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need impressive fool proof dinner idea for company using new Dutch Oven

RESULTS: FANTASTIC DINNER PARTY !!!!!

Just wanted to let you all know that the dinner was unbelievable! Better than going to a restaurant !!!! The menu was perfect! I had never made ANY of the things on the menu....so probably not the best idea for a dinner party but so glad I took the chance because there was NOTHING left after we ate! My Aunt and Uncle...who dine out a lot and my Aunt is a great cook...loved everything and said it was the best dinner anyone had ever made for them. It's all in the planning I think that it went so smoothly and I appreciate all the help I got in planning from this forum. I will post links to all the recipes in another post in case anyone wants to copy what turned out to be a great menu. My aunt also brought the makings for Grapefruit Vodka martinis which I had never had before either and what a great drink that was. Refreshing and light before a heavy meal....and great together with the seafood appetizer that also had the citrus based sauces. All in All a great night, great food, great conversation....and all at home while my two babies slept and I didn't have to rush home for the sitter!

Jan 13, 2007
tamhud4 in Home Cooking

need impressive fool proof dinner idea for company using new Dutch Oven

I did see that bread mentioned a few times while reading some of the threads but didn't know what type of bread it was. I didn't make it this time but will try it soon! And that Sour Cherry Tart would have been great too....next time. Thanks for the advice though.

Jan 13, 2007
tamhud4 in Home Cooking

need impressive fool proof dinner idea for company using new Dutch Oven

What sounds fantastic? The menu I am doing? Or the rib recipe I chose? I am not a chef by any means and had no idea if all the stuff goes together "properly" but it sounds good, doesn't it?

Jan 12, 2007
tamhud4 in Home Cooking

need impressive fool proof dinner idea for company using new Dutch Oven

In Find Cooking Magazine...the March 2006 Issue. They have a few good braising recipes in thereand they all look great. Also, some of the ones referred to above were easy to find on the web too.

Jan 12, 2007
tamhud4 in Home Cooking

need impressive fool proof dinner idea for company using new Dutch Oven

Well...here is the final menu...thanks so much for all the advice and tips and ideas. After reading all these posts and looking at recipes on the web and in my Fine Cooking Mags and then tweaking things a bit for my own cravings and tastes and the time I have (don't have...with 2 under 2 in the house!), this is what I have decided on.

Main Dish: Molly Stevens recipe for Wine Marinated Braised Short Ribs (FC March 2006) I substituted the Zinfandel for Cabernet Sauvignon and increased the ribs to about 8lbs.

Appetizer: Pan-Seared Peppered Scallops with Orange Soy Glaze (liked the idea of the orange in the sauce as there is orange zest in the short rib marinade too...not sure if it even matters but it sounded good) And my hubby said he was craving steamed mussels so we are throwing some of those in for good measure, sauted in a buttery wine sauce (something he will do)

Salad: Baby Spinace and Belgian Endive with Walnuts, dried cranberries and crubled blue cheese...a recipe from epicurious.com...I will most likely add crumbled bacon on top...why not?

Side: Roasted Root Vegetable Ragout (epicurious.com) and not sure if I need it but if I do a starch maybe just a bed of plain jasmine rice with the ragout on top and then the ribs?

Bread: I wanted a really rustic bread, crunchy on the outside, chewy inside...but...I was at the store at closing time and ended up with a big loaf of french bread instead....no time to shop tomorrow so french bread it is.

Dessert: My hubby saw me trying to come up with "made from scratch" dessert ideas...but I wanted something decadent and he suggested just letting that part of the menu go and getting a variety of small pastries from the bakery. He said, "For your sanity and mine...can you just concentrate on the main meal and leave the desert up to somebody else...you don't have to do everything yourself" So...I did that and he was right, I am not going to be trying to go crazy to make dessert on top of everything else, while I am alone all day with my two babies and one other I am babysitting for the day and trying to throw a dinner party!

Jan 12, 2007
tamhud4 in Home Cooking

Help! Can I double Short Rib recipe in dutch oven with no problems?

that's Great! I think I have about 7+ lbs or so and it looks like PLENTY of meat for 4 adults....and then some leftovers! I am glad to hear that you all have stuffed your Dutch Ovens full without a problem. the recipe called for a "dry red wine such as a zinfandel" but I got a bottle of cabernet sauvignon...not a big wine drinker but was told this should be even better than the zinfandel for this recipe...what do you think?

Jan 12, 2007
tamhud4 in Home Cooking

Help! Can I double Short Rib recipe in dutch oven with no problems?

I am doing Molly Stevens Red Wind Marinated Braised Short Ribs in Fine Cooking Mag March/06. Looks awesome and I keep seeing her short rib recipes recommended on this forum. I have never made short ribs before so this should be fun. I am using my new Dutch Oven and having company for dinner.

Jan 12, 2007
tamhud4 in Home Cooking

Help! Can I double Short Rib recipe in dutch oven with no problems?

I want to make a short rib recipe....the ones I am choosing from call for 4-5lbs of short ribs and serve four. I would like to double the recipe...or at least increase it by half. Has anyone cooked that much in a 7.5qt Dutch oven? Is there anything else I need to change about the recipe or cooking method if increasing the amount going into the pot? I just think that using a recipe made for 4 servings when I am feeding 4 adults may leave us wanting more!
My husband can eat a ton all by himself!

Jan 11, 2007
tamhud4 in Home Cooking

did I buy good cookware?

o.k. ...this is good to know....now...if you had to pick one exensive pan in your kitchen that you would prefer to be fully clad, which pan would it be? I already have the cast iron fry pan, enameled cast iron dutch ovens, but my other pans are disc bottomed...I still need a large stainless fry pan/skillet...would that be where you would spend money for fully clad...or would it be a large sauce pot that would benefit...or should I have waited and purchased a fully clad pan for the 5.5 saute/casserole pan I have

Jan 11, 2007
tamhud4 in Cookware

did I buy good cookware?

Good to know...i am going to check out that recipe too...having company for dinner tomorrow night. I am planning short ribs too...so I am keeping the dutch oven. The soups you have made are just on the stove top right? what is the advantage of using that over a regular sauce pan you would normally use? Seems heavy to use everyday but lots of people on the site say they use theirs all the time for stovetop cooking.

Jan 11, 2007
tamhud4 in Cookware

did I buy good cookware?

I have used the pan only twice now and have not put it in the dish washer...I thought I would wash it by hand since it semed easy enough to clean and would have taken up a lot of room. But....I have a blotchy in some spots, rainbowish in some spots type of thing going on inside the pan which I can't seem to clean off. I used regular soap and water, then Bon Ami, rinsed well, repeated numerous times and still have this blotchy problem...looks like something is on the inside of the pan....left over starch from the risotto I made maybe...but it feels completely smooth and the splotches won't come off.

Jan 11, 2007
tamhud4 in Cookware

need impressive fool proof dinner idea for company using new Dutch Oven

thanks for the suggestion..I have been looking at the home cooking board and there are a ton of recipe suggestions...new to the boards and finding lots of good info!

Jan 10, 2007
tamhud4 in Home Cooking

need impressive fool proof dinner idea for company using new Dutch Oven

pardon my naivete (sp?) but I notice a lot of the braised beef and osso bucco dishes have either sides with cheese based sauces or are finished by adding cheese to the sauce (what is Gremolata anyway?) like gratins or pastas with cheese,etc. Wouldn't these types of sides be sort of heavy with the dish? And it seems sort of strange to me to mix a cheese based dish with a meat gravy type dish? Do you more experienced cooks do this a lot and is there some reason they go good together? Like cheese and fruit do or Pork and fruit based sides? Just curious.

Jan 10, 2007
tamhud4 in Home Cooking

need impressive fool proof dinner idea for company using new Dutch Oven

this is all great advice...i am so glad I found this forum...I am hooked! I used to love to cook and entertain for friends but I was young and couldn't afford to go all out at the time. Now I have two babies and have not been really cooking for a while...just fast, no thought involved food, and no time to read my cooking mags or favorite websites...just starting to get my sanity back and want to try to start getting back in the kitchen. Especially now that I will be entertaining adults who may appreciate the effort rather than a bunch of my husbands buddies who are hanging out watching football. I want to start trying to have a dinner party for a few close friends maybe once a month. I enjoy the planning process as much as the actual event!

Jan 10, 2007
tamhud4 in Home Cooking

need impressive fool proof dinner idea for company using new Dutch Oven

Wow, now I am really confused because I LOVE anything seafood and so does my husband and my aunt and uncle too...but...is Chioppino a slow cooking dish that makes good use of the Dutch Oven? I would think that seafood would cook really quickly...maybe I would make that another night instead...really kind of craving the long cooking method for the beef. I think I have settled on Braised Short Ribs...now just trying to decide on best recipes and sides, apps, dessert. I would imagine the other items should be fairly light because of the heavy entree? Although, I would prefer the dessert be something rich too I think. I was thinking of maybe some sort of seafood for an appetizer like seared scallops or something like that? I noticed Bobby Flay did a surf and turf with Sticky Short Ribs and Braised Scallops in a creamy sauce...he served them together which didn't really appeal to me but I wondered it the scallops might be a nice appetizer? quick and fairly light?

Jan 10, 2007
tamhud4 in Home Cooking

did I buy good cookware?

Thanks PDXpat, I am using gas but your are right, I don't need to use high heat other than to boil water and I try to use the right size pan for the right size burner. I am glad to hear that discs are fine and that Cuisinart Chefs Classid disc bottomed pans are good quality because they seem to be easy to find at good prices at stores like TJMaxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, etc. I think I may bring back my large glass covered two handled casserole dish...and look for a large stainless skillet...maybe fully clad for this piece though? ???? Maybe a Cuisinart MultiClad skillet so they will match well? I do like the looks of their set.

Jan 10, 2007
tamhud4 in Cookware

need impressive fool proof dinner idea for company using new Dutch Oven

I am willing to make this the day before...in fact, with two small children at home, that may be the preferred way to have dinner guests. Make the dinner the night before after the children are in bed! So I think a good braising or stew recipe would work well if made the day ahead. I can't wait to start making some of these dishes mentioned above with my new dutch ovens! YUM

Jan 10, 2007
tamhud4 in Home Cooking

need impressive fool proof dinner idea for company using new Dutch Oven

mmmm that sounds yummy too....and I know my aunt would love that...any good recipes to reccommend?

Jan 10, 2007
tamhud4 in Home Cooking

need impressive fool proof dinner idea for company using new Dutch Oven

I love all those ideas...I will look for some recipes online unless you have any to recommend. I love winter foods! What would you serve with the short ribs?

Jan 10, 2007
tamhud4 in Home Cooking

need impressive fool proof dinner idea for company using new Dutch Oven

I just got my first Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Ovens (a 5qt round and a 7.5qt oval) I invited my aunt and uncle over for dinner on Friday night and I really wanted to make something nice using my new toy. Any ideas of something I can't mess up too bad that would be impressive for company. They go out to eat a lot more than I do, my aunt enjoys cooking too and I want to kind of show off a bit but I have never used one of these pans before. Also, they are red wine drinkers and I think I would like it to be a beef or lamb dish of some kind. Any ideas? Any good recipes online that you know of?

Jan 10, 2007
tamhud4 in Home Cooking

Skillet versus saute pan - form feeds function?

nope...has stainless steel handles...made by a company called Authentic Kitchn...ever heard of em? Maybe the temp limit is 400 because of the glass cover? where it is a disc bottomed stainless pan, that will go in the oven I should be able to use it for a number of things right? Fry? Saute? Braise? What about stir fry's too with the curved sides? I guess by the looks of it I thought it might be a good multiple use pan but it is not fully clad and does not have a long handle. I guess for 30 bucks it is useful enough to keep. What exactly is an everyday pan anyway...

Jan 09, 2007
tamhud4 in Cookware

did I buy good cookware?

Well...then I guess I did o.k...everything except the nonstick goes in the dishwasher...in fact that one says it can even go in the dishwasher but I probably won't put it in there. I don't think the dutch ovens go in the dishwasher even tho they are enameled, right? And they all go in the oven, even the nonstick pan I got can go in the oven. And I do like the way it all looks. I think the only piece I was really questioning was the large ECI dutch oven and the two handled pan with the glass domed cover since I don't know anything about the brand...but it is a nice looking large pan that seems to have multiple uses. I think I will just trust my original judgement and keep it all. I will try to get a fully clad pan or too soon also. I am not sure which pans most benefit from being fully clad...any opinion on that?

Jan 09, 2007
tamhud4 in Cookware

did I buy good cookware?

IF I could afford one All Clad pot or pan, which would you suggest to add to what I already have? I wouldn't mind trying one out to see what all the hype is about!

Jan 09, 2007
tamhud4 in Cookware

did I buy good cookware?

Thanks! Maybe I will keep all of it after all. Most of it was very reasonably priced. The 7.5 dutch oven was the most expensive piece and that was 50.00. So it's not going to save me a huge amount to return it, just thought maybe I wouldn't get a lot of use out of it, and I had heard that a full large dutch oven could be too heavy for the rack in the oven? Any suggestions on the kinds of dishes I might try to make first in it? I am having my aunt and uncle over for dinner on friday and would love to use it!

I did get the 3qt Cuisinart sauce pot but it only has the disc bottom. I like the smaller 2qt saucepan for making oatmeal or small amounts of food for my 2 toddlers but you are right, it is too small to be useful for much else. I have already used the 5.5qt casserole to make risotto last night and it came out great...are you saying I could have made the risotto in the round dutch oven? I thought that stainless 5.5 tpan would be good for saute pan with the deep straight sides but it doesn't have a long handle...does that really matter? I haven't used the 13" braiser pan yet and was thinking of returning that but it is nice large pan I thought would be good for browning, braising, and frying and could go in oven....it seems you agree on that one?...and what exactly is an everyday pan anyway? Should a fry pan be fully clad? I would like a 4 and 6qt and you think these should be fully clad? I already have 2 large stock pots...12 qt w/o disc bottom and 16qt with disc... that I am keeping for when I am entertaining and making large amounts of pasta or lobsters, etc. I also made a roast last night in a old roasting pan last night and thought, I should have purchased a new roasting pan...any suggestions for that. I made an eye round roast so I didn't think I could really use any of my new pans for that, right?

Jan 09, 2007
tamhud4 in Cookware

Which size dutch oven?

I have a similar question...I just bought two enameled cast iron dutch ovens, one round 5qt and one oval 7qt. Just wondering if I should keep both...they really do take up a lot of storage space (can't stack anything with them) and I wonder if the 7qt with food would be too heavy in the oven, getting out of the oven, or on the fridge shelf. Do you think I would get more use out of just having the smaller round one?

Jan 09, 2007
tamhud4 in Cookware

Skillet versus saute pan - form feeds function?

I understand the curved sides needed for fry pan to easily flip, etc...I just got a large 13 inch stainless pan with curved sides and a glass cover and two short side handles...says it can go in oven up to 400...what type of pan would this be. I am replacing my cookware also and it looked like a nice pan to cook and serve in...I bought it and now not sure the best use for it.

Jan 09, 2007
tamhud4 in Cookware

did I buy good cookware?

I just bought a bunch of new things...on a splurge to replace some old cookware but I am having a little bit of buyers remorse over a couple things I am not sure I really need. Could anyone comment on the items I purchased, what other things you think are important to get (re: pots and pans..not bakeware, utensils, gadgets). Also, if anything I bought is redundant or unnecessary. I will return or exchange for more useful items if it will save me space and money.

I bought the following: (all found at TJ Maxx)

Cuisinart Chef's Classic stainless (not nonstick) 2, 3 and 8qt stockpot. (Also, for these types of pans, isn't the disk bottom good enough...what types of pans should I try to get fully clad and why?

Cuisinart Chef's Classic stainless 5.5qt Covered casserole with two short handles. Is disk bottom good enough for this type of pan?

Authentic Kitchen (not familiar with this name...anybody have this brand? )13" deep pan with curved sides and heavy aluminum disc bottom, glass domed cover and two short handles...looks like another type of casserole but not as deep as the 5.5qt and that one has straight sides. Can someone tell me what this pan is specifically for...and what other uses it may have in my kitchen? It looks nice and is a heavy weighted pan and can go in oven up to 400. Is there an advantage to having curved sided pan like this in addition to the straight sided 5.5qt cuisinart one? I like that it is large and I was wondering if it would make a good frying pan too because I don't have a large stainless fry pan, just the large nonstick and some small nonsticks and a cast iron fry pan. (is this what is meant by an "everyday pan"?)

Paderno Cagtering line 13" nonstick fry pan

Well Equipped Kitchen enameled cast iron dutch ovens. One is 5qt round and the other is 7.5qt oval. Should I keep both of these? What about the brand name? I liked that they matched and I would have both a large and a small but now I am thinking that maybe this is overkill. I have never used cast iron dutch ovens before but would like to start. And I do have a medium and LARGE crockpot...do I really need a large dutch oven?

Sorry for the long post...any ideas?

Jan 09, 2007
tamhud4 in Cookware