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#501 zoramargolis

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 11:18 AM

Freeze in small containers or zip bags. Mix with cooked oatmeal for a "multigrain" hot cereal. Add to pancake or waffle batter for textural interest. Cook further with milk, sugar and spices to make dessert--wheatberry pudding. Knead some into bread dough. Mix with herbs, onion, dried fruit etc. and stuff a chicken with it. When corn season arrives, mix the grain with lightly steamed corn-off-the-cob, cilantro, lime vinaigrette and lime zest.


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#502 Pat

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 04:20 PM

This isn't incredibly urgent.  I'm just working around it.  But I'd be interested in comments and suggestions for the future.  

 

This is the second (maybe third?) time I've had trouble using Bob's Red Mill bulgur.  For at least the second time, my tabbouleh recipe is all messed up because this bulgur won't soften in cold water.  My recipe calls for leaving the bulgur in cold water for 2 - 2 1/2 hours.  This bulgur (labelled "quick cooking") will not soften in cold water.  It's the only bulgur I've found in stores in recent months when I've looked.  For many years I bought the kind in the white box with the pastoral green scene painted on the box (don't recall the name), and this recipe worked perfectly fine.  I've also bought it from the Mediterranean market on S Pickett (which I'm probably going to have to go back to).

 

After 2 1/2 hours and barely any softening, I poured a couple of cups of boiling water over it.  After a little while, I'll drain and hope it's softened more.  Given that this is supposed to be refrigerated for a couple of hours before the meal, I'm about out of time.

 

What is done to "quick cooking" bulgur?  I assume it's par-cooked, like Uncle Ben's rice.  Why does that make this otherwise very reliable recipe not work?



#503 zoramargolis

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 06:00 PM

 Clearly, this "quick cooking" bulgur is meant to be cooked, not merely soaked. Probably, the bulgur you have used before is par-cooked and dried, like instant cous-cous, and so merely needs to be soaked. ("French" couscous, on the other hand, has to be steamed in multiple steps, and isn't meant just to be soaked in hot water.)

 

Use this bulgur for a pilaf, and get another kind for tabbouleh. Or cook and chill this one--the tabbouleh will have a different, softer texture.


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#504 johnb

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 09:58 PM

 

 

 I assume it's par-cooked, like Uncle Ben's rice. 

 

Actually, UB is not par-cooked; it is "parboiled,"  which sounds kinda like par-cooked but in fact is a very different thing.  This is much misunderstood.  The parboiling process involves soaking and steaming the rice while its hull is still on, then drying it and only then de-hulling it.  The result is that parboiled rice has far more nutritional value than normal white rice, 60-80% as much as brown rice, and cooks differently (less sticking).  But it takes just as long to cook as ordinary white rice that has not been subjected to the process.  It has no relationship whatever to pre-cooked rice (like Minute Rice).
 


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#505 Pat

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 06:52 AM

 Clearly, this "quick cooking" bulgur is meant to be cooked, not merely soaked. Probably, the bulgur you have used before is par-cooked and dried, like instant cous-cous, and so merely needs to be soaked. ("French" couscous, on the other hand, has to be steamed in multiple steps, and isn't meant just to be soaked in hot water.)

 

Use this bulgur for a pilaf, and get another kind for tabbouleh. Or cook and chill this one--the tabbouleh will have a different, softer texture.

 

Thanks.  I've only been buying the Bob's kind because it's all I've been able to find in grocery stores when I've looked lately.  They seem to have taken over the market, and the only kind of theirs that shows up is this "quick cooking" type.  I usually avoid products labeled that way in favor of the basic version, but it seems to be the trend with all kinds of things that the easy/convenient/quick version is all that's marketed.   

 

In any case, pouring the boiling water over it and letting it sit for half an hour worked okay.  Later it occurred to me to look and see if they had a tabbouleh recipe on the package, as it's common for packages of bulgur to list one.  Sure enough, there's a recipe right on the package.  It calls for presoaking in boiling water for an hour to soften.  

 

Next time I need bulgur, I'll check the bulk section at Whole Foods.  Their bulk grain selection changes enough there's no guarantee they'll have it, but they do sometimes.   The Mediterranean market on S. Pickett has a good selection, though.  I know I've even bought extra fine bulgur for making meatless meatballs there.



#506 DanielK

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 12:01 AM

Well, fuck.

 

While cleaning in the laundry/mud room, my kids accidentally kicked out the plug on my full 16 cu ft upright deep freezer.

 

Now, everything I've read says that you can definitely get at least 48 hours out of food in the freezer before you have to toss it, but even the FDA site says you can get more with a dedicated freezer than just the freezer compartment of a fridge. How much more, I can't find a reference for anywhere.

 

My dilemma - it was a full 4 days before we discovered it. When I opened the door, I got a wave of cold air, and then immediately noticed that things were defrosted. Now, everything still felt cold to the touch, but almost none of it had any "frozen" qualities left to it. I immediately shut the door, figured out the plug was out, and plugged it back in.

 

With 20/20 hindsight, I wish I'd gotten a thermometer and stuck it in - the sites say that if it goes above 40 for a few hours, then the answer is toss, but I have no way of knowing.

 

So, how to decide toss or keep?



#507 porcupine

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 06:34 AM

A similar thing happened to me last year.  I had bags of frozen berries that were partially thawed.  I took a chance and ate them anyway and got mildly sick.  The jars of stocks and broths and sauces were still frozen (maybe a tiny bit of melt on top), so I kept them and have been using them with no problem.

 

Not sure that's helpful.  My sympathies, it's a heartbreaking situation.


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#508 KMango

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 07:01 AM

My regrets, what a bummer of a situation.  I'm risk adverse when it comes to food safety, so I'd be throwing just about everything out. 

 

What you said about the thermometer is spot on, in fact, upgrade and get one that will scream with an alarm if the temperature goes above a certain threshold.


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#509 DanielK

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 07:35 AM

Kmango, it does have an alarm built in, but it won't make the sound if it's not plugged in!

 

I know the product you linked to is a separate battery-powered unit, and had I thought of it at the time, I would have tossed my weather station's outdoor sensor in there to see what temperature it was at, but I didn't think of it until hours later.



#510 zoramargolis

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 10:22 AM

:(



#511 DonRocks

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 10:36 AM

I know the product you linked to is a separate battery-powered unit, and had I thought of it at the time, I would have tossed my weather station's outdoor sensor in there to see what temperature it was at, but I didn't think of it until hours later.

 

My guess is that you should assume pretty much exactly what you experienced: Things remained "cool," but not frozen, and assume they were like that for several days.

 

With that in mind, you should triage everything, asking yourself which items could survive this, and which items couldn't, and err on the side of "health concerns" in each case.

 

If you actually felt that the items were still cool, I suspect you're safer than you might think - not many things need to be actually frozen in order to maintain freshness for 4 days - freezers are more for long-term storage.

 

But again, if there are any "risky" items (raw meats, etc.), you may want to just bite the bullet and discard them. Also, look for liquid leakage on the bottom of the freezer, and discard any item that leaked.


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#512 DanielK

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 11:12 AM

It was nearly all raw meat.



#513 zoramargolis

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 03:05 PM

Cook it all to well done and re-freeze. Four days with the door closed, and the contents still cold means that it all thawed slowly, given the mass of cold stuff inside an insulated box.



#514 Anna Phor

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 03:07 PM

I am on a mission to eat things out of my freezer to clear space.

 

Using the following ingredients (plus numerous other pantry staples on hand but limited other veggies), what can I make for dinner?

 

Croutons

Swedish meatballs from ikea

half a bag of fresh spinach

frozen broccoli

frozen peas



#515 Pat

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 03:19 PM

Spinach salad with croutons*, dried fruits, nuts, etc. as available from pantry

 

Peas turned into a pesto and served over the meatballs, with a side of steamed broccoli** - cheeses and pasta/rice as available

 

*If the croutons are frozen, heat enough to crisp before using in the salad.

 

**Or vv, using a broccoli pesto



#516 Anna Phor

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 09:40 PM

Thanks!

 

I actually ended up making a kind of savory bread pudding with the croutons (which weren't really croutons, actually--just stale bread that I'd cubed and put in the freezer. Future croutons, more than anything). Croutons, shredded spinach, meatballs, and a can of crushed tomatoes with a beaten egg stirred in. 



#517 legant

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 07:43 PM

Can this meal be saved?


Last month I portioned, and vacuum sealed, fresh pasta.  Tonight, I cooked one of those portions, according to the instructions - fresh or frozen, 2 to 3 minutes in boiling water. Although the potion sat at room temperature for 10 minutes or so, when I dropped it in the boiling water it did not separate. I stirred and gave it 2 more minutes. Still one big clump. I then put the clump into the sauce, to simmer for 2 min. Again, one big clump. Turned off the heat, covered the pan with sauce, and waited 3 minutes this time. Guess what? One big clump!


I’ve cooked frozen, vacuum sealed pasta -- both dried and fresh... with success... but not this time. (The success was store-bought capellini; the failure was farmers-market sourced papperdelle.) What happened here? I’ve got 4 more portioned, vacuum sealed packets. What do I need to do differently?



#518 DonRocks

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 07:49 PM

My guess is that the noodles melded together (I think this happens with homemade pasta exclusively), and the odds of you separating them are about the same as you hacking down a brick house with a toothpick. (Sorry!) :)

 

The good news is that it was (semi-?) cooked when you portioned it, so it is, in theory, cooked despite its lumpen shape.

 

Maybe cut the lump into strips?


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#519 legant

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 08:05 PM

[OMG! I've been away far too long! DR is giving cooking advice??!! Did hell freeze over as well??!! I've got nothing else to say.]


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#520 weezy

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:23 AM

Can this meal be saved?


Last month I portioned, and vacuum sealed, fresh pasta.  Tonight, I cooked one of those portions, according to the instructions - fresh or frozen, 2 to 3 minutes in boiling water. Although the potion sat at room temperature for 10 minutes or so, when I dropped it in the boiling water it did not separate. I stirred and gave it 2 more minutes. Still one big clump. I then put the clump into the sauce, to simmer for 2 min. Again, one big clump. Turned off the heat, covered the pan with sauce, and waited 3 minutes this time. Guess what? One big clump!


I’ve cooked frozen, vacuum sealed pasta -- both dried and fresh... with success... but not this time. (The success was store-bought capellini; the failure was farmers-market sourced papperdelle.) What happened here? I’ve got 4 more portioned, vacuum sealed packets. What do I need to do differently?

 

I think with your future portions, let it thaw and tease the noodles apart before cooking.


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#521 zoramargolis

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 12:53 PM

Whoever made the pasta either did not toss it with enough flour, hang it up to air dry for a sufficient amount of time, or both. Next time you buy fresh pasta, toss it with flour or cornstarch before bagging and sealing. By vacuum sealing moist pasta, you essentially reconstituted it into a ball of dough. Don's advice to shred the pasta when it comes out of the freezer bag, before cooking it is probably the best you can do. Call it "pasta pazzo" (crazy noodles).



#522 Ilaine

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 03:10 PM

The story so far . . . . well, it seemed to start innocuously, and joyously.  First, there was a new Penzey's in Rockville.  Kind of a treck from Fairfax, so I bought everything I thought I might want in the reasonably foreseeable future.  And then, younger son moved to Richmond, and there was a Penzey's in Carytown.  And then Penzey's in Falls Church.  Not to mention experimental purchases at ethnic markets, things I had never seen before, and was curious about.

 

Well, you might guess how it turned out.  Cabinets, and I mean, cabinets, full of herbs and spices, just languishing.  You probably wouldn't have guessed that I arranged them, not just alphabetically, but also by category.  In little organizer baskets.  Starting with arrowroot and ending in za'atar.  I even typed out a list and taped it to the inside of the cabinets. Filled up two pages. Document created 8/1/2010. You might also have guessed that dried herbs don't really last for years.

 

After my mother moved to assisted living, I decided to end my hoarding ways.  Yesterday I hauled everything out of the cabinets, put it on the dining room table, along with the compost bucket, and started throwing things out.  I kept the stuff that still smelled good, like whole nutmeg and whole star anise and whole coriander (green AND black). Well, what I did was dump the contents into the compost bucket (filled it up twice), recycled all the plastic containers, recycled all the glass jars but Penzey's jars, and soaked and washed all the Penzey's jars, lids, and shaker tops.  Of which I now have 25.  Yes, I counted.

 

My question to you, dear Kitchen911 divas is, do I really want to save 25 clean glass Penzey's jars, complete with shakers and lids, and if so, for what?  Or is this just another form of Extreme Hoarding?

 

(I am also going through all the rest of the cabinets and drawers, intending to bring every obscure gadget I haven't used in decades to the DR fall picnic, but that's another story.  Cannot decide on the falafel maker, but the tortilla press stays.  Even though I have never made a tortilla in my life.)


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#523 Pat

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 03:52 PM

My question to you, dear Kitchen911 divas is, do I really want to save 25 clean glass Penzey's jars, complete with shakers and lids, and if so, for what?  Or is this just another form of Extreme Hoarding?

 

I would keep at least some of them, in varied sizes. If you have 15 of one size, you can put some into recycling without guilt.  I keep various food items in recycled glass jars, and it's good to have the smaller ones for a small amount of extra seeds or nuts that I've toasted, spice blends I've blended, or nutritional yeast or other items bought in bulk in plastic bags.  I find the jars themselves are more often useful than the shakers, and mostly I keep the extra shaker pieces in a kitchen drawer with miscellaneous stuff.



#524 lperry

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 05:37 PM

Seconded for keeping a few jars on hand.  If you buy spices at Indian markets, for example, you can pour them into a jar and get to them better than if they stay in the little plastic bag (that inevitably gets lost and/or torn open in the cabinet.) 



#525 johnb

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 06:30 PM

Third.  Those little jars are nice to keep herbs and spices in that you buy from the bulk bin or wherever and bring home in little plastic bags.  Airtight and easy to store on your shelves.

 

I've never has the opportunity to shop in a Penzeys; they showed up in the DC area about the time I left. But my impression is their stuff is wildly more expensive than I (cheapskate thrifty person that I am) would ever be able to justify to myself spending.  I used to go to organic stores and get spices from the bulk bins.  It was great since you could buy only a small amount, then go back for fresh stuff sooner.  Now I do my shopping for such things in Atlanta, where there is a place called Your Dekalb Farmers Market, which sells a huge selection of good quality herbs and spices that they pack themselves in half pint and pint plastic containers at prices that are unbelievable.  I recently replaced most of my collection.  For example, ground allspice for 40¢ an ounce; Spanish sweet paprika for 35¢ an oz.



#526 zoramargolis

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:22 PM

John--how can one know how fresh the spices in the bulk bins are? I buy ground spices from Penzeys in their smallest containers. And spices I use all the time,or a lot of-- like ground cumin-- or whole seed spices, I get at the Middle Eastern, Latin or Asian grocery store.


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#527 lperry

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:31 PM

Third.  Those little jars are nice to keep herbs and spices in that you buy from the bulk bin or wherever and bring home in little plastic bags.  Airtight and easy to store on your shelves.

 

I've never has the opportunity to shop in a Penzeys; they showed up in the DC area about the time I left. But my impression is their stuff is wildly more expensive than I (cheapskate thrifty person that I am) would ever be able to justify to myself spending.  I used to go to organic stores and get spices from the bulk bins.  It was great since you could buy only a small amount, then go back for fresh stuff sooner.  Now I do my shopping for such things in Atlanta, where there is a place called Your Dekalb Farmers Market, which sells a huge selection of good quality herbs and spices that they pack themselves in half pint and pint plastic containers at prices that are unbelievable.  I recently replaced most of my collection.  For example, ground allspice for 40¢ an ounce; Spanish sweet paprika for 35¢ an oz.

 

Flashback!  I used to drag people there every time I visited my sister.  At the time, I had never seen such an amazing diversity of foods so it was both overwhelming and wonderful, like a food World's Fair.  That's where I bought my first bottle of balsamic vinegar way back when, and if you make iced tea, they used to have this bulk mango tea that was amazing. 



#528 johnb

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:33 PM

John--how can one know how fresh the spices in the bulk bins are? I buy ground spices from Penzeys in their smallest containers. And spices I use all the time,or a lot of-- like ground cumin-- or whole seed spices, I get at the Middle Eastern, Latin or Asian grocery store.

 

Well, maybe I mis-spoke when I said bulk bins.  It's a word I tend to use generically when talking about buying things where you scoop what you want and weigh it.  Usually at most places I have gone herbs and spices are in big glass jars with lids.  Has to be at least as good as those plastic bags one usually sees at ethnic places.  I suppose one could ask the folks at the store how often the supply is replenished.  Or trust one's nose. 



#529 DrXmus

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 09:54 AM

I made a batch of the ubiquitous green sauce found at Peruvian chicken joints and now I have a jar of Aji Amarillo paste I don't know what to do with. Thoughts?


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#530 Pat

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 10:09 AM

I made a batch of the ubiquitous green sauce found at Peruvian chicken joints and now I have a jar of Aji Amarillo paste I don't know what to do with. Thoughts?

 

On the Peruvian theme, you could make causa, the mashed potato dish.  It uses aji amarillo pepper paste.  Here's a link to my description of how I made the causa I brought to one of the dr.com picnics.



#531 johnb

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 12:26 PM

I made a batch of the ubiquitous green sauce found at Peruvian chicken joints and now I have a jar of Aji Amarillo paste I don't know what to do with. Thoughts?

 

It's often used as an ingredient in ceviche.  Another possibility is as an ingredient in deviled eggs, if that floats your boat.



#532 lperry

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 07:17 PM

I made a batch of the ubiquitous green sauce found at Peruvian chicken joints and now I have a jar of Aji Amarillo paste I don't know what to do with. Thoughts?

 

Omigosh.  Papa a la Huancaína.  Wonderful.  Get a recipe off YouTube, or a Peruvian website, or combine a few.  Here's just one to try.  It will be unlike any potato dish you have ever eaten, unless, of course, you've eaten it before. :)  Now I need some! 



#533 DrXmus

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Posted Yesterday, 09:28 PM

On the Peruvian theme, you could make causa, the mashed potato dish.  It uses aji amarillo pepper paste.  Here's a link to my description of how I made the causa I brought to one of the dr.com picnics.

 

 

It's often used as an ingredient in ceviche.  Another possibility is as an ingredient in deviled eggs, if that floats your boat.

 

 

Omigosh.  Papa a la Huancaína.  Wonderful.  Get a recipe off YouTube, or a Peruvian website, or combine a few.  Here's just one to try.  It will be unlike any potato dish you have ever eaten, unless, of course, you've eaten it before. :)  Now I need some! 

You guys are awesome!! Thanks for the help. I'll try the potato dishes and the deviled eggs. I love ceviche but I've never made it.


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