Kitchen Q&A (or, Ask Anorak about cooking and stuff)

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Kitchen Q&A (or, Ask Anorak about cooking and stuff)

Post by humblebee » Mon Oct 01, 2007 13:03

I've got some puff pastry in the fridge which I bought on a whim cos it was on special offer at the Co-Op. But I've never made anything with puff pastry before. How does it work? What do you do with it?

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Post by crystalball » Mon Oct 01, 2007 13:18

Ooh, you can make cheese pies with it. Make a cheese mixture with a bit of beschamel to make it all nice and creamy, cut the pastry into circles (like what you would do for pasties but about half the size), fill each one with some of the mixture (don't overfill though), close them and brush the top with oil or beaten egg and then put them in the oven until the puff pastry rises and becomes all golden and lovely.

Or you could make a tart.

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Post by humblebee » Mon Oct 01, 2007 13:22

Would you say, then, that in a pie and/or tart context puff pastry is better deployed as a base/side structure than a lid?

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Post by crystalball » Mon Oct 01, 2007 13:25

No! Puff pastry makes an absolutely lovely lid and, in fact, once you had it it's difficult to go back to using shortcrust pastry. But puff pastry is a bugger to make so it's often not an option unless you buy it.

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Post by humblebee » Mon Oct 01, 2007 13:30

Yeah, I'd never dream of trying to make it.

I guess with puff pastry it's either lid or base then, and not both? It'd seem wrong to me to have an all-encompassing wrap-around puff pastry structure in the way you can have with shortcrust.

Hm, I've got an aubergine in. I might do a sort of aubergine and red pepper and red onion pie thing with it. That'd work wouldn't it?

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Post by crystalball » Mon Oct 01, 2007 13:34

humblebee wrote:I guess with puff pastry it's either lid or base then, and not both? It'd seem wrong to me to have an all-encompassing wrap-around puff pastry structure in the way you can have with shortcrust.
Yes, it's not ideal for that sort of thing. It wouldn't cook properly on all sides for one and that's a bit horrible cos puff pastry can get all soggy.
humblebee wrote:Hm, I've got an aubergine in. I might do a sort of aubergine and red pepper and red onion pie thing with it. That'd work wouldn't it?
That sounds perfect.

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Post by humblebee » Mon Oct 01, 2007 13:35

Thankyou!

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Post by humblebee » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:56

After several years of getting a veg box delivered, I've finally received my first kohlrabi.

Image

It's taken so long that I've forgotten what you're supposed to do with it. Can anyone help?

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Post by miss deepfreeze » Wed Oct 03, 2007 13:22

here i was, all ready to post about puff pastry, and now you're asking me to think about kohlrabi?

(puff, by the way, is great for making little galette things to nibble on, like spread wee diamonds of puff pastry with pesto/tapenade and whack a slice of tomato and mozzarella on. or thinly slice apple/peach/pear whatever and sprinkle with cinnamon, then glaze.)

ANYWAY.

kohlrabi. i've only ever had one, and i think i just used it in a stew thing.
this recipe looks good, and it uses puff pastry, too!

my sister always checks the riverford site for recipes when she gets a funny veg in her box. they have some pretty nice stuff!

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Post by humblebee » Wed Oct 03, 2007 14:10

Oooh, thanks tq...

'Pithiviers' is my new favourite word!

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Post by annie » Wed Oct 03, 2007 14:14

tq wrote:my sister always checks the riverford site for recipes when she gets a funny veg in her box. they have some pretty nice stuff!
the abel and cole website (http://www.abel-cole.co.uk/Recipes.aspx) (how does one do those fancy link things on here, btw?) has pretty good recipes too.

oh look, my first post, and it's about food. how surprising.

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Post by Woodbine » Wed Oct 03, 2007 19:52

I'm going to make Caldo Verde over the weekend, has anyone else had it?
Is evil just something you are, or something you do?

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Post by crystalball » Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:10

Is caldo verde that green cabbage soup? Never had it but my friend had a Portuguese housemate who used to make it all the time and she reckoned it was the best thing in the world. Please post a recipe!

I've got two butternut squashes sitting in the kitchen. What should I make?

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Post by humblebee » Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:14

crystalball wrote:I've got two butternut squashes sitting in the kitchen. What should I make?
Did I ever give you the recipe for my squash and chickpea stew with onion and herb dumplings?

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Post by crystalball » Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:22

humblebee wrote:Did I ever give you the recipe for my squash and chickpea stew with onion and herb dumplings?
Ah yes, I've got that. I've got plenty of chickpeas as well. Thanks!

If I were to roast one of the squashes, what herbs and stuff should I use? I always find squashes confusing.

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Post by humblebee » Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:27

crystalball wrote:If I were to roast one of the squashes, what herbs and stuff should I use? I always find squashes confusing.
I always think rosemary sits quite nicely with a squash.

Ooh, what a lovely sentence!

Lots of olive oil and garlic as well, natch.

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Post by Colin » Fri Oct 05, 2007 15:49

My dad once showed me a trick for cooking spaghetti where you twist it a certain way and drop it into the pan, then it sits like a little wigwam and drops down into the pan as it softens. Saves having to 'bend' it in as the bottom part cooks, or breaking it in half.
Does anyone know what the technique is? I tried it and failed the other day. No-one's going to know what I'm talking about, are they?

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Post by humblebee » Fri Oct 05, 2007 15:54

Nope!

I saw Rick Stein do a brilliant thing on the telly though for opening a packet of spaghetti. He just banged one end of it against the worktop and the other end split open. It looked completely fucking cool.

So I tried it and the packet didn't open and all my spaghetti got broke.

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Post by Big Nose » Fri Oct 05, 2007 16:20

Heh, yeah I saw that. And thought it was unnecessarily poncy, and just open mine in the usual manner. It's not as if it is difficult or anything, or that I ever cook an entire packet of spaghetti. I might practise it though so I can show off should I ever get kitchen spectators.

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Post by squirrelboutique » Fri Oct 05, 2007 18:14

I like the idea of having kitchen spectators sitting in bleachers and cheering me on while I cook.

My cat won't even hang in the kitchen while I'm in there. Even if he's like midbite in some tasty cat food, he takes off as soon as I walk in.

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