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  1. loki


    This is late - but I look at old posts for answers so... You don't need French varieties - any pickling cuke will work, just use the very smallest of these. I have grown the French (Paris Pickling) cultivar, which is the most common 'cornichon' type, and it is really similar to other cultivars of pickling cukes. I just bought some at the local farmers market, and picked out very small (for cornichon) and larger (for 'Kosher Dills"). In addition cornichon (little horn) just means pickle - so some are not the type you might expect. Unless you want sweet or dill types (even French brands), look in the ingredients, which should not have sugar, and should contain tarragon for the type mentioned here.
  2. OK this is late, but I have used this appliance for a few years now. I highly recommend it! It's pretty sturdy, and can grind things to flour, or make really smooth liquids. There is a small and large 'bowl', the smaller is better for dry items (though it can be used for wet), but the tall is not as good for dry items. This is a great item for Indian spice mixes (garam masala etc.), and SE Asian curry pastes, etc. Also great for making small amounts of 'flours' like corn flour from corn meal... This is not an appliance to make coarsely grated things - it pretty much is designed to make pastes.
  3. Planted "Numex heritage 6-4" peppers this year and they performed wonderfully. Still haven't roasted then yet. These are a variety grown in the Hatch area, and beyond. They bred flavor back into an old standard variety, and I really think it worked. They are early and productive too. They are medium in heat.
  4. Thanks, CharlieDi, that recipe actually is similar to what I did, except I added the squid later. Anyway, I found the episode, watched it and came up with my own recipe. It's not a true recipe in that I have no measurements. I was at a friends house, cooking outside over a fire, so did not record amounts very well. I our paella tests however, we found that measurements were not that important as was observing and adapting. First add chopped red peppers, onions, and garlic (I am not sure if I added any tomatoes?) to a pan (a cast iron pan is what was used, and I did as well). Fry these in oil for a bit, then add the rice (Spanish short-grained, I had Mexican bomba short grained, which unfortunately they no longer carry here). Fry this till the grains get a bit more opaque. Add some squid ink (a dab - it's really strong). Add a little white wine (I found a Spanish white, don't remember which kind) and cook this till it's absorbed. Then add hot fish stock (made with some shrimp would be perfect, and make sure it's a bit salty as the rest of the dish is bland), but salted water could work. Cover the rice a bit, and cook. I cooked this outside on a wood fire. In the video they made this in a wood oven. After about 10 minutes, add cut up squid, and more stock. After about 10 more minutes this is probably done. Put slivered green onions and parsley on the dish, and let rest for awhile. Serve with saffron aioli - which did not turn out well for me - tasted good but would not thicken. It was really more of a saffron mayonaise (which looks to me what they used on the episode) and not aoili (which is just garlic, salt, and oil). I used egg yolks, saffron (ground in a mortar and pestle), salt, garlic, and olive oil, and I believe a little lemon juice. I will work on this to get it to thicken if I make this again. I actually think the egg-less version would be better (Allioli in Catalan). For amounts, I used about equal amounts of onions and red peppers, with a couple cloves of garlic (again can't remember if I added tomatoes). Then about twice this amount of rice. The wine was just enough to almost come up halfway on the rice. You will then need at least twice the amount of this as stock (though you can supplement with water). Then the squid - is enough to cover the dish - about the same amount as the rice. And garnishes of green onions and parsley - again enough to cover pan. Oh and the pan size is important - you don't want the rice to be deeper than 2 inches, so this will determine amounts.
  5. Maltose is available at homebrew supply stores. I would use dry malt, though I think malt extract (It's sort of like honey) could also work. Look for the pale kind, not the dark (unless you really want a caramel flavor).
  6. I lived in NM for years, and still go back often (maybe back soon too!). Shelby, I would never buy raw chiles. The roasting part is difficult and they do it better. For what you paid - I would expect them roasted, peeled and frozen shipped overnight! Here's a recent Great Article Anyway, Hatch has made a reputation on their chiles. However they are not that special, except they grow a lot of them. In no way am I saying they are not good. I stop there to get chiles when I'm near (though usually for red chile - green is easier to get at local farm stands or even supermarkets with a roaster outside). Some of the best roasted green chiles I've ever had were from Colorado - the Animas River Valley. I've also had excellent ones from Central and Northern New Mexico. Chimayo has famous red chile, but it's wonderful green too. Also, there really is not a variety called Hatch, it's like Idaho potatoes, there really is not a variety, but most people think it's a Russet Burbank, but in reality it's any potato that is grown in Idaho, and uses the Idaho Potato Commission's trademark. And I do go up (only 15-35 miles or so) nearly every year and get 50lb bags of Idaho potatoes, but usually yellow-fleshed varieties and reds (various varieties), as I like those better than mealy russets. There are people claiming Hatch origins. Even a company out of GA that has some sort of trademark called Hatch (which may get their chiles from anywhere). So do get ones from known sources - and in this case local is easier to 'know'. And you DO NOT freeze then roast: won't work. Well, you might get the flavor, and it's probably OK for stew and such, but you won't get rellenos easily from that method. I used to get them roasted, whole and freeze them. It's easier and they peel easily upon thawing. But lately I've bought them peeled and chopped (no rellenos except a sort of erzatz version) and frozen, as they take up so much less room. There is some debate whether the whole freezing with the burnt bit on them add more flavor - you could alway keep some of the larger peelings and put them in with the peeled peppers. I would search out locally grown chiles and try them. Encourage them to grow NM types! I grow some here (Utah) and they are great. Just made rellenos too! But since I like to grow many other things, I don't grow enough to satisfy my needs, but I can get roasted ones fairly close now (from NM, CA, or TX). The varieties I like are Barker, Sandia, and Espanola. I might have Isleta Long in my freezer now - I bought them a the Isleta Pueblo store (hot and extra hot - they did not know the actual variety the day I was there). To me Big Jim is too mild; I consider it on the really mild side myself. I'm surprised they were listed as medium? Well, some years are different, and peppers really vary in heat from year to year - so maybe they were adjusting for that. There are other varieties too, and new ones being developed.
  7. Sorry to the recipe police - but I don't have complete measurements for these - I make them different every time. 1 - Bread crumbs - toasted in olive oil (with garlic, onions, and/or anchovies or not). Salt to taste. Mix with cooked pasta. 2 - Dandelion greens - cleaned and chopped, added to little olive oil with garlic and onions, cooked for about 5 minutes, and added to pasta. Orecchiette is traditional but it works with others. 3 - This is a strange one - from childhood, but I still like it. Canned tomato soup, butter and pepper. Cook 1 Lb pasta till done (it was not al dente when I was a kid), then add 1 12 oz can tomato soup (or less, you don't want it saucy), and butter (about 3 tablespoons) and freshly ground pepper, and heat till soup cooks into the pasta - add a little water if needed, but this should not be saucy. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, then serve with a little more butter on top. I love this every now and again - and I don't like canned tomato soup! 4 - Not from and Italian recipe but Northern European (I've seen it or similar recipes in German and Polish cookbooks). Poppyseed and Almonds. Melt 3 TBL butter and add slivered almonds - about 1/4 cup, and brown, add 3 TBL poppy seeds and cook till they start to pop. Add to 1 lb cooked - wide egg noodles (but others will work too), with another 1 TBL butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. I think lemon added to this one might be good...
  8. I finally have the results... I used the green cherry tomatoes instead of the eggplants. The texture is different but the taste is there, and it's pretty good. I found Vietnamese recipes out there and I translated and used my pickling knowledge to fill in the mistranslated parts. I also added my own changes to make it suit me. One of the key steps is a natural ferment which produces the sourness (not vinegar - lactic acid fermentation). This is very like my favorite sweet gherkin recipe - except the spices/flavorings are very different! The original recipes call for red chile, but I had fresh green and used that instead. I think I could make the other types of this condiment based on this recipe - some have shrimp, some soy products, etc. http://forums.egullet.org/topic/149474-vietnamese-pickled-eggplant/
  9. Vietnamese Pickled Eggplant These use tiny white eggplants that are nearly impossible to get here. I tried to grow them without success (this time). I did not have these so used unripe cherry tomatoes. Ingredients 2 lb eggplant (tiny white SE Asian types) or green cherry tomatoes. 1/4 cup salt 1 TBL galangal root 1 TBL ginger root 12 green chilies - thai peppers or serranos 6 cloves garlic 1/2 cup onion finely chopped 2 cup Granulated sugar 2 cup water 1/4 cup fish sauce 1. Rinse off eggplant and pierce with a knife - or cut in half if larger than 3/4 inch in diameter. 2. Put eggplant into jar and add salt - and water to top of jar. Cover with plastic lid and cover loosely. Let ferment for 7 days. 3. Take out eggplant and drain. Rinse with water. Put into jars again. 4. Chop ginger, galangal, chiles, onion, and garlic. 5. Boil water and sugar, add spices and onion, and heat for 5 minutes. Add fish sauce. 6. Pour over eggplants making sure the spices and onion get all around (might have to take out some eggplant and return). 7. Cover with plastic lid, and refrigerate. 8. Ready in several days. Will last a very long time in the refrigerator. Notes: Good alongside other SE Asian dishes, or even alone with rice. The green tomatoes are not the same texture as the eggplants, but are quite good. The eggplants are very crispy.
  10. I think cumin is too common as are cilantro (which is not warming, or to me anyway, earthy; and the Indian restaurants I've been to only use it in a few dishes), or toasted onion (it's too familiar, used in many other cuisines, and browned onions are not used ubiquitously in Indian dishes). I think my proposal of black cardamom is not likely either as it's used too infrequently. The original poster said they already make Indian food so the cumin, coriander, and even turmeric should be already very familiar? My best guess is still asafoetida. It's somewhat hard to find, is left out of recipes because of that, and does produce a very unique flavor/aroma. In some sets of recipes it's called for in nearly everything except cold or sweet dishes. A last thought about restaurant Indian. Here, and in most locations I've been to around the country, nearly all the restaurants serve nearly the same northern Indian food. It's a repertoire of about 20 dishes - some of which are restaurant creations and not really from India (some of these are pretty good though). But I'm sort of sick of it - and rarely suggest Indian when dining out anymore, unless I have a real craving for naan, which is not that easy for me to make well. But at home, I peruse books and websites for other regional Indian cuisine - and always ask friends from India about their favorite dishes, especially from childhood. I will grow amaranth, luffa, fenugreek greens, bottle gourds, tinda, Indian varieties of eggplants and peppers, etc. for them (for me as well). There are SO MANY other dishes out there; so why not. I like to grow unusual vegetables too - and I can find all sort of ways to use them this way as well.
  11. Garam masala means "hot/spicy mix" so it's no wonder there are so many variants. Each region or even each household has their own favorites. It would not even be a useful answer if it did turn out to be the garam masala then - you would need to know which component spice it was. I don't think you have enough info - warm and earthy is not very descriptive - but then again how do you describe a unique flavor or aroma? Hmm... It could be the treatment of the spices - some of which are roasted or fried - or even both before being added to a dish. Some may be added early, others to finish (or temper) a dish. This can really change the character of the spices and can add that certain something. If you are not doing this in your cooking try these techniques and see if this adds that certain something. Turmeric is a possibility. Buy some from a place where it's as fresh (not raw roots, but freshly ground) as possible and smell it - taste it - make a tea out of it. It's in nearly every Indian dish to some extent, and it the spice that gives things that yellow color (besides saffron which is in some dishes - usually rice-based). Non-fresh turmeric has little flavor - but the deep golden, freshly ground has more - though it's still not a strong taste or aroma. I would describe it as earthy - maybe a bit like an old wooden box (in a good way), perhaps a little mustard-like (maybe I'm stretching here as it's an ingredient in yellow mustard). Otherwise I lack vocabulary to describe it. Another one may be black cardamom - one that I discovered much later than the other spices. It's not just regular cardamom - in another guise, but is a different species (well a couple or few depending on your botanical interpretation) in the same genus as the more familiar green cardamom (which can be green, white, or without the pod - brownish to black seeds). It's smoky (it's usually dried over a fire), earthy, menthol and camphor flavored, along with some of the same flavors as green cardamom (again not really 'like' anything else). It's not used in that many dishes - but it might be it? Another one may be fenugreek - this is another spice commonly used in Indian cuisines. It has an earthy flavor, a bit bitter, like maple syrup, earthy (maybe like mown hay - perhaps alfalfa which it's related to), and a bit of a beany flavor too. Try making a tea with this - both raw and roasted. Lastly, and this is where my money is, I'm guessing asafoetida. It's unique. Inititially, it gives out a garlicky - oniony aroma, some say leeks (like the odor of a leek soup the next day when you take off the cover). But when cooked, other components come out - earthy and sort of like boiled cabbage and something else which to me is like carrots or parsnips - long cooked ones. Sounds pretty awful - but I use it in a few dishes. The other clue you gave is that it's a certain something "Indian" and it fits that bill for me. Some dishes are just not the same without it. I think it mixes into a dish well - especially lentil and bean dishes like dal. It's common in achars too - Indian pickles - though perhaps not most of them. You can usually only get this at an Indian grocery store - and I think you will have to make a dish with it, and without it to see if it's THE flavor. I would make a simple dal without onions or garlic - and only a smattering of other spices. Keep it in a tightly sealed container - like a mason jar - or all your other spices will take on it's odor. I put the whole plastic container it comes in, inside a mason jar. I'm leaving out cumin, coriander, black or brown mustard seed (these are earthy and roasted or fried give an Indian flavor!), ginger, and some others that I assume you know well - but perhaps I should not assume?
  12. loki


    This is a bit late - but... gfweb: Sometimes you get a stuck ferment with no discernible reason. I would taste and see if it's too salty (maybe you put too much in without realizing - I've done that!). Fermentation is anaerobic, so technically you should not have to re-oxygenate. This would just encourage spoilage organisms. There is an aerobic stage in some of these organisms but predominance of anaerobes occurs - maybe for some reason there were not enough of these (but I don't know why). I think if it's not way too salty - get some more cabbage and add it to the mix - and mix the whole mixture as well. This will reintroduce more lactic acid bacteria, and maybe get things moving again. With an airlock, the brine cover is not as important - it's 100 percent humidity and no oxygen using this method. You do want brine to barely cover the cabbage but you should not need more. Even if this were an issue it should not be with 90 percent of the kraut. The only other thing I could guess is a preservative (you only used cabbage and salt) or too hot (you did not use hot water?) or cold temps (looks like it's inside your house). Last year I made kraut in a food-safe bag - turned out great! I think carswell's post way back in 03 was perfect. But I do like glass best - and the airlock method is great too - I use this in home-brewing. The only time I've failed with saurkraut has been when I did not pack it down quickly enough after salting and mold set in. Otherwise it has worked out very well. Most often I've grown the cabbage myself. Oh - and turnips or kohlrabi make wonderful kraut as well. And garlic added makes a great Polish version.
  13. loki

    Pickles Without Vinegar

    Hopefully I don't appear antagonistic above. I've been making pickles since the 70's and relatives or friends of the family have made them before me - especially the fermented types. I love the Katz' book Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods too, and only find a little fault with his brine method especially for kimchi. As I've mentioned I measure salt per the whole product and not in only the brine. And as for kimchi - I don't use brine - I add salt to the chinese cabbage and veges, let it macerate overnight, then add the spices the next day and ferment from there. That was how Korean grandmothers taught me! But way before I even bought that book I was making cucumber pickles, okra pickles, green beans (these were not successful - but I think there is a way they would be), sweet corn on the cob, sauerkraut, kimchi (using many different veges, fruits, and fish/shellfish), radish, turnips, greens, green tomato, and probably more I forgot about, through biological fermentation. I worked out ways for it work for me - often by perusing books and talking to people who've done it successfully. I've also experimented - but with a pretty good understanding of the process (I'm a biologist). It irks me to see how much misinformation is out there and it's hard for me to keep quiet. For instance, famous chefs have talked about sauerkraut being pickled in vinegar (no - it's cabbage and salt plus fermentation). I am not tied down to one method either, but I do tend to stick to some guidelines. I make pickles in plastic bags sometimes! Anyway keep trying and you will make something you like. I am really intrigued by using an airlock - like the kind used for home-brewing - I think that may be a very successful method. The Bubbies pickles are wonderful. I have made some that are very much like theirs. I think they achieve them by keeping things very consistent - which pretty much requires large batches, fresh cucumbers, a particular cucumber variety (not a secret one, just the same one so their process works consistently), and controlled temperatures. Also look at their label - they use calcium chloride - for crisping - as I usually do with cucumbers. It's a naturally occurring salt found in sea salt - as well as other salts found as deposits from ancient bodies of water - so don't be afraid. This is used instead of grape leaves, cherry leaves (these are not recommended anymore as they contain cyanide - but only in small amounts usually...), horseradish leaves, etc. I've not found these to work that well, but I do like the flavor of horseradish leaves. Also Bubbies kosher pickles contain live cultures and keep in the fridge for a long time (once opened they will not keep as long, and will slowly loose crispness). Transfer home-made pickles to smaller jars with plastic lids and fill to near the brim with the brine they've been pickled in, and top off with pure water as necessary (almost no air space but not zero, or you will get leakage), and they will keep longer once opened - well you will eat a smaller jar faster - so they aren't in the opened-jar stage for long! Keep in the fridge, or a seasonal cold spot like a garage (that does not get much below freezing). You can water-bath can them to make them shelf stable, but you will loose crispness and the live culture as well. For me, vinegar based pickles work better for this method (which I also make and like).
  14. loki

    Pickles Without Vinegar

    David, your photo of the pickles was way too few cukes per brine (so they will turn out saltier unless you use my method of measurement - salt per jar, not salt per amount of water). I looked at the recipe and for one thing - I'm pretty sure that is a quart jar in the photo - not 16 oz. If it is 16 oz that is way too much salt - more than twice what you need. Then it does not leave out air - and it talks about scum - you don't want scum! You want some bacteria in the brine - a white powdery looking material - that is not on the surface. Then he says they only keep for about a week - well if you really have fermented the cukes they will last for months - as long as you keep them in the fridge and the air out as much as possible. It gives me the impression of a complete dilettante. Also, you should completely stuff as many cukes in as possible. Use a large jar or crock and put in smaller jars later. Though I have made them in several Quart sized jars successfully. NO air space - that is for canned pickles (which you can do after fermentation, but I don't like the result). I put a layer of food-grade plastic over the brine - and try to have as few air bubbles as possible. Then the lid is put on somewhat loosely - over the plastic - and the jar is in a container that catches the spillage. Fermentation is Anaerobic=no oxygen. You want no air at all or mold will form. The old method in a crock with a plate on top could not exclude air and you needed to scrape off the mold every day (but you could sometimes still get a moldy taste!). That is what's posted above - works but not ideal. There are commercial crocks - Harsch Fermenting Crocks - that work very well - expensive but will last forever. These have an air-lock. These if another commercial way of pickling with something called the Picklemeister - which is similar to fermenting beer or wine - and this seems quite a logical method too. Both of these produce an oxygen-free environment quickly. The other 'secret' is 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of salt (non-iodized - a little more if coarse) to one quart - cukes included. If it's too salty you can add less but then you chance mold and other nasties more (though once they are sour you are past the bad part). It should sour in less than a week. Then I just put in a fridge and don't can. I take off the plastic layer and now use plastic lids that don't rust. the glass with a rubber gasket type work well too. Too-salty-pickle can be revived a bit - drain half the brine (once they've soured to the stage you like), then add pure water and vinegar 2:1 ratio (only water might work but you may get a less sour pickle too), and the salt will leach out and they should taste better. Or use these salty pickles to make pickle relish - and add no salt to the recipe. There are other pickle recipes - usually sweet - that you use already fermented pickles in as well - and these are quite good. I think you could actually make any canned pickle recipe out of fermented pickles instead of fresh and they would turn out fine (but leave out the salt). Sweet pickles - can be made simply this way. First find out how many jars your cukes will fill and then make as much of the following to suit. To me these taste better than 'regular' sweet pickles. Fermented cukes Syrup of 1 cup sugar to 1.5 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt (leave out if fermented pickles are too salty) - You usually need a little less than 1/2 a quart = 2 cups of syrup per quart of packed pickles. 2 cloves per quart I 1/4 inch slice ginger per quart 1 1/4 inch chunk of cinnamon per quart 1 cardamom pod per quart Boil the syrup for at least 5 minutes. Pack the jars with as many pickles as you can - and add the spices per jar. You can vary the spices to suit. Pour over the boiling syrup and seal according to your local conditions in a hot water bath (look up your County Extension suggestions). You can just put them in the fridge too.
  15. The show is "Unique Eats" - Small Plates Episode - Season 2 Episode 13. But I can't find anything else about it.
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