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Gilroy, California, Garlic Bread

Dough can take 1 to 1 1/2 hours to rise. A lot depends upon the yeast one uses, the age of the yeast, how much is used as well as the temperature/humidity of where you have it to rise. Because my kitchen is hard to heat here in Maryland (inefficient heat-pump), I've had breads take up to 2 hours to rise (I make "monkey bread a lot), as well as biscuits.

If you want it to rise fast, use either more yeast or the "quick" yeast. Make sure the liquid you use is slightly above body temperature (I "nuke" mine in a glass measuring cup, and then use the wrist method like I used to do with baby bottles). If you use eggs, have them at room temp, melted butter.

Mar 25, 2009
jclarke in Recipes

What's the Difference Between Bittersweet and Semisweet Chocolate?

I use both when cooking with Chocolate. Thing is, I don't know if there is a difference of using chocolate chips as opposed to using "bar" chocolate when cooking.

I ran out of my Hershey's Dark last nite when baking something, and used Dark chocolate chips to complete what I needed.

Mar 20, 2009
jclarke in Features

Question on Water Bath and Cheesecakes

O hyes, be very willing to try without the bath. Used to do it without the bath until I saw it being used on Travel Channel and Food T.V. We do like how much more creamy it is, and is almost as a custard.

How did your friend do it?

Mar 06, 2009
jclarke in Home Cooking

Crème brûlée and birthday dinner suggestions?

Mar 06, 2009
jclarke in Manhattan

Crème brûlée and birthday dinner suggestions?

http://events.nytimes.com/mem/nycrevi...

or you might check the travel channel, as Anthony Bourdain does a lot of eating there at times.

Mar 06, 2009
jclarke in Manhattan

Buffalo Burger

Mar 06, 2009
jclarke in Recipes

Just moved from LA...need REAL Mexican!

We've run into the same problems, and we live in Gaithersburg. There are a couple of so-called Tex-Mex places, but they don't live up to what we like. I used to live in Nuevo Laredo years ago (when it was fun and safe), and enjoyed many different kinds of foods there.

So, the only best solution we've come across is for me to make our own. Enchiladas and Tacos are "comfort food" for me, so when I get the "need" I make my own Enchiladas. The sauce is fairly easy to make, and when I do it, I try to make everything the day before, that way the spices/herbs have a good chance to marry in with whatever meat I'm using.

If I use chicken, I buy the rotisserie, but if i do beef or pork, I do them in a slow cooker in the sauce the day before, let it cool and clear off whatever fat congeals at the top. Then it's a matter of pulling apart the meat and rolling your own.

Corn my own beef?

The last couple of years, we/ve gotten our Corned Beef from Whole Foods. It is outa site, and extremely tender and tasty. I know the guy who does the "corning", and he tells me it takes about 3 weeks to properly "corn" the beef. They do it in 5 gallon buckets and/or in big plastic containers that will hold several briskets.

We've been wanting to do our own, and I've seen recipes in our America's Test Kitchen cookbook, and then these on this forum. The "massaging" and stuff sounds like a good thing to do, especially since it's in a ziploc.

As far as "salt peter", not such a good idea I think? It's been used in the past in boot camps to help keep the male population from having nightime problems.

Feb 28, 2009
jclarke in Home Cooking

Are the Burnt Bits of Veggies Carcinogenic?

We knew someone who had excersized regularly, eaten properly most of their life, never smoked, had a bit of wine on ocassion, yet, she went home to take a nap, and died in her sleep in the afternoon, of heart failure. And she had never had heart or circulatory problems in her life.

We're just not sure anymore if the worry about what we eat or don't eat is worth the effort. We just make sure we don't eat in excess.

Feb 28, 2009
jclarke in Features

Question on Water Bath and Cheesecakes

I see how using a pan of water would work, but you didn't mention the length of time you cook the cheesecake. Is it the same as the recipe suggests or longer?

Feb 27, 2009
jclarke in Home Cooking


A Doughnut Don't

Well, I didn't bother with the video, but we do love our doughnuts. Not sure what socio-eco group we fall into, as we're disabled and have a 15 yr. old son.

Obviously though, Krispy Kreme isn't in your neck of the woods. If it was, I think comments on this board would be different (as possibly as the vid?). Anyhow, Krispy has Dunkin beat all to heck.

Feb 27, 2009
jclarke in Features

Help Me Make Perfect Ribeyes on a Cast Iron Grill

That's thin for rib-eye, but then, it's your steaks.
Room temp for the meat (about 1/2 hour).
I have a Calphalon griddle (yeh for tax returns!!), and I get it hot, then brush a bit of oil on it (hot meaning when a bit of water "dances" on it).
Fresh ground Black Pepper and ground sea salt are what we prefer.

We likes ours medium, but we get them an inch thick. Yours won't take long to cook being a half-inch in thickness. Probably about a minute to 90 seconds on each side, then let them rest for a few minutes on a foil covered plate.

Feb 25, 2009
jclarke in Home Cooking

Making a moist cookie

Using brown sugar will make a difference (for chocolate chip coookies). How the butter is will make a difference as well. Room temp as opposed to melted, as opposed to melted and cooled, and as opposed to heated until water has been eliminated and then cooled. Experimentation works, and if there are kids around, they will eat any "failures".

Feb 25, 2009
jclarke in Home Cooking

What should I do with Mexican honey?

The texture might be a result of age. Try heating it a bit in the microwave, or, if it's in a jar of some type, heat in a pot of hot water. Like Todao said, honey's flavors vary greatly because of where the bees gathered the nectar. If it's "Mexican Honey", could be cactus, sage flowers, or any other flora that are desert oriented.

Feb 25, 2009
jclarke in Home Cooking

ONE PERFECT BUTTERMILK PANCAKE RECIPE

Hey Scargod. The "sitting for 15 minutes" is for the chemical reaction of milk/vinegar or lemon juice to occur. I make buttermilk biscuits a lot, and when I don't have the buttermilk, the milk using lemon juice or vinager does help add to the flavor.

Feb 25, 2009
jclarke in Recipes

Is Drinking Shower Water Bad?

LOL, now I know why it tastes so mettalic! But then hey, I have worse things to worry about than drinking a bit of shower water (I think :D ).

Feb 25, 2009
jclarke in Features

Enchilada Sauce [Split from Manhattan Board]

Whole Foods will usually have sauces. Thing is, as good as their stuff is, much of the canned has a lot of sodium. I make my own that I've tweaked from "America's Test Kitchen" cookbook.
Depending on how much you want or like is the "tweaking".
Use: Tomato sauce or diced tomatoes (I use 2-3 15 ounce cans)
4-6 cloves garlic, minced.
1-2 medium onions, minced
2 -3 tsps. of chile powder
2-3 T of Cumin
1/4 cup of minced Cilantro
1-2 cans green chiles
2-3 tsp. sugar (or honey)
2-3 tsp unsweetened cocoa
12 oz. of cheese, grated (whatever you like, cheddar, mozzarella etc.)
Have a decent hot skillet, tablespoon or so of veggie oil, and toss in the minced onions. Salt them a bit, cook till they soften, then toss in garlic, spices and Cilantro. After about 30 seconds, put in your tomato sauce and chiles. Get it to simmering, then add sugar and cocoa, and add other seasonings to your particular taste (crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne, fresh ground black pepper etc.). I also use ground sea salt (or Kosher) as the flavor is very different than regular table salt. I'm no chef, but I've been cooking since I was 12, and I'm 55.

The "fun" about this sauce (and other sauces) is the tweaking. I've never made the same sauce twice, so it keeps my wife and son interested. Experiment a bit, if it's too hot, add a bit of honey or more tomato sauce. Thing is, start off a bit in low heat, and work up. It's easier to add more heat than it is to ease it up a bit. And any leftover sauce is outa site in meatloaf, buffalo burgers or whatever. I also buy the plain rottiserrie chicken, bone it and shred it totally to make my Enchiladas.

Feb 24, 2009
jclarke in Home Cooking

Cinnamon Apple Sponge Cake

Is there a simpler way using a baking dish (like a 13x9?) instead of ceramic dishes? Space is limited and only 3 of us unless I share (which we do a lot).

Feb 24, 2009
jclarke in Recipes

Orange-Vanilla Ricotta Cheesecake

Sounds good! Wife not sure of ricotta cheese. Egg yolks are to add for more creaminess of the cake itself, so that might be why the yolks only. Use leftover whites for an omellette.

Feb 24, 2009
jclarke in Recipes