SusanaTheConqueress's Profile

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Any Baklava Makers Out there?

As a Costco member you are not limited to your local in-store offerings, e.g., 4 varieties of pistachios, from 3 pounds unshelled to S&P for snacking are also available to you via Costco online.
Also, here in So. Cal. I just paid $10x# for pecan halves. That is $3x# less than The Kingdom is asking for pistachios today.

Apr 06, 2014
SusanaTheConqueress in Home Cooking

Seeds in Pineapple...???

Here are some photos of our specimen from using the pineapple twist & push to core and slice gadget a moment ago. I include both sides of the attached tag, a seed on a ruler, and the "seedy"interior. Of special note, what prompted me to upload to this thread: the gadget leaves a very generous ring of flesh, as witnessed in the photos I just uploaded.
As an aside, we are happy to roast ground pork in the pineapple shell on nights, like tonight, when we are prepping ground pork goyza filling.
Finally, the bottom half of the Napa cabbage left after mincing the top half for the goyza filling is lovely used to make steamed "stuffed cabbage rolls" with the same goyza filling, too.
Note: our 2 pineapples were purchased together, tagged the same, priced the same, but only one had these matured seeds.
Instead of stuffing and baking it, we are passing it through our masticating juicer.

Dec 29, 2013
SusanaTheConqueress in General Topics

Pimento Cheese 101

Ah, the satisfaction of enjoying some pimento cheese! We just made a past-midnight run to WalMart, where we snatched away the final 4 tubs of Prince's at $2.09per. Initially, they were $1.78per, then, suffered a sudden spike to $2.48. I protested to every ear within my access, and now they are meeting me about halfway. I suppose my loved ones and circulatory system thanks them.... sigh ...
Usually, I home-make mine, but store-bought is one of my foods for 'emotional eating' - until a couple of hours ago I was sworn away from dairy, 'cept yogurt and butter, so, I lacked an essential ingredient. Thus, the emergency run in the rain to wallyworld.
Ignore these jags of mine. Either I'm glutting, or denying myself. It's my way.
I polished off a tub in the parking lot, using crispy, turgid, juice-spraying with every bite celery, all the tastier for being a paltry $0.88 per monster bunch. I think it may have been picked this morning! That fresh!
Another tub consumed with celery here at the house as we settled in and what's the next email waiting for me but Chowhound's mention of pimento cheese! Life is great!
I see I shared lots of my old ways of enjoying and preparing it, below.
Before closing, I'd also like to share how delicious some soft cheese of choice, instead of, or in addition to, the grated regular selections, and, paprika, instead of, or in addition to, the pimentos. It is set off by a touch of, of all things, honey! And, it benefits from resting overnight, as well as being served at ambient temperature. It is marvelous with smoked oysters as well as walnuts.
Finally, using cream cheese with peppa-do pickled peppers is another twist on the dairy with red pepper template of pimento cheese. Just send a 5-pound loaf through with 4 glass jars full and their pickling juices, and, pipe into celery sticks, onto crackers and rounds. Crazy good!
Speaking of adding jalapenos, I have piped the cream cheese into pickled peppers with a slit up one side to remove the seeds. That idea came to me back in the early 80s, when local markets still sold 'regular' and jalapeno pimento cheeses in the same type of tub I purchased within the hour.
So, there is a several decades old tradition of peppery pimento cheese, too.
Even longer ago, in the 60s, I remember Houston, TX lunches of fresh Sunbeam bread and a cold slice of pimento cheese.
Later, but only by a few years, I remember lunches of some sort of bologna-type luncheon loaf meat in square slices, the name was Pimento Loaf, it was sold beside the similar-looking, but with green olive slices in it, filled, too, with pimentos, Olive Loaf.
I hadn't thought of these various pimento & cheese foods in decades!

Nov 22, 2013
SusanaTheConqueress in Features

organize recipes

+1 for the Thai peanut sauce, please, Rainey.

Nov 15, 2013
SusanaTheConqueress in Home Cooking

Flatware alternatives

The Icarus Oneida flatware pattern is ours, but (and I have the volley of emails with Oneida just this year, if interested), the Oneida CSR stated in writing the nickle content was off due to price a few years ago. I researched the commodity and, well, I generally went off the deep end over this point - Oh, yes! It all began when their website was offering Icarus on clearance, but the numbers weren't jibing with mine.
Also, on-site reviews indicated displeasure with durability from contemporary product lines...
in a word, snag vintage or expect it to only last a short time, as in under 4 years.
As for what to do, Matt & Angela Monarch, owners of The Raw Food World, show themselves dining with bamboo utensiles. They, of course, sell them on their (extensive) website, too.
But, don't limit yourself to them as there are countless bamboo options, even disposable.
As an aside, seeing as you have this sensitivity, perhaps you would be interested in trying a glass straw, rather than the popular metal versions, the better to get that spiulina-laden green smoothie into you without arriving at work with troll teeth. :-)
The Raw Food World offers glass straws, too. So do other vendors.
in no case would I suggest plastics os any type.
Let us know what you discover to be best, won't you, please?

Nov 09, 2013
SusanaTheConqueress in Cookware

Dory Wharf in Newport

We're excited to visit during Spring Break 2013 and are looking for what's currently in-season + an idea of the prices.
How odd that such a long-time popular locale for top-notch seafood would be so void of commentary!
Here's to some activity coming this way, soon!
We're exceptionally intrigued by the spot prawn and what observations are to be shared by those fellow 'hounds who have gone before us to this apparent-nirvana for seafood lovers! '-_

Mar 28, 2013
SusanaTheConqueress in Los Angeles Area

Easter Picnic in a Jar

What more to ask for on a leisurely day than delightful special treats that go from preparations to cooking-serving dishes, and, require only cutlery and linen to complete service! What's not to love about a canning jar? I only wonder for the source of the first jars shown, (removable clamp-style lids): Source? Please.

Mar 19, 2013
SusanaTheConqueress in Features

How to Get Really Smooth Mashed Potatoes

@emeats - The mixers would be for whipped potatoes and the gluey results: Blender!
Been there, done that. Once was enough! Laguna Beach, 1979, branded into my memory forever.
Interestingly, I just last evening saw a solution to the blender goo taters: Turn them out into a mixing bowl, add warm milk, incorporate by hand with a strong spoon. It worked in scant seconds in the video I saw of this method for turning the goo back into something edible, last evening, online.
If only I'd had Internet back in '78, Chowhound would have saved me these past 30+ years of flashbacks from that awful Day of the Blender Glue Taters. Maybe now I can begin to put it behind me and heal.
I was surprised there was no debate over the (3) mashers: the open-cut square grid mashers; the wavy strong wire mashers; and, the flat solid disk of strong stainless steel mashers.
For the smoothest results, I start with baked potatoes and mash with the flat disc masher until lump-free.
It seems to me, the seasoning is more 'perfect' when Carnation Milk is heated with butter (I agree with the 3:1 milk:butter ratio), salt & pepper is added and the whole is poured over the previously mashed taters, then, quickly stired with a stiff spoon.
ALSO: I feel technique plays a large part in getting potatoes perfectly smooth by hand. To accomplish this, I press straight down with the flat-disc masher, then, without reducing the pressure, draw the masher across the bottom of the bowl, or pan. Repeat until all potatoes have become unified as one lovely cloud of buttery, creamy, starchy bliss! (The same push& drag technique works for perfectly smooth & creamy refried beans!)

Mar 19, 2013
SusanaTheConqueress in Features

How to Get Sauces Flowing Again

This website with tips for making life easier explains a method I learned several years ago (without the "...point the top to the floor..." tip, which I will always remember as a means of avoiding the embarrasing moment to pause, check the contents' direction of "flow", and, 1/2 the time, find a need to invert the bottle to get it all toward the open end.
Yes, this was a part of my ever-cooler life until a moment ago.
Avoid it by using the concise advice at this hyperlink: http://justlifetips.com/lpt-use-centrifugal-force-to-solve-the-bottom-of-the-ketchup-bottle-problem/

Regarding the suggestion to add vinegar to catsup, (12/11/12,hetook):
While visiting Baltimore's Lexington Market my then-12-year-old daughter ordered a burger from the right- and rear-most stall. The memorable burger was simple yet so very good she went back in to quietly observe the condiments: egg yolk mayo & catsup thinned with water after the addition of black pepper. At home, when attempting to recreate this we were stunned to witness our catsup thicken back up to the original viscosity! Yes, "Simply Heinz" (no High Fructose Corn Syrup) Catsup can receive at least a 50-50 water-to-catsup ratio with no detrimental consequences! Simply add water; re-lid; shake vigorously, and; pour out the contents into a bowl/ramakin. Even add a bit more water to "get ever last bit of catsup" out of the bottle! Stir that very watery catsup in with the rest and add black pepper to taste. Let sit a few scant minutes at room temperature and, when next you check, it will be as though water was never added! Amazing! :-
)Or, let centrifugal force do the work for you! (first suggestion in this comment).
Regarding the Hoisin Sauce comment, (12/14/12, by CindyW):
Only moments ago I had occasion to use that ingredient in a quick batch of beef & broccoli with Aunti Chun's rice threads. An examination of the bottle (Lee Kum Kee brand) reveals instructions to "refrigerate after opening". A visit to the website (LKK.com) only specified removing any leftover _canned_ goods to smaller containers in advance of refrigerating; it makes no mention of refrigerating bottled goods, SEE: http://us.lkk.com/en/FAQ/FAQ where a telephone number (toll-free) & e-mail resource are supplied for any consumer questions.
___
Here are (2) suggestions from this evening's cooking adventures over here that are regarding #2 by the OP:
1) for honey that's too thick to pour, try setting the container of honey in an empty heat-proof container and add some hot water to soak the container of honey. Be careful of microwaving what appear to be "safe" containers of honey - just tonight my microwave filled with sparks & smoke after setting a container of organic honey from Brazil for 5 -seconds-! (There is some almost-impossible-to-detect metalic decorative part to the front label!
2) Cold Toasted Sesame Oil is easily coaxed to pour freely by setting the bottle quite near the heating pan from the start of the recipe! The same is true for olive oil - possibly any/all cooking oils!

And, there are such things as "bottle couplers", SEE: http://www.containerstore.com/shop/ba...
While those are for lotion/non-food items, I have a teal rubber one to accomodate various food container sizes. It does not have a name on it, but I purchased it from a reputable shop, sealed and labled for use with foods. The thing is, I almost never use it! My children, however, are more likely to reach for it than a funnel.
Perhaps it is that we each grow accustomed to getting the last from our containers in the ways we grew up with? In my case, that would explain why I have no compulsion against leaning any container, inverted & against a kitchen wall, open end resting in a funnel just-so and a smaller container holding both the small end of the funnel and the contents slowly drawn by gravity into it while I sleep.
And, why I instantly think of the glass catsup bottles of my youth, too. The ads in those days showed people inserting case knives to "break the air-lock" inside a catsup bottle, (to get it to pour) - this was quite the popular campaign in the '70s, in USA. The OP's mention in #1, above, of chopsticks brought this "old" case knife method to mind.
What I wonder is:
Why isn't commercial mole sold in foil-wrapped bricks, similar to Knorr Bullion cubes, only larger, rather than in the infernal "juice glasses" & plastic tubs. How do others successfully remove the mole from these containers? Especially how is only a portion removed successfully when the entire container is not required? In Teloloapan, Guerrero, Mexico, where the popular mole is made - and I had occasion to be for some time - the locals wrap their mole into what looks to be the size and shape of a homemade hamburger patty. Then, it is wrapped in corn husks. Why is it not wrapped and boxed, like Knorr Bullion, for example? That would certainly be one less hard-to-empty container in everyone's kitchen!

Dec 19, 2012
SusanaTheConqueress in Features

cara cara oranges found in OC

Locally grown Cara Cara Oranges #100 (That's 100 pounds of fruit, not an item count.) went for $24USD, total, last week, (first week of March 2012), at GLESS Ranch, SW Riverside County / just past March AFB & Museum / just past Riverside National Cemetery.
They were excellent.
So were the ruby red grapefruits & "generic" oranges.
Everything mentioned was offered at #25 for $6.00USD, March 2012, on-site, in Riverside County, USA.
There is a FaceBook page for GLESS Ranch to announce impending harvests. For that - and for a look back in time at prior opening dates for avocados, cara cara and other oranges, berries and etc., this is the hyperlink:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gless-R...

~ENJOY!~

Mar 05, 2012
SusanaTheConqueress in Los Angeles Area

Unbelievable Bargain on Frozen Chocolate Croissants

Thank you! Thank You! Thank You!

Mar 24, 2011
SusanaTheConqueress in Features

Basque Closer Than Bakersfield

Do tell, is there a set daily menu? Upload? Please. :-)

Dec 14, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in Features

Now, I seek chivo, or goat meat.

It depends on which cut(s) you're after.
In my world, needing goat means needing to make a trip to Chino ~ Pick the one you want and they'll dress it out for you :-)

Apr 17, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in Los Angeles Area

Heading to Santa Monica Tomorrow, Don't Get There Often, These Recs?...

In Santa Monica I'd be sure to stop at Better Life Cuisine for some organic raw vegan cinnamon rolls to go ~ They're famously awesome! ~
Peruse the wall shelves in the dining area for items to stock your own shelves at home.
The faux egg salad is "eggcellence".
The cucumber smiles with tomatoes under cashew cream is delish!
All their pies (we tried all 5 last week) are stellar.

Apr 17, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in Los Angeles Area

Santa Monica on a budget?

Plaza Olvera's only about a 20 min drive ~ Stroll & chat / have the guacamole (avacodos, garlic, salt & lime juice) with a margarita al fresco under the twinkling lights, then, snag the best taquitos at another /or the burrritos at another - all recs are on Chowhound - and, wrap it up with a shared sampling of Mr. Churro, said to be the best in town.

If staying in Santa Monica, I'd be at Better Life Cuisine - also on Chowhound - we were just there, last week. The raw organic vegan cinnamon rolls are killer yummerific! We also had the faux egg salad + the cucumbers & tomatoes under cashew cream + a flight of all pies (There were 5 that day) ~ Their spirulina cake, like red velvet cake, some say, is also "don't miss it" good. Be sure to drink the "enhanced water", it's good - and free. The "Rainbow" was the juice of choice at our table & everyone raved over it, wanting more, more more. We also did the wheat grass shots, to start, while we waited to be served - listening to the pan flute & other live music being performed at the bar. Can't miss at Better Life Cuisine. The owners are Latino & may be on site to make you something "Mexican", if you request it of them. Very generous & kind souls :-)
Whatever you ultimately decide, please post a follow-up for us to learn from - and ENJOY!
<3

Apr 16, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in Los Angeles Area

Peanuts in soda?

The N. Florida take carried on into at least the 70s ~ I'm a witness & a partaker!
Or, more correctly: I _was_ ~ I'd forgotten all about this taste treat! (Which brought to mind the greatness of freshly boiled peanuts, eaten from the cooling pot of salted water, in rockers, on front porches ~ YES! :-D
Thanks for the walk down memory lane ~ It arrived just in time to share with my eldest before she reaches adulthood "incompletely educated in every way! '-)
This'll be a fun point to this weekend! Thanks, again, for refreshing my memory banks! :-)

Mar 19, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in General Topics

animals menu, anything new???

http://animalmenu.wordpress.com/

Will provide access to the menu.

Mar 17, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in Los Angeles Area

Warm French Bread Loaves of Goodness at the Checkout...

Bristol Farms has the very most exceptional roasted red pepper dipping cream for this! A trip up the coast spent leaning over from behind the wheel to receive bite after bite from Mr. Me is among my fondest roadtrip-foodie memories!
We were just at Whole Foods, on the way back from a 3-day venture in L.A. and environs and couldn't help sampling every permutation of roasted red pepper offered. Nothing came even close to the wonder offered at Bristol Farms for dunking / slathering the fresh loaves with!
YUM!
(What are carbs? LOL! )
'-)

Mar 12, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in General Topics

Why is my whole milk mozzarella turning pink?

My memory banks recall reading to wrap cheese in either vinegar-dipped, or saltwater-dipped cheesecloth to retard spoilage ~ (Good for next time?)
I don't do the dipping & wrapping; I buy with a thought toward how much I'll be using - and for how long.
Other cheeses, like cheddar (mild), I buy without a care because, like the #40 from a deep sale at Fresh & Easy recently, it'll just be stacked in the freezer and used to add "body" to dishes as needed.
Maybe start a habit of making TJ shopping days the ones where the balls are the stars of that evening's meal - or, next day's lunch? They're great in a container with tomato slabs and basil leaves for "office lunch" :-)

Mar 11, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in General Topics

Are ox tails just not for me?

OMGosh! Oxtails! Love-Love-Love 'em!
Here's a simple way to do them:
After rinsing them off, add them to a dutch oven with plenty of cool water + bay leaves & whatever else you like.
Bring the pot to a boil.
Skim foam.
Reduce heat to simmer & pour on about 1/4c olive oil.
Eventually, the water will all evaporate & the oxtails will begin to brown in the oil.
Don't alter the heat source - if anything lower it even more, but it should be fine as-is.
Now and again give them a turn, so as to brown all sides.
Once completely well browned, you have (2) choices:
1) devour them!
2) pour on lots of green "enchilada" type sauce (The canned green enchilada sauce works OK for this, too)
Usually, I heap in plenty of cubed potatoes & parsnips with less carrots before pouring in the green sauce.
Sometimes, I only whirl tomatillos & garlic with water and simmer them in that.
Always, I finish the pot with fresh cilantro - 1 bunch per pot - stirred in during the final minute of cooking.
This is a marvelous dish!
Excellent over steamed rice, or with great bread, or flour tortillas.
Many like it with corn tortillas but they ruin the dish, to me - Just as flour tortillas seem to ruin mole, to me.
Truly, go beyond and give oxtails a try! You'll love them either simmered, then browned with only S&P - (Maybe some savory sometimes) - Or, swimming in a bowl of green saucey goodness - (Maybe some root veggies sometimes).

Mar 11, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in General Topics

In defense of Carob syrup!

I'm turning my raw organic vegan online show host pals to this thread in hopes of learning much more about carob & of having awareness of it revived in the community, like, as you mentioned, carob was in the 70s.
Thanks for bringing an oldie but goodie "back to life".

Mar 11, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in General Topics

Best Fvck!ng Peanut Brittle ever is ...

Golly geez! Thank you for the compliments! :-)
I'll click through your post with responses, ok?
1. 100% sun-sweetened sugar cane
SEE: http://floridacrystals.com/
2. I never chop the ginger and always rely on the "mush from a microplane - the fibers end up so teensie "they don't count" - This cannot be said of mincing the ginger though - I don't think the texture with mincing will ever be "acceptable"
2b. There's a condiment known as "Red Bean Chili Paste" - it's popular with Korean cooking & is killer with a simple pot of steamed rice. Try a big glob of that mixed in by itself, or with ginger for a wonderful taste treat! :-) (No nuts, but sesame is A-OK
)2c. Ginger that's been diced and candied isn't pleasant in brittle - too "gummy" / "Chewy" - the texture's off...
3. The only time I tried powered ginger was when I was shooting for a "bulgogi" version ~ It didn't work out; the taste of honey wasn't there even though I put more & more - and increasingly intense honeys ~ no luck with bulgogi version, but it would be wonderful, were it possible (Maybe another will have the success that's elluded me so long on that one '-)
4. I saw the show with that board! I can't justify the expense and I surely don't have the space, but it'd be tres cool! "-) I need something like the ubber-thin "hojas" for baking in the adobe outside fire-fed ovens in rural Mexico, but with squares ~ the squares take the flex away ~ It's a conondrum! "-)
5. Brittles & Toffees are maybe "kissing cousins"? But they aren't alike. Brittle is more forgiving than toffee any day of the week, IMHO. I've never "ruined" a batch of brittle, but I've had my toffees come out to grainy, etc ~ One of my favorite things to do it stir-stir-stir the toffee whereas I never stand there stirring the brittle's pot.
6b. There's a flurry of stirring once the add-ons go into the brittle pot, that's for sure! Calphalon makes some excellent wooden spoons I use ~ Let me see if I can find them online for you:
http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/produ...
As you may imagine, in 30+ years now I've gone through quite a sampling of stirrers & these are the ones I like the best, (so far) '-
)7. The way I got around the mole problem was to "cheat" - once the brittle's just about "there", I take some out - about 2 cups - and put it into an 8-cup Pyrex measuring bowl with handle where I've already placed the chunk of mole base and spent the last several minutes stabbing at it with a chef's knife. There's a Zen to it. '-)
Eventually, it's into "morsels, but nobody wants a "morsel of mole base", so it still needs "help". To help it get there I use the _backside_ of a wooden spoon to mash-mash-mash the mole base with the almost-but-not-quite brittle (Which is hellishly hot, so use the handle and be _careful!_ Once the mole base is "loosened" with the soon-to-be brittle I pour it back into the brittle's pot, but _make sure_ to pass it from the measuring cup through a large metal strainer set over the brittle's pot. You may be surprised how much punch a little dab of mole base packs! Avoid dabs of solid mole base,
I haven't done it, yet, just because I have a feeling it'll be a huge disaster, but I truly want to mix the mole brittle with ... ___rice___ ~ Mole & RIce are the perfect marriage! I've thought about Rice Krispies & day-old rice, but never gotten up the gumtion to "go for it"... Maybe it's not meant to be?
What's really appealing to me is some way to get the mole brittle to encase whole almonds as individual candies... OMGosh that would be _such_ a wonder! :-)
8. The low & slow bacon doesn't end up hard at all. It's the same texture as pan fried, but without all the pesky fat to peel away. (I had an ex-Hare Krishna roomie in the early 80s who'd meticulously do that - drove me bonkers! - I haven't been a fan of peeling fat from bacon ever since. "-)
If you don't mind the greasy-hands feel, you could eliminate a lot of the fat up front, but I'm simply not one to go through handling raw bacon more than necessary + I've liked making ghee at home since 1992, so it reminds me of that '-)
I don't suppose "soft" but well-done (oxymoron?) bacon would be detrimental to the end product, if you're really adamant about not biting into a hard piece of bacon, but know this: The brittle will _always_ be harder than the bacon ~ _Always_
I don't think it's "worth it", but I suppose you could go for the Hormel type already done up bacon... I never have & never will ~ There's just not a good vibe around that, you know what I mean?
9. I'm in sunny So, Cal., USA ~ equidistant from Los Angeles, San Diego & Palm Springs + 7 minutes from where Arrowhead Springs Water is pumped out for sale :-)
We have a 100+ acre family farm in Florida, but I'm not headed there to return for some many years yet, (I hope!) '-)
10. You're right about the moisture! That's it! The reason for wrapping in parchment is to keep moisture from building up. Reading that part of your closing paragraph reminded me: The refrigerator (Known for drying things out) also is not a friendly place for any of these items; it seems to leach a syrup; and, anything left in there ends up "icky". Best to rely upon parchment & your (They sound wonderful!) containers with mesh sides!
I've added you as one of the folk I read here; I love your passion; and I hope we cross paths on the vast boards of Chowhound, again.
Warmly, ~Susana~

Feb 26, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in General Topics

Basic Cheese Nachos

+1 for compassion toward the uninitiated - we were all one, once.
This reminds me of February 1978. I was new to So. Cal., coming from The Deep South and immediately was introduced to "nachos". My roomies had already purchased the chips (in the pantry by the homemade Kaluah) & brick of cheddar. When leaving me home alone for the first time, they suggested I make nachos for their return. I was clueless. They said, "It's simple! Just bake the chips with the cheese on them!"
Imagine me in the kitchen, tediously culling any broken chips and casting them aside; carefully cutting triangles from the carefully cut slices of cheddar - (which I placed a chip on the sliced cheddar to use as a template!); and, artfully placing them, like cookie dough, on a baking sheet.
Now, imagine me perplexed at WHY the cheese so carefully cut "to fit" overran each chip.
Now, imagine me perplexed WHY the platter of nachos looked more like cheese & crackers than "nachos" ~
Now, imagine me running out of cheese after a scant amount of chips were "turned into nachos 1 by 1"...
Yes, we all learn, given the opportunity & this is a fine learning opportunity.
Kudos to CHOWHOUND for "taking the starch out of nachos"!
As an aside: Cheese in a can, used at many fundraisers, etc is _not_ a food ~ Use real cheese, or break out the salsa - Just say "Noooo!" to the canned cheese "food product", please. '-)
And, just about anything from chili con carne to chives, to olives, to shredded lettuce with diced tomatoes & sour cream may be used to "gussy up" a plate of nachos. It's one of the most forgivingly flexible quick-fix dishes around, like a potato, or, pasta ~ Starch + Fat + just about anything = YUM!

Feb 25, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in Recipes

what to do with all this corn?

If you'd like to get rid of several bags of your corn in one fell swoop without emptying the freezer, here's my suggestion:
Make tamales!
Prepare the masa for tamales according to the directions on that #5 bag of masa harina you're getting at the Stop & Shop's Goya aisle.
Add in all the corn you want to add.
Prepare some savory fillings of chicken, pork, beef, or simply some strips of chili & of cheese.
Set aside a portion of the masa for "sweet tamales", if you like. They may be filled with crushed pineapple, strawberry preserves, or ?
Proceed to steam your batches of tamales, freezing them for quick and easy reheating in either the steamer, or microwave.
Enjoy this traditional harvest treat of rural Mexico!

Feb 22, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in Home Cooking

what to do with all this corn?

I saw where you mentioned your corn is pretty "wet"...
You could dry it up some, toss it with any seasoning of preference for the 2 of you and set it to dehydrate, making a not-quite-molar-cracking "Corn nut" mini version.
Use a very sparing (light) hand with the seasoning or the final product will be overwhelming.
If you don't have a dehydrator, slipping them into a very low oven will get the job done, too - leave the over open a bit, for moisture to escape, they say.

Feb 22, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in Home Cooking

what to do with all this corn?

Corn popscicles are readily available out here (So. Cal. USA).
It's easy enough to wait until your ice cream is at the "add-ingredients-now" stage, then, add the corn kernels. (It sounds like you've got your corn off the cob.)
You could also up the ante by making creamed corn and adding that at the end of the ice cream maker's cycle. :-)
It's not something I ever even knew about until 1998, but was quite pleased to sample.
I was home with my baby when the neighbor brought over the thing for me to enjoy. I dug in without reading the wrapper!
Later, curious as to just what it was I'd liked so much, I read the wrapper, "Elote" _Corn!_

Feb 22, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in Home Cooking

what to do with all this corn?

Here's a salad I was introduced to in 1986:
Shred iceberg lettuce
Add corn sauteed with diced red & green peppers + onion diced to form the same size as the peppers - everything except the lettuce shreds are the approximately same size.
When the corn, onion & peppers are done, add a whole 16 ounce container of sour cream.
Stir to loosen and blend.
Season to taste.
Pour all over the lettuce and mix well.
It sounds iffy and looks displeasing but tastes wonderful!
Garnish with cilantro leaves, if you like '-)

Feb 22, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in Home Cooking

Can you identify this seafood?

They look like barnacles, to me.

Feb 21, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in General Topics

What is the Best Brand of Green Tea?

I snagged (3) boxes of green tea at Fresh & Easy this week, but didn't see Bigelow's Jasmine Green Tea there,,, It's still a must-do-soon! '-)
OH!
The ones for this week were the green boxes of "SALATA" with white letters.
We got an adorable glass barrel this week with white daisies on green stems and a bright yellow lid.
The plan was to make the Salata into sun tea, but when washing it out today it broke neatly at the midline...(((sigh)))

Feb 21, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in General Topics

Best Fvck!ng Peanut Brittle ever is ...

When I was in college there were a few low-cost things I'd make to make ends meet. This was one of them.
Actually, I started with donuts (this was back when canned biscuits were 10 x $1.00). I'd use the end of one of my school pens to punch holes in the dough, fry 'em up, shake them in a brown bag of cinnamon sugar, slip them onto a broom handle and go up & down the block, selling out in a flash at 25 cents each.
From there, I progressed to popcorn balls in shades of blue, green, red/pink and yellow (I think the recipe may have called for yellow & I just used the other colors instead of buying more yellow once it ran out - I can't remember any more).
After the donuts & popcorn balls had me "rolling in dough" (I was more than doubling my money daily; never had "leftovers"; and, had no real overhead ~ bliss!), I moved up to brittle. (I really liked the foaming up point with the baking soda '-)
This was all over 30 years ago, and since then I've gotten quite good at both brittle & toffee.
They are simple, but deman the best quality of the scant ingredients for the very best results.
Use real butter. I like Irish & organic best.
Use fresh, or freshly roasted nuts. Enhance their flavor by passing them through an oven until their aromatic first.
Sugar matters. We go with "Florida Crystals" over here, but there are lots of options.
Though we buy the big resealable bags of baking soda at Costco, I always grab a small fresh box when making brittle. It absorbs odors so easily, and is so low-cost, there's really no reason not to open a fresh box day-of.
As for add-ins:
We did the bacon in many variations and ultimately preferred the one where we rendered the bacon of almost all traces of fat first - leaving lean tasty pieces. It took eons, and was akin to removing milk solids from butter. Low and slow on a back burner for ages & ages to accomplish - but "worth it".
OH! The timing for adding add-ons: After the baking soda, but only by an instant! The ingredients to add-on are right there, ready to go by the deep pot and go in all at once.
A quick stir to incorporate and it's time to spread the whole out onto the pan.
I like using rimmed cookie sheets I've smeared some saved butter wrappers across. That way, in the end, they are easy to remove whole (I back mine with covered cardboard as a backing, then, wrap with parchment and tie with string.) The same goes for my slabs of toffee. I'm not one for "broken bits".
Back to add-ons:
Coconut was supreme with the almonds / macadamia nuts - (separate)
Spanish peanuts with chilis del arbol previously dry roasted in the bottom of the dry pan the sugar was next poured into were a big hit - I used kitchen shears to snip the dry roasted thin red peppers into pretty rounds (very thinly).
This led me to making a brittle of reserved dry chili pod seeds - both with peanuts & without peanuts. It was "interesting" - only tiny bits at a time,,, and I roasted the seeds first, the same as the chilis del arbol (before adding the sugar).
This led me to make one with the vinegar from canned jalapenos en escabeche. It was good. Much more "addictive" than the one with seeds! (My popcorn ball recipe called for vinegar and I figured, What the heck? '-)
This led to making one with peanuts and chipotles (smoked jalapenos from a tin - great with scrambled eggs!). It was best when first turned to a paste before incorporating.
Then, I made some with candied ginger & oodles of sesame seeds. That was awesome!
When apprenticing with a Michoacan carnitas maker I learned to brown some sugar in a cast iron skillet, add that to the pot of lard and pork for "color"...
The taste of sweet & pork led me to make brittle with fresh shreds of carnitas ~ Crazy yummy stuff! My mouth's watering at the memory! :-)
Then, I tried some with chicharrones. Killer good!
Neither of those had nuts.
I really like mole, so I added a large scoop of mole base - which does NOT loosen up quicker in the super high heat, though I thought it would, so know that up front & I've never tried loosening it up with some broth for fear of ending up with an gooey mess...
The mole base brittle was absolutely wonderful!
I did it with whole almonds spread very thin (excellent!) & with almond slivers (not so good) & with sliced almods (A-OK - also spread very thin) Ideally, I'd like to get this one to be more mole candied almonds...
My girls like walnuts, so I tried that. They weren't gaga for it & neither was I...
I ground sushi nori sheets up into a batch and made a huge hit with those (peanuts)...
That led me to repeat the sushi nori & add dried minnow fishes - awesome wonder of tastiness!
That led me to try dried shrimp powder + sushi nori powder - the fishes were better.
That led me to try unpowdered shrimps (dried whole) - better, but the fishes beat the shrimps by far...
We all love both macadamia nut pie & pecan pie, but there was never a taste we were looking for accomplished with pecans... something was always missing.... I think it's a textural thing mostly, but there was an absent flavor going on, too...
What I want to locate is a pan with many small sections for spreading it out and having it come out in squares of uniform size - I haven't found anything yet - the closest I've come is a 12-count mini hearts-shaped thin pan (small enough to fit a toaster oven, but even it didn't flex the way I hoped for popping them out afterward (I won't use silicone)...
Any tips in that direction are quite eagerly sought! :-)
After playing out the brittles, I moved to gourmet popcorns & then, for the past 2 -3 years: Toffees...
If it's bacon & brittle you're after, my best advice is: Use the very best ingredients & do the bacon low & slow in a saucepan for hours to render all the fat and end up with just pure lean pieces of excellence.
OH!
And I did the bacon (2) ways:
1- I passed it under the broiler in one layer with sugar
2- I added it without the sugar broiling
There was no difference in taste, so skip the added step with the sugar & broiler is my advice.
ALSO: If gifting this:
I always use parchment paper & string, sometimes setting that into pretty boxes. I never use tins, but can't remember why that is - Does it need to "breathe"? I've forgotten the reason for that...
EDIT:
I also never put it into jars - for the same reason as not using tins, but can't recall what that is...

Feb 21, 2010
SusanaTheConqueress in General Topics