Jim Dixon

participating member
  • Content count

    1,327
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Jim Dixon

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://www.realgoodfood.com

Profile Information

  • Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA

Recent Profile Visitors

726 profile views
  1. Rice

    This medium grain heirloom variety brown rice tastes great and has the texture of white rice. I cook it using the Italian 'cook like pasta' approach. Bring lots of salted water to a boil, add rice, boil for 35 minutes, drain, cover, and rest for a few minutes. Kokuho Rose Organic Brown Rice, available online here. Bittman mentioned this rice a few weeks ago. JIm
  2. Sodium quackery

    Full disclosure: I sell Necton sea salt from Portugal. There are a couple of reasons to use good sea salt instead of refined salts such as kosher salt. One is flavor. Nearly all of the salt produced world-wide, no matter the process, is destined for industrial use (paint, PVC, etc). Industrial users want it to be as close to 100% sodium chloride as possible. Larger salt producers, including industrial sea salt producers, try to meet this goal. Small producers of culinary salts don’t mind less than pure sodium chloride, and in fact embrace the trace elements in their salts. The salt I sell and use at home is 96-97% sodium chloride; that 3-4% consists of the other micronutrients in seawater, including magnesium and potassium. These trace elements buffer the bitter flavor of sodium chloride. While it is subtle, you can taste the difference. I tell my customers to poach or fry a couple of eggs, then eat one with ordinary table or kosher salt, the other with Necton or a comparable sea salt. One of my restaurant customers uses Necton salt in the kitchen because, as the chef/owner told me, “When we ran out once and switched back to kosher, the cooks complained that the food tasted like crap.” Flor de sal (flower of salt, fleur de sel in French) also has a textural advantage. The small, delicate crystals are the first to precipitate out of solution in the solar salt ponds, and no other salt has the same light crunch. The other reason is political. Diamond Crystal is part of Cargill, one of the bigger cogs in the industrial food system. Jim
  3. Ribs in the oven

    It ain't barbecue, but it's good... Liberally salt and pepper a rack of spareribs, cook at 200-250F for a few hours. Jim
  4. Different types of salt and their uses

    I agree, this is where you can taste the difference. Jim
  5. Different types of salt and their uses

    Most of the sodium chloride produced around the world os use for industrial purposes; culinary salt is a small fraction. Industrial users want more pure salt, and so the culinary salt also ends up about 99% sodium chloride. As slkinsey points out, even sea salt harvested using evaporation can be very pure since the producers remove the crystals when the sodium chloride fraction is at its peak, dumping any remaining brine. But small producers of culinary salt can let the evaporative process continue until the salt crystal begin to precipitate out of solution, and the resulting salt is usually only about 96% sodium chloride, the rest a mix of the trace elements found in sea water. While the difference in sodium chloride content is very small, it is perceptible. Disclosure: I import and sell flor de sal from Necton. Jim
  6. Koda's Kokuho Rose, cooked using their recommended soak, cook, rest, fluff, and rest again method, is the best I've had. The texture is like white rice, but with better flavor and the benefits of a whole grain. Certified Organic, limited production Kokuho Rose® Brand Rice is an Heirloom, Japanese style medium grain, grown by the Koda family since the 1950s in the San Joaquin Valley in California. Jim
  7. Salt Cod Diary

    Make your own salt cod: Homemade Salt Cod with Root Vegetables
  8. Chicken Liver Paté: The Topic

    from my site.... Cibreo Supposedly a favorite of Caterina de’ Medici, although hers was made with cockscombs, hearts, and assorted other gizzards. Even people who claim they don’t like liver eat this up. Finely chop an onion or a couple of shallots, and start cooking them in butter, extra virgin olive oil, or a little of both. After a few minutes, add about a half pound of the best chicken livers you can find. You could chop these up first, but raw liver is messy, so I chop them in the pan with a spatula and paring knife while they cook. When the livers are about half cooked, sprinkle a couple spoonfuls of flour over them. Stir well, and let the flour cook for a couple of minutes. Add more fat if it’s too thick. Pour in about a cup of water, and, if you feel like it, a splash of white wine. Stir and continue cooking, adding more water if the mixture gets too thick. You want a consistency thick enough to spread, but not pasty. After a few more minutes, remove from the heat and while the liver cools, separate 2 eggs (save the whites for a frittata) and mix the yolks with about a tablespoon of good wine vinegar (like Katz Orleans method Sparkling Wine). Stir the yolks into the liver, sprinkle in flor de sal to taste, and eat on cook crackers or bread.
  9. Best Use of Stale Bread

    Spanish style migas Cajun Migas Migas with Ham
  10. Savoy Cabbage

    Any of the things I mention in this article would be fine with Savoy as well as plain green cabbage. This bean, cabbage, and polenta combo is pretty good, too.
  11. Pumpkin

    I've come to the conclusion that what I call fritters are the highest use of any winter squash. One recipe here on my site, but the basic approach (egg and breadcrumbs) can be varied endlessly. I recently tweaked the mix and made winter squash pancakes that were pretty good. Jim
  12. Home grown piment d'espelette: http://www.viridianfarms.com/ Jim
  13. Making Breadcrumbs

    When whatever loaf we’ve been eating gets down to its last few slices, I lay them out on a sheet pan or cutting board and let them dry out on the counter for a few days. If I’m in a hurry, I’ll put the slices in my old Wedgewood’s oven, where the pilot light keeps the temperature at about 100F. When the slices are really dry, I toss them in a bag, and when the bag starts taking up too much room in the bread drawer, I make crumbs. I’ll break up the dry slices a bit, then put them in the Cuisinart and process. The results are uneven, a mix of fine powdery crumbs, granular little nuggets, and chunks that look like rejects from the crouton factory. But they work perfectly for my ongoing fritter habit. And they last pretty much forever. Jim
  14. Darlene, I import extra virgin olive oil from small producers in Italy, and I also sell oil from a couple of California producers. Since I started the business to have plenty of good olive oil in my own kitchen, I don't need to use any of the brands available nationally. There are scale problems in making enough oil for a big market. It is difficult to produce well-made extra virgin olive oil, and only a few firms are able to do it in volume. National brands blend oil from many sources to get a consistent flavor, and it's very likely that the blend includes some refined oil. To ensure you're getting true extra virgin, you can buy from a trusted source (self promotion warning: like me) or look for the California Olive Oil Council seal that certifies the oil is truly extra virgin. The California oils I sell (Katz, the oil used at Chez Panisse, and COR, one of the successful high volume producers) carry this certification. Jim