Mosaica's Profile

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Freezing Red Peppers

I don't use the tray method, but just roughly deseed & chop sweet peppers, into ziplocks, suck air out & seal, and into the freezer. They don't really clump, and just giving the bag a whack against the counter loosens them up so I can take just what I need; after all, these peppers will go into soups, stews, sauces, etc. and don't need to look pristine.

Jalapenos, on the other hand, I put on a parchment-paper covered cookie sheet and roast/broil until skin is blackened, put in a paper bag to steam for fifteen minutes or so, peel the skins off as best I can, and then I bag them, *carefully* suck the air out, and freeze them flat. These roasted jalapenos are one of my most prized kitchen ingredients: just a tablespoon or so of this minced into an egg scramble, or added to a salsa.. yum! Totally beyond worth it for the bit of labor.

Oct 05, 2012
Mosaica in Home Cooking

What Are Your Irrefutable Food Rules? [moved from Not About Food]

In my experience, really good bacon (like the bacon I make here at home) is tastiest when fried low and slow, and thus can be fried while naked with no problems.

Sep 30, 2011
Mosaica in General Topics

How Does Your Ancestry/Background and Home Country's Background Affect Your Cooking/Eating?

Fascinating discussion you've prompted, milkyway :-)

I'm of mostly Danish, a little Italian, and mixed American & native American descent, and I grew up living in Denmark, the northeast US, and Italy. I still possess a strong emotional and cultural attraction toward both Danish and Italian food, and also toward some of my Vermont food heritage (trout, venison, pumpkins, maple syrup, etc.)

What has always interested me is how I've come to adopt other cuisines not from my own background so thoroughly into my kitchen. For instance I've spent several decades, since my early twenties intensely learning and eating first Vietnamese, then Cambodian, northern & Sichuanese Chinese, and most recently Korean and Japanese food. Dishes from all these culinary traditions still form a part of my regular cooking & eating.

Another thing that has always intrigued me is that I've always liked good fat, animal fat in particular: Italian lardo, our Danish `fedt' (a mixture of duck and pork fat rendered deliciously with onions, apples, and thyme, and used in lieu of butter with certain open faced sandwiches, or just smeared on a slice of dense Danish/German-style rye bread with a sprinkling of salt), or simply the roasted or pan-fried verges of steaks, lamb roasts, and pork chops --I've always felt a certain relish in eating these fats that felt almost like a biological or genetic compulsion, perhaps from my Scandinavian forebears?.

I haven't read any specific research in this area, but I'm reminded of the supertaster research carried out by Linda Bartoshuk in the '90s. While supertaster, mediumtaster and nontaster status isn't caused necessarily by genetic or cultural background, it is linked to ones genetic background for sure, and a person's taster status does confer certain food aversions that might have grown into wholescale food culture taboos over millennia.

I find both the hard science and the cultural anthropology aspects of food and taste to be equally fascinating! And as December rolls along, I'm totally in my Danish christmas food groove --baking delicious crispy-thin brune kager (cookies) and also incorporating my Italian roots & upbringing with a guanciale curing in the other room and a coppa di testa (headcheese) setting up in the fridge. Cooking these foods, certainly at holidays, has become a deeply happy-making ritual for me.

Dec 03, 2010
Mosaica in General Topics

freezing mini cherry pies

Thank you! Just out of curiosity --do you proof your pie crust for cherry pies? It kind of sounds like not, but I just want to check. I will be precooking the berry filling, and I'm planning on making a plain old sweet pie crust (with home-rendered lard, yum).

Cheers!

Jan 14, 2009
Mosaica in Home Cooking

freezing mini cherry pies

Hello!

I'm thinking of making a bunch of little cherry pies in muffin tins, and I'm wondering if anyone has tried this, or can share any thoughts. Do pies freeze well? Should one half-bake and then defrost/bake finished in the oven? Any ideas most welcome; I have a surfeit of cherries (along with a few strawberries and blueberries which I need to use now.

Thanks,

../Mosaica

Jan 14, 2009
Mosaica in Home Cooking

Portable lunch suggestions?

Here's another option --bento box lunches. There's a new Get Started Bento Challenge which you can read about at http://www.justbento.com --and that website, plus the author Maki's sister website http://www.justhungry.com are full of really great, healthy, economical, and yummy ideas. Even if you don't participate in the challenge itself or take pictures of your lunches, etc., it still may be a good source of inspiration.

Good luck!

Jan 09, 2009
Mosaica in Home Cooking

Neutral grain spirits for making digestifs

Thanks to all these excellent replies! Between these, a bit of judicious googling, some actual book-reading, and the generous advice of the seriously clever liqueur guy A. J. Rathbun (author of Lucious Liqueurs), I ended up gifting several handsome bottles of orange infused spirits. I haven't decided whether to call it elixir, cordial, or digestif, but it tastes real good straight from the freezer after a good second-jule-day dinner.

Mr. Rathbun advised me to add my sweetener earlier than just before I bottled it, and that seemed to work out well. Next time I will adjust the sweet a little backwards as I found the finished product just a bit too sweet. I really like Josh's suggestions for thinking about the ratio of sweet to liquor.

Again, thanks all!

../Mosaica

Dec 28, 2008
Mosaica in Spirits

Neutral grain spirits for making digestifs

I'd like to make a few of the digestifs from the projects here on chowhound, but I've had some trouble finding Everclear in my state, and I need to start soon. I do have the option of buying an NGS called Graves Grain Alcohol, but it's 190 proof whereas Everclear 151 is, well, 151 proof.

I've scoured the net, and the boards here, and I did see some advice pertaining to making limoncello, suggesting that the infusion time be lessened, for instance from 4 weeks to 1 week.

With the digestifs recipes, which call for around 6 days using Everclear, should I try, say, 3 days with the higher proof Graves?

Also, with the digestifs recipes, the infused Everclear is diluted with a certain amount of simple syrup --would I increase the amount of simple syrup to get a "proper-ish" final proof for the digestif, or will that make it too sweet? Are there other things to dilute it with?

Clearly a newbie to liqueur making here!

Also, I'm wondering if anyone has used Graves or other neutral grain spirits near the 190-proof mark --I may have to try finding the highest-proof vodka instead.

Dec 15, 2008
Mosaica in Spirits

Fried Chickpeas with Sage

I just made a half batch for a snack-y lunch: delicious! I blitzed the kosher salt to make it adhere a bit better, and used half olive and half peanut oil.

yum Yum YUM! Thanks :-)

Dec 15, 2008
Mosaica in Recipes