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How I Wrote an Entire Book on Banh Mi

I'm hoping someone has made the cilantro maggi mayonnaise! I'm making bahn mi for a party of 20 so have been working hard and made the rolls (look good), daikon carrot salad (also good and I can taste this), marinated barbecue pork and have the hanoi chicken ingredients ready to go. But, tasting the cilantro maggi mayo, I think it's bitter. I was very accurate about measuring, weighed each ingredient. I've only added half the maggi so far but I'm wondering if the maggi could be making it bitter. I added some salt which helped and more lemon juice. Any suggestions?

about 8 hours ago
chowser in Home Cooking

ISO Fancy, elegant plated dessert

If you want to go the tart route, two that I do often are chocolate pecan caramel tart and cream cheese apple tart. The chocolate pecan caramel tart is like a pecan pie only over a shortbread base w/ chocolate ganache on top. The cream cheese apple tart is like a thin layer of cheesecake over a tart base w/ apple slices nicely arranged on top.

Chocolate pecan:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/549841

Cream cheese apple:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/449383

Both can be easily arranged to be elegant presentations, although both are pretty as a whole, too.

1 day ago
chowser in Home Cooking
1

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

This is another of those Rorschach tests. You can tell if a person sees the glass half empty (well, so many are faking it so I'll discount it) or half full (there are a few who do fake it but the majority aren't). Welfare is a prime example--do you notice the person who is cheating the system or the people who genuinely need it?

Masterchef US Final 3 tonight--conclusion (expect spoilers here)

I can't imagine cutting a recipe into 1/24th to bake just one--the logistics of egg alone is daunting! Plus, cutting a recipe by that much isn't just cutting it proportionally. I'd be surprised if I could make one good cupcake the right way.

1 day ago
chowser in Food Media & News

Masterchef US Final 3 tonight--conclusion (expect spoilers here)

Yes especially given he's spit out far less evil. And, having the cake come out is saying that the only property sugar adds is sweetness but there is a big textural/browning component, too. I'm hypothesizing theoretically from the properties of sugar and salt that you wouldn't get the same looking cake using only salt. I'd be curious to test it but not enough to waste the ingredients. I thought it was funny when one of them said it's something most people who bake have done at one time or another. Really?

1 day ago
chowser in Food Media & News

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

As we had discussed w/ allergies and fear mongering, we're also told that an allergy could suddenly become deadly/anaphylactic when the response hasn't been all along. I haven't read what the truth is--how many lesser allergies suddenly become severe, although having worked in an ER, I saw enough (maybe a half a doze or so per summer) of people who came in w/ an anaphylactic reaction to insect stings and never had it before. But, none w/ food allergies. Parents are taking what they're told at face value so even if their children don't have severe allergies, they worry. My daughter hasn't had many exposures to nuts but when she has, the worst isn't the projectile vomiting, severe pains but it's the fear that this time could be far worst. And, it could well be a misplaced fear.

As for parents or people who need to feel special, I put that along the lines of people who claim to have allergies when they don't. It makes it far worst for people who have to deal w/ allergies. But don't downplay allergies because of people like that. It would be like downplaying rape because there are questionable cases.

Make-ahead appetizers/snacks to be served at room temp for 25, including vegetarians

Start looking 20-25 minutes, depending on size.

1 day ago
chowser in Home Cooking

Make-ahead appetizers/snacks to be served at room temp for 25, including vegetarians

An oldie go-to for me has been Nigella's sun dried tomato pesto terrine. I would never have made it based on the recipe but a friend of mine did and it was the surprise hit of the night. You can make it a day in advance:

http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/s...

Another easy go-to for sweets is Martha Stewart's brown butter toffee blondies. If I'm in a hurry and don't want to cut, I make them in cupcake tins.

http://www.marthastewart.com/350047/b...

For something fun, I just tried this idea from The Kitchen. My daughter made brownies in cupcake tins. When they're done, top w/ large marshmallow, broil on the lower rack in the oven for 4-5 minutes until toasted brown. Remove and flatten w/ knife. It looks frosted. We said the next time, we'd start w/ graham cracker base and have s'more brownies. Oh, I found a picture:

http://blog.dollhousebakeshoppe.com/2...

Sep 19, 2014
chowser in Home Cooking

Masterchef US Final 3 tonight--conclusion (expect spoilers here)

Seriously, just give up. At that point, he's not going to pull one over on the judges. "Oh, I didn't notice that it was a salt bomb and not at all sweet" isn't going to happen!

Sep 19, 2014
chowser in Food Media & News

Baking with cottage cheese?

Baking is a science and when you change ingredients, you change the whole product. Unless you're familiar with the ingredients and what they're adding,it's difficult to substitute one ingredient for another or just add an extra egg w/out affecting the texture. If your goal is to add more protein, a cup of cottage cheese over a cup of yogurt will give you minimally more protein per serving. You could possibly try greek yogurt which has the same protein but then you'd have less liquid and have to play with that. Honestly, it would be easier to eat a hard boiled egg on the side and make the pancakes or cake as is but eat less if your goal is more protein.

Sep 19, 2014
chowser in Home Cooking

Masterchef US Final 3 tonight--conclusion (expect spoilers here)

The salt thing was ridiculous. He cut off a huge dome. Everyone tries the dome!

Elizabeth had a menu; Courtney had dishes. But really, neither of them has presented anything that makes me want to even look at their cookbooks.

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

As DQ said, this whole discussion is being based on speculation on who was the driver behind the letter, why the allergies was included.

"Its also pretty obvious to me that parents may have unreasonable expectations of the school's ability to keep their child safe,"

Another speculation--how do you know this? Have you spoken to parents of children w/ allergies at the school and had them tell you that? As was posted above in the survey, most parents of children w/ allergies do not want that. As someone whose been room parent/girl scout leader/etc. I've yet to have any parent who has a child w/ allergies insist that those products not be allowed, even in shared dishes. They do ask that their children be told, which makes sense to me. However, the organization almost always takes it on themselves to prohibit the item.

"The only point I was trying to make with my original post was that it seems sensible (to me, at least) ...to let medical personnel help determine what is appropriate and what isn't."

I would think school officials would consult with medical and legal professions on this but you've already decided this comes from helicopter parents who want a risk free environment for their children. It doesn't matter who they consult, there will always be those who complain about their decision is what I've learned from social media. Even with something as simple as removing soda machines or a two hour delay, people with limited information, will judge and complain.

Sep 19, 2014
chowser in Not About Food

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

The poor probably don't have he resources to get diagnosed in the US. I can tell you our out of pocket expenses for seeing a pediatric allergist was outrageous and we have insurance.

I have to disagree about being "special" and having attention. Most kids HATE that. Many are embarrassed by it. My daughter even hates asking at restaurants if something has nuts in it.

Sep 18, 2014
chowser in Not About Food

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

That's interesting because I've heard (and would never try) that introducing small amounts can help w/ allergies BUT in a study that was proving fruitful, one child died. It's scary that in a medical setting w/ professionals knowing what could happen that a child died. There was a more recent study done in England that had much more positive results.

I'd trust your allergist. My daughter's pediatrician told us to give her one of each type of nut and see how she responded since she'd responded to cashews. It's scary the lack of knowledge among some medical doctors.

Sep 17, 2014
chowser in Not About Food

Masterchef US Final 3 tonight--conclusion (expect spoilers here)

I liked Elizabeth until the final episode and she seemed so full of herself. Of the final four, it would be hard to pick the person who was most and least annoying because they just weren't that likeable.

Masterchef US Final 3 tonight--conclusion (expect spoilers here)

"Having a highly successful blog, becoming a well-known cookbook author or food writer can be a goal to aim for, too."

Yes, but there are steps to getting there that are more concrete than trying to win Master Chef. Yes, it worked for her and she's incredibly lucky, as are lottery winners. If you have a lofty goal, you should have a more realistic way to get there.

TPTB control what we see. If they wanted to push Courtney as a likeable stripper, they could have done so. Unless she's so unlikeable that in thousands of hours of footage, they couldn't find any?

Sep 17, 2014
chowser in Food Media & News

Masterchef US Final 3 tonight--conclusion (expect spoilers here)

Given the past seasons winners have been likeable, Christine, Luca, how did they end up with two who have been edited to be so unlikeable? What did they cook that they could write a cookbook that people would want to buy? Of the finalists this time, only Christian could do something cohesive. Courtney's cookbook will hit the budget $1.99 sale racks before the end of the year. I always wonder about people who enter contests like these to change their lives. Did Courtney have any other plans--she was going to be an exotic dancer until she wins the lottery of MasterChef? If you want to be in the restaurant industry, why not get a job in it?

Sep 17, 2014
chowser in Food Media & News

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

Do you know for sure that the letter was driven by parents? In my children's schools, we receive health forms that ask about allergies. The same goes for most activities these days. I've yet to hear of any parent driven request to prohibit allergens, other than possibly shared foods.

Sep 17, 2014
chowser in Not About Food

The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious

I'd be interested in hearing more about artisanal custom-made dildos.

Sep 16, 2014
chowser in Food Media & News

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

It's great that she can tolerate the 1/4 tsp pb because that means you don't have to worry about cross contamination. That's probably one of the biggest concerns.

Sep 16, 2014
chowser in Not About Food
1

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

The tree nut allergies are puzzling. My daughter is fine w/ hazelnuts, almonds, brazil nuts. She's allergic to pecans, walnuts, cashews, pistachios. We keep her away from mangoes because they're in the same family as cashews and pistachios and those seem to cause the worst reaction. She can have peanut butter but not pine nuts. I'm afraid to have her try Indian food in restaurants because of the extensive use of some of those nuts.

Your list seems pretty random, too. What about pistachios?

Sep 16, 2014
chowser in Not About Food

Help Me Fix This Cookie Recipe, Please

I was thinking that with both flours used--lower protein and it calls for less flour than a traditional ccc w/ ap flour. Between that, the added sugar and butter, I would expect the cookies to spread considerably.

Sep 16, 2014
chowser in Home Cooking

Help Me Fix This Cookie Recipe, Please

I agree that there's far too much butter to flour ratio, plus there is a lot of sugar for that much flour. If you really want to use the recipe, I'd cut the butter to 2 sticks, brown sugar to 1 cup, white to 1/2. I'd also use 1 1/4 cup cake flour.

Sep 16, 2014
chowser in Home Cooking

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

I've never expected anyone to accommodate my daughter, other than letting her know in shared foods that there are nuts. I'm wondering if the school just banned every food on the list of allergic foods parents provided. They don't distinguish on our school forms between severe and mild allergies. I do believe this is a CYA case w/ the school--if they ban it, they're not as liable as if they don't.

Sep 16, 2014
chowser in Not About Food

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

Thanks for posting that-it is interesting. As I've said all along, I've yet to meet parents who insist the world be made safe for their child and the anger is misplaced. The immediate jump to judgement on parents, given something that came from the school, is telling.

Sep 16, 2014
chowser in Not About Food

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

" IMO, living with the danger of allergies should mean making sure the child knows what choices to make."

Yes, that's the ultimate goal but it's a learning process and one mistake can be deadly for some. Often children bring food to school and have no idea what's in them. My daughter was offered crackers that had finely ground nuts in them, though there was a no nut policy at school. She had a reaction in kindergarten because the teacher assumed taffy would be safe (I had to reassure the teacher that I would have given it to her, too, because the teacher felt so bad about it).

My question is, do you know if the letter from the school was driven by overprotective parents or from the school system? If it's the latter, the whole discussion about overprotective parenting isn't relevant here. My feeling is parents who are overprotective about allergies would be overprotective about everything. Maybe the discussion should be, "Are we allowing fear of lawsuits dictate what our children are eating in school?" because I think that's the case here.

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

The thing is I've yet to meet parents who've insisted that the world be made safe for their children and that's the red herring here. I'm guessing in this case, the school decided to put out the list of all allergies in the school. If they have the restriction and something happens, they've covered themselves. I've known quite a few parents who just ignore the rule. It's much ado about nothing except as an opportunity to judge parents.

Trust me, kids w/ allergies do learn to deal w/ them as they grow. It's not just one lunch meal that they have to worry about--it's every time they eat. The same goes for perfume. No one is advocating a complete removal in the world but if we can do something small and try to help them, just in one situation, as with the class, then I think it's a no brainer.

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

OTOH, you can teach children that they can help others by taking small actions rather than only considering themselves. I was in a class w/ a woman who had severe chemical allergies, especially to perfume. Another refused to go w/out her (considerable amount of) perfume because, in her words, it made her feel pretty (which of course made her far less pretty in everyone else's eyes). The woman w/ the allergies ended up wearing a mask to class, non stop tearing, sneezing. If we could teach a little empathy, maybe people would be less self centered. It might be one meal out of the day for them but it's a lifetime for the other child. Also a poor lesson in living life in the world in general.

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

I'm actually pretty lax about allergies but my daughter has probably, as a result, had more reactions than children whose parents are stringent. Parents are constantly criticized for their choices. I was surprised at the vitriol shown here on CH about the girl who died when she ate the Chinese food provided by the school. The parents were excoriated. At the same time, parents are criticized for being overly protective, as in this thread. It's a lose, lose because people love to judge.

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

Thanks for posting that follow up--I hadn't heard that part.

The testing is easy enough that I don't understand why people wouldn't just do it if they think they have severe allergies. But, it goes along w/ people who self diagnose gluten intolerance, msg "allergies", etc.

Sep 15, 2014
chowser in Not About Food