egit's Profile

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is it safe go make coq au vin in an enamel cast iron le crueset pot?

Yes, no problem at all. Alcohol burns at a very low temperature. Ceramics, by and large, are extremely heat-tolerant. I think the only bit of cookware I'd be reluctant to flame with brandy might be a bamboo steamer...

about 23 hours ago
egit in Home Cooking

Home-made stock

I used to take the kitchen sink approach to saving all of my veggie scraps. Except often when I do veggie prep, I don't typically wash the outside of the veggies (carrots, onions, etc), so they'd all just go right into the freezer then pot.

Stocks tended to taste like dirt. Literally. Now I'm very selective with what goes in the stock bag and what doesn't. Only clean things, for one. And only things I think will enhance the stock. Usually the ends of onions, or carrots, or mushroom stems or caps that are on the edge of going bad, etc.

about 23 hours ago
egit in Home Cooking

Favorite broccoli raab (rabe) preps?

Well, now that you've discovered that you need to blanch it first, you'll have to get back all the rabe you gave away!

"Oh gosh, I think it's contaminated with listeria, please if you just return it to me I'll dispose of it properly." ;-)

Feb 25, 2015
egit in Home Cooking
1

No way in H-E-double hockey sticks I'm making this at home before I've eaten it somewhere.

Yeah, I've seen bull penis in a chinatown grocery store. Never any uteri though. Not that I was aware of, anyway. Sometimes it's fun to browse and look at all of the exotic ingredients. I do that, and then leave with a package of noodles, a bottle of soy sauce and a heavy dose of defeat.

Must I refrigerate in order to marinate?

Presumably a marinade will have enough salt and acid to inhibit bacterial growth for a couple of hours. I'm not sure I have a cut-off time, but I know I've marinated things on the counter for 3-4 hours before. And I always, always let things come up to room temp before cooking. That's what... at least 30-60 minutes.

If I'm thawing meat, I will usually start it on the counter in the morning to come up to room temp, then refrigerate it before leaving for work. Still-frozen meat makes for a sad homecoming from work.

Never food-poisoned myself or others with either of these practices.

Feb 19, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Flavorless chicken breasts

I wasn't going to respond since everyone else already said what I was going to say anyway.

Except for this-- My basic brine is always as follows:
a little less than 1/4 c kosher diamond crystal salt
1 Qt water
2 T standard sugar.
Other ingredients as I have them and what inspires. Often 2 smashed cloves of garlic. A good pinch of korean red pepper flakes, herbs that are about to go round the bend, etc.

Also, I almost always freeze meats. So I make the brine in the AM with hot tap water, put the meat in the brine, then cover and refrigerate. By the time I get home it's defrosted and brined.

You should investigate pan sauces. There's not much you can do for the inner-most parts. Marinades don't go that deep.

Feb 19, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Best Italian and Mediterranean cook books

Anything by Marcella Hazan or Lydia Bastianich for Italian.

Feb 11, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Looking for Perfect Au-gratin Potatoes

For 11 people you want a 5 pound bag. You'll want to go waxy rather than starchy, in my opinion. (not baking potatoes)

One thing you may want to consider if you don't want a saucy dish: pommes anna. There are hundreds of recipes out there. My shortcut, because I live in an urban area, instead of clarifying butter I use ghee.

Feb 11, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Pea crabs?

First time I ever saw them was in mussels. I was a little freaked out because I didn't know what they were and I figured they showed up...um, post mortem before the mussels were harvested.

They range in size from maybe your pinky-fingernail to maybe your thumbnail. The body itself is roughly the size of a pea.

Feb 11, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Visiting Brooklyn for a day in May

I think it depends on what you're looking for. Park Slope is more scenic, with the trees and the beautiful brownstones. It's a little farther from Manhattan, and dining options have been only average for a long time. That's improving, but it's still not great. N.B. You will see no tourists at all in Park Slope.

Williamsburg, on the other hand, is smaller and much closer to Manhattan. The density of good restaurants and bars is considerably higher. And I think what people outside of NYC think of as the "Brooklyn Brand" is more in Williamsburg than Park Slope. Early 30s in Williamsburg is perfectly age-appropriate.

Full disclosure: I live in Park Slope, and I do love it. But for your purposes I think Billyburg is more what you want.

Feb 11, 2015
egit in Outer Boroughs
1

Inferior chicken breasts

Bob, I agree. I like that store except for ONE THING. They don't sell beer. (!!) I tend to go to the Key Food a bit north on 5th because it's closer to me.

And apropos to this thread, just last night we had whole Bell and Evans chicken legs that I bought there. Two minute skin-side sear in a hot CI pan, flip, then 25 minutes in a 400 degree oven. They were delicious.

They weren't terribly spendy. I think it was $5.50 for two good sized legs. That's a little more than the cheaper brands, but not inordinately. And they were well butchered with all of the skin still intact.

Feb 11, 2015
egit in Outer Boroughs

What was the last spicy meal you cooked?

I try not to make an entire meal spicy! I had a side dish of roasted cauliflower, and I mixed in about a 1/2 c of chopped home made kimchi with a substantial shower of chopped cilantro and scallions. It was a little spicy, but not too incendiary.

Sadly, I have no idea what I served it with. It was the middle of last week, I think.

Feb 10, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Re-using vinegar from pickling red onions

During the process of pickling, the brine is exchanging itself with the water in the vegetable. You can reuse it somewhat, but be aware that the salt/sugar levels are dropping and the pH is probably going up as well. If you're not doing long-haul canning/pickling, you'll probably be okay to reuse it once.

I do the same with quick pickles and meat brines (not cured), but as sunshine said, maybe if you like it so much just make a vinaigrette out of it!

How important do you think stock is to a good pan sauce?

If I have some stock already thawed I will use it (1/4 to 1/2 cup or so). If I don't, I won't stress over not having it. If you use stock, you have to allow more time to reduce the whole pan sauce. Otherwise, as others have noted, the sauce is too diluted. And there's too much of it.

Feb 06, 2015
egit in Home Cooking
1

What to do with baby kale?

Maybe blanch it and use it in the same ways you'd use frozen spinach? Stuffed shells, stuffed pork loin, butterflied stuffed chicken breasts... etc.

Not sure how much you have. Honestly, I'm not even sure I've seen baby kale in a store/market.

Another thought, portuguese kale soup?

I have to confess, my first thought after reading just the headline was for a baby kale salad.

Feb 04, 2015
egit in Home Cooking
1

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

Somewhere upthread I was confessing my litany of kitchen wrongdoings, and using "cooking sherry" was one of them. Actually, more broadly, using bottles of cooking wine from the grocery store. Someone mentioned keeping a bottle of cocktail sherry in the kitchen instead of those bottles of Terrible Wine.

Yes, using real wine is preferable, but sometimes I just want to make a quick mid-week pan sauce.

Feb 04, 2015
egit in Home Cooking
2

Ideas for super healthy food...

Hi Prima - This thread is actually several months old. Anyway, I'm not going to throw meal/dish ideas at you. I'll just say this: if you want to avoid cheese/dairy you could easily lean Asian in your cooking style for the next week. There is virtually no dairy in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese cuisines. There is a heavy reliance on pickling, which could lead to new and interesting ideas in your own cooking.

For instance, just last night I roasted some cut up cauliflower, then tossed it with about a half cup of chopped up napa kimchi with minced scallions and cilantro (maybe 1/4 c each). I used maybe 2T olive oil, maybe 2t of kosher salt, and then the aforementioned. Very healthy and I never thought "wow, this could use some CHEESE..."

Feb 04, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

I have an addendum to the Cocktail Sherry conversation. This past weekend I figured I'd go out and get some. However, where I live most of the shopping is done on foot, and the wine/liquor shops tend to be small, 500 sqft. operations.

When I asked for "something like Harvey's Bristol Cream" or similar in store #1, they reacted in horror. HORROR! As if they would stock such an abomination. They recommended I try store #2, a lower-brow operation. Store #2 stifled a retch, then acted as if I'd just sprouted a third arm.

Okay. I exaggerate. But both stores seemed very surprised that I'd even look for something like that. I guess I need to go to a larger, non-boutique-y liquor/wine shop. They do exist in my hood. They just weren't on my shopping trajectory last weekend. And I already had 3 full bags and didn't feel like walking 10 minutes out of my way to a third store.

Feb 04, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

chicken on a budget

Yeah, I agree with this strategy. Stewed chicken skin is really unappetizing. One thing a lot of restaurants are doing these days is making fried chicken skin to be used as a garnish. I guess they chop it up into 1-2" pieces and just render it out thoroughly in a sautee pan. Or, more efficiently, they just deep fry it.

Feb 01, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

chicken on a budget

Hey, if you do this, learn this important tip from me! If you plan to make stock from your veggie peelings, wash your veggies before you peel/save. Otherwise your veggie stock will taste exactly like dirt.

I still do this, but only with select things like mushroom stems, onion scraps, maybe carrot pieces, etc. A lot of veggies aren't particularly good for stock, like cabbages, brussels sprouts, asparagus, etc.

Jan 30, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

HELP! Is this safe ?

I think if it were roasted garlic it would be safe from botulism, but it sounds like you're doing a raw garlic paste. I believe roasting the garlic at a high temp would kill off the little buggers, but I don't think I'd feel comfortable storing it for 2-3 weeks in the fridge anyway. I think even with just vinegar and salt, the garlic would start to be weird after 2 weeks.

You should make smaller batches of dressing. :-)

Jan 30, 2015
egit in Home Cooking
1

Best way to julienne/matchstick carrots

Another option: Sometimes I just use the carrot peeler to shave a carrot into a salad. It creates nice long, thin shaves, which are light enough to stick to the rest of the salad.

Jan 29, 2015
egit in Cookware
1

Best way to julienne/matchstick carrots

I like my mandoline. I would say it's probably the quickest way to do what you want. However, mandolines can be dangerous. ALWAYS use the hand guard!

Jan 28, 2015
egit in Cookware

Suggestions for Steak Marinade

Regarding soy sauce marinades, my understanding is that soy sauce contains the same enzymes as pineapple, papaya, etc. It will do some tenderizing, but you shouldn't marinate it too long. Otherwise the texture will suffer.

Jan 28, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Can I use a meat thermometer instead of a candy thermometer?

Just be sure your meat thermometer has the upper range for it. A lot of them only go up to 180-190 or so.

Jan 28, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Chinese ingredients park slope?

Have you looked at the DNY market on Flatbush, just south of the 7th ave stop? Over by the seafood counter they have a bunch of Asian ingredients. They're Korean-owned, so their inventory tends to be more Korean than anything else. But they may have what you're looking for. Or at least an acceptable substitute.

Jan 27, 2015
egit in Outer Boroughs

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

Well, I'm committing another foodie-crime today. Sometimes I reuse brines. I'll usually only reuse one once. If, for instance, I brine some pork chops for dinner, I'll save it and then brine chicken, or whatever.

It's not like these are curing brines. They're just for moisture and flavor. It just seems like there's still plenty of salt, garlic, sugar, etc in it that I might as well use it one more time.

Plus, it's fun to say we're having "pork brined chicken" for dinner.

Jan 27, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Everything You Need To Know About Cooking During A Storm

Yeah, that was my thought. After a little while yeah, I'll assume the foods in the fridge and freezer are spoiled. But certainly not after two hours. My god, can you imagine simply throwing EVERYTHING away, then six hours later being hungry and looking longingly at the garbage can...?

Jan 26, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

Hmmm... I may investigate this innovation of yours.

Jan 24, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

I have a book called Cracking the Coconut by...someone. It's a fun book to browse, but when she was essentially screaming at her readers that they should absolutely always buy fresh coconuts and extract their own coconut milk... Well, I guess I felt I was no longer worthy of that lofty text.

I guess I'll add canned coconut milk to my litany of shame.

Jan 23, 2015
egit in Home Cooking