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BookClubEditor
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Kitchen Victories (and Disasters)

Every cookbook affords every cook with numerous opportunities for culinary successes and even failure. Please share any kitchen "joys" or averted disasters when you used Joy of Cooking.

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Re: Kitchen Victories (and Disasters)

I don't have any stories related to this particular cook book because I do not yet own it. But the worst disasters happened when I tried to introduce some new foods on the table. Once I got some Swedish fish balls in white sauce. Taking in the comments of my 'at that time' partner, his facial expressions and his absolute refusal to participate in that meal the dish ended in the toilet and we had some omelette instead.

Neither was it a great success when I tried to manufacture some German knödles for my English friends. Knödle is a flour dough cooked in salted water and then cut into slices and served (instead of potatoes or rice) together with some meat casserole. I guess we ate it but no one was particulary impressed.

Once I cooked for about 30 people and I managed to swing together a sauce without a recipe that came out real well even in that great quantity. But it was so good that it was finished almost at once and when people wanted more I didn't have any. Those disappointed faces and comments I will not forget.

What else? I burned stuff badly a couple of times. The pot was black beyond rescue. Yet rescue there is which I will share: boil some water and a scoop of washing powder for a while in that burned pot and let it stand. Then clean by hand in a normal manner. Sometimes I used a wooden stick to loosen the blackened crust (not any metal object) to prevent any damage to the surface of the pot. If it is really bad repeat with new water and new washing powder. Finally you'll succeed. I saved a couple of unfortunate pots in that way.

ziki
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ChefJon
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Re: Kitchen Victories (and Disasters)

Boy I guess it's not a good sign that you shared a recipe for scraping the bottom of the pot! I think it's true that many potential disasters turn into opportunities. I once started a chocolate birthday cake late at night with not enough flour and not enough milk--I substituted a package of instant pudding mix for some of the flour and egg nog for some of the milk and the result was the best cake I've ever made.

Thanks for sharing, Ziki, the knodl and fish balls I'll have to try!
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All those cakes

[ Edited ]
Not long ago I made a cake without a recipe thinking 'this and that' should probably go into it (something like a heavier sponge cake with apples). I baked it in a silicon form that made the surface very 'glossy'. It came out well according to the comments it got from the happy eaters who were exposed to that experiment, LOL.

One woman said "well, after this I do not dare to bake again" which I thought was a bit strange comment but I guess she meant that she wouldn't dare to be compared.
Not trying to brag here but it is weird for me to bake nowadays because I can't eat the cakes myself (due to the boring gluten nightmare of mine).

I wanted to ask is The Cake Bible good?
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=Cake+Bible&z=y

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 11-30-200609:50 AM

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Re: Kitchen Victories (and Disasters)

I wonder, Jon, these haphazard happenings in the kitchen that finally come out as a success number...do you write them down? Or do you just let it be a one time surprise?

I never remember what I did so usually I can't repeat it.

ziki
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fish balls

[ Edited ]
Swedes call it fiskbullar and in Norway fiskeboller.

This is a factory manufacturing them (same name as the former pop group, LOL):

http://www.abba.se/produkter/fiskbullar_och_stuvningar/


And here one recipe (from: http://www.infonorway.com/recipes/nc/fishball.html)

Norway > Recipes > Norwegian Cuisine > Fiskeboller

In Norway Fish Balls or fiskeboller/fisk-a-ball-ahr/ - is an everyday meal that is fast and easy to prepare, thanks to the tinned (canned) fish balls that most people always keep in a cupboard. However if you can't buy the canned fish balls, or if you'd like to make them from scratch, here's my recipe, which also includes the dinner party version.
What You'll Need

* 1 lb (1/2 kg) of firm white fish such as e.g. cod or/and pollock
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 - 3/4 cup (1 - 1.5 dl) milk or cream
* flour
* fresh basil and garlic - (dinner party version)

What to do

* Mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Leave in the fridge for a while.
* Bring a fish stock to the boil. (Use some you've kept in the freezer from a previous meal or use stock cubes.) For the dinner party version - add a glass of white wine.
* Use two spoons to make the balls (dip spoons in icewater inbetween each ball). Slide the ball off the spoon and into the boiling stock. Boil just one at first to see how it turns out. If it falls apart, add more flour. Boil a few at a time. They are done when they are firm. Strain the stock and use as a base for the sauce.
* Prepare a white sauce from a butter/flour mix and the stock. Add curry to the sauce and serve with boiled potatoes and boiled carrots.

For the dinner party version, prepare the sauce with white wine, and hold the curry. Serve with broccoli, pommes noisettes and slices of lime.

Message Edited by ziki on 11-30-200609:54 AM

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dumplings

After some surfing it seems like the knoedl is actually dumpling and I exctracted these two recipes. I tried this before the net was widely available.

http://www.recipezaar.com/76670

Bread Dumplings (Houskove Knedliky)
Recipe #76670

A genuine Czechoslovakian recipe, posted by request.
by Mary Scheffert


8 servings

time to make 55 min 10 min prep

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour, sifted with a pinch of baking powder
4 slices white bread, cut into cubes


1. Beat eggs, salt& milk in a large mixing bowl; add flour gradually.
2. Continue beating with a large spoon (the dough must be smooth& stiff enough to hold its shape).
3. Stir in bread cubes last.
4. Have a clean, wet towel ready.
5. Shape the dough with wet hands into an oblong, roll in a towel& drop into a large kettle of salted boiling water.
6. Boil, covered, for 45 minutes.
7. Remove the towel& slice the dumpling 1/2 inch thick (if not sliced immediately, the steam cannot escape& the dumplings will be soggy& hard).best done witha thread (not knife)
8. Keep hot until ready to serve.


And there are probably all kinds of variations, sweet or salt ones...
another recipe:




INGREDIENTS

* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 3 eggs, beaten
* 1 1/2 cups milk, or as needed
* 4 cups white bread cubes
* 4 slices bacon, sliced into small strips
* 1 (16 ounce) jar sauerkraut - rinsed and drained
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
* 2 teaspoons cold water
* 1 teaspoon cornstarch

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center, and pour in the eggs and 1 cup of milk. Stir to blend, and add enough additional milk to make a moist battery dough, not like pancake batter. Use a sturdy wooden spoon to beat the dough at least 200 strokes, rolling it over and over in the bowl until smooth and an occasional bubble appears on the surface. Add the white bread cubes, and stir into the dough until they disappear.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the dough onto a cheesecloth or white cotton cloth, and form into a loaf shape. Wrap the cloth around the loaf, and tie the ends.
3. Place the loaf into the boiling water, and cook for 45 minutes, turning the loaf over about half way through. Remove from the water, unwrap, and cover with a tea towel. Let stand for 10 minutes.
4. Fry bacon in a small skillet over medium-high heat until evenly browned. Set aside. Place the drained sauerkraut into a saucepan, and add enough water to cover the surface. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add bacon, and season with salt, pepper and caraway seeds. Stir together the cornstarch and water; mix into the sauerkraut, and simmer for a few minutes before removing from the heat.
5. Slice the dumpling loaf. Drizzle dumpling slices with some of the roast drippings from the pan. Serve with sauerkraut.
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ChefJon
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Re: All those cakes

[ Edited ]

ziki wrote:
Not long ago I made a cake without a recipe thinking 'this and that' should probably go into it (something like a heavier sponge cake with apples). I baked it in a silicon form that made the surface very 'glossy'. It came out well according to the comments it got from the happy eaters who were exposed to that experiment, LOL.

One woman said "well, after this I do not dare to bake again" which I thought was a bit strange comment but I guess she meant that she wouldn't dare to be compared.
Not trying to brag here but it is weird for me to bake nowadays because I can't eat the cakes myself (due to the boring gluten nightmare of mine).

I wanted to ask is The Cake Bible good?
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=Cake+Bible&z=y

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 11-30-200609:50 AM




Hi Ziki, The Cake Bible (also, the Pie and Pastry Bible) is WONDERFUL. The recipes are really well-tested. Some of the recipes are complicated but meticulously detailed. They may seem silly at times, insisting, for example, that you incorporate ingredients in a very specific order, but since the results are so good, it's hard to complain!

Congrats on your apple cake. Conventional wisdom says that it's easy to experiment with cooking but that bakers should stick to recipes. Conventional wisdom is so boring.

I'm sure you know the celiac foundation has some good resources for gluten-free cooking and baking and food products. Not the same as the real thinkg, I know, but I'm sure you feel better without it!

Message Edited by ChefJon on 11-30-200611:40 PM

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Re: Kitchen Victories (and Disasters)



ziki wrote:
I wonder, Jon, these haphazard happenings in the kitchen that finally come out as a success number...do you write them down? Or do you just let it be a one time surprise?

I never remember what I did so usually I can't repeat it.

ziki


I guess it's a combination. I used to work in product development where every ingredient for everything we cooked had to be weighed and recorded to the tenth of a gram before it went into the pot. Zzzzzzz. Huh? What? Sorry--I fell asleep just thinking about it. So I resist doing that now. However when it's simple and wonderful as in the case of the chocolate cake substitution, I'll remember it forever! The tricky thing with recipes, I find, and Maggie may agree, is that even if you carefully follow each step, minor variations in the ingredient quality, cooking style of the cook, way the recipe is interpreted, size and quality of cookware and so on can produce significantly different results--just bake some cookies on a beat up blackened cookie sheet and some on a shiny new one to see what I mean! So sometimes a careful recording of the recipe may not mean it's going to work the same way next time.
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Re: fish balls

Sounds delicious to me!
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MaggieGreen
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Re: Kitchen Victories (and Disasters)

Yes, I do agree that variations occur in recipes, even under the best circumstances. I have two friends who both bake the chocolate chip cookie recipe from Toll House morsels, and they turn out differently - one flat cookie, and the other a puffy cookie.
Maggie Green
Editor
75th Anniversary Edition
Joy of Cooking
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mollaherne
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Re: Kitchen Victories (and Disasters)

A kitchen victory today!

I tried the Quick Cherry Crunch on page 692 of the new Joy of Cooking, and it turned out great, even with some substitutions. I actually meant to make more of a cherry crumb pie, because I had an extra pie crust that I wanted to use and frozen cherries, which I had never bought before! When I discovered that the pie crust did not look so good, I threw it out and looked at the other cherry recipes in Joy. The Quick Cherry Crunch seemed the best fit for the ingredients that I had and for the short amount of time in which to make it (2 small girls asking for dinner, and I wanted to have a dessert, too!)

So, I substituted grape juice for the cherry juice and whole oatmeal with a little water for the quick-cooking oatmeal, and of course the frozen cherries for the canned ones. It is quite sweet (next time I'd use less brown sugar), but otherwise delicious and just the "holiday" taste I was craving!
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Re: Kitchen Victories (and Disasters)

I'm so glad this recipe worked out. It's also one of my favorites, for something quick, easy, somewhat wholesome and quite tasty. Thanks for sharing!
Maggie Green
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75th Anniversary Edition
Joy of Cooking
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