This Week's Top 5 Hotline Questions

May 18, 2012

Do you use the Hotline? If you haven't been lately, you're missing out -- between discussions about macarons and caramels, questions about FOOD52 recipes, and inquiries on how to maintain stainless steel cookware, it's a lively place. Here are our top 5 Hotline questions of the week:

1. BurgeoningBaker asked why the batter for her Meyer Lemon Macarons was a bit runny, as well as how to get stiff peaks without using tartar or vinegar. nzle and Sarah Reinersten both chimed in with helpful tips, from using room temperature egg whites and a grease-free bowl to folding the egg whites once they form medium peaks. 

Shop the Story

2. Maria,Xenophontos asked if she could make caramels with powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar. HalfPint said: 

No! Most powdered sugar has cornstarch to keep the sugar from clumping together. That cornstarch is going to burn and that's not a good thing.

3. adashoflife, the proud new owner of stainless steel cookware, asked the FOOD52 community for tips on keeping food from sticking to stainless steel pans. Many people offered advice from using meat that has been patted dry to The Frugal Gourmet's mantra "hot pan, cold oil, food won't stick" and using wood or heat resistant plastic utensils.

4. In search of a tasty lunch, Rivka wondered what she should add to her already cooked farro. Shuna Lydon explained how she likes to prepare it:

I love dressing farro salads with Sherry vinegar, coarse sea salt & black pepper. I will also saute escarole, beet greens, spinach or some other silky green to complement the textural nature of a grain salad. I know it sounds off but I also like to grill or quick saute figs but if fruit is out of season or too odd, other vegetables like raw or lightly cooked: turnips, radishes, carrots, zucchini would be lovely. I like to roast, saute and keep raw various ingredients for textural complexity.

5. A first time quinoa user, Lost_in_NYC wanted to know how to properly toast the ancient grain. SKK shared her favorite recipe from Martha Rose Shulman.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I'm Laura Loesch-Quintin, a food writer and photographer, as well as the voice behind the recipe blog gourmette•nyc. Originally from Philadelphia, I was raised in a French-American household where vinaigrette, cornichons, and clafoutis were (and still are) staples. When not cooking, writing, or photographing, I can usually be found exploring the food markets of New York City.