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Everything posted by kangarool

  1. All elements of our sushi making efforts at home are working... except the seaweed wrap. It's always just that bit too tough and overly chewy, and the whole thing falls apart when eating because of it. Any advice? I can think of three factors, but haven't had a chance to experiment: 1) Quality of nori sheets. Is it, like most things in life, you get what you pay for? Because I haven't purchased high-end (price) sheets, which may solve the problem then and there? 2) Technique. Should the sheets be 'treated' in some way prior to rolling? Toasting doesn't seem to help, and I've read they shouldn't be soaked or otherwise 'wetted'. 3) Other ingredients impact. That is, perhaps I'm not preparing my rice properly (too wet or too dry, although I think it's right and the texture seems right), so the nori doesn't do what it's supposed to because of it? Or, perhaps the rice temperature is too hot/cold, and therefore not sufficiently softening the sheet? Any tips, advice or opinions are much welcomed ... the family has asked for it tonight! thanks everyone/kanga
  2. Thanks. I reckon that it would probably be OK on Morning 2 (if cut and added to congee), but Morning's 3 and 4 I should probably not count on it lasting... would the oil content start to turn rancid? Anyway, may give it a go and feed it to the koala's if it starts to go bad...
  3. Hi, I am going on a 4 day hike soon, one of those 'carry-your-tent and everything else' hikes. To conserve space and weight, for breakfast I am taking along some packs of 'instant congee' something I've just recently come across at my Asian market. Surprisingly good, and close (enough) to the real thing. Here's my question: If i bought some You Tiao to carry along and slice up to have in it/with it, how long would a couple sticks last? No refrigeration obviously, so I'm wondering if I took a few along, could I have one for breakfast every morning (4 days worth)? Or, is their shelf life only a day or so? thanks for any advice/kanga
  4. had a great meal at 10 Minutes by Tractor last year... Red Hill www.tenminutesbytractor.com.au
  5. yep good idea, thanks. The 'engine' / pump all sounds like it's functioning normally, so hopefully there's just a bit of calcified crud blocking some bits somewhere close. Will try your suggestion tonight, cheers/kanga
  6. I'll keep this brief, and add/answer questions as relevant: I have a supposedly good Krups espresso machine that we've not taken good care of for the past few years. We stopped using it about a year ago, when coffee stopped coming through the main drip, spigot or whatever it's called. It's also possible that it IS coming through the valve, but not making it through the Basket mesh. Sorry, i don't know the technical terms. Any suggestions for 'unplugging'? Descaling agent? New basket cup? I don't know where to start... thanks everyone/kanga
  7. kangarool

    Hush Puppies

    I don't have access to proper American cornmeal here in Australia... how would I go with polenta? I know, it's not the same, but it's the closest substitute I can think of. I also can get hold of a bag of dry masa (the dried/ground flour used to make corn tortillas) but again, not sure if that's quite right.
  8. I meant to reply before to say thanks for the suggestions... in the end, my friends went back to Taxi ... And then complaining about being disappointed because nothing was 'new' anymore! Schmucks. Three One Two is now at the top of my next to visit list...
  9. A friend asked if I knew of anywhere that was "like Taxi" but not Taxi ... they've been so many times, they promised they'd try something new next time. I pressed for more information than that, but the most I could get from them is "the way their take on food is fresh and new, but also familiar." All i could think of was maybe Ezard? But I haven't been in years. Plus I'm out of touch with most of the new places in town. Any advice would be welcome/thx/kanga
  10. It's a fine line and highly subjective. In the context of food, 'creativity' is very much bound with 'taste'... so in my opinion, they aren't really separable. "Creativity", among other things, means finding new ways to surprise (not over(or under)whelm) the tastebuds. It doesn't come before or after taste, it's one (generic) description of a taste. To me. But I do take your point about 'trying too hard to be original.' In this particular case, given this chef's pedigree, I suppose I'm saying I was expecting more. I never went to Reserve while it was open though wish I had. On the matter of the Sunday masa v. regular menu, I do feel I should retract my equating the two, given the Press Club's description of the sunday lunch: "Masa, the friendly word for 'eat' has been designed to nurture our Hellenic souls with good wholesome mezze food to be shared with friends and family. 12 courses $55." I can't argue that I got exactly as promised, it's just my favourite. And it's not bad value for money. Having said all that, I probably won't go to try the 'real' restaurant now, because I wasn't overly impressed by the experience with the masa.
  11. Here, let me try to ... not so much change the negativity, but rather divert it elsewhere: I've been to Press Club twice now for their sunday greek-tapas-lunch thing, and both times wish I'd spent the money elsewhere. It's that usual thing of NOT that the food's inedible or poorly done, just that it's so standard and lacking much imagination that very few of the (admittedly many courses) stand out or surprise. I suppose Press Club would counter with "the point isn't to surprise, just to be solid and greek-home-style legit", but the praise it's garnered made me expect that they'd push the food above the ordinary. I could be missing something, as I've never come across a review or comment of anything other than the v. highest praise. Perhaps i should try the normal menu rather than the Sunday special "homestyle"/masa sitting. Like I said, it's a great setting and atmosphere, but the food always seems 'merely' solid, and disappoints as a result. Maybe it's because I'm not Greek? (although I am extremely white). I now return you to your regularly scheduled fisticuffs.
  12. $20 worth of food per person? or all up? and how many ppl if all up. Sounds like another one for the list. we've just moved office to nearby so might have a stroll there tomorrow...
  13. A record for me: planning mothers day for my wife/kids' mum a full 5 days or so before it hits. The only thing I put off longer than Mum's day is christmas shopping. I have managed to sneak in a booking for a spa thingy down in Red Hill on Mornington Penisula. Facial booked, weather looks good, bought the kids a card to give, so now all I need is a decent place for lunch for the fam, and it will look like I've been planning this thing for months!! Is there anything worth pointing out to me over there? I know the area fairly well, but we always do the same: T'Gallant for the great pizzas, Paringa for the wine. 10 Minutes by Tractor now has an excellent restaurant, but it's a bit over the top with 2 little kids in tow. Paringa I remember being good too, but it's a long set-lunch on Sunday, and would spill over into spa-time. I also vaguely remember a decent meal years ago at a Blue Willow (?) or similar, at one of the big wineries, but can't recall it straightaway. Would love any tips for casual lunch on the day, especially anything a tad out of the ordinary. thanks/kanga
  14. Here are a couple pics of what I think you're referring to: and These are some baozi I snapped when I had them for breakfast every morning on a trip to Beijing a few years back. I've meant to try to make them at home but have never gotten around to it. Here's a recipe I think might get you close. Finally, if you're ever in Footscray, have a look at 1+1 Dumplings & Noodles. They have them listed on their menu board, but have been out the couple times I've tried to order them. That shop seems very "real" chinese, so would be a good bet to make real baozi.
  15. Amarantha, do you think this is the one you mean? haven't tried it, I'll be in City tonight so may have a look.
  16. Thanks jkim, a few new suggestions there to explore. A couple people have noted the msg factor at camy and elsewhere, I guess I am lucky and have never noticed any reactions to the stuff. I know there are a lot of opinions on the subject. Your mention of Shang Hai Inn reminded me to note two other places in CBD since my last post: Noodle Kingdom, on Russell St. Here's a blog post that sums it up well: http://myfavouritefoods.com/2007/04/noodle-kingdom/ and Wonton House, just next door. another blog post to save me from typing: http://myfavouritefoods.com/2007/06/wonton-house/ Has anyone tried Lau's Family Kitchen in St. K?
  17. I looked at Kielbasa Dave's recipe, and the posted one from JEL... is there no addl. pork fat added to Kielbasa? Neither recipe specifies it. Also, how long do you dry them after assembling, but before smoking? Would 24 hours be sufficient?
  18. I always thought "Shanghai Noodles" meant a specific and simple stir-fried noodle dish basically with finely sliced pork, a chinese green (gai choy) and a reasonably simple sauce. It seems there are many different interpretations and variations for the dish, in every aspect: the meat that's used (or not), the noodle type (all wheat in some cases, thick egg noodles in others, etc) and which vegetables are used (napa cabbage, various other chinese greens). Shouldn't surprise me to see the great variation, given how broad the phrase "Shanghai Noodles" actually is! What dish does the name mean to you? I've never been to Shanghai... if I were to go, and ask for "Shanghai Noodles" what would i get?
  19. There's an American restaurant bar literally across the street from me here in Brunswick (Vic). It's called Highway 31, is big with the aging and affluent Harley crowd on weekends. I've never been in, but looked at the menu when walking home once, and the list (if not the food) is pure americana. No idea as to how close to home the food might be, or if any of the items you mentioned are on the list, but I do remember being surprised by things like gumbo, jambalaya and hushpuppies listed. I think I remember ribs on the menu but not sure. I'll have a look this weekend if I remember and let you know. Just because they offer it on the menu, doesn't necessarily mean it will be any good. But you never know til you try.
  20. and while we're at it, can you give me your opinion of this recipe? Looks good to me, curious to know if you think it would have any street cred in hanoi...
  21. Just a quick question for anyone who knows: when you buy Cha Gio / Vietnamese, minced pork and veg fried spring rolls in Vietnam, are the wrappers they use the round, dried and rehydrated Rice Paper sheets? Or are they wheat-flour based, the way you might buy 'Frozen Spring Roll wraps' in your local Safeway freezer? surely the former...? thanks
  22. kangarool

    Pan Sauces

    An excellent topic Mr Meeker. I was thinking of posting my question elsewhere, but it's still appropriate here: upthread (and in many many places) the use of "sherry" is mentioned. My question is, what IS sherry these days? That's to say, as recently as a decade or two ago, "sherry" may well have been those bottles of salt water on the shelves of Safeway, also labelled (mockingly, I suspect) as "cooking wine". Er... ok. But then, if not that, what are we talking about? Is a nice summery amontillado appropriate? I know very little about 'real' sherries, but I know you don't buy it at Safeway, and I also know there's a beautiful flavour to some that would likely work well in a pan sauce, but have always wondered about this point when it comes to cooking. My time and opportunity for experiments at home are very limited these days, so would appreciate opinions... I actually am not fond of white wine to deglaze these days, or to be more accurate and as suggested in the original, am bored with the same result. thanks everyone/kanga
  23. I should have posted this at the beginning of summer rather than the end, but by the time I get my act together, I'm sure it will nearly be summer again... Just wondering if anyone has had any attempts at knocking together a shedfull of home brew via the Coopers Microbrew Kits you can buy pretty much anywhere? I've always been tempted to take a stab at it, but generally, 3 things get in my way: 1) When I want a beer, I want it now, not 3 months from now (Have cleared this hurdle by reminding myself that I'll also want a beer 3 months from now) 2) My overriding suspicion that a kit full of powders and plastic bits are going to be deeply disappointing, esp. after waiting around for several weeks or months... shoulda just picked up a sixer in the bottleshop... 3) the effort and minutiae and fiddlyness of the process, even if it returns an average quality product, just won't stack up ... I whinge about having enough time to get everything done I currently want/need to, I don't need another hobby if the results are merely 'OK'... Enlightenment, anyone? In terms of beermaking prowess, talent, skill and expertise, btw, I'm at whatever the stage is called right before "novice" or "beginner"... that is, Zero.
  24. I suppose the best way to describe it isn't in terms of 'creaminess' but instead in an even more subjective word: gluggy/glugginess. A bit sticky and thick and insufficiently fluid.... I want the egg and a bit of cornstarch to thicken, but my attempts when adding to the simmering broth-based sauce, go immediately from soupy broth to congealed-ness. In fact, if I'm right in guessing the root of that word congealed, gives another way to describe it - verging on gelatinous. If you look at the photos above (not my photos btw, but the result I am after) you can pretty well see there is still a fair degree of soupiness retained, even with the egg added... with my efforts, you wouldn't have trouble keeping some on a spoon, if you used a spoon. It would kind of easily stick on a spoon and not spill over. And again, it's not because of the quantity of egg I use, so I wonder if it's the technique, and if trying that technique in the recipe (partially cooking the egg first before adding) might help. After reading your post, hzrt8w, I remembered having seen similar dish in Chinese restaurants, possibly in Hong Kong, as you mention... its origin probably is Chinese, then, isn't it? And while I have your attention, do you have any opinions on cooking/using e-fu noodles? That's the burden of being an expert, mate, you get all the questions!
  25. OK. A serious racking of memory and judicious use of Google has uncovered a couple bits that might be what you're after: http://www.tintoyblanco.com.au/?page_id=157 a fair few listed there, including boccacio cellars and rathdowne cellars... have a look. also found this quote: His name is Scott Wasley and back in the lead-up to the 2000 Sydney Olympics, he and a mate escaped the sporting hype and sought refuge in Spain. The journey proved to be an epiphany. When he returned to Australia in 2001, plans for a bar-restaurant were cast aside as a new business seed was planted to import Spanish wines. So Wasley started The Spanish Acquisition in Collingwood, importing a modest 80 cases of wines. Today, he ships 10 refrigerated containers a year, including 1 1/2 containers of sherry. from this article: http://www.theage.com.au/text/articles/200...3548059725.html also take a look here at suppliers: http://www.melbournefoodandwine.com.au/htm....asp?Event=5177 good luck! Have found some interesting stuff thanks to your post...
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