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let's appreciate licorice, anise and fennel!

I don't have a recipe to share, however we always have fennel in our house to eat after a meal, it is a great digestif and breath freshener, also, we cut the tubules off the bulb and use them as straws in our homemade red italian wine - yummy, it adds another element of flavor. Any other italians do this?

Dec 06, 2008
pilolls in Home Cooking

Rice Oil

I at the most delicious, non-greasy french fries at a Napa, CA restaurant (BarbersQ) and when I commented on them, the general manager said they fry everything in rice oil. I had never heard of rice oil up to that point. I would appreciate hearing about your likes/dislikes of cooking with rice oil. Thanks!

Dec 06, 2008
pilolls in Home Cooking

Anyone have or used a Viking oven?

You're really not supposed to "clean" it. You should just take a rag or that newer, non-abrasive "steel wool-like" pad (sold in high-end kitchen stores that has been dampened in WARM water and clean it off while it is still warm. Never throw cold water on it while it's piping hot, it can damage the griddle. Every once in a great while I will really scour it clean but I immediately follow with an oil rubdown.

Dec 06, 2008
pilolls in Cookware

Anyone have or used a Viking oven?

I've had my Viking for about 12 yrs. or so and and have a few problems, namely the ignition problems of the gas burners and gas oven temp variations which were mentioned in previous posts. I do love how the gas range works from the lowest simmer setting to the quickest pot of boining water for pasta, however, my burner grates are warped (4 of 6) so the pots and pans do not sit level on them. Why this would happen I don't know. I use the griddle daily for cooking or simmering or just keeping something warm. The ovens, on the other hand are horrible for baking. The temp fluctuates and is usually about 25 degrees off. I either dry out or burn baked goods unless I am hypervigiliant about it which is next to impossible when multitasking between cooking multiple items and managing three pre-school boys! I would never buy a Viking gas oven again (dual fuel wasn't an option at the time of my purchase). The best thing about the oven is the broiler, although it could be a bit bigger. My friend is a great baker and swears by her Dacor. Hope this helps.

Dec 06, 2008
pilolls in Cookware

Pots and Pans - Which brand to buy?

I have been using Calphalon for about 15 years since I received 2 sets as bridal shower gifts. One set is their professional stainless line and the other is their professional non-stick line. My nonstick frypan and skillets are not holding up well. The non-stick coating is not as it was, it is worn. I like the stainless, but then I have to utilize lots of spray/oil/butter... I have one piece of Caphalon hard anodized line of cookware and I now wish all of my cookware was this type. It has held up wonderfully and it falls somewhere between my other two sets in terms of non-stick quality. I feel all perform quite well under high temp cooking and even heat conduction. Lastly, I have an All-Clad piece as well and see no difference between it and my Calphalons as far as performance goes. I haven't checked out pots-n-pans for 15 years so I have no idea what lines Calphalon is promoting now.

Dec 01, 2008
pilolls in Cookware

Cooking with Fall Ingredients

Figs are my absolute fav! We have two fig trees, a black and a white. Here in Ohio they cannot remain outside during our harsh winters so we keep ours in a large planter on wheels and we wheel it into the garage for the winter. The problem is that you must transfer them to larger pots from time to time or they become root-bound and stressed and then they won't yield fruit. As far as our growing season, we're usually done with our fruit harvesting by the end of Sept. They are expensive when purchased in the store. We're seriously thinking about planting ours in our backyard and either insulating it by wrapping moving blankets and plastic around it for the winter, or cutting it down low so we can bury it like the old Italians did every year where my family grew up.

Dec 01, 2008
pilolls in Features

Which range is best: Wolf, Viking, or DCS?

I've used my 48" Viking Gas Stove for quite a number of years and here's my seven cents on this subject! 1.) I like to do some serious cooking and occasional baking, I HATE the way my oven bakes. I've had a repair person out twice to make sure the oven is heating properly. I shouldn't have to, but I usually set my oven temp 10-25 degrees less than baking recommendations or else I will over-bake cakes/cookies/breads. Dual fuel was not an option when I purchased my Viking. 2.) Several of my burner grates are no longer level (Why?, I don't know.) and my pans do not sit properly on them, I know it's not the pans because this only occurs on some of the grates. 3.) I have intermittent issues with the burner ignitors, sometime they will not ignite, sometime they just keep clicking on a burner I am not even attempting to ignite. 4.) I LOVE the multi-functionality of the griddle. I am so glad I chose it instead of the grill. 5.) I have cooked on my friends Wolf and I like the performance of my Viking better. 6.) I totally agree with a previous poster about the oven sizes in the various size ranges, I use the larger oven nearly exclusively and the smaller oven rarely since you cannot fit anything bigger than 9 X 13 pan in it. I think if I had to do it all over again, I would get a 36" Viking Gas Range and a second separate electric convection wall oven for baking. I have never used all 6 burners at once. Also, I would get self cleaning because it is a b*tch to clean, it's an all day project.

Nov 25, 2008
pilolls in Cookware