Archive for the ‘AskMeAnything’ Category

Ask Me Anything! – Swordfish

April 27, 2010

Question:

Love the blog. Besides grilling, what can you recommend with swordfish?

Answer:

We, typically, don’t eat a lot of swordfish. However, I’ll give what advice I can 🙂

Hot and fast is the best way to cook swordfish steaks — which is why grilling them is so popular. Another hot and fast alternative, though, is to broil them in your oven…would that be an agreeable option for you?

For steaks, usually 8-10 minutes per side will do it, and give you a nice carmalization. For fillets, you’ll want to cut that time drastically.

If you’re marinating, I’ve had the best luck with marinades that contain oil…it keeps the fish juicy under the extreme heat of the broiler/grill.

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Ask Me Anything! – Garlic Lemon Shrimp with Orzo and Broccoli

March 29, 2010

Question:

My husband can’t eat shrimp, but I really wanted to try the Garlic Lemon Shrimp with Orzo and broccoli recipe.  I was very pleased to see that you adapted it for chicken instead.  I was wondering, though, can I substitue Arborio rice (I already have some on hand) for orzo in this recipe instead or do I have to use orzo?

Answer:

Arborio rice is used mostly for risottos, and needs a different cooking method (a little bit of broth at a time, until all combined, then more, etc). I’d say you could try it, but my hunch is you want to stick with the orzo. Orzo isn’t a rice — actually, a pasta — and the starchy item in this dish needs to be pre-cooked before you add it. You might also get away with using plain rice (precook it) and adding it, but I think I would stick with the orzo if I could.

Ask Me Anything – 20-Clove Garlic Chicken

February 16, 2010

Question

I have a question about the 20 Garlic clove chicken recipe.  Your recipe calls for 5-7lb. chicken and I could only find a 4 pound.  How do I got about adjusting the recipe for my itty bitty bird?  Thanks!

Answer
As far as having a 4-lb. bird versus a 5-6 lb. bird for the recipe, I’d say you are fine to leave the recipe as-is. 4-5 lbs isn’t enough of a difference to make the flavor overbearing on the smaller bird, so you should be good to go.
I’d say if you go larger than a 6 lb bird, though, a) make a video of you stuffing it in the crockpot, cuz i’d love to see it. haha and b) I would maybe increase the spices as well as the garlic by 1/2.

Ask Me Anything – Kuldunai

February 15, 2010

Question:

I really want to try your Kuldunai recipe, but I find the dough making part to be a bit intimidating, especially since I usually have a melt down when I make pie crust because it is hard for me to make and not have stick to the well floured surface I roll it out on. Any other tips not in your blog you could give me to help me make this successfully? Also, how long does it take you to make it?

Answer:

First off, try searching the internet for videos of people making pasta by hand. I watched several videos so I understood the technique, what the dough would look like, etc, and it helped.

The pasta dough recipe for the kuldunai is VERY, VERY forgiving. I just take a huge bowl, but the 3 cups of flour in it, and make a well. Then I whisk all the other ingredients together in a measuring cup, and pour it in the middle of the well. Then, I take a fork, and start gradually turning flour into the liquid mixture. It’ll get to a point where it sticks to your fork — I then clean the fork off and use my fingers. If it sticks to your fingers, it doesn’t have enough flour incorporated yet, and you can use your fingers to continue to mix/fold more flour into the sticky dough. If it doesn’t stick to your fingers, it has absorbed as much flour as it will, and you’re good to go on the kneading part. I sprinke some of the leftover flour from my bowl (I always have some) on the counter, and then lay my dough ball down. I start closest to me and use the tips of my fingers to push into the dough, making lines of finger marks away from my body, then I fold it over in half and do it again and again. I only knead mine by hand for about 3-4 minutes, because I’m impatient, and you can’t tell any difference. I then form the dough into a ball with my hands (doesn’t have to be perfect) and wrap it tightly in saran wrap. I put it in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to chill – I find it easier to roll out that way. When I’m ready to roll it out, I put the dough ball in the middle of my flour-y countertop(I use more than I think I need so it doesn’t stick) and sprinkle the top of the ball with flour. I also rub flour over the length of my rolling pin (I use a wooden one). Then I gently start rolling it out with my rolling pin. Also, don’t be afraid to periodically stop rolling and gently pick the dough up. It won’t be as fragile as pie crust, and that way you can ensure it isn’t sticking to your surface.

I don’t know if that helps or not! LOL If you’re scared, just try making the dough a couple of times. It’s really delicious and you could easily just roll it out, slice it into strips with a knife, boil it and put pasta sauce over it and serve it as spaghetti. Maybe trying the dough alone a few times will make you feel more confident? It certainly works that way for me! 🙂

A few more notes about the kuldunai…

  • The meat mixture will fill approximately two batches of the dough. I don’t know if I’m superstitious about pasta dough or what, but I always make my pasta dough batches individually, rather than doubling the recipe.
  • You’ll also probably have a little bit of meat mixture left after two batches of dough. I highly reccommend making them into hamburger patties and frying them up. There’s nothing more delicious than an onion-studded burger!
  • Working alone, from start of the dough and meat to the end result being put in the freezer, this process takes me 2 hours – 2 hours 15 minutes.
  • I normally wrangle my husband into helping me – he rolls the dough out and cuts the circles and I fill the circles and fold them closed. This way only takes about an hour.
  • I normally make the meat mixture a few hours before I plan on making the kulundai, and store it in the fridge. I find it gives more of an onion flavor to the meat, as well as softens up the onions and makes them stick to the ground beef better when i go to place small scoops on the pasta.

Hope that helps!

Ask Me Anything!

February 11, 2010

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying reading the questions and responses on other people’s blogs, so I’ve included an “Ask Me Anything” page on this blog as well!

If you scroll down the right hand side, you’ll see my pages listed…just click the Ask Me Anything page, and leave a comment!

(The current template I’m using doesn’t allow me tabs at the top to make it easier. Perhaps a blog change is in the future!)