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Photo by Bruce C. Moffitt, Owner & Chef

We get a lot of questions from our readers and even if we don't have the answer we know that one of you will. We will post the answer to your question on this page as soon as possible. If you include your email address with your question, others may answer your question more quickly than we can post it on the site. If you have a recipe or cooking question, click here.

On the other hand if you have an answer or a recipe for any of the folks who have posted questions below, simply click the "I have and answer" link below each question.

You may wish to bookmark this page or add it to your favorites so you can check in frequently to check questions and answers.



Recent Questions

Centering yolk when boiling eggs

Question: ...When boiling eggs to be split and stuffed, the yolk frequently ends up off-center,leaving a thin, fragile shell of white which is difficult to stuff properly. Is there a trick which you know to cause the yolk to center when boiling the egg?

Bill, wefarber@hotmail.com

Here are a couple tricks that came in- Thanks to J Daker and alicek27@aol.com.

Eggs have an "air-cell" located at the large end of the egg (NOT the more pointed end). Make sure you set the eggs "pointed" end down in the pan and "prick" a hole with an "egg piercer" in the air cell end (this will help keep the eggs from cracking while boiling). Also, yolks are more centered in FRESH eggs.

In case you didn't get a response yet, the way that I have been able to center the yolk is simply to roll the egg on a counter top a few times quickly and then spin it just before putting it in the water. The yolk will be pushed into the center and won't have time to settle back down before it is cooked. JD



Mayonaise Storage

Question: ...can you keep home made mayo refrigerated for a while like store-bought mayo? (This is one of our most common questions)

Jonny Katof

Real mayo will keep for a couple or three days in the refrigerater, but not for years like store-bought, due to lack of anti-microbial, anti-mold, anti-oxidant, ect. chemical additives.


Here is another take on this question from Cheryl Greenwald. Might want to check it out.

Add 1 T. whey per cup of mayonaise and let sit at room temperature well covered for about 7 hours. This inoculates the good bacteria in the whey, producing lactic acid, which will prevent the growth of other bacteria at low temperatures. You can then keep the mayonaise in the refrigerator for several months. I've done this many times and never gotten sick. For more of these types of recipes, look in a book called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

Salsa, Picante Sauce or Salsa Picante?

Question: What is the difference between salsa and picante sauce? They both seem to have the same ingredients.

Aleta

Same thing- Salsa means sauce in Mexican, accepted as the familiar fresh red stuff by Americans in Southwest. Picante sauce is a composite term for same thing, picante is Mexican for hot, sauce is English word.


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Layered Salad

Question: I had a recipe for a layered salad consisting of peas, grated cheese, sour cream, bacon and lettuce. I would love to make this again, does anyone know of this salad?

Janet

Wendeln sends: This is a family favorite and I really just make it from memory, so I will try to put it down for you.

I use a 9 X 13 glass dish as this helps to make the salad look really nice. I fill the dish with about 2/3 of salad mixture. (I buy the prepared kind, however, 1 head of lettuce is about the right amount)

Then layer the following items:

  • 1 diced green pepper
  • 5 pieces cooked bacon diced
  • 5 hard boiled eggs sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery sliced thin
  • 1 bag of small frozen peas
  • 1 small onion diced (Optional)

After all the layers have been added I frost the top with 1 cup sour cream mixed well with 1 to 2 cups Miracle Whip. Then sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over the top. It makes a beautiful salad and one people keep asking you to bring back to pot luck dinners.

Enjoy!!!


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Open mayo on the shelf?

Question: I've heard that it's safe to store mayonaise on the shelf even after it has been opened. I thought because of the eggs, it must be refrigerated. Anyone have a definitive answer? Thanks

Doug

Click Here If you have an answer.

Or email Doug at: mccard1@ibm.net

Main problem with real mayonaisse is eggs, but commercial mayonaise from your local supermarket is highly chemically "stabilized". I would not leave it out for too long though. Real mayonaise is safe for at least a couple or three days in the fridge.

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Carmel Sauce for Flan

Question: How do you prevent the carmel sauce for flan from getting hard in the bottom of your baking dish. When you turn out the flan on a serving platter or plate, there is a hard piece of carmel on the bottom of the baking dish. It seems like a waste of very good carmel?

Peggy Henke

Click Here If you have an answer.

Or email Janet at: PegHenke@aol.com

Most of it should dissolve and form the sauce, but you are right, some of it does stick to the bottom of the pans. Simply soak the pans in water overnight and the sugar residue will disolve.

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Chocolate Cake

Please help, My mother had a recipe for the most wonderful chocolate cake made with real cocoa and mayonnaise. It was called an eggless, milkless, butterless cake. The recipe book as long since disappeared but the memories linger on. Do you know where I can find the recipe? Thank you so much.

Barbara

OUR ANSWER: I have heard of this cake, and that it is good, but I don't have a recipe.

Jean Sends:

1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
4 tbls. cocoa
2 tsps. baking soda
1 cup mayonnaise
1 pinch salt
1 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla

Sift all ingredients together. Make a well in center. Add mayonnaise and water. Beat about 2 min. Bake at 350 deg. for 40 min. Frost as desired.

Thank You, Jean. Bruce
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Thanks

I just want to let you know I enjoyed your Web Page I'll be back.

Vesta



Indianapolis Bachelor Needs Help!

Know of any cooking schools in Indianapolis area. Attorney friend is recently divorced with two children to raise. He is looking into cooking schools so dont have to eat out every night. Any suggestions?


OUR ANSWER: First off let him know about our recipe site. Then find him a good beginners cookbook, (if you can find "The Four Ingredient Cookbook" it would do nicely). Then find a nice lady to teach him. Otherwise, do any of our readers know any cooking schools in the Indie area? (Cooking schools are also good places to meet a nice lady.)



Sarah Jacobson Replies:

I don’t usually promote businesses, but I would recommend that the Indianapolis bachelor visit Penzey’s Spices.

The company does an outstanding job of providing recipes, step by step guides and advice in their catalog- I’m in Northern California and not lucky enough to be close to a store, but if I was, I’d be camped out on their doorstep. I shop there on the web, and through catalogs. There is a store in Indianapolis, the address is 4026 82nd Street, Indianapolis- phone is 317-577-7778.

I’ll bet the staff would be extremely helpful and friendly- this is a family business and the customer base is made up of passionate people who are the same.

I’ll also bet this would be a great place to make new friends!

Hope this helps.

(FYI: I have no ties to this company, I’m just a very happy customer)

Thank you Sarah



Mayonaise

Bruce, I have severe food and preservative allergies due to a chronic health condition and would really like to use your mayonaise recipe. I just need to know if the mayonaise will stay fresh, or at least not harmful, in the refrigerator and about how long. I'm far from feeling well enough to make fresh mayonaise on a daily basis and looking for an alternative to the Hellman's and Kraft stuff.

Thank you,

Madrigal


OUR ANSWER: The real Mayonaisse has fresh eggs in it, but should be fresh and good for at least a couple or three days if refrigerated. Enjoy- Bruce. Ps for readers: Recipe in sauce recipe section at: Mayonaisse Recipe

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Steak Picado

Do you happen to know the recipe for Steak Picado? If you do, would you please email it to me. Thank you very much!

Susie- Charles Daniels sent us Jim Campbells recipe-

Steak Picado

  • 1/4 c Oil
  • 3 lb Round steak, 1/2" cubed
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lg Bay leaf, crumbled
  • 2 md Green Peppers, cubed
  • 1 Yellow Hot Chili, minced
  • 1 md Onion, sliced
  • 4 Tomatoes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Refried Beans
  • Flour Tortillas

Heat oil in large skillet. Add meat, garlic, bay leaf and season to taste with salt. Cook until meat is browned.

Add green peppers and chiles and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Add onion and cook 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and season to taste with pepper. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. Serve as a main dish with rice and refried beans or spoon into flour tortillas and wrap as a burrito.

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Green Chile Stew

To whom it may concern: I am looking for a simple green chile recepie to make with pork. If you have any similar recepiews please let me know. Thank you

becky

OUR ANSWER: There is a very good one in the Mexican recipes section of our site, Green Chile Stew will take you there. It is very authentic New Mexican recipe.

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Chiles en Nogada

How do you make AUTHENTIC "Chiles en Nogada"?? Thank you & keep up the great work! Great Site!

Rebecca


OUR ANSWER: My dictionary says that "Nogada" is something cooked in a spiced walnut sauce. I have never run into this, but the mole sauces down in the southern-most part of Mexico usually have seeds and nuts in them, and this sounds like it may be from that area. I will see what I can find out, and get back to you if I learn anything, or maybe someone out on the Web will help us. Bruce

Rebecca got back with a website, www.mexicodesconocido.com.mx/comida/2174a.htm, This is from there: COMIDA DE PUEBLA / VERDURAS

Chiles en Nogada

INGREDIENTES

  • 100 nueces de castilla sin cáscara y peladas de su pielecita, 100 gramos de queso doble crema,
  • ½ bolillo remojado en leche,
  • l/8 de taza de jerez semiseco (Dry Sack) o al gusto,
  • azúcar al gusto,
  • crema dulce, la necesaria,
  • 16 chiles poblanos asados, pelados, desvenados y despepitados.

Picadillo para rellenarlos:

  • 4 huevos separados.

Para decorar:
  • 2 ó 3 granadas desgranadas, hojitas de perejil.

Para el picadillo:

  • 1 kilo de lomo de puerco molido,
  • 1 cebolla y 2 dientes de ajo para cocer la carne,
  • 1½ cebolla grande finamente picada,
  • 100 gramos de mantequilla,
  • 4 trazas de jitomate molido y colado,
  • 1 manzana pelada y picada finamente,
  • 2 plátanos manzanos picados,
  • 1 pedacito de acitrón picado finamente,
  • 1 cucharada de azúcar,
  • 100 gramos de piñones,
  • sal y pimienta al gusto.

Para 8 personas

PREPARACIÓN

Las nueces se muelen en el procesador de alimentos con el queso, el bolillo, el jerez, azúcar y la sal; si la nogada quedara muy espesa se le añade un chorrito de crema dulce. Los chiles se rellenan con el picadillo, se pasan primero por harina y luego por el huevo batido para capear (se baten las claras a punto de turrón y se le incorporan las yemas también batidas con una pizca de sal) y se fríen en la manteca o aceite calientes. Se meten en la nogada uno por uno para que se cubran bien, se acomodan en un platón y se bañan con el resto de la nogada. Se adornan con los granos de granada y las hojitas de perejil.

La carne se cuece en agua con sal, la cebolla, el laurel y el ajo, y se cuela. Aparte, la cebolla picada se acitrona en la mantequilla, se añade el jitomate, y cuando esté chinito (o sea bien frito), se agregan las frutas y el azúcar y se sazona con sal y pimienta. Se deja hervir 2 minutos más, se incorpora la carne, las almendras y los piñones y se conserva unos minutos sobre la lumbre para que tome sabor.

PRESENTACIÓN

Se acomodan en un bonito platón de talavera poblana.

PS- Turns out this is a national dish tied to Mexican history. The red of the pomagranite seeds, the green of the chiles, and the white of the sauce are the Mexican national colors, and this dish celebrates that. Bruce
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