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And it Was Absolutely Delicious.

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escondido123 Aug 14, 2011 09:57 PM

I love coming here for the positive postings. I made a nectarine right side up cake, that turned out great, even though I screwed up the recipe. So, what have you made lately that came out absoutely perfect, whether you followed a recipe or not? Or maybe some mew combination that tickled your fancy. Only good news please.

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  1. Duppie RE: escondido123 Aug 14, 2011 10:04 PM

    Baked red snapper on a bed of Spanish onions and tomatoes with a mayo shell over Jasmin rice, shouldn't work but was so good.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Duppie
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      escondido123 RE: Duppie Aug 14, 2011 10:07 PM

      Mayo shell? I love mayo but have no idea what that is. Do tell.

      1. re: escondido123
        Duppie RE: escondido123 Aug 14, 2011 10:31 PM

        30 minutes into baking at 350f,cover fish with a 1/4 inch coating of mayo and bake for another 30 minutes which creates a mayo shell.

        1. re: Duppie
          sunshine842 RE: Duppie Aug 15, 2011 12:52 AM

          salmon is good that way, too, particularly if you sprinkle a little dill on the mayo.

          1. re: Duppie
            Terrie H. RE: Duppie Aug 15, 2011 06:04 AM

            I have seen methods for a mayo coating for both chicken and fish, saying it keeps the meat very moist, but have never tried it. I'm not a big mayo fan but I might just give it a go now.

            1. re: Terrie H.
              sunshine842 RE: Terrie H. Aug 15, 2011 08:18 AM

              there's no mayonnaise taste at all to me -- just a creamy coating on the top.

              1. re: sunshine842
                alliegator RE: sunshine842 Aug 15, 2011 12:19 PM

                It is absolutely delicious! I'm not a mayo fan, but I've been making fish this way forever. One of may favorites is just a nice filet of any white fish, the mayo smear, Old Bay, and a few squeezes of lemon when it's done.
                Almost too easy to taste as good as it does.

              2. re: Terrie H.
                Duppie RE: Terrie H. Aug 15, 2011 12:20 PM

                There is no real mayo taste after baking but a creamy and savory sauce that was surprisingly good,the recipe calls for 6 cups of onions and at first I thought it excessive but the final product is well worth it.

                1. re: Duppie
                  alliegator RE: Duppie Aug 15, 2011 12:29 PM

                  I'm going to have to give that a try! I love onions and have a giant sack of jasmine rice I need to work away at. Thanks for sharing.

                  1. re: alliegator
                    Duppie RE: alliegator Aug 15, 2011 12:43 PM

                    You're quite welcome.One more hint, in the baking dish pour in 1 16oz can of seasoned chopped tomatoes.The sauce is everything,I next want to try it with jumbo shrimp or riff on the classic Cantonese Lobster with mayo. let us know how it turns out.

              3. re: Duppie
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                escondido123 RE: Duppie Aug 15, 2011 12:46 PM

                An hour sounds like a long time, but if you say it works I'll go for it.

                1. re: escondido123
                  Duppie RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 12:52 PM

                  I use a 1 3/4 to 2 lb snapper and found that because of all the onions,tomatoes and mayo an hour at 350F will give you a moist fish that's completely cooked through but not overdone. please check at the thickest part to confirm,some fish are thicker than others. I bought a boat and divegear shooting and selling snappers and hate to waste a good fish by over cooking it.

                2. re: Duppie
                  gmm RE: Duppie Aug 15, 2011 06:24 PM

                  Also love that. I usually use halibut, liberally coated with lemon juice, broiled until almost completely done, then sprinkled with dill and a thick layer of mayo. Yum.

                  1. re: Duppie
                    JenJeninCT RE: Duppie Aug 17, 2011 05:42 AM

                    I make mine with a mixture of mayo, dijon mustard, lemon juice and dill- coat the salmon in it, put panko and a bit of butter on top- YUM.

                    I put the coating on at the beginning and for 1 pound salmon fillet, I cook it 15-20 min, depending on thickness, at 425

                    1. re: JenJeninCT
                      Duppie RE: JenJeninCT Aug 17, 2011 06:05 AM

                      That sounds great....I spent a year in Scandinavia quite recently and now burnt on salmon and dill but I love the panko crust idea and just might steal it. thanks.

                3. re: Duppie
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                  alysonlaurel RE: Duppie Aug 30, 2011 05:16 PM

                  I do a similar thing with creme fraiche, which is delicious, but mayo is so much cheaper! Thanks for the tip.

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                  jlhinwa RE: escondido123 Aug 14, 2011 10:24 PM

                  I had a happy surprise tonight with green beans. I made them with a panko and parmesan-- they were tender and tasty underneath a nd had a really nice crunchy crust. Simple, fast, and most importantly, the family loved them and finished them all.

                  I was tired and didn't feel like spending time on the side dish, but I always insist on having a veggie of some type if for no other reason than to torture my 47-year-old vegetable-phobic brother. Even he liked this dish so I guess it is a "do-over."

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                    Chipp RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 06:00 AM

                    I baked a rye loaf that was supposed to have 15% bread flour and 1 T onion powder, but I accidentally baked it with 1.5 cups (15%) onion powder and 1 T bread flour!

                    The loaf took longer to proof, but still baked out and tasted quite onion-y, but with a fried egg on top it was great!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Chipp
                      ChristinaMason RE: Chipp Aug 15, 2011 06:37 AM

                      Is this for real? Whoa!

                      1. re: ChristinaMason
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                        Chipp RE: ChristinaMason Aug 17, 2011 05:27 AM

                        The dough itself tasted extremely pungent, but after baking the loaf for 4 hours at a low temperature (in a Pullman pan), the sharpness of all that onion powder went away, and left a strong onion taste that was mellowed out. I'd never do it again, but not one of the 50 slices of that bread went to waste!

                        1. re: Chipp
                          FoodFuser RE: Chipp Aug 30, 2011 03:02 PM

                          Chipp, I'm glad that for review you distributed it,
                          but that recipe has all the credence of Cow Chips.

                          1. re: FoodFuser
                            mamachef RE: FoodFuser Aug 30, 2011 03:09 PM

                            I'm having trouble understanding how this worked....not doubting that it did, 'cause Chipp says so, but HOW? Ratios! Agh! Then again, I'm terrified of bread baking, so maybe I'm just oversensitive here.....but?????

                            1. re: FoodFuser
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                              jvanderh RE: FoodFuser Aug 31, 2011 06:33 AM

                              It sounds like it was a huge loaf. It would be roughly like adding half a cup to a 4-cup of flour loaf, or something along those lines. Very oniony, but probably still structurally fine.

                      2. Terrie H. RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 06:10 AM

                        I have been giving over-the-phone advice for cooking ideas to an old friend. He doesn't know how to cook and grills most of his meals and I am enjoying giving him a few new ingredients and ideas. It's not easy to teach when you aren't in the same room, but it means a lot when he says "they all loved it!"

                        1. tcamp RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 06:34 AM

                          On Saturday I made a beef noodle soup dish from Nina Simonds Asian Noodles. My son had picked the recipe, we bought ingredients when doing the weekly shop, then he vanished over to a friend's house. I was somewhat grumpy about making the dish by myself but, boy, it was delicious. Even better the next day when I took it to work for lunch as the meat had further tenderized in the broth.

                          1. ChristinaMason RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 06:40 AM

                            I made Fuschia Dunlop's red-cooked beef, which is cubed chuck braised with szechuan peppercorns, beef broth, spicy bean paste, and other good things. I wasn't able to get exactly the right bean paste, and I had to use a mixture of mirin and sherry in place of the shaoxing (i.e. Chinese) rice wine, but it turned out very well. We enjoyed it over rice. Here's the recipe I followed, which buttertart wrote up:

                            This is the easiest Chinese dish I know.

                            3 lb chuck with most of the fat cut off, in 2" cubes
                            6 tb Sichuan hot bean sauce ("la dou ban jiang", I like Kimlan brand but any one will do) [I used spicy broad bean paste: http://ufunionfood.com/en/ArticleShow...
                            ]2 (or more) scallions, trimmed, whole
                            1 2" piece of ginger, smashed with a cleaver or just sliced in 2 longitudinally
                            1 tsp whole Sichuan peppercorns
                            1 star anise
                            2 tsp dark soy
                            1/4 c rice wine, dry Sherry, or Scotch [I used 1/8 c. each mirin and dry sherry]
                            1 qt beef stock (I used water + 2 Knorr beef cubes)

                            She has you blanch the beef in boiling water, I don't bother.
                            Heat the bean paste until sizzling (she says to add additional oil, no need).
                            Add all the other stuff, stir up, bring to a simmer.
                            Bang it in the oven at around 325-350 deg F.
                            Let cook for about 3 hours (longer doesn't hurt, but reduce temp at the 3 hour point, to 300 or less).

                            The meat should be as soft as marrow when done.
                            Delicious as is, also delicious heated up and on noodles.
                            Can add chestnuts, daikon radish, that sort of thing at the midway point.

                            1. schoenfelderp RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 06:49 AM

                              I made the gingerbread cake from Gramercy Tavern, and when I was making the Guinness/molasses mixture I accidentally dumped about 1/3 of it. I said screw it, dumped what I thought to be the equivalent of the other ingredients, and guess what? It came out really really good. Weird huh?

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                                escondido123 RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 08:55 AM

                                I've been making a lot of falafel lately and have always fried it. Last night decided to try baking it--even though I had my doubts. Well I brushed each one with lightly with olive oil, maybe 2 tbs for the whole group, and baked them for about half an hour on high heat. Crispy, crunchy--and better texture than the fried. And because I included shredded zucchini (another new idea) they were very moist.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: escondido123
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                                  jlhinwa RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 08:59 AM

                                  Nice! I am trying to cook healthier for my family without sacrificing taste and enjoyment. It is so great to hear about these kinds of successes!

                                  1. re: escondido123
                                    ChristinaMason RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 09:13 AM

                                    What recipe do you use for the felafel?

                                    1. re: ChristinaMason
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                                      escondido123 RE: ChristinaMason Aug 15, 2011 10:33 AM

                                      I played around with a couple. Basically one can of chickpeas (drained), half an onion, 3 cloves garlic, lots of fresh parsley and mint, 2 small zucchini grated and dried, 1 heaping tsp. ground cumin and ground coriander seeds, salt. I processed everything except the chickpeas and added them last and pulsed for some chunkiness. Put into bowl, stirred in 3-4 T flour and 1 tsp baking soda. Put in frig for 2 hrs. minimum. Make into walnut size balls, flatten and brush both sides with olive oil. Bake until brown and crunchy. Serve in pita or flour tortillas with tomato, onions, arugula, lemon, tahini sauce. My mouth is watering!

                                      1. re: escondido123
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                                        jeanmarieok RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 02:03 PM

                                        I am so going to make this tomorrow! Thanks!

                                        1. re: escondido123
                                          ChristinaMason RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 06:42 PM

                                          Yum! Thanks!

                                    2. smithareeny RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 12:43 PM

                                      I made a hot german potato salad night that was very good. I was amazed at how easy it was. It was an Anne Burrell recipe.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: smithareeny
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                                        Floridagirl RE: smithareeny Aug 15, 2011 08:44 PM

                                        I saw that show. Love German potato salad. I want to make it too.

                                      2. BobB RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 01:03 PM

                                        Made a tuna and bean salad last night that called for fresh grilled tuna. No tuna at the market so I substituted good Italian canned tuna in olive oil, and it was amazing! Tuna, white beans, and green beans, in a lemon vinaigrette with chopped anchovies, fresh thyme, parsley, garlic and red onion. Perfect summer dinner.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: BobB
                                          ChristinaMason RE: BobB Aug 15, 2011 06:43 PM

                                          That sounds delicious!

                                          1. re: ChristinaMason
                                            BobB RE: ChristinaMason Aug 16, 2011 06:42 AM

                                            It was - and the leftovers were even better the next day, as the flavors had more time to blend and permeate the beans. It's now in my permanent repertoire. And so simple to make:

                                            Cut 1/2 lb of green beans into 1 inch pieces. Boil them for 3 minutes and shock them in ice water immediately to keep them crisp, then drain.

                                            Make a vinaigrette of 1/3 cup good olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, 1 large clove minced garlic, 1-1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, 2 minced anchovy fillets, S&P to taste.

                                            Add the green beans, two cans drained and rinsed white beans, two cans drained and flaked Italian oil-packed tuna, 1/2 chopped red onion, and 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley. Mix and serve with more chopped parsley sprinkled on top and lemon wedges on the side.

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                                          Dcfoodblog RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 01:49 PM

                                          Thanks for suggesting this thread! How fun. Two things - Mexican grilled chicken: Chicken breasts marinated for two in cumin, chili powder, lime juice, soy sauce and a touch of honey; Roasted tomatoes - made a bed of sauteed onions in a cast iron pan, put halved medium sized tomatoes cut side up in the pan, sprinkled with salt and pepper and drizzled with EVOO and roasted at 425 for half an hour. It was like CANDY.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Dcfoodblog
                                            onceadaylily RE: Dcfoodblog Aug 16, 2011 05:18 PM

                                            I can't get enough of roasted tomatoes lately. I've been putting them in soup, pasta, pasta salads, a frittata, and as a side with other vegetables (the green bean, tomato, onion, garlic, and parmesan was especially nice). I even mushed up a small batch for grilled cheese sandwiches (with swiss, on rye).

                                          2. mamachef RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 06:50 PM

                                            I sauteed a panful of chanterelles and some greens with garlic, butter, kosher salt and pepper, and topped it off with two perfect poached eggs.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: mamachef
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                                              escondido123 RE: mamachef Aug 15, 2011 07:17 PM

                                              Where do the chanterelles come from? Hope there was some wonderful toast on the side.

                                              1. re: escondido123
                                                mamachef RE: escondido123 Aug 16, 2011 04:58 AM

                                                A neighbor came by with just over a pound. She said she found 'em in Chinatown (Oakland) and I'll take her at her word. I've found stranger things at weirder times of year than that, so.....
                                                I toasted up a slab of pain de mie and spread it with sweet butter and sprinkled it with salt, and used it to mop up the glorious richness of the glossy, nutty delicious egg yolks. Mmmm.

                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                  FoodFuser RE: mamachef Aug 30, 2011 03:35 PM

                                                  Chanterelles, to 'shroom aficionados
                                                  await to be cooked and to becalm the soul.

                                            2. westernmeadowlark RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 07:36 PM

                                              My husband made roast asparagus with fried capers for dinner tonight. Love both ingredients but had never thought to combine them before - absolutely amazingly delicious :) credit: got the idea from http://www.rozannegold.com/recipeinde...

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                                                Floridagirl RE: escondido123 Aug 15, 2011 08:42 PM

                                                I made a lemon blueberry bundt cake and nobody ate it so it was going stale. My friend came into some fresh blueberries and made a great pie. Nobody ate the pie. So, I took the blueberries out of the pie and made blueberry ice cream served over toasted cake. It was great. Got eaten anyway. But, I have too much ice cream.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Floridagirl
                                                  sunshine842 RE: Floridagirl Aug 16, 2011 01:40 AM

                                                  what does "too much ice cream" even mean? :D

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                                                  escondido123 RE: escondido123 Aug 16, 2011 08:17 AM

                                                  Found some tiny heirloom tomatoes at Trader Joes, sauteed them with lots of herbs, garlic and olive oil--served over spaghetti with parmigiano. I think we'll have again tonight, it was that good.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: escondido123
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                                                    sophia519 RE: escondido123 Aug 16, 2011 09:36 AM

                                                    1. Right now, the tomatoes are fabulous, so I made a simple pico de gallo and my partner and I gobbled it up in record time. I discovered that I really liked the taste of salsa without garlic (I had usually added it in the past).

                                                    2. I already posted this on another board, but a delicious pasta salad from 101 cookbooks site:

                                                    http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

                                                    3. Finally, authentic Sheboygan bratwurst:
                                                    Cut up an onion into thin slices and place in a pot
                                                    Add 3-4 cans or bottles of beer (any kind
                                                    )Add uncooked bratwurst (6-12)
                                                    Boil for 30 min. on medium heat
                                                    Finish off on the grill, about 5 min. per side, just to brown them
                                                    You can't really mess this recipe up. It is always sooo good. For me, the best brats are topped with dusseldorf mustard, pickles, and raw onion!

                                                    1. re: sophia519
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                                                      escondido123 RE: sophia519 Aug 16, 2011 04:55 PM

                                                      I've also discovered that tomatoes with olive oil and salt but WITHOUT pepper (even though I love pepper) have a much different flavor, one I like better. The pepper only goes on once they're cooked.

                                                      1. re: escondido123
                                                        rabaja RE: escondido123 Aug 16, 2011 10:03 PM

                                                        My sister just clued me into to this little nuance. She only uses black pepper after the food comes off the heat now. I thought it was part of her having mommy-brain initially, but there IS something to it.

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                                                    escondido123 RE: escondido123 Aug 27, 2011 06:13 PM

                                                    Figs are in season and I had a yen for a pork chop. Browned them up, then braised for 45 minutes in white wine and rosemary. Added quartered figs and cooked for another half hour, allowing the liquid to reduce. Sweet, tender and delicious.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: escondido123
                                                      shanagain RE: escondido123 Aug 29, 2011 12:13 PM

                                                      Try it with a bit of chipotle powder (or a smidgeon of canned) and red wine and sub out the rosemary for thyme sometime - divine.

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                                                      jessinEC RE: escondido123 Aug 27, 2011 07:11 PM

                                                      Straw potato cake (like a big latke) with Greek yogurt and homemade applesauce. The applesauce was gorgeous -- Gravenstein's from a friend's tree plus two pearl apples from the SF Ferry Plaza farmer's market. I had never had them before -- they are truly pearly pink on the outside and red-pink on the inside.

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: jessinEC
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                                                        escondido123 RE: jessinEC Aug 27, 2011 08:24 PM

                                                        How do you make your applesauce?

                                                        1. re: escondido123
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                                                          jessinEC RE: escondido123 Aug 28, 2011 05:25 PM

                                                          Step one is to have your spouse/significant other/friend peel and chop 6-8 apples and put them in a big pot. (I usually like this kind of work, but these apples were wormy and it was a gross surprise each time he cut one open.) Then, I add some water -- maybe 1/2". I use my Le Creuset for this. Once it's simmering, I turn the heat down and I watch it carefully. May need to add more water depending on juiciness. When it's almost done (meaning all the apple lumps mush really easily), I add a pinch of salt and any/all of the following -- lemon peel, cinnamon stick (I find it gets bitter if they are in for more than 10-15 minutes) or powdered cinnamon. This time, I added 2 T of sugar -- the pearl apples were beautiful but VERY sour -- almost tannic. The sugar helped. My son insists on smooth applesauce, so I put it in the cuisinart. If I'm making it for myself, I'd just mash it with my Foley fork. I don't own a food mill -- my dad does and he keeps the skins on during the cooking so the applesauce turns a pretty pink, then food mils out the skin. That's why I was excited to find the pearl apples -- gorgeous color inside.

                                                          1. re: jessinEC
                                                            buttertart RE: jessinEC Aug 30, 2011 12:04 PM

                                                            I love that color too and don't have a food mill - I put the apple peels on top of the cut-up apples and lift them off with a slotted spoon once the apples are done - you get the same effect.

                                                            1. re: buttertart
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                                                              jessinEC RE: buttertart Aug 30, 2011 09:56 PM

                                                              What a great idea, thanks! I was wondering, though, what pink applesauce would do if added to baked goods. Sometimes I sub out some of the oil of a recipe (for, say, banana bread) with applesauce. Would the pink look pretty when baked or turn some sort of sickly color???

                                                              1. re: jessinEC
                                                                buttertart RE: jessinEC Aug 31, 2011 07:08 AM

                                                                I don't think it would be noticeable, banana bread bakes up pretty dark anyway (at least mine does).

                                                            2. re: jessinEC
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                                                              dianne0712 RE: jessinEC Mar 28, 2012 06:56 AM

                                                              I make pink applesauce too the way my mom did; cook with peels and use a potato ricer.

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                                                          HillJ RE: escondido123 Aug 28, 2011 03:26 PM

                                                          A friend dropped by with 2 of the 20 loaves of homemade zucchini bread that she had made two days ago and didn't have a clue what to do with them before they were past the "fresh" point...

                                                          So we sliced each loaf and spread softened goat cheese and homemade fig jam between two slices, put some butter in a griddle pan and toasted each sandwich until golden brown.

                                                          They were so good!

                                                          9 Replies
                                                          1. re: HillJ
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                                                            escondido123 RE: HillJ Aug 28, 2011 04:38 PM

                                                            Did you make the fig jam? If so, do you have a recipe you would be willing to share--and I'm hoping it's one I can freeze because I don't can. Thanks.

                                                            1. re: escondido123
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                                                              HillJ RE: escondido123 Aug 28, 2011 05:43 PM

                                                              escon, yes and this is going to sound silly but my fig jam recipe is dead simple, truly.

                                                              24 fresh figs, washed, sliced and placed in a medium pot

                                                              1/2 cup raw sugar

                                                              the juice from one lemon

                                                              the zest from that lemon

                                                              1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional-I like it)

                                                              Heat low and slow over the stove until the figs break down and the sugar dissolves completely. Get out your standard blender/processor (on pulse) or Vitamix and mix until the figs are the texture you prefer (chucky to puree). Jar and store in the frig. That's it! A batch keeps for 2.5-3weeks but around here it's gone in a few days.

                                                              eta: on occasion I'll rest a whole vanilla bean in the jar once the jam is prepared just to infuse some vanilla into the jam but I wouldn't add it to the pot because it would take over the figs natural perfume/flavor. just an fyi.

                                                              1. re: HillJ
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                                                                jessinEC RE: HillJ Aug 28, 2011 06:13 PM

                                                                do you use black mission or another variety?

                                                                1. re: jessinEC
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                                                                  HillJ RE: jessinEC Aug 28, 2011 06:55 PM

                                                                  hi jessinEC. Good question! I use whatever figs I can get my hands on. Black mission, Kadota figs, or Calimyrnas and based on how sweet they taste fresh, adjust the amount of sugar. I prefer a mild sweetness so the figs shine thru more than the remaining (short as it is) ingredient list. I like the seeds to come thru, so I'm careful on the pulse blending. A bit of practice and I found the jam style I prefer.

                                                                2. re: HillJ
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                                                                  LabLady RE: HillJ Aug 28, 2011 08:02 PM

                                                                  This sounds delicious! Can you process it for canned storage? If so, what type of canner (pressure?) and how long?

                                                                  Fig jam and goat cheese is one of my favorite food combinations.

                                                                  1. re: LabLady
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                                                                    HillJ RE: LabLady Aug 28, 2011 08:34 PM

                                                                    Hi LabLady,
                                                                    My pressure canner process goes like this:

                                                                    Pour 2 to 3 inches of water into the bottom of the pressure canner.
                                                                    Put filled jars on the rack, using a jar lifter to transfer them. Close the canner lid.
                                                                    Open the vent port on the top of the pressure canner lid. Turn heat to the highest setting.
                                                                    Allow steam to flow for 10 minutes, then close the vent port.
                                                                    Watch the pressure gauge. When it starts to shake, set the timer for 4 minutes.
                                                                    Turn off the heat and depressurize the canner for at least 30 minutes if loaded with pint-size jars, or 45 minutes if filled with quart-size jars.
                                                                    Open the vent port and allow steam to escape for at least 10 minutes.
                                                                    Open the lid carefully, and remove jars with the jar lifter. Allow them to cool for 12 to 24 hours.

                                                                    Fig jam is one of my favorites too and in addition to goat cheese pairs really nicely with Greek yogurt and dry ricotta cheese too.

                                                                    1. re: HillJ
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                                                                      LabLady RE: HillJ Aug 29, 2011 07:21 PM

                                                                      Thank you! I can't wait until I get some figs for this.

                                                                      1. re: LabLady
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                                                                        HillJ RE: LabLady Aug 30, 2011 05:13 AM

                                                                        My pleasure, LabLady. Let us know how it works out for you and any changes to the recipe you tried.

                                                                    2. re: LabLady
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                                                                      dianne0712 RE: LabLady Mar 28, 2012 06:58 AM

                                                                      there's a great recipe for fig paste from dried figs on the goat cheese website. I think it's called crostini with fig, goat cheese and green onion

                                                              2. BananaBirkLarsen RE: escondido123 Aug 28, 2011 10:47 PM

                                                                I've been flirting with the idea of attempting creme brulee in my broiler, as a way to test out my newly-acquired Tahitian vanilla beans. I didn't have the ingredients tonight, but thought that maybe it was possible to brulee a rice pudding (which I did have the ingredients for).

                                                                I based my rice pudding on this Bayless recipe for arroz con leche ( http://creatingnirvanatoday.blogspot.... ), only I used coconut milk instead of milk, replaced the lime zest with a kaffir lime leaf, and added my vanilla bean at the beginning with the lime leaf and cinnamon stick. I thickened the pudding a bit more than the recipe called for, and then poured it into ramekins. Then I sprinkled them with sugar, tossed them under the broiler until it was caramelized and let it cool a bit.

                                                                The top turned out beautifully cripsy, with a strong burnt sugary, caramel taste. The lime leaf and caramel pushed the delicate vanilla to the background, so maybe it wasn't the best showcase for my beans. Nevertheless, I served it for dessert with an after dinner glass of dry white. And it was absolutely delicious.

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                                                                  haiku. RE: escondido123 Aug 29, 2011 07:41 AM

                                                                  Made my standard chocolate cake recipe recently, to make cupcakes. I halved the recipe, as I didn't want that much. Except that I forgot having done that when I got to the last additions, and added the full amount of liquid! It turned out great, light and airy. I'm glad it wasn't a mess, and everyone still enjoyed them.

                                                                  1. operagirl RE: escondido123 Aug 29, 2011 07:50 PM

                                                                    Last Tuesday was my bf's birthday, and I improvised some rice paper rolls that turned out amazingly well. Sauteed small strips of chicken with some five spice and tamari, then rolled it up in the rice paper along with very thin sheets of mango, avocado slices, mint leaves, spring mix, and ribbons of carrot. I packed them up for our picnic along with some spicy almond butter dipping sauce (AB, sri racha, rice vinegar, garlic, tamari, agave syrup), sliced fruit, a bottle of chianti, and some Justin's dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Most randomly delicious dinner ever.

                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                    1. re: operagirl
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                                                                      escondido123 RE: operagirl Aug 29, 2011 09:00 PM

                                                                      Sounds like a wonderful picnic, wish I could get my husband to go out on one but he hates the ants!

                                                                      1. re: operagirl
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                                                                        HillJ RE: operagirl Aug 30, 2011 05:11 AM

                                                                        What a fun meal! Love it.

                                                                        1. re: HillJ
                                                                          operagirl RE: HillJ Aug 30, 2011 07:20 AM

                                                                          Thanks!

                                                                        2. re: operagirl
                                                                          mamachef RE: operagirl Aug 30, 2011 12:08 PM

                                                                          Your improv. meal sounds like something I'd lose brain cells even thinking of, much less replicating. Good on you. bet he loved it.

                                                                          1. re: mamachef
                                                                            operagirl RE: mamachef Aug 30, 2011 02:38 PM

                                                                            He did indeed! Since he's got celiac, the dipping sauce in restaurants is often a no-no, as it's usually made with soy sauce containing wheat. To say nothing of meats marinated in soy sauce included in the spring rolls themselves. It's so much fun to make his favorite foods and know that he's "safe" to enjoy them. Spring rolls + kicking a soccer ball around in Dolores Park made for a great birthday evening. =)

                                                                            1. re: operagirl
                                                                              mamachef RE: operagirl Aug 30, 2011 02:46 PM

                                                                              Perfect; Dolores park is a great dessert anytime.

                                                                          2. re: operagirl
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                                                                            jessinEC RE: operagirl Aug 30, 2011 09:59 PM

                                                                            This sounds so good. The one time I tried rice paper rolls it was DISASTEROUS. Any tips on how to wrap them so they are tight and tidy? Mine were either too loose or the papers ripped...

                                                                            1. re: jessinEC
                                                                              operagirl RE: jessinEC Aug 30, 2011 10:22 PM

                                                                              It's a bit of a finicky process, but a little practice and you'll have the hang of it in no time. A few tips --
                                                                              -the water you use to soften the wrappers should be uncomfortably warm to the touch, but not boiling hot. if the rice paper you're using is exceptionally thin, lukewarm water might be preferable.
                                                                              -wet the wrappers thoroughly, but don't let them soak in the water until they're so limp that they stick together as you try to lay them flat. they'll soften as they sit on the cutting board.
                                                                              -make sure your lettuce and herbs have any stiff ribs or stems removed. these can tear through the roll.
                                                                              -cut any other veggies into long sticks and lay them horizontally across the roll, again, to keep from having ingredients that will stick out and tear the rice paper.
                                                                              -roll the rice paper just like a burrito, using your fingers to tuck in the ingredients tightly as you're rolling it.

                                                                              Hope that helps!

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                                                                            alysonlaurel RE: escondido123 Aug 30, 2011 05:21 PM

                                                                            I made Magnolia vanilla cupcakes with my grandma's recipe for fudge frosting, and we ate them for days and everyone who came over got cupcakes. A lovely treat to have on hand.

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                                                                              anakalia RE: escondido123 Aug 30, 2011 07:26 PM

                                                                              After a long trip to Ecuador, my husband and I returned adamant that my father (a Midwestern meat-'n-potatoes guy) would love Ecuadorian cooking. I successfully found recipes online to recreate a meal -- llapingachos stuffed with cheese, beef stew, topped with a fried egg, a salad of tomato and pickled onion, fresh avocados, hominy and herbs... I was pretty impressed with the results, actually! And dad was, too.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: anakalia
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                                                                                escondido123 RE: anakalia Aug 31, 2011 09:02 AM

                                                                                Llapingachos? What are they? And what ingredients/flavoring make the beef stew Ecuadorian?

                                                                                1. re: escondido123
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                                                                                  anakalia RE: escondido123 Jan 8, 2012 03:09 PM

                                                                                  Whoa, I just saw this reply now, months later! Oh well, I'll respond anyway! Llapingachos are these great potato patties, filled with white cheese and mixed with achiote (gives them an orange color), flattened, then pan fried. I don't actually remember the specific flavorings of the beef strew now, although I remember it did have achiote, garlic and tamarind in in it and the marinade included beer!

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                                                                                escondido123 RE: escondido123 Jan 5, 2012 05:50 PM

                                                                                I recently bought a copy of the Saveur Italian cookbook at my library bookstore--amazing prices. Anyway, it made me curious about a Swiss Chard and Ricotta Torta. Though I find the flavor of chard to be a little too "beety" for me, I decide to make it anyway with some rainbow chard from the Farmers' Market--though I did end up with a Marcella Hazan recipe from online. Well, it was amazingly good. Tasted like it was seasoned with the world's best nutmeg (there was none in it) the combination of flavors created a dish that was much greater than its parts--wrapped in a thin, olive oil laden dough of flour and water.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: escondido123
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                                                                                  anakalia RE: escondido123 Jan 8, 2012 03:10 PM

                                                                                  That sounds like an amazing recipe - it's making my mouth water.

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