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Everything posted by stephle

  1. Being landlocked here in SoCal and only having experienced Maisen once (where I singlehandedly must have eaten half of both the sauces on the table - how do they make that?! I'm still lusting and dreaming over my dinner at Maisen LOL) I have to admit that I'm completely green-eyed with envy at the fact that you and ToraKris have so many choices of great Katsu that Maisen's can be considered "not impressive". I'd KILL to have access to a sandwich like that one on a regular basis. In the 10 days we were in Japan earlier this year I must have eaten Katsu sandwiches on 4 of those days - definitely not health food but OH SO YUMMY!!! Thanks so much for the pics and reminding me of happy times with Pork. Can't wait to go back and do it all over again.
  2. Yes, thanks to everyone for inspiring this great thread (and your continued sharing of knowledge and ideas in the pursuit of all things Japanese As I said I would, I've started the 'Blame it on Gullet' thread. Would love to hear all the crazy things you've ever done because of a thread you read on eGullet (share the crazy LOL) UPDATE: Doh! appears we've already got a similar thread so my thread got merged into the existing one http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=43403&st=100
  3. Inspired by the ramen thread over on the Japan board last week, I decided I must must must (http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=2298&hl=ramen) make my own ramen. After spending hours and gallons of (now precious) gasoline driving all over town looking for the right ingredients (fully recounted on thread above), I managed to turn what should have been a $5-6 bowl of noodles in broth into a $42.50 venture. Driving home, I was chuckling to myself at the fact that this isn't the first time I've fallen down the proverbial 'eGullet rabbit hole' and done crazy things in the name of food... First, there was Charcuterie (http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=79195&hl=) resulting in a wonderful 2lbs of bacon and some fabulous corned tongue. Freaked my sister out when she opened up the bottom drawer of the fridge and wanted to know what those scary cryovac'd things were doing there (tongues) and left me with a bunch of curing salts all neatly labeled 'DANGER DO NOT USE' (for fear one day while dogsitting my mom might think the pretty pink salt would be nice on eggs or something). The Bibimbap thread (http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=10301) caused me to immediately jump in the car for a 40 minute drive to the Korean grocery store. $70 and untold hours later (who would have known there was so much goodness in one Galleria store?!) I had what my husband called 'rice with a bunch of stuff on top'--he didn't get it (especially since there was a food court where I could have easily bought a bowl to get my fix). But as only you guys would undertand, it wasn't just a bowl of rice with 'stuff' on it. It was a beautiful bowl of new crop koshihikari rice with lots of tasty little nibbly bits in it, a balance of spicy salty umami goodness. Finally, let's not forget the ever popular 'Behold my Butt' thread (http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...&hl=behold+butt) resulting in every smoke alarm going off in the house (note: on a warm breezy day, make sure and move that sucker well off to the side of the house) and a bunch of startled neighbors rushing over to make sure we were okay. I swear, a year later, if I sniff carefully I can still smell faint traces of applewood in the curtains near the backyard (which have been laundered many times since). So what I'd like to know is what eGullet thread(s) have inspired you to abandon all reason and do crazy things in the name of food?
  4. Ok, you guys inspired me. I'm going to start a new thread called 'Blame it on Gullet' -- this is only one such thread which has inspired me to lose all reason, drive all over town, spend extraordinary amounts of money in pursuit of something which is really supposed to be cheap comfort food for the masses. After reading this thread, I decided I must, must, must have a bowl of fresh ramen. Let me preface my tale by saying that I'm about 30 mins from some great ramen in LA's Westside and could have driven into town, paid my $5 (spent $8 in gas) gotten my fix and come home happy. But nooooo. eGullet and my food obsessed brain wouldn't let me do that. *My* bowl of ramen had to be fresh, homemade pork broth ramen, nothing else would do. And thus my journey begins. So off I go looking for some pork neck bones and one pigs trotter. After a few more stops (est $3 in gas) I'm finding that these ingredients are harder to find than one might think in the burbs of LA (Westlake Village). At one stop, they didn't have any bones but did have a nice boneless pork shoulder which I thought would make a nice yakibuta so I bought it and continued on the hunt. Total cost $7.50 (plus about $2 in gas). As I'm driving around aimlessly wondering where in the world I'm going to find these things, I ask myself if I turn the car around now whether I'm early enough to miss the lunch rush in West LA. Then it occurs to me that any market with a big hispanic market (somewhere that has posole fixings) would probably be be the ticket for my coveted bones/trotter. Food4Less sprang to mind as a possible candidate. Out comes the WM Smartphone and thanks to MS Live Search, 30 mins later, I'm in Oxnard's F4L which has a nice selection of pork neck bones as well as the requisite pig foot. Total cost about $10 plus gas (which at $4/gal @ 2 gallons = $8) for a total of $18. My simple bowl of ramen is now up to $27.50 and nary a noodle in sight yet. 3 hours after I set out, I'm home with my pork bounty. I put everything in a pot with water, a little salt, couple cloves of garlic and set it to cook. Simmered pretty much all day -- almost 8 hours total. Because I'm not a big fan of the way milky broth looks I decided to keep the broth at a nice simmer. The dog has permanently parked himself in the kitchen and sleeps in front of the stove, ready to pounce on any intruder who might come between him and his version of fort knox. Before I put the broth away for the night, I give it a little slurp and smile appreciatively...have to admit, pig makes for a really lip smacking tasty broth. Woke up to a nice layer of fat -- skimmed off some, but not all of the fat and was pleased to see underneath the broth had set up more firmly than a baby's bottom...you could have bounced a quarter off of it. Excited, I warm it up, freed the captive bones/meat from the gelatin via strainer and spent 30 mins meticulously picking out all the meat that fell off of the neck bones. I'm thinking mixed with some warmed 'Finger Lickin Good' BBQ sauce nestled in a nice egg bun, little coleslaw to top there's enough there for 3 good sized pork pulled sandwiches, making for yet more porcine pleasure (and we still haven't gotten to the ramen yet! On to the yakibuta...I took the pork shoulder roast and cut off about 1 lb from the end, sliced a couple of thick slices off the remaining hunk (for Tonkatsu at some later date) and froze the rest for carnitas. Briefly regret not buying the organic pork roast Whole Foods sell. They have the most wonderful pork with amazing flavor (the thought of which makes me briefly consider running back out). Fortunately, a saner mind prevailed (actually a phone call came in which ran too long for me go out if I wanted soup tonight so I didn't have a choice) so I decided to make the best of the animal who was so kind to offer its life so I could have my yakibuta. Tied the generic hunk o'pork up with kitchen twine and put some soy, mirin and sake and one star anise for good measure into my rice cooker bowl, added some of the porky broth and put the whole thing into my Zojirushi on brown rice mode. It's cooking as we speak (house smells lovely today, dog still permanently camped out in kitchen). Hunk o'pork came out smelling and tasting beautiful, but sadly when I went to cut it, it was falling apart tender. I know it's not traditional to the japanese char siu but the star anise was a, um, stellar addition. So, for anyone who scoffs at the notion of a 40 min simmer being all that's needed, don't. 40mins is probably all you need to get those nice thin slices; any more than that and you get probably more tenderness than you're looking for. Meh, live and learn, it was just as good falling apart even if not visually as appealing. Accoutrements...well, what's ramen without the fixins? Ran out to the Albertson's around the corner and picked up 2 packs Azumaya chinese style noodles from the produce section (they claim they're good for soup -- guess we'll be the judge of that), some bean sprouts, eggs, green onions, (darn forgot the spinach. Oh well - using some snow peas instead and a little sauteed chinese cabbage) adding another $15 to what should be a simple bowl of soup. Assemble it all together. Bless with with liquid porky goodness. Behold my $42.50 bowl of ramen. You ask how was it? Concerned that I'd make it too salty I was careful about not overseasoning as I went. Funny, but even after small splash of soy in the broth, it still needed a little touch of salt. The noodles were a good fit -- while not as good as authentic, the fact that they're sitting on the shelf at Albertson's makes me think the maker of the noodles (Vitasoy) might have something good here for us and can recommend them for a quick fix. While obviously not as authentic as something I might have gotten on the Westside but it was all my own, exactly the way I wanted it. I thank my multiple porcine friends who gave their all for one great bowl of soup. I also thank my multiple and virtual friends on eGullet who drive me to such acts of madness in the name of food
  5. Freeze one loaf! Or freeze half the dough. ← Yes--you're absolutely right, I'll freeze the other half of the dough. No sense in making a mess for only one loaf when a second can be ready in a few hours without the mess What's funny is that I used a little dough conditioner in it, which I've never used before -- basically got some lecithin and ginger in it and claims to help make the dough rise better and keep longer. I put the second loaf in a ziplock bag 10 days ago then into the fridge -- yesterday was out of bread and pulled it out and it was suprisingly fresh. Considering the amount of fresh milk, cream and whatnot, this was really interesting I need to test that dough improver again because it could be a winner
  6. stephle

    Surreal Ideas Wanted

    You know the other thing you could consider would be to do two separate tables, one representing Paradise and the other representing Hell as a riff on his Garden of Earthly delights. Do white, happy type food on the one table (this would be the table that's likely hold dessert--think lychees and cut figs) and do the funky really surreal dark food on the Hell table (for some reason, a dish using blood sausage comes to mind). Anyway, I'm sure you'll think of something -- have fun and definitely make sure you take pictures!!!
  7. stephle

    Surreal Ideas Wanted

    How fun is this?! What about playing with scale? Huge 3 lb meatloaf sized 'meat balls' sitting in a tangle of the finest angel hair pasta you can get on the biggest platter you can find which resembles a plate? The sauce would have slices of portabella in it sized to the same scale they'd be in proportion to regular sized meatballs. Then you'd make some really dense parmesan crisps pretending to be shaved parmesan on top. Warm weather abounds so I'm feeling there's lots of possibilities with aspic, agar or gelatin here... How about cubes of jellied tomato consumme tossed with smaller gelatin based cubes of a basil based broth and cubes of fresh mozzerella (cut with a cookie cutter) as a riff on a Caprese salad? Looks like jello tastes like summer... How about encasing one of your main dishes in clear aspic? I'd think seeing a traditional italian dish like sausages and peppers suspended in clear jelly would be very surreal. What about a riff on veal marsala? I'm thinking big rectangular lasagne type pan with a layer of marsala based aspic, layer of panfried well seasoned veal to cover the aspic completely, then another layer of aspic. Lemon/capers would also work on something like this, just need to change the broth. This sounds like a really fun game -- how surreal yet edible can you get. Look forward to seeing more ideas from others
  8. I also made this bread (apologies, I always forget to bring my camera out It was lovely but still lacking that lovely light as air quality the bread I get at Mitsuwa has. But that being said, it made beautiful egg salad sandwiches-enough tooth so that the sandwich didn't completely fall apart and IMHO a perfect foil for the eggy salad with the bit of Coleman's mustard I added. I'd definitely make it again, but next time I'll only make 1/2 the recipe (2lbs of one kind of bread is too much for my small household of two).
  9. Not give full, undivided, complete attention to the pan while cooking caramel. Last Thanksgiving I got a matching 2nd degree+ burn which matched the one I got years prior for not heeding my own advice. Funny, you'd think spilling 300 degree boiling hot sugar on your hand once would be enough to never repeat it again. Guess some of us aren't that smart.
  10. And don't forget to ask your butcher what part he likes best (and how he likes to cook it). I've gotten some really good ideas just by asking what cut/part they personally like and how they like to cook it. A local butcher is how I discovered my first flatiron steak years ago before word got out on the street that this was a tasty cut o'meat.
  11. I think the challenge with an Asian 'Mac n' Cheese' is the general rarity of cheese in Asian cuisine? How intent are you on keeping the cheese? Because if we remove the Cheese part of the equation, I guess we're out of M/C and into casserole territory (not that there's anything wrong with that Asian macaroni casserole ideas could be interesting to hear...
  12. stephle

    Vanilla Salt

    Roasted yams. Roasted until they're caramelized and oozing lovely brown yam goodness. Smash them just ever so lightly. Lashings of cold creamy unsalted butter. A little splosh of heavy cream for good measure. Plate em up. Good dose of vanilla salt on top. (gotta run...I now know what I'm having with dinner tonight). best, steph.
  13. OMG. I love you guys. Where else can I logon and get this kind of fun?! I have nothing to contribute to this thread except adding that this topic is a little like the one (can't remember which forum) where someone was looking for the fastest way to despatch his own frogs for cooking. Only on eGullet Happy 4th to everyone! best, steph.
  14. stephle

    Bok Choy

    Hate to pile on but I've also never had bitter Bok Choy -- I alway buy baby Bok Choy -- maybe like squash, the bigger ones are more prone to beoming bitter? Don't know but I love this stuff, when cooked lightly (small amount of oil, soy sauce, dab of hoisin sayce, it's got a faint taste of melon.
  15. Dave, your tongue is beautiful I think this calls for some corning before smoking -- just like you would pastrami. I've actually done this with tongue of a less elegant pedigree and it came out delicious. No need to pre-peel (too hard to do on a raw tongue anyway--have you ever tried this? Dangerous and not fun to do). I put the following together and rubbed it all over the tongue: 1/4 cup Morton Tender Quick 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons granulated garlic 2 tablespoons ground coriander After rubbing this stuff liberally all over, I sealed it with my seal-a-meal and stuck it in the fridge for I think it was about 3 days (turned it a couple of times as juices started to develop). Took it out of the bag and rinsed well then soaked in bowl of cold water for 30 mins. While it was soaking, I setup the BBQ. Before throwing it onto the smoke, I rubbed it again with some ground coriander, powdered garlic and some black pepper and I seem to recall a teeny pinch of allspice for flavor. I smoked mine for about 2 hours over slow smoke/heat to get the flavor into it -- you're looking for internal temp of at least 170 but IIRC if you take it up past 190 it'll start falling apart like bbq brisket. It was pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself -- made really good and spicy sandwiches. I will admit however that I'm actually partial to taking the tongue right after it's finished corning and throwing it into my pressure cooker for an hour. That thing comes out SO juice your mouth will water. Makes the BEST sandwiches you can imagine. Either way, you're blessed to have such great tongues. Make sure you post pix of the final result!!! steph.
  16. There are a few regular offenders in my fridge: Bags of shredded cabbage Celery (less so since I found out Whole Foods will sell you little itty bitty pieces by the pound) Carrots (always seem to buy too many and they fall to the bottom of the bin) Butter. My favorite wonderfood. I have a bad habit of hacking chunks off of a stick and throwing it back into the fridge, lost until I do my periodic cleaning (which isn't as often as it should be). Tofu, Shirataki, misc cheese, deli meat. All reside in their own drawer together and I often wonder if one day they're just going to mate or something.
  17. OOH, butter poached eggs in less than a minute. Butter is truly a wonderfood.
  18. I used to do this when I was doing LC and stuck on the road for a snack. Did you ever felt guilty about taking the condiments for this? For some reason, I always felt like I was committing a crime or something -- I mean, it wouldn't have been a problem if I were taking the mayo and mustard (the road trip version must have mustard in it) for one of the stale sandwiches in the refrigerator case, but somehow the knowledge that they were destined for better things made it all seem very sneaky and I felt the need to keep them hidden tightly in my fist while paying for the eggs so the clerk wouldn't know that in 5 minutes I'd be scarfing something totally unworthy of his dingy gas station.
  19. Call me a heretic but I like a little chopped capers in my 'Fat-Guy' style egg salad. For hubby, served only on soft white Japanese bread (that fluffy thickly sliced stuff) with lettuce (IMHO more herecy), on rustic country sourdough loaf for me. (I think I know what we're having for dinner tonight -- it's hot so what could be better?) So without setting this to be bounced to the Japan board has anyone seen Japanese tartar sauce? It's actually more similar to egg salad than to tartar sauce. I've seen them do this on Dotchi cooking show a few times and it looked so good my mouth was watering I just had to try it -- really amazing with the right fish. Basically use Fat Guy's egg salad recipe, add a little relish, some chopped dill and freshly made mayonaise. Amazing stuff. Be sure to finish any of the above permutations with the requisite 84mg aspirin
  20. I've been following all the news of this on blogs since it was announced and also am in the 'I've GOT to try this' camp!!! I'm a huge fan of cucumber spa water, cucumber in Pimms, cucumber anything. Sadly I think the US market is never going to see this, we're just too puritanical about our sodas. It seems like if it's isn't brown, clear or orange it's not likely to hit our shelves. If anyone finds this online to buy or would be willing to ship, I'd be willing to pay premium for a bottle or two
  21. On the topic of miso, my favorite Japanese restaurant does an amazing Miso beef dish. It's thinly sliced beef like for gyudon but has miso in the mix -- does anyone has a recipe or an idea of how this might be made? I've tried various combo's to no avail thanks in advance, steph.
  22. Whole Foods! My local WF (Thousand Oaks) seems to always have them pre-packaged in the meat counter. YUM! Not good for the waistline but so delicious on good crusty bread (aso from WF).
  23. I've also been following this thread for many months now -- I've done the basic recipe but after reading all the wonderful variations you very talented folks have done, I think I'm ready to branch out with some banana ones -- has anyone actually made these? There seems to be some talk about theory on what to do but I don't recall seeing any 'been there-done that'. If anyone has done banana, are any hints or gotchas that I need to be aware of? We're going camping this weekend and I'm thinking these would be yummy on top of some extra dark Mari-lu chocolate biscuits (those imported cookies with a plain cookie on the bottom and a little slab of chocolate on top). Many thanks in advance best, steph.
  24. Here's my chicken birthday dinner idea: How about roasting your whole (brined) chicken on high heat and then when it's about 1/2 way through roasting some baby beets -- when beets are 1/2 way through take some of the chix fat and roast mixture of whole mushrooms (white, crimini, oyster, etc) with some thyme in a separate pan. When mushrooms are done, remove them to small saucepan add some chix broth, reduce the broth by half then add some fresh cream and a splosh of cream sherry, fresh pepper and some more fresh thyme leaves. Remove beets, and make salad with baby greens and goat cheese; make basamic vinaigrette using some of the still warm roasted chix fat in lieu of oil and a small dollop of dijon mustard. I'd personally keep the side dish simple -- some nicely mashed potatoes with lashings of butter of course. Spoon slices of chix with mushroom mixture. For this dinner, I'd do a fresh Angel food cake alongside some lemon curd and creme fraiche with some berries scattered about.
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