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  1. #981
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    Jenny - you've mentioned this technique before and I find it quite intriguing, but which side / setting of the box grater do you use? Mine has 4 sides, each leading to different sized shreds. Most recipes usually say "pea-sized" chunks, but the lady on the NY Times just did a video on pie crust and she said "lima bean" sized chunks, so I'm curious what sized butter chunk you target.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

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    I just made a pie crust using vodka/water recipe, it's suppose to make rolling out easier and a more flaky crust.

    Dough is in the fridge resting now, so have to let you know the results later.

    Anyone make this pie crust recipe?

  3. #983
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    Does the vodka go in the crust or the chef?
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

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    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    Does the vodka go in the crust or the chef?
    In the crust and since I take medication I don't drink at all.
    Reviews say the best crust ever - we shall see.

    Here is the recipe:
    Pie Crust Vodka
    2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon table salt
    2 tablespoons sugar
    12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
    1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
    1/4 cup cold vodka
    1/4 cup cold water

    1. Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
    2. 2
    Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

  5. #985
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    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    Jenny - you've mentioned this technique before and I find it quite intriguing, but which side / setting of the box grater do you use? Mine has 4 sides, each leading to different sized shreds. Most recipes usually say "pea-sized" chunks, but the lady on the NY Times just did a video on pie crust and she said "lima bean" sized chunks, so I'm curious what sized butter chunk you target.
    I use the large holed side, so you end up with thick shreds about a half inch long. Sorta like squished out peas

    I just find it really easy to do, and you don't need to over work the dough as I always found using forks or a pastry cutter, which tended to blend the butter into the flour too much. It's the pockets of butter that make the crust flaky - and this one is super flaky.

    Love the vodka idea though, but am about shortening. Wonder if it would work with the butter version? There's always a bottle of vodka in the freezer any way so I think I might try that next.

    The other thing I've done for savoury pies is add some herb or spice like fresh thyme or cayenne pepper to it. Colourful, and tasty

  6. #986
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAF View Post
    In the crust and since I take medication I don't drink at all.
    Thanks. Please let us know how it comes out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    I use the large holed side, so you end up with thick shreds about a half inch long. Sorta like squished out peas
    Excellent. I am going to try it.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    I use the large holed side, so you end up with thick shreds about a half inch long. Sorta like squished out peas
    I tried this technique when Jenny mentioned it awhile ago, and it is brilliant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAF View Post
    I just made a pie crust using vodka/water recipe, it's suppose to make rolling out easier and a more flaky crust.

    Dough is in the fridge resting now, so have to let you know the results later.
    I made little pie crust squares topped with sugar and cinnamon to use as an example so I could report back to FSU (the sacrifices I make for FSU ).

    The pie crust is super yummy - so flaky and short. When some of the sugar caramelized on the squares you have crunchy, flaky and short all at once - what a taste, texture combination. My daughter had stopped in and I ask her to try one, she said forget the pies makes these.

    Well, I'm going to make pies, I will have to report on crust in a pie after turkey day since it's hard to explain a slice out of each pie.

    As for rolling out the dough - rolled between two sheets of wax paper - no problem. It seemed the dough wanted to stick to the wax paper but it didn't.
    Maybe the next time I will try without paper.

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    The new 1st class petty officer in the galley today made a crab and asparagus bisque that was one of the best soups I've tasted there. Really amazing. He has been thinking outside the box and has brought some really fine recipes to the command.

  10. #990
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAF View Post
    I made little pie crust squares topped with sugar and cinnamon to use as an example so I could report back to FSU (the sacrifices I make for FSU )........My daughter had stopped in and I ask her to try one, she said forget the pies makes these.
    Would you mind making them for us, too, please? Sounds divine.

    I just lifted Jenny's box grater butter method for a crumb topping I'm making. Obviously that's not supposed to be flaky, but I thought it might make it easier to cut in the butter, and indeed it did.

    FSU rocks!
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

  11. #991

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    So I tried a totally new recipe for my turkey this year and now I'm having second thoughts about it.

    Usually, I make a mix of fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, marjoram and sage), garlic, olive oil, and some bread crumbs to bind it and stuff the mix under the turkey skin. The remainder coats the cavity and skin which gets extra olive oil and salt and pepper. It comes out great, because the herbs keep the moisture inside and give the meat great flavor. The downside is that the skin is so heavily flavored, some people find it unpleasant. Also, from a cooking perspective, I find it a chore to strip down all the herbs to make the mixture, and my hands are always itchy after handling the herbs for so long.

    This year, my stepmom (who taught me the prior recipe) mentioned that she was putting truffle butter under the skin of her turkey and just putting the herbs in the cavity. I had some truffle butter so I figured I would do the same. I did that, and it seemed like I used a lot of butter, but I'm not sure I spread it around enough and as deeply so that it will reach all the meat. I also put a lot of herbs (the same ones I used in the past) in the cavity with garlic and slices of orange and lemon. That was much easier, because I could just put in the full stalks of the herbs and just break them up a little. And on the skin, I used olive oil, truffle salt, and black pepper.

    But now I'm worried. I'm afraid that it's going to not be as moist as the past turkeys and the meat won't have as much flavor because the herbs are not right next to the meat. And I worry alternatively that there is either too much butter, which might make the meat greasy or there is not enough butter in some spots. So does anyone do something similar and get a good result? It would help me sleep tonight.

    At least I know the chocolate-caramel fudge I made is really good. So if the turkey sucks, we can just skip to dessert.

  12. #992
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    Quote Originally Posted by reckless View Post
    I'm afraid that it's going to not be as moist as the past turkeys and the meat won't have as much flavor because the herbs are not right next to the meat. And I worry alternatively that there is either too much butter, which might make the meat greasy or there is not enough butter in some spots. So does anyone do something similar and get a good result? It would help me sleep tonight.
    Stuffing tends to dry out the bird, especially the white meat, so you can rest easy on that account.

    I usually do the following (which is similar to what your stepmother suggested): put slivers of garlic under the skin, roll the bird in seasoned salt, coat the skin with olive oil and paprika, put some celery and fresh herbs in the cavity, and a cup of white wine and a quartered onion in the pan. It comes out just fine.

    Sleep well, and post the chocolate-caramel fudge recipe when you have time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    Does the vodka go in the crust or the chef?
    The vodka goes into the chef (that is, if you're watching Semi-Ho-made).

    I'm about to start my baking this morning: Famous chocolate chip cookies and a pumpkin/chocolate chip bundt cake, which turns out heavenly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    I just lifted Jenny's box grater butter method for a crumb topping I'm making. Obviously that's not supposed to be flaky, but I thought it might make it easier to cut in the butter, and indeed it did.
    Great idea! I must give credit where it's due though - this is the book I got it from - lovely farm-to-table book with lots of good recipes and essays about breadmaking and such:

    Earth to Table by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann

    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Stuffing tends to dry out the bird, especially the white meat, so you can rest easy on that account.
    I see you have dined at my inlaws

    Good point though, and I never thought of that before. My family makes the stuffing separate in a casserole doused with chicken or other broth, while the turkey is roasted with a few large pieces of root vegetables in it (which we also serve). It's roasted low and slow, then wrapped in a bunch of blankets to make an hour trip, arrives hot and totally moist. Hubby does chicken with fresh herbs and wedges of lemon inside, bit of olive oil on the skin, basting and rotating the chicken during roasting, and it's to-die-for tender every time. We never do anything under the skin for either bird.

    re the vodka (can't stop thinking about that one ), I'm wondering what the science is there? Makes me wonder about gin - I'm imagining a leek pie for example, with a bit of gin in the crust and a crushed juniper berry in the filling ... I'm going to dig out this wonderful book for some inspiration for the holiday season:

    The Book of Old Tarts by Elizabeth Hodder

  15. #995
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    I see you have dined at my inlaws

  16. #996

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Stuffing tends to dry out the bird, especially the white meat, so you can rest easy on that account.

    I usually do the following (which is similar to what your stepmother suggested): put slivers of garlic under the skin, roll the bird in seasoned salt, coat the skin with olive oil and paprika, put some celery and fresh herbs in the cavity, and a cup of white wine and a quartered onion in the pan. It comes out just fine.
    I should have explained that what I usually do is not really stuffing. There are some minimal breadcrumbs to bind the herbs together, but it really is just more of an herb paste that goes between the skin and the meat. But this year's turkey looks good. We haven't tasted it yet.

    [/quote[Sleep well, and post the chocolate-caramel fudge recipe when you have time. [/quote]
    This is pretty much foolproof fudge and, despite being something that sounds like it comes from Sandra Lee, is very good.

    18 oz. chocolate chips
    1 can sweetened, condensed milk
    11/2 tsp. vanilla
    dash of salt
    8 ounces of melted caramel. (I cheat and get Werther's soft caramels, which I melt with a little bit of milk or cream. Don't use the cheap caramels that have no milk or butter in them.)

    In on saucepan, melt the caramel. In another, melt all the other ingredients. You don't need a double-boiler for the chocolate. Just make sure you stir constantly. As soon as everything is melted, pour the chocolate mixture into a 9x9 pan. Then swirl in the melted caramel.

    That entire process takes about 10 minutes. Then let it cool and cut. (Don't refrigerate.)

  17. #997
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Flaky Pie Dough
    I just tried Jenny's recipe. It was very easy to work, and following JAF's example, I trimmed some extra dough off when I was assembling the pie and just baked it separately to sample. It is astounding - crispy, flaky, buttery, perfect. So thank you, Jenny!

    JAF - I know you liked the samples of your vodka crust. How was it in the pie?
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

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    So glad it worked BittyBug!

    We had the yummiest dinner last night. It's been cold and wet and miserable here, so with visions of the South of France in springtime, we made risotto with asparagus, leeks and peas, plus tomatoes baked in olive oil, herbs and parmesan, and cucumber salad with mint and spring onions. I confess the asparagus was from Mexico, but other than that it was all fresh/frozen or local hothouse grown. I don't eat a lot of meat, so hubby went out in the rain and barbecued himself a small rack of lamb to go with.

    Leftover risotto for lunch today

  19. #999
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Several people in another thread asked for this recipe to be posted here - an easy, delicious pie crust:

    There’s a ton of butter in this – but it’s the holidays, no? But almost zero sugar, and if you let your fruit’s own natural sweetness shine through, you need no more than a teaspoon in the filling.

    Flaky Pie Dough – makes enough for two open pies, or one double crust

    2 ½ cups flour
    2 tsp salt (seems like a lot to me, so I use half this amount)
    ½ tsp sugar
    1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, chilled in the freezer for a few minutes before using
    ¼ - ¾ cup ice water
    1. Before beginning, place a mixing bowl, plate and box grater in the fridge until they are nice and cold, along with the water.
    2. Add dry ingredients to the cold mixing bowl, and then wash your hands in cold water and bring out the cold ingredients and utensils.
    3. Using the box grater on the cold plate, grate the cold butter and then add to flour mixture. Toss with hands lightly to coat all the pieces of butter, like it’s a salad.
    4. Gradually add ice water and knead the dough until it comes together. You may not need all the ice water.
    5. Divide the dough in two, and form them into flat discs (easier to roll later). Wrap in plastic or pop into a ziploc, squeezing out the air before sealing, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and as long as a day or two before using.
    6. Then proceed as per recipe.


    F
    Do you knead the dough with your hands, doesn't it melt the butter, or do you mix with a chilled fork or spoon? This sounds really good and I want to try it!

  20. #1000
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupid View Post
    Do you knead the dough with your hands, doesn't it melt the butter, or do you mix with a chilled fork or spoon? This sounds really good and I want to try it!
    Quickly, with my hands. Trick is to have everything cold - I put all the utensils in the fridge before using, and the butter in the freezer. Right before I'm going to start, I wash my hands in very cold water. The beauty of this method is that you can just toss the butter salad-style in a matter of seconds rather than melting it as you cut it with knives or a pastry blender, which takes longer and blends more of the butter with the flour rather than leaving it separate to make delicious little flaky pockets. Once it's tossed, I work the dough with my hands, dribbling in the icy cold water, and it really only takes a few moments to do it.

    Good luck, and do share your results!

    I must caution that this dough is very rich due to all the butter. Some family members have objected, but since it's usually a special occasion when I serve it, they succumb and after a few bites all such nonsense is forgotten.

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