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Archive-name: cooking/common-topics
Last-change: 25 February 1995 by (Stephanie da Silva)
Posting-Frequency: monthly

This file is copyrighted 1995 by Stephanie da Silva (
It may be redistributed provided it is done so in its entirety (including
headers), and with this copyright notice left intact.

This is a list of commonly discussed topics on Please
note that this is not saying that you shouldn't bring up these threads.
It's just acknowledging that these topics do come up a lot. If you post
about them you might not generate any additional discussion, or your post
may spark a thread that continues for weeks.

If you have ftp access, try looking in the archives
before requesting a recipe. They are accessible via anonymous ftp from Some recipes are so popular, there are literally dozens
of recipes for them in the archives. Recipes are in the directory
/pub/ If you don't know how to use ftp, the ftp FAQ is
posted monthly to news.newusers.questions.
For WWW users, the URL is

Recipes listed in this FAQ are only an example of the type of food described,
and are by no means the final word on the subject.

Before posting, consider if is the correct newsgroup
for your article. It is a high volume newsgroup, and your question might
be better answered on one of the smaller, more focused newsgroups. For
example, a request for making ginger ale might be more appropriate for
rec.crafts.brewing and one for curing olives might be better answered on or

Here is an incomplete list of food related newsgroups: (moderated) (moderated)

This file is archived at along with the FAQ
and conversion file in the directory /pub/usenet-by-group/

Aluminum Cookware
Aluminum cookware has not been linked to Alzheimer's. The original
study that suggested this was found to have had faulty data.

Animal Rights
Comes up usually in reference to steaming live lobsters. Sometimes
it's about the ethics of eating dogs, or park-dwelling squirrels or
pigeons. While these topics do bear relevance to cooking, there are
better newsgroups for discussing them, like talk.politics.animals.

Bread machines
Crock pots

Australia/New Zealand foods
Vegemite is yeast extract, very salty and an acquired taste.
It's similar to Marmite. It may be spread very thinly on toast
or used to flavour soups.

A scone (rhymes with "gone") is similar to an American biscuit,
but comes in more variations. It may include ingredients such as
cheese or raisins and is often served with hot tea, whipped cream
and jam.


Measure 2 cups self-rising flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Rub in
2 tablespoons butter. Mix lightly to soft dough with 3/4 cup milk.
Handle minimally to a slab 3/4" thick and cut into shape on floured
board. Glaze with milk. Place close together on greased and
floured tray. Bake in a hot (400F) oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

Depending on who you talk to, Pavlova was created in either New
Zealand or Australia. :-) It is a sweet meringue based dessert,
filled with whipped cream and tropical fruits.


4 egg whites 3 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon vinegar 1 cup castor sugar (superfine sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (extract)
3 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)

Beat egg whites until very stiff, add cold water and beat again.
Add castor sugar very gradually while still beating. Slow beater
and add vinegar, vanilla and cornflour. Place on greased paper on
a greased tray and bake at 150C (300F) for 45 minutes then leave to
cool in the oven.

For serving top with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Try kiwifruit,
strawberries, bananas, and passionfruit.

Guacamole is basically mashed avocado with a little fresh lime
juice squeezed in. No mayonnaise, no sour cream. A bit of
diced tomato and onion is allowed, and a smidgen of chopped
chiles and fresh cilantro if you prefer. The pit has no magical
properties to keep the guacamole from browning; it just prevents
air from contacting the surface. A lightbulb would perform the
same function. Plastic wrap is more practical.

Baking powder vs. Baking soda


3 ounces blanched almonds, chopped 3 ounces walnuts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 pint clear honey 1 package phyllo dough
3/4 ounce butter, melted juice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Mix the almonds and walnuts with cinnamon, allspice and
two fluid ounces of the honey. Line an 8" square pan with foil. Cut
four layers of the dough to fit in the 8" square pan. Place one layer
of dough in the pan and brush with a little butter. Cover with
another layer of dough, then spread with the nut filling. Cover with
the third layer of dough and brush it with butter. Cover with the
fourth layer of dough and brush it with butter, then cut through the
top two layers to mark out four squares. Cut each in half again to
make triangles. Bake for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile mix the lemon juice with the remaining honey, adding enough
water to make the mixture 1/4 pint. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2
minutes. Spoon over the hot baklava while it's still in the pan and
leave to soak for 2 hours before removing from the pan to cut and serve.

Origin of the word "barbecue"
Regional variations (Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee)


6 oz blanched whole almonds 2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 3 eggs

For Orange Biscotti
Zest from 1 orange, grated 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For Anise Biscotti
2 to 3 teaspoon crushed anise seeds

For Lemon Biscotti
Zest from 1 lemon, grated

Preheat oven to 350F. Spread almonds on baking sheet and toast until
lightly golden. Coarsely chop half of the almonds, leaving the others
whole. Grease 2 large baking sheets.

Mix flour, sugar, salt and baking soda together beat in the eggs,
then the almonds. Knead the dough briefly, then divide it into 4
pieces. Roll each piece into a cylinder 15 inches long and 1.5
inches wide. Place 2 rolls each sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Carefully transfer the rolls to a cutting board and slice each
diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices. Set wire racks on baking
sheets and lay the biscotti on them. Bake 20 to 30 minutes.

Black Beans
Also known as turtle beans and common to Mexican cooking. These are
not the same as Chinese black beans, which are fermented, salted
black soybeans or dow see.

Black Cow
A lot of people can't seem to agree on what this is, but it most
likely involves root beer, chocolate or vanilla ice cream and
chocolate syrup combined into an ice cream soda.

An American baking mix. Used for making pancakes, American
style biscuits, waffles, and general baking.

Biscuit Mix (Bisquick)

4 cups flour 2/3 cup instant non fat dry milk
1 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Mix flour, milk, salt and baking powder together in blender or
food processor. Mix well, then blend in the oil. Empty into
covered container, and store in fridge until needed.

Buffalo wings
Buffalo wings

12 chicken wings 3 cups oil for deep frying
4 ounces bottle of Louisiana hot sauce
4 ounces butter
celery sticks Bleu cheese dressing

Cut the wings at the joints, discard the wing tips. Fry the wings
in the oil until crisp. In a pan large enough to hold the fried
chicken wings, melt the butter and add the bottle of hot sauce,
then add the pre-fried wings. Stir to coat the wings and serve
while still warm.


A Korean marinated and barbecued beef dish. Spelling of the name
varies (due to transliteration).


1 pound flank steak, sliced thin against the grain
1/4 cup light soy sauce 3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3 green onions, chopped 2 (or more) cloves garlic, crushed

Combine all ingredients except beef in a large bowl. Stir well.
Add beef slices, and marinate several hours. Stir-fry, broil or
grill marinated beef slices.

Caesar Salad
There are purists who feel that Ceasar salad isn't Caesar salad
unless assembled in an elaborate tableside ritual. Then there
are those who just want a simple dressing to drizzle over lettuce.
Here's one recipe of each.

Caesar Salad

Prepare a serving cart or tray with a large wooden salad bowl with
1 teaspoon salt and 2 or 3 split garlic cloves and a glass bowl of
chilled torn romaine lettuce (about 1 lb.).

In 6 small bowls, place:

6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/2
teaspoon worchestershire sauce
4 minced anchovy filets
1 teaspoon dry mustard, and 1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan
24 small croutons (bread cubes browned in butter, flavored with a
garlic clove)
1 fresh whole egg

Before starting, cover the egg with very hot water. The five minutes
it takes to mix the salad will properly coddle the egg.

Crush the garlic in the salt over the inside of the bowl. Remove the
garlic, but leave the salt. Add the oil and whisk vigorously. Whisk
in the vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire, anchovies, mustard and
cheese. Add the lettuce, grind some black pepper over it and toss.
Add the croutons and then break the coddled egg over the lettuce.
Toss gently. "Don't soak the bread" is the key phrase. Place a
generous helping on each salad plate.

Caesar Dressing (eggless and anchovyless, for the faint-of-heart)

4 cloves garlic, minced 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients until well blended.

Cast Iron Skillets/Woks
Removing rust

Variations upon variations of a theme. A number of cheesecake
bakers are concerned about the top cracking. Some suggestions to
avoid this include baking at a lower temperature, putting a pan of
water in the oven while baking, and/or turning off the oven after
baking and leaving the cake in for 2 hours with the door slightly
ajar. If all else fails, use a topping to disguise the cracks.

Here is a basic recipe.

Blue Ribbon Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 butter, melted 3 tablespoons sugar
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sugar 3 eggs, room temp
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/8 teaspoon orange extract
Grated orange peel for garnish

Combine crumbs, butter and sugar. Press mixture evenly onto bottom
and sides of a 9 inch springform pan.
Preheat oven to 450F. Beat together cream cheese and sugar until
light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each
addition. Blend in butter and orange extract. Turn mixture into
pan and bake 15 minutes. Cool.
Refrigerate at least 12 hours before serving. Remove sides of pan.
Garnish with grated orange peel. Serve chilled.

The substance in chiles that makes them spicy is called capsaicin.
It is concentrated in the veins of the fruit (not the seeds) and
stimulates the nerve endings in your mouth, fooling your brain into
thinking you're in pain. The brain responds by releasing substances
called enkephalins, which are similiar in structure to morphine. A
mild euphoria results, and chiles can be mildly addictive because of
this hot pepper "high".

Chile hotness is rated in Scoville units. The hottest pepper on
record is the habanero/Scotch bonnet which some claim are the same
pepper and others claim are slightly different varieties. Habaneros
are rated at 200,000 to 250,000 Scoville units. By contrast, the
lowly serrano comes in at about 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units.

The word "chile" is spelled differently in different countries, so
you may see people spell it as "chilie," or even "chilli".

The Chile-Heads list is intended to provide a forum for discussion
of matters relating to chile peppers.
You may subscribe to the list by sending a one line message
containing the command SUBSCRIBE to the listserv address:


Chocolate Chip Cookies
Original Tollhouse Cookies

3/4 cup sugar 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup butter 1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs 2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda
12 oz chocolate chips 1 cup chopped nuts

Cream butter, sugar, brown sugar. Add vanilla and eggs, mix well.
Mix together dry ingredients, slowly add to sugar, butter mixture.
fold in chocolate chips, walnuts. Drop in rounded teaspoonfuls
on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-9 minutes.

Cookbooks/Cookbook authors/Cooking shows
Some people appear to derive a great deal of pleasure from bashing
certain cookbook authors, most notably the Frugal Gourmet.

Cooking Unit Conversions
A world-wide newsgroup with readers from many countries brings out
several conflicting conventions for measurement. If you believe in
the old adage "A pint's a pound the world around," I suggest you
test it out with flour. Amy Gale ( posts a FAQ
to every month on the 10th that contains a number
of useful conversions. It's archived at in the directory

One cannot copyright a recipe. One can copyright the words used
to describe it, so if you type in a recipe verbatim, you may be
violating someone's copyright. To be courteous, change the wording,
alter a few ingredients in the recipe and credit the original source.

Cutting Boards
Plastic vs. wood

Dehydrators/Jet Stream Ovens
Sun Dried Tomatoes

There are two kinds of dolphin. One is a mammal in the Order
Cetacea, aka Flipper. The other is a firm-fleshed fish, called
mahi-mahi (in the Pacific?) or dorado (in the Atlantic/Gulf of
Mexico?). It is the latter that people speak of when they talk
about eating dolphin, so please don't flame them for it.

Some cooks have a lot of problem with their falafel falling apart.
Unfortunately, I don't have a fix for this (yet).


8 ounces chick peas 3 tablespoons cracked wheat
3 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoon fresh coriander, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Soak chick peas in water for 8 hours. Drain and grind. Soak
Wheatmeal or substitute in water for 2 hours. Drain and grind.
Mix all ingredients together. Form balls about 3/4 inch diameter.
Deep fry until golden brown (best fried in a net or a deep fryer).
Serve in/with pita bread, tomatoes-cucumbers-parsley-lemon juice
salad, hummus, tahini sauce.

Fast Food
Fast Food bashing
Secret Sauce

An acronym for Frequently Asked/Answered Questions. What this
file is all about.

Food Myths
The [natural product] is better than [refined product] myth. In
reality, there is no nutritional difference. So far, we've seen
this comparison made wrt honey/refined sugar and sea salt/salt.
However, there is at least one exception to this in that whole
wheat flour is more nutrional than bleached white flour.

Mayo in potato salad

The alcohol evaporates out during cooking. In actuality, more
of the alcohol remains behind than previously thought. Shankar
Bhattacharyya (a chemist who reads rfc) performed an experiment
and discovered in some cases as much as 50%+ of the alcohol
remained after cooking some dishes. Caution is advised for those
who need to restrict their intake of alcohol, as more is left
behind than just the flavour.

The $250 Cookie. The story goes that a woman ate at a cafe, liked
a cookie, requested the recipe, was told it would cost "two-fifty,"
was dismayed to find out she was charged $250 on her credit card
and now is seeking revenge by passing around the recipe. People
swear that it happened to a "friend of a friend." It is totally
bogus. The current version blames Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Texas;
previous versions have been about Mrs. Fields, Famous Amos and the
Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City (the Waldorf Astoria version
involved not a cookie, but a red velvet cake and dates back at least
sixty years).

**** It is strongly recommended that you do not post the story as
many people will respond with lots of nasty flames. ****

Check the alt.folklore.urban FAQ for further information. No one
knows the origin of the recipe (it is not one of Mrs. Fields') but
it allegedly is pretty good.

$250 Urban Legend Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups butter 5 cups oatmeal
2 cups sugar 1 tsp salt
2 cups brown sugar 2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs 2 tsp baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla 24 ounces chocolate chips
4 cups flour 1 8-ounce Hershey Bar, grated

Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream
butter, add both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix together with
flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add chips
and candy bar. Roll into a ball shape and place 2 inches apart on
a cookie sheet. Bake at 375F for 6 to 10 minutes.

Food Poisoning
Warm weather invariably brings on a spate of posters wanting to
warn others about food poisoning. The problem is when they do
so, they tend to go about it in a most sensationalistic manner
(and ironically enough, sometimes offer misinformation themselves).
It is with a weary sigh that I say, "Yes, we know about these
matters already." Food poisoning is a common sense thing, really.
Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. It is the change in
temperature that encourages bacterial growth. Don't reheat cooled
dishes or refreeze thawed ones. Avoid cross-contamination,
especially with meats. Wash utensils and hands thoroughly before
and after preparing each dish. Keep dishes covered at all times.
When in doubt, throw it out, tho bringing the food to a rapid boil
for 10 minutes will be enough to kill any bacteria that may be
present. While boiling will denature some toxins (like the botulism
toxin), it won't affect others such as the toxin produced by staph

There are a couple of hot topics that merit being individually
addressed. In some areas of the United States (the Northeast
especially), there have been reports of whole, raw eggs that
have been contaminated with Salmonella. If you feel you are at
risk, then a couple options would be to either cook your eggs
until well-done or to use a commerically available pasteurized
egg product in your cooking.

The other item is garlic in oil. Storing garlic in oil produces
a low acid, anerobic environment, making it an ideal place for
the botulism bacteria to flourish. Botulism poisoning is rare,
but is very dangerous and can be fatal. To prevent this, marinate
the garlic in vinegar or lemon juice before adding it to the oil.

French Silk Pie
Butter is recommended for this pie. If you substitute margarine,
it will not turn out. It also helps if all the ingredients and
bowls/beaters are chilled.

French Silk Pie

1 cup sugar 3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 3 eggs
3 squares (3 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 9-inch baked pastry shell

In a small mixer bowl, cream sugar and butter about 4 minutes
until fluffy. Stir in cooled chocolate and vanilla. Add eggs,
one at a time, beating on medium speed of electric mixer after
each addition and scraping sides of bowl constantly (beating a
full five minutes after each egg is recommended). Turn into a
baked pastry shell. Chill several hours or overnight till set.
Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate curls, if desired.

Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried Green Tomatoes

Firm green tomatoes, washed and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 1/2 cups corn meal
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon pepper
Cooking oil

Pour cornmeal, salt, pepper (and garlic) in a plastic bag. Twist
bag closed tightly and hold top and bottom tightly while shaking bag
to mix spices. Take (dampened) tomato slices and put in baggy with
cornmeal. Shake again until all slices are covered.

In a skillet, preheat 1/4" deep cooking oil on medium heat. When
oil is hot, place slices in skillet. Fry for about 3 to 5 minutes
on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Friendship Starter/Bread/Cake
This is one of those fad recipes. There is nothing Amish in its
origin and it has several variations. It's basically just a
gimmicky recipe for sourdough.

Amish Friendship Starter

1 package active dry yeast 2 1/2 cups warm water
2 cups sifted flour 1 tablespoon sugar

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water in a deep glass
or plastic container. Stir in remaining warm water, flour
and sugar. Beat until smooth. Cover with loose fitting cover.

Friendship Cake

1 cup starter 2/3 cup oil
3 eggs 2 cups flour
1 cup sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups chopped fruit 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 cup nuts

Combine all ingredients until well mixed.

Grease and flour a bundt or loaf pan. Pour batter into pan and
bake in preheated 350F oven 40 to 50 minutes or until cake tests



Garlic/Baked garlic/Garlic bread
Garlic lovers abound on The saying goes,
"There can never be too much garlic." Too true.

General Tso's chicken
General Tso's Chicken

3 tablespoons cornstarch 1 egg, beaten
1 lb chicken meat cut into 2 inch pieces
1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup pineapple juice 1/4 cup vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
oil for deep frying 6 dry whole red peppers
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons water
4 green onions sliced into 1/4 inch pieces

Combine cornstarch, egg, and chicken and stir to coat well.
Combine sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, vinegar, garlic,
and ginger.

Heat oil in wok. When very hot, add half of the chicken and
fry until crisp and cooked (should only take a few minutes).
Remove to drain on paper towels. Reheat oil and cook remaining
chicken. Remove all but 1 T oil and add red peppers. Stir fry
quickly without burning. Add sauce and stir until well-mixed
and sugar dissolves. Add cornstarch mixture stirring until
thickened. Return chick to wok with green onions. Stir to coat
chicken, remove, and serve with rice.

Ginger, how to store
Two most common methods are freezing or submerging in sherry
or vodka.

Hominy is made from corn kernals that have been soaked in lye.
Grits are made when the hominy is ground into a cereal. Grits
are a popular breakfast item in the Southern regions of the
United States, are usually served as a savoury dish. Many
feel grits is an acquired taste.

Cornmeal is ground corn and similar to polenta. It's used to
make cornbread, again a savoury dish popular in the Southern
regions of the United States.


How does one pronouce "gyro?" The majority says it's similar to
"yeer-oh" with a rolled "r".


1 quart plain yoghurt 4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tbsp white vinegar
2 cucumbers

Drain yoghurt by lining a strainer with cheesecloth and suspending
it over a bowl for about 1 hour.

Peel and seed cucumbers. Grate them. Salt them and drain for 30
minutes. Squeeze out any excess liquid.

In a medium bowl place crushed garlic. Whisk in olive oil till
you have a thick paste. Whisk in the vinegar. Mix in the
yoghurt and cucumber. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Half and Half
An American dairy product. It's half cream, half milk, about 10%
butterfat. Comparable to single cream or light cream.

Holy Wars
One of the things that sets apart is that it is
remarkably civil and flame-free for a mainstream newsgroup.
However, occasionally a topic will come up where the posters
divide into two sharply opposed camps, each side tenaciously
adhering to their position. Two of these threads are mayonnaise
vs. Miracle Whip, and Coke vs. Pepsi. Bring these up at your own
risk (I'm in the mayonnaise and Coke camps, myself).

Hot & Sour Soup
Hot And Sour Soup

1/2 pound boneless pork 3 tablespoons soy sauce
8 dried lily buds 4 dried cloud ears
4 dried mushrooms 6 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pepper 8 oz tofu
1 tablespoon water 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 beaten egg 2 tablepoons thinly sliced green onion

Partially freeze pork; cut pork into 1x1/4-inch strips. Sprinkle
meat with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce. Meanwhile, in three bowls
soak lily buds, mushrooms, and tree ears in enough hot water to
cover for 30 minutes. Drain lily buds, mushrooms, and cloud ears.
Cut off and discard tough stem end of lily buds. Slice each lily
bud into 1-inch lengths. Thoroughly rinse tree ears under running
water; drain well. Cut off and discard stems. Cut mushrooms and
cloud ears into thin strips. In large saucepan bring chicken
broth to boiling; stir in pork, the remaining soy sauce, lily buds,
mushrooms, cloud ears, rice wine vinegar and pepper. Simmer covered,
10 minutes. Slice tofu into 1/4 inch wide strips. Add to soup simmer,
covered, 3 minutes more. Blend water into cornstarch. Stir into soup.
Pour egg slowly into hot soup in a thin stream, beating constantly
with fork till egg cooks and shreds finely. Cook soup till slightly
thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in thinly sliced green


2-16 oz cans of chick peas 1/2 cup tahihi (sesame paste)
1/2 cup lemon juice 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
cumin and salt to taste

Mix in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Serve with warm pita and cucumber and onion slices.

Ice cream/Sherbet/Sorbet
Sherbet is so commonly misspelled (as 'sherbert'), that the
misspelling now is considered to be correct due to common

Ice cream may be made with or without eggs. If using eggs, the
custard may be cooked first. Here is an eggless recipe.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

2 quarts half and half 1/2 pint whipping cream
1 1/2 cups sugar 4 teaspoons vanilla
dash salt

Mix all ingredients together and freeze it according to your
ice cream maker's instructions.

Jams, Jellies and Pectin
Prevalent during canning season. When stating ingredients, give
more specific measurements than "a box of pectin."
These topics are now covered by the newsgroup


Key Lime Pie
Key limes are a mutation of a wild orange that grow in areas around
the Caribbean. They're known for being scarce, tho availability has
been increasing as of late. They are small, round, yellow, very
sour, and quite fragrant. The pie itself is simple, just juice,
condensed milk and egg yolks. Some people will bake this, but it's
not necessary.

There are more elaborate variations on this theme, but this is the
original recipe. Key limes were so rare for so long that somewhere
along the way, "Key lime pie" became a catch phrase for lime meringue
pie. If you order Key lime pie someplace outside of Florida, it's
probably not made with real Key lime juice. Don't be fooled by Key
lime "look-alike" bottled juices. If it says "Key West Lime Juice,"
or "Key Lime-Style Juice," it's probably not real Key lime juice.

Key Lime Pie

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh squeezed key lime juice (8 to 10 limes)
4 egg yolks

Whip egg yolks and blend with condensed milk. Add key lime juice,
mixing only until juice is mixed in. Do not overbeat.

Pour into a 9-inch baked pie shell or prepared graham cracker pie
crust. Chill until set (overnight is best). Top with whipped
cream if you like.

Kim Chee
Kim Chee

1 head Napa or Chinese cabbage 3 tablespoons salt
3 to 6 green onions, chopped 1 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chile
1 teaspoon chopped gingerroot

Soak cabbage in salt water overnight in a cool location. Remove
cabbage from water. Mix cabbage, onions, salt, garlic, chile
and gingerroot in a jar or other container with a tight fitting
lid. Refrigerate for a couple of days.


A Mexican sauce (pronounced "moe-lay"). There are several kinds
depending on the ingredients. This is a black mole.

Mole poblano

4 chiles mulatos 4 chiles anchos
4 chiles guajillos 4 chiles pasillas
2 cups whole tomatoes 1 large onion
4 garlic cloves 1/2 cup almonds
1 plaintain banana 1/2 cup peanuts
1 piece toasted bread 2 corn tortillas
1 tablet abuelita chocolate
1/8 cup sesame seeds Oil for frying

Devein chiles and remove seeds. Peel onion and cut in quarters. Cut
plaintain banana in 1/4 inch pieces.
Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a pan and fry all ingredients in batches,
starting with the chiles and ending with the nuts, tomatoes and
chocolate. As you fry all the ingredients, set them aside.
Puree them in a blender, thinning them with chicken broth.
Consistency should be fairly thick, but just thin enough to blend to
a smooth sauce.
Cook over low flame for two hours, or until Mole turns a dark reddish
brown color. Serve over chicken or turkey, accompanied by Mexican
rice and corn tortillas.

There are hundreds of muffin recipes in the
archives, mostly due to's very own muffin maven,
Dawn Scotting.

American muffins are small, dense cakes, baked in a muffin
tin (possibly similar to a popover tin?). They commonly have
fruits, vegetables and/or nuts in them and are popular for

Morning glory muffins

2 1/4 cups flour 1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt 2 cups grated carrots
1 grated apple 1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
1 8-counce can crushed pineapple, drained
3 eggs 1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Into large bowl, sift together flour,sugar, cinnamon, baking soda
and salt. Stir in carrots, apple, coconut, raisins, nuts and
pineapple. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and vanilla.
Pour into bowl with dry ingredients; blend well. Spoon batter into
16 muffin cups. Fill about two-thirds full. Bake in a pre-heated
350F degree oven about 35 minutes.

Rather than go into a detailed explanation on netiquette, I'll
just provide a pointer and a brief explanation on why Usenet works.
Usenet is an anarchy. There is no central ruling force, and no
rules. Usenet is also a community. The reason it works so well
is because the majority of the users cooperate with each other.

There are a set of guidlelines known as "netiquette" that all
new users should know about. Most users willingly follow these
guidelines (tho some flout them, which is different matter
altogether). If you are new to the net, it's a good idea to
familiarize yourself with these guidelines before posting to or any other newsgroup. They may be found in the
newsgroup news.announce.newusers, or archived at in
the directory /pub/usenet-by-group/news.announce.newusers.

A suggestion: Read a new newsgroup for a minimum of one month before
posting to it. Every newsgroup develops its own character and
conventions. Reading it for a while first helps to get a feel for
these. Another advantage to reading is you may find the answers
to any questions have already been posted or discussed. And always
read the FAQs before posting. Again, the answers to your questions
may very well be in the FAQ.

Avoiding crying while peeling

Pasta/Pasta makers
Colored pasta dough

These amounts should be enough to color about 1 1/2 pounds of
pasta dough, made with 3 to 4 cups of flour, 4 eggs and 2 tbsp
olive oil. You might need to add a little bit of extra flour to
compensate for the extra moisture from the vegetables.

Green pasta. Parboil 1/2 pound of spinach for about two minutes
or chard for five minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water and squeeze
the leaves as dry as possible. Puree the spinach or chard through
a sieve or food mill, or chop it fine by hand or with a food
processor. With a fork, combine the spinach or chard with the
pasta ingredients. Knead, and roll out.

Speckled green pasta. Trim, wash, pat dry and chop fine about 6
tablespoons of mixed fresh herbs: parsley, sorrel, thyme, sage
leaves, tarragon, lovage, marjoram, basil, dandelion, rocket, hyssop
and tender savory shoots are all suitable. However, the strong
herbs -- thyme, sage, savory, marjoram and tarragon -- do not blend
well with some others, so choose your herb mixture carefully. Stir
the herbs into the dough ingredients with a fork. Knead and roll out.

Red/pink pasta. Boil two small unpeeled beets in salted water for
forty minutes to one hour or until tender. Peel and chop the beets,
then puree them in a food processor. Stir the beet puree into the
pasta dough ingredients before kneading the dough and rolling it out.

Orange pasta. Stir about 1/4 cup of well-reduced tomato sauce or
pureed tomato into pasta dough ingredients. Knead and roll out.

Yellow pasta. Add a pinch of ground saffron to the flour and salt
for the pasta dough. Mix well. Stir in the eggs and oil. Knead
and roll out.

Pad Thai
Pad Thai

12 ounces rice noodles 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped 1/2 pound shrimp
2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce (Nam Pla)
2 tablespoons lemon juice or tamarind water
2 eggs, beaten 1/4 pound bean sprouts
2 tablspoons peanuts, coarsely ground

2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 red chile, seeded and thinly chopped

Put rice noodles into a large bowl & cover with very hot water,
then set aside for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water.

Heat the oil in a large wok or saucepan, add the garlic and the
onion. Stir fry until the onion softens. Add the prawns and heat
through. Stir in the tomato paste, sugar, fish sauce and lemon
juice. Pour in the beaten eggs, give them 2 - 3 minutes, and then
stir them into the mixture. Add the noodles, half the bean sprouts
and all the peanuts, mix well & toss & stir until the noodles are
heated through.

Turn onto a serving dish. Place remaining beansprouts on one side
of the noodles, then garnish with the coriander, lemon & chile.

Pesto freezes well. Freeze in ice cube trays, then put the
cubes in plastic freezer bags.


2 cups fresh basil leaves firmly packed
1/4 cup oil 1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients in a processor or blender, process
until smooth.



French fries
Dipping fries in mayo
Crispy fries, how to make
These are called "chips" in England. Australia and New Zealand
Hash browns
Perfect mashed potatoes
Sweet potatoes vs. yams

Potato Salad
Potato Salad

4 cups cubed cooked potatoes 1 cup mayonnaise
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 cup chopped celery 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vinegar 1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup chopped sweet or dill pickle

Combine mayonaise, mustard, celery seed, vinegar, salt and
pepper; mix well. Then combine potatoes, eggs, onion, celery
and pickle. Add dressing to potato mixture; mix lightly. Chill.

A dish that originated in Quebec, Canada. It consists of
french fries (chips) mixed with cheese curds, smothered with
brown gravy.

Putttanesca alla Penne

8 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
4 roma tomatoes, chopped 5 flat anchovy fillets, drained
20 Greek black olives, chopped 2 teaspoons drained capers
1 pound penne freshly grated Romano or Parmesan

In a skillet cook the garlic and the red pepper flakes in the oil
over moderately low heat, stirring, for 20 seconds, stir in the
parsley, and cook the mixture for 10 seconds. Add the tomatoes
with the juice and cook the mixture over moderate heat for one
minute. Add the anchovies, the olives, and the capers and cook
the sauce, stirring, for 2 minutes. In a pot of boiling salted
water cook the pasta until it is al dente, drain it, and in a bowl
toss it with the sauce. Sprinkle the pasta with the Romano.

A Swiss cheese delicacy. There is some confusion over whether
raclette refers to a specific type of cheese or to the dish itself.
(At this writing, I'm not too sure myself).


Light a good fire. Buy yourself a half wheel of real Raclette
cheese, preferably from the Valais, between three and five months
old. Scrape off the rind, top and bottom, so that the cheese can
melt more easily. Prepare boiled potatoes in their skins and have
a ready supply of gherkins or cornichons, pickled onions and black
pepper. When the fire died to a mass of glowing embers, procure
yourself a large flat stone and put it before the fire. Set the
half cheese on top, its cut surface exposed to the heat. Nearby
have a supply of plates. As the cheese melts, scrape it off on to
a plate and serve it at once.

Red Beans and Rice
Do not confuse red beans with kidney beans. Red beans may be
labelled "small red beans" or "small red chili beans" and kidney
beans as "large red beans." You can make red beans and rice with
kidney beans (or other types of beans) but it won't taste the same.

Red beans and rice

1 pound red beans 1 1/2 pounds smoked sausage, sliced
1/2 pound smoked ham shanks
1 large onion, chopped 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon sage 1 bay leaf
Pinch of red pepper Salt

Soak beans overnight. Drain, place in large pot and cover with
water. Add all remaining ingredients to beans except salt and
rice. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low,
cover, and simmer until beans are tender, adding more water if
necessary. Add salt to taste. Remove ham bones. Mash down on
about 1/3 of the beans with a potato masher (beans should have a
creamy texture). Simmer 15 more minutes and then serve hot over

Recipe Program Software
Mastercook and other programs may be found via anonymous ftp
at in the directory /pub/msdos/food.

There is a Master Cook mailing list. Send the command
"subscribe mastercook" to

There is also a Meal Master mailing list. It may be subscribed
to at:

There is another Meal Master mailing list. To subscribe to it,
send email to:

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits
Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits

1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings 5 pounds Bisquick
44 ounces cold water 1 pound grated sharp cheddar
1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix bisquick, water and cheese. Drop
by large spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
After baking, while still hot, brush on melted butter mixed with
garlic powder, parsley flakes and Italian seasoning. Serve hot.

For a smaller batch, use 2 cups Bisquick, 1/2 cup cold water, and
3/4 cup grated cheddar which will yield about 12 biscuits.
You may also substitute soda water or gingerale for the water.

Rice cookers/Cooking rice/Rinsing rice

Roasted Whole Pig

Rum Cake
This recipe is popular during the holiday season.

Rum Cake

1 package Duncan Hines Golden Butter Cake Mix
3 eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup rum 1/2 cup water
1 small package of instant vanilla pudding
1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Grease heavily and flour a bundt pan. Sprinkle nuts on bottom of
pan. Mix all ingredients and pour into pan over nuts. Bake at 325F
for 50-60 minutes. While the cake is baking, make the glaze.

1 stick butter 1/4 cup rum 1 cup sugar

Put glaze ingredients in a small pan and boil for 2 minutes. Pour
glaze on the cake immediately upon removing from oven. Let cool in
pan for twenty minutes before turning out.

Salsa means simply "sauce." Salsa may be cooked or raw, chunky
or smooth, made from chiles or tomatoes or even fruit. Picante
means "spicy" and is not a salsa but a word used to describe salsa.
This one is a tomatillo salsa.

Ninfa's Green Sauce

3 medium sized green tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4 tomatillos, cleaned and chopped
1 to 2 jalapenos, stemmed and coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves 3 medium-sized ripe avocados
4 sprigs cilantro 1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups imitation sour cream

Combine chopped tomoatoes, tomatillos, jalapenos and garlic
in a saucepan. Bring to a boil (tomatoes provide all the liquid),
reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until tomatoes are soft.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Peel, pit and slice avocados; set aside. Place tomato mixture with
part of the avocados (do this in batches), cilantro and salt in food
processor and process until smooth. Turn into a large bowl. Stir
in sour cream, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Serve with
tortilla chips.

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

1 tablespoon light brown sugar 1 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup soy sauce 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced Crushed dried chile peppers

6 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2" strips

Peanut sauce
2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/4 cups fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup chicken broth 1/4 cup heavy cream
Cayenne pepper Grated lime zest
Fresh cilantro sprigs

To make the marinade, combine the first 7 ingredients in a shallow
dish. Thread the chicken strips onto bamboo skewers. Place the
skewers into the soy sauce mixture and let marinate in the
refrigerator at least 2 hours.

Make the peanut sauce by combining the next 7 ingredients in a
saucepan. Season to taste with cayenne pepper. Cook over
moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce is as thick
as heavy cream (about 15 minutes). Transfer to a food processor
and pure briefly. Add chicken broth and cream and blend until

Prepare moderate-hot charcoal coals or preheat a broiler. Cook the
skewered chicken, turning several times and basting with the marinade,
until crispy on the outside but still moist on the inside, about 8
minutes. Sprinkle grilled chicken with lime zest and garnish with
cilantro leaves. Serve with the peanut sauce for dipping.

There's a newsgroup devoted to this topic,

Tira Mi Su
An Italian Cheese Charlotte, the name means "Pick me up".
Widely popular dessert that people can't leave alone. Has many
variations, including eggless, with cooked eggs, liquorless,
and with substitutes for the marscapone (tho common consensus
claims there is no comparable substitute).

Tira Mi Su

24 ladyfingers, toasted in a 375-degree oven for 15 minutes
2 cups espresso coffee 6 eggs, separated
3 to 6 tablespoons sugar 1 pound mascarpone
2 tablespoons Marsala wine 2 tablespoons Triple Sec
2 tablespoons brandy 2 tablespoons orange extract
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Arrange the ladyfingers on a plate and lightly soak them with the
cooled espresso. Put half of the soaked ladyfingers in one layer
in a rectangular serving dish. While the ladyfingers are soaking,
beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the yolks turn pale in
color. Add the mascarpone, the liquors, and the extract, and stir

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a wire whisk until
they are stiff. Gently fold the whites into the mascarpone

Use half of this mixture to make a layer on top of the ladyfingers
in the serving dish. Sprinkle with half of the chopped chocolate.
Repeat the procedure with another layer of soaked ladyfingers, the
mascarpone mixture, and chocolate. Cover with tin foil and
refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Truffles, chocolate




The colored part of the rinds of citrus fruits, without the
bitter, white pith. There are little gadgets, not surprisingly
called "zesters," that make it a snap to remove the zest.


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wow, June 15, 2005 - 10:49 AM
Reviewer: Anonymous from UNY
great, super comprehensive list of topics - very worth browsing through!!!

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