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Docshiva's Profile

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Do you trust someone else to grocery shop for you?

I'm afraid the only sure thing is to shop yourself; in my case, even that doesn't always work out. Forgot the half & half, ham, and bacon yesterday. At two different grocery stores.
When I ask someone to pick something up for me, it's not often what I wanted. But it was nice of them to go to the trouble!
I say thank you, then I make do.

Jan 24, 2014
Docshiva in General Topics

Can you supply a non-fat or low-fat sauce for Eggs Benedict?

It's from Eating Well. It's one gram of fat per serving, and got good reader reviews.

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/hol...

Jan 24, 2014
Docshiva in Home Cooking

Kitchen Aid Meat Grinder also Past aExtruder?

Different sources use different weight equivalents for flour. The Kitchenaid pasta recipes are on the light side: 4 oz. per cup. I get the best results following the recipes that come with the press and weighing my flour.
Before I found that they were using 4 oz. cups, I had to adjust the pasta dough quite a bit.
I would only use the dedicated pasta press (KPEXTA) to extrude pasta. Having the pasta extrude vertically means a lot less work to keep the strands separate.
With the right recipe measurements, you shouldn't have to go to any extremes to dust the pasta with flour. Cut it before it coils up on the counter (or dust it as it coils), toss very quickly and briefly in a bit of flour you have waiting on the counter (I use a plastic cutting mat under the press). You don't always need to dust, depends on your recipe and the room humidity.
If you're making long noodles, hang them on a pasta dryer. I use the 'grandmother' type drying rack - a broom handle, cleaned and lying across a couple chair backs. For short shapes, just separate them on a plastic cutting board or other surface.

Oct 12, 2013
Docshiva in Cookware

Shelf life of Port and Sherry

It's been two years since the original post. I'm guessing no to the picture!
A google search shows Manuel Fernandez to be an owner of the Comodoro supermarket in Florida. Could this be a house or family brand? Mr. Fernandez and the market could be named after the family and award-winning port for all I know.

Nov 08, 2011
Docshiva in Wine

Shelf life of Port and Sherry

As one of my workmates has said, "why just be obsessive, when you can be obsessive AND compulsive?"
I mean that with respect and admiration! Great to have such detail available, Thank you.

Nov 08, 2011
Docshiva in Wine

Shelf life of Port and Sherry

I like to have a nice to very nice port and sherry living comfortably in the house. Well, in a dark cool cabinet, but they seem to feel safe and happy there. Even with guests, we don't go through a bottle in a weekend.
There are wine-saving gadgets that evacuate air and reseal the bottle, or replace the air with nitrogen. Either, if effective, would sharply reduce oxidation and the escape of those aromatics that linger after the first opening.
I have a Foodsaver, so I use the bottle sealing attachments. Your mileage may vary, but I find my ports and sherries last very considerably longer in good drinking condition.
Reviews of these gadgets are not favorable for brief storage of wine; but I wouldn't expect them to be, except with a couple uncommon whites I know of. I wish there were reviews of longer storage (I'm talking many months) of fortified wines. My experience has been good.
I know "many months" sounds - is - long; but oxidizing air is introduced only for only minutes - seconds if you're obsessive about it (I'm raising my hand) - then removed. It's not much different than leaving the wine sealed. It could take a dozen openings to introduce as much air - or volatile escape opportunity - as you would get in two days resealing with a cork or sealer without having removed most of the oxygen. Of course the systems aren't perfect - some O2 will remain - but not much.
Again, your mileage may vary - but for me this is substantially preferable to spoilage, doing without, or drinking a quarter bottle after having paid for the whole thing.

Nov 08, 2011
Docshiva in Wine

Keeping Strawberries fresh for a week

One thing to note about vacuum sealing: the berries will look fresh for quite some time, but they will ferment.

Jul 22, 2011
Docshiva in General Topics

Keeping Strawberries fresh for a week

I haven't tried every single variety stored for a week to get a comparison. It's not just variety, either - it's growing conditions and climate that matter. There's one brand of those green produce-keeper bags that keep my strawberries fresh, sweet, rich and delicious for a week; store the basket in the open bag in the fridge. I depend on my experiences; I find actual outweighs probable.
I will try the glass jar this time, though - there's one not-too-nearby stand that has the most amazing strawberries I can find, and I'm very picky about my berries - particularly the straw ones! I bought a bunch there, a bit too many to store flat in the bags in the fridge. The jars will take less space.

Jul 22, 2011
Docshiva in General Topics

cheap eats in or near Mendocino

We're doing a romantic overnight inn stay in Mendocino. Unfortunately, the inn owner wants to be paid for this, so we're left with loose change to pay for meals. We're looking for places for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or cool grocers (we'll have a tiny kitchen until check-out), or anything else fun and affordable.
Also - we'll be coming up 128 from the bay area, if you know of the similar spots on the way, that would be great. My TomTom shows me the restaurants as we go - but tells me nothing about them. You chowhounds have never steered me wrong.

Jun 21, 2010
Docshiva in California

Montreal Steak Seasoning

Remember with the salt that two tablespoons of Kosher salt provides less salt than two tablespoons of regular salt. It's flaky; takes less to fill a spoon. If you use regular salt, this would definitely be too salty. Might be, otherwise, depending on your taste.

Sep 16, 2009
Docshiva in Recipes

vegetarians: heads up! your brain is shrinking...

I've found that almost all vegetarian food tastes much better fried in bacon fat - does that help?

Sep 16, 2008
Docshiva in Food Media & News

Help! Trying to make homemade butter...

After posting this, I looked around at other recipes for cultured butter. Many people fully culture the cream, 16 to 24 hours. I noticed many recipes that inoculate the cream with yogurt rather than buttermilk - that clearly works, too, but I still thing the bacteria is buttermilk yield creamier sour cream and terribly good butter, as well as leaving you with real buttermilk.
One more thing you can do with your sour cream is let it culture for 24-30 hours, place it on some cheesecloth (not the loosewoven stuff sold as cheesecloth, but actual cheesecloth), and hang it on a wooden spoon or dowel over a bowl - you get cream cheese after several hours. Start with whole milk, you get reduced fat sour cream, then Neufchatel. Start with skim, you get non-fat sour 'cream' and delicious nonfat cream cheese. No, you can't make reduced-fat butter. Oh, you can drain your sour cream with a coffee filter, as well; keep the whole thing covered so nothing else tries to culture.

Jul 03, 2008
Docshiva in Home Cooking

Help! Trying to make homemade butter...

Agitation, not the introduction of air, is what's needed to make butter. You'd have better luck with the paddle attachment (butter churns use paddles) than with the whisk. You'll have the best luck using a food processor with the double steel blade. Start with your cream at about 60 degrees. Pour two cups into your food processor fitted with the double steel blade. Process for about 5 minutes, another minute if you don't think it's quite butter yet. Poor off and keep the buttermilk. Pour in some cool water, process briefly, and pour off the wash water. Continue adding some cool water, processing, and pouring off until your wash water is clear. Put your butter in a large, shallow, steel bowl, and press - do not spread or smear - the butter against the side with a spatula until the last of the water is pressed out. You now have butter! None of this is difficult, and it doesn't take long.
Now, about the buttermilk - you have sweet buttermilk, which tastes very rich yet refreshing; it has the taste of cream and a very low fat content. It is delicious cold as is, on cereal, or in coffee. It makes an absolutely killer egg cream.
Once you get the hang of basic butter, try cultured, or European style. Warm your pasteurized cream in a sterile jar to 80 degrees and stir in one or two tablespoons of sour (this is what stores sell) buttermilk - or buy powdered sour cream starter. Use a sterile - briefly boiled - spoon to measure and stir in the buttermilk. Close the jar tightly and keep at 70-80 degrees for 6 hours or so. Sixteen hours or so for sour cream, 5 to 10 for cultured butter. One way to keep the jar warm if the room is too cool is to put it in the middle of a rolled sleeping bag. BTW, this is the same procedure you would use to turn your sweet buttermilk into sour.
Make your cultured cream into butter by the same method as for sweet cream. The buttermilk you pour iff will be sour, like store-bought, and can be used to inoculate the next batch of cream (keep everything that touches it sterile - briefly boiled or fresh from the dishwasher - and watch for spoilage). People have kept cultures, reinoculating fresh milk or cream over and over, for generations - and some still do; but I can't advise that, as I don't know how any reader might be at detecting spoilage, keeping equipment sterile, or starting with pasteurized milk or cream.

Jul 03, 2008
Docshiva in Home Cooking

Kneading dough in stand mixer - first timer, please help!

You got some good replies. One was to use recipes that call for a stand mixer. When you convert a recipe, your dough will not pick up the flour that it would have when hand kneading. Should you covert, though, go a little heavier on the flour (if given a range, use the top figure), machine knead, but then finish by hand. Put the dough on a pretty well-floured board or mat and knead, properly, for ten turns. I've found that to be a reliable trick to get the right dough quality using my Kitchenaid.
Next point: I seldom use the Kitchenaid for kneading unless the recipe calls for it, as in stirato style French breads. It's great for those. My best small kneader for most breads, though, is my Zojirushi bread machine. It's a great combination kneader/proofing box for up to two pounds of dough, even if I don't bake in it. Again - it's best to use a recipe designed for a bread machine or mixer, or adjust the flour/liquid ratio to that for the most similar recipe for your machine. I assume you're doing smaller quantities, so I won't get into kneaders for multiple loaves.
Third, I rise in defense of Beth Hensperger. I don't have, so can't comment, on the book panned by another commenter, although I wonder how he can be so certain of her writing and research technique. Perhaps he knows her personally. The Bread Bible did win a James Beard Award, so there has been at least some positive review. Her book The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook is the best bread machine book I've come across. The recipes are completely reliable, thoroughly tested, and quite varied. I also use her book The Pleasure of Whole-grain Breads as a source for bread machine baking.
Fourth - most breads will benefit from an autolyse rest at some point, although it's not necessary. I will frequently retard a loaf overnight in the fridge if I have time. I sometimes do spend days on a loaf of bread. When I need more instant gratification, I use a bread machine.
Conclusion - I wouldn't recommend the Kitchenaid just as a bread kneader. Get the Zojirushi instead, if that's what you want, or the Electrolux DLX.. But a stand mixer - and the Kitchenaid is a good one - is nearly indispensable for doughs that are stirred (breads and thick batters), and terribly useful for many things like whipping and folding. And they do look nice on the counter.

Jul 03, 2008
Docshiva in Home Cooking

Good Indian in Sacramento?

Refreshing the question: any recommendations for a good Indian restaurant in or near Sacramento? Any updates since the last post in 2004?

Mar 06, 2008
Docshiva in California

Grass-Fed or Not?

Here's a great resource for hunting down grass fed-and-finished beef right from the ranch:

http://www.eatwild.com/index.html

Mar 06, 2008
Docshiva in Features

Help with sourdough starter please!

I would use a bit now and then (use it in pancakes or waffles if not baking with it), and replenish with equal parts flour and water. You should be able to judge for yourself whether to alter that 1:1 ratio to make a pancake batter consistency - although never give it just water, it needs the flour to stay alive. Smaller amounts of starter may need to be refreshed more often; the same seems true for younger starters.

Nov 07, 2007
Docshiva in Home Cooking

The Allure of Cheap Wine

There are incredibly good wines under $10, and more in the $10-$15 range that will easily beat most $40-$50 wines in tastings - and, in fact, do. I've also tasted awful wines in that higher price range - certainly wines that lack balance and depth. It's not a matter of getting what you pay for. More money does not equal better wine. Wines can be crafted very well at under $10 per bottle. Wonderful grapes can be abundant, and exchange rates favorable, resulting in appreciable values. Conditions that favor an exceptional vintage are a matter of luck, not expense. There are many examples, but I'll leave you with the example of the Castano Solanera 2004, a blend of Monastrell, Cab Sauvignon, and Titorera (variety 55 on my new quest for 100). I think it's a stunning wine, but investigate for yourselves; you should be able to find it for under $15.
I think that one thing that drives price is people paying a premium for wines they think they should like, and that the have some understanding of - big Cabernets from California, for example. They think that alcohol and oak equals good. It's easy to find values by finding wines you truly appreciate for the flavor, not the label or familiarity.

Oct 23, 2007
Docshiva in Features

What's new, pomegranate?

There's a new Israeli machine for gently removing pomegranate seeds. A friend in HI mentioned that he didn't think packaged pomegranate seeds were available in the US. I'm sure I've seen them, and there are sightings reported in the Chowhound NY board. Have they shown up in your local market? How's the quality, and how well/long do they keep? And what other fruits have you seen in the market this year or last year that you don't recall being available before? Discuss....

Jun 24, 2007
Docshiva in General Topics

source of banania in la . . .

There are at least two ingredients that come in instant and noninstant varieties. My best guess is that the instant uses dutch processed cocoa, which dissolves with less heat and stirring than standard cocoa powder. Another possibility is that the noninstant uses noninstant milk powder. Regardless, the noninstant would just require whisking while heating, or you can mix it in a blender before heating.

Mar 06, 2007
Docshiva in Los Angeles Area

What happened to that ???

Oh, those were great!

Mar 03, 2007
Docshiva in General Topics

CHOW Root Beer

This will get as carbonated as you're used to; over time, more so. We used to make large batches of root beer in glass bottles - we would know they had reached maximum carbonation by the sounds of exploding bottles. You can use washed plastic soda bottles rather than capping your own glass bottles. They're readily available, and won't shatter. They don't look as cool, but you can always make your own labels.

Mar 03, 2007
Docshiva in Recipes

Must I Refuse Free Booze?

You're saying that you can obligate a woman to have a conversation with you by sending her a drink. Even that brief social contract - I'll send you a drink, you have to talk to me - is a contract, and needs to be agreed upon by both parties. You can't obligate someone one-sidedly. That would be like a car salesman driving up to your house and saying, "I brought you this car, you have to give me $20,000." It may be acceptable to the salesman, but the other party hasn't agreed. Maybe you find the analogy not quite on point. Let's say I agree to meet a friend at a car lot. Someone walks over and says, "The salesman at the end of the counter has sent you the keys to that nice car. Please give him $20,000." Being an a car lot doesn't obligate me to exchange money for a car; being in a bar doesn't obligate a woman to exchange conversation for a drink.

Mar 03, 2007
Docshiva in Features

Help with sourdough starter please!

I try to never let my starter touch stainless steel, it does seem to, well, kill it. I have a several-years-old batch I keep in porcelain in the fridge. Sometimes I pour out a couple cups and feed it filtered water and unbleached flour and let it sit for 12 hours before using some to start some bread, then I feed it the amount I removed and back in the fridge. other times, I just use the starter right from the fridge without that first proof. Every year the flavor does get much better. I'd add Crust and Crumb by Peter Reinhart to your bread book collection, and anything by Beth Hensperger. You might also like the Il Fornaio book. I assume you have Ed Wood's. Oh, and I've started many starters over the years; this one began with the packaged San Francisco Sourdough Starter.

Feb 11, 2007
Docshiva in Home Cooking

source of banania in la . . .

You may have to order from the country of origin, here: furansunocafe.com

Here's the page there for instant: http://furansunocafe.com/produits.php...
and for traditional:
http://furansunocafe.com/produits.php...

Jan 30, 2007
Docshiva in Los Angeles Area

Best Asian restaurants & markets in Citrus Heights and nearby locales?

You already found SF, which probably has the most variety. If you head north on Stockton from there, you'll find more Asian markets. Actually, there are many scattered around the south area. The north area's always been bereft of large ethnic markets, I've had to shop in South Sac or downtown for ethnic fare, or, in the past, out of town altogether.

Jan 13, 2007
Docshiva in California

What happened to that ???

I thought I had seen these in Britain, but here's a nearer source:
http://www.amazon.com/Herrs-Ketchup-P...
Doing a quick search, I was truly amazed at the number of ketchup chip brands available...
Cheers

Jan 13, 2007
Docshiva in General Topics

Mangosteens in NYC?

They're rumored to be found in Chinatowns and Asian markets here in California, but I've not had a sighting yet. Nosh, very nice site, I enjoyed reading a few pages. Nicely put together and well written.

Jan 04, 2007
Docshiva in Manhattan

Cooking for non-food people

Why waste your time being offended? Of course, he should have at least tried your delicious-sounding meal (and please invite us over any time!), and they should reciprocate - maybe by taking you out to eat, doesn't sound like they're cooks. A fine home-prepared meal can be a wonderful gift for someone who appreciates it - but not everyone appreciates everything. A cruise is a fine gift, too, but not appropriate for a claustrophobic who also gets seasick. You can't make him have your tastes. Would you want him to give you a gift of the red sauce from Buca? Or take you out there? Maybe they should reciprocate with a movie... The key to being a great hostess is to anticipate your guests' needs and wants. Salmon and pesto for me, grilled cheese for him? I do hope he was pleased with your effort. Two of my kids are non-eaters. There's absolutely nothing I could make to please them. I've just worked on making sure they act with grace and appreciation when food is offered. Your cooking deserves accolades - save the good stuff for people who will let you know how good it is.

Jan 03, 2007
Docshiva in Not About Food

What happened to that ???

Those sound like another seeded, slipskin, American grape, of which there are many (muscat or muscadine, for example - both of which are good food finds).

Jan 03, 2007
Docshiva in General Topics