Hali Bey Ramdene's Recent Articles
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Turn Up (or Down) the Heat to Get More Flavor Out of Ginger
I’ve been spending a lot of time with ginger lately. Between adding it to stir-fries or using it to make tea, I’ve learned a lot about manipulating its flavor level to get the desired outcome. I’ve learned when and how to use it — and as a result, my hand of ginger is seeing a new life in the kitchen. There are many ways to manipulate the flavor of ginger. How it’s cut impacts the amount of oil released, which affects the amount of ginger flavor you can harness.
Feb 4, 2016
Can I Substitute Skim or Almond Milk for Whole Milk in Rice Pudding?
Q: For recipes that require whole milk, can I sub lactose-free skim or use almond milk? I was thinking specifically about rice pudding. Sent by Patti Editor: Of course you can, but you’ll be decreasing the overall amount of fat in the recipe, which will impact how it will taste and feel in your mouth. For a recipe like rice pudding, the whole milk is responsible for the creamy, round texture in the mouth and the distinct milky-sweet flavor.
Feb 4, 2016
Need to Kick Up Your Dish? Reach for (Mature) Ginger
There are the ingredients that wax and wane in the kitchen. The ingredients that somehow find themselves in every meal or are left to collect cobwebs in the corner of cabinets and grow soft in the back of the fridge. But not ginger — never ginger. This rhizome, often described as a root, is often used in my kitchen as a way to bring heat to a dish without reaching for a pepper — I just have to be sure to reach for the right one. Fresh ginger isn’t a standardized ingredient.
Feb 2, 2016
Why I Scramble Eggs in a Wok
Making scrambled eggs in the wok means I have to throw out all the best advice about cooking scrambled eggs. Don’t use high heat, they say; pull them off the heat before they overcook, they say. But I say crank that heat all the way up and don’t pull out an extra bowl for whisking. First, we should probably talk preference, in which case, I’ll need to blame my mother.
Jan 29, 2016
What Happened to My Sourdough Starter?
Q: Day 1: I mixed 4 ounces of bread flour with 4 ounces of water in a small mixing bowl, covered it loosely with plastic, and set it in a place where the temperature was about 75°F. Day 2: After 24 hours, there was definite activity (bubbles) and I gave it a feeding of another 4 ounces of flour and 4 ounces of water. Day 3: More bubble activity and another feeding. Day 4: I checked it in the morning and all yeast activity had stopped.
Jan 28, 2016
Are There Any Recipes That Use Shrimp Chips as an Ingredient?
Q: Whenever my partner and I order Chinese or Asian takeaway, we get large bags of free shrimp chips/prawn crackers. I don’t like wasting food, so I have been keeping them fresh in the refrigerator, but they’re starting to pile up. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can use them for cooking? Could they be mashed/ground and made into a crust or be used as breadcrumbs? Any help would be great! Sent by Jennifer Editor: The first thought that came to mind was fried chicken.
Jan 26, 2016
How Does Sugar Affect the Freezing of Ice Cream?
Q: Does the amount of sugar in homemade ice cream affect how fast it freezes? Sent by Kamaya Editor: Sugar’s role in ice cream is a starring one, as it’s one of the major factors in determining the texture of the finished product. The Kitchn’s done some digging into the science of ice cream in the past, and touched on the topic of sugar and freezing as well. This is what we learned: As ice cream freezes, ice crystals separate from the liquid cream base.
Jan 25, 2016
Recipe: The Kitchn Cookbook’s Cold Peanut Sesame Noodles with Pan-Seared Chicken
When I was 17 and an ardent vegetarian (I’ve since recovered), my good friend Allison introduced me to soba noodles. These nutty, chewy, buckwheat strands cooked up faster than pasta and were delicious with a quick sauce of rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and minced ginger. I was doing much of my grocery shopping at Asian markets at the time and buying soba noodles by the armful. But then I found peanut sauce and my soba noodles took on a whole new, far more delicious life.
Jan 20, 2016
What Can I Make in a Deep Fryer?
Q: My partner and I were given a deep fat fryer for Christmas. Having never owned one before, I’m stumped: What do I cook in it other than chips? Can anyone recommend a good recipe source? Sent by Hannah Editor: I’m seeing lots of chips, fries, doughnuts, and all sorts of extra-crispy foods in your future. A deep fat fryer is a fun tool to have in the kitchen; it allows you to make numerous foods at home that you’d otherwise have to go out and purchase.
Jan 7, 2016
Why Does My Soup Look Like Jell-O After Refrigerating?
Q: I made a pot of navy bean and ham soup the same way I always do (with a ham bone — an old family recipe), and after cooking, I placed the pot in the refrigerator. When I took it out the next day, it looked like Jell-O. If I reheat it, it looks and tastes fine. What’s going on? Sent by Rich Editor: That ham bone — or rather, what’s still attached to that ham bone — is what’s causing the thick layer that looks like Jell-O on top of your soup.
Jan 6, 2016
Recipe: Coconut & Rainbow Chard Baked Sweet Potato
Sometimes my only ask of a recipe is that it tastes good, looks good, and makes me feel good. That can feel like a steep ask, especially in this age of “quick and easy cooking.” But then I put together a recipe like this one and I’m reminded how often those things sort themselves out when you have an honest pantry to pull from. For me, an honest pantry contains ingredients that I actually want to cook and eat.
Dec 24, 2015
Recipe: Baked Potato Shakshuka
Family-style dining is one of my favorite ways to share a meal with people. It’s the ultimate ice-breaker. Once someone makes the leap and digs in first, the meal — whether comprised of family, friends, or soon-to-be friends — is instantly invigorated with a sense of sharing and conviviality. And then there are the meals when you just want the food that’s on your plate. Baked potatoes, by their very nature, get you there.
Dec 23, 2015
Recipe: Curried Chickpea & Spinach Baked Potato
With its strong flavors of curry, garlic, and black pepper, you’d assume the inspiration for this ultra-savory baked potato would be a dinner at an Indian restaurant. As it turns out, this is a combination I grew up eating for breakfast, and still continue to make this day, loving that my mornings begin with the fragrance of cooked spices and lightly wilted greens. As I mentioned before, topping a baked potato doesn’t actually require a recipe.
Dec 22, 2015
Recipe: The Sweet & Spicy Baked Sweet Potato
Sometimes, dinner as an adult is simply what you make it. A bowl of cereal; a hearty salad; cheese and crackers; or a plate that is perfectly portioned with measured servings of proteins, fats, and carbs. And sometimes, dinner is a baked potato. This sweet and spicy baked sweet potato can feel indulgent, especially with its marshmallow topping, but next to a bowl of dressed arugula, it becomes a fast and flavorful meal to come home and make — even when you don’t want to cook.
Dec 21, 2015
How Do I Prevent Overbrowning on Bread and Rolls?
Q: I always have trouble with my rolls and bread browning on the top, but not on the bottom. Any helpful hints? Sent by Glenda Editor: High up on the list of reasons why this might be happening is you’re baking at a too-high temperature. Absolutely, the temperature the recipe calls for is the correct place to start, but you have to factor in how your particular oven performs. Does it run hot? Are there hot spots? Answer those questions with an oven thermometer.
Dec 18, 2015
What Do I Bring to the Office Potluck?
Q: My office is holding a potluck to celebrate the holiday season. We can bring just about anything — appetizer, main dish, dessert, or drink. As you’d imagine in a big group of people, we have a few dietary restrictions, mainly vegetarian and kosher. I’d like to bring something that travels well, tastes delicious, and also takes into account the dietary restrictions of my coworkers. What is the best recipe I could bring to the party?
Dec 14, 2015
How Long Can I Refrigerate an Unbaked Pie?
Q: How long can I refrigerate an unbaked peach pie before the crust will get soggy? Sent by Jan Editor: The short answer — not terribly long at all. Fruit tends to water out pretty quickly after it’s been mixed with any sort of sugar, and as a result, your crust will grow gummy in a matter of minutes. The first thing you should do is blind bake the crust. Once par-baked (or even baked all the way), it’s less likely to grow mushy.
Dec 3, 2015
Your Wine Cheat Sheet
If you’re skipping the sangria (you don’t have to — you can do it on a budget) or don’t want to be bothered with cocktails but still want to do some sipping with Thanksgiving dinner, plan on having a few house bottles of white and red wine. Picking two wines and sticking to them throughout the night keeps things nice and easy from both a drinking and buying perspective: Choose the two wines you want to serve, and pick up a few bottles of each. Easy.
Nov 18, 2015
Your Mashed Potato Cheat Sheet
Can you ever have too many mashed potatoes? Probably not, but since we aren’t one to assume, here’s a scalable formula that helps you figure out how to make mashed potatoes for a party of one all the way up to a table of 12. Get fancy with added garlic, herbs, butter, or different types of cheese at your own discretion. This formula is based on one serving and for a basic potato + milk or cream + cream cheese situation that results in rich, creamy perfection .
Nov 16, 2015
What’s the Difference Between a Stew and a Braise?
This time of year it’s all about the long and slow cooking. When it comes to cuts of meat that require a little extra coaxing, both stewing and braising can make tougher cuts — like shanks, brisket, chunk, and round — tender enough to slice with your fork. We always knew they had a soft side. Vegetables, never to be left out of the party, benefit from braising and stewing as well.
Nov 13, 2015