! Sounds like you turned a terrible design problem around with the easiest possible solution.

What did you do with the electrical leads to the fan? Did they disconnect with a coupler, or are they just hanging there? I'm assuming there was an oven wall behind the fan unit.

Jun 13, 2010
dmd_kc in Cookware

Installing Cork Floors in Kitchen

If you do a topcoat of poly, your floors will be as indestructible as any plant product can be. However, if you're really worried about water damage, why don't you check into real, old-fashioned linoleum? It's made from linseed oil and various plant matter, and is close to waterproof as almost anything. It has nothing -- absolutely nothing -- to do with vinyl flooring.

And if money isn't a huge issue, check out PVC flooring. Probably the most jaw-dropping floor I've ever seen was a roll PVC I saw in a designer's showhouse. It had a subtle texture and color variegation -- and the homeowner told me her 10 x 12 kitchen cost her almost $8000 to floor. Now, that's an extreme case, and it was several years ago. But they also had a sample of it out on the counter with a claw hammer, where they invited people to do their best to damage it. Couldn't make the slightest mark in it. Worth it? Well, I'm not a class-action lawyer or a high-class prostitute, so I can't make it work money-wise. Your mileage may vary.

Jun 12, 2010
dmd_kc in Cookware

Installing Cork Floors in Kitchen

OId, old, thread, but modern floating cork floors are over a quarter-inch thick and hide imperfections in the subfloor. They're not the same as the old eighth-inch cork tiles.

I installed prefinished cork about seven months ago, and would never even think about any other surface again. Water damage between the planks is a non-issue, at least with the brand I chose. To test it, I submerged a sample in water for 48 hours, and it dried out to exactly the same as new, save for a slight discoloration in the middle composite layer, which is invisible when the floor is installed.

Go for it. It's an all-time classic.

Jun 12, 2010
dmd_kc in Cookware

Oil dispenser/container

I have one like the Ekco (probably the selfsame) given to me as a gift from Williams-Sonoma years and years ago. The only downside is that you can't fill it more than about halfway or it spills over the top of the clear plastic insert when you want to dispense.

Easy to clean with Dawn by filling it about a half-inch deep with water then adding a bit of the detergent, then shake around till it's sudsy. Rinse and drain. I'd never be without mine.

Jun 12, 2010
dmd_kc in Cookware

Kansas City Tacos

The festival can be awesome -- except that the weather makes eating less than tolerable most of the time. We've gotten a HUGE break two years in a row with temperatures in the low 80s, but most of the time I can't bear the thought of eating something fried in the 95-plus-degree heat. I sure wish they'd move it to October. On the plus side, the places selling icy sweets do gangbuster business.

I feel REALLY bad for the people doing the exhibition dancing, martial arts and other athletic undertakings. I saw a poor kid pass out on stage of heat fatigue in her heavy costume a few years ago. Not a good time.

Jun 12, 2010
dmd_kc in Great Plains

Kansas City Tacos

Big second to El Camino Real. The al pastor is the best in the city, I think.

There's competition, though. La Fonda at Southwest Boulevard and Summit makes excellent taquitos, which is what you're looking for. Same for the place just to the west of it, whose name I can't remember for the life of me, despite the fact that I eat there at least every other week. The tacos are out of this world, especially the buche.

Cancun Fiesta Fresh isn't bad at all either.

-----
Cancun Fiesta Fresh
4019 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO 64111

Jun 12, 2010
dmd_kc in Great Plains

Epicurious.com and crab cake recipes

In my opinion, there are two types of crab cakes: the simplest possible suited to only the best crabmeat and mixed with nothing but panko and egg white, or one that falls into the "deviled" camp such as the delicious-looking recipe JungMann links to below.

As expensive as good crabmeat is here in the Midwest, I simply can't bring myself to add onion, garlic, Old Bay, or especially bell pepper to it, despite how appetizing the final result may be. I know this will brand me a heretic, but I'd just as soon use surimi as the real deal in a cake with a lot of other flavors competing with the crab.

The best I've ever tasted are my mother's, made with the above method and fried in about an inch of corn oil. If I'm ever executed, this is my final meal request.

Jun 12, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

What went wrong with my pie crust?

Ha ha -- we've all been there.

I suspect part of your problem may have been that you overworked it by adding in all that water as you were rolling it out. You really can't **underwork** pie crust. It should hold together as barely as possible, and should have very little in common with bread dough.

You'll master it. It's like riding a bike -- it seems impossible at first, but once you learn the feel, it'll become second nature.

Jun 12, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

Really basic cooking questions you've had for ages

"unless you're renting" -- EVIL! And hilarious!

And this is why I declined to rent out my old house when moving to the new one a couple of years ago.

aventinus, I bet you'll eventually get to the point where you don't burn yourself. Work quickly and you'll get the hang of it. I used to have an ingenious combination pasta fork/spatula/spoon thingee. It was cheap plastic and disintegrated a few months ago. It had deep teeth on one edge, but was shaped like an oblong spoon otherwise. I miss it and haven't been able to find a replacement.

Jun 11, 2010
dmd_kc in Home Cooking

As a cook, what do you love or hate about your kitchen?

Mine is prefinished with polyurethane, just like hardwoods. It's similar to the stuff they sell at Lumber Liquidators and the big-box stores via special order. I won't say it's impervious to stains, but it's darned close.

It's a locking, floating floor that comes in one-by-two-foot planks. It was the best decision I've made, I think.

Jun 09, 2010
dmd_kc in Cookware