legant

Kitchen 911

600 posts in this topic

Due to poor planning and downright laziness I found myself, late Thursday morning, trying to throw together something to take to a potluck Thanksgiving dinner. I absolutely refused to go to the store on Thanksgiving so I was forced to use what was in the house. I scoured the Internet and decided on spinach ravioli lasagna. After reviewing several recipes – taking a bit from this recipe, a tad from that recipe – I had the ingredients to pull this off. Well, almost all of the ingredients.

All the recipes I found that used ricotta also called for an egg. The only thing I was missing was the egg. I presumed it was used as a binder for the ricotta and spinach filling.

Another search of the Internet for substitutions was futile. Substitute 2 egg whites for 1 whole egg. Well, if I had two egg whites I wouldn’t need to substitute it for the damned egg. mad.gif

(It seemed that there were quite a few others with cooking emergencies; a lot of the cooking sites crashed on me or had a slow response time.)

In a last ditch effort, I searched the board. When I couldn’t find anything in the archives I looked to see who was online. It seems that most of you kitchenistas were lovingly basting your turkeys or artistically plating your holiday dinners. I did get one suggestion: EVOO as a binder.

After more Internet searching (a.k.a., procrastination) I came across a site that suggested using flour or cornstarch as a binder. 2 TBS cornstarch/flour = 1 egg. I’ve not cooked lasagna since I was in Girl Scouts, but I thought this came out pretty well.

Are you in the middle of cooking a dish and realize you don’t have XX? What are your suggestions for last minute ingredient substitutions? (Herbs don’t count.) What type of dish? Did you compensate for the missing ingredient in any other way (such as adding extra vanilla)?

Most cooking is improvisation; new ideas are always welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you in the middle of cooking a dish and realize you don’t have XX? What are your suggestions for last minute ingredient substitutions? (Herbs don’t count.) What type of dish? Did you compensate for the missing ingredient in any other way (such as adding extra vanilla)?

Most cooking is improvisation; new ideas are always welcome.

One resource for ideas for substitutions is The Cook's Thesaurus.

I went to make the rolls this year for Thanksgiving dinner and realized I was completely out of unbleached, all-purpose flour which was called for in the recipe. So I subbed 2/3 bread flour and 1/3 bleached flour. And (coincidentally?) the rolls came out especially well. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to bump this up to the top in case anyone has any cooking emergencies tomorrow. A number of DR.com members who are experienced cooks have subscribed to this topic, so even if they are not checking the board itself, they'll still get an email notification if anyone posts a question in this thread. :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just wanted to bump this up to the top in case anyone has any cooking emergencies tomorrow. A number of DR.com members who are experienced cooks have subscribed to this topic, so even if they are not checking the board itself, they'll still get an email notification if anyone posts a question in this thread. :blink:

I want to do a popcorn stuffing this year. Do I stuff the cavity full of popped or un-popped corn? I'm thinking of going with un-popped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I want to do a popcorn stuffing this year. Do I stuff the cavity full of popped or un-popped corn? I'm thinking of going with un-popped.

I hope your dentist has office hours on Friday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I want to do a popcorn stuffing this year. Do I stuff the cavity full of popped or un-popped corn? I'm thinking of going with un-popped.
Just in case you heed Zora's warning, here's an alternative to pumpkin pie that someone in Virginia swears she's making at her children's request: Snooty French milkshake w caramelized popcorn

If you do go w the stuffing, note that leftovers can be strung w any remains of cranberry sauce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oops. I just realized that cream puffs require poured fondant, and all I have is rolled (see Kitchen Disasters thread). Hmmm. Is there an acceptable substitute? Like even a confectioner's sugar glaze? Of course ganache would work, but I don't want all of them to be chocolate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oops. I just realized that cream puffs require poured fondant, and all I have is rolled (see Kitchen Disasters thread). Hmmm. Is there an acceptable substitute? Like even a confectioner's sugar glaze? Of course ganache would work, but I don't want all of them to be chocolate.
What about just dusting them with confectioner's sugar?

(But wait until pretty close to serving unless you have special non-melting confectioner's sugar.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made this s'mores cheesecake for something later today. I have several gripes about the recipe, but it did appear that it would work out until I hit the last step. I went to run the marshmallow frosting under the broiler. It said to watch carefully so it didn't burn, about 2 minutes--and to put at least 4 inches from the heat source. I had it closer to 10-12 inches and didn't preheat the broiler fully. At just over 1 minute I smelled it burning :lol:. I started working on this 24 hours ago and don't have time to make anything else.

There is a pretty swirled pattern on the top, that is supposed to be light shades of brown. Some of it is...and some of it is black. How do I rescue this? I thought about making another batch of frosting and scraping the old off, but it has to be thoroughly chilled before serving, and I'm barely going to make that requirement as it is. I'm also afraid if I scrape it off, I'm going to cause more damage than by leaving it alone.

The only thing that makes me think I can take this with burn marks on the top is that it's a s'mores cake, and the top looks in places like what happens when you get your marshmallow too close to the campfire :lol:. My inclination is to take with the burned top, get a funny story out of it, and scrape the most burned parts off when we go to eat it. Cutting into it will break up the area that is most burned.

Help?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The only thing that makes me think I can take this with burn marks on the top is that it's a s'mores cake, and the top looks in places like what happens when you get your marshmallow too close to the campfire :lol: . My inclination is to take with the burned top, get a funny story out of it, and scrape the most burned parts off when we go to eat it. Cutting into it will break up the area that is most burned.

Help?

Carefully remove any black stuff that you can, then shower the whole thing in shaved chocolate. Or drizzle melted chocolate on top in an random way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Carefully remove any black stuff that you can, then shower the whole thing in shaved chocolate. Or drizzle melted chocolate on top in an random way.
Ah, thank you! Melted chocolate sounds like a good plan.

ETA: It worked out. I scraped off the most burned parts, leaving a white oval in the center of the cake. Since it was supposed to be served with raspberries and blueberries alongside, I scattered them on the cleared area, with a few out to the edges. Then I drizzled semisweet chocolate over the whole thing. It looked like it was supposed to be that way, and the berries were wonderful with chocolate on them :lol:. Thanks again, Porcupine, for the chocolate idea. You gave me the courage to scrape the burned part off. I really was afraid I'd ruin it if I did that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BEEF EMERGENCY!

Does anyone know that these little black specks are? They look and feel almost like leeches, and the meat around them is a little "off." Should I be worried??? Thanks.

2600379643_3edefdf1e5_b.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sort of looks like clotted blood, but I can't get a good look from this picture. All the leeches I've seen are smaller and more slender. Go with your gut is what I'm feeling. Sorry can't help more!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It sort of looks like clotted blood
That's what I'm hoping, but wanted to be sure before I made carpaccio out of a different piece of the same cow. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think they are colonies of space aliens that will grow in your stomach and pop out of your stomach walls at an inopportune moment. Your only hope is to wrap you head in tin foil and.... Ohhh never mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think they are colonies of space aliens that will grow in your stomach and pop out of your stomach walls at an inopportune moment. Your only hope is to wrap you head in tin foil and.... Ohhh never mind.
I hate you all :lol:

My carpaccio was delicious and, so far, no John-Hurt-in-Alien experiences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That knife on the other hand -- looks nice -- what kind is it? I am sure it'll be sharp enough to do any emergency surgeries. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought Italian sausage at the farmers market for the first time; the package comes w four links wedged together to form one solid mass.

Therefore, to cook one for dinner last night, I had to thaw all four. They've been in the fridge two days now.

Question: Tis better in the mind to cook one's stately, plump sausage directly before consumption, is it not?

Then, how to deal safely with the three remaining without losing all their flavor? I don't want to risk spoiling these more costly, precious sausages by risking spoilage, yet refreezing them is not recommended. So, compromise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I bought Italian sausage at the farmers market for the first time; the package comes w four links wedged together to form one solid mass.

Therefore, to cook one for dinner last night, I had to thaw all four. They've been in the fridge two days now.

Question: Tis better in the mind to cook one's stately, plump sausage directly before consumption, is it not?

Then, how to deal safely with the three remaining without losing all their flavor? I don't want to risk spoiling these more costly, precious sausages by risking spoilage, yet refreezing them is not recommended. So, compromise?

Once they are cooked, you can freeze them.

Steam them until just lightly firmed up and then cool and freeze separately wrapped. To consume, thaw and then brown, or slice and pan saute the slices. Much better than letting them deteriorate in the fridge while you eat one every day, or heaven forbid spoil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Once they are cooked, you can freeze them.

Steam them until just lightly firmed up and then cool and freeze separately wrapped. To consume, thaw and then brown, or slice and pan saute the slices. Much better than letting them deteriorate in the fridge while you eat one every day, or heaven forbid spoil.

Another thought I had was to remove them from the casings and cook up for a spaghetti sauce. Eat some of the sauce now and freeze the rest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, all. I had thought of going all Connecticut and making spaghetti sauce (w casings on), but you gotta have fennel sausages for that. However, I like the idea of steaming versus fully browning and cooking the two that remain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm making a chanterelle rillettes recipe from Bon Appetit today that calls for dry marsala wine, but I only have sherry, port and Maderia. Thoughts on which would be best to sub in. I'm thinking no tthe port, which leaves:

Sandeman rainwater madeira

Osborne medium Oloroso sherry

I'm leaning toward the latter only b/c the recipe has a splash of sherry wine vinegar as well. Thanks for any help you can give.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used Turbinado (sugar cane) instead of (beet) sugar to sweeten whipped egg whites. (The one thing I forgot on my shopping list.) I think that's the reason it took so long to get the egg whites to whip and form peaks. If I had used 10x sugar... which I had on hand -- other recipes I've seen use 10x sugar to sweeten egg whites -- is it a 1:1 substitution?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I used Turbinado (sugar cane) instead of (beet) sugar to sweeten whipped egg whites. (The one thing I forgot on my shopping list.) I think that's the reason it took so long to get the egg whites to whip and form peaks. If I had used 10x sugar... which I had on hand -- other recipes I've seen use 10x sugar to sweeten egg whites -- is it a 1:1 substitution?
According to Joy of Cooking, 1 3/4 cups of packed confectioner's sugar is equivalent to one cup of granulated (white) sugar. As regards turbinado, it's probably a little less sweet, since it is less refined. But you can turn coarse sugar into superfine sugar in your food processor, and it will do a better job of incorporating into beaten egg whites. You probably wouldn't miss the extra sweetness you'd get from white sugar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I'm about to put a beef roast in the oven. Planned on following the Cook's Illustrated recipe for slow roasted beef (e.g., sear in Dutch oven or large, heavy, ovenproof pot; cook, uncovered, at 250 until internal temperature reaches, etc.)

Is there any reason I can't use a shallow cast iron skillet? (I'm doing a different sauce.) Do the sides of the pot help cook the meat any better?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Okay, I'm about to put a beef roast in the oven. Planned on following the Cook's Illustrated recipe for slow roasted beef (e.g., sear in Dutch oven or large, heavy, ovenproof pot; cook, uncovered, at 250 until internal temperature reaches, etc.)

Is there any reason I can't use a shallow cast iron skillet? (I'm doing a different sauce.) Do the sides of the pot help cook the meat any better?

Nope, no reason. You will be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eeek! Dinner plans have been interrupted; I have a pan of cannelloni ready to bake but have to run out of the house. The question: should I bake them later when I get home, and freeze them for leftovers at a future date, or can I put the whole pan in the freezer, uncooked, to cook at a later date? Or how long can they stay in the refrigerator before being baked? Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eeek! Dinner plans have been interrupted; I have a pan of cannelloni ready to bake but have to run out of the house. The question: should I bake them later when I get home, and freeze them for leftovers at a future date, or can I put the whole pan in the freezer, uncooked, to cook at a later date? Or how long can they stay in the refrigerator before being baked? Thanks.

I"m not sure about the freezer, but putting them in the refrigerator and baking them when you get home or tomorrow seems okay. I'd be uncomfortable about anything more than 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eeek! Dinner plans have been interrupted; I have a pan of cannelloni ready to bake but have to run out of the house. The question: should I bake them later when I get home, and freeze them for leftovers at a future date, or can I put the whole pan in the freezer, uncooked, to cook at a later date? Or how long can they stay in the refrigerator before being baked? Thanks.

I know scenario 2 works (freeze uncooked to cook later). Intuitively, I'd say scenario 1 also works, but I've not done it (other than individual leftover portions).

Don't have the answer to scenario 3 but I'm betting they'd last til dinner-cooking-time tomorrow. Wait for corroboration on that one, though. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone- I need advice.

I am making 60 cupcakes for my grandmother's (90th!) birthday party on Nov. 14th. The party is saturday at noon- so I can't make them all that morning. My tentative plan is to bake them all this weekend and freeze them until next Friday- thaw and ice. refrigerate overnight and take out in the morning for the noon party.

My question is- do you all think this is a workable plan? and b: what is the best way to freeze the cupcakes? individually wrapped in saran wrap? freezer bags?

Thank you all. I really appreciate your help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone- I need advice.

I am making 60 cupcakes for my grandmother's (90th!) birthday party on Nov. 14th. The party is saturday at noon- so I can't make them all that morning. My tentative plan is to bake them all this weekend and freeze them until next Friday- thaw and ice. refrigerate overnight and take out in the morning for the noon party.

My question is- do you all think this is a workable plan? and b: what is the best way to freeze the cupcakes? individually wrapped in saran wrap? freezer bags?

Thank you all. I really appreciate your help!

Your plan sounds good. I would freeze individually on a sheet pan first then put them in a freezer bag. That way they are hard before you bag or wrap them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your plan sounds good. I would freeze individually on a sheet pan first then put them in a freezer bag. That way they are hard before you bag or wrap them.

I agree completetely; just don't expect them to be rock-hard like a protein would. Given the amount of air in the cupcakes, they'll still be somewhat squish-able, which is the long way of saying, don't put a standing rib roast on them even once they're frozen - try to put them on top of the other items in your freezer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or, if the party facility would accommodate it, consider going with an individually portioned, frozen dessert. My mother used to make frozen fruit salads in paper muffin cups, embedded with popsicle sticks for easy n0ming. A tasty hit for a crowd if keeping everything frozen is an option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some cakes actually taste better the day after they're baked, so if you have time Friday (and the right recipe) you could do the baking then. Otherwise freezing them works just fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some cakes actually taste better the day after they're baked, so if you have time Friday (and the right recipe) you could do the baking then. Otherwise freezing them works just fine.

I won't have time on friday to bake everything sadly- so I'll unfortunately have to bake early. Thank you all for your help!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chex mix too salty, try making a second batch with no salt and blending? Or thinning with mixed nuts?

I never have made the stuff myself, but the people who do never seem to get it exactly right, and I mean never. It's always something. Too salty, too oily, too brown. Too something. It all gets eaten anyway.

What's too salty for me is not too salty for others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chex mix too salty, try making a second batch with no salt and blending? Or thinning with mixed nuts?

I never have made the stuff myself, but the people who do never seem to get it exactly right, and I mean never. It's always something. Too salty, too oily, too brown. Too something. It all gets eaten anyway.

What's too salty for me is not too salty for others.

The recipe for it calls for way too much salt, IMO. I had a craving for this the other day and made some with these ingredients/amounts:

3 cups each Rice, Corn, and Wheat Chex

1 ½ cups mixed nuts

1 ½ cups broken pretzel rods (1/2” pieces)

6 Tbsp. Soy Garden

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce

2 tsp. Penzey’s Sandwich Sprinkle

¾ tsp. garlic powder

In the case of too much salt, I think I'd brown more cereal in whatever fat you're using and thin it out that way. The problem with more nuts is that they are also salty, unless you have some unsalted nuts to add. That might help. A current version of the recipe calls for bagel chips, so maybe some sort of unsalted bagel or pita chips might help.

I'd never tried the Sriracha before. That gave it a nice kick.

I'm not sure why the craving for this, since I've never particularly liked the stuff, but my mom used to make it around the holidays, so I guess that may have something to do with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm hosting brunch tomorrow, and I'd like to fresh-bake the blueberry muffins in the morning. Can I make the batter today and leave it in the fridge overnight?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it the kind of muffin recipe where you just mix the wet and dry? (as opposed to creaming the butter with the sugar, etc.?) If so, then I would get the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients ready separately today, and then just mix them together tomorrow morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it the kind of muffin recipe where you just mix the wet and dry? (as opposed to creaming the butter with the sugar, etc.?) If so, then I would get the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients ready separately today, and then just mix them together tomorrow morning.

It's the creaming-the-butter-and-sugar kind. I suppose I can just do it all tomorrow; I just don't tend to be very high-functioning in the AM. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it the kind of muffin recipe where you just mix the wet and dry? (as opposed to creaming the butter with the sugar, etc.?) If so, then I would get the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients ready separately today, and then just mix them together tomorrow morning.

This seems the safest course of action. If you must mix it all, freezing appears to be the better alternative to avoid dense and chewy muffins.

Muffins in the morning or muffins at midnight? Both will always be a possibility if you mix up a batch of muffins for storage. They'll store for up to 3 months in the freezer, a week at room temperature, or about 4+ days in the refrigerator. When ready to snack, thaw muffins on the counter for about a half-hour, or pop them into the microwave for a few seconds. If microwaving isn't an option, but you long for that muffin from the oven warmth, place muffins into a 300 F. oven for 5-8 minutes.

Here's another alternative to quick, nutritious breakfasts. You can actually freeze the muffin batter. Simply dish the batter into foil-cups in your muffin tin, quick-freeze, and then store them in a freezer bag labeled with the baking information. When ready to bake, return the muffin cups to the tin and bake as directed by the recipe, adding about 10 more minutes baking time. If you wish, you can keep batter in the refrigerator too for up to 5 days. This works best for batters made with double-acting baking powder, not for ones made with baking soda. Still, the longer muffin batter sits, the more the baked muffins decrease in volume. You'll probably like the results better if you use refrigerated batter within 24 hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's the creaming-the-butter-and-sugar kind. I suppose I can just do it all tomorrow; I just don't tend to be very high-functioning in the AM. :P

I remember that the Frugal Gourmet (yecchhh!) made a huge batch of bran muffins which contained a ton of butter, which he stored in the fridge and baked as needed. Make the batter tonight, but leave out the blueberries and add them in the morning after you have had at least one cup of coffee. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember that the Frugal Gourmet (yecchhh!) made a huge batch of bran muffins which contained a ton of butter, which he stored in the fridge and baked as needed. Make the batter tonight, but leave out the blueberries and add them in the morning after you have had at least one cup of coffee. :(

That's just exactly what I was thinking of doing. Thanks for the reinforcement. :P

And don't knock "the Froog"! Before all the creepy stuff, his PBS show was my first introduction to the food world outside my mother's kitchen. When I was about eight, my brother and I made my parents what I can now only imagine to be the worst anniversary dinner ever from one of his cookbooks. Ah, good times, good times...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love some help from you talented DR members.

I've got a huge, gorgeous head of curly mustard greens (Spring Valley) that I'm looking to cook up probably tommorow. How can I best showcase this green?

I also bought fresh ginger from Next Step and would like recipe suggestions. I'm thinking of making Ginger Beef with flank steak. Would the mustard greens saute up in this dish? How long should I keep the fresh ginger in the fridge before I have to freeze any unused portions?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love some help from you talented DR members.

I've got a huge, gorgeous head of curly mustard greens (Spring Valley) that I'm looking to cook up probably tommorow. How can I best showcase this green?

I also bought fresh ginger from Next Step and would like recipe suggestions. I'm thinking of making Ginger Beef with flank steak. Would the mustard greens saute up in this dish? How long should I keep the fresh ginger in the fridge before I have to freeze any unused portions?

Thanks!

Mustard Greens

Sure, the greens would be great w ginger beef, though I'd serve them separately. In general, be inspired by the difference between the thinner leaves of this type of green and the thicker, "less porous" hardy winter greens such as your kales and collards. That is, I wouldn't cook the dickens out of them. To retain the mustardy loveliness of this spicy green, plan on going not much further than wilting the leaves after you've stripped both sides of each leaf from the thick stem (usually necessary). That said (anyone catch "Curb Your Enthusiasm"'s take on this phrase?), mustard greens are terrific in any mess of greens, tangled up with chard, kale and ilk.

I really like chopped, sautéed mustard greens poking out of a pile of s/mashed buttermilk potatoes. With ginger beef, you might throw them in rice, instead, or maybe mashed sweet potatoes or turnips, even.

Since a copy of Local Flavors was within arm's reach, I consulted Deborah Madison and found both confirmation of and challenge* to my advice: she recommends long-braising to tame the "sting" and make them "tender and silky": "Mustard Greens Braised with Ginger, Cilantro and Rice", p. 15, calls for diced onion sautéed w ginger, cumin, paprika and white rice for couple mins. Stir in bunch of cilantro, chopped, including stems (she loves to do this w greens) and the greens. Salt. Cover, reduce volume 10 mins. Stir. Cook 40 mins., adding a few T water if needed. Cook some more if you'd like. Spoon in a little of your Greek-style yogurt. Squirt of lemon.

*Probably since the widely different types of greens include smooth-surface, curly Southern mustards which are traditionally cooked to death just like collards and what Spring Valley was selling: the more tender, often Purple or purple-tinged Asian varieties whose crinkly, thinner leaves have more pronounced veins. These are the ones I buy to stir-fry. Also good with wild salmon. Schneider says blanch [leaves, not you] and wrap around spring-roll fillings.

Gingerroot

Make candied ginger. Easy. Recipes online. Keep the cooking liquid and just reduce to make a syrup. Great gift and perfect for making gingerbread and other winter treats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now