Also - thank you to the poster who offered egg advice. I had the most perfect scrambled eggs this weekend!
INTERESTING. Never heard of this before, but Jamie Oliver's page also gives the same advice. I'll have to try this next time, thanks Jenny and TheGirlCanSkate!!Pascale's roasted potato magic unfolds thusly: the potatoes are parboiled for five minutes first, drained, and returned to the saucepan. At this point -- and this is the crucial step, so pay attention -- you grab the lidded pan and shake it vigorously, which not only is fun, but also serves to make the surface of the potato pieces fuzzy from rubbing their hips one against the other.
And wouldn't you know it, it is this very fuzz that fosters the formation of a splendid crust when you then bake the potatoes, while the parboiling step reduces the baking time and ensures that the flesh inside stays moist.
PS Milanessa - I tried the flour trick - didn't work for me either
And yes, I have no doubt that most Québécois would shudder at the very thought of a vegetarian tourtière. Luckily I've never had to serve it to anyone from la belle province.
When I first became a vegetarian we'd make a veggie tourtière and a carnivore one. But after trying both even the meat-eaters in the family proclaimed a preference for the vegetarian one ... so that's the only one we make now. And it makes sense, really -- unless you're using a really strongly flavoured meat like venison, which we never did, it's the spices (and, to a lesser extent the beer) that really gives it the unique tourtière taste.
Interesting! I remember being at a big holiday party and talking to the MIL of the hostess, as we sampled the mini tourtieres at the buffet. I said I was interested in a good recipe and might ask the hostess for hers; the woman immediately declared that her own recipe was far superior, and when I said "but this one is quite good, no?" she said, "but I am a LeBlanc!"
For those not versed in French Canadian history, the LeBlancs are one of the original Acadian families who settled in Nova Scotia centuries ago.
I feel like I should have advice on the rice front, being Asian and all, but I have to admit I cheated and just bought a rice cooker.
Rice cookers suck - at least the 2 I've tried.
3539 and counting.
Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.
Agreed, unless you're my dad, who always thinks he knows better than the rice cooker so he fiddles with the water level as he sees fit We had to ban him from using the rice cooker, as he was the only person in our family who somehow managed to consistently make undercooked or overcooked rice.
Sometimes an appliance is the answer - I love my egg cooker. No pot, no need to turn on the stove, no timer, no complicated instructions of when to remove from the heat, etc. Just set it and when the buzzer goes off, they're done exactly how you want them, and never a grey ring. I even fake poached eggs (which I've never been able to do) by doing a medium-soft and then carefully peeling for awesome benedict or florentine eggs. I have a cheapie one by Toastmaster that I've had for 20 years and used too many times to count.
Yes, I also suck at roasting potatos. Never, ever turn out decent. Now, rice on the other hand....I buy the Jasmine rice from Walmart and follow the directions to a T. Simmer 20 minutes, remove from heat for 10 and fluff. I swear it turns out perfect every time. If you take the lid off of the pan and mess with it (as my hubby is want to do) it ruins it. My job on stir fry night is to make the rice because it turns our perfect; but it is SO easy. I add a little olive oil to the mix and it seems to prevent it from sticking to the pan even though it is a sticky sort of rice.