joelfinkle's Profile

Display Name: joelfinkle
Member Since: 3/23/10

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Although not quite as much of a PITA as palm sugar, this also needs to be grated to be useful, most times, as it can be rock hard. Bayless' Essential Chipotle Seasoning Paste calls for it, that's about all I use it for, but even then brown sugar is pretty darn close.

What Can I Do With Piloncillo? Good Questions
4/18/14 02:42 PM

angel - don't think of the yogurt just as nutrition: dairy goes great with eggs. Greek yogurt, butter or sour cream are all great additions.
I'd previously done one to mimic Bavarian Obatzda: camenbert, butter, cream cheese, paprika, onion and caraway (and garnished with a mini pretzel) -- no mayo at all.

How To Make Deviled Eggs Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn
4/16/14 11:01 AM

For a huge list of variations (a fistful of them mine), go to LTHForum, Chicago's Culinary Chat Site.

Watch out for what color your flavorings make: Creole sauce or chipotle can make a rather disgusting brown, wasabi powder will make them green (not so bad, really).

How To Make Deviled Eggs Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn
4/16/14 10:31 AM

Kung Pao Chicken: instead of a gloppy stir-fry with many veg that just happens to have peanuts and chiles, it should be a sour-hot-sweet dish with scallions and peanuts, lots of garlic and ginger. Fuschia Dunlop's recipe ( is simple and foolproof.

Spaghetti Carbonara: It shouldn't be a bowl of creamy cheese sauce with noodles and bacon floating in it, it should feature the pasta, coated lightly with an silky mix of egg and pork fat, and lots of cracked black pepper. I've got several recipes from Mario Batali: sometimes onion, sometimes a splash of cream to loosen up the sauce... but always just "dressed" with the sauce.

The Dishes I Never Order Out Because They're Better at Home
4/11/14 11:55 AM

Vibranium-adamantium alloy, obviously. What, pans, not shields? Oh. Nevermind.

I'm Buying New Pots & Pans. Which Material Is Best? Good Questions
4/10/14 04:29 PM

You forgot some of the other desserts: Sponge cake made with matzo meal, and fruit compote, about the only thing with any fiber in the traditional meal... so to "let my people go!"

A Food Lover's Guide to Passover
4/7/14 03:14 PM

(channa, not chanah)

Advice for Meals That Will Satisfy Both a Vegetarian and an Omnivore? Good Questions
4/3/14 03:45 PM

1) Indian: Rajmah is a bean chilli, with different spicing than the american southwest version. Chanah Masala is a classic chickpea curry. Muttar Paneer is a mild cheese seared and served in a rich sauce with peas. All are pretty easy (and the first two can be done in a slow cooker). Going dairy-free is a little harder.
2) Mexican: Cheese enchiladas, seared Oaxacan cheese (queso fresco) tacos, refried black beans and avocado can fill tacos, burritos, tostadas, etc. Huitlacoche is another option, if you can tolerate the idea of eating "corn smut."
3) Eggplant Parmesan is a favorite.and really the number of meatless pastas probably exceeds meat ones. A pizza using a quick or premade crust is certainly weeknight friendly (or get into the kneadless habit), and can be topped with or without animal products.

If you're resorting to textured vegetable protein, facon, veggieburgers, etc., it's only through lack of imagination.

Advice for Meals That Will Satisfy Both a Vegetarian and an Omnivore? Good Questions
4/3/14 03:44 PM

Check the ethnic markets for lamb at reasonable prices -- both ground and legs, chops, shoulders, etc. The supermarket charges $9.99 for branded ground lamb, while a greek or eastern European-based market probably charges $3.99 or less, often just below the cheaper cuts such as shoulder roast. At one such market, they were out of ground lamb, so they took a whole leg into the back, ground it, and priced it lower than the leg!

Recipe: Lamb Meatballs with Lemon Sauce Recipes from The Kitchn
4/3/14 10:43 AM

Would commercial pomegranate molasses work instead of reducing juice? I've always got that in my pantry (look up muhammara, it'll be your new favorite dip).

A 9-Bottle Bar Extra: Grenadine The 9-Bottle Bar
4/2/14 02:33 PM

I've used this technique for a tofu substitute for paneer in mutter paneer (cheese 'n' peas) or paneer makhani (cheese in butter sauce. yes, it's that good). With the firmest of tofus, it's close to paneer in texture (frying with ghee helps).

How To Make Crispy Tofu Without Deep-Frying Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn
3/17/14 10:54 AM

I'd love to play with one - from what I've read, you get some of the temperature control of sous vide, but at higher temperatures. Time to could can be substantially reduced, and rise on yeast breads should be fantastic.

Cons? Cost. They're definitely expensive, with single ovens running $2000-8000 at my favorite retailer Abt. Add in the need to get plumbing to your oven, and the costs go up too.

There are some tabletop models that could sub for a microwave (and some include microwave features), and they start at around $250, so it may be possible to play with those features (but you won't get a full-size baguette in one of those).

What are the Pros & Cons of Convection Steam Ovens? Good Questions
3/17/14 09:29 AM

I prefer to think of my salad rules more on texture: crunch is critical. If you are using a soft green (spinach, for instance), balance that with nuts, croutons, carrots, bell pepper. If your greens are crunchy (romaine, head lettuce), then your cooked grain idea works fine (but more crunch never hurts).
A little something rich is important, even if you're going for diet food: A few cubes of avocado, cheese, nuts, etc. help set the feeling that there's something good in there, to prevent the need to eat something else rich "because I ate salad."
If your salad dressing is creamy, balance with more acidic ingredients: pepperoncini, tomatoes. If your dressing is sour (going light on oil, in a vinegar or lemon juice situation), up the rich/creamy items a bit.

Recipe: The \"Why You Don't Need a Recipe for a Salad\" Recipe Recipes from The Kitchn
3/13/14 12:06 PM

I'm another fan of old editions of Joy -- although I've been told recent editions have restored more of the "Know your ingredients" sections, I trust my early '80's edition.

Another stellar general-purpose book is the Gourmet Magazine cookbook, ISBN 978-0618806928, and Gourmet Today, ISBN 978-0618610181. The former has more 'classic' recipes, the latter has modern interpretations of dishes, although that's not 100% the case. Between the two, I've seldom been at a loss for a European or American cuisine recipe, and a fair chunk of other parts of the world too.

What's the Best General, Comprehensive Cookbook to Buy? Good Questions
3/10/14 06:07 PM

Just reviewed this on my blog:
Unlike another poster above, I didn't think it was too dry: in fact, there was a fair amount of liquid in the bottom when I served it. However, the squash loses its spaghetti-ness after all the baking. Definitely good for brunch. I added some sage and nutmeg, just to complement the squash.

Recipe: Baked Spaghetti Squash Carbonara Recipes from The Kitchn
2/28/14 05:52 PM

Oh and #12 is awesome too: When we remodeled the kitchen, we hung a magnetic chalkboard. It holds calendars, stamps, we use it for shopping lists, then at the party it becomes the menu.
<img src="" width="500" height="333" alt="HolidayParty2013 Menu">

Why Didn't We Think Of That? 18 Genius Kitchen Organizing Tips From Our Readers Reader Intelligence Report
2/26/14 01:50 PM

Thanks for the props - I've linked my blog back to here, and I'll keep listing kitchen hacks, recipes and explorations of my fridge and pantry.

Why Didn't We Think Of That? 18 Genius Kitchen Organizing Tips From Our Readers Reader Intelligence Report
2/26/14 01:45 PM

Mainstreaming of hippie foods: whole wheat bread with real chunks of wood (jk), granola.
Actually for me the 70s was typified by all things zucchini, mainly because of overgrowth in my parents' garden. They made Bubba Gump look unimaginative.

10 Recipes That Defined the 1970s Recipes of the Decade
2/25/14 11:14 AM

The Kirkland Toscano is indeed very good, but at $13-$14 for a liter, it's a drizzler, not an everyday sautee oil. For that I use their organic olive oil, which has a decent flavor and aroma, and about half the price.

Expert Tip: The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Buy at Trader Joe's
2/21/14 09:19 AM

Lego, or more specifically, Duplo: The 2x2 bricks, stacked a couple high, are great for stacking cookie sheets in preparation for baking a lot of cookies, or hors d'ouvres for a party. They're dishwasher safe, store easily, and cost nothing -- they're the only Duplo we still have in the house since the kids grew out of it into real Lego... and another 20 years beyond.

What's Your Genius Kitchen Organizing Tip? Tell Us What Makes You Proud! Reader Intelligence Request
2/18/14 02:18 PM