f

foreverhungry's Profile

Title Last Reply

Had a potato au gratin failure...need some pointers to fix it!

Potato au gratin dishes take many forms. The posters that are making a cheese sauce, combining with potatoes, and then baking are essentially making a baked mac and cheese, except substituting potatoes for the pasta.

That said, it's very easy to make your own "processed cheese" (Velveeta type product) to use in either a mac and cheese or potato au gratin, using the Modernist Cuisine's recipe, which uses sodium citrate, and whatever cheeses you want, to make a pourable, stable, cheese.

To the OP's potato dish, the long soak was likely the culprit. The potatoes may have taken up too much water, and thus your total volume that has to bake increases. The long bake time breaks the cheese, and the water gets released from the potatoes turning it into soup. At least that's my guess.

You could do a simple experiment where you take a potato, mandolin it to 1/8 slices, weigh them, soak them for 12 hours, then drain, gently blot, and weigh them again, and see what the change in weight is. I'd bet the potatoes absorb water. Russet's are especially prone to taking up water because of the more open texture than other spuds.

1 day ago
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Creative gelatin dessert flavors

Unflavored gelatin, prosecco, and peaches or apricots.

I'd like to try it with a rose and berries. Maybe macerate the berries in something like cognac.

Jul 17, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Porketta. Or Porchetta. What cut of pork?

Huh. Yet another choice! May I ask, rjbh20, why do you use a leg? Family tradition? Geographic tradition? I'm assuming it's deboned? Looks like skin on? What's the weight? Baked? Thanks for the deets.

Jul 10, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Porketta. Or Porchetta. What cut of pork?

What cut of pork do you use to make porch(k)etta? We're not talking about spicings, recipes, or cooking techniques (though I'd be interested in that too).

My tradition is to use a pork loin. But here in Minnesota, the tradition is to use shoulder. From what I understand, the traditional way is to use a whole hog. Short of that, the loin wrapped within the belly - belly being the midsection with the ribs removed, but leaving the rib meat behind (I think this is the more European method of butchering a hog; More American is to take the ribs for ribs, leaving more meat on ribs and less on the belly; I might be wrong on that though).

How do you make porch(k)etta? Are there regional differences?

Jul 10, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Chicken Skin Uses

Make a forcemeat and stuff it into chicken skin, tie or sew up, then poach for something like a gallantine, or use the chicken skin like wonton wrappers, and put a tablespoon of a forcemeat into it, pull the corners up like a purse, and tie with kitchen twine, then fry.

Jul 10, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Lasagna for Cow Milk Allergy

Halloumi doesn't melt, which is why you can take a slab of halloumi and throw it on your barbeque and grill it. It'll burn before it melts.

By melting, I'm considering cheeses like mozzarella, fontina, emmentaler, jack, etc. which melt so you can pour them. Halloumi will never reach that point.

Jul 09, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking
3

Lasagna for Cow Milk Allergy

Try a lasagna bolognese. There's no mozzarella or ricotta. Instead of the ricotta you use a bechamel. Since I've started making it, I've never gone back to the more traditional Italian-American ricotta/mozzarella version.

For the bechamel, you can substitute rice milk for regular. Though I've never tried it, I've heard it's a good substitute. The taste can be different, but given the rich taste of a well made bolognese, I don't think the taste difference will be noticeable. Finish it with a pecorino romano, a sheep's milk cheese.

Jul 08, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking
1

Big Bowl Rest./@Galleria Edina: WHAT A RIP OFF!!!!

I'm looking at the Big Bowl menu online. I've never been there, so can only go by the menu. It looks like the stir fry bar charges $13.99 for tofu. An additional $2.50 brings you to $16.50. I can understand your disappointment at not getting a reduction in price seeing as how you wanted no rice or noodles, but that's to be expected. If I go to Chipotle and ask for a burrito with no rice bu extra meat, I'll be charged for the extra meat, but wouldn't expect a reduction in price for no rice. The rice/noodles is the inexpensive filler that most places make $$$ on. If everyone ordered dishes that normally consist of rice, vegetables, and meat with no rice, I'd expect their profit margins will go down. Imagine the pasta bar at Buon Giorno if you said you wanted the vegetables, sauce, and meatballs, but no pasta and knock a few bucks off.

Overall, looking at their prices, it seems pretty expensive for the stir fry bar.

Jul 08, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Porchetteria

I am very excited to try it. That said, and this might just be the way that Heavy Table wrote the review, I'm a little skeptical when they said that the forth porketta option is vegetarian. Uh, what?

Jul 08, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul

What's your best French baguette recipe ?

It's not perfect, but it works pretty well. I like it because it requires a minimum of effort. It's an 18 - 24 hour rise, with a little work scattered in. Then you pop the dough into a heavy dutch oven (I use a Creuset) and into an oven preheated at 450 for about 45 - 60 mins (remove the lid after 30 mins). Here's the recipe: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/din...

It's not like a boule you'd get in France, but then again, I don't have to get up at 3 AM and I don't have a steam injected oven. So for my purposes, it works great.

Find a long, skinny heavy pot (cast iron, ceramic, pyrex, etc.), and you'd get your baguette shape.

I also like it because I've been able to adjust the recipe to include whole wheat flour, and still get a decent rise and crumb, which can be hard to do with wheat breads.

Jul 01, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

What's your best French baguette recipe ?

Which is why the Lahey 24 hour no-knead bread recipe works pretty well - it's a high hydration dough that gets dumped into a preheated heavy pot., and the heavy lid goes on immediately, forming a pretty good seal. You end up with a small enclosed space, high heat, and lots of released water, and that results in a similar (though far from perfect) crust as you'd get on a baguette baked in a steamer oven. Halfway through the lid comes off to crisp the crust.

Jul 01, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Valley Natural Foods

Does anyone have experience with Valley Natural Foods in Burnsville? My wife and I stopped in after driving by yesterday, and were pretty impressed by the selection and prices. We don't tend to be co-op shoppers because parking is either rough, or they seem to be pretty expensive. We live in S. Mpls, and while Burnsville is out of the way, we're sometimes in that area, and I'd rather deal with that drive than with parking at the Wedge. Mississippi Market on W. 7th is convenient, but their prices seem high.

For those familiar with Valley Natural, how does it stack up against place like the Wedge, Seward, Linden Hills, and Mississippi Market?

Jun 30, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Do you "finish" salmon with olive oil?

Almost all marine vertebrates - fish and mammals - are osmoregulators - they expend energy to maintain tissue osmolarity lower than the surrounding environment. The only vertebrate osmoconformers are the elasmobranchs - cartilaginous fishes such as sharks and rays, though they do it by maintaining high urea concentrations. Marine invertebrates such as sea slugs, squids, etc. have body tissues and fluids that are isoosmotic to the surrounding environment, so are osmoconformers.

Jun 28, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

June 2014 COTM - My Paris Kitchen: Main Courses (Plats)

Interesting! I've never noticed it in most Rieslings; then again, I rarely drink Rieslings. I'll have to give it a better sniff next time I have a Riesling. Thanks for the info!

Jun 27, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

June 2014 COTM - My Paris Kitchen: Main Courses (Plats)

Not all Rieslings do. Most don't. It's actually rare to find a Riesling with the petrol aroma - they're older. I've had my share of Rieslings, and only three times have I had one with the petrol smell - the first time was at a wine tasting, and I thought someone put petrol in the glass. But the vast majority are too young to develop that aroma.

But maybe some folks can smell that in even young - last year's vintage - Riesings?

Jun 26, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Need a restaurant for Monday, June 30

Haute Dish, Borough, Smack Shack, and Bar La Grassa all fit your requirements. Smack Shack's lobster mac and cheese is comfort food at its best. BLG is great because you can spend as little or as much as you want, and always walk out with an excellent meal.

For something a bit different, Zen Box Izakaya is delicious, and ramen can definitely be considered "comfort food".

Jun 26, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul

It's Tuesday, and We Want Steak!!

I don't quite understand the fascination with prime vs choice. I've had so-so primes, while the best steak I've had in Minnesota was the Delmonico (ribeye) at Capital Grille, which is choice. I've bought and grilled great choice steaks, and bad ones. For me, the USDA grading system does little to let me know about the quality of a hunk o' beef - only how much I'll pay for it. Michael Pollan also some interesting opinions about grading beef in the US vs other countries.

To the OP, Capital Grille is hands down the best steak I've had in MN. If you're looking for a non-US-traditional steak, both Vincents and Meritage have excellent steak frites (my favorite steak meal other than a ribeye). (Yes, I realize this is a day late...).

For the pork lovers, I'd recommend any pork dish at Corner Table in S MPLS. Chef Thomas Broemer breaks down his hogs and builds his menus around them. Their porky taste is sublime.

Jun 25, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul
1

Do you "finish" salmon with olive oil?

Check the data.

Salmon: 22g total fat, 4g saturated, 112mg cholesterol.

Chicken thighs: 15g total fat, 4g saturated, 133mg cholesterol.

Pork loin: 19g total fat, 6g saturated, 290mg cholesterol.

Total fat for salmon (Atlantic farmed, yes, YMMV depending on what kind of salmon) is a bit higher, but in the general ballpark.

Salmon has a reputation as a "fatty" fish, but only in comparison to other fish. Pork loin is considered a lean meat, and it's total fat content is very similar to salmon, but no one would say that pork loin is a fatty meat.

Jun 18, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Do you "finish" salmon with olive oil?

Again, while salmon is "a fatty fish", it's fat content is similar to chicken. Salmon is "fatty" relative to other fish, who, as ectotherms, tend to be low in fat. Salmon's fat content is comparable to hat most folks consider low fat "meats" - chicken, turkey, rabbit. Don't professional chefs add olive oil to chicken?

MeIMM - why not olive oil? Just because salmon is a cold water fish doesn't mean it can't benefit, used judiciously and wisely, with olive oil, or anything else for that matter.

Jun 17, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking
3

Real Italian Food Vs. American Italian Food

Just looked it up, I'll watch it this week.

Jun 15, 2014
foreverhungry in General Topics

Real Italian Food Vs. American Italian Food

Italian cuisine is Italian because it uses Italian ingredients. Local to regions. French is french because it uses local ingredients. Techniques are largely the same, and while there are certainly regional specialties associated with each country, there's a large amount of crossover.

California cooking is largely a mashup of French and Italian - same techniques, similar ingredients, and the best examples use locally sourced ingredients, raised and sourced with specific dishes in mind, much like the best of French and Italian cooking, whether 3* restaurant or home.

I'm not assuming I-A cooking comes from a box or bag. I'm saying that it's very difficult to truly recreate local dishes when you don't have local ingredients. Much of what I've had as Italian American cooking tends to be red sauce heavy. Much of it uses ingredients that come from nowhere near that cook's kitchen.

As an aside, what is your definition of Italian-American cooking? What makes it Italian-American, and not American, or Italian? Is there French-American cooking? German Italian? What makes Italian American, Italian American?

Jun 15, 2014
foreverhungry in General Topics

Real Italian Food Vs. American Italian Food

It's not that cuisine in the USA is a derivative, and therefore inferior. It's that USA cuisine, with some noted exceptions, are inferior derivatives. BBQ, while not unique to USA, is excellent in USA, because many of those that that practice and further BBQ take deep pride in it. USA furthers BBQ techniques. Ditto with "California" cuisine. Using local, fresh ingredients. Ditto with Southwestern cuisine, and New England Cuisine. And there are other examples.

Italian American suffers because it has to deal with a limited menu and limited fresh/local options. Does the majority of the US have access to multiple varieties of short grained rice, from local valleys? Access to free-ranged pork? The same seafood options available to Sicilians? Cheeses from less than 40 miles away?

The US, to a large extend, uses mass produced foods, that often come from hundreds, if not thousands of miles away. That's the antithesis of Italian cooking. And French cooking.

Italian-American cooking borrows, largely, though not uniquely, from Italian recipes, but without the fresh and local ingredients. If one values fresh, local ingredients used to create regional dishes, then yes, Italian-American cooking is inferior. If not, then they're the same. It depends on what one values. It's not elitism, it's just about what one values in food.

Jun 14, 2014
foreverhungry in General Topics

Do you "finish" salmon with olive oil?

Agreed on greasy braises. For me, the amount of fat I add to a dish depends in large part on the dish, but also how I'm feeling. If I've eaten salads, lean meats, etc. for the last few days, then an extra pat of butter on vegetables, or buttered bread, great. If I've done a 100 mile bike ride, then yes, extra bacon on that cheeseburger, thank you. If not, then I'm eating leaner.

It boils down to the dish, the meal, and the personal circumstances. I'm using butter and olive oil pretty liberally yet judiciously (meaning I often use butter and OO, just not a ton), guests seem to enjoy my meals, and I'm still a 21 BMI. Balance is everything.

Jun 14, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking
2

Inspiration/brainstorming for new project dessert (long)

We had a croquembouche as our wedding cake, and it was fantastic.

Another suggestion is a Moscato and Peach Gelee: http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes...

We made this last week and it turned out great. It would work particularly well as a hot weather dessert, it's very cool and refreshing.

You could easily adapt the recipe for different flavors or to incorporate what's seasonal, for example strawberries and moscato with rhubarb. Or add some herbs or spices such as mint, lavender, tarragon, rosemary, angelica, fennel, lemongrass, or cardamom, anise and nutmeg.

Jun 10, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Do you "finish" salmon with olive oil?

Butter and olive oil in moderation will not cause weight gain. Adding a teaspoon of olive oil or butter to vegetables or salmon won't make any difference in weight gain.

Jun 10, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking
3

Do you "finish" salmon with olive oil?

I coat salmon with a thin coating of olive oil before grilling. I don't finish it with oil, though. Before someone assumes something about "don't have a high quality underlying ingredient", all salmon I buy is wild caught and cooked that day, including the Copper River Sockeye I grilled a few days ago.

Other fish I'll sometimes finish with butter or a light brushing of a butter-based sauce, such a Dover Sole or other delicate flatfish with butter, or a dill compound butter, etc.

I don't often finish steaks with butter, but I have had some excellent steak-house ribeyes or porterhouses finished with butter.

Much like many restaurants (e.g. many chains), some people use fat (and salt) to cover up poor ingredients or poor technique. Other, more skilled cooks, use fat (and salt) to enhance flavors, balance dishes, and create textures.

Jun 09, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking
4

Have Co-op Produce Prices Risen Astronomically, or Am I Just Noticing?

We come down 7th, and try to park in the 6th/Wacouta/Sibley area. Somewhere Mears Park-ish.

As for deals, what kind of deals? We're a family of 2, so buying small quants. If dealing means saving $0.50 on a box of peppers, i'm not sure that's worth my personal aggravation with parking and bustling et. al.

If there's potential for savings on meats, then yeah, I'd like to know about that.

FWIW, I've also had very bad luck with the plants I've gotten from there. Most have not made it a season, where similars we've gotten from Bachmann's, other dealers, or alley sales or giveaways have done better for us.

Jun 05, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Buttered Tin cupcake vs. Cupcake vs. ?

I had my first cupcakes from Cupcake. First a confession - I'm not a huge fan of cupcakes, I don't usually understand the fuss.

I got four cupcakes from the Cupcake in Eagan on Cliff Road. Holy moly, they were fantastic. Since I'm not a usual cupcake purchaser, I can't speak to how their prices compare, but I really enjoyed their cupcakes. I'll be back.

Jun 05, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Have Co-op Produce Prices Risen Astronomically, or Am I Just Noticing?

I work in downtown STP and live in S. MPLS. It's great having the 7th place farmer's market walking distance, I go there on a weekly basis. We try to get to one of the S. MPLS farmer's markets when we can. The one market that I avoid, though, is the downtown STP farmer's market. I'm sure I'm in the minority here, and perhaps the only one that feels this way, but the downtown STP market gets too crowded for me, and the parking can be a pain. My experience at the downtown St Paul market the opposite of a calm stroll! Many of the other ones, though, I greatly enjoy. It's not typically the prices that draw me, it's the freshness and quality that I'm valuing most. That, and the idea of supporting local.

Jun 05, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Real Italian Food Vs. American Italian Food

johnb and jpc8015 - Agreed, there's nothing wrong with canned tomatoes, and I wouldn't doubt they are often used in Italy. Just like there's nothing wrong with boxed pasta, bottled water, tinned anchovies, etc. But that's not really the point.

May 30, 2014
foreverhungry in General Topics