Friday, August 31, 2007
Technique: Heating Up Those Frozen Chinese Steamed Buns
Ah, but how to cook them? You can set up a steamer, with cabbage leaves on the bottom to keep the buns from sticking badly, but that takes time. Put one into a microwave and you will likely dry it out, transforming the delightfully spongy encasement into a petrified remnant suitable for display cases and archeologists.
However, after years of dealing with these, I finally came across the secret on one - and only one - package. Now, this only works with the steamed buns whose centers are cooked. If you have something that is supposed to be boiled, then you're out of luck, because the centers are going to be raw.
Put the bun on a paper blate or other microwaveable surface. Take a little bit of water and rub it over the top of the bun. You don't want puddles, just a damp sheen. Turn on the microwave for a minute or two, depending on the strength of your oven. (Start with one and see if the bun feels hot on all sides.) Presto, you are done.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Review: Nature’s Pearl Muscadine Grape Juice
The materials make a number of claims as to what muscadines contain compared to some other fruits:
- 40 times the resveratrol or regular grapes
- up to 10 times the antioxidants of blueberries, cranberries and goji berries (though for all I know, regular grapes do as well)
- anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties
- healthy compounds usually not found in grapes, but in foods like apples and onions (quercetin, ellagic acid)
Unfortunately, this is another case where purchase is expensive - because you have to buy a case at a time. A dozen bottles run $108 and shipping from North Carolina to Massachusetts would have run $20, for a total of almost $11 a bottle. Clearly this is not a casual drink for the kids. Also, the web site says that supplies are limited. Of course, a billion bottles would still be limited, but if you're interested, you might go to the site's contact page and see if there is any problem for getting the quantity you wanted. You might also point the site out to a local store and see if it would bring in some bottles for you.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
News: Scientists Hope Food Films Make Food Safer
If their work pans out, thin films woven with a thyme derivative that can kill E. coli could line bags of fresh spinach. The same material in powder form might be sprinkled on packages of chicken to stop salmonella.There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with this on the surface, pardon the pun. We seen many food safety problems over the last few months, and food distributors have been spraying edible wax on fruits for years to keep them fresher, or at least looking so.
Strawberries could be dipped in a soup made from egg proteins and shrimp shells. The resulting film — invisible, edible and, ideally, flavorless — would fight mold, kill pathogens and keep the fruit ripe longer.
But I wonder whether all this is wise in the long run. The problem we face in food safety is mishandling, driven by the demand for food to be cheap. That results in cutting corners and things ultimately going wrong. It may be that we've always had these problems, but as the food chain gets more complex and more production gets centralized by economic forces, we're at increased risk that when something goes wrong, it does so in a big way. Look at this paragraph for a moment:
Most coatings are made from gluten, cellulose, starch and various proteins approved by the Food and Drug Administration as safe for consumption. They line ice cream cones and coat battered frozen food. A layer of film in some frozen pizzas keeps moisture from the sauce from seeping into the crust. Fresh sliced apples and other produce get coatings of ascorbic acid to keep them from turning brown.Gluten? From wheat, perhaps? You might remember stories about the pet food problems with wheat gluten from China. Ascorbic acid? What nation has pretty much priced everyone else out of manufacturing that substance? China.
Films based on organic material are, themselves, subject to food problems. Perhaps there is some processing that make them absolutely safe, but my notion of safety has changed over the years. I don't trust that something is safe because some agency or corporation claims it is, as I've seen too many cases of fabrication of information.
Trying to find high tech ways of working around problems is only treating the symptom. We might be better off demanding that things change - not by complaining, but by investing our dollars elsewhere. Buy locally produced food by people you can chase down if you need to. When products don't need to ship and sit for weeks, they need less processing, and less processing should mean some price containment. When you don't optimize for distribution, farmers can focus on other aspects of food, like nutrition and taste. And we can all pay less attention to safety and more to living.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Review: Captain Spongefoot Buffalo Wing Chipotle Table Sauces
I can give these two products a rave with an important caveat, which I'll save for close to the end. The buffalo wing sauce had a better flavor than most wings I've had in restaurants and the recipe on the Tabasco Sauce bottle. Ingredients were great: a mix of hot peppers, clarified butter, vinegar, garlic, some unnamed spiced. I pretty much could pronounce everything on the label. The sauce had nuance, balancing a moderate amount of burn and pepper flavor with tang, unlike many versions where the vinegar aroma goes right up into your nose in an unpleasant way.
I had less hope for the chipotle sauce because of my own tastes - generally the amount of smoke is overkill. But if anything I may have liked this one more than the other variety - it's tough to tell after going back and forth with wings and thinking, "I need a bit more of this ... no, maybe that." Again, a well designed recipe.
I had received some gift pack version with a 5-ounce bottle each of the sauces. Each comes with a shaker top which lets you easily treat wings - or anything else - with a few dashes. My wife suggested using the sauce with left-over chicken in a wrap sandwich, which sounds like a great idea to me. The problem, though, is distribution. Right now you can get the products in Colorado, but you can't count on easily finding it elsewhere, to my knowledge. There is an online outlet, but it appears to be a third party's selling more than just this company's sauces.
[UPDATE: some of the shipping price info has changed - I'll explain at the end.]
One 5-ounce bottle is $3.85 and the price to ship UPS ground is ... wait for it ... $9.14 to western Massachusetts. That's right, two and a third times more expensive than the product itself.
This is a serious problem and will - and should - keep many from buying the products. If you're desperate for a good wing fix for a party, you could try the 12-ounce bottle at $5.65 for the product and the $9.14 shipping if you're as far from Colorado as I am - or two of those bottles for $9.75. In other words, someone is probably treating shipping as a profit center. Now, the Captain Spongefoot (sorry, the name seems goofy to me) people don't seem to be the ones at fault, but if they want more customers, they should find a way to address this. I'll be sad when my supply runs out, but unless I can get a local store to buy a case, I don't think I'll be picking up more.
Now, for that explanation. I sent a link to the review to the PR contact for the sauce company. A little while ago, a comment waiting for moderation hit my inbox:
The shipping rates that are used are the published rates with NO ADDITIONAL MARK UP. The third party distributor does not add one penny to the cost of shipping. Shipping costs are calculated by weight of the packed being shipped and the destination it is being shipped to. It has nothing to do with the cost of the product in the package.And then I got another email, this time directly from the PR person. Here's part of it:
Thank you for the great review of the sauce, AND for bringing the shipping problem to our attention! The company had requested Centennial Food Distributors to add a U.S. Postal Service option to the shipping section quite some time ago, but it was inadvertently dropped by Centennial for some unknown reason.Let's address the anonymous comment. As I wrote the PR contact:
If you look at the product purchase page now, the cost to send you that same 5 oz bottle to your house is $4.60 via the least expensive U.S. mail option. It actually costs even more, $4.72 to send ME the same bottle to my home right here in Colorado. Any sauce (or product for that matter) you order from anywhere in the country will have a large shipping charge, which is why it’s best to order multiple bottles at the same time.
I really, really, really dislike anonymous comments, especially when it’s obvious that they are coming from a company representative or PR person. That’s the main reason I have moderation in place on my site – because I’ve even had people try to dampen the effect of a mixed or negative review by people whose language and speed of reply gave them away as interested parties.Now, I'm sure the sauce company wasn't making money on the shipping, but I'd make a bet that the distributor was. Even FedEx Home Delivery charges $9.14 for the same roughly one pound to be sent along roughly the same route - and that's for someone without a regular shipping discount checking the rate on the web. When I looked at UPS, it was about the same, including a 50 cent fuel surcharge.
But I know that regular shippers do get discounts - I used to work at a direct response company and am aware of the drill. My bet is that Captain Spongefoot (Why do I keep thinking Spongebob Squarepants?) had nothing to do with it, but that the distributor is claiming to be paying actual invoiced rates, and, I'm sorry, but I don't buy it. And it does make me wonder why the distributor dropped the far cheaper surface mail option without telling the sauce vendor. Finally, even if buying multiple bottles at once could cut the shipping cost per bottle (assuming that shipping two pounds wasn't twice as expensive as shipping one), who wants to have to buy extra bottles that you don't need to use then?
[And another update.... It appears that the anonymous comment came from the distributor, not the sauce company or PR rep. I didn't think it was for the latter given the email she had sent me, though I thought that someone at Captain Spongefoot might have left it without thinking of putting in a name. Ah, well, mystery solved.)
Monday, August 27, 2007
Strange News from the Food Front (8/27/07)
- How Much Is That Ham Bone In The Window? Devoted Spanish foodies are lining up to order ham that will cost $180 a pound and not be available until next year. Does it come with mustard? (Canoe.ca)
- The Naked Cartoon British chef and television personality Jamie Oliver has inspired a cartoon about a ten-year-old who wants to become a master chef. Producing is Aardman Studios, the force that created Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run. It will undoubtedly be Brilliant and Fantastic.(Independent Online)
- Spudland A Croatian town plans a park dedicated to potatoes. Mr. Potato Head wants his share. (Ananova)
- Big Mac Museum The Big Mac Museum opened last week to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the sandwich. Rumors are that the first Big Mac ever created was there until someone mistakenly ate it and found that it tasted just like what you'd get today. And on a serious note, it took Jim Delligatti, one of the first franchisees of Ray Kroc and the sandwich's inventor, two years to get the company to let him serve it. A little less persistance on his part and you could knock off a number of zeros from the patty tally. (Associated Press)
- Feel the Zoo Burn Overweight animals in a South Korean zoo are being put on a diet. If things don't shape up, next it will be the subtitled version of Sweatin' to the Oldies. (AFP)
Friday, August 24, 2007
Web Site For Pairing Food and Wine
I know of her but don't know her personally, so I went over to her site to see what was going on. Among the other aspects of her site is a wine and food matcher (listed as Food & Wine in the site's menu). You pick either the wine or food, and you get matches. It's a multi-step process, and you're not restricted to the obvious. For example, I first choose snacks, and then picked Oreos. Wine with Oreos? Who's have thought it? Though I remember doing theater in college and the technical crews would often have the cookies with orange juice, so a combination of acid and sweet did work. Ms. MacLean's recommendations? Either Banyuls (a fortified aperitif or dessert wine from the Pyrenees - thanks Wikipedia) or a vintage port. You can then enter the wine into a search engine and get her recent reviews. I did so for Banyuls and found her "Good Value Wines February 2007."
Next, I started over with sparkling wine, picked asti spumante, and got the following recommendations:
- Chocolate Mousse (Light)
- Christmas Pudding
- Fruit Salad
- Lemon Souffle
- Mille Feuilles
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Review: Trader Joe's Lemongrass Chix Stix and Thai Shrimp Red Curry Rice Bowl
Less impressive to me was the Thai Shrimp Red Curry Rice Bowl. It's not that it was bad, but it seemed a little skimpy on the sauce. Also, you're only supposed to poke a small hole in the center of the film covering the microwaveable bowl, but the material easily tears, which can lead, as I found, to too much steam escaping and a subsequently longer cooking time. (I knew it had too little heat when a couple of the shrimp still looked raw, though a minute more took care of things.) So, a decent enough quick meal, but not something I'd go out of my way to get again.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Review: Kyocera Ceramic Y Peeler
I hadn't realized that Kyocera had gotten into the kitchen market, but its Kyocera Advanced Ceramics division is making a line of cutting, slicing, and peeling products using ceramic blades. The advantage to ceramics over steel is that they don't rust and modern materials engineering can deliver extremely sharp edges. Sharpening them can be a pain, because it requires special diamond-covered tools. Also, you have to avoid scratching the blades, as that could theoretically become a point of stress and even fracture.
But with a vegetable peeler, you avoid many of these considerations. For one thing, have you ever known anyone to sharpen - or even try to sharpen - a peeler blade? Generally they are too small to easily handle, and the costs are typically low enough that you're not going to care. Finally, I've generally found that they fall apart before dulling.
The Kyocera peeler blade - made of zirconium oxide - was certainly sharp enough. I easily went through carrot peel with little pressure, though didn't have a squash, turnip, or other such difficult-to-peel vegetable to test with. Cleaning takes detergent and water. It's also dishwasher safe, which apparently is different from the Kyocera knives.
The handle was a little thin for my taste, but I have large hands and find that oversized grips most comfortable. Soemthing smart that I apreciated was a corer on each end of the peeler's yoke. That means whether you're right- or left-handed, you can use this peeler without altering how you work. At a retail price of $11.95, it's not a bank-breaker and definitely worth consideration if you're ihn the market for a new peeler. And if you have a heavy-duty peeling job, like a root vegetable or melon, you can choose the MEGA-Peeler, at $19.95, with a wider blade and 45º angle.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Review: Trader Joe's Celebration Chocolate Cake
The short take is that the cake was surprisingly good. The people assembled - particularly my wife and one of our family's friends, were discriminating and also accomplished in baking. The overall rating was an 8 out of 10, even if compared with home-made. If you compared it with take-out cakes, you hit a 10 and the results were a good sight better than many you'll find in bakeries. Although the size seemed small - maybe 7-inches - it easily could serve 8 to 10 and possibly as many as 12. The cake does come frozen, and as a result has a shelf life in months. You do need to let it defrost at least four hours ahead of time, but, jeez, it's not as though you need do anything serious to have a pleasing dessert on hand. I can recommend it highly.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Strange News from the Food Front (8/20/07)
- Spa Slice Someone in southern Italy has developed a supposed anti-wrinkle pizza. Hopefully you are still supposed to eat it and not wear it. (Independent Online)
- Euros for Pounds The mayor of a town in the Italian Alps is offering people cash to take off weight and keep slimmer. Oh, for the days when self-respecting politicians simply paid for their votes. (Ananova)
- Shattered Cash A man and his wife pleaded guilty to deliberately eating bits of glass at restaurants in different states and then taking insurance money. And you thought your job was tough. (AP)
- Serve Food Or Else The bodyguard of a Lithuanian ex-president shot at a chef who wouldn't serve him an early breakfast. Hate to see what he does if he misses dinner. (AFP)
- Seat Belts Save Lives An Oregan man choking on a fast food sandwich passed out. His car struck a parked vehicle and he slammed against his seat belt, which apparently performed the Heimlich maneuver and saved his life. (AP)
Friday, August 17, 2007
Review: Chef To Go, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
You don't actually get to go through every step of the preparation, as, to be fair, that could take hours of work and offer too much room for mistakes. Instead, most of the prep work is done. For example, our menu consisted of the following:
There were two people serving all the food, including the first two appetizers, already prepared, while everyone was working. (There were also several choices of wine to lubricate the physical labor.) Everyone is done about the same time, sits at tables, and enjoys the dinner. Some of the ingredients came out of the chef's backyard garden.
The "restaurant" is acutally the first two floors of his house, and his wife and he live on the top two. Having an eating establishment in a home is actually an old tradition: you can find it in Havana today, and some decades ago there was a well-regarded and famous example in Manhattan, a woman who offered diners whatever she decided to cook that day.
Arniel had an accomplished career as a chef before opening this spot, and the results tell. Not only are the recipes good, but he has enough understanding of the dynamics of cooking to make the diners comfortable and successful in their efforts. As this is geared to groups, it might be difficult to do one of the dinners. But aside from classes that last a few weeks, he also offers intensive Saturday classes. Cooking and eating in a pleasant atmosphere - what else could you ask for? Chef Arniel said I could post a recipe or two from the ones I received, so here is one for the tenderloin dish:
Cabernet Sauvignon Sauce
- 250 ml cabernet sauvignon
- 250 ml light cream
- 125 ml minced shallots
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2.5 ml fresh thyme
- 1 ml sea salt
- 0.5 ml fresh pepper
- Place all ingredients in heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until reduced by half.
- Pour sauce into blender and puree until smooth.
- Strain through fine strainer and keep warm.
Blue Cheese Crusted Beef Tenderloin
- 250 g Stilton (substitute other blue cheese)
- 100 g butter
- 350 ml coarse fresh bread crumbs
- 10 ml fresh thyme
- 8 beef tenderloin steaks
- clarified butter (substitute olive oil)
- salt and pepper
- Process first cheese and butter in a food processor.
- Add bread crumbs and thyme and process until combined.
- Heat saute pan over high heat, add 1 TBS clarified butter or olive oil, and sear steaks on each side until just browned.
- Let steaks cook and coat each one evenly with blue cheese mixture.
- Finish steaks in 375ºF convection oven (400ºF in normal oven) until medium rare, about 10 minutes.
- Serve with cabernet sauvignon suace.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Review: Jacques Pépin's Complete Techniques
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Recipe: Peach French Toast Panino
Peach French Toast PaninoYield: 2 panini
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes
Serving size: 1 panino
- 1 peach
2 tsp. milk
1 tsp. sugar
4 slices White Bread (recipe in Chapter 4)
1 TB. maple syrup or honey
- Heat the grill.
- Quarter peach and separate pieces, discarding pit. Slice each quarter into thin slices.
- Lightly beat egg, milk, and sugar in a small bowl. Pour mixture into a wide, shallow container.
- Dip one side of each slice of bread in egg mixture, letting it soak for 10 seconds; these will be the outsides of the sandwich. Place slices wet side down onto a work surface.
- For each sandwich, coat dry side of one of the bread slices with [1/2] tablespoon maple syrup and layer [1/2] of peach slices on the other. Place maple syrup side on top of peach slices. Grill sandwich 7 minutes or until outside is crisp. Serve.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Update on Choclate Redefinition
Hundreds of people have filed comments with the FDA, with the overwhelming majority seeking to keep it that way, according to an Associated Press review of the file.Finally, interestingly enough, since 2003, the EU has allowed European manufacturers to substitute 5 percent of the cocoa butter with vegetable fat. Time to stick with US chocolate - for now.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Strange News from the Food Front (8/13/07)
- Keeping Diners on Ice Chillout is the name of a new lounge in Dubai where everything is made of ice. Canadians designed it. Why is this not surprising?(AP)
- Hansel and Gretel and Bonnie and Clyde Some teenagers that broke into a gas station were caught in part to the trail of candy wrappers they left as they made their escape. (AP)
- Muffin Meltdown A giant plastic muffin that had been stolen from a supermarket and apparently had sentimental value was found melted into a puddle. (NBC)
- Excuse Hard to Swallow Indian police fed dozens of bananas and then chicken and rice to a theft suspect to get him to ... um ... produce the gold necklace he had swallowed. That's getting to the bottom of the case. (Reuters)
- Encapsulation of the Food Chain Beijing officials are closing food stalls that were attached to public toilets. (Reuters)
- Snail Consumption Speeds An escargot festival ended with participants having polished off 100,800 of the creatures, which actually came from Poland. (AFP)
Friday, August 10, 2007
Cookbook Review: Modern Indian Cooking
The introduction says that this is "an attempt to recreate classic Indian dishes by using simplistic techniques along with a delicious juxtaposition of non-Indian ingredients." Many of the recipes struck me more as an attempt at a type of fusion cuisine, only driven by the spices of the southern, and not eastern, part of Asia. But this sort of combination is tricky - you can get a new take on classics, in which case you need to be grounded enough there, or you can try for something in between two cooking cultures, but that requires maintaining a balance and offering adroit flavor blends that offer complementary hints of each.
I find Modern Indian Cooking to stumble about this ground, so that you will see in the same soup and salad section a take on carrot and ginger soup (not all that startlingly new, even with mustard seeds and curry powder) and a curry corn chowder with roasted poblanos (and if you drop the curry powder, is similar to a corn chowder recipe I saw in Fonda San Miguel).
That's not to say that the recipes look bad. On the contrary, I'm looking forward to trying a number of them. But it's the overarching concept that I find weak. I think it would have been better to pick one ground: either simplifying Indian for western cooks, or sticking to modern approaches to Indian cooking. That said, it does offer many ideas for starting to incorporate Indian spices into western dishes, which could open new ways of practicing cooking for many. The list price is $29.95.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Review: Angy's Tortellini
Also, I tried going to the company's web site using a fairly secure system i have and my anti-virus kicked in on two attempts, each time saying that the site was trying to load some known virus on my computer. So if you decide to go to the web for more informaiton, be careful.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Review: FoodShouldTasteGood Chips
The company name is the same as the chips: FoodShouldTasteGood. You can buy them online, but check your local merchants before paying for shipping and having to get 12 bags at once. And if you need a dip, here's an herbed hummus recipe I posted back in may.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Strange News from the Food Front (8/6/07)
- Chili Smackdown A new pepper - nicknamed the bhut jolokia, or ghost chili - from India has just made the record books as the hottest chili in the world at 1,000,000 Scoville units, or ten times hotter than a habenero. (Independent Online)
- Green Bean Mean Scene A class at the William V. Wright Elementary School in Las Vegas rolled the dice by writing letters to complain about facing reheated frozen green beans on the cafeteria line. (AP)
- Moped Moping A Japanese figure skater just received a five month international competition ban after being arrested for driving a moped under the influence. Maybe he can start a new branch of the Hells Angels. (Reuters)
- Clean Your Plate, First A Beijing restaurant lets diners that rack up a check of at least a 50 yuan - that's about US$6.61 - throw dishes against a designated wall. (Ananova)
- So Much for Seconds A German court has sentenced someone who skipped out on 64 restaurant bills to 18 months in prison. A harsh sentence for someone who just had to eat and run. (Reuters)
Friday, August 03, 2007
Recipe: Caramel Sauce
IngredientsYield: 4 cups
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 3 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, add sugar and then water. Do not stir while you let sugar totally dissolve. Periodically dip a pastry brush into cold water and brush the inside of the pan. Do not let any crystals form on the sides of the pan.
- When sugar turns dark amber, put a whisk into the pan and carefully and slowly add cream. Mixture will boil furiously and form a mass. Gently move the whisk and everything will eventually dissolve into a smooth liquid. Add vanilla extract (if using) at this point. Be careful, because it's absurdly easy to overcook this and wind up with a mass of burnt smelling stuff.
- Let caramel cool some and pour into a heat-proof container. (A mason jar has done well by me.)
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Three Tips for Preserving Your Knife's Edge
- Don't chop. Slice. Many recipes call for chopped this, that, or the other thing. But chopping doesn't mean that you have to take that beautiful knife edge and swing it in a wacking arc down to the hard cutting surface below. Instead of bouncing the blade off the surface, slice through the food. You can still get large chunks while retaining control (and it's a heck of a lot safer, as well).
- Use a blade guard. If you store blades in a drawer, put guards on them. You've got a range of choices that run from the hinged cover that locks into place to a strip of plastic that fits on the edge side of the blade. When things rattle as you open and close drawers, you won't be dulling the instruments.
- Careful when you pile your cuttings. After you've cut up an ingredient, how do you get it from the cutting board to wherever it needs to go? If you slide the knife blade along to push the food, stop now, because you're quickly dulling the edge. You can just flip the knife over so that its back is down. Then use that unnecessary part to do the pushing.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Review: Wanchai Ferry Chinese Dinner Kits
As I write this, my family just finished sampling the Cashew Chicken and Sweet & Sour Chicken versions. The consensus (except for my teenage daughter, who didn't care for the sweet and sour) was that they rate about a 6 out of 10 for something you'd cook at home, but 10 out of 10 compared to bad Chinese take-out. (That is a problem out here in rural western Massachusetts, where good Asian restaurants are a bit harder to find than in and around Boston.)
The kits all follow a similar approach: you cut up the chicken (or pork or shrimp or tofu, at least according to the sweet & sour box) and coat it in the seasoned corn starch that comes in a packet. You heat 2 TBS. vegetable oil in a pan, cook the protein, add a packet of sauce with half a cup of hot water, add an accent ingredient such as the nuts or a mix of pineapple and water chestnuts, and then let it simmer for a couple of minutes. You've presumably already started the jasmine rice, as suggested by the directions, which means your entree is ready.
A few peccadilloes. They say use a non-stick pan over medium heat. Having tried two of the regular variety, I'd endorse that suggestion, or use a bit more oil (maybe 3 TBS.) and high heat so the chicken doesn't bond to the pan surface. Then turn the heat back down to medium. Otherwise, it took about the 30 minutes the package claimed. They say that this will serve up to 6 people, the "up to" being the operative phrase. I'd say closer to four, or make sure you serve something in addition. The retail price is $4.79. When you add the pound of boneless skinned chicken breast (I boned and skinned a couple we had on hand), you're looking at maybe $8 for the dish. But you don't have to drive or wait until the delivery person drops off a once-hot dinner.
If you want to try one of these, go to this web site and print out a dollar off coupon while it is available.