Saint Louis Cook Profile - (1273671)

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Saint Louis Cook

Saint Louis Cook
Home Town: Jackson, Mississippi, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Member Since: Mar. 2002
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Slow Cooking, Asian, Indian, Southern, Middle Eastern, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert, Quick & Easy
Hobbies: Walking, Reading Books, Music, Wine Tasting
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About this Cook
I love to cook; cooking dinner every day is how I destress and unwind from my day. I also love to feed people (must be my Southern roots). Some of my earliest memories are from the kitchen, helping my mom and dad cook. The kitchen was always my favorite room of the house, always bustling and active with wonderful aromas and warmth. I made my first dish at about age 6 (with supervision)---cornbread of course, and I've been cooking ever since. I used to love making desserts (and I still do) but since losing about 50 pounds 2 years ago, I try to cook healthier. I am always on the prowl for a new and different recipe and I love spicy ethnic foods.
My favorite things to cook
I love to cook just about anything, but things that stand out include vegetarian dishes (I love winning over carnivores), the aforementioned desserts, Indian food (I've really gotten the hang of this in the last 2 years), spicy foods, carribean dishes (I love jerk anything). I have an adventurous palate and folks who will try anything to feed so I am very lucky that I get to try a lot of things. I also get a big charge of making dishes that are healthy yet full of flavor and satisfying.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My family is from Mississippi so it's all about Southern soul food: fried chicken and fish, cornbread, greens (usually collards or a blend of collards, mustards and turnips), blackeyed peas, okra, with sweet potato pie and pound cake for dessert. I don't cook the heavier dishes often but they are delicious. And I had to master sweet potato pie of course or I'd have to turn in my Southerner card.
My cooking triumphs
One of my biggest cooking triumphs was winning my father over that a meal can be delicious and satisfying that violates his prefered meat, starch and greasy veg template. I've won him over to vegetarian cooking (I'm an omnivore now but was a vegetarian for a while) and healthy cooking which is huge. My other major accomplishment would be the Indian feast I prepared in January 2005 which was amazing---Samosas, Rogan Josh (Northern Indian lamb curry), raita, and dal with pita bread. I even impressed myself with that.
My cooking tragedies
The infamous purple noodle soup. It tasted great but looked nauseating, purple grey noodles and vegetables in a purple grey broth. Suffice to say purple cabbage is lovely but the color bleeds heavily. But hey, mistakes are how you learn.
Recipe Reviews 11 reviews
Golden Crescent Rolls
While home for the holidays, the family requested I make crescent rolls for Christmas dinner, which I had not made before. This recipe was incredibly easy and tasty. I made 30 rolls for 5 people; none of the rolls actually lasted to dinner. Fresh out of the oven, brushed with butter they were amazing. Technique notes: I made the dough the night before and let it rise overnight. I then proceeded and let the rolls rise for 2-3 hours (this can even be longer as I discovered with a batch of cinnamon rolls I made from this base recipe as well). My step mom's oven must run pretty hot; on 350 F, 10 minutes nearly burned them (caught them in the nick of time). Keep a close eye on your first batch and I agree with shooting low with the temperature. Makes a nice not too sweet cinnamon roll dough too; I'll add some lemon zest to it next time for dessert applications.

5 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 27, 2009
Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
This an excellent recipe. I was a first time biscotti maker, and I had researched many recipes and techniques. My final choice was between this recipe and an America's Test Kitchen recipe; I went with this one for my first batch because it looked so easy (no egg separating) and relatively healthy; I made with almonds as I could not find shelled pistachios. The first batch my dough was extremely runny and sticky, and spread a lot in the oven. They cracked a bit with slicing after cooling 10 minutes but tasted fantastic, great texture. After more research the next night, I made some adjustments, the most important of which was sifting then measuring the flour. I also upped cranberries to a cup and cut almonds back to a cup. This batch was much less runny and sticky, easy to mold into gorgeous loaves. I cooled for 15-20 minutes and this batch turned out picture perfect (no breaks) and just as tasty. Fantastic simple recipe. I'll be making my 3rd batch (for christmas gifts) tonight. Can't wait to tinker with other fruits and flavorings.

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 19, 2006
Roquefort Pear Salad
Hundreds of reviewers can't be wrong. This was a huge hit when I took it for our big family thanksgiving. I omitted the avocado (no good ones around here), I used D'anjou pears, and I did add the tablespoon of water to help carmelization; my nuts were a bit grainy but I think that was more operator error on my part. The dressing is indeed delicious and I think the recipe is enough, anymore and the salad would be greasy and heavy. As is, it adds the perfect flavor. If you can assemble the salad and dress it (without pecans) a few hours ahead to let flavors blend. Topped with nuts before serving. Fiance's family raved all night about it. I guess I know what I'll be bringing next year.

5 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 24, 2006

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