dkenworthy's Profile

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does freezing corned beef ruin it?

I cooked my last corned beef at a slow simmer for about 4 hours. So, give it some more time. I wouldn't think freezing it raw should hurt it.

Mar 20, 2015
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Authentic Cajun Cookbook

I really enjoy Eula Mae's Cajun Kitchen. She ran the commissary at Avery Island for years, and is a charming lady. I love, love, love her Jambalaya recipe, Sauce Piquante, and a cabbage/pork dish I can't remember the name of.

Mostly, I just enjoyed getting to know her a little bit reading her book.

Mar 18, 2015
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Picadillo: Capers or Raisins?

Picadillo is also made in most parts of Latin America. My "Mexican" version doesn't have olives or capers, and but does have raisins (I use Zante currants),chopped tomatoes, vinegar, sweet spices (cinnamon and cloves), and cumin. No chiles or anything picante. I usually add toasted slivered almonds at the end for a little texture. And I serve it with fresh corn tortillas and black beans and rice on the side, although it could also be a filling for chiles rellenos.

Mar 17, 2015
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

good, quick, simple recipes to use a jar of mayo

I have to ask why you want to use up a jar of mayo in the next 3 days? Just curious....

What kind of cabbage in moo shu pork?

I would go with regular white cabbage. I always have trouble with Napa cabbage being too "wet" for stir frying. I guess you could blanch it and dry it, but that seems like too much work. And I really like white cabbage.

But I am sure either would taste fine, go with what you like best.

Mar 06, 2015
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Can lemon zest be substituted for lemon juice?

It depends on if you want the flavor or the acidity. Peels have great lemon flavor, but no acidity, and a hint of bitterness.

Maybe you could make a little infusion of lemon zest and mild (like rice) vinegar to get the best of both?

Feb 05, 2015
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

"Crumbling" Gorgonzola dolce

How do you make Gorgonzola dolce crumble like other blue cheeses? I always lose patience and end up with big blobs. And that isn't so appealing from an appearance or flavor standpoint. Any tricks out there?

Jan 26, 2015
dkenworthy in Cheese

Steamer ideas?

We have an approximately 3 qt steamer from Farberware that fits on top of either a 2 or 4 quart Farberware pot.

But I have to confess I don't use it that often anymore. Since I am only cooking for 2, I tend to do dense vegetables (like broccoli) in a microwave proof bowl, using a perforated cover. I just wash the florets, drain briefly, place, covered, in the microwave. Usually about 3-5 minutes, depending on the amount of broccoli. Then I only have one thing to wash, and it can go in the dishwasher, whereas I tend to wash my pots by hand.

Bulky greens I usually saute some onions or garlic or shallots in a small amount of fat in a big pot, add the greens (washed and briefly drained but still moist), cover. Stir after the bottom starts wilting, then finish open to drive off any remaining moisture. If the greens are for a recipe, I eliminate the fat and the allium and just steam in the big pot, stir, and finish covered, then drain in a colander.

Jan 20, 2015
dkenworthy in Cookware

frozen turkey

Are you wedded to the idea of grinding it? I have a few recipes for pieced out turkey that I love from an ancient issue of Bon Appetit (?). One for the thigh where you make chunks and marinate in a dry Vietnamize style curry powder, skewer with pearl onions, brush with melted butter and grill. I also like to casserole roast the legs and thighs, mix with mole and and simmer until tender. I also love to put an herby whole wheat bread dressing under the breast skin and roast. Makes a pretty presentation and also great sandwiches. But I know you are tired of roast turkey.

If you want any recipes let me know and I will post them.

Can Dried Beans Go Bad?

I think it will, but the hard part is to decide how long when the beans are very old.

I would make them plain to make sure they get tender, then use them in recipes that call for canned beans, rather than waste other ingredients if they don't ever get tender.

Jan 02, 2015
dkenworthy in General Topics

Bowed bottom pot

I have a 5 quart All Clad pot (I think they called it a casserole when we bought it 20 years ago). It gets used about twice a week, often starting with browning something then adding other ingredients and cooking slow either in the oven or on the stove top. Think Jambalaya.

The bottom has become "bowed" and it is getting harder to brown evenly even on a (Wolfe) gas burner.

It there some way to pound it back down to a flat bottom?

Jan 01, 2015
dkenworthy in Cookware

Frozen blueberries in place of fresh?

We used to have a blueberry patch, and froze many 1 cup bags for using in the winter. In my experience, it is best to add them still frozen, which minimizes the amount of color "bleeding" into the batter. Usually limited to a very small zone right around the berry. But that can happen even with fresh berries. I don't make any changes to the flour in the batter.

Casual Italian Dinner Party Question

I would make 2 trays of lasagne. I think most kids like it, no? Maybe 2 kinds, a vegetarian and a meat version?

Spots for large group meals in Sonoma County?

A lot of the best places are on the small side, and will have a hard time with a party of 8 in the winter when their outside spaces may be unusable. Some casual places that will set up for that size party are Cafe Citti (Cal-Ital)and Palooza (Beer Pub casual)in Kenwood. Community Cafe (breakfast and lunch only) in Sonoma has a large table they will reserve if you call in advance. Rossi (the old Little Switzerland) is large and has mostly BBQ (they are still finding their sea legs, so can be a little inconsistent).

The Fig in Glen Ellen is remodeling in December, not sure of their reopening date, but they will take reservations for large parties, I think. Aventine will also take reservations, it is popular, but I was underwhelmed the only time we went there.

Wine with lamb curry?

I also find that Zin is a great match with cumin. So, it might work really well with curry, depending on what kind of curry.

Oct 27, 2014
dkenworthy in Wine

Brunch in Santa Rosa?

Jeffrey's Hillside Cafe is a nice breakfast/brunch place. They have mimosas and bellinis! Atmosphere is a little "coffee shop-y" but the food is really good.

Uses for fresh persimmons

Are they hachiya (astringent until goo-ey soft)or fuyu type (sweet when firm)? My MIL freezes the hachiya and scoops out the flesh like sorbet. Or uses it to make purée for cookies or puddings. She stores the puree in the freezer as well. I don't love this type of persimmon.

The fuyu type are great in salads. I have also subbed them for apples in cakes and other baked goods. Slice thin and dry until leathery for a great snack.

Oct 26, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

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.

Oct 20, 2014
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


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

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