What's the one thing you just can't cook/bake...

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by nubka, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I use basmati rice and follow the package directions, perfect every time. On its own, as a pilaf, for Mexican rice, all good.
     
  2. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Too wet. We had a rice cooker thread a while ago and I excitedly bought one, then another and all I ever got was mushy, wet goo. :lol:
     
  3. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

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    Too wet? Try cutting back on the water about by about 1/4 of a cup.
     
  4. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Easier to just make it on the stove top. :lol: I usually walked away when I turned on the burner and got involved with something so the water boiled over. I don't do that now.
     
  5. mkats

    mkats New Member

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    Potatoes all nicely shaken with "fuzz" in the oven right now... I'm excited :)
     
  6. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    Report, please, on how they turn out. I love oven roasted potatoes; they are my family's potato for thanksgiving, not mashed potatoes.
     
  7. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Rice secret: Cook it in the oven, covered. No muss, no fuss, and 45 minutes to one hour later you have perfect rice. I cook anywhere from a very small casserole's worth for 2 people up to rice for a dozen (which takes a little longer). The casserole dish is easier to wash, and I can serve right from it at the table. (You might need less time; I'm at some considerable altitude.)

    What I can't do: rolled cookies in any shape other than round. How people get those elaborate cookie cutter shapes off the board and onto the cookie sheet -- intact -- is a mystery. And -- assembling gingerbread houses. My temptation is to build one from legos, and then glue gingerbread to it, because otherwise my gingerbread houses look like post-earthquake red-tagged specials.

    And candy. Got my candy thermometer -- but no success in finding a conversion chart for what temps I should look for at this altitude.
     
  8. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

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    I can usually get the dough out of the cookie cutter, but after they bake they sometimes look like shapeless blobs. :(
     
  9. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

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    I can NOT make pie crust worth a damn. I'm going to try tomorrow, though. Apple pie for hubby who is presently in the dog house, but maybe this will show I forgive him.

    I can make wonderful bread and really, really good Indian and Cajun. I'm good with home made biscuits, all types of soups and stews, casseroles and cakes. Especially bundt pan cakes. I just simply can not make pie crust. Any tips?
     
  10. mkats

    mkats New Member

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    Hokay!! Potato update time - well the parboiling and shaking/fuzzing step definitely helped. Here's a picture so you can see the goldenest potato crust I ever succeeded in making :lol: Apologies for the bad quality - I snapped it on my phone, plus there's a huge shadow because Boyfriend came running over in excitement and his head got in the way of the light just as I took it.

    They tasted great - thanks Jenny and TheGirlCanSkate! Now one last :duh: question: how do you get them to crisp up on all sides without having to sit there and flip them one by one? I flipped three times and I still felt like a lot of them didn't get sufficiently crisped up. Or maybe I should have just cut them into more evenly sized pieces :slinkaway:
     
  11. pilgrimsoul

    pilgrimsoul Active Member

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    Agree with the method of cooking rice in the microwave - it comes out perfect every time & takes only 20 minutes. Here's the secret to perfect rice. Measure your rice and rinse it very well with cold water, then dump it in a large pyrex bowl or other tall microwave safe bowl. Add twice the amount of water to your rice. Add 1/2 tsp. sea salt & stir, then cover loosely with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, then cook on 60% power for 15 minutes. Let the rice sit for 1-2 minutes, then uncover & stir. It will be perfectly cooked and fluffy!

    Here's a foolproof microwave recipe for Saffron Rice:

    Rinse 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice & place in large microwavable bowl
    Add 2 Tbsp salted butter cut into small pieces
    Add 1/2 tsp sea salt
    Add 1 large pinch Saffron
    Pour one large carton (32 oz) chicken stock into bowl
    Stir & cover loosely with plastic wrap
    Microwave on high for 5 minutes, then on 60% for 15 minutes.
    Uncover & enjoy!

    For really good chicken or turkey gravy, use cornstarch instead of flour. It will give your gravy a much lighter, more silky consistency without the gummy, chalky texture often seen in flour-based gravies. Just pour your drippings into a sauce pan, add salt & pepper to taste, add a splash of golden sherry & sift 1/4 to 1/3 cup of cornstarch into it, constantly whisking on medium high heat until it gets really bubbly & on the verge of boiling. Then turn down the heat to 3 & whisk for 5 more minutes. Remove pan from heat & let cool off for another 5 minutes & your gravy will be perfectly thickened.
     
  12. taf2002

    taf2002 Texas slumlord

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    These instructions are for fahrenheit: subtract two degrees Fahrenheit from a stated temperature for every 1000 feet you are above sea level. Hope this helps. After you do the conversation you may want to mark it in nail polish on your thermometer.

    http://candy.about.com/od/candybasics/qt/Adjusting-Candy-Temperatures-For-High-Altitude-Cooking.htm
     
  13. professordeb

    professordeb Well-Known Member

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    Right now anything and everything I have tried to bake that is gluten free has come out looking terrible and tasting even worse. Considering that the cost for the ingredients for baking is rather high, I think I won't be trying any more baking for a while. I hate wasting food.
     
  14. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

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    You can't grate potatoes in a food processor. I've tried. You end up with mush.

    Look, I'm an atheistic Jew. The standards for us are lower. ;)
     
  15. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm hardly one to celebrate the holiday in Bnei Brak - but this is a culinary matter, not a religious one! :D
     
  16. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    On the subject of latkes, while I have no problem grating up the potatoes I cannot keep them white. They always turn gray no matter what I try. What do the rest of you do? Baking soda? Acidulated water? Something else? Help!
     
  17. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

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    There's a difference? :rofl:
     
  18. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    I'm with PRLady on this one. Boxed mixes are delicious. Homemade - not so much.
     
  19. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I don't use anything extra, I just make sure to squeeze out as much of the water as possible and I fry everything as fast as a I can - but that depends on how many you're making.

    :lol: As we all know, the story of every Jewish holiday is "they tried to kill us, they failed, let's eat".
     
  20. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    :rofl: Every time I mention that I want to "celebrate" an obscure holiday or other occasion, my husband asks "will there be a menu?"
     
  21. JAF

    JAF Well-Known Member

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  22. taf2002

    taf2002 Texas slumlord

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    Re potato salad - my Canadian MIL made the best I've ever tasted. Mine is pretty good but not as good as hers. I peel the potatoes, cut into cubes & boil until tender. Drain well. Salt & pepper to taste, add chopped celery, diced hardboiled eggs, onions if desired (I can't eat raw onions), mayo or Miracle Whip (I use mayo), & spicy brown mustard for tang. I also add red pimento for color. I don't measure anything - just keep tasting...don't use too much mustard...it should still be a light color & not yellow. My MIL added minced radishes to hers...radishes upset my stomach so I don't add them anymore but it's amazing what they do for flavor.

    ETA: my food processor grates carrots & potatoes just fine. I have an old La Machine by Couisinart that my mother bought me in the late 80's. But I can't make latkes...mine fall apart.
     
  23. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure you're using enough eggs and flour?
     
  24. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

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    I was about to say, I don't think I've ever tasted a latke, not to mention made one, but my food processer is a dream at grating things...potatoes, carrots, onions. I won't eat packaged hash browns anymore because it's so easy to grate my own and they taste SO MUCH BETTER.
     
  25. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    My Kitchen Aid food processor grates potatoes, carrots, cabbage, celery root and other hard vegetables into very nice shreds, and the slicing disk does a fine job on carrots and celery. Onions do get mushy from the food processor, but for latkes I don't care about that. Big issue is getting rid of excess moisture, and so the onions leaking out a bunch just makes it easier.
     
  26. asdf334

    asdf334 Member

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  27. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    I'll have to try that.

    I make a simple tuna salad with tuna, avocado, green onion and mayo - it's delicious. I was surprised that avocado and tuna are such a good pairing. Avocado is so versatile.

    Re potato salad: I use unpeeled potatoes, eggs and green onion, and add a bit of dijon mustard to the mayo I mix in.

    Then I add grated raw garlic or roasted garlic and some very sharp crumbled cheddar cheese.

    The garlic and cheese make the potato salad 'sing' - all other potato salads I've had are very bland in comparison.

    Re potato latkes: I find they use way too much oil and make too much of a mess. I'd rather just make hash browns with thinly sliced/chopped potatoes, it is a lot easier.

    I've tried zucchini latkes as well - again, too much oil and too much mess.
     
  28. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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    Rice pudding. Everyone in my family loves rice pudding. With raisins. We would eat it warm, for dessert, and if there were leftovers we'd eat it for breakfast.
    My mom had a fabulous recipe that she got from her best friend's mom, who was Irish. My mom put her own spin on it by using arborio rice (my mom was Italian) and it was utterly perfect. Creamy, delicious, perfectly cooked, rice neither too mushy or too hard. With plumped up raisins and cinnamon on top.
    I have the recipe, but I just can't get it to turn out properly. It always ends up a mushy mess.
     
  29. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Does anyone have a recipe for good chicken soup? My inability to make chicken soup is one of many reasons why I worry about having my MOT card taken away.

    Many thanks to everyone who has shared recipes and tips. I bought potatoes today, and tomorrow, I plan to shake and roast them.
     
  30. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

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    What is a MOT card? :confused: