This Week's Top 5 Hotline Questions

May 24, 2012

Do you use the Hotline? If you haven't been lately, you're missing out -- between discussions about porcini mushrooms and wild yeast levain, questions about FOOD52 recipes, and suggestions for making a super chicken-y roast chicken pan gravy, it's a lively place. Here are our top 5 Hotline questions of the week:

1. jocelyng asked FOOD52ers what to do with fresh porcini. Ideas ranged from sautéing them with a little bit of butter, minced shallots and white wine for a earthy pasta sauce to stirring them into a risotto and throwing them into a grilled cheese sandwich. 

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2. In the midst of high school and college graduations, friends and family are busy thinking about the perfect gift for their grad. Louisa, whose niece loves to cook, wondered if there were any ideas for a good cookbook or cooking utensils that would be suitable for dorm life. There were many suggestions, including Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything and a rice cooker. And, beyondcelery, who cooked regularly in her college dorm suggested: 

A small colander, cutting board/prep board, paring knife, non-breakable bowls, fork, can opener/bottle opener, small saute pan, spatula, good olive oil, dish soap, scrub brush, dish towels. 

3. AntoniaJames, who owns a good wild yeast levain, was in search of a favorite recipe for making bread. The general concensus came down to recipes from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice and Dan Leperd's The Handmade Loaf.

4. Speaking of cookbooks, nununo asked the FOOD52 community for the best salad cookbook. Suggestions included Patricia Wells' Salad as a Meal, Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty, and Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day

5. And, Kristen W., who is in search of the perfect pan gravy, asked for a "technique for super chicken-y roast chicken pan gravy." Sarah Reinertsen suggested she do the following: 

I'd recommend making a short stock with your existing chicken stock - well, basically, you can make a chicken demi-glace. 

Right after you've butterflied the bird, brown the backs/necks in a separate pan. If desired, you can brown off some more carrots/onion/celery, toast some tomato paste (you can also add a T of flour at this point) and deglaze all this with white (or red) wine. Put this in a pan with your existing chicken stock and simmer down until you're ready to strain into the pan sauces. 


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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.

1 Comment

AntoniaJames May 29, 2012
Just to follow up on the wild yeast levain question . . . Rivka and I have had some back and forth on my Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread, which we've both converted with success to incorporate our respective 100% hydration levains. If I can find the time in the next few weeks, I'll re-post to incorporate the levain into that recipe, as well as into my barley and whey bread, which also turned out beautifully when I used the starter. I used whey instead of buttermilk in the oatmeal bread, and reduced the honey. The tangy whey and levain gave the loaf so much character! ;o)