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Everything posted by LindaK

  1. LindaK

    Salt Cod Diary

    I’m glad someone is cooking salt cod. My supply is gone for now. There is one salt cod recipe I know about that requires that you use fish with the skin: bacalao al pil pil. Saute pieces of the salt cod in garlicy olive oil until the cod is cooked through and the natural gelatins have been released. You then whisk the oil/gelatins together to create a creamy sauce. Top with some red chili. It sounds simple but everything I read says it’s tricky. I’ve found that the gelatins from the skin help keep the fish moist when poaching it for use in other recipes. I especially like it when making brandade. Maybe it’s my imagination but I think you get a creamier brandade. If you make pil pil I hope you’ll show your results. It’s one of the classic recipes I have yet to make.
  2. LindaK

    Salt Cod Diary

    @kbjesq those cod cakes look delicious. I love the leftovers for breakfast. For anyone who didn't follow the fabulous food blog by @Panaderia Canadiense you should treat yourself and read it through. The "soup" she and kbjesq mention is Fansesca, a soup featuring salt cod that's an Easter tradition in Equador. PanCan gave us a lovely history and tutorial of Fanesca in her blog: eG Foodblog: Panaderia Canadiense - Salt Cod, Squash, and Sweets: Semana Santa in the Sierra PanCan, I have every intention of giving it a try when I have a free weekend. I hope your friend Fidelina won't mind that it's not during Easter.
  3. The small dinners sound like a great idea. Not only because they’ll keep you from drifting back into isolation, but because they’ll be good training, too. Part of the learning curve in cooking is good time management—anticipating the sequence of steps involved when executing multiple courses, and factoring that in to menu planning—deciding what can be done in advance, executing other things a la minute. Cooking a couple of courses for friends and family is a low-stress way to practice this. They won’t care if you sit down to dinner a little late! Besides, one of the things that I’ve found to be true of most good chefs is that they’re driven not only by talent and hard work but also a genuine love of making other people happy with their food. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but if food is served with generosity of spirit, it will most definitely come right back at you. It’s probably one of the things that you enjoyed from your restaurant days, yes? Experiencing that with your guests will lift your spirits and remind you of why all this hard work will be worth it.
  4. PanCan, looking carefully at the long list of ingredients in fanesca, I see that the legumes include lupini beans. The directions simply say "peeled." The lupini beans I know are popular in Italian cuisine, but they require some pretty careful preparation to rid them of toxins and bitterness--up to a week of post-cooking soaking! I did a quick search here and found this from @andiesenji. Worth clicking and reading the whole thing. Your recipe doesn;t mention anything about this--I wonder if this explains the long cooking of fanesca and the gunk that builds up on the sides of the pot. Any advice? I know I can find lupini beans, but don't want to ruin the dish or poison myself.
  5. Thanks for all the great photos. I've been looking forward to a sighting of the legendary fanesca--it did not disappoint (but your mom's seafood rice looked fabulous too). It seems such a curious mix of ingredients, same with the plantain, egg, and cheese topping too--is there a traditional of bringing these ingredients together in other Ecuadorian dishes? Like Deryn, I'm interested in the instructions, especially re: the point you make in the recipe about not scraping down the sides and bottom of the pot during the long cooking. If that's the case, I wonder whether that means fanesca can't be made in a pressure cooker or Thermomix. Do you have any experience/knowledge of using either to make fanesca?
  6. Welcome back, Paul. I admire that you're finding a way to move forward under the weight of so much adversity. I can't offer professional advice, but as a committed amateur in the French tradition, I don't think it's a mistake at all to regain your comfort and proficiency with the fundamentals. Not only for the knowledge but for the confidence each success will give you. Fundamentals aren't just roux, but techniques that will serve you well no matter your eventual goals. Look for some new pathways so you don't feel like you're "just re-learning" such as Lisa's pastry suggestion,or sous vide, charcouterie, or confections, whatever interests you, If you're up to it, make it social occasionally. Invite someone to dinner to sample the latest experiement. No pressure to impress, just to share. And by all means, post your efforts here--topics like Dinner, Daily Sweet, Soup, Terrines, etc give you a no-pressure place to share your creations and get some positive reinforcement.
  7. LindaK


    Rotuts, there's a relatively new local (for us in MA) cider producer in Salem, MA that is making British-style dry hard ciders. Far From the Tree Salem Brewers Take a Hard Look at Cider-Boston Globe I haven't tried them yet but I hear/read good things and hope to get to their tasting room in the near future. btw, I also prefer the Stella among the off-the-shelf cider I can usually find.
  8. What an amazing market. I'm really curious about your learning curve with all the new fruits, vegetables, and grains when you first moved to Ecuador. Did you just start buying and tasting? Did you buy local cookbooks? Have the farmers/vendors been helpful? I love the World of Bacalao!! Those displays are beautiful. I'm salivating at the smoked and salted grouper--omg, I've never seen it before, it seems like such a luxury. How is it used, esp. the smoked? I'm imagining chowder, salads... I want grilled quail and fresh orange-coconut juice at my farmers' market!
  9. If I end up baking for Easter, I usually go for something light and that is vaguely spring-like. My favorite is a sponge or chiffon cake, split, filled with some whipped cream and berries (if good ones are available) or lemon curd. Top with more whipped cream or sifted confectionary sugar/whipped cream on the side. Often seen around these parts at Easter: Boston cream pie, which isn't a pie at all. It's a yellow cake, split and filled with pastry creme, covered with a dark chocolate glaze. Rum cake. Good white/yellow cake. sometimes made with ground nuts, liberally doused with lots of dark rum. Can be a simple bundt style or frosted with a rum-flavored frosting.
  10. This will be fun! Thanks for taking it on. Since you teased us with a photo of salted fish, maybe I can make a request? Over in the salt cod topic, you mentioned an Easter soup/stew called fanesca. It sounded complicated and intriguing. Any chance we'll see some fanesca in this blog? (fingers crossed)
  11. It's not me! But of course I was very excited when I saw that photo. Looking forward to it, whomever it is.
  12. Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table has a good recipe for Bstilla. I've brought it to potlucks and it's always well received. I found the recipe on Google Books here. I posted some photos and comments about the recipe in our "Cooking with..." topic here. Another thing I've learned is that if you make the filling a day in advance, you can skip marinating the chicken before cooking it--you can't taste the difference. Since this recipe makes only enough filling for a 10" cake pan, I'd double it if you decide to use a large casserole or baking dish.
  13. Deryn, I took a look at Canso on google maps. At first it was a puzzle that much of the area didn’t appear to have any roads. Then I realized that probably half of the land is a designated wilderness area. Clearly there will never be a big population cluster there, not enough to sustain any kind of business. I like the ideas of a popup or meetup, though, which don’t require a risky financial investment on your part, as a food truck or B&B would. I noticed on the map that there is a hospital. Perhaps they’d be interested in partnering with you on some informal community events that promote healthy food and nutrition. Maybe with you doing some cooking demos at the co-op with local ingredients and items that the co-op could try selling. I see on the LearningCenter’s website that they have a youth health program--maybe you could offer an after-school cooking class for the kids. Keep it simple. Help build demand for the kinds of food you’d like to be available, hopefully find a few kindred spirits along the way. As far as a pop-up or meetup, I’d reach out the businesses in town like the hospital and the bank, who might have an interest in letting their employees know about an event like that. I also see a seasonal campground and cottage rental site nearly. Visitors might be interested if you do it during the summer.
  14. A very kind thing to organize, I'm sure it will go well. Since it looks like you're going to have a generous amount of food, come prepared with some containers and/or ziplock bags so you can send your new neighbors home with leftovers.
  15. I lived in St. Louis for 8 years, though it was more than a decade ago, and I still visit occasionally. I loved my time there and would have happily stayed had circumstances allowed. It was very different from any place I’d lived before and since, but there were many things about the city, its culture, and quality of life that I enjoyed and still miss. I lived in the city proper, and my two neighborhoods there are still among my favorite places. As a city and region it certainly has its problems, but for purposes of this discussion I think the key thing to know is that the aggregate economic and demographic data masks the fact that the city’s neighborhoods and nearby ‘burbs differ greatly. There are many strong, lively, thriving areas with good restaurants, some high-end, others more eclectic/ethnic/casual. There are neighborhoods and ‘burbs which, economically, are obvious homes for more expensive restaurants, but some of the best/most popular are in quirky, unexpected spots. People will find their way if it’s good. That said, in my experience there, I think your proposed system could work if it’s straightforward, unpretentious, and priced fairly. It might be easier for potential customers to understand if it’s presented simply as a prix fixe menu, deposit required, refundable with >48 hr cancellation. Do you expect that you’ll be able to provide some information about the meal before the 48 hr cancellation time--theme, featured ingredients, something so it isn’t a complete mystery? That could be both reassuring to first-time customers as well as a selling point. I’ll be very interested to see how your local/foraging approach translates to St. Louis. One of the things I miss about the area is the long, warm growing season. I haven’t had a truly great peach since I moved back to the northeast, and it was always exciting when local farmers offered morels and black walnuts.
  16. Reading these recent comments made me realize that I hardly ever go to the EYB full website unless I'm adding a new cookbook--so I've never gotten in the habit of adding notes of my own. I probably should, that could be really useful. I'm a regular user of their mobile site, though, and mention it in case Tere or anyone else new to EYB isn't aware that the site has an app for download. It's a minimalist version of the site, really just the search function. It lets you filter and you can see notes and reviews (but you can't add them). I use it often to check the list of ingredients for a recipe when I'm shopping or when I need inspiration and can't/am too lazy to access a computer. I also like the little "bookmarklet" widget you can add to your browser--it gives you a quick way to add an online recipe to your Bookshelf without having to subscribe to the entire site or blog.
  17. Kenneth, thanks, it's not too much info at all. It's very helpful. I'm somewhat familiar with hydrophonics when used with small plants, especially herbs and greens, but I never knew that it could be used for something as large as a tree. I'm going to give this some thought--no south facing windows chez moi, sadly.
  18. Kenneth, can you say more about how you keep a lime tree alive and healthy in a NYC apartment? What kind of led light do you use? How many hours a day does the plant need it? Very tempting!
  19. Probably for the same reason I waited so long to try it--at first glance, it looks like any other chicken vegetable soup. The differences in ingredients and technique are few and subtle. What finally got me to try it was a big bunch of celeriac I'd picked up at a farmers market, and was looking for ways to use it. This recipe turned up on my Eat Your Books search, and I've been making it ever since. If you try it, let me know what you think. Btw, I usually increase the amount of vegetables, depending on what I have on hand. And I think it benefits from a longer simmer than the recipe calls for (though it's tasty regardless). Leftovers freeze pretty well, so long as you don't mind that the potatoes will get a bit mushy.
  20. Back when I was a kid, an uncle on the Swedish side of the family made homemade birch beer every summer. I loved it, but I haven't had it in many years. Very unique flavor. more sharp than sweet. I wonder if birch syrup is the base. Does anyone know? I'd love to try making it myself. From what I'm reading, it sounds like Finnish and Swedish food have a lot in common, I'll give some of these a try. Thanks for getting the topic started, Darienne.
  21. "Peasant Soup," a Turkish chicken-vegetable soup from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Sultan's Kitchen It features root vegetables--carrot, parsnip, turnip, celeriac, potato--so it's perfect for this time of year. The celeriac really makes it stand out, and a squeeze of fresh lemon at the table elevates the whole thing. For a simple recipe, it is different enough to be rather special.
  22. Marcella Hazan occasionally references Italian dishes with origins from Jewish cuisine. One example is chickpeas and spinach w/ olive oil and lemon from Marcella's Italian Kitchen. I don't know how old the recipe is, but it's tasty and as simple as its name. In case you're interested, she also highly recommends a cookbook on the subject, The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews: by Edda Servi Machlin.
  23. Some restaurants in Chinatown (Boston) serve broiled scallops on the shell in season, some of them come with the corral attached. The whole thing is covered with finely minced garlic and oil. So good...
  24. Dry scallops are always expensive but worth it if they’re within your budget. I always get dsappointing results with “wet” scallops and have stopped trying to cook them. Scallops are actually really easy to cook, the trick is to not overcook them. An overcooked scallop is a sad, stringy thing. If you’re pan-frying, the advice here about bringing them to room temp, patting them dry, and getting your pan and butter sufficiently hot is critical. You want to get a good sear and not overcook them. Even the big ones cook pretty quickly. A nice thing about cooking scallops is that their relatively straight sides give you a clear view of whether they’re cooked through. After the first minute or so, take a look at them from the side—as they cook, the flesh closest to the heat will lose its translucence. I flip a scallop when it’s just short of halfway cooked through. The second side will cook through a little faster. You should only have to flip the scallops once. I take them off the heat when there’s still a thin line of translucence in the center. The minute or two it takes to plate everything gives the residual heat time to finish the cooking. If your preparation requires you to keep them warm for a while so you can do a quick sauce or whatever, it’s especially important not to overcook them in the pan. There are some traditional homestyle seafood dishes here in New England where fish or shellfish are broiled in a sauce of some sort, then usually finished off with some buttery crumbs. A less refined version of the Coquilles St. Jacques that Pufin mentions. They’re tasty but I think harken back to a time when seafood was plentiful and inexpensive.
  25. Franci, Now you "just" need to write a cookbook. I actually don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I always want some of whatever baked goods you post here. Best of luck with your business.
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