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"Smoke & Pickles" – Edward Lee


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#1 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 03:24 AM

This landed on my doorstep today. It was a blind buy. I had no idea who Edward Lee was. The book was an Amazon recommendation, not that I purchased it through them, based on the fact (I guess) that I like Momofuku and Eat With Your Hands. I read the description and a couple reviews and knew right away that, at the very least, I'd get enough enjoyment from the book to justify the price of admission. Never mind who Edward Lee was.

 

Anyway. The book itself. Yet to cook anything from it but ...

 

  • More accessible than Momofuku. I loooooove Chang's book--it's maybe one of my favourites--and have cooked from it a lot but I guess I didn't realise until I picked up Edward Lee's book that Chang assumes you're familiar with the basic ingredients and flavours that he works with. Lee, on the other hand, figures it's possible you've never bought a bottle of fish sauce before. He doesn't assume you're a total nuffy, tho'. He instructs you to and encourages you to make a stovetop smoker to prepare pulled lamb, for instance.

  • The recipes, while they have kim chi and whatnot here and there--and there's a rice bowl recipe for each of the meat-based chapters, too--are really southern. There's probably more Americanness to this book than Koreanness. I mean, fried chicken and waffles?

  • A very meat-heavy book. The link w/ Chang, Bourdain and Pelaccio isn't just an attitude/Asian-American fusion thing.

  • There's a lot of recipes that use a lot of bourbon.

  • This is a cups and tablespoons book and not a grams book.

  • Lots of bold flavouirs. Mushroom jerky. Jalapeno (a favourite ingredient) pickles jacked w/ bourbon. Braised lamb shoulder. Lamb bacon. A bourbon-and-Coke meatloaf sandwich. Chicken and country ham pho. Ham hocks braised in cola. Pork burgers jacked w/ hoisin and sauced with a sun dried tomato ketchup. Pickled corn and bacon relish. You get the idea.

  • Flipping through the book, there are a lot of things I want to cook. That's always a good sign, yeah?

 


Chris Taylor

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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#2 Anna N

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 04:41 AM

This landed on my doorstep today. It was a blind buy. I had no idea who Edward Lee was. The book was an Amazon recommendation, not that I purchased it through them, based on the fact (I guess) that I like Momofuku and Eat With Your Hands. I read the description and a couple reviews and knew right away that, at the very least, I'd get enough enjoyment from the book to justify the price of admission. Never mind who Edward Lee was.
 
Anyway. The book itself. Yet to cook anything from it but ...
 

  • More accessible than Momofuku. I loooooove Chang's book--it's maybe one of my favourites--and have cooked from it a lot but I guess I didn't realise until I picked up Edward Lee's book that Chang assumes you're familiar with the basic ingredients and flavours that he works with. Lee, on the other hand, figures it's possible you've never bought a bottle of fish sauce before. He doesn't assume you're a total nuffy, tho'. He instructs you to and encourages you to make a stovetop smoker to prepare pulled lamb, for instance.
  • The recipes, while they have kim chi and whatnot here and there--and there's a rice bowl recipe for each of the meat-based chapters, too--are really southern. There's probably more Americanness to this book than Koreanness. I mean, fried chicken and waffles?
  • A very meat-heavy book. The link w/ Chang, Bourdain and Pelaccio isn't just an attitude/Asian-American fusion thing.
  • There's a lot of recipes that use a lot of bourbon.
  • This is a cups and tablespoons book and not a grams book.
  • Lots of bold flavouirs. Mushroom jerky. Jalapeno (a favourite ingredient) pickles jacked w/ bourbon. Braised lamb shoulder. Lamb bacon. A bourbon-and-Coke meatloaf sandwich. Chicken and country ham pho. Ham hocks braised in cola. Pork burgers jacked w/ hoisin and sauced with a sun dried tomato ketchup. Pickled corn and bacon relish. You get the idea.
  • Flipping through the book, there are a lot of things I want to cook. That's always a good sign, yeah?
 

Dunno. I've had the Kindle edition for a few weeks and have yet to attempt anything but that may be just because I am always riding off in all directions at once! Must re-visit. Thanks for the reminder.
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#3 ninagluck

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 07:04 AM

I also love the book. Try the strawberry ketchup. Everybody around me loves it.

#4 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 01:20 PM

Still terrified of the idea of cooking with cola. I imagine it would be cloying. Especially the ham hocks.

Edited by ChrisTaylor, 15 August 2013 - 01:22 PM.

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between


#5 heidih

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 01:46 PM

Chris - it is just flavored sugar water. Many Koreans use 7-Up in their marinades. The folks in the Southeastern part of the US having been on this cola thing for years and years. The salt plays with the sugar and the cola flavor add a caramel-like tone in the samplings I have had.



#6 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 01:59 PM

We shall see. At a dollar a pop for hocks I am prepared to experiment.

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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#7 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 02:52 AM

The T-bone steak hit with a habanero (I used bird's eye chilli instead) and lemongrass marinade is very good. Will make this again.


Chris Taylor

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between


#8 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 05:30 AM

I made two dishes tonight
 

  • Lamb shanks braised w/ cashew gravy. Very good. You start w/ the gravy: a mix of chicken stock, beer, spices (garam masala, smoked paprika, turmeric, cumin), garlic, ginger and onion. This is cooked for a while then blitzed in a food processor. It is poured over the seared lamb shanks. I'm guessing he's drawing on the idea of a korma here. Whatever. I liked it.
  • Bourbon/ginger carrots. He uses baby carrots. I sliced some normal carrots, purely because the supermarket was all out of babies. I liked this a lot ... altho' it's very sweet. He suggested 1/4 cup of sugar for about the same quantity of bourbon and a half kilo of carrots (there's also some butter and, yeah, ginger going on). I used less. Even then, the resulting sauce is syrupy and sweet.

 

I like the three dishes I've made so far.


Chris Taylor

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between


#9 nickrey

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 06:13 PM

When using US-sourced recipe books, I always cut the added sugar down by a third to a half. Not doing so makes the dishes far too sweet for my palate.


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#10 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 02:45 AM

I've just put a pot of the hot brown-style turkey drumsticks in the oven. I've never had hot brown before so I don't really have much to compare it to.


Chris Taylor

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between


#11 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 02:31 AM

I liked the hot brown, altho' I put the braised turkey in a sandwich rather than in a bowl full of croutons.


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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between


#12 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 02:43 AM

I made the pork rice bowl. The pork patties are very good.


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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between


#13 Jaymes

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 12:57 PM

I made two dishes tonight
 

  • Lamb shanks braised w/ cashew gravy. Very good. You start w/ the gravy: a mix of chicken stock, beer, spices (garam masala, smoked paprika, turmeric, cumin), garlic, ginger and onion. This is cooked for a while then blitzed in a food processor. It is poured over the seared lamb shanks. I'm guessing he's drawing on the idea of a korma here. Whatever. I liked it.
  • Bourbon/ginger carrots. He uses baby carrots. I sliced some normal carrots, purely because the supermarket was all out of babies. I liked this a lot ... altho' it's very sweet. He suggested 1/4 cup of sugar for about the same quantity of bourbon and a half kilo of carrots (there's also some butter and, yeah, ginger going on). I used less. Even then, the resulting sauce is syrupy and sweet.

 

I like the three dishes I've made so far.

 

I have to say that those carrots sound terrific.  I think I'll take a much closer look at the book just because of the carrots.

 

But, since we were talking about cooking with colas, and now about carrots, my usual "quickie" carrot method calls for caramelizing them in ginger ale.

 

Don't have the book to look at so I can't help but wonder... Does the "bourbon ginger" carrots recipe call for ginger ale, or for real ginger? 


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#14 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:03 PM

Fresh ginger.

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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#15 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 02:54 AM

I made the 'darkly braised lamb shoulder' today. It is braised in a mixture of bourbon, chicken stock, black bean sauce and ketchup with a little soy sauce, dark chocolate and balsamic vinegar. A variety of vegetables--onions, carrots, celery, garlic and button mushrooms--are cooked in the same pot as the lamb. It is very good.


Chris Taylor

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between


#16 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 03:04 AM

The miso-braised chicken is very good.


Chris Taylor

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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#17 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 08:57 PM

I finished Smoke and Pickles a few days ago. Good writing and a pretty book. Some of the food looks very interesting. Unfortunately I have few of the ingredients and I have no idea what most of it is supposed to taste like. My main criticism is recipes like tobacco cookies with warm milk and whiskey. I'm with Nathan Myhrvold that food should not be made from non-food ingedients such as dirt, leather, and tobacco.

 

"I can tell how good a chef is just by listening to her knife work. It is quiet by steady and strong -- like a Gillian Welch song." I'm a Gillian Welch fan, I listen to her music almost every day. Listening to her at the moment. So much to like about Edward Lee's book.



#18 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 04:01 PM

The piggy burgers are very good. I'm sure I can find another use for the sun-dried tomato ketchup. I suspect it'd be nice in chicken or beef burgers, too. I didn't have or feel like making any pork crackling so I used a slice of leftover char siu. I cooked it in the pan until crisp. Different, yeah, but the flavour profile worked with what the burger already offered. I'd make these again, altho' next time I reckon I'd make my own patty from a mixture of freshly minced pork shoulder and pork belly rather than buying pre-minced pork.


Chris Taylor

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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#19 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 01:39 AM

The brisket glazed w/ peach (peach jam + bourbon + braising liquid = glaze) is good, altho' in my case the 4.5 hours was way too long to braise a piece of flat. I pulled it at 4 hours and it was almost overdone then. He says you must not ever never even think about peeking at it before the full 4.5 is up. If I'd left it that long I'd end up with pho. 


Edited by ChrisTaylor, 15 September 2013 - 01:39 AM.

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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#20 Baselerd

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 12:23 PM

I think tobacco skirts that line between food and non-food. I'm not a smoker (and don't generally enjoy the flavor/aroma of tobacco), but I have had a handful of really good meals with tobacco flavoring. It doesn't seem any different to me than, say, lavender. I wouldn't eat lavender straight up, but when used as a flavoring/spice it's great.



#21 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 02:46 PM

Yesterday I made the first of his cola-based recipes: the black barbecue sauce. The main ingredients are cola, coffee, tomato ketchup, black bean paste, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, molasses, Worcester sauce and sesame oil (he adds a lot). The sauce is sweet, yeah, but not as sweet as I expected. Still, I only stirred a small amount--less, I expect, than Mr Lee would--into the pulled pork. He makes his pulled pork in the oven, incidentally. First time I've not made it in a smoker. It's still good. But, again, how can it not be?


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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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#22 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:21 AM

Bump. I'm making the hot brown again, this time with a couple of key additions: a heavily reduced chicken stock (I'm aiming for a gravy-like quality to the sauce) and some homemade bacon. Having braised my bacon before, I find it adds a heavily smoky note to everything it touches. I could see that working in this context.


Chris Taylor

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between