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Karen_Schaffer's Profile

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Cooking trom Ottolenghi's "JERUSALEM"

Hey, I came up with this on my own, calling it squash hummus. Though I use more traditional hummus seasonings (cumin, a little red pepper, garlic) rather than cinnamon, sesame, or date syrup. In fact, I like it best if the squash is on the less sweet side. If you have one of those mini pumpkins or squash around, it makes a charming serving container.

But now I'll have to try this cinnamon version, just to see.

Jan 25, 2013
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

December 2012 COTM: How To Eat -- Basics, Etc; Cooking In Advance; One and Two; Fast Food

Here's a secret: you can prick your citrus and microwave for 5-10 minutes instead of boiling for 2 hours. I'm sure I posted about this on Chowhound but I can't find it. Here's another site that discusses this shortcut:
http://morselsandmusings.blogspot.com...

I suppose you'd get more flavor (possibly more bitterness) from your citrus because it's not being leached into the water. I suppose someone should make them side by side and compare them (calling Cook's Illustrated!). All I can say is that it worked for me. I've usually made the chocolate version, though, so it may be more forgiving of strong flavors.

Dec 18, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

All About Braising: Pork and Lamb Recipe Reviews

Country-style boneless pork ribs from Costco

This isn't a recipe review, but I wanted to add a comment about country-style boneless pork ribs. She says she's had bad luck with them, that they get dry no matter what she does. I have a suspicion that different stores sell different cuts as 'country-style boneless pork ribs.' I bought a package at Costco the other day, because the fine print said they were from the shoulder. Pork shoulder + braising = yum, I figured. And indeed, they were! So don't swear off all country-style boneless pork ribs. There might be a treat in store.

Btw, since I was cooking for a crowd, I decided to brown the meat in the oven rather than having to do multiple batches in my Creuset. That worked beautifully too! I think I'm going to use that trick a lot in the future. I rendered a bit of the trimmed fat to saute the onions in while the meat browned, so I still got some fond.

Dec 05, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Beef, Veal, and Game, Pork, Lamb and Goat, Ground Meat

Thanks, the cornbread analogy is very useful because I don't like that kind of crust. I made the grilled shrimp with breadcrumbs, and liked that effect, but I'll skip this one.

Sep 09, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Beef, Veal, and Game, Pork, Lamb and Goat, Ground Meat

Dredging (or sprinkling, good idea) the kebabs with a cornmeal mix just sounds so odd to me. Some pizza places use cornmeal for sliding the pizzas off and back onto the paddles, and I dislike the gritty bits that cling to the bottom of the crusts. So I'm dubious about deliberating sprinkling kebabs with cornmeal to get crusty on the grill. How would you describe the resulting texture? How crusty/hard was the cornmeal?

Sep 08, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Beef, Veal, and Game, Pork, Lamb and Goat, Ground Meat

Fascinating. I'll bookmark this one too!

Sep 08, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month Companion Book, Raising the Salad Bar: Potatoes, Pasta, Beans, Grains, Slaws, Garden Vegetables, and Dressings

The leftovers are great! I squeezed a little extra lemon on, as I said I woul. But mostly I think that the flavors had melded better in storage. The sweetness, particularly was better distributed. Made for a really nice lunch. I'm looking forward to the rest in a day or two.

Sep 06, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month Companion Book, Raising the Salad Bar: Potatoes, Pasta, Beans, Grains, Slaws, Garden Vegetables, and Dressings

Lentil Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette, p. 179

I liked it too, although I occasionally got a mouthful that seemed too sweet, I think when I got too much raisin in a bite. Maybe I needed to chop and mix them more. But it did make for variation in the flavors, which was good since I was eating the salad as a main.

I used half the lentils with full vegetable & herb measurements (parsley AND green onions, plus a little lovage for good measure), and a handful of toasted almond slices instead of the cup of toasted walnut. I'm sure I'd like it with walnuts, but the almonds were ready to go, no prep needed. And they were quite nice. I also only used half the amount of olive oil. I tasted the dressing after 2 tbsp and decided I liked it at that stage.

She says the salad is best fresh, so I'll find out tomorrow how it fares as leftovers. I expect I'll still like it, maybe freshened up with a squeeze of lemon.

Sep 04, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbooks of the Month: Planet Barbecue and Raising the Salad Bar!

A resounding yes from me. In fact, I do own it now. Not convinced about Raising the Salad Bar, though I do like some of her dressings.

Sep 04, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

September 2012 COTM My Calabria: Bread, Cheese, Eggs, Seafood, Meat

I too often keep a jar of 'fresh' breadcrumbs in the freezer, and I also leave the crusts on. Seems so wasteful to cut off that tasty bit. A worthy 'recipe' to have reviewed (especially since it's your namesake!).

Sep 04, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Beef, Veal, and Game, Pork, Lamb and Goat, Ground Meat

Salt-Crusted Tri-Tip, p. 126

Well, this was more exciting than anticipated!

Prep is simple: soak wood chips in water to make a smoking packet, and press 1/4 inch of coarse salt over the fatty side of a tri-tip. Place the wood chips on the gas flame or coals, then grill the tri-tip salt-side up for 40-50 minutes. Turn it over, raise heat, and grill another 10 minutes or until center reaches 145 degrees F.

That was when it got exciting. With the salted/fatty side down, the fat dripped onto the wood chip packet, which burst into flames, despite the grill cover being down. We rescued the roast but got some bonus charred meat out of this episode. As for the direction of cracking the salt glaze while it was on the grill? Not a chance!

But despite the adventure, the center of the roast was moist and tasty. And even the extra-crispy bits on the ends were tasty enough to eat.

Will we do it again? Maybe, but if we do, we'll be sure to set the smoking packet off to the side so that the hot grease doesn't drip down into it!

Aug 25, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Poultry, Fish, Shellfish, Vegetables and Vegetarian Dishes

Venetian Shrimp Grilled with Bread Crumbs and Sage p.492

Quick and easy. The breadcrumbs (I used panko) cling surprisingly well to the shrimp, yet don't burn, and give quite a nice effect. I wasn't crazy about the sage leaves, though, as charming as that sounded. Most of the time they were too subtle, but in a couple of cases they were too strong. I might try bay leaves or lemon leaves next time. (Makrut lime? That might be a bit much, or maybe it would be great.) The other easy thing would be to mix some seasoning with the breadcrumbs. which could lead anywhere!

I skipped the salsa verde and just served lemon wedges, though I ate my shrimp without that even.

Aug 23, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

Are you a clafouti expert?

Fwiw, I've made clafoutis with soy milk and had fine results, not noticeably different from regular milk. But I haven't subbed for the flour, which seems to be your main variable. I agree with previous posters that the juiciness of the fruit can be a big factor.

Btw, I have found that putting frozen fruit in while still frozen works great and keeps the juices from staining the whole batter.

Regarding the pan size, I use a large 10" diameter pie plate. If the sides of your pan are cooking too fast, you could wrap something around the outside of the pan or place the entire container in a larger pan with water (baking it in a water bath) to bake it more evenly.

Good luck!

Aug 23, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Staters, Salads, Grilled Breads, Desserts

Great review! I've been thinking of making these. Very useful tip re pounding the lemongrass first. And yes, whenever I read his directions for any of his sates to thread the meat on the skewers and THEN marinate, I thought, "Hah, I'm going to marinate first and THEN thread on skewers, right before cooking."

Aug 22, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

GRILLING BOOKS

You may well be right! I made it again for the Aug 2012 COT with turkey burger, didn't knead it, and thought the texture was fine.

Aug 21, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

May 2011 COTM, PLENTY: Green Things, Green Beans

Re lovage, it has a very strong celery-like flavor with a hint of mint. A little lovage goes a long way. I suppose you could sub celery leaves, but they have a slight bitter edge that lovage doesn't. The tarragon sounds great in that stew anyhow.

Aug 20, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

Voting Thread September 2012 Cookbook of the Month

I agree about preferring to cook Moroccan in the fall. October or November would be lovely.

Aug 20, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Poultry, Fish, Shellfish, Vegetables and Vegetarian Dishes

Jordanian (not Grilled) Chicken, p. 378

The flavors in this recipe intrigued me, but I made it as a braise rather than grilled. It was a great success, so I'll report on it here, even though I made some major changes!

I took about 4 lbs of bone-in chicken thighs and skinned them, drizzled them with olive oil, then tossed them with the spice mixture of salt, cumin, coriander, paprika, and pepper, plus a bunch of sliced onions and bay leaves. I gave them a drink of white wine as well, maybe 1 c. I accidentally grabbed the hot paprika instead of the sweet, but it was fine, so I'll do it again. I also added the raisins, cardamom pods (several!), and cinnamon to the chicken, rather than cooking them separately. I let it marinate overnight.

To cook it, I spread the chicken out in a heavy roasting pan, sprinkled it liberally with sliced almonds, and covered it loosely with a sheet of foil. I baked it at 350 degrees for, hmm, maybe 1 1/2 hours? Something like that. Towards the end I removed the foil to allow a little more browning.

It was delicious! We were having a group of friends over after a local wine stroll event, so I wanted a main that wouldn't need much fussing. Essentially I was following my Chicken Marbella model but using the Jordanian Chicken flavors. I will totally do it again. But I will also make the grilled version someday too, honest!

Aug 20, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Beef, Veal, and Game, Pork, Lamb and Goat, Ground Meat

Yeah, I really like the book!

Aug 20, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

Voting Thread September 2012 Cookbook of the Month

I'd be happy cooking from any of them, but the reviews of MOZZA intrigued me the most.

Aug 18, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Beef, Veal, and Game, Pork, Lamb and Goat, Ground Meat

Bazaar Burgers, p. 326

I made these a few days ago, but forgot to write them up. Partly because they were kind of forgettable.

Mix together 1 1/2 lb ground lamb with 1 chopped tomato, 1 or 2 chopped hot chiles, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 c chopped parsley, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Form into burgers. I didn't make the accompanying pepper & tomato skewers or the tomato salad.

These looked nice with the flecks of red & green from the chopped vegetables and herbs. And they
made for a perfectly nice dinner, just not memorable. Perhaps, as he describes, it's the freshly ground lamb that makes the ones served at the bazaar amazing. Also, my chiles that seemed hot when I tasted them raw seemed to lose all heat when grilled. I can leave the seeds in them next time, but really, I think I want some cumin, coriander, ginger, etc. mixed in as well.

Aug 18, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Beef, Veal, and Game, Pork, Lamb and Goat, Ground Meat

Ground Lamb Kebabs with Turkish Hot Peppers, p. 334

How consistent of me! I see I made and reviewed them on the previous thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7982...

This time I used ground turkey instead of lamb. I forgot to make the paste with the Aleppo pepper and just tossed it into the meat straight, using the full amount for a pleasantly spicy effect. I used a generous portion of dried dill instead of fresh parsley, though in either case, I think the flavor mostly gets subsumed. I formed them into sausage shapes (made 11 oz ground meat into 4 sausages) and gave them a light coating of olive oil to keep them from sticking to the grill. I skipped skewering them because we find them easier to deal with and turn as little sausages. Skewering doesn't seem to buy anything, as far as we can tell.

Again, very tasty. They didn't have the bouncy texture I complained about before. Maybe due to using turkey instead of lamb? Not kneading it as much? (I was in a hurry.) Or just luck of the draw?

I made a shredded cucumber & yogurt salad as a side, which complemented them nicely.

Aug 18, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Staters, Salads, Grilled Breads, Desserts

Since I was doing cubes of pork rather than wings, I marinated for about 4 hours. I look forward to hearing your results. Are you planning to make the butter glaze?

Aug 14, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Staters, Salads, Grilled Breads, Desserts

I'm sure chicken thighs would be great. After all, he suggests both whole chicken and chicken kebabs as variations.

One hesitation, though, is I'm wondering if the lemon juice in the marinade gave the pork a kind of chalky, 'pre-cooked' texture. I'll try to pay attention when I eat the leftovers. I'm thinking that if I make this again for meat that isn't well protected with skin (i.e., anything other than chicken wings!), I'll use lemon zest in the marinade and maybe just drizzle with lemon juice before grilling or serve with grilled lemons on the side to squeeze on to taste.

Aug 14, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Staters, Salads, Grilled Breads, Desserts

Piri-Piri Chicken Wings in the Style of Nando's, p. 20

As with the previous review, we loved this, but I made some major changes.

Paraphrasing: 3 lbs of chicken wings are marinated in a mixture of 1/2 c hot sauce, 6 cloves garlic, 1 small onion, 3" piece of ginger, 1/4 c cilantro, 1/4 c vegetable oil, 1/4 c lemon juice, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper. Drain, grill. There's a butter glaze to put on at the end, but I didn't make it

Big change #1: I had a pork tenderloin I wanted to use, so I followed his chicken kebab variation, substituting pork cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks.

Big change #2: He gives you a lot of choices for the hot sauce to use. I had nice a Middle Eastern version, but I was worried about it being too spicy, so I cut it with a sweet red pepper spread (ajvar, essentially).

Minor change: I subbed a combo of mint and lovage for the cilantro, as is my custom.

The results were delicious! Very flavorful, still quite spicy. I reserved about a third of the marinade and served it on the side for those who wanted more spice. I'm sure the butter glaze would have added another dimension, but this was still really tasty as it was.

Aug 13, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Staters, Salads, Grilled Breads, Desserts

Pork Satés in the Style of Bangkok's Chinatown, p. 41

We loved this, but I did make some major changes.

Paraphrasing: 1 1/2 lbs of thinly sliced pork tenderloin is marinated for 1-4 hours in a mixture of 1/4 c sugar, 1 tbsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp white pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 c fish sauce, 2 tbsp oil. Drain, skewer, grill, serve with sweet & sour cucumber relish.

Big change #1: I wanted to serve this as a main, so I cut the pork into 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks instead of thin slices for satés.

Big change #2: My turmeric jar was empty! How can this be? Well, it definitely was, sadly, but I had my heart set on making this recipe. So I used a tablespoon of Madras curry powder instead, figuring it had a lot of turmeric in it. Yes, I know, a big leap in flavors. But how wrong could it go?

I have to say, the curry powder version was a winner! I served it with a creamy peanut sauce vaguely inspired by the one on page 18. However, I really need to make this recipe again sometime with the turmeric as written, to taste a purer version.

Aug 13, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

The sprout in the garlic clove

That's fascinating. You should do a double-blind tasting and see if you get the same effect.

Jul 28, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbooks of the Month: Planet Barbecue and Raising the Salad Bar!

I was on vacation during the discussion & voting, but I'm delighted with the choices. My garden is already overflowing with cukes & beans, with more to come. Anticipating even more barbecue and salads in the future.

Jul 19, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

March 2009/July 2012 COTM Fish Without a Doubt: Baking & Roasting, Searing & Sautéing, Frying

Very curious why the butter melts for some of us but not for others. Jane, I used mine immediately after making it, so chilling wasn't a factor. I was going to blame the porcini powder, but cpw had the problem with the sun-dried tomato version. I wonder if some of our powdered materials are drier than others so that they suck up anything that melts? Or somehow raise the melting temperature, since for me the butter that was directly on the baking dish melted, but not the butter lumps on the scallops.

Jul 17, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking

March 2009/July 2012 COTM Fish Without a Doubt: Essential Sides

I can't say how the cukes would have fared after a second day because I took them out of the vinegar and soaked them in water overnight to calm them down. They're still pretty sour, but I chopped some of them up and sprinkled them over a salad (as a condiment), which worked well. I used some of the dilled vinegar to make the dressing, and that was fine too.

I still can't imagine eating these cukes straight, by themselves. Joan says 'condiment' in one place, but says she really has eaten them as a salad as well as serving them to others as a salad, and everyone seems to have enjoyed it. When I make a sweet & sour salad, I use more like a 1-1 or 2-1 vinegar to sugar ratio, sweeter even than the Epicurious recipe. So it must just be one of those taste bud things!

Jul 10, 2012
Karen_Schaffer in Home Cooking