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JoeBabbitt's Profile

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For Fun: Favorite bad versions of dishes?

Canned corned beef hash. Particularly Broadcast brand.

Jul 27, 2014
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Cheesesteak with Broccoli Rabe near Toms River, NJ?

Frank's on Rte 9 in Wall Twp will do that. They are in the shopping center w/ Home Depot.

Jul 27, 2014
JoeBabbitt in New Jersey

Seafood Main Course for 8 That Doesn't Break the Bank?

NOw through AUgust is the time for mussels. They are at their best & cheapest right now. Mussels Marinara... Big bowl of Linguini w/ parmesan & butter, Greek salad (tomatoes, Feta, red onions, cucumbers, V&O & Basil) & a nice crusty bread.

Jul 25, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Need to use 600g/21 oz. of Valbreso Feta before it expires 08/17/2014

Tiropita

Jul 24, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking
2

Cast Iron - a Cautionary tale.

Hmmmm... I'm not sure that's a weld. It would be much more difficult to make that in two pieces & weld it than to cast it as one piece. Like a LOT more difficult & expensive. It's a bit hard to tell from the pics but it looks to me like there is either some debris from the casting or a poorly made pattern. I think what you have there (not to be offensive) is a cheap casting made from a poorly made or designed pattern. Possibly the iron was poor quality or something else caused a flaw in the casting which results in your leak. I've seen lots of similar casting flaws in cookware & machinery. Welding cast iron is not all that difficult or expensive but you have to find a welder who knows how to do it. If you can find the right guy that pot could be properly repaired & usable. Good luck with it - it's a cool design.

Jul 24, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

I've never had a problem with the Wecks sealing. You can check them by (gently) trying to open them. Any that pop open didn't seal but I suspect you'll find them all sealed.

I put less sugar in jam than most recipes call for because I like more fruit flavor. But it seems I wind up cooking it longer so I bet it winds up the same anyway.

As far as altering recipes, you just want to be sure you don't alter the amount of vinegar and or salt. You can do pretty much anything EXCEPT lower the ph.

Jul 23, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

I like the Weck jars also but we can so much they are too pricey.

Jul 19, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking
1

What is the difference between a shake and a malt?

Wow - childhood memories. Burns' in Elgin, Petersens in Oak Park, Webbs Pharmacy in Glen Ellyn. All three of them served excellent malts which in my childhood were ice cream, milk, chocolate syrup & a scoop of malt.

Jul 18, 2014
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

De-Electrifying the Kitchen

Hah - I forgot about the bobby pin. We just pitted 25# of sour cherries by hand.

Jul 18, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

What would you offer on these Cast Iron frying pans?

I'd start @ $20 for the lot & haggle it out from there.

Jul 18, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Cookware
2

Eating right on a budget while training

Rugby players eat their dead. Or so the bumper stickers say....

Jul 16, 2014
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Kenwood or KitchenAid food processor?

My objections to the KA have nothing to do with it's longevity. In fact I wish it would die so I could get something different.

my dislikes as follows:

It's HUGE. takes up a whole shelf and the whole top rack of the dishwasher

The bowl design doesn't seem to chop large objects well.

The adjustable slicer doesn't stay adjusted - it slips.

It has a whole separate little case with a bunch of little parts you have to use to use the slicer & grater disks.

I could go on but the real problem is I just bought the damned thing last fall when COSTCO had them on sale and I'm too cheap to ditch it & get one I like.

Jul 15, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Egg salad: how many eggs per sandwich?

I figure 2 per sandwich and I am very fond of egg salad on Pumpernickel.

Jul 15, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking
2

Kenwood or KitchenAid food processor?

I can't speak to the Kenwood but I have a KA with the adjustable slicer. The whole thing is crap & I hate it. Shoulda bought a Cuisinart.

Jul 15, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

In desperate need of ideas on what to cook my Mother-in-law for dinner!

"The Borgia Family Cookbook". I think you can get it on Amazon....

Jul 14, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking
2

Compost

I save the eggshells separately, crush them & sprinkle around the tomatoes. Really improves the flavor of the tomatoes.

Jul 13, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Gardening
1

What are you baking these days? July 2014 Edition, Part 1! [old]

Sour cherries are done but blueberries are in so it was blueberry pie(s) this week.

Jul 13, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

In desperate need of ideas on what to cook my Mother-in-law for dinner!

Well, when my (former) mother-in-law was coming for a visit I usually considered dishes featuring arsenic, hemlock.....

Jul 13, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking
1

Which is the best vanilla ice cream?

You can get Ronnybrook @ the Union Square Farmer's Market. My cousin runs their stand there.

Jul 13, 2014
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Leave the gun, take the cannoli...

"MacDonalds in Avignon; fish & chips in Marseilles. Now get out."

Jul 12, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Food Media & News

dealing with eggplant for recipes

Most recipes which call for salting or brining eggplant do so to remove the bitter flavor which eggplant acquires after picking. #1 rule for Moussaka or any dish with eggplant is to buy a fresh eggplant. If the stem is not BRIGHT green it's old and will taste bitter.

FWIW here's my Moussaka recipe which a friend's nanny taught me when I lived in Greece:

From a friend’s nanny’s recipe:

Ingredients:
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 large eggplant – peeled & sliced thin
2 small potatoes – sliced thinly
1 lb ground meat – beef or lamb
1 chopped onion
6 cloves chopped garlic
Bechamel Sauce (recipe follows)

Brown the ground meat & add the onions & cook until the onions are tender. Add the chopped garlic & cook for another 2 minutes. Coat the bottom of an 8x11” baking dish with olive oil. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with sliced potatoes. Then cover the potatoes with a layer of sliced eggplant & sprinkle with salt & pepper. Spread the cooked meat/onion/garlic mixture over the eggplant and follow with another layer of eggplant & sprinkle with salt & pepper again. Cover the top layer of eggplant with the Bechamel Sauce & bake @ 350 degrees for an hour

Jul 12, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Which is the best vanilla ice cream?

Well I'm really no help here since I make my own ice cream & the best vanilla I know comes from The Creamery @ Penn State University. I know they ship some but no idea if you can find it in NYC.

Jul 12, 2014
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Simple is better than exotic for some foods

I can and have eaten foods with lots of ingredients & exotic complex flavors. And I have enjoyed most of them. But it's not really my thing. I always tell people about my cooking "it's really simple - if there's more than 5 ingredients forget it."

Jul 11, 2014
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

What not to do at a farmers market

I always like to ask the Amish & Mennonite girls if the avocados & pineapples are local.....

"You grow these on your farm?"

Jul 09, 2014
JoeBabbitt in General Topics
2

"Manager's Specials" at supermarket

We shop at the same ShopRite MM although I'm across 9 in Manalapan.

Jul 09, 2014
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

World Cup Dinners

Any dish featuring a 7-1 ratio of ingredients would be good.....

Jul 08, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking
1

Making croutons

I brush them with olive oil, sprinkle with granulated garlic on both sides & bake them @ 400 degrees for 4 mins per side. My local grocery store has bags of sliced baguette sized bread - It's $0.49 a bag in the leftover bakery rack. Heh - it's only $0.99 in the fresh bakery rack but I'm a cheap bastard <shrug>.

Jul 08, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

"Manager's Specials" at supermarket

My local ShopRite has a manager's special bin & I always check it. They also have a 'cuts & butts' from the deli where I buy a lot of cheese for macaroni & cheese etc. Sometimes I find Pancetta other similar goodies in there. The "day old" bakery rack often has bags of sliced baguette sized bread which I brush with olive oil & garlic & bake for croutons. Another store I frequent calls it the "Miscellaneous Meat' bin instead of the manager's specials.

Jul 08, 2014
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Fries ON a sandwich?

I always make a point to go to Primanti's when I'm in Pizza-burk. Those sandwiches are fantastic.

Jul 08, 2014
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Favorite ways to eat fresh blueberries?

In a pie.

Jul 06, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking