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What to do with leftover egg whites

Angelfood cake, divinity or nougat candy.

Jul 24, 2011
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Mashed Potatoes - an Informal Survey

Skins on, unless.....

--dinner is formal or with people I don't know well
--the skins are unusually dry or damaged

In Washington DC, grew up in a midwestern household where skins were always peeled.

Sep 25, 2010
sfmiller in General Topics

Blackberry sauce/topping

Keep it simple.

1. Mash a few of the berries, leaving the rest whole. Sugar to taste, lemon juice if need more acid.

2. As above, but splash of decent balsamic vinegar & sugar to taste.

Sep 05, 2010
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Tomatillo recipes?

I make a salsa with raw tomatillos and avocado that's especially good on shrimp or fish tacos and can also be used as a dip for chips/ vegetables/whatever, as you would guacamole.

Mince very finely in a mini-food processor or by hand:

2 medium tomatillos, or 3 small, quartered
1/4 cup diced white onion
1 med clove garlic
jalapeno or serrano chili to taste (I usually start with 1 and add more as needed)
1/2 tsp salt

Once this is very finely minced, add:

1 ripe avocado, chunked

Pulse in the processor or hand mash to desired consistency. I prefer it slightly chunky. Taste and add more salt and chile if needed. (If you want it more acid, add lime juice, but I rarely find this necessary.)

The raw tomatillos seem to inhibit the browning of the avocado, so the color of the salsa/dip is still quite bright a day or two later.

Sep 02, 2010
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Canned Pumpkin Filling Recipes?

I almost hate to say this, but you can do exactly the same thing with canned fruit pie fillings (cherry, blueberry, whatever). My mother (a very good cook, notwithstanding this) used that formula all the time for quick desserts when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s. Not half bad, in a trashy sort of way. Best with salted butter, for that sweet-salty goodness.

Or so I'm told.................

Aug 19, 2010
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Pizza dough emergency

Did it rise at all? If so, give it more time at room temp than the recipe calls for. If not, I'd suspect bad yeast.

Jul 15, 2010
sfmiller in Home Cooking

What is wrong with my bread?!?!

Bake it on a flat surface (sheet pan, baking stone) instead of in a pan with sides. The sides of the pan force the expanding dough to rise up, not out

Jul 04, 2010
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Using ground turkey for meatballs

It depends on how much fat is in the different ground meats. It's not standard.

The Garten recipe calls for 1 lb. of ground beef and 1/2 lb. each of ground veal and ground pork. Most ground veal is pretty lean, roughly comparable to ground turkey. And most ground pork has as least as much fat, if not more, than 80% lean ground beef. So if by "lighten up" you mean reduce the fat in the recipe, you're probably not accomplishing that by going with a 50/50 mix of pork and turkey. 50/50 ground beef and turkey would probably have less fat.

The Garten recipe has quite a bit of breadcrumbs (both 1 cup fresh and 1/4 cup dry) plus water, so that should keep things reasonably moist even with reduced fat. Substituting milk for the water should give a somewhat more tender result, particularly if the milk has fat in it.

Jun 06, 2010
sfmiller in Home Cooking

No-knead bread emergency

If you've got no bubbles in that long a time, the yeast is dead. Don't toss it, just buy some good yeast, stir that in, and start anew.

If it's going to be a while before you can get new yeast, park the bowl in the the meantime and expect a slightly longer first rising time because of the cold start.

Mar 05, 2010
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Season a pizza stone?

I use quarry tiles instead of a stone and keep them in my oven all the time. They come through the self-clean cycle just fine--in fact it's a good way to clean any accumulated crud off them. I would think the same would be true of a stone.

Feb 10, 2010
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Season a pizza stone?

Irrespective of what material the stone is made of, if you oil it and heat the oven to 450 or hotter, it's going to smoke up a storm. Bad idea.

Jan 17, 2010
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Beet recipes - other than roasted or in a salad?

PIcking up on the beet pancakes ideas, beet rosti makes an interesting side. There's a recipe at

Or, less snazzy, but quicker: sautee grated beets (with some slivered onion if you like) in oil or butter in a hot pan for a few minutes. Add S&P, a couple tablespoons of water or cider or vinegar, cover, and cook until tender. You can add chopped parsely or other herbs or celery seed at the end, or not. If you use the onions, vinegar and celery seed, you get sort of a warm beet-pickle effect.

Dec 06, 2009
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Need Pie Crust Help

I also think too much fat might be the culprit. Most pie dough recipes use about 1/2 cup of fat to 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 cup of flour--ratios of .4 and .33 respectively. The fat/flour ratio in jboeke's recipe is .46, which is significantly higher. Inaccurate measuring might make the ratio higher still, which would account for why the crust only fails every few tries, not every time.

Of course, the advice about keeping the fats cold is well-taken.

Dec 01, 2009
sfmiller in Home Cooking

I need some tips about cutting up a raw turkey

Nope, never tried to totally debone a bird that big. I can manage it with a chicken. The first time I tried was after watching a PBS show where Jacques Pepin and Martin Yan each knocked off the boning-out in about a minute. Took me about 20.

Nov 17, 2009
sfmiller in Home Cooking

I need some tips about cutting up a raw turkey

If you're butchering the turkey anyway, you might consider deboning the thighs (not difficult), using the bones for stock and saving the meat for later use. I like to form the thigh meat into a cylinder shape (sometimes with a little stuffing where the bone was, sometimes not), tying it with twine in 2 or 3 places, then roasting or griling it. There's a lot of thigh meat on a 20 lb bird and it seems a shame to relegate it to the stockpot. Smoking the drumsticks while you do the breast is a good idea. You could also braise them later (they take well to the flavorings you'd use for osso bucco or lamb shanks). Between the backbone, neck, wings, thigh bones and giblets/trimmings, you'll still have plenty of stock material.

Nov 17, 2009
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Simple Soups?

Nothing much simpler (or much better) than potato-leek soup.

Roughly equal amounts by volume cleaned and sliced leeks (white and light green parts) and diced potatoes.

Sweat leeks in a small amount of butter or oil (or don't--I prefer it). Add potatoes and water (or stock) to cover by a couple inches, salt and pepper to taste (a bay leaf and or/ fresh or dried thyme is a nice but optional addition). Cook until potatoes are soft. Puree to desired consistency with potato masher, stick blender, or regular blender. If too thick, thin with water. Adjust seasoning. Eat as is (my preference), or enrich with cream or milk if you like.

Nov 01, 2009
sfmiller in Home Cooking

homemade ice cream help

You didn't do anything wrong, although including the alcohol would have made a more scoopable product. It's common for homemade ice cream to freeze much harder than commercial ice cream, which has much more air beaten into it than you get from a home ice-cream maker. More air=easier scooping.

A sweeter base will freeze softer than a less sweet one, as will one containing alcohol (sugar and alcohol both lower the freezing point of the mix).

Oct 25, 2009
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Mark Bittman: Expert in Residence!

I admire your common-sense approach and ability to demystify food and strip it down to its essentials. Is there anything--a particular dish, a particular flavor profile or cuisine--that you'd say has eluded you, that you haven't been able to "crack"?

Aug 04, 2009
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Tip for slicing a soft tomato with a subpar knife

Hmmm......Did they give any tips about how to peel the strip of skin with the same dull knife?

Apr 11, 2009
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Cooking with beet greens

To respond to the original poster's question, they substitute well for spinach or chard in pasta sauces and ravioli fillings too. If you use the stems, they tend to dye ricotta pinkish, which may or may not be an issue for you. If it is, squeeze out as much liquid as you can first.

Personally, I prefer beet greens braised soft, with cornbread, or sauteed and cooked with scrambled eggs.

Jan 03, 2009
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Sides with smoked turkey

Braised red cabbage goes very well with smoked turkey (and regular turkey, for that matter). I make mine with onions, chopped apples, cider, cider vinegar, cinnamon stick and cloves--the acid cuts through the richness of smoked meet and rich Thanksgiving sides.

Nov 14, 2008
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Southern Biscuits: question about the flour

I can't get White Lily products regularly where I live either, but have had very good results with various off-the-shelf self-rising flours, all of which contain flour that's lower-gluten than all purpose. It's also good for pancakes, cobblers, some muffins, and other things.

I agree with others who've said that successful biscuit-making is more about technique than brand of flour. A wet dough, very light hand with mixing/kneading shaping, and quick oven temp are key. And buttermilk, for a soft crumb and that tang.

Jan 16, 2008
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Ideas for Beet Greens, Please?

They taste very much like chard, to which they are closely related. And, as with chard, the stalks need more cooking time than the leaves. I usually saute mine in olive oil, garlic, and red chili flakes, giving the chopped stalks several minutes before putting in the leaves.

Jan 01, 2008
sfmiller in Home Cooking

What to do with ham broth?

Use it for cooking greens (collards, kale, whatever) or braising cabbage/bok choy. Or use it instead of water/chicken broth to make a pilaf with barley (or brown rice or wild rice). Bet it would make good polenta, too, but I haven't tried that.

Though I've gotta say, bean or pea soup is the first thing that comes to mind with me.

Dec 15, 2007
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Making gravy from turkey wings

I'm puzzled: You can certainly make gravy from a brined turkey? Or is the point that you're buying the bird already cooked?

Nov 10, 2007
sfmiller in Home Cooking

removing brownies from the pan

An aluminum foil "sling" does the trick when it's important to get brownies or other bar cookies out in one piece. Cut a piece of foil long enough so it overhangs your pan several inches on each side and press it into the pan. Then grease the foil (or spray it with baking spray). (I'm told nonstick foil works great in this application, but i haven't tried it.) Add dough/batter and bake as usual. Then cool 10-15 mins, lift of the sling, and peel the foil back from the cake. ccweb is right--best to do this before it's still a bit warm.

Oct 29, 2007
sfmiller in Home Cooking


Make a gratin. Coarsely shred cabbage and put in greased gratin dish (with an onion, sliced & sauteed if you like). Cover with bechamel or cheese sauce, top with grated cheese and/or bread crumbs, Bake at 375 - 400 till bubbly and the top is browned.

Oct 23, 2007
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Bored Bunnies and Giada's Tatas

Whereas Giada and Sandra Lee and Ingrid Hoffman cooking with four inches of cleavage showing is in impeccable taste....

At least it hasn't happened with Ina Garten....yet

Sep 28, 2007
sfmiller in Features

Coconut Macaroons-Where Did I Go Wrong?

If it's a crisp, tall macaroon you want, you simply won't get it with a recipe with condensed milk. You'll get moist and chewy--it's the nature of the ingredient.

A recipe with just egg whites, sugar, coconut and flavorings should give you a result more like what you're after.

Sep 03, 2007
sfmiller in Home Cooking

Chickpea question

1 lb dried beans yields about 6 cups cooked.

Jul 27, 2007
sfmiller in Home Cooking