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Post in Salad 2016 –
Beets mixed with parsley, cilantro, dill, scallions, lime juice, olive oil served on the bed of arugula.  Topped with feta and pine nuts.
 
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Post in eG Cook-Off #67: Apples
There are some early apples available here now - Sunrise variety at one of the local farms was a starting point for me for a summer salad.
 
It's based on an older recipe at Food52 (from 2009). It has a touch of Waldorf salad, but it moves beyond it.  
 
The salad is a base of mixed baby greens, with fennel, celeriac, sliced apple, toasted pecans and lardons. The vinaigrette is based on caramelized apple + apple cider. 
 
 
I appreciate that it uses fresh apple slices in the salad and also uses apple in the dressing. It was very good, but if I was going to make it again I would juice/strain a cooked apple or two and use that in the vinaigrette with maybe just a bit of apple pulp. The recipe, as it is, makes a dressing that is too thick for my taste. 
 
But it was fun and tasty. The celeriac I bought was awful, so I ended up subbing regular celery. 
 
The original recipe is here. 
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Post in Arby's - The Topic
Well, I answered my own question. I went to a local Arby's with a co-worker and we agreed to order the two new sandwiches and switch half of each sandwich with each other. That way we'd get to try both in one sitting.
The short rib sandwich (a special offer...not a regular item on their menu) was quite tender but it was served on what they called "Texas Toast" which was completely lacking in any sort of buttery or garlic goodness. WTF? So it was just this thick dry bread which wasn't very appetizing at all.  The crispy onions were good, the BBQ sauce was good but overall it was just "meh". It has been touted to have been smoked for 6 hours but there was no nice smokey flavor.
The other sandwich we tried was the Smokehouse Brisket. According to Arby's the brisket has been cooked in a smoker for 13 hours. But you could have fooled us. There was absolutely no smoke flavor in the sandwich. I mean you should at least be able to smell the smokiness of smoked meat, right? Another "meh" sandwich. 
The two things I learned from my visit?
1) They still have potato wedges! I thought the triangular shaped potato patties were history but they had them. They sell them as a two-patty, three-patty, or 4-patty combo. 
2) Never order a large Jamocha Shake unless you have 4 other people to help you drink it. It was mammoth and could compete with 7-Eleven's Big Gulps. 
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Post in Making Bacon
I am starting to nail this bacon thing now; and I have found the key to be practice. Go wonder. For me, the results have become far better after I realized that curing time depends on thickness of the belly. A lot of recipes do not mention this and recommend a given number of days. That does not work! Skinny pigs; less curing time. I have also worked in hanging/drying into my process. I hang my bacon after curing, before smoking for at least 24 hours to develop a surface that the smoke will stick to. This is usually recommended in recipes. I also hang the bacon after smoking for at 24-48 hours before consumption or packaging. I feel that this firms up the belly a bit.
 
Here is my process;
 
- Dredge salting; rub dry cure into the meat, shake of excess
- Mild vacum packaging ( I stop the vacum sealer mid-process) - I have found this to work very vell, And I feel that it is very hygienic and clean.  
- I keep the bellies in the fridge and try to weight them down a bit. I rotate and flip the bags every day. 
- After I am happy with firmness - I use meat hooks to hang the bellies for at least 24 hours
- I hot smoke to 60 degrees C in my Weber BBQ. 
- I hang the bacon for another 24-48 hours. 
 
Right now I have perfect conditions for curing and salting. Outside temperatures between 4-12 degrees C. So, more projects coming up
 
Here is from my last batch after smoking, and hanging for 48 hours - my best bacon so far!
 
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Post in German Cookbooks
I picked this one up on sale on Kindle a few weeks back, and note it's stll 2.99. Das German Cookbook: Schnitzel, Bratwurst, Strudel and other German Classics. Looks pretty good, certainly worth $2.99.
 

Post in Shoot it, catch it, harvest it ...
Low tide was at 8 am today so I was out the door by 6:30 am. The competition was there ahead of me, but I managed to "rake in" a little over 8 dozen in 2 hours.
HC
 
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Post in Favorite Food Quotes
Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods' roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.
 
James Joyce, Ulysses
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Post in Chocdoc Does Dallas
Lunch meat in all its glory!
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Post in How do they make tart shells so perfect?
Perforated tart frames.
 
Some people freeze their dough and make perfect strips etc with a ruler. You should also have a perforated silpat and a baking tray to let air go through. Some have pro equipment to make the dough perfect when rolled out.
 
That's the short story I guess, and technique. Years of practice I guess? And maybe some Photoshop?
 
You can do pretty good with the right tools, this is my first ever attempt on a tart shell;
 
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Post in Paella
Inspired by my new side firebox cooker and a dinner visit from Chefpeon, I decided that we would make paella over an open fire. It was the first time for either of us, and it really turned out beautifully (photos mostly courtesy of Mr. Chefpeon).
I decided that we would make two paellas, one with seafood and pork, and one with rabbit and chicken. I don't have a proper paella pan, so we used two cast iron skillets. There's sure a lot of mise en place with paella!
Here's Chefpeon browning the rabbit while I work on the sofrito
Our work in close-up
The seafood paella was made with a halibut and shrimp broth that I made, with a little added pimenton. The land paella was done with a homemade chicken broth with saffron. Here it is, going into the rice. By the way, I did find Bomba, which is, as advertised, an awesome rice. Hideously expensive here, but still awesome.
Here we've added the seafood, now that the rice is nearly done, and the fava beans and piquillo peppers, which are too delicate to get a lot of cooking.
The seafood paella is just about done, but the rabbit and chicken one is still soupy. We tried to wait for them both to be done, but ended up having a seafood course, then a meat course.
We decided to really go for it on getting a crunchy crust. Unfortunately, although delicious, it was mostly inseparable from the bottom of the pan. In fact, I can hear my husband in the kitchen right now, scraping away at it with vigor.
The seafood paella, however, was the essence of delicacy. Real food porn alert here!
We finished off with this cake
which is the Olive Oil and Rosemary Cake from the Babbo cookbook, and a real treat. We had some homemade blueberry ice cream with blueberries from my garden with it, but by then we were eating under the stars, and no flash disturbed our bliss.

Post in Drinks Using Cucumber
In a Pickle
by Ted Kilgore
1 1/2 oz Hendrick's (Plymouth navy strength) 1/2 oz St. Germain 1/2 oz Velvet Falernum 3/4 oz lime juice 1 slice cucumber 1 sprig dill Mix all, including cucumber and dill in shaker and shake. Fine strain over fresh ice into highball glass. Garnish with fresh cucumber and dill sprig.
 
My garden dill isn't that green these days, but still wonderfully aromatic. Thought the high-proof gin sub might throw off the balance of this but I quite liked it. 
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Post in I might be a coffee snob
I got an electric roaster convection/rotisserie oven from Goodwill for $10.
I bought two strainers ($10?) and did some modifications to them to work with the rotisserie.
 
The oven is in my backyard.  It gives me about one lb of roasted coffee beans in about 30 minutes. No smoke, no trouble. perfect control of degree of roast.
 
dcarch
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Post in The Bread Topic (2016-)
Shokupan (Japanese “wonderbread”) but made without the tangzhong (roux). Mixed in the Thermomix and baked in the Cuisinart Steam Oven on the bread setting 350°F for 30 minutes. The temperature was just over 200°F when I pulled it. 
 
It’s amazing how many mistakes you can make and still get a loaf of bread. I did my very best to kill the yeast using water that was way too hot because I became distracted. As the steam poured from the Thermomix I kissed my bread goodbye.  But then I relented and gave it a second chance at life and followed the rest of the recipe mostly according to plan. 
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Post in Breakfast! 2018
This was a couple of weeks ago
 

 

 

 
Roasted plums with juniper berries and gin
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Post in Cheese (2008– )
Contralto from Andante Dairy. Very mild despite the scary color. It's hard to believe this is goat cheese. This is not unpleasant by any means, but not memorable either. (I found more info on this cheese here and here, confirming my impression).
 
 
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Post in Cuisinart Combo Steam/Convection Oven (Part 3)
Fresh sockeye salmon with a homemade apricot glaze and local green beans and mixed rice. This is when I could have used two CSO's! Maybe it's time to bring that extra one up from the storage room. Cooked the salmon on steam broil at 425 for about 15 mins. 
 

 
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Post in Drinks! 2018
Recently discovered a huge grapevine growing on a chainlink fence in our backyard. The little wild grapes are tart and intensely red inside, so I thought they'd be good cocktail fodder.
 
I remembered a clever drink from @bostonapothecary I found on Kindred Cocktails: Me and My Grandfather (so called because it paired unaged and aged grape-based spirits--pisco and cognac respectively). 
 
I muddled a handful of wild grapes and added equal parts lemon juice, mosto verde pisco, VSOP cognac, and the spruce syrup I'd made. (That last continues the foraging-in-the-yard theme, but mostly I used it because I couldn't be bothered to whip up the spec'ed regular simple syrup.)
 
This turned out pretty grapey (surprise surprise) in an appealing way. These little unexpected grapes have lots of possibilities. I think mother nature is encouraging my cocktail hobby. 
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Post in Cooking with Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden
A couple more Six Seasons dishes to report.  First up is Rigatoni and Eggplant alla Norma p 239.  Cavatappi standing in for the rigatoni here.

I also used chunks of heirloom tomatoes instead of the cherry tomatoes specified. They cooked down into more of a sauce than the intact tomatoes pictured in the book.  Aside from the fact that 2 oz of pasta is a more appropriate serving for me than the specified 4 oz, with that small adjustment, this was a success.  
 
 Green Bean, Tuna and Mushroom "Casserole" from Six Seasons p 206. Per the header notes, this is a grown-up version of the Midwestern green bean mushroom casserole of Joshua McFadden's childhood.
<br style="color:#1d2129;font-size:14px;"> It calls for wild mushrooms, which don't happen in SoCal in the summer. In alignment with the book's seasonal philosophy, I objected to paying $$$ for pricy, trucked-in wild mushrooms to reimagine a homey comfort food dish so I added a handful of porcini mushrooms to the readily available creminis. I gave the porcinis a brief soak in a little of the boiling bean water and then added the soaking liquid back to the pan when I added the cream. I added extra lemon juice but might have preferred the added complexity of a bit of sherry or vermouth and will try that next time.
 
 
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Post in Strange Pizza Toppings
Thanks @Shelby.
 
@FauxPas,  The Greek Pizza is my son's favourite.   I've been making it this way since he was a kid and he is now 36.   The most requested pizza by all his friends. 

 
 
I use to roast the potato cubes, but now I just fry them the same way i would french fries.   He likes them cut into tiny cubes and likes lots on his pizza.   It is pretty simple. The russet potato cubes are fried, and then seasoned with fresh garlic, salt, pepper and oregano while still warm.    Just before they go on the pizza, I squeeze a lemon over them.    I use my regular pizza sauce, topped with fresh mozzarella, topped with the fried potatoes.    Sometimes I'll top with olives and feta, but most of the time Matt prefers it with just the potatoes.
 
 
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Post in Food funnies
Today @Kerry Beal and I spent some time in one of our local Asian grocery stores looking at food and kitchen toys. These safety instructions  were on the  packaging for a knife. 
 

 
 We also could not resist a photograph of these although we did resist the purchase of same.
 
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Post in Dinner 2018 (Part 1)
tonkatsu style chicken, rice, and a new smashed cucumber salad recipe that came in a newsletter from my local paper.  Pretty good but I like the recipe I usually use from the New York Times better
 
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Great British Menu Season 13 has started
this is a BBC production.
 
Ive found it outstanding , and it has changed over the years.
 
unfoirtunately , for several years ' presentation ' in my view has gotten a bit out of hand
 
re: props
 
but I wouldn't mind tasting what ever the three chefs make.
 
Ive learned a lot of ' technique ' by watching the chefs work 
 
and i wouldn't mind access to some of their outstanding ingredients.
 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_British_Menu
 
and
 
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0071y6r
 
hope some of you can see this fine show.
 
here is a screen-crab , for review purposes :
 

 
the item hanging on the R is some sort of light that revolves , but i doubt you eat it
 
that being said
 
a fine show if you can watch it.
 
here is a screen shot of the kitchen the chef's work in , for review purposes :
 

 
it has all the stuff you might imagine , and chef's in the past have brought their own items , including GreenEggs and very complicated distilling apparati.
 
these are the three chef's for the North east , week one.
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Post in Your Daily Sweets: What Are You Making and Baking? (2017 – )
croissants 
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Post in Food funnies
Seen today at the Toronto Gift Show - I guess if you were starving and had to eat your purse to survive you would be reassured knowing it was vegan!
 
 

 

 
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Post in Food funnies
No, this isn't photoshopped. I saw this in Walmart today in Costa Rica and I just had to take a picture of it. It struck me funny the moment that I saw it. Nothing like reviewing your own product.
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