j

JIRodriguez's Profile

Title Last Reply

Baked whole chicken without roasting rack

One of my family favorites: cut the back out of the chicken (save for making stock), flip it over press down on the breast to flaten the chicken (butterfly). Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder (not to much garlic powder), and paprika. Put parchment paper in the bottom of a 13x9 pan line bottom with cut up baby red potatos (bite sized) place flattened chicken ontop of potatos. Roast at 425 for 20 minutes, turn down to 375 for another 20-30 minutes. Chicken is very nice seasoned, crisp skin, moist inside (from steam from potatos), and the potatos are littlel nuggets of heaven (from cooking in all the flavorful drippings).

Mar 10, 2009
JIRodriguez in Home Cooking

What to do with shrimp

If they are large prawns - wrap in bacon, grill, drizzel with a small amount of maple syrup right before pulling from BBQ. Serve with saffron rice and grilled veggies! YUM! Fast, easy, no pots and pans other than the rice :)

Mar 10, 2009
JIRodriguez in Home Cooking

Family Lost in the Kitchen

ROFL!!

OK in shell nuts in the food processor - that is a good one :)

I actually take knives with me when we go to spend holidays with family... I refuse to cook with some dull version of a "miracle blade".

Jan 26, 2009
JIRodriguez in Not About Food

Measuring whole spices vs. ground spices

I usually like to roast and grind spice mixes (indian, mexican, ect.), but I do it in small batches. Since I will use the same mix several times over the course of a week or two I just roast off a cup or so of mix grind it and store it in an airtight jar. I go through it in 2 weeks for less, and I don't have to hastle with roasting for each recipe. Saves time and you really don't lose much flavor - if any.

Jan 15, 2009
JIRodriguez in Home Cooking

Do you toast your saffron?

Never heard of toasting them in a dry pan by themselves.... think they would burn. But you do "bloom" saffron - kinda like sweating garlic in a pan.... add your fat (oil, butter, ect.) don't have it to hot and then add your saffron. The saffron then releases it's flavor to the fat that is then used to base your sauce or whatever. Gives you a very nice full flavor and eaven color.

Jan 15, 2009
JIRodriguez in Home Cooking

Need one more hors d'oeuvre--help!

Simple and easy... wrap sugar dates with prosciutto and bake at 350° till the prosciutto takes on just a little color. Salty, sweet, easy, and just a touch exotic.... oh and realy, realy, good!

Jan 15, 2009
JIRodriguez in Home Cooking

What should i do with a hunk of Blue cheese

If you dont mind the instant heart attack - a local BBQ place used to mix blue cheese with butter, smear it on to both halves of a nice flakey bauget, put a 1/2" slab of prime rib between them with onions that had been soaking in a pot of spicy bbq sauce.....

It was a little slice of heaven! Just don't tell the doctor.... lol.

Jan 06, 2009
JIRodriguez in Home Cooking

Family Lost in the Kitchen

First off - awsome post! I am sooo glad to hear I am not the only one that is subject to family cullinary horrors... lol.

The setting: Family Thanksgiving at the mother-in-laws.

So every year my MIL likes to do a big holiday meal at her place. Unfortunatly she is from the era of no salt, and cook everything till it is weeeellllll done! This year there was the usual culprits: jello mold salad with chopped cabbage, carrots, and marshmallows in it (topped with cool whip)! Mashed potatoes - litteraly potatoes boiled drained and mashed... no salt, no pepper, no butter, nothing! Stuffing that has been cooked to grayish green paste.... and last but not least the ham...... *sigh*

..... did I mention my MIL likes to cook stuff (especially meat!) till it is weellll done? I am not sure what time the ham was put into the electric roaster, but when the lid was removed there was a small puff of steam (the last remaining moisture in the entire ham) - and it actually looked OK. Then she touched it with the fork and knife..... it litteraly crumbeled int pieces - looked kinda like chipped beaf, but dry as a desert. This ham was so bad that 5 of the 10 adults were unable to identify what type of meat it had originally been.

So I have learned.... eat a big breakfast before going there, eat lots of appetizers (that we bring), and probably stop on the way home for something to eat. But through it all I have just learned to keep my mouth shut and eat as little as possible while still being polite.

Dec 31, 2008
JIRodriguez in Not About Food

Texas Style Brisket in electric oven????

I have done crockpot brisket.... flavor is not as good as BBQ, but the convenience is handy... to quote Ron Poppiel "set it and forget it!". I usually stick it in for a 6 to 8 hr. run, just make sure to trim as much fat off as you can before cooking.

Dec 31, 2008
JIRodriguez in Home Cooking

Big bag of frozen stir fry vegies

LOL.. been there done that. I have actually gone through the bag and picked out certain veggies as needed in a pinch.

Dec 31, 2008
JIRodriguez in Home Cooking

What should i do with a hunk of Blue cheese

I oven broiled some steaks topped with pear & apple slices, and crumbled blue cheese. Apples and pears went on early to allow them to caramelize, and the blue cheese was right at the end... just enough time to bet melty and bubbly.... mmmmmmm.

Dec 31, 2008
JIRodriguez in Home Cooking

what is the most useless gadget in your kitchen

If you buy the silicone bake ware get the good stuff that goes to 500 °F. Generaly you are not baking anything above 500 °F. And I love the muffin cups becuase they are re-useable!

Jul 11, 2007
JIRodriguez in Cookware

Best Knifes Not you whole paycheck?

The best knife to buy is the knife that feels good to you and you will acctually use. If you buy a $100 knife and never use it becuase it feels wrong, it's worthless to you.

That being said I have two types of knives in my kitchen that both have good bang for the buck.

If you like a nice heaby feel Calphalon makes a nice line that sells under the "Simply Calphalon" name. They are forged, have a full tang in the handle, are very stout, and cost about $20-35 per blade. So you can buy them open stock one at a time to go easy on the pocket book.

My second choice are the OXO Pro knives. They are precision cast and ground, so they are not as thick and stout as the forged knives, but they are generally much nicer than stamped blades. The thing I absolutely love about these knives are the grip. They have that great OXO rubber coating on the grips so you can work with them for a long time and your hands don't get as tired. Or if your hands are wet or oily you still feel like you have a good grip - I am missing my right hand pinky so having a good grip is vital for me. The OXO's run about $15-30 per blade and I think you can pick up a block set for $80-$100.

Your best bet is to go into someplace that has a lot of open stock and tell them you want to see how a bunch of differant knives feel, then shop around for a good price!

Jul 11, 2007
JIRodriguez in Cookware

Help Me Find the Perfect Blender

If you are like me and don't have unlimited counter space you might consider a multi-purpose blender. I picked up a Cuisinart Smart Power 2-in-1 (used for $25).

It has a nice wide body glass blender jar which helps stuff to mix evenly - you don't end up with puree on the bottom and untouched stuff on top. Then there is a small 3 cup food processor top that comes with it. I do have a large 9 cup Cuisinart food processor, but it is realy impractical to use for small quantity items. But this little 3 cup one is great! I use it almost every day, and it fits into the cubord easily. Oh, for the food processor there is a pulse option as well.

The down side is that this is a realy noisy blender, and I mean noisy! But that is the only drawback I have with it so far.

Cheers!
JIRodriguez

Jul 11, 2007
JIRodriguez in Cookware

Slow Cooker Advice

A lot of the "newer" crockpots/slow cookers don't have a thick enough liner (the enamal coated clay part). If you buy one look for one with a nice thick liner. This realy helps to create a nice evan heat that doesn't scorch or heat up to fast. It takes longe to heat up, but that give whatever your cooking time to "sweat" and creat steam and liquids that keep the food moist and burn free. I have an old crockpot that is realy thick and works like a charm all the time. Good luck.

Mar 23, 2007
JIRodriguez in Cookware

Funky Salad Recipe??

Was at Costco the other day and they sampled a great easy salad:

1 bag salad mix (iceberg or romain work best)
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts (pecans or almonds if you are allergic to walnuts)
1 cup dried cranberries
Blue cheese dressing of choice (or make you own)
A little extra blue cheese for garnish

Gently mix everything exept the garnish in a large bowl - this is why I like the iceberg or romain, they hold up to the mixing without getting bruised and battered. You want enough dressing to coat everthing. Serve and enjoy!!

Mar 23, 2007
JIRodriguez in Home Cooking

The best Cheese Steak Recipe

OK, I know this is not a cheese steak recipe, but if you like cheese steaks you will love this!

A local BBQ place here in town used to make a prime rib sandwich that was a heart attack on a bun - and realy, realy, realy, good!

The basic sandwich is:

Take a nice crusty baguet (must be a wide one), mix blue cheese and butter (double yum!), and slather both halves of the baguet. Take a nice 1/2" thick slab of prime rib dripping with juices and put it on one of the baguets. Top with sauted onions and a very zesty BBQ sauce (I usually just mix katchup, vinegar, worshtishire, brown sugar, and Tobasco sauce). Another optional topping is to sautee some mushrooms with the onions as well.

You don't need a lot of BBQ sauce, just enough to give you a lip smaking zest. Or I suppose you could mix some horseradish in the butter/blue chease mix and for-go the BBQ sauce. Either way it is extreamely unhealthy and realy delicious!!

Cheers!!

Mar 23, 2007
JIRodriguez in Home Cooking

Pancake Tricks?

If you can find it there is a great pancake mix called "Snoqualmi Falls Pancake Mix". It comes from the Pacific NW and is realy quite good as far a mixes go. I has lots of flavor and doesn't make the gumy pasty pancakes most mixes do. It also doubles for a nice waffle mix as well.

After you get a little experience under your belt there is a book called the "Bread Bible" that has some wonderfull breakfast ideas (pancakes, scones, coffee cake, ect.). The buttermilk pancakes from the bread bible are really good.

Cheers!!

Mar 23, 2007
JIRodriguez in Home Cooking

chuck roast vs. brisket

I prefer Chuck for pot roasts and crockpot cooking, but if your smoking or doing a slow grill I generally prefer the Brisket.

Mar 23, 2007
JIRodriguez in Home Cooking

newlywed would love some of your tried and trues

If you have access to the Food Network TV shows. Watch some of the stuff Alton Brown does. He is very good about explaining the do's and don'ts of cooking, and he has some great ideas on how to keep things simple. Plus it helps that you can see him make the dish as well.

If I see something that I like from his show, I go online to their website and print out a copy of the recipe and add it to my "binder" of recipes.

Feb 27, 2007
JIRodriguez in Home Cooking

Favorite tofu dishes?

Quick, easy, and healthy lunch!! Warm Tofu & Zuchinni Sandwiches

Igrediants: Tofu, zuchinni, sandwich fixings.

Cut zuch lengwise into 1/8 in. thick planks (or thinner). Cut tofu into 1/2 in. thick slabs. Heast a little sesame oil in a non-stick pan, sear zuch. on both sides. Before you pull it from the pan add some soy sauce to the pan, and allow the soy sauce to sear onto the zuch.
Repeat the searing process with the tofu slabs.

I like to use whole wheat bread, mayo, mustard, lettuce, and tomatoes - make a nice warm sandwich with your choice of ingrediants and the tofu and zuch.

Feb 27, 2007
JIRodriguez in Home Cooking

Alternatives to Salad Spinners?

Yeah, when I was growing up, my mom worked at a resteraunt that tried that. They bought a used washing machine and loaded it up full of lettuce - the salads tasted like laundry soap! If you do use a washing machine either use a new one that is only used for this, or run it through lots of hot water rinses first to remove any residues.

Feb 21, 2007
JIRodriguez in Cookware

Chile Verde/Green Chili

I SOOOOOOOOO!!! miss being in New Mexico during the chile season. I lived in Taos for 10 yrs. and we would buy 50 lbs. of Hatch Big Jims and have them roasted, take them home, and peal chile's until our fingers burned!

Needless to say we don't get good green chile in Oregon - unless I order a box fresh from Hatch.

Feb 14, 2007
JIRodriguez in General Topics

Looking for a good Enchilada Sauce

The El Pato is difinately a good one. I think it has a lot more flavor than the El Paso or Las Palmas.

Feb 14, 2007
JIRodriguez in General Topics

How do we feel about Meal Assembly stores?? [moved from Home Cooking]

Check with the butcher you buy meat from. A lot of times they will cut it for you at no extra charge - even some grocery stores do this as well.

Feb 14, 2007
JIRodriguez in General Topics