Ask Carb Diva: Questions & Answers About Food, Cooking, & Recipes #75
Let's Get Started
I'm happy that you are here today. If you're an old friend, you already know how this works. But, if this is your first visit, let me introduce you to my kitchen.
Each week I receive questions about food ingredients, cooking or baking terms or methods, requests for recipes, and queries about nutrition. Just about anything food-related has been covered here.
I'm sharing this past week's questions and my responses; it happens every Monday. Want to join in the fun? You can leave your question in the comments below, and next week the answer will be right here. It's that easy.
Homemade Rice Krispies
Is it possible to make a version of Rice Krispies at home? We can't get them here and when I looked on Youtube at a Kelloggs Rice Krispies promo video, it was not actually how they are made. (Not the truth anyway).
The comments were rather nasty as well.
Mary, in August 2017 Dan Myers, contributing editor to the Daily Meal, wrote an article on this very topic. The Kellogg’s company has been making their famous snap-crackle-pop cereal since 1927 but the actual process is a pretty well-guarded secret.
I found several “homemade” versions on YouTube; most of them produced puffed rice, but nothing that resembles Rice Krispies and, it should also be noted that the process those home cooks used looked downright dangerous (as in potentially-burning-down-your-house dangerous!) For example, the guy in the video below cooked his puffed rice (not rice Krispies) on an outdoor stove (does that tell you something?).
As a child of the 1950s, I certainly remember puffed wheat and puffed rice cereals. I liked the wheat version, but the rice puffs were less expensive (we bought them in huge plastic bags) and they looked and tasted like little Styrofoam pellets.
So, what did Dan Myers have to say about Kellogg’s methodology? It turns out that you aren’t eating puffed grains of rice. The first step is grinding the rice grains into a powder which is then made into a flavored paste by mixing in water, sugar, malt flavoring, and a pinch of salt. This rice dough is then shaped into grains which are dried and toasted. It’s the toasting process that creates the “pop”. Just as with popcorn, moisture trapped inside each preformed puff becomes steam.
HOWEVER, I have late-breaking news. After I completed writing this segment, I received the latest copy of Eating Well magazine which contained an article entitled "Pop Culture." The author, Patsy Jamieson, explained that popcorn isn't the only grain that can be popped. She suggested sorghum, amaranth, and wild rice. Here's a link to her instructions. I know it's not Rice Krispies, but this might give you some ideas on creating new snack foods for your home.
Outdoor Grill or Campfire Recipes
Linda, we are cooking on my hiking stove tonight (gas and stove weigh under a pound). You need to teach them in the kitchen because a screw up a mile up and 8 miles out can cause real issues.
The actual hike will be in late April; you have to train for at least two months and still it hurts. My elder boy will carry 5 pounds of apples. One tough strong hombre at thirty-something. We will catch trout. The taste of fish inside an apple is fantastic. Garlic and salt and pepper of course. We cheat and use store made lemon juice.
I'm thinking maybe foods like a twice baked potato. Tin foil (very light) We cannot leave coal or fire remnants—the wrong thing in the natural space.
Can you imagine 6 grown men fixing dinner "camp" style? The arguments are fantastic. We are going kale and spinach. Sorry for "talking" too much.
Eric, I don't know what types of foods you will be packing in, whether or not you will be able to keep perishables chilled, and so on, so I'm going to present a list of possibilities and let you pick and choose. I'm hoping that other readers can use these suggestions as well, not just for camping but also for cooking on the grill in the backyard. Let's have some fun!
For each of the recipes below, you will be making individual packets (1 per person) which makes cleanup easy. But the most important aspect is that smaller packets cook quickly and more evenly. And always use heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Sausage and Veggies
- Create packets of sliced red bell pepper, zucchini, and smoked (fully-cooked) sausage. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Grill 15-20 minutes
Lemon Chicken with Green Beans
- For each packet, you will use one boneless skinless chicken breast, some fresh whole green beans, 2 slices of lemon, 1/2 teaspoon (or so) of minced garlic, a sprinkle of Italian seasoning, and a drizzle of olive oil. Seal tightly and grill 8 minutes. Turn over and grill 7 to 8 minutes more or until the chicken is cooked through and beans are tender-crisp.
- Use the same recipe as above, but delete the lemon slices and Italian seasoning. Spoon barbecue sauce over the chicken. Kick it up a notch with pineapple in place of the green beans.
Salmon (or Trout?) and Veggies with Lime
- Fish fillets, zucchini or yellow squash slices, red onion (cut in chunks), and red bell pepper drizzled with olive oil and lime juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Takes about 10 minutes to cook, flipping once.
- Yukon gold potatoes cut into small chunks, drizzle with olive oil and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Grill about 10 minutes. If you have cheese (can we exist without it?) open the packets, sprinkle cheese (mozzarella or cheddar) on top, reseal and grill 5 minutes more or until the cheese is melted.
- For each packet use one large flour tortilla. Cover with shredded cheese. Fold in half, seal packet, and grill 5 minutes, flipping once. Open and top with salsa.
- Slice banana almost all the way through from top to bottom. Spread apart and fill with a handful of chocolate chips and marshmallows. Wrap tightly and grill about 5 minutes. Grab your spoon and enjoy!
Eric, if I've totally missed the mark on your question and you need some other suggestions (maybe cooking in a skillet rather than in foil packages) please let me know. I'd love to help.
I'll bet you were thinking, "She's going through the alphabet, but there's no possible way that she can come up with something for the letter X." If you bet money, I'm sorry to break the bad news to you, but you lost. I found this recipe for a nourishing Italian soup on the Daily Meal's website.
The basic concept is cooking flour, heavy cream, and butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until a dough is formed. Remove from the heat and then beat in cheese, seasonings, and eggs. You now have a savory pate choux (cream puff dough). You then place the dough in a piping bag with a small tip and squirt into a kettle of boiling water. In seconds tender little dumplings (somewhat like gnocchi) rise to the surface and are ready to eat. Place them in a steaming hot bowl of chicken stock and serve.
Did you know that there is a Table of Contents for this series? I have created an article that provides a detailed listing of each question I've received. It's broken down by category, and within each category, the questions are listed alphabetically. Each question is actually a hotlink back to the original post.
Here's a link to that Table of Contents.
If you like this series, you'll love this! Consider it my gift to you.
Keep Those Emails Coming In
I hope that we can continue to share in this food journey together. If you have questions about foods, cooking techniques, or nutrition you can ask them here. If you are in search of an old recipe or need ideas on how to improve an existing one I can help you. If you want to learn more, let's do it together. Present your questions, your ideas, your comments below. Or, you can write to me personally at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, I promise that there will always be at least one photo of a kitty in every Monday post.
© 2019 Linda Lum