The Eat Food NOT Money Cookbook

Just a tip

When a recipe calls for buttered crumbs don’t panic! 🙂 Just mix together equal amounts of butter and crumbs.

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January 10, 2010 Posted by | -how to..., -sauces/toppings/marinades/dressings, TIPS | , | 2 Comments

Preparation of fresh green chili peppers

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If you’re a gardener, you probably have some peppers ready to pick right about now. Green chili peppers can be used to make sauces and in recipes to add spice. It’s really simple to get them ready to be used…

Rinse and drain the chilies. Using a fork or a toothpick, perforate the outer skin to allow steam to escape. Place on hot grill or under the broiler until they are uniformly blistered, turning them often to prevent burning. Place in a bowl and cover with a cold, damp dish towel for 5 minutes. Starting at the stem end, peel the outer skin downward. Remove the stem and seeds. Use in any recipe calling for green chilies (I’ll give you a good one tomorrow). To control the “heat”, remove the seeds and veins for mild, leave some behind for hot. All the heat is in the veins and seeds.

September 16, 2009 Posted by | -how to..., TIPS | | 2 Comments

Just a tip

When writing a recipe for shellfish, I often say that you can serve it with clarified butter. Having grown up all over the Gulf coast, that’s a normal sounding thing to me but after talking to my friend yesterday I realized many people have no idea what that is and decided today I would tell you…

How to clarify butter…

Place butter in top of a double boiler over hot water. Let stand just until the butter melts. When the whey (the milky sediment) separates, pour off the clear fat, slowly, into a serving bowl. That’s your clarified butter. Discard the whey. It’s excellent with boiled shrimp and lobster.

September 8, 2009 Posted by | -how to..., TIPS | | 4 Comments

Tips for successful cheesecakes

Life is too short to not eat cheesecake. Here’s how to produce perfect results every time.

Preparation

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. This makes them mix easier and the finished cake has a smoother texture.

Combine cream cheese or ricotta cheese with the eggs thoroughly BEFORE adding any liquid extracts, heavy cream or sour cream. You cannot remove lumps after the liquids have thinned the batter.

A paddle attachment on a stand mixer is ideal. Regular beaters add too much air and that can lead to cracks in the finished cheesecake. It also makes your cheesecake less creamy. If you have to use beaters, mix on low speed so a minimum amount of air is added.

Fold in whipped cream or beaten egg whites with a whisk or rubber spatula gently and slowly to not deflate whipped ingredients.

Always use regular cream cheese for cheesecakes unless the recipe specifically calls for a different variety.

Almost any cookie (including cream filled sandwich cookies) make a good base. To crush, grind them in a food processor with a metal blade or place them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

Always have cracks in your cheesecake?

Steam and extreme temperatures cause cracks in cheesecakes. To minimize them bake at low temperatures and don’t open the oven while baking. Cool them away from cold or drafty places. If possible, cool in a turned off oven using a wooden spoon to keep the door slightly ajar.

Deep cracks mean that the egg white structure collapsed and your cheesecake will be more like pudding. This can be avoided by mixing your ingredients slowly and gently.

Shallow cracks occur often and should be accepted. You can frost the top of your cheesecake or cover it with fruit if the appearance bothers you.

Step by step guide for making perfect cheesecake

1. Grease the bottom and sides of a 10″ springform pan. Press the crust evenly into the bottom and up the sides. In warm weather, refrigerate the prepared pan until you’re ready to use it.

2. Using a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth before adding any other ingredients.

3. From beginning to end, stop the mixer several times and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle to ensure there are no lumps.

4. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and set it on a baking sheet. Bake as directed in the recipe you are following. You can cover it loosely with foil partway through if the top is browning too quickly.

5. Your finished cheesecake should have a dull, not shiny, finish. The center should be soft but not wobble when you shake it.

6. When the cheesecake is COMPLETELY cooled, run a knife around the sides to loosen it.

7. Release the spring and remove the sides of the pan. Leave the cheesecake on the pan bottom to serve.

8. Top with fresh fruit, sour cream, chocolate or leave it plain.

A serving of creamy cheesecake is one of life’s little pleasures ♥

August 26, 2009 Posted by | -cheesecake, -how to..., DELICIOUS DESSERTS, TIPS | | 1 Comment

A loss & a tip

Hey guys! I hope everyone is doing well. While I’ve been away I had a small disaster…my hard drive crashed on my computer which means my price list as well as tons of recipes were lost. Fortunately I have the recipes handwritten and will still be able to share them with you…after I rebuild my price list. Ugh. Sorry about that. So for the next few days I’m going to share some tips with you. Remember my motto in the meantime: have fun in the kitchen! In other words….Happy Cooking!

Just a tip

Some recipes call for a can of such and such while others call for a half a cup of such and such so to help you out here are the approximate can sizes:

6 ounce can = 3/4 cup
8 ounce can = 1 cup
12 ounce can = 1 1/2 cups

August 25, 2009 Posted by | -how to..., TIPS | Leave a comment