m

maestra's Profile

Title Last Reply

Black cocoa powder?

They do? They didn't used to, and it's not listed on their website. I'll can call to check.

Sep 07, 2014
maestra in San Diego

Black cocoa powder?

Is there a store in the SD area that sells black cocoa? I know I can order it online, but I wouldn't do so unless I caught King Arthur or another provider offering free shipping.

Sep 06, 2014
maestra in San Diego

Good bread in No County

Belen's little outpost on the far south end of Escondido Blvd. closed (in a little strip mall by the Sunset Lounge)? I hadn't noticed. I never went in, but it looked like a full cafe like the previous location a little further north. I'll have to check out what's in the space next time I drive by.

Aug 29, 2014
maestra in San Diego

Garlic in Pesto = Botulism?

No chemist or botanist here, but two summers ago I was violently ill for 24 hours after eating spoiled pesto at a restaurant. How do I know it was the pesto? When I tasted the sandwich, I thought, "Oh, yuck. I thought this didn't have mayonnaise." I opened the sandwich and there wasn't any mayo, so I thought maybe they had sprinkled a little vinegar or something on the fillings. It had a distinct tang. I ate it, and I was very sorry.

Jul 21, 2014
maestra in Home Cooking

Turmeric leaves

I'd ask at an Indian grocery store. The one in "Little India" off Miramar near the 15 has the most fresh produce I've seen, though their general stock was disappointingly low last time I was there.

Jun 26, 2014
maestra in San Diego

No Luck with Rice Noodles

If you soak, drain, and then rinse them under cold water, they won't stick when you add them to your dish. This also allows them to dry thoroughly (you set them aside while you prepare the rest of the dish), and you can get a nice char on them when you add them to the hot pan. If you add them to a soup, you'll have nicely separated noodles and no extra starch added to your liquid.

Jun 18, 2014
maestra in Home Cooking

any updates about Methow Valley / Winthrop WA?

I second the Mazama store - it's a great source for interesting snacks (bulk wild-rice sticks and partially popped popcorn kernels were my favorites last year). It caters to the hipster and yuppie tourists, so there are gourmet chocolate bars, organic snacks, good cheeses, etc. Nothing's cheap,but it's a vacation treat.
Big Apple in Winthrop has some local finds, like wheat from local Blue Bird farms. Peruse carefully and you'll find some treasures. Their cold beer case is also very good.
The old-fashioned looking gas station in the center of town, at the intersection of highways, has a great selection of chocolate bars. Again, catering to the snobby tourists (I can say that because I am one).
Organic foods store in Twisp is good too; again, some local treasures.
I know none of these are updates, but perhaps they are things fellow travelers hadn't noticed before.

Jun 15, 2014
maestra in Pacific Northwest

Favorite commercial/small batch moles?

There are mole pastes from Mexico available all over Escondido, so they must be found at in other towns as well. There are pastes sold in clear plastic, forming squarish packages, and pastes sold in white buckets. I'm not a frequent purchaser, but their flavor is worlds above Doña María. The ingredients list are concise - no American-style fillers.
The pastes are often found on the counter above the meat selection; I'm almost positive I've seen them there at our Northgate Gonzalez. I see them at smaller stores all the time. The white-bucket version is sometimes on shelves, especially if the store has a regional-Mexico section.
Off the top of my head, these pastes are available at Panadería Oaxaqueña off Grand, at El Chile Market (now Mercado El Sol; they may not have restocked completely since the turnover), at Rodeo's Meat Market in San Marcos, and as, mentioned, at the swap meet. They used to be fairly hard to find around here, but I feel that in the last 3 years or so their presence has exploded. Start by looking around the meat counter of any Mexican grocery store.

Jun 15, 2014
maestra in San Diego
1

Cast iron for anemia: Is pre-seasoned just as good?

Thank you, ChemK. Sounds like whatever they use at the factory won't be too different from my process at home.

May 15, 2014
maestra in Cookware

Cast iron for anemia: Is pre-seasoned just as good?

I am being treated; just trying to add every extra little bit that I can. I love cooking in cast iron anyway, but I thought I'd inquire before buying a smaller pan.

May 15, 2014
maestra in Cookware

Cast iron for anemia: Is pre-seasoned just as good?

I need to start cooking more frequently in cast iron and am in the market for an 8-inch pan (I have a 12-inch I love, but it is too large to scramble a couple of eggs, mash up some beans, etc.).
The best deals I am finding online are all for pre-seasoned skillets. I don't know anything about this "pre-seasoning" process, and I'm wondering if it seals up the pan to the point that iron will not enter my diet as well as it would in a pan I seasoned myself with just cooking oil.
Anyone have expertise in this area?

May 14, 2014
maestra in Cookware

Anyplace to buy Bao in North County?

Where are you in North County? The new version of La Sorpresa Barata in Escondido is actually an Asian market, not (fully) Mexican anymore. The one time I went in, I saw a wide selection of frozen goods. I recall a number of prepared frozen foods, not just frozen seafood and cooking ingredients. You could call them and ask.
Our other 2 Asian markets have frozen goods also, but I've looked more carefully through them over the years and have not seen any bao.
Making BBQ pork bao at home isn't very hard; makes a fun weekend project. I'm sure they would freeze well.

May 10, 2014
maestra in San Diego

Fiesta oaxaqueña opens restaurant (Escondido)

We seldom go to El Tejate anymore; the food was getting too greasy and messy. My husband and his brother go and order the parrillada when they want a meat-fest. It's been awhile, though, so I've been thinking they might deserve another try.
Now for Esco Mexican we just do La Takiza and occasionally Paulita's. I haven't even driven by Paulita's in a couple of months; they may be closed by now. The wait for their food was very, very long, but they had some solid dishes. La Takiza does great tacos on fresh tortillas. Tacos Alex (now in San Marcos) and Vamos a Texcoco in Vista are our preferences if we can justify driving for a meal.

Dec 21, 2013
maestra in San Diego

Quince

Chow has this lamb and quince stew:
http://www.chow.com/recipes/11148-tun...
I made it a few years ago. It was nice, but prefer quinces in a sweet preparation (but not too sweet). My favorite is to poach them with cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, and whatever other warm spice I feel like tossing in. I freeze it in small portions to each as a little dessert at work. One year, I served them at a buffet with rosewater-spike whipped cream. They were a big hit. I'd do it again, but add something with crunch for contrast.

Oct 21, 2013
maestra in Home Cooking

Preserved lemon quandary

1. Roasted cauliflower with smoked paprika, pine nuts, a teeny bit of garlic, and lots of preserved lemon. Also delicious with shrimp or squid.
2. Use in blended dips/sauces instead of lemon juice. My current favorite is roasted eggplant, a dried guajillo chile or two, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, olive oil, and preserved lemon. It blends up into a silky sauce or dip for my vegetables and rice. I recently did a green harissa and used preserved lemon for the acid. Same works for sauces/dips based on roasted red peppers.
3. The cookbook "Plenty" has at least one use; I think it was a tomato, etc. saute finished with preserved lemon.

Oct 03, 2013
maestra in Home Cooking

Help me decide: Ankarsrum or Bosch Universal?

How long have you had your Bosch? I'm trying to compile info about the lifespans of both products. Obviously both outlast a new KA, but nobody on Amazon refers to having had their Bosch or Ankarsrum for many years.

Sep 18, 2013
maestra in Cookware
1

Help me decide: Ankarsrum or Bosch Universal?

Thanks for your input! I did have that thought about the size of the food processor, but the thought came to me late and night and I had forgotten it when I posted this a few days later.
You've said it's possible to make a batch of cookies in the or small bowl, but which do you prefer for a standard batch? It the small bowl small enough to make just a batch of brownies, or will I still want to use my hand beaters or just a wooden spoon for that? Also, I've never made a cake in a any kind of stand mixer -- is it easy to overbeat? I make more cakes and cookies than anything else, but I do plan to get more into bread making.

Sep 18, 2013
maestra in Cookware

Favorite add-ins for fig jam?

Thanks for the great ideas! I ended up making a fig-rhubarb with vanilla bean and a raspberry-fig with rosewater. Both are excellent. The suggestions for ginger and for coriander or cardamom were enticing, but when I tasted the rasp/fig I thought rosewater over ginger, and I'm already a little sick of the cardamom-plum jam I made a few weeks ago. I look forward to playing around again next year!

Sep 18, 2013
maestra in Home Cooking

Favorite add-ins for fig jam?

I love rhubarb, so I did some research based on your suggestion and made a great jam inspired by Christine Ferber's strawberry and rhubarb jam. It is excellent! The figs mellowed the rhubarb, and of course the fig seeds are almost the best part. I've been stirring it into my oatmeal in the mornings, which I normally make without any added sugar. That jam is just too good to resist, though.

Sep 18, 2013
maestra in Home Cooking
1

Favorite add-ins for fig jam?

I have about 3 pounds of black figs, foraged from a forgotten tee, that I plan to turn into jam tomorrow. I've already made batches this year with port and rosemary (as well as green figs with honey), and I'd like some ideas for this last bunch. I was thinking honey in place of part of the sugar, and then dropping in a star anise pod to simmer with the figs until I thought the flavor was strong enough.
What are your favorite ways to add something unique to fig jam?

Sep 15, 2013
maestra in Home Cooking

Help me decide: Ankarsrum or Bosch Universal?

I have decided to purchase a countertop mixer, and after much research have narrowed it down to these two possibilities:
http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/elec...
and
http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/Bosc...

I would appreciate hearing the pros and cons of each machine from people who own them. I am leaning toward the Ankarsrum, but I could be convinced to get the Bosch instead. I like that the Ankarsrum has a metal bowl (I can't imagine the Bosch's plastic bowl lasting a lifetime), that an extra plastic bowl is included, and its scraper mechanism looks great. My main reason for considering the Bosch is a little silly: it has an optional food processor attachment. This is the other piece of kitchen equipment that after years of not owning I have finally decided deserves a space in my house. I know I can get a food processor practically free off of craigslist from one of the thousands of people who never use theirs, but the Bosch attachment would be much easier to store than a full machine. The Bosch is cheaper, but not by a very large amount after you buy a second bowl and maybe the cookie paddles. Something about the Ankarsrum makes me think it will last longer, but I'm probably just being swayed by its good looks.
Please help me decide and spend my money on something I will love.

Sep 15, 2013
maestra in Cookware

I bought a box of peaches from Costco, 11 for $11. First time buyer, tips?

I keep end-of-the-season peaches in the fridge, where they last for a long time in the drawer. I dice one up each morning to add to my oatmeal. When they're cooked in the heat of the cereal, they turn soft and flavorful.

Canning problem: Residue from canning pot

Thank you all for your replies! So I can keep the jam, and the residue inside is no problem, right? Thank you for the vinegar tip.

Aug 22, 2013
maestra in Home Cooking

Canning problem: Residue from canning pot

Today I faced my lifelong uneasiness about canning and prepared a plum-cardamom jam (from Canning for a New Generation). It is delicious and seems to have set up well. My concern is about the residue caused by the pot I used for sterilizing and processing. I used a pot intended for tamales. I had not cooked in it since I bought it (cheap) some time after Christmas. I assume it is aluminum -- it is light both weight and color. Before boiling in it, I washed it with soap and water, but I definitely took more care in cleaning the pot than its fitted rack.
After sterilizing the jars, I noticed the interior of the pot had turned dark, but I remembered this being the look of previous vaporeras I had used. When I took the sterilized jars out, there was a white film on them. Having come this far, I decided to just finish the job, ask about it on Chowhound, and chalk it up to canning practice if I was instructed to throw out the batch of jam.
Now that the filled jars are sitting next to clean, unused jars as they cool, the difference is striking. There is a white filmy residue on the filled jars. It wipes away, but I am concerned about how this has affected my jam inside.
I know better than to cook jam in an aluminum pot, but did I make a mistake in using aluminum for the boiling water? Is it just because the pot was new, and this should not happen again after a thorough cleaning? Is that little bit of residue inside the jars safe for consumption?

Aug 21, 2013
maestra in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought recently, or are you lusting after? August 2013 edition! [through August 31, 2013]

Can you please tell why you prefer ibook? I was about to download the Kindle app to buy a cookbook for the first time.

Aug 18, 2013
maestra in Home Cooking

Buying Truffle Oil in San Diego

I buy from this company:
http://www.oregontruffleoil.com/
No chemicals. Delicious, delicate flavor. It's pricey, but it's nice to support a small business owner who's making the real thing.

Jul 13, 2013
maestra in San Diego

Crispy Corn Fritters

We enjoyed these. I added a good amount of powdered fenugreek to the batter, which gave them exactly the flavor and balance I was going for. I served them with saucy chipotle-cream shrimp, so no other dipping sauce was necessary.

Jun 26, 2013
maestra in Recipes

Where in San Diego / Orange County can I get dried or fresh morel muchrooms?

You should have plenty of dried morels by you. Cost Plus World Market has them, as well as Bristol Farms and probably Whole Foods.

Jun 16, 2013
maestra in San Diego

Fogo de Chao Coming to Gaslamp/Downtown

We've had several Brazilian steakhouses around throughout the years -- what was the one in Del Mar? Wasn't that a Fogo de Chao?

Jun 12, 2013
maestra in San Diego

Stone Brewing Co at Liberty Station - great space!

I've had Stone's "stinky" cheese plate several times in Escondido, including last week. My friends never seem to learn -- after a beer or two they throw money away on this boring offering. The goat's cheese last week was like a knock-off Humboldt Fog (or that's what it was, but not super-fresh). Good, but not novel. The sheep was fine, and I can't remember the third, though it was something I instantly recognized. Aged gruyere, maybe? It came with a rhubarb compote and the house-made crackers. I like the crackers, but not for $18. I used to like their plate with 3 house-made beer cheeses and crackers -- anyone remember that? I suppose it was just too much work, or maybe people were disappointed upon receiving an atypical "cheese plate."

Jun 03, 2013
maestra in San Diego