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1d
comment Is there a way to revive an old potato?
Sometimes when they've gone a bit soft but not downright squishy, if it's the right time of the year I'll cut them up and plant them.
1d
comment Getting a cast iron skillet surface smooth
I do the same. You can see that the center is much smoother than the sides (as that's where I'm scraping more often). You'll never get a smooth pan if you only use plastic or wooden utensils. You also need to use a fair bit of oil to help fill in the low points -- if you're using a non-stick spray or oil sprayer, you likely won't have enough.
1d
comment How can I achieve a good socarrat with paella cooked in the oven?
Did you preheat just the stone, or the pan and the stone? Try that, and then assemble the paella on a warm burner before moving it back to the oven. You might get a bit of an uneven socarrat, but even if it's just in the middle of the pan it's better than none at all. Another option is to cook it on a grill, if you have one and the pan will fit on it.
2d
comment Cheaper alternative to parmesan cheese?
@RossRidge : I'm saying that other cheeses or even non-cheese items are a viable alternative. If it wasn't, why is there the bit about using cheddar? Just because the bulk of the answers so far were about how to get parmesan more cheaply doesn't mean that's what was asked. I think it's you that's misread or misunderstood the question that was asked. Alma has given a perfectly good answer, and your telling her that she has a bad answer was incorrect.
2d
comment Cheaper alternative to parmesan cheese?
@RossRidge : everyone's tastes are different. From the article I linked to : "n the most egregious case, a company called Castle Cheese Inc., whose products ... allegedly contained “no parmesan cheese” whatsoever, according to the FDA. Instead, the product was made up of a mix of Swiss, mozzarella, and white cheddar cheese, as well as a heaping dose of cellulose." How many people out there were fooled and/or preferred that to the real stuff? Often with ingredients, you just need to hit certain notes that could come from an alternate source.
2d
comment What are the guidelines for creating a canning recipe?
There's also the problem of 'dense foods', in which you have to also worry about how thickly you cut the food so that the acids can properly penetrate them. (pumpkin pickles are when I typically see this mentioned)
2d
comment Cheaper alternative to parmesan cheese?
Ross : substitution isn't an 'alternative'? It's a perfectly valid answer in my opinion. (better than the sawdust being sold as pre-grated 'parmesean' in the stores)
2d
comment How to trim a cake so it's level?
Instead of a cardboard cake round ... I like the flexible plastic cutting mats. They require a little more effort to support them when lifting the layer off, but you can slide them in easier than the cake rounds. (if you have to, slide the mat in first, then the cake round in underneath it). Oh, and if you do a significant amount of cake decorating, I highly suggest finding a place that sells MDF cake rounds. (especially as larger cakes require doubling or trippling up the cardboard ones).
Apr
26
comment Optimal cooking tool for long-duration steaming
Even less expensive rice cookers often have a 'keep warm' mode (although, some will only 'keep warm' for a limited period of time, then shut off) ... if they also have an insert for steaming, it might be possible to put some rice & water at the bottom, then the item to steam at the top and rely on the rice finishing to switch it to 'keep warm' ... of course, I don't know if the 'keep warm' will keep the stuff in the steamer section warm enough, so you'll likely want to do a test case, then take a thermometer to it to make it sure it's safe.
Apr
26
comment Do all modern electric stoves have “binary” heating elements?
Electricity is not gas -- it's more efficient to cycle electricity, as you can't restrict the 'flow' of electricity without adding some other load (something which consumes power, like a resistor). Pulsing the power can let you send only 30% power (as compared to being on full time) without having to dump 70% of the power elsewhere.
Apr
25
comment Vegan dishes with frozen veggies
Not specifically vegan, but related to the time shortage issue : cooking.stackexchange.com/q/149/67
Apr
25
comment Vegan dishes with frozen veggies
If you're using frozen vegetables, don't make a stir fry. You'd be better off making a good soup and reheating it each day (or a good broth, and then adding different vegetables to vary it through the week).
Apr
25
comment Optimal cooking tool for long-duration steaming
On kickstarter a while back, there was someone trying to raise funding for a crock pot w/ chiller. (so it'd stay cook 'til it switched into cook mode). I can't remember the name of the project (or find it based on search terms I was using), so don't know if it got funded ... but it sounds like what you're looking for.
Apr
22
comment How to ensure that the salt is very homogenized in a given food?
I disagree. salt on the outside of a bite of mashed potatoes will be more significant than the salt on the inside of the scoop. It's actually important to consider in mashed items, as you don't have the issue in solid foods (unless it's breaded, layers or had once been liquid) or liquids (where it's difficult if not impossible to control variations)
Apr
22
comment How to ensure that the salt is very homogenized in a given food?
There are some cases when you might want to salt late. You'll often see folks giving things an extra sprinkle of salt when plating -- partially for texture (crunch from a large salt crystal), but because only the salt that comes into contact with your tongue will taste salty. If the salt is well mixed, it actually requires more salt to get the same perceived salt levels. (large crystals are also a problem, as only the dissolved salt will taste salty; I think it was Lays potato chips that cut down their salt by using smaller crystals.
Apr
22
comment Freeze ice to far below 0 Celsius?
Oh ... and there's also 'cold paddles' which are vessels you fill with water and freeze, and then use them to stir the liquid to chill it more quickly. (but they tend to be large ... they're more for restaurants making large batches of things).
Apr
22
comment Freeze ice to far below 0 Celsius?
They're also called 'whisky stones' even when made out of something that's not stone.
Apr
21
comment i need help making brownies
also related to this answer : cooking.stackexchange.com/q/18451/67 ; cooking.stackexchange.com/q/6869/67
Apr
21
comment i need help making brownies
related : cooking.stackexchange.com/q/3757/67
Apr
21
comment i need help making brownies
I've never used applesauce in brownies before, but I've used it plenty of times in muffins. (although in that case, I find it best to only replace 1/2 to 2/3 of the oil, and leave some as actual oil).