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Kitchen 911

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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.

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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. :)

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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