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Received a BUNCH of pork chops... what to do??

Here's a terrific treatment for thick, bone-in chops that gives a great result with tons of flavor. This has become a favorite in my home, and the cooking method can be adapted to use other flavors (that is, dredge - or not - sear, then finish with wine or other liquid and garlic in a 300-degree oven).

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

I don't bother using fennel fronds. The ground fennel is a really great seasoning for these chops.

about 16 hours ago
janniecooks in Home Cooking
1

Canning Peach Butter

Yes you can just cook it more and then process it again in a water bath. But use the stovetop as a crockpot is designed to hinder evaporation.

about 16 hours ago
janniecooks in Home Cooking

Sad news about a food writer/cook/traveler who had a huge impact

I was saddened to read about Paula Wolfert's diagnosis with Alzheimer's Disease in Saturday's WSJ. Ms. Wolfert's books were my first introduction to cuisines other than my own. Interestingly one of her books is the July COTM on home cooking.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-a-coo...

about 16 hours ago
janniecooks in Food Media & News

Too much sugar in dessert recipes

I don't know if there is some formula one could apply, what I usually do is make the dessert the first time as the author wrote it, and if the result is too sweet but the dessert is worth making again, I make notes on the recipe and reduce the sugar each successive time until the sweetness is just right. With practice you'll be able to recognize when a recipe's sugar quantity seems excessive for your taste and can reduce it right off the bat. Even things like cakes, which despite being "chemistry" can often succeed with less sugar. Find a similar dessert you like, with a sweetness level to your taste, and compare the ratio of sugar to other ingredients - that will let you develop your own rule of thumb. Good luck.

Cooked Flour Frosting - I'm scared

You've already received other advice on adding the sugar with the milk/flour, which I have not tried, but I wanted to add that I have always made it by creaming the butter and sugar together. Grittiness has not been a problem. If you cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, starting with coldish butter (not fridge cold, but not room temp), and beat long enough (at the proper speed) the sugar should dissolve. Are you using a stand mixer?

1 day ago
janniecooks in Home Cooking

Cooked Flour Frosting - I'm scared

Don't fear this frosting, it's truly wonderful. Follow the directions here and you will end with something great:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/760095

1 day ago
janniecooks in Home Cooking

Help! My tomato blossoms keep drying up

Not one solution, you'll have to figure out why it's happening based on your particular situation. Here's an excerpt that explains possible causes:

Blossom drop can be attributed to several causes, most often related to either temperature and / or stress.
Temperature Too High or Too Low
Lack of Pollination
Nitrogen - Too Much or Too Little
Humidity Too High or Low Humidity.
Lack of water
Stress from insect damage or disease
Too Heavy Fruit Set

Read for solutions to control blossom drop here:

http://gardening.about.com/od/problem...
http://www.tomatocasual.com/2007/09/0...

If those sites aren't to your liking, just search blossom drop and you'll find a plethora of articles, perhaps even one focused on the northeast.

Jun 27, 2015
janniecooks in Gardening

English Muffin Crouton Recipes?

Cube the muffins, let them dry for a couple hours if they're not already stale. Put crushed garlic in olive oil (or just skip the garlic if desired) in a skillet, heat at low heat until the garlic begins to sizzle and the oil is well flavored. Remove the garlic, increase the heat and toss in the cubes of bread. Let them brown on one side then toss them in the pan to brown the other sides of the bread cubes. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with salt.

Jun 27, 2015
janniecooks in Home Cooking

making chocolate mousse with out gelatine or egg yolks

It could be the technique as well as the proportions that make a successful mousse. Here's mine:

Two cups heavy cream, 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 4 large egg whites, 1 tablespoon honey. Heat half the cream to a simmer, remove from heat and add finely chopped chocolate, stirring to melt until well blended, then add the honey. Cool at room temp to lukewarm. While the chocolate is cooling, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks and separately whip the remaining cream to stiff peaks. Combine the ganache with the whites, first lghtening with one third of the whites (mix vigorously to combine). Then gently fold in the remaining whites, slowly and gently, until well blended and free of white streaks. Finally fold the whipped cream into this mixture.

Stiffly whipped egg whites, stiffly whipped cream, chocolate ganache at no more than lukewarm temp, and gentle - GENTLE - folding as outlined above should do the trick.

Good luck.

Jun 27, 2015
janniecooks in Home Cooking

When to get lunch/a snack on this trip?

Eat a hearty breakfast and bring some nuts? Four hours is not a terribly long time to go without food. Some people actually fast all day for days at a time during certain religious observations.

Jun 24, 2015
janniecooks in General Topics

Five-Star Dining on Leftover Scraps?

oh, no. what will the compost bins eat?

Jun 23, 2015
janniecooks in Food Media & News

big big, fat, over-stuffed fridge/freezer!?!

Thaw it!?! Cook it!?! Eat it !?! Don't put so much stuff in it?!?

Korean Cuisine Beginner: What do I order?

There are a fair number of threads on this board on korean food, what to order, and so forth. None are terribly recent, but I doubt that korean cuisine has changed much in the last several years so I offer these links for your perusal:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3346...
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4434...
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4434...
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2861...
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2861...
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6809...
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2999...

Why am I such a bad baker?

If you were to describe one or two particular recipes you tried and failed at, and discussed how you executed the recipe instructions it might be possible to analyze what is going wrong for you.

Jun 21, 2015
janniecooks in Home Cooking

Three chocolate pies and their crust: a cooking experiment

Hmmmm, I wasn't aware of Chang's latest book. Sounds interesting, definitely worth a look. Thanks for the info.

Jun 17, 2015
janniecooks in Home Cooking

Cast iron for sweet baking?

You don't want to use those pans for a sweet pie, the pans will transfer unpleasant flavors to the pie crust.

Jun 17, 2015
janniecooks in Cookware

Pork chop help!!!

Keeping thin cut pork chops moist is problematic using any cooking method. Baking is the last method I'd choose. A quick sear on the stovetop - a couple minutes per side - is all they need.

Three chocolate pies and their crust: a cooking experiment

While I would never make a chocolate pie - too much sweetness for us - I commend you for your experiment and method. I enjoyed reading your post and give you a big thumbs up for taking this approach.

ISO Budget-Conscious, Meat-Centric Meals for a Crowd

Baked or braised chicken legs and thighs can take a lot of different treatments and are budget friendly especially when bought on sale. Think soy sauce chicken, or baked with a coating of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese (lots of flavor variation possibilities here), are just two cheap and easy treatments for starting ideas.

Jun 13, 2015
janniecooks in Home Cooking
1

Making a double batch of cookies for the first time - help!

The only issue with this particular recipe is it is quite large at one batch. My KA artisan mixer could not handle the extra volume of a double batch, but if you have the larger mixer you should be fine.

Range Hood vs OTR Microwave

You have stated the problem with recirculating OTR microwaves exactly. They don't work. We bought a house five months ago that had a GE OTR non-vented microwave. It recirculated, but poorly. However, we knew when we purchased the home that we would replace it with a real range hood vented to the outside. It was as simple as hiring an HVAC contractor to punch a hole through the wall (cooktop is on an exterior wall), install the vent and install the hood. The work cost $150 plus the microwave - the contractor knocked $$ off the original quote in exchange for the MW. We also supplied all the materials = the vent hood, a bit of ducting and the exterior vent. IMO not costly at all, and the whole cost depends on the hood cost. (Ours was $490). Good luck. BTW, a cabinet installer is probably not the right tradesperson to discuss venting with.

Jun 10, 2015
janniecooks in Cookware

Word difference

You have a language and usage question, not a cooking question, as far as I understand it. You are confused about a word, not about a technique. The technique and the culinary application are pretty clear; if people use a word in a different context, well that is the nuance of language.

Jun 10, 2015
janniecooks in Home Cooking
1

Looking for intel on the history of Sausage Bread

Grew up in Minneapolis and never heard of sausage bread.

Jun 10, 2015
janniecooks in General Topics

Word difference

Chop down a tree, execute a karate chop, do something "chop-chop", that person has "chops", play some chops, use chops, hit him in the chops, chop shop, chop off your hair, chop off my to-do-list, chop some carrots + other more vulgar uses of the word chop. Same word, some different meanings, some are slang usages. Your question isn't really in the realm of a cooking question and the answer is not within the scope of the home cooking board, IMO.

Jun 03, 2015
janniecooks in Home Cooking

Word difference

One learns the meaning of culinary terms, that's how to "differ the two meanings". You can do a basic internet search to find a wealth of resources defining kitchen cuts. Here's a couple good articles that outline the different cuts:

http://chasingdelicious.com/kitchen-1...
(scroll down past the kinves discussion for a graphic that very clearly defines the cuts

)

http://theculinarycook.com/knife-skil...

Preparing food beforehand

Every item on your list needs to be kept cold until final preparation or serving. Everything. No food item should be kept for five hours in a car without refrigeration. A couple of coolers with ice blocks or bagged ice - a good amount of ice - is necessary to avoid spoilage or worse. The risk is not just that quality will suffer, but that bacteria will likely develop that will make your guests very ill. Don't even consider not refrigerating these foods.

printing recipes

There is a printer icon on the top bar once you open a recipe--the bar that includes the difficulty factor, the star ratings, and the icons for facebook, twitter, pinterest, and email - the printer icon is the last icon in the row, after the email icon. Maybe this bar is not visible on the mobile version but it is there on a laptop (and I do have AdBlockPro installed).

May 30, 2015
janniecooks in Site Talk

Question(s) for all you pie and canning mavens re: Clearjel

Clear Jel requires heat to thicken, Instant does not. Since Clear Jel does not break down during heating, using Instant Clear Jel in an amount equivalent to Clear Jel and then cooking it is likely why your filling is too thick. You might want to add more liquid. According to the apple pie filling recipe sidebar tip on page 170 of the same book, "making mixtures too thick can interfere with required heat penetration during heat processing." Your canned filling may not be shelf stable (I am assuming that when you use the term "can" you do mean in a water bath).

Also, that same sidebar tip refers you to page 431 for more information but I didn't see anything of help on that page.

It was the substitution of Instant for regular clear jel that caused your issue, not the halving of the recipe.

May 25, 2015
janniecooks in Home Cooking

Super thin frozen fish fillets

I agree with babette feasts that weighing with a book is overkill. I frequently buy frozen fish, including flounder. For any of the frozen fillets once they are thawed I drain them on double thickness paper towels, place a paper towel or two on top and press down gently to squeeze out the retained water. Then move them to a dry plate lined with paper towel.

Pan frying these is probably not going to work very well, but you could try with a nonstick pan. I have had success with frozen flounder made in a nonstick skillet, quickly sauteed in butter and finished with lemon juice, or toasted almonds.

Another treatment that is really perfect for these frozen fillets is one I found in Roy Finnamore's book "Tasty", Flounder Baked with tomatoes. It is very simple and produces a delicious result. Here's my take on it:
Flounder Baked with tomatoes (for 2 servings)
Prepare the crumb crust: Tear apart two slices of Pepperidge Farm sandiwch white bread ( or some other soft, close-textured white bread). Buzz them in a mini-chopper to make fine crumbs, then mix the crumbs with a half cup or so of parmesan cheese. ( I use romano, our cheese of choice). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Oil a casserole dish that is just large enough to hold the fish in one layer, or only slightly overlapping (I use an oval gratin dish). Put into the dish a pint of halved cherry tomatoes, one small onion thinly sliced, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and two bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Bake the tomatoes for 30 minutes, until the tomatoes start to collapse. Remove from oven and turn on the broiler.

Lay the flounder on top of the tomatoes, strew the breadcrumb/cheese mixture over the fish and drizzle with olive oil. Once the broiler is good and hot, put the fish under the broiler about 6 inches away from the heat, and broil about 5 minutes, until the crumbs are browned and bubbling. Let sit for a couple minutes after removing from oven to allow the fish to finish cooking. Serve hot.

You may need to modify the timing a bit for your ultra thin fillets, but I think you will find that if you stop compressing them with book weights they will not be so thin, and their texture will improve.

Good luck.

May 18, 2015
janniecooks in Home Cooking

A no-knead bread question

Have you tried using bottled water in your bread? If you are using well water, it might contain minerals that affect the rise or the texture; if your water is conditioned it might contain enough salt to have an effect on the bread. Here's an interesting article from Baker's Journal about the effects of hard and soft water in breads:

http://www.triangularwave.com/bakerye...

May 08, 2015
janniecooks in Home Cooking