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Film and TV VIP. Seeker of the peace. Part-time chandelier cleaner. A legend in his own time. Oppressor of champions. Soldier of fortune. World traveler. Bon vivant. All around good guy. International lover. Casual hero. Wandering Minstrel. Defender of Reason. Philosopher. Wars fought, bears wrestled, radioactive pigs slaughtered, equations solved, revolutions quelled, tigers castrated, governments run, test-rockets flown.


Jul
24
comment What can I use as an alternative sweetener for smoothies?
You know of course that sugar is just as 'natural' as honey, agave nectar, or anything else? Especially if you use unrefined sugar.
Jul
23
comment How to peel bell peppers effectively?
If you're doing this, the pepper will peel even easier if you put it in a heat-proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap. The skin will steam itself loose.
Jul
21
comment Why do my teriyaki steaks come out hard and dry?
UK 'frying steak' is thin - about 1/8"/5mm thick. It needs about a minute either side. 8 minutes and you've got shoe leather.
Jul
19
comment Short term storage of bechamel
If you do this, cover it with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the sauce to prevent a skin forming.
Jul
19
comment Aged steaks cooked as medium but came out looking well done
Agreed. Aged beef generally develops a dark outer 'crust', but the inside is still wet and red. The chef just forgot about it!
Jul
19
comment Are Garlic cloves supposed to be put as whole or as chopped up pieces in a soup?
The less you chop a garlic clove, the less intense the flavour is. Whole garlic cloves are often used in Mediterranean cooking to introduce just a subtle hint of garlic flavour. Placing one in some warm oil for a few minutes is a good way of flavouring it, for example. There are French recipes too: Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic for example.
Jul
18
comment Sponge cake: excessive cooking time
Gas ovens are generally the least reliable temperature-wise. Get an oven thermometer and check your oven is actually at the required temperature. My electric oven is always 30ºC under what I set the dial to.
Jul
18
comment Replacement for pop rocks?
www.cybercandy.com stocks them and ships worldwide.
Jul
14
comment Spring rolls splitting when frozen
Water expands when it freezes. Veg, noodles and meat are full of water. 'Do the math' :)
Jul
12
comment How can I make a vanilla ganache which does not taste of white chocolate?
I would have thought the ideal taste for vanilla ganache would be vanilla, jay. :P Rafaella, is there any particular reason you don't want to use a buttercream other than the fact that Laduree don't?
Jul
11
comment Sticky and unmanagable sourdough
Oh, and you're some kind of home-baking expert?! Oh... ;)
Jul
10
comment Is it possible to have chocolate chunks in ice cream that aren't waxy?
If you make your own mint ice cream, you could add good quality dark chocolate chunks from the fridge each time, rather than freeze them.
Jul
5
comment Why does making instant coffee in the microwave taste burnt?
Indeed. I cringe when I see people making tea by boiling water in the microwave then chucking in a teabag - superheated water, meet millions of non-dissolving nucleation points!
Jul
4
comment How to make chapattis round and of same thickness?
The roundness will depend on how uniform the ball is before you start to roll it. You shouldn't need 4 rotations, you should only need 2 really - the first will make an oval, the second will make it round.
Jul
4
comment How to make chapattis round and of same thickness?
Then you need to work on your rolling technique. Roll once from top to bottom, then rotate the chapatti 90º and repeat, until you have the desired thickness. Try to use the same amount of pressure each time.
Jul
4
comment What was wrong with my Ohio Shaker Lemon Pie?
A tip for selecting thin-skinned lemons - the paler the skin, the thinner it is. Sicilian varieties are often quite thin-skinned.
Jul
4
comment How do I make the beef in my beef stroganoff more tender?
American stroganoff is more like a stew as opposed to the quick-sauteed dish we're more familiar with in Europe.
Jul
4
comment How can I make Turkish dondurma?
Have you tried a local Turkish restaurant? They might be able to get you some of each ingredient.
Jul
3
comment Spaghetti sauce consistency / coating noodles
Oil content might be a factor, and the thickness, as Jennifer S suggests, in that case.
Jul
3
comment Spaghetti sauce consistency / coating noodles
The quality of pasta has a major bearing on how much sauce sticks. Good pasta is rough, because its surface is porous, and so it absorbs sauce much better. Moral of the story: try your sauce with decent pasta!