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Dear Readers,

Letters to the Editor welcomes your comments, questions, criticisms and suggestions. Looking for a specific recipe or trying to find a product? Please don't send those requests as a Letter to the Editor—we receive too many individual requests to reply to all of them here. Try our Message Boards or our Search page first.

If you would like to write a Letter to the Editor use our feedback form.

Note: To prevent spammers from automatically gathering email addresses off this page we have replaced the @ symbol with an * (asterisk). To respond to someone, please replace the asterisk with the @ symbol.

Thanks.

- The Editors

 

Baking Classes & Free Samples!

Dear Kate,

Congratulations to the winners of January's Gourmet Guess. We sent books and cans of Lora Brody products to addresses all over the country. What a terrific following of bread bakers you have!

Here's a great opportunity for all bread bakers: Baking in France! PJ Hamel of the King Arthur Flour Company (she writes their great catalogue) and I are teaching a week-long series of baking classes in the Perigord region of France the first week of October 2000. I've posted lots of information and great photos of the beautiful inn where the students stay and where classes are held on my web site: www.lorabrody.com. I hope your readers will take a look and sign up.

Also on the site is the text of the commencement speech I gave at the Culinary Institute of America last month when my son Max graduated. Big day for both of us. For those lucky residents of Philadelphia—Max will be working in your great city.

By the way we are happy to send a free sample of one of our products: Bread Dough Enhancer, Dough Relaxer or Sourdough Bread Enhancer to anyone who emails us from our site.

Kate, thanks again for the opportunity to connect with your readers in this wonderful way. Can't wait to do it again next year.

Rise and shine!

Lora Brody

 

Gourmet Guess Winners

Dear Global Gourmet,

Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!

I can't believe that I actually won something; what a thrill. Your trivia questions are a real challenge sometimes and I have fun hunting down the answers.

Thanks so much for sponsoring this contest. I really appreciate it and look forward to receiving my Lora Brody breadmaking kit.

Baker

John Mercadante
jmerk06*sonetcom.com
Lawton OK

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Dear Global Gourmet,

Thank you for choosing me as one of your winners. This is very exciting, our family just loves making fresh bread.

Thanks again,

Darryl Tahara
dtet*lava.net
Ewa Beach HI

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Dear Global Gourmet,

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!

I cannot believe I have won this! Breadmaking is something I have always wanted to try but never quite got up the nerve to do so. You have to understand that quality bread is my favorite food—so much so—that on my birthday my friend Lenore makes a birthday challah for me (complete with candles) instead of a birthday cake. This letter is in response to your request of a confirmation of my address. Thanks again,

P.S. I am so excited by this that I am sending copies of this to my friends and family so that they too will become familiar with your website.

Flora Shore
Cheltenham PA
fshore*home.com

---

Hi,

I am so very excited about winning. I have entered every month for about two years.............yea!!!!!

Thank you very much.

PS You are "the best" in my opinion. I love the monthly quiz. Thanks again.

Carol Blomstrom
cblomst1*san.rr.com
San Diego CA

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Dear Global Gourmet,

I wanted to let you know that the Capresso CoffeeTEC that I won in December's Gourmet Guess contest arrived in February and we think it's WONDERFUL. It looks great, is well designed, and makes tremendous coffee. As my husband and I sat drinking our first cups of frothy latte, I packed up our old Krups machine and readied it to send to the kids. It didn't take us long to become Capresso CoffecTEC converts.

Thanks again for the Web site and the opportunity to win super prizes.

Cate Kohout
cekohout*pclink.com
Edina MN

---

Dear Global Gourmet,

I just wanted you to know that the Capresso CoffeeTEC Coffeemaker arrived yesterday. I am thrilled with it. It is definitely top of the line.

You can be sure this will get well used in this household of coffee lovers.

Thank you again

Judy Ryder
judyryd*earthlink.net

 

All About Capers

Dear Global Gourmet,

Can you help me find out the "What," "Where" & "How" history of capers?

Thank you,

Richard W. Bourgon
bourgon*earthlink.net

 
Dear Richard,

Okay, here's the short course:

Capers are the pickled flower buds of a Mediterranean shrub, capparis spinosa. They are grown mostly in Spain, France, Italy and North Africa and the Sahara, but have been known and eaten since antiquity. The buds are too bitter to eat raw, but pickling turns this bitterness into an asset and a valauble cooking ingredient. The Ancient Greeks introduced the caper to France in 600 BC, but capers are mentioned as far back as Roman written records go. They range in size from France's small non-pareilles to Spanish ones the size of cocktail olives. They come pickled in brine and also packed in salt (rinse them before use). Now answer a question for me: Why do you ask? I'm always intersted in knowing what triggers curiosity. Or were you just being caper-icious?

Kate Heyhoe
The Global Gourmet

 
Dear Kate Heyhoe,

Thanks for info. While eating at an Italian restaurant in Carmel, California recently a question was raised about those little guys on the plate & I said they were capers which was a flower bud from the Mediterranean area (I believe my answer should get about a 95%). One of the parties said they thought they were called kippers, so I explained that one swam in the ocean while the other grew on bushes.

Dick Bourgon
bourgon*earthlink.net

 

Goin' Bananas!

Dear Global Gourmet,

SERIOUS COMPLAINT: (please refer to the following recipe for banana bread) http://www.globalgourmet.com/destinations/caribbean/bananabr.html

I downloaded this recipe and started to make it, only discovering the error after I started to combine ingredients (and felt it was too late to dump the recipe & use another, not wanting to waste the ingredients). Your recipe refers both to BAKING POWDER AND BAKING SODA as if they are the same ingredient. I guessed—baking powder seemed to make more sense for this kind of dish—and the bread is in the oven right now, so I don't know yet if my guess was correct. Please correct this serious error at your earliest opportunity!

Beth

 
Dear Beth,

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The recipe was part of the overall Caribbean article, written by a staff writer who no longer works for us. We will fix the recipe right away and appreciate your informing us. By the way, how did the bread turn out—using baking powder?

We apologize for any inconvenience. We are noted for our quality publications, and I assure you that we take such errors very seriously. I hope you'll come back for another—better—taste of the Global Gourmet.

Kate Heyhoe
The Global Gourmet

 
Dear Kate,

Hello, and thanks for your reply. The baking powder was the right guess—it smells, tastes and looks good. I should point out that I didn't conform to the recipe exactly. I used about two-thirds the prescribed sugar, since we don't like a very sweet taste. I was happy with that modification. I used walnuts instead, and that was fine. I don't have a loaf pan, so I used a pie plate, and reduced the cooking time slightly to compensate. The bread wound up a little dry, though, perhaps as a result. It was a very crumbly texture. I don't think the recipe will make it into the once-a-week category around here, but it sure beat throwing the bananas out.

I was really impressed with some of the recipes suggested in the Pasta, Risotto & You section. I make a lot of pasta and risotto and don't usually run into much that's both original and appealing. Some of the combinations sounded fabulous, or seemed to allude to something that I knew worked but never tried myself (e.g., the pumpkin/marscapone/sage combo). I would like to read the WineDay section a little more thoroughly; the article I skimmed sounded intelligent. I wasn't familiar with any of the wines being discussed, so I had no reality-check to evaluate the article properly.

St. Patrick

Take care & thanks again for your concern.

Sincerely,

Beth

 

Warm and Cuddly

Hi!

I have a question..... What EXACTLY are "pigs in a blanket?" I am having a huge debate with my friends and family about the real "pigs." Thanks!

Stacey Nazitto
louisb*san.rr.com

 
Dear Stacey,

"Pigs in Blankets" used to be called "Trotters in Sleeping Bags" and "Oinkers in the Sheets"—and even "Slumbering Hogs"—but the names were too long so they shortened it. Just joking! The "pigs" are sausages—any kind, ranging from cocktail sausages to breakfast links to frankfurters—wrapped in a pie dough and baked. Variations exist on the wrapper, but this is your basic definition. What exactly is this huge debate about? I'd love to know what you and friends thought it might be!

Kate Heyhoe
The Global Gourmet

 

Know Your Buns

Dear Global Gourmet,

Please have the website builder correct the words Bun Ho to Bun Bo. Thank you

Indochineies@[email-address-removed]

 
Dear Indochineies,

The recipe for Bun Ho is from A Little Vietnamese Cookbook by Terry Tan. Tan is author of several Asian cookbooks. Bun Ho is the spelling used throughout the book.

The Global Gourmet

 

Caviar Tips

Kate,

I have some very nice caviar that I would like to serve to my wife on a special occasion. I have a nice Cava (Spanish sparkling wine), but what should I serve it with, crackers, onion, and sour cream? Please advise.

Jonathan.Powell*alcoa.com

 
Dear Jonathon,

Caviar purists indulge by eating really great caviar plain, right off the spoon—but if you're not quite that extravagant, you might try making these Corn Pancakes with Sour Cream and Caviar.

Or, do a Searchon the Global Gourmet for more caviar recipes.

A very traditional way of serving caviar is on toast points (crusts removed) or thin toasted baguette slices, accompanied by creme fraiche or sour cream, lemon wedges, hard boiled eggs (whites minced separately from the yolks), and minced onion. Or, serve the caviar with just a few of these accoutrements if it's really good, so as not to overpower the delicate taste.

Some folks add caviar to asparagus spears, steamed hollowed out baby red potatoes, or on top of scrambled eggs.

Also: Use a nonmetal spoon (mother of pearl is traditional, but ceramic or even wood will work). The caviar reacts with silver and metal, turning them black.

Kate Heyhoe
The Global Gourmet

 

The Green Scene

Dear Global Gourmet,

Tonight while cooking dinner, my wife scolded me for not cutting the green off of the onion I peeled and was about to dice. I have never heard of this before and she said she has done this all her life. As far as I know, this is just extra chlorophyll and harmless. Can you shed some light on this? She also said I was supposed to cut the green off potatoes and I said the same thing. I only have done this for cosmetic reasons (who wants green on mashed potatoes!).

Sheldon
sheldon*tenforward.com

 
Dear Sheldon,

What a great opportunity to expand culinary horizons! Your wife sounds like she's been missing out on a valuable flavoring ingredient. The green parts of green onions are used in countless dishes, prized for their fresh, mild flavor. Indeed, the green parts and white parts taste very different, with the white part being slightly stronger. Finely snipped green parts of green onions (aka: scallions or spring onions) also make a colorful and flavorful garnish. Think of the green parts as overgrown chives—you can substitute them for chives in a pinch, but they're more powerful in flavor. Asian, Mexican and many other ethnic kitchens would never dream of throwing out the green parts. Try them in scrambled eggs, salads, sprinkled on grilled chicken, mixed into rice...endless opportunites exist to use the greens on green onions. In fact, try the Vietnamese Spring Onion Oil which gets its distinctive flavor by frying both green and white parts in hot oil. In the summer, grill whole green onions until slightly charred, then serve with Mexican food or chop into salsas. Yum!

As far as potatoes go, green ain't so good. The green part indicates solanin, a substance that develops due to excessive exposure to light. In large quantities, solanin may be toxic. In most cases a small amount on a potato won't hurt you, but it will taste bitter.

So eat your green onions in full, and ditch the green parts of potatoes.

Kate Heyhoe
The Global Gourmet

 

Exotic Knife

Kate,

Know of any place in Cincinnati I could get a two-handle mezzaluna...or a good mail order place?

Thanks

James P. Reilly
jreilly*usa.capgemini.com
Resource Allocation Manager
Cincinnati

 
Dear James,

The mezzaluna (Italian for half-moon) is a two-handled knife with a crescent-shaped blade used for chopping and mincing by rocking the blade back and forth. I have seen a few one-handled versions, but they aren't as easy to use. I'm not sure who has them in stock in their current lines, but some likely sources are:

A Cooks' Wares—800/915-9788, www.cookswares.com
Chefs Catalog—800/338-3232, www.chefscatalog.com
Sur la Table 800/243-0852

Any dealer selling Wusthof-Trident knives or other fine cutlery should be able to help you out. Please mention that you were referred by Kate Heyhoe's Global Gourmet.

Good luck!

Kate Heyhoe
The Global Gourmet

 

Sticky Rice

Hi Kate,

I am trying to use brown rice in sushi recipes. I am currently using Rhee Brothers brown rice in a rice steamer. I am cooking the rice for 60 minutes and completing the preparation using a commercial sushi rice vinegar.

The resulting rice is tasty but not as sticky as white sushi rice.

Is there something I can try to make the rice a little stickier?

Thanks

Mike
msandwh*bellsouth.net

 
Dear Mike,

I've never tried using brown rice in sushi, but here's a few suggestions... Is the brown rice short, medium or long grain? Go for short or medium grains and cook them thoroughly—brown rice tends to take longer to cook. Are you adding the traditional sugar and wine vinegar and fanning the rice, as is done with regular sushi rice? If not, this could help a great deal, so check out my preparations for Making Sushi Rice.

Good luck and let me know how it goes! Kate Heyhoe
The Global Gourmet

 

Kid's Idea

Hi,

First let me say that, you're doing a tremendously fabulously amazing thing that helps a lot of moms out there.

Though, I'm not a mom (in fact I'm just 17 years old boy) I would like to know a site where I can just put down the name of the food item and they pop up the picture of that item for me.

For example:

CHEESE QUESADILLAS

then a picture of QUESADILLAS appear. So I know what it looks like. Thanks a million.

Duy Le
iamatmyhouse*hotmail.com

 
Dear Duy,

Though we don't know of such a site, we'd certainly think it's a great suggestion. Thanks!

The Global Gourmet

 
 

Thanks, Dave!

Dear Global Gourmet,

We love your website. Dave Kestle told us about it last year and it is excellent. I have made many of the recipes and everything is good.

Karen
dnkinfla*bellsouth.net

 
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