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My Paella is not the Bomba

I feel the same way ebone. Even having it in didn't rock either my wife or me.

I will say this: arborio won't cut it. I used Bomba one time last summer and it was definitely two notches better than arborio. I went to order off of Penzey's or something, seeking Bomba but I bought a cheaper version, I think it's called calaspara. Not as good. So based on only 1 occasion, Bomba rules.

Also agree with Eric: chorizo is important as it has the potential to lead the overall flavor. I've gotten away from grocery store chorizo and seek out the most authentic I can and it helps, a lot.


Mar 31, 2013
tbrownex in Home Cooking

Potato & Leek Soup

I use marjoram as the only spice except salt/pepper. And use as little potato as necessary.

Jul 04, 2011
tbrownex in Home Cooking

Brown gravy

thanks everyone for the comments

Mar 29, 2008
tbrownex in Home Cooking

Brown gravy

You're in a 24x7 diner and you order the roast beef dinner. You get a ridiculous bread roll, pad of cold butter, slab of overcooked, dry beef, decent mashed potatoes, a canned veggie side like corn, and the whole thing is drowned in a delicious, thick brown gravy that makes it all worthwhile. Best eaten either after midnight or after a bender, by the way :-)

I'm a pretty accomplished home-chef but I have no idea how they get it so thick and tasty. Cornstarch? Doesn't seem to have that slimy texture. Roux? Maybe, but I don't detect it. Demi glace? Seems like too much work for a diner, especially considering how much they give you.

Any thoughts on how they do that? Should this be considered a guilty pleasure?

Mar 26, 2008
tbrownex in Home Cooking

What to serve with the Herbed Spaetzle recipe?

Rouladen is a very traditional German pairing with spaetzle.

Jan 28, 2008
tbrownex in Home Cooking


Try this one, I like it even better.

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 4-ounce bar semisweet chocolate, finely chopped.

Place hazelnuts into food processor, together
with 1 tablespoon flour. Process until nuts are
finely ground.
In Mixer bowl beat egg whites. Slowly add 1/2
cup of the sugar to the whites and beat to soft
peak consistency. Set aside.

In same bowl beat butter with sugar until creamy -
3 minutes-. Add egg yolks, one at-a-time, beating
after each addition.
Mix in ground nuts and vanilla.
Add sifted dry ingredients gradually, alternately
with cream. Mix well.

With spatula gently fold in egg whites; mixing well.
Last fold in finely chopped chocolate. Bake
in a buttered and floured Bundt Pan at 325 degrees
50 - 60 minutes.

Dust with confectioners sugar or make a chocolate

Jan 28, 2008
tbrownex in Home Cooking


MMRuth, glad you enjoyed it, and it is delicious with coffee in the morning.

As to a name, you asked for it: Gewuerzkuchen. Gewuerz means "spice", kuchen is "cake", so it's called spice cake in our house.

Jan 28, 2008
tbrownex in Home Cooking


MMRuth, did you make the cake? How did it turn out? My mother usually dusted it with powdered sugar, but I never found that necessary...I serve it "naked".

Re the bitterness, sounds like we need to experiment. Someone call ATK. Thanks to JoanN for the method specifics.

Jan 27, 2008
tbrownex in Home Cooking


I used Hershey's last night and it came out great. My mom's notes say to use Dutch chocolate though. Mine required about one hour 15 in the oven rather than the hour stated in the recipe.


Jan 27, 2008
tbrownex in Home Cooking


Now that's a great solution. I'll try it next time, thanks.

For those interested:

2 sticks butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp clove
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup toasted, finely ground hazelnuts

Sift together: flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder & soda, cocoa and nuts.
Mix butter and sugar on high for 5 minutes.
Add eggs slowly, then vanilla
Add dry mix alternately with buttermilk
mix gently
pour into buttered, floured Bundt pan and bake 325 for 1 hr or until skewer comes out clean.

Jan 26, 2008
tbrownex in Home Cooking


It's a spice cake...cinnamon, cloves, cocoa being the main ingredients, besides hazelnuts. Basically a Bavarian coffee cake. Kind of a different flavor than what most people are used to, and I grew up eating it once a month.

Baking soda, huh. I've had some crazy thoughts: putting sandpaper in with the nuts; using one of those garlic skin removers (the plastic tube you roll); wire bristle. Maybe best is to buy them skinned, as you say.

Jan 26, 2008
tbrownex in Home Cooking


My family loves deserts with mother got us addicted. She passed away recently so my wife and I have taken over the recipes and carried on. Most of her recipes tell us to roast the nuts for 10 minutes, remove the skins, then chop them up. I guess the skins are bitter.

Here's the problem: how do you remove the skins? I don't ever remember seeing my mom do it (no idea how I missed that). My wife heard about putting them in a kitchen towel and rolling them around, so that's what we're doing. But it takes forever and isn't very effective. Any better ideas?

Jan 26, 2008
tbrownex in Home Cooking

Secret Food Myths - Let the De-Bunking Begin!

Myth: risotto requires constant stirring while slowly adding stock. A friend served great risotto to me one night and freaked me out by saying it was covered tightly and baked. That is now the only way I make it.

Qualifier: there is a restaurant here in Chicago that makes a far better risotto than I can, and he does it the traditional way. Is it because of the technique or the ingredients, I'll never know...but my money is on the ingredients.

Sep 11, 2007
tbrownex in Home Cooking

Country Style Ribs and a Slow-Cooker - Recipes

I stumbled into this recipe a few years ago and it became one of our favorites: Slow cook the ribs in a combo of stock and water for about 3 hours. Include some oregano and garlic. Take the ribs out and remove/shred the meat. This becomes the base for some killer tacos, sort of a variation on Posole.

I make a chili sauce out of charred guajillo chillis, a little water, garlic and onion. Blend that and add to the meat. Throw it on a tortilla and its awesome. Sorry for lack of quantities, but its a very flexible dish.

This can get pretty spicy. If that's not your thing, just use the delicious meat with some "regular" garnishes like avacado, raw onion, chihuaha cheese, etc. and you still have a killer taco.

Feb 09, 2007
tbrownex in Home Cooking