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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.

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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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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?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. :(

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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. :(

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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.

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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. :(

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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...

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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!

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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.

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Let's say I told my coworkers that I was making braised beef short ribs for our office holiday potluck.

Then let's pretend that I went to the grocery store and bought everything: wine, aromats, herbs... everything but the beef.

Then, for the sake of argument, imagine that the store was out of short ribs.

Assume that I am lazy and don't much feel like shopping around.

What are my alternatives?

I really want a braised beef dish.

Could I get like a chuck roast or similar cut, cut it up into short rib-sized pieces, and cook them like I would the ribs?

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Let's say I told my coworkers that I was making braised beef short ribs for our office holiday potluck.

Then let's pretend that I went to the grocery store and bought everything: wine, aromats, herbs... everything but the beef.

Then, for the sake of argument, imagine that the store was out of short ribs.

Assume that I am lazy and don't much feel like shopping around.

What are my alternatives?

I really want a braised beef dish.

Could it get like a chuck roast, cut it up into short rib-sized pieces, and cook them like I would the ribs?

Did you look for flanken cut? I did that for my friends up in Boston and it worked great.

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Let's say I told my coworkers that I was making braised beef short ribs for our office holiday potluck.

Then let's pretend that I went to the grocery store and bought everything: wine, aromats, herbs... everything but the beef.

Then, for the sake of argument, imagine that the store was out of short ribs.

Assume that I am lazy and don't much feel like shopping around.

What are my alternatives?

I really want a braised beef dish.

Could I get like a chuck roast or similar cut, cut it up into short rib-sized pieces, and cook them like I would the ribs?

Call in a favor with a friend who lives near a Korean grocer. :angry:

'tis the season, man. Ask and ye shall receive!

(and if you don't receive)

(well...)

(santa can't visit everybody)

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Did you look for flanken cut? I did that for my friends up in Boston and it worked great.

Okay. Let me rephrase.

I specifically want creative alternatives to short ribs. :angry:

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Okay. Let me rephrase.

I specifically want creative alternatives to short ribs. :angry:

Brisket.

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A chuck roast is my standard stew meat. Lop into 3/4 - 1 inch cubes. Brown and braise.

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You can use any cut of meat that takes to braising. Chuck is my standard but I cut it a little larger than Joe, usually around 2" pieces.

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Bad coconut? Just cracked one open - the water tastes bizarrely salty, and the flesh is not sweet. It doesn't taste like it's gone bad, but it doesn't taste good, either. I've never gotten a bad coconut. Is there anything I can do to save it? I'm afraid I know the answer to this.

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This may be a silly question, but does butternut squash and sweet potato flavors go together? I am thinking of making a sweet potato congee, but am thinking about adding some squash to it too.

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This may be a silly question, but does butternut squash and sweet potato flavors go together? I am thinking of making a sweet potato congee, but am thinking about adding some squash to it too.

When cooked, they are similar enough that it sort of seems redundant to put them together.

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This may be a silly question, but does butternut squash and sweet potato flavors go together?

I say yes. I have made basically the same soups substituting one for the other. I see no reason both could not swim together harmoniously.

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This may be a silly question, but does butternut squash and sweet potato flavors go together? I am thinking of making a sweet potato congee, but am thinking about adding some squash to it too.

Yes. :angry:

(Aside from that, their flavor profiles are pretty similar; think of all the recipes that say you can sub the one for the other. I think it'll just make the congee more complexly and interestingly flavored.)

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This may be a silly question, but does butternut squash and sweet potato flavors go together? I am thinking of making a sweet potato congee, but am thinking about adding some squash to it too.

In the "Cappellacci with Sweet Squash" recipe from The Splendid Table, Lynne Rossetto Kasper calls for combining butternut squash with sweet potato in a 2:1 ratio to approximate the taste and consistency of the local squash from Ferrara and Parma. I have made this recipe numerous times and it is excellent.

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Thank you all! I think I inversed mktye's recommendation (but this was made before her post) and used japanese yams to butternut squash (a very, very small one), thus ending in a 1:2 ratio. But it turned out well and was happy because it was made in the slow cooker. Now I have warm congee for lunch. :angry:

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Could anyone help me on the following:

I believe I've seen a recipe similar to La Brea Tar Pit wings in Asian cookbooks, but with something other than red wine. My imagination, or?

What non-alcoholic liquid might replace the wine? Rice vinegar okay for someone Muslim?

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Could anyone help me on the following:

I believe I've seen a recipe similar to La Brea Tar Pit wings in Asian cookbooks, but with something other than red wine. My imagination, or?

What non-alcoholic liquid might replace the wine? Rice vinegar okay for someone Muslim?

What a weird, unappetizing name for a recipe--I grew up near the La Brea Tar Pits, and they smell strongly of --wait for it---tar. Think about the smell that comes through your window when the hot-tar roofers are working on the house next door in the middle of the summer. It's like that. Pyew.

I wouldn't do a straight substitution of vinegar for wine--the end product would be too acidic, since the sauce is a reduction. Maybe stock with a couple of T's of vinegar. Or pomegranate juice.

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Could anyone help me on the following:

I believe I've seen a recipe similar to La Brea Tar Pit wings in Asian cookbooks, but with something other than red wine. My imagination, or?

What non-alcoholic liquid might replace the wine? Rice vinegar okay for someone Muslim?

I've been planning to make these slow cooker wings. They're quite similar to those but use only the soy sauce and no other liquid. That may be because of the slow cooker element. The recipe it is adapted from is oven-baked and includes 1/4 cup of oil in addition to the other ingredients.

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Could anyone help me on the following:

I believe I've seen a recipe similar to La Brea Tar Pit wings in Asian cookbooks, but with something other than red wine. My imagination, or?

What non-alcoholic liquid might replace the wine? Rice vinegar okay for someone Muslim?

I've made this recipe (and variations thereoff) countless times, so I wonder if, similar to Zora's response, any vinegar+sweetener combo would work to replace the wine (here, balsamic vinegar and honey and brown sugar; I've used maple syrup with success before, too).

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Sigh. Due to very poor planning, I was unable to find the specific type of dried chile... New Mexican or Anaheim... for a broth for a rice recipe. I do, however, have powdered Ancho pepper. I'll probably substitute, but at what ratio? Any suggestions?

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Sigh. Due to very poor planning, I was unable to find the specific type of dried chile... New Mexican or Anaheim... for a broth for a rice recipe. I do, however, have powdered Ancho pepper. I'll probably substitute, but at what ratio? Any suggestions?

I'd go one for one. According to one Chili Heat Scale the Ancho is a bit hotter, but not by much. Then again, to me, hotter is always better. The Scoville Scale shows the Ancho in between the New Mexico and the Anaheim. Good luck.

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I'd go one for one. Accrding to the Scoville Heat Scale the Ancho is a bit hotter, but not by much. Then again, to me, hotter is always better. Good luck.

Whole dried pepper vs. dried powdered pepper. Would 1 TB = the kick of one dried whole pepper?

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Whole dried pepper vs. dried powdered pepper. Would 1 TB = the kick of one dried whole pepper?

Probably, although it might be too much. If you have the constitution, you can taste it to see how hot it is, then add accordingly. It's easier to add heat than get it out of a dish. (Voice of searing experience.) :angry:

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Whole dried pepper vs. dried powdered pepper. Would 1 TB = the kick of one dried whole pepper?

Hmm. I really don't know, but that seems like a lot. Then again, I have no idea what you are cookng. Can you add half and then step it up after tasting as necessary?

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Whole dried pepper vs. dried powdered pepper. Would 1 TB = the kick of one dried whole pepper?

If the recipe calls for you to simmer a whole pepper in the broth for flavoring, 1 TBSP of dried powder could be too much. Whole peppers also vary in size. I'd do what others have suggested and start low, test, and adjust.

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So last night I left Ray's the Steaks with a big ol' marrow bone. One of my dining partners told me that I could make a nice demi glace out of it. Anyone know how to do that, or have any alternate suggestions?

I don't have a dog to give the bone to, unfortunately!

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So last night I left Ray's the Steaks with a big ol' marrow bone. One of my dining partners told me that I could make a nice demi glace out of it. Anyone know how to do that, or have any alternate suggestions?

It'll take a lot more than one empty marrow bone to make demi-glace, which is reduced/gelatinized beef stock. If you want to make beef stock, you might stick it in the freezer while you look up recipes and gather the rest of the ingredients. Or the next time you make homemade soup, just throw it into the pot for extra flavor.

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Thanks - but it was nowhere near empty. I just didn't eat what it contained. I ended up sticking it into a crock pot for...two days...on low. With a carrot, some garlic and half an onion. It made me some pretty tasty stock!

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Ok, so I am a little baffled: I am not a baker, I am a cook. That is my flaw. When I run into a problem I substitute- a cookers habit that doesn't bode well for baking. This summer I made a lavender pond cake and added a bit of lemon juice because it needed some tang. I also have rather new baking pans from my wedding. It could have been a first use. When I baked the cake it rose up, exploded out of the pan and all over the bottom of the oven. I blamed the lemon. Clearly shouldn't have added acid.

But this past week I was making banana bread and I only had two bananas and the recipe called for three. I did have peach freezer jam or apple, I chose the freezer jam. Put it in what again was new mini loaf pans that I rinsed with water. And it did the same rise up and explode thing. But this time I put it back in the oven after cleaning the oven on a baking sheet, and the resulting bread, tasted very good, like banana bread should. I didn't fill the pans very high, they probably had a couple inches above.

Do you think it was the choice of additions? Or perhaps the new pans needing washed a few times, instead of just once?

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^ The explosion sounds like rising air that had nowhere to release. I wonder if it's the amount of rising item used? Temperature? Maybe try baking at a lower temp for a longer time to see if that will help??

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It does sound like rising air. Would you mind sharing your recipe? I noted that each time you added something acidic.

BTW, lemon zest is a good way to add tang to baked goods without adding more liquid.

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It does sound like rising air. Would you mind sharing your recipe? I noted that each time you added something acidic.

That could definitely do it. Too much acid + acid activated leavenings (baking soda and/or double acting baking powder) = too much CO2. Kaboom. Kind of like an elementary school volcano project. I used to have problems with over beating eggs in baked goods. I figured it couldn't hurt anything, but it adds too much air and things will often rise too quickly then collapse. I never had an explosion, though.

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I didn't fill the pans very high, they probably had a couple inches above.

What size of pan does the recipe call for? My bet is on a too-full pan. Adding peach jam to banana bread won't cause it to rise explosively.

FWIW, you can substitute and mess with recipes in baking; it just takes experience.

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Hi crew... question for you all. I made chocolate chip cookie dough today. The recipe yielded so much dough that I would like to freeze it. How do you recommend doing so? Should I freeze it in individual portions or just big chunks? How long can I leave the dough in the refrigerator before freezing? Thanks in advance!

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I would roll the dough in logs large enough for a batch of cookies (say 12 at a time or whatever) and then roll them in freezer safe clear wrap followed by freezer wrap {ie freezer grade butcher paper etc) and tape. Make sure to keep out as much air as possible.

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Hi crew... question for you all. I made chocolate chip cookie dough today. The recipe yielded so much dough that I would like to freeze it. How do you recommend doing so? Should I freeze it in individual portions or just big chunks? How long can I leave the dough in the refrigerator before freezing? Thanks in advance!

I'd say 2 days in the fridge. I think I agree with Dean about making it into rolls. I find that works better when freezing cookie dough than just wrapping it up in a lump.

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we like to freeze in individual portions, which may not protect the dough like the log method, but it allows my kids to bake a few cookies at a time in the oven, when friends are over or after school.

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Cheese soufflé.

Recipe uses a six-cup soufflé dish.

I have an eight-cup.

Use it and have a flatter soufflé? Or make six one-cup soufflés? And if the latter, how much do I adjust the cooking time downward, if at all?

Meep.

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Cheese soufflé.

Recipe uses a six-cup soufflé dish.

I have an eight-cup.

Use it and have a flatter soufflé? Or make six one-cup soufflés? And if the latter, how much do I adjust the cooking time downward, if at all?

Meep.

I'd use the larger dish and make sure it is greased all the way to the top. I'm not a souffle expert, but I believe that it will climb on a greased pan. I could be wrong, and I'm sorry if I am ph34r.gif.

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I'd use the larger dish and make sure it is greased all the way to the top. I'm not a souffle expert, but I believe that it will climb on a greased pan. I could be wrong, and I'm sorry if I am ;).

I'm inclined to agree ... a lot of recipes say "1-1/2 to 2 quart dish" or "2 to 2-1/2 quart" so it can't be impossible to fudge the size a little. It may not rise as high (because it'll start out less deep) but I don't think it will totally fail. I'll post pictures either way!

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I'd use the larger dish and make sure it is greased all the way to the top. I'm not a souffle expert, but I believe that it will climb on a greased pan. I could be wrong, and I'm sorry if I am ;).

I agree...I grab the Pillivuyt that looks about the right size and bake.

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I want to cook beef back ribs in a crock pot. If I use a traditional marinade will that be strong enough to flavor the ribs. Should I reduce the marinade or liquid to impart more flavor?

Another recipe dredges the ribs in a spice mixture, sears, and then places in crock pot with some liquid. Won't the dredged ribs lose their flavor while in the pot?

Finally, is there anything I should take into consideration when cooking beef back ribs vs. beef short ribs. When I braise the back ribs it seems that they are fattier (than short ribs). Or is that my imagination?

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I want to cook beef back ribs in a crock pot. If I use a traditional marinade will that be strong enough to flavor the ribs. Should I reduce the marinade or liquid to impart more flavor?

Another recipe dredges the ribs in a spice mixture, sears, and then places in crock pot with some liquid. Won't the dredged ribs lose their flavor while in the pot?

Finally, is there anything I should take into consideration when cooking beef back ribs vs. beef short ribs. When I braise the back ribs it seems that they are fattier (than short ribs). Or is that my imagination?

Basically the same, just not cut into smaller pieces. Brown them before they go into the crockpot, add aromatic veg and herbs. Skim fat then reduce the liquid before you serve them.

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Make a "rack" on the bottom of the crock pot with rolled-up aluminum foil and place the ribs on top so they aren't submerged in the cooking liquid. The steam and indirect heat from the liquid will cook them just fine.

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So...on Saturday I baked some cupcakes (carrot cake with cream cheese frosting). The amount of ingredients called for seemed a bit high for 12 cupcakes, and, after I'd filled my sole 12-cup muffin tin, I realized that the recipe actually makes 22 cupcakes, not 12 ;). I was racing to get things done so made the rest of the batter in paper muffin cups in a pan. Some got a little squished with that arrangement, but everything came out edible (24 cupcakes :P). Had I been thinking a little more clearly, I would have only frosted some of these and frozen most of the cakes, but I didn't. I frosted all of them. Had I been a little sharper, I would have thought to send some of the extras home with our friends for their kids. Didn't do that either.

The upshot is, we still have probably 18 frosted cupcakes left. I've got them in two plastic containers and one metal pan covered with foil, at room temperature. Time is running out. What will happen if I freeze frosted cupcakes? Do I have any other options besides handing them out on the street? :)

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What will happen if I freeze frosted cupcakes?

What will happen? Why, you'll have frozen cupcakes. Seriously, though, they'll freeze and thaw just fine, and [snark] probably still be better than Cakelove's [/snark].

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What will happen? Why, you'll have frozen cupcakes. Seriously, though, they'll freeze and thaw just fine, and [snark] probably still be better than Cakelove's [/snark].

So, I didn't need to be so worried about freezing frosting after all? That's a relief. Thanks [and ;).]

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If I brine something (pork or chicken) can I freeze it w/o any adverse effects ? Can I brine both (pork and chicken) together in the same bowl, again, without any harmful side effects?

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If I brine something (pork or chicken) can I freeze it w/o any adverse effects ? Can I brine both (pork and chicken) together in the same bowl, again, without any harmful side effects?

I've brined dual meats together in the same bath, no problem at all. High five to you for using this technique, such an elevator for moisture and flavor.

However, freezing brined-but-not-cooked meat is probably a recipe for textural disaster.

(then again)

(wwed?)

(what would eskimos do?)

Did a bit more interwebz browsin', and found that Cook's Illustrated has tested the brine-n-freeze technique:

http://www.americastestkitchentv.com/ibb/posts.aspx?postID=274507&postRepeater1-p=1

Edited by KMango

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