Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Noelle Carter

Test Kitchen video tip: Choosing a bread wash

Bread recipes often call for some sort of "wash"  or glaze before baking, sometimes egg, sometimes milk. Even butter. Different washes are used to achieve different results:

  • Brushing with beaten whole eggs will give both color and sheen to a bread. Egg yolk provides rich color, browning easily in the oven. Egg white provides a nice sheen.
  • Brushing with milk will help to color the crust, the sugars in the milk helping to brown the crust.
  • Water is often sprayed or brushed onto bread before it is placed in a very hot oven, and during baking, to give the bread an extra-crisp crust. Water added to an egg wash helps to thin the wash so it brushes more easily.
  • Butter will give the bread a softer crust and richer flavor.
  • Sweeteners--honey, syrup, etc.--will give bread a sweeter, softer crust.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an e-mail at [email protected].

ALSO:

Go behind the scenes at the Test Kitchen

134 recipes for your favorite restaurant dishes

Browse hundreds of recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

-- Noelle Carter
You can find me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter

Video credit: Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times

Dinner tonight! Grilled salmon salad

Grilledsalmonsaladalseib

This recipe is a perfect way to use up leftover salmon, and also works well with other leftover fish -- or even chicken -- just change up the herbs as desired to suit your taste. For this version, flake grilled salmon over a salad of steamed red potatoes, avocado and watercress and toss with a simply seasoned lemon and olive oil-based dressing. It takes only about 40 minutes to prepare.

If you don't have leftover salmon and would like to try the dish with fresh salmon, grill a seasoned fillet over moderate heat until the flesh lightens in color and firms throughout, 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the fillet. Check the fish for doneness: a knife should penetrate the fish easily, and the fillet should just begin to flake.

For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery here. Food editor Russ Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix a dozen dishes in an hour or less.

ALSO:

Mac 'n' cheese recipes galore!

Go behind the scenes at the Test Kitchen

Browse hundreds of recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

-- Noelle Carter
You can find me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter

Photo credit: Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times

Continue reading »

Kitchen gadget: Bismark tip

BismarktipkirkmckoyHave you ever wondered how pastry chefs and doughnut shops are able to pipe those perfectly puffed eclairs and plump jelly doughnuts with their glorious fillings? It takes a very long piping tip.

Better known as a Bismarck pastry tip (named after the doughnut), these handy little gadgets make simple work of filling all sorts of baked goods: classic pastries, doughnuts, even cupcakes. Trying to fill a delicate pastry using a standard pastry tip can be almost as messy as eating one; the tip is often just too short and thick to reach the center of the baked good. Bismarck tips are shaped like a standard piping tip but with a long tube attached at the end to make the job of injecting your favorite treats with all sorts of sweet goodness that much easier.

Bismarck pastry tips can generally be found at cooking and baking supply stores, as well as at select craft stores, and are widely available online. A Bismarck pastry tip should set you back only $3 to $6.

Continue reading below for recipe links for eclairs, yeast-raised doughnuts and more!

If you have any kitchen gadgets or tips you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at [email protected].

ALSO:

Go behind the scenes at the Test Kitchen

134 recipes for your favorite restaurant dishes

Browse hundreds of recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

-- Noelle Carter
You can find me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Photo: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Continue reading »

This week's recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

Eclairsbobchamberlin

Have you ever considered trying your hand at homemade eclairs or cream puffs? It all starts with a dough called pate-a-choux:

Pate-a-choux is the stuff of magic in the kitchen. Pipe a soft, sticky dough onto a baking sheet and slide it into a hot oven. In mere minutes the dough puffs up — practically exploding to double, even triple, its original size — right before your eyes. Out of the oven, pate-a-choux cools to a golden-brown shell, crisp yet delicate and lighter than air. It's downright mesmerizing.

Maybe you've never heard of pate-a-choux, but you've no doubt savored it at one time or another. Also known as cream puff dough, it's the magic behind crisp éclair shells and towering cream puff pastries, savory profiteroles and cheesy gougères.

Even better? Pate-a-choux is really simple to make. All it takes is butter, water, flour and eggs, perhaps a touch of sugar and salt, to get you started.

No worries. We include plenty of recipes, including that rich chocolate glaze pictured above!

This week's recipes include:

When you try one of this week's recipes or any L.A. Times recipe, let us know! Upload a photo onto the "Our Recipes, Your Kitchen" gallery to share your take on the recipe and tell us about yourself. Your photo will be posted online on our LA Times Food page.

ALSO:

Go behind the scenes at the Test Kitchen

134 recipes for your favorite restaurant dishes

Browse hundreds of recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

— Noelle Carter
You can find me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Photo: Eclairs with pastry cream and chocolate glaze. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

This week's Culinary SOS: Cayenne's Moroccan chicken soup

Cayennekirkmckoy

This week's Culinary SOS request comes from Melinda Siegel in Los Angeles:

The Moroccan chicken soup at Cayenne Restaurant on Beverly Boulevard is absolutely delicious and unlike any other chicken soup I've ever had. It is so good that I find it takes great effort for me to order anything else from the menu. Can you get the recipe?

Rich, yet delicately spiced, Cayenne was happy to share its recipe for this easy-to-make soup.

Thanks, Melinda! You can find the recipe here.

Click here for more Culinary SOS recipes. If you have a favorite restaurant recipe you'd like to request, feel free to email me at [email protected]. I'll do my best to track it down.

ALSO:

Mac 'n' cheese recipes galore!

Go behind the scenes at the Test Kitchen

134 recipes for your favorite restaurant dishes

-- Noelle Carter
You can find me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Photo: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Continue reading »

Dinner tonight! Pan-fried spicy chicken

Homestyle Vietnamese fried chicken: chicken marinated with a vibrant marinade of garlic and ginger, fish sauce, Vietnamese coriander and onion, then pan-fried and tossed with fresh mint and corianderHomestyle Vietnamese fried chicken: chicken marinated with a vibrant marinade of garlic and ginger, fish sauce, Vietnamese coriander and onion, then pan-fried and tossed with fresh mint and coriander. Marinate the chicken ahead of time, then fry away! Make the dish, after marinating, in about 45 minutes. It's perfect when you're cooking after a long day, or planning to entertain over the weekend.

For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery here. Food editor Russ Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix a dozen dishes in an hour or less.

ALSO:

Mac 'n' cheese recipes galore!

Go behind the scenes at the Test Kitchen

Browse hundreds of recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

-- Noelle Carter
You can find me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter

Photo credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Continue reading »

Test Kitchen tips: Storing knives in a knife block

Knife block

Quick tip on storing knives: If you have a knife block with vertical slots, like the one shown above, consider storing your knives so the edge of each blade is facing up. This will help to keep your edges sharper. When knives are stored with the edge facing downward, the edge has to slide along the bottom of the slot as the knife is housed, dulling the blade.

You might also consider a horizontal knife block (the slits run side to side); I picked one up a few years ago for my extra knifes at home and fell in love with it. Or do as Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila does and go for a magnetic knife rack.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected].

ALSO:

134 recipes for your favorite restaurant dishes

What's hot: Recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

Browse hundreds of recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

-- Noelle Carter
You can find me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter

Photo credit: Noelle Carter

Test Kitchen video tips: Measuring butter without a wrapper

You have a recipe that calls for 4 tablespoons of butter, but you're out of those nice sticks with the measure on the wrapper, and have only unmarked ends in the back of the fridge. What do you do?

Not to worry! Fill a measuring cup part-way with cold water, and drop in your butter bits until the measure reaches whatever you need. For 1/2 cup, or 8 tablespoons of butter, fill a measuring cup with, say, one cup of water. Add butter until it reaches 1 1/2 cups, and there you have it.

This trick will even work with butter that has been left out at room temperature; just make sure the water is very cold so the butter doesn't melt as it's added and measured.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected].

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected].

ALSO:

Go behind the scenes at the Test Kitchen

134 recipes for your favorite restaurant dishes

Browse hundreds of recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

— Noelle Carter
You can find me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Video credit: Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times

Dinner tonight! Mushroom quesadillas

Mushroom quesadillas

Honestly, could it get any better than quesadillas for dinner? Melt some cheese over a warm tortilla, add an extra filling or two, and you're good to go. For a wonderfully rich, meaty filling, try adding sauteed mushrooms cooked with shallots and butter and a touch of mint. The recipe comes together in minutes, perfect after a long day.

For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery here. Food editor Russ Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix a dozen dishes in an hour or less.

ALSO:

Mac 'n' cheese recipes galore!

Go behind the scenes at the Test Kitchen

Browse hundreds of recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

-- Noelle Carter
You can find me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter

Photo credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

Continue reading »

Eat Beat: Julienne's double-chocolate espresso cookies

This Eat Beat features a Culinary SOS request from Pat Schwanhausser in Elkin, N.C.:

I am from North Carolina and recently visited Los Angeles. While there I visited Julienne in San Marino. The double-chocolate espresso walnut cookie is the best I have ever eaten. Would it be possible to get the recipe for this cookie?

Julienne was happy to share its recipe for amazing chocolate espresso cookies. In this Eat Beat, Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter demonstrates the cookies. You can find the recipe here.

Catch our televised recipe demonstrations on KTLA select weekdays toward the end of the 1 p.m. news hour; you can also watch the videos on Food's homepage.

ALSO:

Mac 'n' cheese recipes galore!

Go behind the scenes at the Test Kitchen

Browse hundreds of recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

-- Noelle Carter
You can find me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter

Video credit: KTLA

Continue reading »
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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.