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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    This is from a book called Earth to Table. I've made it many, many times now, and used the crust for pies, quiches and pot pie toppings. For savoury pies, you can mix in a bit of fresh herb such as thyme or some cayenne pepper - pretty and delicious! Warning: it is VERY buttery.

    For two crusts, easily cut in half for one:

    2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I like unbleached)
    2 tsp salt (I find this way too much so only do 1 tsp)
    1/4 tsp granulated sugar (I use raw sugar, no problem)
    1 cup cold unsalted butter
    1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water (this will vary)

    Now here's the trick - as already mentioned, everything must be as cold as possible. This is to maintain the texture of the fat, which results in a flaky crust. When I'm about to make this, I put the butter in the freezer while I do everything else, and all the utensils in the fridge, then I wash my hands in as cold water as possible. LOVE the idea posted above of putting a few ice cubes in the water!

    Then, instead of going through the trouble of cutting up the butter with two knives or using a pastry blender - both of which can be time consuming, resulting in the butter starting to melt - you use a box grater and grate the butter through the larger holes. Then, you toss it by hand with the dry ingredients like a salad, so each shred of butter is now coated. Then gradually add the water and knead until it all comes together. Shape into two fat disks, wrap in plastic (I just put them in ziplocks and squeeze out the air) and chill for 30 mins, or even a day or two (very handy when entertaining to get this done in advance!). Then roll out (having it disk shape helps this) and away you go.

    Just don't ask me how to shape the crust, because as I said I'm a disaster at that.

    And for those who like to do pies sweet and savoury, this is a lovely, fun and very good book on the subject - The Book of Old Tarts.
    Thank you for the recipe. I will definately try it!
    Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...

  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Taste? Texture? Doneness?

    I have to say buying a meat thermometer saved my marriage. Seriously - the first time we tried to roast a chicken many years ago we carefully calculated the time and followed all the hints about poking it, colour of juices, whether the thigh is loose etc, and it was just awful. Didn't make another one for years. Ditto roast beef - all that calculating, and it never turned out right. With a meat thermometer, it's perfect every time.

    Also, try to buy really good beef that has fat in it, because it will be more juicy. Roast it low and slow - about 325 degrees. We put it on a rack, and add a little water (and re-add) to the pan for extra moisture. For seasoning, we do just a dusting of English Prime Rib Rub to enhance the flavour, and it turns out beautifully every time with a nice tasty crust and perfect doneness inside.
    I've used a meat thermometer for years...it doesn't help.


    Quote Originally Posted by Habs View Post
    I don't eat roast beef, but I've been told the ones I make are fabulous.

    The trick I learned from MamaHabs is to melt some butter in the roasting pan, liberally sprinkle the raw roast with seasoned salt and pepper, and then brown all sides of the roast in the melted butter on top of the stove. When the outside is brown (takes just a few minutes), cover the roaster and pop it into the oven to slow roast in low heat - 300-325 seems to work well.
    I do this too. BTW, the meat always tastes fine. It's just that the meat is tough or else, the last time I made a roast in a slow oven, the meat fell into shreds & the vegetables were mush.

    BTW, I have used the same candy thermometer for at least 40 yrs & my candy always comes out. I don't know how anyone makes candy without one.

  3. #63
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    Who has a recipe for the sort of brownie that is pretty thin, crackles on top, not too sweet, right in between cake-y and fudgy - the kind you would sprinkle powered sugar on top. My friend made these when i was a kid, and I have never found the right recipe.

    When I try to adapt recipes I find, I can't get that crackly top right.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

  4. #64
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    I've found for roast beef that the quick/slow method works even for grass-fed beef that has little fat. I make a paste of herbs and garlic and coat the outside, put in the oven at 425 for 10-15 minutes, and then turn the heat down to 325.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by taf2002 View Post
    I do this too. BTW, the meat always tastes fine. It's just that the meat is tough or else, the last time I made a roast in a slow oven, the meat fell into shreds & the vegetables were mush.
    Are you talking about pot roast? For me, pot roast always, always goes in the pressure cooker, and I add the vegetables as it cooks rather than having it all cook for the same time. The only reason I have a pressure cooker is pot roast, but that's reason enough to keep it.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    Who has a recipe for the sort of brownie that is pretty thin, crackles on top, not too sweet, right in between cake-y and fudgy - the kind you would sprinkle powered sugar on top. My friend made these when i was a kid, and I have never found the right recipe.

    When I try to adapt recipes I find, I can't get that crackly top right.
    I have/had (?) a great brownie recipe. If I find it, I'll post it.

  7. #67
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    I can't make good tuna salad. I can actually make and stretch phyllo to a tissue thin consistency with no holes, but cannot make tuna salad.

  8. #68
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    Farmington cookbook has a great method of cooking roast beef medium rare from end to end.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Are you talking about pot roast? For me, pot roast always, always goes in the pressure cooker, and I add the vegetables as it cooks rather than having it all cook for the same time. The only reason I have a pressure cooker is pot roast, but that's reason enough to keep it.
    I love roast when it's so tender that it shreads...

    Ooops, wrong quote. I was responding to Taf2002's post.
    Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...

  10. #70
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    For those having problems with chocolate chip cookies, I agree shortening is the way to go as well. Also, the less time the better as they will still cook when you take them out of the oven. You also don't want to over mix your ingredients, just to the point where they are all incorporated.

    If none of the suggestions help, it may be that your oven just runs hot. Try turning down the temperature a little.
    I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by nubka View Post
    I love roast when it's so tender that it shreads...
    I just add dried Italian seasoning, some fresh rosemary, 1/2 cup of water, some veggies and jar of pepperoncinis (liquid and all) in a crock pot and it makes a great roast that falls apart.
    I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.

  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtisticFan View Post
    I can cookmost things, but I cannot scramble eggs.
    The most useful tip ever given to me on scrambling eggs is to turn the heat off under the pan about 3/4 through the scrambling process. The pan will retain enough heat to finish the cooking process and the eggs don't over cook and end up too dry or hard scrambled.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by emason View Post
    The most useful tip ever given to me on scrambling eggs is to turn the heat off under the pan about 3/4 through the scrambling process. The pan will retain enough heat to finish the cooking process and the eggs don't over cook and end up too dry or hard scrambled.
    Similarly, heat the plate. That way you can put the eggs on the plate just when they are about perfect, knowing they will finish on the plate - and they won't get cold and rubbery before you have a chance to eat them. Turn the oven to 200, when it reaches heat, turn it off and put the plates in for a few minutes.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by leesaleesa View Post
    I can't make good tuna salad. I can actually make and stretch phyllo to a tissue thin consistency with no holes, but cannot make tuna salad.
    Isn't tuna salad really just tuna and mayo and maybe some diced celery thrown in for crunchiness ?

  15. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Isn't tuna salad really just tuna and mayo and maybe some diced celery thrown in for crunchiness ?
    It think it depends on how "Mom" made it... I grew up with tuna salad that had hard boiled eggs in it, but when I moved to Minnesota, most people had never heard of putting eggs in tuna salad. Of course, I don't like tuna all that much, so anything that makes it taste less fishy is fine by me.

  16. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Isn't tuna salad really just tuna and mayo and maybe some diced celery thrown in for crunchiness ?
    Also depends on whether you really want mayo or you prefer the tang of Miracle Whip. Tuna salad is like meatloaf - 1,000 recipes and no two alike.

  17. #77

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    For chocolate chip cookies, it depends on how you like them. Search for Alton Brown's three recipes: the thin, the puffy, and the chewy (those are his names). I like the chewy, and it calls for melting the butter first (no shortening!) and changing the proportions of white vs. brown sugar, and the amount of flour.
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe.

  18. #78
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    I'm terrible at making bread. IF I can get it to rise and be kneaded/punched down/etc. I typically burn or undercook the loaf.

    However, I am awesome at soups/stews and make some great roasts.

  19. #79
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    Isn't tuna salad really just tuna and mayo and maybe some diced celery thrown in for crunchiness ?
    If you like bland food, I suppose it is. I've had spectacular tuna salad and bland. I like the spectacular, and everywhere I have had spectacular, they demure when asked for the recipe. Dunkin Donuts, of all places, used to have a tuna salad about ten years ago that was out of this world good. I was told they got it from costco, but it is not the same.

  20. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    ETA: since Simply Recipes has been mentioned - make their Nutella cookies. Again, the nuts are really kind of optional and the cookies are incredibly good.
    Can you post a link or the recipe? My DD is a Nutella FREAK! Thanks

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