Atomic76's Profile

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Mushy salmon... what went wrong??

Well part of the problem was that the salmon was frozen, but I am also wondering now, did you crowd the salmon into a baking dish perhaps - to the point where it was more or less poaching/steaming as well?

I've had mushy fish when I bought it frozen and tried to bake it in the oven and it would give off a ton of liquid. It wasn't unless I drained off all that excess liquid and cranked the temperature up that the fish would start to brown around the edges and firm back up a bit.

Apr 06, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking

Heavy Appetizers for Wine Club

Lamb Sliders or Kebabs perhaps?

Mar 20, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking

Which wine & spirits should I have on hand?

I would just keep a red and a white drinking wine on hand, to be honest. The only other specialty wines I buy on occasion would be Marsala for Chicken Marsala, and sometimes Sherry, mainly for Chinese recipes since I can never seem to find rice wine anywhere.

I actually like the "cooking wine" Marsala wine - it has just the right amount of salt in it when making Chicken Marsala, so I don't need to add any salt at all when making it. Also, it's not too sweet either - my gripe with buying Marsala wine is some of them are far too sweet to make Chicken Marsala, and the store employees often don't know much about which ones to recommend to me.

Sherry kind of goes to waste in my fridge, because the Chinese recipes I use it in only call for a small amount. I've since discovered that it's also pretty interesting in a homemade tomato sauce, in place of the usual red (or white) wine.

If you ever wind up with some bottles of sweet or dry vermouth, after entertaining, they are fantastic to cook with btw.

Mar 20, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking

Bone-in Skin-on Chicken Parm?

I've made a variation on the traditional breaded and fried chicken parm using just *boneless* skin-on chicken breasts with no breading, pan fried. They came out really good, and were a nice alternative. I even threw in some mushrooms when sauteing and browning the chicken, to guild the lily, before topping it all with sauce and cheese and putting it under the broiler to brown.

Leaving the bone in would make it a hassle to eat, imo.

Mar 20, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking

Saggy celery

Are you saying that your celery is going bad just three days after you bought it? It should last longer than that - it was either old when you bought it, and/or the temperature in your fridge is too low.

I guess in that situation I would just freeze what's left and save it for some stock.

Mar 20, 2014
Atomic76 in General Topics
1

Clarifying Homemade Chicken Stock With Egg Whites - Fail

I made, probably one of my more successful batches of chicken stock yesterday. This time around I actually saved up a bunch of fresh chicken bones and skin, much more than I would normally use, and I also added an "acid" per some suggestions, in the form of some fresh chopped tomato. I didn't use any whole pieces of chicken either, just the bones and skin.

The result was a very dense broth (I made it in my pressure cooker) with a great mouth feel. I let it cool overnight so I could skim the excess fat off. But I also figured, if I went this far, why not really perfect it and attempt to clarify it into a "consomme".

I don't have any cheese cloth on hand, so I've only been straining the broth through a fine metal strainer. The broth itself actually looked pretty clear to begin with, but of course I wanted to see how far I could take it.

The method I had always heard of was to use egg whites, cooked in the broth to catch any debris, then strain it again to get a crystal clear broth. Some methods suggested adding even more ground meat and vegetables for this process, but I was worried these extra ingredients would muck up the broth even more, so I left them out.

I scrambled up some egg whites until a bit frothy, brought the broth to a simmer and added them. They eventually formed the "cloud" as described and I let it all cook a while longer. Then I strained it through the metal strainer. Total fail.

The resulting broth was even cloudier, had an "egg white" taste to it, and a lot of the egg white debris made it through the strainer as well.

Have any of you ever done this egg white method successfully? I'm wishing I would have just left the perfectly good stock alone after de-fatting it, lol.

Feb 19, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking

Turkey Meatballs...

I'm wondering if maybe popping them in the freezer a bit before cooking them, until they at least become semi-frozen might help. Then perhaps bake them at a high temp to start off just so the exterior gets cooked and browned a bit, then lower it until the center is cooked through.

I also agree with the other suggestions on here to cook out the excess moisture from the peppers and onions first too - in fact I would even blot them really well with paper towel after cooking them down.

You could even maybe try dehydrated onion flakes. Or perhaps the Knorr dry veggie soup mix?

Feb 18, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking

A Panini Question

That's what I thought too, but surprisingly it's not any more greasy than brushing it with butter or oil. Mayo is just some oil with egg and vinegar, so it should theoretically be slightly less greasy than using 100% oil, like olive oil.

Feb 18, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking

Can I just toss "stew meat" in a slow cooker?

You can also broil the meat after it's done cooking in the slow cooker. Just fish it out with a slotted spoon, and put it on a baking sheet lines with foil and pop it under the broiler until it browns and crisps at the edges, then add back to the sauce/gravy.

Feb 18, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking

A Panini Question

Mayo in place of butter works well on grilled cheese sandwiches in a pan, may work on a Panini too.

Feb 17, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking

Surplus of dried dill, uses for it?

There is a recipe on this site for a copycat Montreal Steak Seasoning that uses dill too. Granted, you mentioned vegetarian, but you could probably use it on grilled portabella or other vegetables too.

How about making some homemade pickled vegetables with it?

Feb 17, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking

Please recommend pressure cooking cookbooks

I would suggest checking out Cooks Illustrated (online) as well as their sister site, America's Test Kitchen. They're only like $3 per month for an online subscription, but they also offer a free two week trial. There's a bunch of printable recipes, but also a lot of videos too for pressure cooker stuff. One of the things I like about their recipes are they at they are tested to make sure they work good. Also, when it comes to pressure cookers and slow cookers, they encourage you to not rely solely on the device itself, most of their recipes involve a little browning or other prep first - they're not all "dump it all in the pot and turn it on" recipes, which often don't turn out good.

Feb 17, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking

easy dinners for swing shifters

Fajita's are easy and fast, plus a simple way to get in some veggies. You could splurge and buy some Ribeye for them too, since a little will stretch out a long way.

Pick up some Beef or Pork roasts when they are on sale (especially buy one get one free deals) and season them very simply (salt & pepper) then slow roast them in your oven for several hours (on the weekends) until they are fall apart tender. You can use these in a variety of dishes throughout the week - toss part of the pork roast with mexican seasonings and a little oil then throw under the broiler for some carnitas over rice or filling for burritos. Roast beef sandwiches or shred the beef/pork into some tomato sauce and toss with your favorite pasta. You get the idea...

I suppose another way of looking at is, is many restaurant recipes are designed to cook up quickly - they're knocking out hundreds of them each evening. Even something a little fancier like a chicken marsala or chicken picatta cooks up in literally minutes, aside from a few minutes of prep.

Pizza's aren't necessarily a bad thing either - keep some flatbreads on hand, then all you need to do is brush them with a little olive oil then add your favorite toppings and throw them in a really hot oven for a few minutes. They're another easy way to add veggies.

Feb 16, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking

Why Is "Lunch" Missing From The ChowHound Recipes Section?

Granted, "Brunch" is grouped in with "Breakfast", but "Main" sounds more like "Dinner" to me.

Would anyone else find a "Lunch" section helpful? I was thinking namely recipes that hold up well to being made in advance, the measurements are geared towards single serving, could be eaten cold or room temp if no means of heating them up is available, etc...

Feb 08, 2014
Atomic76 in Site Talk

Stupid easy recipes you really love

- I make a simple pasta salad with Good Season's Garlic & Herb dressing mix prepared according to package directions - I use plain old canola oil and white vinegar. Then toss it with pasta of choice, some diced cucumber, and some crumbled feta. I may even throw in some black olives as well.

- black bean and rice burritos. Make some instant rice, but use half chicken stock and half salsa for the liquid. Then toss some black beans with a little salsa and warm those up too. Sprinkle some sharp cheddar on your flour tortillas and warm them until the cheese melts. Combine everything into a burrito.

Feb 08, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking
1

Help! I'm having a party for 40!

I think a baked meat free pasta dish would be fine for the vegetarians, and would also be appreciated by the meat eaters too.

The chicken I would cook separately. Since it takes roughly the same time to cook as the ham, you could easily throw some baked chicken parts in the oven along with it.

I think a green salad would be a nice "light" complement to the other items you are offering, which sound rather rich. If not salad, perhaps a simple steamed vegetable medley - orange and yellow carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans & wax beans, etc... lightly tossed in some butter or olive oil and fresh herbs.

Scalloped potatoes are also really easy to throw together - all you need is some heavy cream, thinly sliced potatoes, salt, pepper, and perhaps a little garlic powder & paprika.

Feb 08, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking

My First Tin of Old Bay: What should I make??

If you are making buffalo wings at home, a nice change of pace from the usual Red Hot & Butter sauce, is to add some Old Bay along with some Lemon Juice to the Red Hot/Butter mixture. Adds some extra tang and a nice depth of flavor.

Feb 08, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking

Uses for "spicy vegetable juice" aka spicy v8

You could probably use it as one of the liquids when making Spanish Rice. I normally use half chicken stock and half spicy tomato sauce (Goya or El Pato brand), but the Spicy V8 should work too. I would probably try and use low sodium broth though since the V8 is salty. Toss in some peas and corn for color too, and serve it with some Carnitas.

You may be able to use it in a batch of homemade BBQ sauce too, in place of any tomato sauce it calls for.

It would probably work in a ceviche as well along with some fresh lime juice.

A braised Swiss Steak with it would be good as well.

Feb 08, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking
1

Chocolate chip cookies always turn out puffy

You may want to double check that you are using baking *soda* and not baking *powder* - if you store them in custom containers. My mom has made that mistake a number of times.

Also, you could try refrigerating the batter for a couple hours before baking the cookies to see if that helps.

I don't think you need to beat the dough that much either, a few times around the bowl with a wooden spoon to make sure everything is incorporated should be enough.

Feb 08, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking

Deli meat bargain!?!

- scalloped potatoes with ham

- mac and cheese with ham

- ham and cheese omelettes

- "meat" pizza with ham and other meats (pepperoni, sausage, etc...)

- it's also somewhat common in your basic baked pasta in a red sauce, with some dollops of ricotta, and some coarsely chopped hard boiled eggs, then topped with a lot of mozzarella and baked.

- you can use it as the "pork" in pork fried rice.

Feb 08, 2014
Atomic76 in General Topics

Are expensive/gourmet coffee beans worth it?

I think a burr mill grinder plus any decent brand of fresh coffee beans will give you a much better tasting coffee right off the bat, without having to spend even more on gourmet brands.

You can get varying levels of strength from the beans simply by trying out different grind settings, and the amounts you prefer to use, until you find the combo you like best.

My coworkers and I were partial to the simple old electric percolator pot. No filters or extra parts to fuss around with, and easy to clean.

Pretty much everything at Whole Foods is overpriced, so it wouldn't surprise me the least if they were jacking up the cost of their coffee beans. Their store brand of spices for example is made by the same company that makes World Market's store brand spices, only World Market's are like $1-$2 less per bottle.

Feb 03, 2014
Atomic76 in General Topics
3

Roast chicken left out overnight - ok to pressure cook for stock?

I only use fresh chicken carcasses, never cooked ones - what's the point? Most of the flavor components (the juices, the gelatin, etc...) in them have already been leeched out.

Even if it was safe to use, you probably wouldn't get much flavor from it anyhow.

Feb 02, 2014
Atomic76 in General Topics

Let's talk about Head Cheese.

I'm pretty sure what is sold here in the North East known as "Chip Chop Ham" is basically just head cheese. I think the only difference is that it's sliced like tissue-paper thin - hence the name. I guess that kind of helps hide the tougher gnarly bits.

I used to eat it all the time as a kid, until I got older and saw some TV segments on how head cheese was made and noticed the similarities. Now I won't touch the stuff. Grosses me out.

Feb 02, 2014
Atomic76 in General Topics

Safe to Eat Cured Mullet Roe (aka Karasumi, Bottarga) if it's Moldy?

There is a hilarious post on SteamyKitchen.com about this, that is a must read:

http://www.steamykitchen.com/31260-mu...

Feb 02, 2014
Atomic76 in General Topics
1

At what point does the price of a meal overcome value?

This one time we hit up a local Thai restaurant that was supposed to be famous for it's grilled chicken dinner. We decided to try it, they were $14 a piece. I kid you not when I say, that it was literally just one boneless skinless chicken thigh (loaded with spices) over some steamed rice, with a side of sauce. That's it. I could have made that at home for like $1.50, literally, and they're charging me $14?!

The other thing I generally refuse to pay a premium for are pasta dishes. Those are so inexpensive for restaurants to make that it's a waste of money to order them when dining out. Not to mention, depending on the joint and how much pasta they sell, a lot of them pre-cook and portion the pasta then just warm it in a microwave and drown it in sauce.

Feb 02, 2014
Atomic76 in General Topics

The ridiculous price of raw chicken wings!

It seems like the price of chicken has gone up overall. I was just looking at some whole chickens at a local discount grocery store, Save-A-Lot, and they wanted around $10 for a whole chicken. That's nuts considering I can get a cooked rotisserie chicken for $5 at Costco.

If they are truly selling the other parts (breasts and thighs) at a discount, I can somewhat see the justification for having to raise the costs of wings, give people an incentive to buy the other parts as well so they don't get stuck with them and they go bad.

But I've not really noticed the prices on breasts and thighs dropping in my area, just the cost of drummettes and wing tips going up.

We used to be able to get buffalo wings for like 15-25 cents a piece.

Feb 02, 2014
Atomic76 in General Topics
1

Food Bloggers - Pretentious Bad Food Photography

Sorry for the rant, but I've been seeing more and more of the same problems with much of the food photography being shared on people's recipe blogs.

BTW, I'm not referring to the complete amateurs, who are shooting with their on camera flash and all their shots look like crime scene photographs - they're a lost cause.

- Stop over-saturating the colors. The food should look natural, not radioactive. I've seen tomatoes and tomato sauce so over-done it looks like glowing lava. Red onions that look like a fluorescent purple. Lettuce that's the color of kryptonite.

- Calm down with the hyper macro shots. We don't need to see the food from the point of view of a mosquito landing on a blade of rosemary. These types of images do little to describe the food, and are veering into non-objective, shoegaze territory.

- For goodness sake, Edit! You don't need to include a separate individual macro shot of *every* single ingredient in the dish, and every minuscule step. I already know what sea salt looks like up close, seriously. I don't need ten consecutive shots of you scrambling an egg. "Pioneer Woman" is one of the worst offenders of this (and my first two issues as well).

- Stop slipping in family photos and other unrelated images. I don't know any of these people, I can care less about a bunch of random photos of complete strangers standing together at some random event smiling.

- Put down the tweezers. They're for plucking eyebrows, and removing splinters. Not for plating food. Meticulously placed pieces of chopped parsley over a dish doesn't look natural or appetizing, it looks creepy and neurotic.

Feb 02, 2014
Atomic76 in Food Media & News
1

How to stretch pizza dough?

The dough needs to rest and rise a bit before you start stretching it, otherwise it will snap back and be stubborn about stretching out. You should let it sit at room temp, loosely covered for about an hour before stretching it.

Also, I like to rub some oil on the dough and all over my hands before stretching.

Jan 30, 2014
Atomic76 in Home Cooking

Best marinara sauce in a jar?

I can't bring myself to spend upwards of $7 or more for many of these premium jarred tomato sauces. I know you can get Prego or Ragu or some store brand for less, but anything remotely better and the price jumps dramatically.

I can stock my pantry with 10 cans of crushed tomatoes for $10, or spend over $60-$70 for 10 jars of a somewhat decent pre-made sauce. It adds up quick.

You can make a much better tasting sauce in minutes with just a can of crushed tomatoes and a few fresh ingredients. I don't really see the point personally.

Jan 26, 2014
Atomic76 in General Topics

What's this kale love?

I wish the media would stop it with these goofy food crazes. They're already starting the hype machine up over cauliflower now, and we haven't even gotten away from the kale sensationalism.

It's like bloggers and news web sites are just writing stuff about kale incessantly for the sake of SEO more than anything.

Jan 26, 2014
Atomic76 in General Topics