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Things you wish you could "Untaste"?

Steak that tastes like liver. It has happened a few times and I am at the point where I have no desire to eat a steak, any steak.

No salmon either - don't want to taste it, smell it, be in the same room with it.

...not that big on cilantro too.

Dec 15, 2012
geppetto in General Topics

Kitchen Tool you had an 'a ha' moment with ......

My Thermapen thermometers. They have paid for themselves in the food I have not ruined. I use them for almost everything - shrimp, mahi mahi, burgers, steaks, chicken, turkey, meatloaf, marshmallows, almost everything...

Oct 09, 2012
geppetto in Cookware

Pyrex explodes?

I had one catch fire in a convection oven. A few Thanksgivings ago, after stuffing the turkey my wife lined a pyrex bowl with foil and put the remaining stuffing in the foil, closed it up and put it into a convection oven. I do not recall how we noticed we had a problem. The glass on the upper edge of the bowl actually caught fire - I saw the flame. We removed it from the oven and placed it on the counter. There may / must have been a wet spot because a few moments later it exploded. Not a fun time.

Oct 09, 2012
geppetto in Cookware

Baking brownies with a silicon sheet

I use parchment paper, but not to line a pan. Cover some cookie sheets and use the batter to make cookies.

Apr 19, 2012
geppetto in Home Cooking

From pound cake to cupcake?

I found this recipe - http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/03/cre... and make both a cake and cupcakes. There is a comment near the end of the comments that helped with the cupcakes.

The 7-up pound cake sounds interesting, how would you describe it - light or dense? You may need to try a few sizes of cupcakes until you find the right size. Let us know if you need help disposing of the rejects... Good luck!

Mar 16, 2012
geppetto in Home Cooking

Deep Fried Turkey

Since you have all of that hot oil... While you are waiting for the turkey to cool enough so you can tear it apart, make some potato chips - regular potato and sweet potato.

Saw this done a few years ago. They were great! The sweet potato chips are going to take a lot longer to cook the the regular ones. I'm not really a sweet potato fan but I have to admit they were yummy! Thank you Paul where ever you are.

Jan 26, 2012
geppetto in Home Cooking

Shrimp: wierd, mothball-like taste

That's good to know!

Thank you!

I wish identifying steaks that taste like liver were that easy...

Jan 25, 2012
geppetto in General Topics

Shrimp: wierd, mothball-like taste

I have been getting my shrimp from BJs - 2 lbs 31-40 count. I think the last bag was $13.49 (Thanks BP!) It was quite a bit cheaper than the 26-30 count, 2 lb bag. Both are peeled and deveined. We have been very happy with the flavor / taste. The 2 lb bag is manageable for our freezer. We have also been happy with their precooked shrimp and use them for shrimp salad on occasion. BTW - I even tried the $5 bags of cooked shrimp from WalMart for shrimp salad - taste was good, but it bothered me that it was 14 oz and not 16 oz since I have to share my shrimp salad with someone else. I wanted a pound!

I usually grill the shrimp - thaw under running cold water, pat dry, toss in some Carapelli light olive oil and a tsp or two of Paul Prudhommes Seafood Magic, and they go right on the grill - or saute - thaw, dry, melt a big ol' hunk of Smart Balance, sprinkle a tsp of Cajun Seasoning, toss in shrimp, another tsp season, turn shrimp, another tsp of seasoning, when done remove shrimp, sauce into another dish, serve over rice.

One thing that has really helped is a Thermapen - you know when the shrimp have come up to temperature - it has paid for itself in the food that I have not ruined.

@ porker - Thanks for the info regarding the flavor and fragrance! Nice to see a clarification of bromine vs. iodine. My belief was that the taste was due to what the shrimp had consumed - similar to grain fed vs grass fed cattle, and the environment. I'm not saying it's bad, just that the tastes are not for me. BTW - Why is it that we never see a sign that says 'Fresh from the mouth of the Hudson River'? Thanks again!

Jan 25, 2012
geppetto in General Topics

Calling all fennel and baby bok choy lovers

A few years ago we attended a Book and The Cook show near Philadelphia. Wegmans had a booth with chefs and they were handing out seared scallops with baby bok choy topped with a spicy orange sauce. I was hooked! Eventually I bypassed the scallops part and went with just the baby bok choy - quartering it, steaming it and topping it with their spicy orange sauce (warmed). They blanch it in their recipe:

http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/sto...

I'm not sure where you are located. If Wegmans is not available you may be able to find a reasonable substitute for the sauce. Wegmans now titles it as Asian Classics General Tso's Spicy Orange Sauce - http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/sto...

A search in their recipe section for baby bok choy provided 11 recipes.

Jan 25, 2012
geppetto in Home Cooking

Shrimp Tacos / Slaw

We had some great shrimp tacos at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival a few months ago. Here are some links:

Pix:
http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2011/10...

The recipe is currently on this page:
http://forums.wdwmagic.com/showthread...

Here is a video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRrcoD...

I really liked the Chipotle Mayo! Probably because I'm not supposed to have it...

Take a look at the recipe index page, you may find something else you like.
http://forums.wdwmagic.com/showthread...

Jan 09, 2012
geppetto in Home Cooking

Shrimp: wierd, mothball-like taste

I can't comment on the weird, mothball taste, but I believe the only way to get 'fresh' shrimp is to get them from the dock. What we see advertised as 'fresh' and sitting on a bed of ice, was previously frozen and now thawed. For that reason, I prefer to buy frozen and thaw them myself. That way I know how long they have been thawed before I cook them. It only takes a few minutes in the strainer under a stream of cold water.

I had a chef tell me once that the iodine taste was found in shrimp from the Gulf. This was way before the BP spill. He attributed the taste to whatever was coming down the Mississippi River. I usually get my shrimp at BJ's, but have purchased at Costco, and never had a problem with the taste. I am located in NJ near Philly. Another place you can try is Samuel and Sons located near the stadiums in the warehouse area. They also sell to the public. I haven't had their shrimp, only their Mahi Mahi. They have an excellent reputation.

Jan 09, 2012
geppetto in General Topics

Question re: Black Beans

Thanks for you reply.

The recipe called for "soaked overnight and drained" so for once I followed the recipe.

Dec 29, 2011
geppetto in Home Cooking

Question re: Black Beans

Attempted to make a dish we had at this years' Epcot Food and Wine Festival - Feijoada (Black Bean and Pork Stew) and was not happy with the result. The dish we had at the festival had a deep, dark purple color, ours did not. I have the recipe but am now thinking the beans we used, while black beans, were not the type of black beans we should have used. I think we just grabbed a bag of Goya black beans. None of the other ingredients look like they would effect the color - smoked ham, linguica sausage, chorizo, carne seca (dried beef). The correct beans would probably improve the flavor too.

Can anyone recommend a black bean that will give us that deep, dark purple color?

Thanks!

Dec 29, 2011
geppetto in Home Cooking

America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Country

A friend told me about the ATK recipe for crab cakes and it is great. I wish I had seen the show. I like that they make the mistakes with recipes so I don't make them. We like the people, equipment tests and taste tests, although we don't always agree with the taste tests. Sometimes we like what thy make, sometimes we don't. We didn't care for a meatloaf or pork chop recipe, but that could be because we like my wifes' better. I don't know that I'm 'inspired' to go out and cook, but I do get some ideas from the show.

Dec 29, 2011
geppetto in Food Media & News

Have a ham bone, don't want bean soup, any suggestions?

Thank you all for your posts! Lots of good ideas.

I should have been more specific - I'm looking to make something with the bone that is not bean soup, and I have some ham to throw in too. I came across some recipes for potato soup that look interesting. They use the bone and some of the ham. Some of the ham is going to end up as ham salad as soon as I find a recipe I like. Some of it will end up in the freezer to a use to be determined at a later date.

Thanks again for the suggestions!

Dec 29, 2011
geppetto in Home Cooking

Have a ham bone, don't want bean soup, any suggestions?

It's that time of the ham where we have the bone and a zip lock full of ham. We would like to do something with the leftovers but don't really want to make bean soup. or quiche... already did the scrambled eggs and ham.

What have you done that wasn't bean soup?

Thanks!

Dec 27, 2011
geppetto in Home Cooking

Puff pastry empanadas??

We found some discos a while back at Whole Foods, sorry I don't remember the brand but they only had one. They were in the freezer case. I was surprised that they were puff pastries instead of a single layer. They were quite tasty. As smtucker said, we baked them instead of frying.

The recipe we use can be found at:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/su...

The only change we made was to reduce the sazon to about 1/4 tsp. to reduce the sodium. In addition to the empanadas, we also make the filling, put it into a baking dish and top it with two packages of cornbread. The filling is basically done at this point, just bake it according to the cornbread recipe.

The chicken empanadas sound interesting. I'll have to look for a recipe.

Dec 27, 2011
geppetto in Home Cooking

Ideas for using up CSA veggies: snow peas, zucchini, bok choy

Here are a couple for the zukes -
- dice, add a little olive oil, some minced garlic, black pepper, sprinkle 'italian seasoning' (Mccormicks or other), put in baking dish, top with panko, a little parm cheese and more pepper (you want it to be between half and inch and an inch thick, everything not the an topping) - bake at 350
- slice, coat with a little olive oil, put on grill, add a little black pepper, cook some, turn over, add more pepper and a little parm cheese, remove when cheese is melted

For the bok choy - I like it steamed, then bathed in some Wegmans Spicy Orange sauce (hopefully you are near a Wegmans) Also add cooked scallops as necessary.

I would also grill everything together with a little olive oil - snow peas, sliced zukes, and bok choy - I would also add some onions or shallots, sweet peppers, and some of those little carrots (sliced into three pieces lengthwise) - it's a texture thing!

And then there is always pizza...

Jun 12, 2009
geppetto in Home Cooking

Homemade pizza dough question

First time trying to make pizza dough at home and was wondering if I can get some suggestions to reduce and / or eliminate the slight 'yeasty' taste in the finished product. I'm guessing that I can probably just add more flour to make more dough but would like to hear from someone with more experience than I have.

Some other info - Recipe was based on the thin crust in 'pizza and other savory pies' (http://www.amazon.com/Pizza-savory-Br...) . Yeast was Red Star Quick Rise - one 7g / .25 oz packet, flour was Pillsbury bleached AP, three and a third cups and another quarter cup, (was supposed to be whole wheat, but I forgot I had it in the cabinet). Also, it was the first time firing up the cool Cusinart kitchen toy.

I did deviate from the recipe when it came to the yeast. Instead of putting the yeast into the flour, I proofed it in the water (110 degrees) with a tablespoon of sugar. After proofing for 10 minutes, I slowly added it to the dry stuff with the motor running. After mixing the dough I put it in an oiled bowl covered with cling wrap for 90 minutes or so before I punched it down and cut it into two pieces. They sat quietly under a kitchen towel for another 10 minutes before we grabbed one and stretched it into a pie-like shape. It sat for another 10 minutes and then we put it on parchment paper, brushed some olive oil on top, and proceeded to add sauce, cheese and toppings. We cooked it on the parchment paper on a pizza stone at 450.

I think next time I'll let it cook for a few minutes then pull the parchment paper out to see if it gets a little crispier. My goal is to eventually be able to make a regular crust and a sweet one similar to Bertucci's.

Thanks for your help!

Apr 05, 2009
geppetto in Home Cooking

Which ham is better?

'Better' depends on what you like. I always defer to Alton Brown (since I can't remember which one to buy) and review this page before we go to the store:

http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/Season...

He has a good description of the types of ham. Haven't tried the mustard glaze.

Mar 14, 2009
geppetto in Home Cooking

Instant Couscous - is it bitter, or is it me?

I like the Near East parmesan couscous and haven't noticed an aftertaste either. Sometimes they have a bit too much sodium for me. We started buying plain couscous in bulk (well, not that much, loose would be a better term...) at Whole Foods. I just haven't looked for it elsewhere yet. I'm not sure where I found the recipe, but we bring two cups of College Inn low sodium chicken broth to a boil and stir in one cup of loose couscous. Take it off of the heat and let it sit covered for about 20 minutes. Yea, I know it's not quite instant but I'm usually making other stuff while it sits. Fluff it a bit and stir in the other flavors and spices of your choice. We found that a cup of grated or shredded parmesan cheese goes rather nicely. The other night we tried a little fresh dill in the mix and were pleased with the results.

I haven't tried it plain, so maybe the cheese or broth is masking the off taste.

Mar 14, 2009
geppetto in Home Cooking

Looking for a Fishmonger in South Jersey

We're in the same boat since Laurel Seafood in Clementon closed. It was out go to place when we wanted seafood. I can second that Wegmans is worth a look. We had been buying frozen Talapia there. Another place to visit is Reading Terminal Market in Philly. (Tried some 'Vietnamese catfish, would rather have real, but they did seem to have a large selection) Check the RTM web site for info on discounted parking.

Two places I found on Google but haven't had a chance to visit yet are CJ Bok Seafood House‎ in Clementon and Johns Seafood in Paulsboro. I have also heard good things about Ippolitos in Philly. If you have the room check out Samuels & Son Seafood Co. They are the wholesaler behind Ippolitos (family) but I understand they will sell to the general public. I believe they also provide seafood for Shop Rite. They have a rather extensive selection of their web site. We are planning to pay them a visit for shrimp at some point. Lately, we have been buying shrimp at BJ's (16-20s, shelled, deveined, raw) for cooking and Sams club (21 - ??, shelled, deveined, cooked) for shrimp salad.

Google Maps is our friend here - try typing 'seafood near' and the zip code or location of your choice. same for 'retail fish near... ' I do this every once in a while to see if anything new opened. Keep in mind 'retail fish near...' will also display pet stores. Put a cooler with some ice packs in the car when you take those long trips just in case traffic delays your ride home.

Feb 10, 2009
geppetto in New Jersey

food to bring to a new mom

I know it has been a while since the original post... but I would like to add:

chocolate.

Feb 05, 2009
geppetto in General Topics

Leftover crab - recipes?

Olive oil and garlic angel hair with sauteed spinach and crab, maybe some red pepper flakes in the olive oil.

Jan 29, 2009
geppetto in Home Cooking

What's your favorite cupcake recipe?

These made us forget about all other cupcakes:

http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/recipes/...

at least until we ran out of them...

Jan 28, 2009
geppetto in Home Cooking

Non-ravioli use for egg roll wrappers

I picked up some wrappers for these:

http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2007/04... and http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/recipes/...

the other recipe ideas in this thread look interesting too! Thanks all!

Jan 28, 2009
geppetto in Home Cooking

Digital Instant Read Thermometers

Cast my vote for the Thermapen. The first bullet on the web page says it all for me -

- Read temperature in less than 4 seconds!

I've cooked the crap out of a lot less food since my wife and daughter bought me one of these thermometers. I got tired of waiting for the other instant read thermometers I have. It may be a little pricey, but mine has paid for itself in grilled chicken alone. Shrimp, steak and burgers are a bonus. With an upper limit of 572F, it will handle anything I cook.

Jan 22, 2009
geppetto in Cookware

Best Pizza Peel - Super Peel??

No, there is no odor or taste from the peel. We stopped using silicone products as my wife did not like the smell and taste they added to the food cooked with them. I think she would notice something coming from the peel. You can see the material at Bed Bath and Beyond, among others, in the cutting boards from Epicurean. I couldn't decide between the Natural or Black. Williams Sonoma had Natural, and my wife made the decision. We are very happy that it is maintenance free, unlike the wooden peels. Using it as a cutting board is a bonus.

Jan 21, 2009
geppetto in Cookware

Best Pizza Peel - Super Peel??

We purchased an Epicurean peel to use with pizza. We liked that it did not need and conditioning, could act as a cutting board, and could go into the dishwasher if necessary. Between pizza nights, it waits patiently on the side of the fridge, hanging from a magnetic wreath hanger like you would use on the front door. As a pizza peel, it is a little more expensive than wooden peels, but I think it will last forever. Sorry, I haven't graduated to breads yet but I'm thinking of giving it a try. Thanks for posting the question. I'm curious to see if others have used them for breads.

Jan 20, 2009
geppetto in Cookware

heart health mediterranean diet cookbook?

Glad to hear he made it through the heart attack! I don't have a cookbook to offer, but I do have some experience as my months of nausea turned out to be heart attacks. One of the people I met through rehab and a support group recommended Dr. Ornish Lifestyle / Diet recommendations when I asked about reversing my heart disease. He is not one of the wackos found on the internet hawking snake oil, he has measured results showing the benefits. I came across some of his information at WebMD, and at the WebMD message boards - http://boards.webmd.com/webx?14@@.598... Visit Amazon.com and search for 'ornish' too.

I had to make some drastic changes and my family made a lot of them too - reading labels (no partially or fully hydrogenated anything), switching to Smart Balance (I cut out all butter and butter replacement type products and only use this for cooking occasionally), cholesterol drugs for me, eat more shrimp (a little Carapelli olive oil and a dusting of Seafood Magic and onto the grill), baked 'fried' chicken and fries, for a few examples.

For some humor with food recommendations, take a look at the 'Eat This, Not That' books. http://www.menshealth.com/eatthis/ind... We have quite a bit of fun going through the web pages and books pointing out the things we used to eat.

Also try to find a support group in your area. The one I attend occasionally has a discussion on eating for heart health.

Best of Luck!

Jan 19, 2009
geppetto in Home Cooking