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Which cooking magazine...?

Thank you, meatn3 and pamf.

Sep 29, 2014
pindert in General Topics

Which cooking magazine...?

One of the cooking magazines has -- or used to have -- a feature where you could write in and ask the magazine to find out a particular recipe from a particular restaurant, and then the magazine would print the recipe. Does anyone know if that feature still exists, and if so, which magazine has it? Thanks.

Sep 22, 2014
pindert in General Topics

Al Pastor recipe using carrot juice and orange juice

Would you be willing to share your recipe with me?

Dec 13, 2013
pindert in Home Cooking

Need sauce idea/recipe for dinner party

Great! Glad it was a success. :-)

Dec 13, 2013
pindert in Home Cooking

Al Pastor recipe using carrot juice and orange juice

There is a restaurant in San Bruno, CA, called La Paloma Mexican Restaurant, that has the most delicious Al Pastor I've ever had. I've tried Al Pastor at other restaurants and they've all fallen short, in my opinion. The last time I was there, I asked the waitress if she could tell me how they make it. Due to a language barrier, I wasn't able to learn much, but I learned this much: when I asked if pineapple juice is used, she said no but orange juice and carrot juice are both used. Has anyone ever run across a recipe like this? I would surely love to figure out how to make Al Pastor the way La Paloma does. Unfortunately, I live in another state, so I can't just pop in periodically to continually sample it in order to try to develop a copycat recipe. Help appreciated.

Dec 13, 2013
pindert in Home Cooking

Need sauce idea/recipe for dinner party

Miss Louella, I'd love to know if you made this recipe, and how it turned out.

Dec 13, 2013
pindert in Home Cooking

Wine suggestions for this meal

I never thought of that. The Wine Guy who helped me raved about the Solena. I mean he really got excited! So, perhaps that's what went wrong. Then again, it could just be my husband's and my palates. To some extent, wines are always a crap shoot because personal tastes vary so widely.

Nov 19, 2013
pindert in Wine

Need sauce idea/recipe for dinner party

Okay, here ya go.

1. The ratio of cheese-mushroom mixture to bread-cubes seems to be way off, IMO. There was a very large volume of cheese-mushroom mixture, and very little volume of bread cubes. I would at least double the bread – or halve the cheese-mushroom – next time. When I made this dish several years ago, I vaguely recollect that I noticed this problem and decided at the last minute to go ahead and double the bread cubes. (Which means I probably didn't use "day old" or "stale" bread.) Unfortunately, I didn't do the same this time.

2. This time the bread cubes seemed to maintain their structural integrity more than I would have preferred. I think that’s because I dried-out the bread for a day, and toasted it in butter as well. When I made it years ago, I recall the bread as being quite a bit more tender and almost custardy than it was this time. I think that’s probably because I used relatively fresh bread cubes (if I remember correctly), rather than stale bread cubes, for at about half of the of the bread when I made it years ago.

3. Not only did that make for a more luxurious filling, but it also soaked up more of the juices and fat from the cheese-mushroom mixture, and so swelled up a lot more last time versus this time -- so much so that it literally pushed the top of the pumpkin right off, and some of the filling spilled over and ran down the sides of the pumpkin, bubbling and browning in the oven, and leaving the cap attractively askew. It made for a gorgeous presentation. This time, it was attractive, but not spectacularly so, like the first time. So, I would use fresh bread for half of the bread called for, and toast them as directed.

4. I used a different type of squash, since the pumpkins at the stores were so small. It was 6 lbs, but I can't remember what variety of squash it was. It looked very much like a pumpkin though; I think it was a great substitute.

5. The cavity inside of a 4-5 lb pumpkin/squash is much too small for the amount of filling. I bought a 6 lb squash and it was still too small. When I made this dish years ago, I remember the pumpkin being about the size of an oblong basketball, and I just could NOT find any pumpkins of that size last week. My guess as to the weight of a pumpkin of that size is approximately 8 lbs, maybe? Also, try to get one with a little stem left on; about 2 inches would be perfect. It just makes a nice presentation and helps remove the cap when serving... I had a hard time getting the top off this time because mine didn’t have a stem.

6. Since there was so much extra filling, I made a second one, but I baked it in a covered casserole dish. However, it cooks faster than the one in the pumpkin, so you don't need to cook it for 90 min.

7. Be prepared to serve this dish with salt at table, even if you don't normally salt your food at table. This is because the pumpkin flesh brings down the overall saltiness of the dish. There's no way to salt the pumpkin flesh before cooking, that I know of. And I don't think you would want to make the filling too salty either, since not every bite you take is going to always have both filling and pumpkin. Adding salt at table did improve the taste.

Good luck!! I hope it is a smash. :-) I'd love to hear about how it turns out for you.

Nov 18, 2013
pindert in Home Cooking

Wine suggestions for this meal

Honestly, I don't remember.

Nov 18, 2013
pindert in Wine

Wine suggestions for this meal

Thanks to all the great advice, everyone!

Turns out, our guests did not want wine with the appetizers. After all that! (sigh!). I had bought a Gavi and a Gruner, but they're still unopened.

For dinner, the other couple asked for red, so I gave them an Oregon non-reserve Pinot Noir made by Solena. I had a small taste of it and did not like it at all. When we were cleaning up after everyone left, my husband tasted it and hated it. He dumped out the remaining wine that was still in the bottle! However, my husband and I both chose to have white with our main course, and we both liked it very much. It was a 2012 Laudun Cotes-du-Rhone Villages by Pierre Henri Morel. I also purchased a Beaujolais and a white (I can't remember now what it is), but we didn't open them.

No one wanted wine with dessert, so the Sauternes is also unopened.

I guess I overestimated how into wine our friends are. Oh well, now we have a good stash for next time.

Thank you again.

Nov 18, 2013
pindert in Wine

Need sauce idea/recipe for dinner party

Thanks to everyone for your input. I ended up making a Shallot and White Wine pan sauce (recipe from Cook's Illustrated), which was sublime -- maybe the best thing in the entire meal! My husband's roasted chicken was excellent. I switched the veg dish to Grilled Leeks, which were only okay (probably won't make these again). The pumpkin dish was delicious, but I have some recommended adjustments to the recipe for anyone who is interested. If anyone asks for this, I will post. Ended up using Haagen-Daaz vanilla ice cream instead of the whipped creme fraiche because it tasted kinda blah. Here are some photos.

Nov 18, 2013
pindert in Home Cooking
1

Wine suggestions for this meal

John,

I agree that pairing suggestions may be helpful or unhelpful, since everyone's palate is somewhat unique. However, I wanted some advice because I believe that my preference for sweetness in my wines is not often shared by others. It's been my impression that a majority of wines that people rave about -- when I taste them -- don't taste very good to me. So, I didn't want to force my love for sweet wines onto my guests. The other couple who will be there (the ones who do drink wine) are members of a wine club, so I assume they are more "sophisticated" in their appreciation of wine than I am. That's why I felt I needed some recommendations. I appreciate yours and everyone else's. (Hope that explanation made sense.) :-)

Nov 14, 2013
pindert in Wine

Wine suggestions for this meal

We're in the Seattle area.

Nov 14, 2013
pindert in Wine

Wine suggestions for this meal

We're having a dinner party (6 people, but only 4 will have wine) on Saturday, and neither of us are all that great at wine pairing. I would appreciate knowing what types of wine to serve. Here's our menu, with comments just below it:

APPETIZER:
-- Parmesan-rosemary toasted almonds
-- "Nyons Olive Cake" (a small, savory quickbread loaf) served w/Herbes de Provence Chevre

MAIN COURSE:
-- Whole roasted chicken w/shallot & white wine pan sauce

-- A savory bread pudding (made w/ Parmigiano, Emmenthaler and Mascarpone, wild mushrooms, and black truffles) baked and served in a whole pumpkin

-- Grilled leeks brushed w/a light, simple Dijon vinaigrette

DESSERT:
Tarte Tatin with whipped creme fraiche

My husband and I are not fans of Chardonnay: we tend to like white wines that are on the sweeter side (especially me), such as Reisling. However, the author of the bread pudding recipe recommends "a cool, flinty dry white wine." Problem is, I don't necessarily know what wine would fit that description! (But I know it's not usually Reisling. Should we serve Sauvignon Blanc? Pinot Gris? ...?) Also, we do want to have a red (and maybe even a blush) available, too. What red goes with chicken? BTW, the truffle flavor in the bread pudding is fairly subtle, in case that makes a difference.

We usually select wines that are approximately under $25 or so.

We're not asking because we're concerned about propriety ("white w/chicken, red w/ beef" etc); we just want to enhance the food with the best wine choice that we can manage.

Thanks very much.

Nov 12, 2013
pindert in Wine

Need sauce idea/recipe for dinner party

Thanks for the browned-butter idea. I may do that.

Oct 30, 2013
pindert in Home Cooking

Need sauce idea/recipe for dinner party

Sure! I got this recipe from a book called A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance, by Marlena di Blasi.

Whole Roasted Pumpkin Stuffed with Porcini and Truffles

• one 4-5 lb pumpkin or Hubbard Squash
• 3 T unsalted butter
• 2 lg yellow onions, diced small
• 12 oz assorted wild mushrooms (porcini, portabella, Crimini, chanterelles, etc)
• 2 canned black truffles
• sea salt
• 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 3 C mascarpone cheese
• 12 oz Emmenthaler cheese, grated
• 4 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
• 3 eggs
• 2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
• 4 T unsalted butter
• 8 slices firm white day-old bread, crusts removed

NOTE: If using a pumpkin rather than a Hubbard squash, be sure to get a Sugar Pie Pumpkin. Do not get a "jack-o-lantern" type of pumpkin, as they are not suitable for eating.

NOTE: Instead of 12 oz of fresh wild mushrooms, you could use 4 oz dried mushrooms instead. If you do this, soften them in 1/2 cup warm water, stock or wine. Drain, reserving the liquid, and slice thinly.

NOTE: Instead of using 2 whole black truffles, you could use 3 oz black truffle paste.

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Cut the stalk end of pumpkin to form a cap and retain for use later. Remove strings and seeds.

3. Rinse, drain, dry and thinly slice the fresh mushrooms. Set aside.

4. Cut bread into 1" squares. Set aside

5. In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter and sauté the onion with the mushrooms until both soften and the mushrooms give up their liquors (if using dried mushrooms, strain the soaking liquid to remove sediment, and add liquid to the sauté pan). Add the thinly sliced truffles or truffle paste (if used) and combine well. Add the salt and pepper to taste.

6. In a large bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients except the bread and butter; season with liberal amounts of salt and pepper. Beat until well combined, then stir in the mushroom mixture. Set aside.

7. Melt the 4 tablespoons butter in a sauté pan and brown the bread, tossing the pieces about until they are crisp. Set aside.

8. Place the pumpkin in a large, heavy baking dish or on a baking sheet. Spoon 1/3 of the mushroom mixture into the pumpkin, add half the crisped bread, another third of the mushrooms, the remaining bread, and end with the last third of the mushrooms.

9. Top off with the pumpkin cap and roast at 375 for 90 minutes or until the pumpkin's flesh is very soft. Carry the pumpkin immediately to table, remove its hat, and spoon out portions of its flesh with the stuffing.

Serve this dish with a cool, flinty dry white wine.

Oct 30, 2013
pindert in Home Cooking
1

Need sauce idea/recipe for dinner party

Yes, I will add butter at the end if it seems to need a bit more richness.

Oct 30, 2013
pindert in Home Cooking

Need sauce idea/recipe for dinner party

Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions.

I need to put the pork idea to rest.... my husband just isn't confident enough or experienced enough doing a pork loin roast on the grill; he feels there's a better probability of his being able to produce a very good result if he sticks with chicken. So, we're going with the chicken.

I think I'll probably do a very simple basic pan sauce for a light drizzle, using shallots, some type of white wine, stock, and thyme). I want to have this just in case The Hubs overcooks the chicken and it turns out dry. :-/

Also, I'm considering switching the veg to Grilled Leeks instead of Brussels Sprouts. It's simpler in flavor, easier to prepare, and there is less of a chance that someone will dislike leeks, as opposed to Sprouts. I'll use baby leeks if I can find them (aren't these called Ramps?). They are brushed with an extremely simple Dijon vinaigrette before grilling.

I will try to stop long enough to take some pics, and then share here.

Oct 30, 2013
pindert in Home Cooking

Need sauce idea/recipe for dinner party

I was thinking of omitting the capers, as a matter of fact.

I've made the pumpkin recipe before and it is sublime. When you scoop out the pudding, you also scoop some of the cooked pumpkin flesh. This dish stays! :-)

Oct 30, 2013
pindert in Home Cooking
1

Need sauce idea/recipe for dinner party

We're having a dinner party in 10 days, and my husband wants make the "protein" dish. I'd prefer a pork loin roast, but he wants to roast a couple of whole chickens (maybe beer-can method) on his gas grill. I want to make a simple pan sauce to serve with the chicken. (I can saute up some thighs a few days in advance, in order to get the drippings needed for a pan sauce, since I might not get what I need from grill-roasting, and I don't want too much smoke flavor anyway.)

I need some SUGGESTIONS about what flavors to incorporate in the chicken, and maybe a good pan sauce recipe. Here is our menu:

1. Roasted Chicken
2. Whole Roasted Pumpkin stuffed with a Parm-Emmenthaler Bread Pudding, Wild Mushrooms, and Black Truffle
3. Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Lemon, Hazelnuts, and Fried Capers
4. Tarte Tatin w/ Whipped Creme Fraiche

I'd like to keep the meal Autumnal. And I'm also trying to keep it in the French/No. Italian vein, if possible.

My first thought was lemon-garlic-rosemary, but since I already have lemon in the Sprouts, I'm wondering if orange-garlic-rosemary would work well. Tarragon might be better, but that's a spring herb. So, I was considering making a pan sauce using Grand Marnier or other orange liquer (or O.J.?) and a bit of Dijon. But I would welcome any other ideas for the chicken and sauce. Thanks!

Oct 29, 2013
pindert in Home Cooking

Help! My husband loves canned frosting!

Thank you all for your kind advice. I really appreciate it. I decided to give him what he likes, as you advised. I'm sure that he will be a happy man tomorrow. Thanks all! :-)

Jun 16, 2012
pindert in Home Cooking

Help! My husband loves canned frosting!

I need help, fast. My husband's favorite dessert is Yellow Cake with Milk-Chocolate Frosting. For Father's Day, I said I'd make him whatever he wants, and he requested that for dessert.

I've made it for him in the past, all from scratch, and he's been kinda lukewarm about it. Finally, for a potluck, I made two cakes: one from scratch, and one from a cake mix and canned frosting. The frosting I made was an incredibly amazing one from Cooks Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen, whcih everyone fainted over. But he said he liked box-mix cake better -- AND the canned frosting better. I don't get it!

Nevertheless, this is what he prefers. He says it's what he grew up on, what he's used to, and in his mind, this is what yellow cake with milk choc frosting is supposed to taste like.

I'm willing to concede on the cake mix, as they really are pretty good, and can be doctored up fairly easily. But what can I do about that dang canned frosting? I don't like it, and I don't like to work with it either. I could try to sneak a homemade frosting past him, but I'm afraid he'll be unsatisfied with that...

So, does anyone know of a good homemade Milk Chocolate (not dark chocolate) Frosting recipe that is somewhat similar to canned? Or should I just cave in and use the canned stuff, because it's what HE likes (and after all, I am making it for him)? What do you think?

Jun 15, 2012
pindert in Home Cooking

making boxed cake mix better...

I don't know where you can find an Orange Cake Mix, so I though that maybe a Lemon Cake Mix would be a reasonable alternative, and then just use a bit of orange flavoring.

Jun 15, 2012
pindert in Home Cooking