Online Since 1997

Quick Search Recipes:

Search Recipes Alphabetically
A - B   C   D - F   G - J
K - N   O - P   Q - S   T - Z

Texas Wines & Wineries

Texas Restaurants

Ask Doctor John
Previous Q&A:

March, 2011
      Jan, 2011
      Dec, 2010
      Nov, 2010
      Oct, 2010
      Sept, 2010
      Aug, 2010
      July, 2010
      June, 2010
      May, 2010
      April, 2010
      March, 2010
      February, 2010
      January, 2010
      December, 2009
      November, 2009
      October, 2009
      September, 2009
      August, 2009
      July, 2009
      June, 2009
      May, 2009
      April, 2009
      March, 2009
      February, 2009
      January, 2009
      December, 2008
      November, 2008
      October, 2008
      September, 2008
      August, 2008
      July, 2008
      More Ask Dr. John Q&A

Cooks Need to Know
Handy substitutions, equivalent measurements and metric conversions
Looking for
great food gifts?

Find something
special in our
Food Gifts Store

Restaurant Loans
for your food business

Website: Texana
Visit our sister site devoted to Texas books, travel, people and culture

Shop on

More Ask Dr. John Q&A's   Message Boards   Free Newsletter   Grocery Coupons  

If you have a question for Doctor John, send an email to moc.oohay@nevarkeerc

July 1, 2009

The heat of summer is upon us. It has now cracked the 100-degree mark, which is the point where a Texan is allowed to complain about the heat.

The big Fourth of July picnic time is here. Break out the grill, the weenies and hamburgers and have Mama make some of that tater salad we like so well. Grease the kids up so they don't sunburn. A big sunburn is painful and will have bad effects in the years to come. Now let's see what assistance we can be of to our readers.

Don writes:

Dr. John, what is the best way to warm tortillas?

Don: I warm my tortillas in a big, old cast iron skillet that has a tight fitting lid. I put the thing on medium heat -- no higher or the tortillas will scorch. After a few minutes I turn the pile of tortillas. If there are more than three, the stack is divided in half and the inside becomes the outside. As soon as the tortillas are warm enough to suit you, cut the fire off. They will stay warm for a long while.

Some of the tortilla packages have heating instructions that call for wrapping the tortillas in a damp cloth and then in foil and putting them in the oven. This is too much trouble. I have never met a tortilla that needed moisture added.

The most efficient way to warm tortillas is to get one of the Styrofoam tortilla warmers, put the tortillas in it and zap the whole thing in the microwave. You will have to experiment a little to get the proper warming time. I would start with about twenty seconds on high power and work from there.

Sometime we will have a seminar on the proper way to fold a tortilla. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Anna wants to know how to peel a boiled egg.

Anna, I feel your pain. There are times when a hardboiled egg will just come all to pieces when you try to peel it. This is not good when you are making stuffed eggs.

The recognized best method for hard boiling and peeling eggs is to put the eggs in a pot and cover with cool water. Bring the water and eggs to a boil. Just as the pot starts to boiling good, take it off the fire and cover. Let it set for ten to fifteen minutes. Then you carefully crack the shell and peel the egg under cool running water. This will work eight times out of ten. The other two times, make egg salad.

Some say a really fresh egg is harder to peel than one that is several days old. Unless you have your own private hens there is no way to tell the age of an egg. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Suzie has a stain:

My husband has an insulated, plastic coffee mug that he leaves the house with every morning going to work. The mug has become so coffee stained that I am afraid someone will see it in my house. I have tried the dish soap and soaking. The stain is still there. Help!

Suzie: Wash the mug in the usual manner. Then put about a quarter cup of Clorox in it and fill with cool water. Let it sit over night. This should take care of the stains. If not, it might be time to consider a stainless mug for next birthday or Christmas.

More Clorox tips: Clorox bleach is a miracle cure for a lot of things. It is a powerful disinfectant. It won't hurt you if you ingest just a little of it, but you don't want to get any in your eyes. You can do cleanups without the soapy residue that requires rinsing. When doing outdoor cooking, I keep a small bucket with Clorox water and a sponge in it to do the routine clean up as I go along. Use about two tablespoons of Clorox to a gallon of water.

Sarah is sauceless:

My family loves pasta, but I think the bottled sauces are either too expensive or just don't taste right. Can I make my own sauce without a lot of labor?

Ah yes, Sarah. I understand your dilemma. There are two basic pasta sauces -- white and red.

The most popular white sauce is al Fredo. This is a high-fat, high-calorie mix. Let your conscience be your guide.

  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1-1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
Mix all in a saucepan and heat gently until all the cheese is melted and blended in. Makes about 8 servings.

The basic red sauce is called marinara. It requires a lot of ingredients, but most should be in your pantry.

  • 2 14.5-ounce cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fine diced onion
  • 1/2 cup white wine
Put everything but the onion and olive oil in the food processor and process until smooth.

In your sauce pot, sauté the onion in the olive oil for two minutes. Add the blended ingredients, mix well and simmer at least 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Makes about 8 servings.

Either of these sauces will keep well for several days tightly sealed in the refrigerator. The marinara sauce will freeze well for longer storage.

Any pasta served with the marinara sauce improves greatly with a good sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Fresh grated is best.

Thus ends another chapter of interesting, informative and entertaining advice from Dr. John. If you have a subject you need to ask the Doctor about, give him a holler.

Jim in Malawi
Rush hour in downtown Karonga

If you have a question for Doctor John, send an email to moc.oohay@nevarkeerc
end article

Traditional Texas Food Articles
By Dr. John, Ph.B.

Follow Us on Twitter

Save on Your
Favorite Coffee

Coffee For Less
5% off Coupon Code: CFLESS

Free Stuff

Catalogs | Gifts
Cosmetics | DVDs

Special Offers for
Texas Cooking Readers

Justin Boots - Tony Lama Boots - Levi's / Wranglers / Jeans - Search Recipe Cookbook - Fiestaware - People & Chat - Contact Us

© Mesquite Management, Inc. -- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED