Here are ways to over­come mis­steps with may­on­naise, wa­ter mel­ons - and snails

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Flavours -

“GOD-FOR­SAKEN” Grapes: A Slightly Tipsy Jour­ney Through the World of Strange, Ob­scure and Un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated Wine” au­thor Ja­son Wil­son re­cently joined The Wash­ing­ton Post Food staff to an­swer ques­tions about all things edi­ble. Here are edited ex­cerpts from that chat.

Q: I at­tempted to make may­on­naise and mis­tak­enly added the whole egg in­stead of the egg yolk. Is there any way I can sal­vage what I mixed or should I just throw it away and start over?

A: I’ve made may­on­naise us­ing a whole egg. Seems like you could just keep blend­ing and adding oil un­til it gets where you want. Did it break and/or sep­a­rate? Even in that case, you can whisk your bro­ken mayo into an­other fresh yolk and usu­ally save it.

Q: Is it okay to freeze or re­frig­er­ate muf­fin bat­ter? Also, how long can it sit on the counter with­out be­com­ing un­us­able? I made a recipe for two loaves of ba­nana bread but de­cided to make mini muffins in­stead. Half­way through the bat­ter, I have enough muffins for weeks.

A: I fre­quently re­frig­er­ate muf­fin bat­ter overnight (por­tioned out into the pans, to be baked fresh in the morn­ing). I for­get where I saw this tip - maybe a Wil­liamsSonoma cook­book? - but it sug­gested let­ting the bat­ter rest overnight so that the dry in­gre­di­ents would more fully ab­sorb the wet ones, and to guar­an­tee moist muffins. I know it goes against most ad­vice with bak­ing pow­der ac­ti­va­tion and what not, but it works!

I would re­frig­er­ate the bat­ter (you don’t have to por­tion it out, just in the bowl is fine), rather than leav­ing it on the counter. It’ll be good for at least eight hours.

Q: What mea­sures are be­ing taken to in­sure that snails don’t es­cape from es­car­got farms?

A: The USDA does a lot of in­spec­tion to make sure that the green­house is se­cure, and the plas­tic pens that the snails live in are se­cure and they can’t es­cape. The farm is es­sen­tially a quar­an­tined fa­cil­ity. Ric Brewer in the Pa­cific North­west has been try­ing to get his quar­an­tine fa­cil­ity ap­proved for sev­eral years now and it’s still not fi­nalised, so he can only work with what’s al­ready lo­cal. The USDA is pretty strict about snail farms. You can’t just toss a bunch of snails and some dirt in a green­house and start farm­ing.

Q: Please tell this kim­chi vir­gin the best way to be­gin en­joy­ing it.

A: It’s ex­cel­lent to eat as a small side dish to what­ever you’re got on your plate or in your bowl - sal­ads, noo­dle dishes, soups, big pro­teins. For some­thing a lit­tle (but barely) more in­volved, I love a kim­chi fried rice. And I put it in sand­wiches with ched­dar and an ap­ple for some­thing spe­cial.

Q: I bought a water­melon that left some­thing to be de- sired. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t good. What can I do with it to make it a bit bet­ter? I was think­ing of blend­ing it, strain­ing it, and then us­ing the juice in cock­tails or le­mon­ade, but I tend to do that ev­ery sum­mer.

A: I know that restau­rants have tricks to deal with lessthan-ideal water­melon. One trick is to driz­zle a cit­russyrup on top of cut melon. It turns medi­ocre water­melon into . . . well, some­thing dif­fer­ent. Not bad, ex­actly, but not great ripe water­melon. – Wash­ing­ton Post

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