My partner would like to try Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet for two weeks in order to jump-start losing 10-15 lbs. I typically cook in a Phase 2/Mediterranean diet style in general, so initially I figured this would be an easy enough task -- throw out the pasta and bread for a couple of weeks, and voila! But a couple of challenges are presenting themselves. [more inside]
I am organizing (and cooking) meals for my boss and his wife. He was just diagnosed with cancer and has started chemo. I need ideas for the kind of meals I and others can prepare for a person with a compromised immune system. [more inside]
Which standard recipes, with meat as a key ingredient, have clear vegetarian analogs? Examples, to be clear: for every hamburger, there is a veggie burger (eggplant, cauliflower, etc). Chili con carne becomes chili sin carne. For meatloaf there is Neatloaf. What else should I be thinking of? "Buy fake meat" is not heading in the right direction; "google 'vegetarian [meaty food]'" is a realistic suggestion but which foods?
Tell me about your food processor, especially if you use it to make peanut butter. Our food processor's bowl is cracked, and rather than replacing the bowl, we're thinking of upgrading. Consumer Reports recomments a Cuisinart ($180-$300) or Breville ($400), but the high end of that price range seems too steep for us, considering how much we use the thing. That said, we're willing to pay around $200 for a good machine. I'm interested in your recommendations. [more inside]
I'm a vegetarian who is trying to lose weight. Unfortunately, I never bothered to gain cooking skills so I don't really know what normal dieters do to feed themselves during the week. Recipe suggestions, por favor? [more inside]
Why do sriracha and harissa disagree with my digestive system, when many other spicy foods that also contain chiles and garlic do not? [more inside]
Please recommend me your favorite meat rubs and spice blends (pre-packaged, not homemade) that will make grilled or braised meat taste AMAZING. [more inside]
I know how to cook in general, and I know Indian food relatively well in terms of...you know, eating it. But my attempts to cook Indian dishes myself have never turn out. Where can I find clear, dependable recipes for (primarily Northern) Indian staples? (By "staples," I mean ordinary dishes like: palak paneer, bhurtha, aloo paratha, dal. My favorite foods tend to be vegetarian, but I'm not a vegetarian myself, so either veg or non-veg is fine). [more inside]
For the food challenged: How do I learn to plan for and cook deadly simple nutritious meals for 1 adult + 1 baby child? Recipes, advice, pointers all welcome. [more inside]
I'm going to have the opportunity to expand my eating soon, and I'm looking for offal (not awful) recipies. [more inside]
Looking for ideas of really great food to bring on a car camping trip. Bonus points if it involves cooking over the campfire. I am attending an annual family long weekend camping trip with my fiance in a few weeks, and am drawing a blank on what to bring foodwise. I'm looking for ideas of main courses suitable for dinner as well as side dishes or dessert, that will blow people's socks off. [more inside]
Help me choose a Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen cookbook. [more inside]
What are your favorite healthy plant-inclusive dinners that you actually get excited to shop for, cook, and eat? I'm looking less for "I put onions in my sauteed spinach" or "I cook lentils into a flavorless gruel," and more for something like "I roast chicken with garbanzos and cherry tomatoes, then serve it with a smokey yogurt sauce." [more inside]
I bought a few boxes of raw cocoa balls in mexico. As far as I can tell, they're just pure cocoa and just enough honey so that they stick together. They don't dissolve and they don't seem to melt that well either in boiling water. They're a little bit bitter just eating them out of the box. Any suggestions for what I can with them?
I know what some of the must-read books on French cuisine are (Escoffier, etc) - what are some examples of the greatest, most classic cookbooks/books about cooking for other cuisines, both European and non-European? [more inside]
Hi AskMe, I need to make a chicken recipe that I've been given - it's a chicken stroganoff type thing. The recipe calls for 2Tbs of brandy. I don't have any brandy and I don't intend to buy some just to make this recipe. What can I substitute? I'm fine with alcohol, I'd just prefer a type I already own. [more inside]
I used to be a pretty good cook and I enjoyed cooking, but haven’t done much of it in the last few years for various reasons. Now, I have an awesome boyfriend who makes me great food, and I want to do the same for him. What I need are some ideas for full meals—not just single recipes but main and sides, etc., and specific recipes or links to specific recipes to accompany them. [more inside]
If all goes well, I'll be away from home for up to 20 months, beginning this winter. What home-made foods, etc., could I make before leaving that would be super-awesome after aging for a year or two? [more inside]
I inherited this rice cooker but cannot figure out what buttons to use to make regular short grain Asian rice. I thought it was the large one on the right but the rice is gross and uncooked yet soggy. Can you help? I looooove rice and need to remedy fast. Thanks for your help. Can you tell me what all of these buttons mean? I can't find a mode number so I can't look up the operating instructions online.
I am in the market for a slow cooker, which one to buy? [more inside]
I have a lot of time on my hands, a love of cooking, and a girlfriend I would like to impress! Any ideas for a home-cooked romantic dinner, given that I have a LOT of time? [more inside]
Once, I made fried chicken, and it was as close to perfect as I've even made it. The crust nearly shattered when bitten into. It was almost unbearably crispy. I have absolutely no idea how I made it, and never made any notes as to what I did. If anyone out there has found the forbidden secrets of fried chciken, and more importantly, remembers what they did to get there, I would love to hear what you did. [more inside]
Chocolate chip cookies. No-knead bread. Even crepes! All of these benefit from rest time (and usually 12+ hours). Are there other foods that also taste better the longer you take to make them? [more inside]
My oven is bipolar: when I follow the instructions for frozen pizza, it's done in about 66% of the time, i.e. instructions say 18min, it's done in 12, usually less - 18min would burn it to a crisp. Thicker things, like pork roasts or heating a pre-cooked ham, are barely tepid in the center at the time in their instructions, i.e. instructions say 45min, takes over an hour to get to the recommended temperature. The oven is a generic, in-every-apartment-I've-ever-had kind of stove. What's it's problem? [more inside]
I have about 1/4+ cup of sourdough starter to use up. Tell me what I can make that I can eat today. [more inside]
I have made a lovely bolognaise. I think it would be even lovelier with parmesan. If I buy some parmesan I won't use up the whole wedge. Is there anything interesting I could use the leftover parmesan for? Or alternatively, something other than parmesan that is dynamite on a bolognaise sauce. [more inside]
Where can I get plain (par-cooked) ramen noodles in NYC? I'm talking about frozen/refrigerated, not dried. I work in Midtown, so I'm near some Japanese groceries, but all I've seen are frozen packages that include soup- is there a better option than buying those and throwing out the broth? Also, are there particular brands to look out for?
It just occurred to me that the reaction that makes key lime pie doesn't actually depend on citrus, just on acidity. This means, hypothetically, one could make this kind of pie filling with things more interesting than lime or lemon juice. I need a sanity check on this idea, and some suggestions of delicious low-pH liquids. [more inside]
So I've got a two-pound tenderloin defrosting in my fridge, and I'd like to make pulled pork out of it. I've never made pulled pork at all, but I understand it generally calls for pork shoulder, so I feel like I need some extra-special hand-holding to help me figure out how to make it work with a totally different cut of meat. [more inside]
I'm cooking this recipe and it calls for one 7-oz can of fire roasted chilis. Can I substitute a NM dried red pepper? I also have crushed red pepper, but I'm not sure if either would be a good option.
My fridge is starting to bulge open with the sheer amount of produce I'm accumulating from my weekly farm box. Please help me come up with ideas to use some of it! Seeking ideas specifically for 1) beets 2) zucchini/summer squash and 3) fennel (possibly looking for help modifying a potato gratin recipe). More inside! [more inside]
I am planning to cook Hugh Fearfuller-Whittingstall's Donnie Brasco pork shoulder to be served tomorrow evening. [more inside]
So I can actually cook, and pretty well. It's the rest of the logistics of getting food on the table (meal planning, figuring out how to make balanced meals, even grocery shopping) that I struggle with. I need help learning to feed myself better than the frozen foods aisle can! [more inside]
I have two packages of ground lamb that I bought for making some spicy lamb burgers. I got them on Saturday, and the sale by date is for the 21st. I pulled them from the meat drawer just now and the plastic wrap sealing the top of each tray of lamb was very taut and bulging. I pierced the wraps and a really foul smell came from each package. The problem is- the lamb is still a healthy looking bright red and it is not past the freshness date. The meat does have an odor, but not as strong as the air that escaped the package at first. Would you go ahead and cook it up or toss it?
We have a container of this Miso paste at the back of our fridge, but it's straight shiro rather than shiro + aka. The ingredients are water, soybeans, rice, salt - 2% alcohol by volume. It looks fine and smells great, and the texture seems normal, maybe a little dried out. There's a "best before" date of 30 June 2013, but no "expiry" date. Is there any reason I shouldn't use this to baste roasted vegetables? [more inside]
Help me support my teen daughter with her health efforts... [more inside]
It’s been a stressful year thus far and I really need to get away for a few days, but alas, none of my friends are available for a trip right now. I’d love to go somewhere in mid/late August. I have a bunch of requirements, of course! [more inside]
We're closing on a house that has a very nice and spacious kitchen. What are we missing to make it Chris Kimball approved? [more inside]
I just got one of those round glass tabletop convection ovens. Now what? [more inside]
My family will be vacationing with another on a houseboat. Total of 4 adults and 5 kids, all good eaters (but the kids are kids, too). We are trying to optimize our food and seeking wisdom from those with experience. [more inside]
Give me your crunchy, your cool, your refreshing flavors yearning to breathe free. Favorite dinner salad recipes and ideas, please? [more inside]
What are basic pieces of kitchen science that would be helpful for me to know? I'm most interested in baking but cooking is okay too. Things like the effect of salt or liquid on a recipe or whether I want my bread dough to rise in a dry or humid area and why would be really great. I'm okay at following recipes but I'd absolutely love to know why different ingredients and combinations have different effects and how I can use that to my advantage. [more inside]
What can I do with common and grey morels?
I am going to a cabin in Maine for the summer. When I am in this cabin I like to spend many hours cooking and fussing over meals. The fussier the better. Problem: there is no oven. What are your best ovenless recipes suitable for two people in the middle of nowhere with lots of time on thier hands? [more inside]
Recently I've been buying Trader Joe's marinaded chicken tenders, and using the bag throughout the week to prepare stir-fries, fajitas, and other simple dishes for dinner. I really like having a marinade I can pull from for a quick meal, but I'm getting tired of the flavors that Trader Joe's offers. What are your favorite chicken marinades that I could start at the beginning of the week and use throughout the week to make dinner? My taste is pretty wide, but I'd prefer stuff that uses fairly common ingredients.
I have bought the most expensive, most organic and local and mollycoddled pork chops in my life. I do not want to waste this experience. Please tell me how to make the perfect pan-fried pork chop in agonizing detail. I own cast iron pans and I'm going to serve it with asparagus - that's the only limitation. Otherwise anything goes. Teach me the wisdom of Pork Chopery.
Cooking for a group of 12 foodies whilst on vacation, three of whom are strict vegetarians. The other 9 people have expressed the desire not to eat vegetarian food all week. So I'm looking for entree recipes that A: can have meat added on separately at the end, but are also satisfying sans meat B: are easy to make for a large group aka not very time-intensive/time-sensitive/complicated and C: are super-duper tasty. Unimaginative casseroles aren't going to cut it, here. Difficulty: no appliances available other than stove and a BBQ.
I have 6 free hours. Give me your most labour intensive yet ultimately compelling/yummy recipes. [caveat: I have access to all ingredients] [more inside]
After stumbling across the blog Georgian Recipes (and specifically this recipe for Acharuli - Ajarian Khachapuri) I realized I've got a lot of eating to catch up on. If you know about Georgian food, please give me your tips, tricks, substitutions for hard to find ingredients, ingredients that should never be substituted, links to your favorite Georgian recipes, and basically everything you think I should know about it. [more inside]
I'm organizing a bake sale that will take place in a record store; we'll be selling baked goods while a couple different bands perform. It's a benefit for an all-ages nonprofit performance space, so the crowd is going to be more "denim vests and cheap beer" than "PTA fundraiser cake walk." I'd like suggestions for recipes that don't require me to buy an ingredient that I'm only going to use a small portion of, are fairly simple to make, and easy to make into sturdy single servings that don't require plates or forks. Bonus questions: vegan suggestions, jello shots, and savory items. [more inside]