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Green Tomato Relish

I don't know if you like chutney, but the local paper had a recipe for Green Tomato Chutney several years ago. I try to make it every year now, and I have friends who insist it is the only acceptable Christmas gift.

To make 12 pints you need 12 pounds of green tomatoes. It is a little bit fussy, but really delicious. I can paraphrase the recipe if you like.

about 21 hours ago
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Need recipe for "Santa Maria BBQ"

This is more or less what I do. Although I seldom have any ham to put in the beans and just call it good with the bacon. And I sometimes just use salt and pepper for the meat, or a Penzeys mix like Galena Street.

I am lucky enough to live close to Rancho Gordo and often get their pinquitos in the local markets. They are a really special bean, firm but creamy.

And I make enough of the fairly mild salsa to have it qualify as a vegetable, great for the beans and the meat as well.

Oct 09, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

"Fancy" Apple Crisp for Thanksgiving

To me, apple crisp is comfort food. My mother's recipe is the best (simply because it is what I grew up with). I don't really see any way to make if "fancy" and I wouldn't really want to try.

Although, I do sometimes add some chopped candied ginger to the fruit mix, which is delicious (but not really "fancy"). And doesn't make it look any different.

Oct 09, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Does salsa freeze well?

I freeze any salsa that has cooked or roasted tomatoes or tomatillos as the base very successfully. I never freeze "relish" type salsa like pico de gallo or salsa crudo where the texture of the raw ingredients is important unless I am planning to cook with it. For instance, if I have a little pico de gallo left that I won't use the next day, I stick it in the freezer and throw it into my next batch of chili or beans or something that the flavors will complement.

Oct 07, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

To Keep Rick Bayless' Beans

I also freeze beans all the time. If they are very brothy, I put them in rubbermaid type containers. These I tend to thaw in the fridge and put into things like soup or chili.

I also drain most of the liquid from beans like garbanzos and freeze them in 1 quart ziploc bags to make things like hummus or add them to recipes that call for drained canned beans.

Cooked beans are like money in the bank, often much tastier than canned beans, and cheaper as well.

Oct 07, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

how to - hard scrambled eggs that aren't watery

I used to do the Julia Child very slow, very low heat style of scrambled eggs as I like them moist. Once married, my husband likes them on the dry side. My compromise is to use a non stick skillet, start with low heat, add a little butter, and crack the eggs straight into the pan (before the butter has completely melted). Once they have all been cracked, and I have washed my hands, I sprinkle them with salt and gently stir to break them up, and raise the heat to medium. Only stir occasionally. When they are almost "dry" I turn the burner off and add a little grated cheese and let it melt and finish the egg cooking with the residual heat. Voila, dry scrambled, no exuded water, and the cheese makes it seem moist enough for me to enjoy.

Also, no bowl or whisk to clean.

Sep 30, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

If you have to prepare the ingredients in a pan, why would you put it all in a slow cooker? just leave it in the pan on low and cook it there. This recipe is duplicative and wastes time in prep and cleanup.

While I don't use a slow cooker very often, there are advantages over slow cooking on the stove top or oven. First and foremost, there is little to no attention required (like stirring to prevent beans from sticking). So I can brown my ingredients, get the slow cooker going, and leave the room or even the house.

Also, it doesn't heat up the kitchen as much as my gas stove, or worse, my gas oven.

I have found that few recipes in the slow cooker are really tasty without some browning of some ingredients first. Which is maybe why I don't use it that often!

Sep 23, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

TOO MANY CHERRY TOMATOES!

Cooks Illustrated had a delicious recipe called Pesto alla Trapanese that I loved. It only uses 12 ounces of cherry tomatoes, but I think it would freeze about as well as basil pesto.

To paraphrase, dry toast 1/4 cup slivered almonds and set aside to cool. In the meantime, put the stemmed cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup packed basil leaves, 1 small clove garlic, a chopped pepperoncini (or a small amount of vinegar and dried red pepper flakes), a little salt and the toasted almonds in a food processor.

Process until smooth, about 1 minute, then add 1/3 cup olive oil while the machine is running.

Toss with hot spaghetti (save some pasta cooking water to loosen it up if necessary) with Parmesan. This is enough for about 1 pound of pasta (dry).

Very summery flavors, we loved it as a main, or you could serve it as a side with meat.

Aug 29, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Hatch Green Chiles 2014

Got my box of Hatch Chiles, roasted, at the Petaluma Raleys on Sunday. 2 hours of peeling, seeding, vacuum packing, and the freezer is full of enough chiles to keep us in chile verde for the winter.

Last year we got "hot", and this year we went for "medium hot". I like to use about a pound of chiles for 1.5 pounds of meat, and the "hot" were just a little too spicy last year. The "medium" aren't quite hot enough, but it is easy enough to add a serrano/jalapeno or 2 to spice it up.

Julia Child Cookathon next Friday?

I love her Salade Nicoise, and this is the season for it! Good idea to make it in honor of her birthday. Thanks for the idea.

Aug 15, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Zucchini Questions

Italian saying: How can there be hunger in a world with one zucchini plant? (translated, of course)

Aug 07, 2014
dkenworthy in Gardening
1

cooking for yet another party of mixed food needs

Personally, I think it is the demise of the family meal. When I was a kid, my mom planned, bought, prepared and served about 360 dinners a year (stay at home mom). Our job (family members) was to try a little of everything, and say thank you for the meal.

Nowadays, it seems that everyone comes in from work/school and microwaves something of their own choice or chooses take out --everyone eats what they like/are in the mood for at that moment.

Not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make entertaining a challenge!

Jul 31, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Possible Double Standard Regarding Dietary Needs/Preferences

Indeed, one of my co-workers at a winery in Healdsburg back in the 80's always hated hosting guests at the winery because the food was so "frou-frou". He always had to stop at McDonalds on his way home to get enough to eat. To his credit, the guests (or the chef) never knew there was a problem.

Jul 28, 2014
dkenworthy in Not About Food

cooking for yet another party of mixed food needs

You might check out Flexitarian Table from the library if you don't own it. He has several dishes that can be made to accommodate carnivores or vegetarians.

Or, I suppose you could make it a potluck -- that way everyone could bring one dish that meets their needs, and the less restricted can try a little of everything.

Jul 28, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Possible Double Standard Regarding Dietary Needs/Preferences

As a -- ahem -- middle aged person, I might guess that it might be a straw and a camel's back thing. In my younger days I could have 6 people sit down at my dinner table and happily eat (or discreetly avoid) whatever I chose to serve. I gradually learned the food preferences of my closest friends, and happily accommodated their (unspoken) preferences. I, like many cooks, want to please the people I serve.

It seems, however, that nowadays, the preferences are (loudly) spoken when accepting the invitation. If there are more than 2 "special" (i.e., different than my normal diet) requests, I find it a little overwhelming. Sometimes it makes me feel like I would need to be a short order cook (with a well stocked larder) in order to break bread with friends in my home. So, I find I am less happy to host than I used to be.

Asian-style Zucchini?

Thanks, ricepad! Made this last night, and loved the flavors and the simplicity. Will definitely be in my summer rotation. Only change was to add a drizzle of toasted sesame oil in the serving bowl.

Jul 26, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Blueberries turning batter green in muffins?

I have to disagree about the usefulness of frozen blueberries. We used to have a blueberry patch when we lived in the Willamette Valley, and routinely froze the excess (gallons and gallons by the end of the season) in 1 and 2 cup measures for baking all winter. The trick was to keep them frozen until ready to mix into the batter.

I thought they froze better and were more useful than any other berry.

Jul 25, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Asian-style Zucchini?

Thanks for all the great suggestions!

Jul 25, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Asian-style Zucchini?

I wonder if my husband would notice the lamb (he is not a big fan)? I might try it with another ground meat, thanks for the idea!

Jul 25, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Asian-style Zucchini?

Sounds good, thanks for the idea!

Jul 25, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Asian-style Zucchini?

Sort of like deconstructed egg foo young? Sounds good (and simple) -- thanks for the idea!

Jul 25, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Asian-style Zucchini?

I do a fair amount of stir fry, and now that it is summer I am trying to find the perfect flavor pairing for stir fried Zucchini (since I am about to be inundated with it from the garden). I have tried an oyster sauce that I do for broccoli and asparagus, but it just doesn't seem "right", although it isn't bad.

Any Asian cooking experts out there with advice?

Jul 23, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Favorite Ice Cream 2014

Down here in Sonoma (actually, Boyes Hot Springs) I love La Michoacana. The ice cream is kept very soft in their freezer, you have to eat your ice cream cone fast! I like Chongos, Mexican Neapolitan, and coconut pineapple the best. They also have some fun flavors like pine nut and tequila as well as the "standard" American flavors. Also love their mangonadas.

Best rosemary to grow for culinary use?

I know this is a really late response, but I like upright varieties with wider leaves best for cooking.

I too lost my rosemary plant this winter (it was quite cold for Sonoma last December). I was sad because it was a start I got from a friend about 20 years ago.

If you are in an area that routinely gets cold, you might cut a few sprigs in the fall and root them (in water works fine), then you can plant them out in the spring and get to cutting size earlier than if you start from seed.

Jul 01, 2014
dkenworthy in Gardening

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

I have a pressure canner, and one year I canned my homemade chicken stock (which I usually store in the freezer). I was a little disappointed because it lost that "gelatinous" character that it keeps in the freezer.

But it would be nice to have shelf stable stock, rather than dealing with the freezer. Have you found you are happy with the canned stock?

Jun 18, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

No Fail Cookie Recipe Suggestions

This sounds perfect for a meeting I am going to next week!

Hate to be a dweeb, but do you use an 8X8 or a 9X9? I know it doesn't sound very different, but 9X9 is actually about a quarter bigger, and I assume would cook faster. I would just as soon have them come out right the first time so I don't end up eating the "failure"!

Jun 18, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Farm to Table Brekfast

The Fremont Diner in Carneros (Sonoma side) has many farm to table items. Can be a zoo, though.

Storing peppercorns

Some people even claim that peppercorns get better as they "age".

I can't say that they do, but I store about a year's worth in my pantry, and have never been disappointed.

May 30, 2014
dkenworthy in General Topics

summer beet salad ideas?

I love a salad that I learned to make in the Beaujolais many years ago. It is the only way I ever saw sweet corn eaten in France!

Dice a cooked beet, add about the same amount of fresh or frozen corn and some sliced Belgian endive.

Make a thick vinaigrette with lots of Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, vegetable oil (whatever you like), some garlic if you like. Toss with the vegetables. Good cold or at room temperature.

It is a nice combination of sweet, hot, crunchy, bitter.

May 30, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking
1

Grandma Linda's Ice Cream Shop [Sonoma Plaza]

I wish I could support them, just because the entire brouhaha about the pink made me roll my eyes. But why would I buy prefab ice cream in Sonoma when I could have house made at La Michoacana up in the Springs?