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RGC1982's Profile

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Home Made Breadcrumbs - why do all the recipes say "day old bread"?

I only use bakery bread without preservatives, so I don't think that is the issue for me. Yes, I do understand that the average loaf of packaged, processed bread can hang around in its packaging for two weeks because of preservatives, but that is not my issue, because I am not using it here. These are mostly baguette, batard, ciabatta and boule leftovers from my local bakery.

I think I will start cubing it before drying it out to see if that helps any.

Dec 13, 2012
RGC1982 in Home Cooking

Home Made Breadcrumbs - why do all the recipes say "day old bread"?

Every recipe I have ever seen says that the bread needs to be "day old". In my experience, bread that is left to dry for over a week is sometimes not crumbly enough, and gives my food processor a real workout. I sometimes even have to toast it in the oven before it can be made into crumbs.

Why do all of these sources give bad instructions? Is it possible that these "recipe writers" have never tried it themselves, but publish these instructions anyway? Call me cynical, but I really think that none of these sources have actually tried it themselves.

Why do I bother? Well, it's a good way to use leftover bread, and it does taste better than packaged.

Dec 13, 2012
RGC1982 in Home Cooking

New Glass Top Electric Range - Need New Pans?

I have a black cooktop, which shows fewer marks. However, dragging aluminum pots across the surface will mark it, and sometimes even leave little bits of metal behind. Seasoned cast iron, stainless steel, and Le Creuset work fine, as does anodized aluminum. Carbon steel seems to mark it slightly too, but not as much as aluminum. Copper does not seem to bother it either.

My advice: 1) Clean up right away, use a special stovetop cleaner. It works. 2) Clean while the surface is slightly warm. Don't allow stuff to bake on. 3) Invest in stainless steel cookware with flat bottoms, or cast iron, or enameled cast iron. If you are using a wok, switch away from carbon steel.

For extensive yellowing, you may need to make a paste with Comet (don't scrub or it will scratch) and let it sit. Rinse well. You can even use a razor blade to scrape off residue if you need to.

BTW, I really like my GE cooktop, and I used only gas before moving to this house. You just need to get in the habit of wiping down the surface, and of cleaning your crusty pot bottoms. I do that anyway, so it is no extra work for me, but --- and this may be how some people feel --- if you are not an avid cleaner, it does show streaks and marks.

Oct 12, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

Pyrex explodes?

Mine did in the microwave. A small bowl that I was heating chicken broth in. Millions of little pieces. I've been nervous about using the stuff ever since, and I am careful about putting it down on a dry towel when hot.

Oct 08, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

Have no clue about electric smoothtops

Electric coils cycle on and off too. If you want a constant "on", you need a gas burner.

Frankly, I had never liked the cheap smooth tops I had found in vacation rentals either, but really only because they usually came outfitted with cheap, warped pans supplied by the owner. All it takes is one person to put water in an aluminum or steel pan when it is hot, right off the burner, and they all warp.

I found aging coils in this house when I moved here, and they weren't heating evenly and two actually sparked, so I went with a high end ceramic. I really like it, and find the "hate" comments a little perplexing. I would prefer gas because that is what I am most used to, but this cooktop has not interfered with me being able to put out some great meals using a double CI grill, assorted pans both clad and disk bottom, copper, LC, and anodized aluminum. The only thing I wish it could do better was crank out higher heat for my wok, but that is a function of this model. It is much, much easier to clean, IMO.

Oct 07, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

Do You Ever Get Funky Tasting Shrimp?

I spent a week in Alabama recently and ate shrimp nearly every day. No taste of the "oil spill", and I have a very sensitive palette for off-tasting food.

That metallic taste that most posters have mentioned, I think, is a bi-product of the fresh shrimp being not-so-fresh. I really only notice it when I buy "fresh" shrimp, and since I live 300 miles from the Gulf, it can't be THAT fresh. I never taste it in frozen shrimp. And I never tasted it in Alabama on the Gulf. Or in NOLA.

You may be under or overcooking your frozen shrimp if you are tasting yucky flavors, or perhaps the frozen shrimp has been hanging around the freezer too long. I get mine from Costco, and it always tastes great, no matter how I prepare them.

Still, I wish I could get my hands on a pound of fresh Royal Reds right now...

Sep 29, 2012
RGC1982 in General Topics

What do you want to find in a vacation rental kitchen?

I want everything clean, no plastic glasses, no warped pans, no pans with nonstick wearing off, and appliances that cost more than ten dollars from Walmart. Last place was pretty, but the cheap toaster was literally a fire hazard and it burned everything. The can opener sucked and was hard to use too, so a decent manual would have been a huge improvement. Fortunately, I only had to use it once. I don't want to find anyone's condiments, just dish soap and a few basic paper products including garbage bags. Oh, and at least one extra roll of TP.

Sep 16, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

Gulf Shores

If you want to try a takeout place, S&S Seafood. Sometimes the restaurants are crowded, so we tried it and went back several times during our stay. It is under new ownership.

Highly recommend Cajun snapper, fried red grouper, Royal Reds, smoked tuna dip and the "box" of potatoes. Fresh and very well prepared.

Sep 16, 2012
RGC1982 in Central South

Celebrity Cookware Lines: Rate 'Em!

I generally avoid celebrity brands, but when I was looking for the perfect lasagne pan a few years ago, nothing could match the Mario Batali pan. It was a deep, enameled cast iron pan in exactly the right size for what I needed, and it cost less than $100, which, compared to LeCreuset or Staub, seemed like a bargain. Probably made in some country other than France, but I didn't find anything else that suited my needs this well. A great pan, highly recommended.

Jul 26, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

What's the best thick-bottomed heavy pot?

I have, and love, many LeCreuset pots and Dutch ovens. Staub too. Truth be known, when cooking tomato sauce or chili, I can get a little round burn circle on the bottom of all, now matter how low I set the burner.

There are a couple of thick bottomed stainless steel lines that I think outperform these enameled cast iron pots for this particular use. The best I have is a Paderno Grand Gourmet (to be distnguished from PEI Paderno, which is a different company). This pot is perfect for these recipes, and there won't be any scorching. I also have some Demeyere Atlantis disk bottomed Dutch ovens, but the Paderno actually performs slightly better. The Paderno has a 5 mm disk bottom that you can see, and it is pure perfection in terms of avoiding scorching. Sambonet is 7 mm, but more expensive and not necessarily worth it, also works really well.

Jun 17, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

frustrating black metallic pans

Why a black pan, made of the same material, if you keep having problems with them? Why not try one from another manufacturer made of another material? I have several from Volrath, made of aluminum, and they have never warped. You can buy them from restaurant supply store?

Jun 03, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

Are Sub Zero refrigerators worth the price?

I am a firm believer in whole house warranties, but their appliance coverage is usually not as comprehensive as a standard service contract on the appliance. On refrigerators, in particular, they tend to exclude the ice maker and also have exclusions if they find your coils need vacuuming. Same thing if you have used the wrong detergent in your front loading washer. It's more economical than individual policies, but once in a while, you find your coverage is lacking.

Jun 03, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

Cleaning glass cooktop

If Weiman's doesn't work, use a razor blade to scrape off the residue carefully, and then try Weiman's again using the green side of a yellow and green scrubbing sponge. I have had mine for nine years, and I cook messy food a lot, and this works for me.

Jun 01, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

Alternative to Vitamix blender

+1

Mine goes through couplers somewhat frequently. Only happens when we go on smoothie kicks. VitaMix next time, based on what my friends tell me.

May 25, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

Eye of round

My mother preferred this cut for pot roast too. The gravy had lots of onions, and I believe she used beef boullion for the base. She served it with carrots and gravy.

I loved it as a kid, and I don't remember it being too dry, but that may have been because she sliced it thin and poured a lot of the braise sauce on it when served.

I now use brisket because it is not as likely to dry out, but Mom managed to get hers right, probably because it was done low and slow on the stovetop.

May 23, 2012
RGC1982 in Home Cooking

To anchovy or NOT to

I'm so with you. They used to be really popular when I was a kid, growing up in New York, and Fridays were meatless. My grandmother made her own pizza with them. I would only trust them to be fresh in a pizza joint that does high volume in an ethnic area, so I will add them myself to a cheese pizza. No shot here in Texas. With the exception of Houston, not too many fish eaters here.

May 23, 2012
RGC1982 in General Topics

Sautéuse - favourite sizes and brand

I have the Demeyere conical sauteuse in 4.2 qts.(I think). It is one of my favorite pots, and is the right size for up to four people. My only complaint is that it needs a helper handle. When full, this heavy pot is a bit much for me to manage with one hand. They also make a version without a long handle, and it has two short handles on each side. Might be worth considering.

May 18, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

Aluminum pans and acidic foods

You will be fine. I believe that heat has something to do with it. Tomato sauce, for example, can pick up a metallic taste when cooking in aliminum, yet it may be packed in an aluminum can.

May 17, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

Put a State on your Plate

I'd be in big trouble with Texas.

May 07, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

What cookware item did you *mistakenly* part w/ in your divorce?

I've never been divorced, but I did use moving as excuse. I had this extremly large oven/broiler given to us when we got married, and DH insisted on using it as a "toaster oven". This thing was huge, and we were moving from one small condo to another. The only way I was able to get rid of it was to throw it in the dumpster first, and then tell him that it didn't fit on the new counter afterward. I hated that big, ugly SS appliance and all of the precious room it took up on my small countertop. But, since it was a wedding present, DH would not part with it.

Hey -- maybe it's the little white lies that have help me stay married for 30 years, you never know.

May 02, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

Items you’ve converted into kitchen use

Please post a picture. I can't imagine what this looks like, but it sounds cool.

May 02, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

Items you’ve converted into kitchen use

Stainless steel needle nose pliers are the BEST thing for removing fish bones. Forget those stupid fish tweezers. I decided to use pliers after watching a professional appetizing guy remove bones from Nova lox with a pair of needle nose pliers. At the time, it was nearly $20 per pound, so you really needed to get those bones out without damaging the fish. It is now $30 per pound,

I keep utility scissors for things like cutting string (for trussing chickens), and a pair of adjustible c-jaw pliers to grab those little plastic tabs that are impossible for me to get hold of when opening bottles of ketchup or packages of cold cuts. Those pliers grab on well, and tend not to tear the plastic.

I also keep cheap, sharp utility knives for cutting open packages.

Does freezer tape for labels count? It sticks much better than masking tape.

May 02, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

Looking for New Pots and Pans

If you are more interested in a set, go to Costco if you have one near you, and look at their private label stuff. You can handle their clad stainless, which I believe is Tramontina, as well as an anodized aluminum set that is very similar to Calphalon. I don't know who makes the aluminum set. They also sell a nonstick set if you are into it, and I am not sure of that manufacturer either, but the quality was really good.

Yeah,the advice is not to buy a set, but these are pretty useful pieces overall. I looked at them for my daughter, and they were all impressively made and priced really well.

May 01, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

Potato Chip Afficionado

Utz is the best, IMO, and Miss Vicky's for kettle chips and flavors.

Apr 30, 2012
RGC1982 in General Topics

Freezing tortillas

Yes, use waxed paper.

Apr 30, 2012
RGC1982 in General Topics

Tiramisu -- Anyone try Fabio V's chocolate no bake version?

This wasn't a little runny, it was a thick liquid. Good catch on the video proportions of eggs to cheese. That is not what the recipe said, it had 12 eggs and 2 pounds of Mosacarpone.

Apr 30, 2012
RGC1982 in Home Cooking

Things you thought you didn't need but were wrong about, and things you thought you needed but really didn't

+1 on the rice cooker and deep fryer. Took me thirty years to decide to get both, and I don't know why I waited. I guess I was using pots for both, and was managing just fine ...enough.

Apr 30, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

How do you part with Kitchen items that you rarely use?

Tearfully...unless, I hated it or my college kid can use it. If I hated it and it is still in good condition, I will give it away if it would suit someone else more than me.

Apr 30, 2012
RGC1982 in Cookware

Tiramisu -- Anyone try Fabio V's chocolate no bake version?

I thought it needed more than the recipe called for.

Apr 29, 2012
RGC1982 in Home Cooking

Tiramisu -- Anyone try Fabio V's chocolate no bake version?

Yes, exactly

Apr 29, 2012
RGC1982 in Home Cooking