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JoeBabbitt's Profile

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how to store dough

Maybe you could give your customers a minimum 'order by' time so your time can be a little more organized. I have done dough & frozen it or kept it in the fridge overnight. I've never been as happy with the results and the defrost/warm-up time can be hard to calculate.

We have a small wholesale food business (maybe it'll get bigger...) & we get those calls also. "I need (product) - I'm out." I try to stay stocked but we're still sourcing ingredients - almost everything comes from local farmers - so sometimes I really have to scurry around to come up with stuff. Our toughest product is Sauerkraut. We ferment it in crocks & it takes 6 weeks. When it's out - it's out. No more till the next batch is ready. Sometimes it's hard to do what we need to do & still keep the customers happy. But - this is business. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

Jul 30, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

bottled roasted red peppers

Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette. Very good on spinach salad.

Jul 30, 2015
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

how to store dough

Well, baked goods like cinnamon rolls are best the day they're made. There's no next day for that stuff. We sometimes do them for one of our customers who has a stand at the local farm market. We really have to deliver by 6 am or 7 at the latest. So everything has to be baked & packaged & ready to go by 5:30 am. If there's another way to do it I haven't figured it out yet. That schedule means starting around 3:00 am.

Jul 27, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

london broil cut of beef

Around here 'London Broil' comes in two types. There is Top Round London Broil & Shoulder London Broil. A Top Round London Broil can be delicious. It'll never be tender like a filet or a sirloin but still - if marinated, grilled & sliced on the bias it can be very nice. Shoulder London Broil MIGHT be fit for pot roast but not much else.

Top Round London Broil is often on sale here for $1.99 #. I buy a bunch & use them for all sorts of things. They become Bracciola, Stifado, Swiss Steak, Rouladen, stew, vegetable beef soup, etc. etc.

Jul 27, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking
1

What is worth making from scratch to save money?

Ina Garten's biscuit recipe is very good & very simple. Just keep the butter cold.

Jul 25, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

What is worth making from scratch to save money?

If you have the room, bulk buying can save you as much money as making stuff yourself.

Bicks Zesty Onion Relish

I made some Bread & Butter pickles the other day & gave some to my friends Susie & Rusty. Susie loved B&B pickles. Although neither Rusty nor I particularly like them, we both like the onions better than the pickle. This lead me to think I might make a batch as an onion relish with just or mostly onions & very little cucumber. Maybe none.

I use the recipe in the Blue Book for B&B Pickles which looks very similar to the one you posted although yours seems to have some hot pepper in it. Maybe with a little tinkering it might replicate Bicks.

Just a thought.

Jul 23, 2015
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Crunchy Pickle Tips?

Supposedly, clipping the ends off the pickle helps. The blossom end contains an enzyme which softens the pickle. Some people use Pickle Crisp.

For me, and I make a lot of pickles, it's the type of cucumber that matters the most. Freshness is key also. I only use cucumbers which I get fresh, direct from the grower or farmer. I don't use Kirby's for dill pickles because I want more crunch. I usually use a #3 Pickle which comes 200-300 to the bushel. They are distinctive for their warty skin.

Salting the cukes will make them soft. Not limp, but softer than when you bought them. Thinly sliced pickles like B&B Pickles are salted like that to remove excess water which can affect the brine.

Jamming, Canning and Preserving 2015

I've never heard of Black Cat Plums. Local variety? Around here we get what are called Damson Plums, Prune Plums, Italian Plums or German Plums.

Jul 15, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Marlboro Renaissance Diner now....

YW. It's a winner.

Jul 15, 2015
JoeBabbitt in New Jersey

Marlboro Renaissance Diner now....

Try this jr. I got the recipe from a friends nanny when I was living in Greece. Just make sure you get a fresh eggplant - one with a bright green stem.

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.

Bechamel Sauce:

Ingredients:
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks
Salt
¼ cup grated parmesan or romano OR a dash of nutmeg

Heat the olive oil in a large measuring cup on high in the microwave for 30 seconds; add the flour, stir & heat again on high for 1 minute. Wisk the oil/flour mixture & add the milk. Wisk it again & microwave on high for 4 minutes (microwave time varies but you want the mixture to boil & thicken), wisking a couple times during the cooking. Add two egg yolks, a pinch of salt & wisk thoroughly again. Microwave for one more minute. Stir & add EITHER the nutmeg (traditionally Greek) OR the grated cheese (I like it better this way).

Notes:

The size of the pan may vary depending on the sixe of the eggplant

You can put remaining eggplant in the middle of the pan – it will collapse as it cooks

Jul 14, 2015
JoeBabbitt in New Jersey
1

Substitute for champagne vinegar?

I make a similar salad but I always use red wine vinegar on it.

Jul 13, 2015
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

How to get sugar out of container?

I keep sugar in a gallon mason jar with a bail lid. A cup won't fit in so for years I've just used the half cup & twice as many. Funny what you'll put up with sometimes.

Jul 13, 2015
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Wait, you mean everyone doesn't . . .

That law varied from state to state. Wisconsin, for example, had it for a very long time.

Jul 13, 2015
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Rusty Cast Iron

Coca Cola dissolves rust because it contains Citric Acid. Which is pretty much the same thing as vinegar.

From time to time when restoring antique machinery I use an electrolysis tank. Same results - bubbles, foam, sludge. It is a lot of fun. Kinda like a science project gone awry.

Jul 13, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Marlboro Renaissance Diner now....

We went there for breakfast yesterday. They had the orders all screwed up. Gave us home fries instead of hash browns, I got fried eggs on my corned beef hash instead of poached. My GF's omlette wasn't cooked all the way (runny egg whites in the center). They gave her a new omlette with hash browns but nobody really seemed to know what to do about this order gone awry.

Jul 13, 2015
JoeBabbitt in New Jersey

Jamming, Canning and Preserving 2015

We did pickled beets last night. Local fresh beets are in. I haven't done pickled beets in years. Now to hard-boil some eggs.

Jamming, Canning and Preserving 2015

WE HAVE A Pick your own close but they're still $3 per #. Worth every penny though.

Jul 13, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Pork Loin Help Needed

When I buy a whole pork loin I usually cut slices from the middle about 3/4" thick or so. In the grocery store these are known as 'Boneless Center Cut Pork Chops' and go for a pretty penny. I save the two ends for roasts.

Jul 09, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Canning Newbie: Help me decide if my cans are safe?

You can get a Blue Book at most WalMarts, Wegman's or a grocery store that has canning stuff. Most jams foam a bit when you are cooking them. You can stir down the foam or add a little butter & stir which is quicker. In any event, it's not uncommon for hidden bubbles to surface after the jam is processed. Not harmful as long as the seals are good. Pickled onions also float after canning I've noticed. Doesn't seem to affect the flavor at all.

Jul 09, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

What has happened to Friendship Cottage Cheese? (not good changes)

Just had some yesterday. It really is sort of a shocking change. I didn't care for it at all.

Jul 09, 2015
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

first time canning

That Tramontina @ COSTCO is a deal for sure. You can also use a round cake rack in the bottom of your pot. Although... I never use a rack.

Jul 09, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Jamming, Canning and Preserving 2015

We did about 20# of Sour Cherries last week. A local 'pick-your-own' has a grove. It was delicious. The sour cherry pie was even better.

I got some pretty nice Kirbys the other day & did a bunch of Bread & Butter pickles. I don't care for them so much but we have friends who do.

Freezing pie dough

I freeze pie crust all the time (in a lump). The plastic wrap doesn't stick while it's frozen.

Jul 05, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Offering alternative meals to children - yay or nay

I had three children who were for the most part good eaters. Everybody doesn't like everything so the rule at our house was what's for dinner was what's for dinner. Everybody had the option of anything leftover or a PB&J. I don't eat foods I don't like so I never expected my kids to either.

They were funny though. They'd go through streaks of eating the same thing. I remember Kraft Mac & Cheese & Top Ramen. Cases of it & then one day - no more. My middle hated Chinese which the rest of us liked. So - we'd go to the Chinese restaurant & get her a sub from the sandwich shop next door. Nobody ever objected & then she made a new best friend who loved Chinese & Amanda loved it after that too.

Just my opinion, but I think it's pointless to fight with kids over eating. I noticed early on that even if they didn't eat something one night - over the course of a week they ate a pretty balanced diet.

Jul 05, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Not About Food

McDonald's Lobster Rolls - what gives? [Moved from Quebec board]

I stopped in the rest stop on I95 in Connecticut last night & saw the ad for lobster rolls there. They advertised 100% North Atlantic lobster.

Jul 04, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Chains

Eating stale food

I prefer Cheetos stale so they have that gummy texture.

Jun 19, 2015
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Cast iron for sweet baking?

Just to add fuel to the fire - We wash the CI in warm soapy water after each use. I have a lot & it all works just fine. Some of it came from my grandmother. I'm pretty sure she never seasoned it with grapeseed oil & never scrubbed it with salt either.

Jamming, Canning and Preserving 2015

24 pints of sauerkraut today. 6 weeks in the crock & now about two weeks in the jar & it should be ready. Pickled onions later this week.

Jun 18, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

hot pepper vinegar?

Funny - I've done tons of stuff in empty Lorina Bottles also. There's another brand also French - the name of which escapes me and I actually like their lemonade better.

Jun 17, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking