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Posts posted by annachan

  1. I'm seriously missing stone fruits and berries from California. I don't bother with the stuff in Australia as they just lack flavor. Also missing early girls tomatoes....

    Yeah, is that right? The Cali stone fruits must be pretty good, because I've had some awesome peaches etc. in Oz.
    Didn't really understand how good California fruits are until we moved. The varieties and flavors of stone fruits there are amazing.
  2. I wanted an egg sandwich for breakfast yesterday but didn't have bread. So I made two round cheese chicharron, put fried eggs on top and then added hot sauce. May not have been a traditional sandwich but it was great.

  3. Eggs are definitely great for inexpensive meals. Later, I've been making carbonara - egg yolks, a little cheese, a little milk and pasta. I at other things that I might have on hand (I know that's not traditional) like pancetta, chorizo or even asparagus. If you have fresh pasta, I like to fried an egg (yolk still runny) to put on top, with a little cheese, toasted breadcrumbs, olive oil and seasoning (salt and pepper usually, some chili for spice if you like).

    Ground meat is another budget friendly item. Mapo tofu, zha jiang mien, chicken tsukune (usually with ramen), variety of dumplings, etc.

  4. I often make some very simple blended soups. Veg, stock and minimal seasonings. Jerusalem artichoke is great for that. Carrot, butternut squash, pumpkin (add some onion when I have it on hand) is good with curry and/or cumin.

    When I have time, I like Chinese soups. I always start with a pork bone based stock, using a variety of bones - neck, marrow, tails, etc. I sometimes add chicken parts - wing tips are my favorite. Once the stock is done, I then add a variety of things. One favorite combination is watercress, along with some dried duck gizzard, dried date and some apricot kernels. Also love the combination of dried and fresh bok choy. Red and "green" carrot (more like a green daikon) makes a sweet, refreshing soup. Then there is lotus root + dried squid.

    And I also have a good corn soup/chowder. The easiest form is creamed corn + stock + egg flower.

  5. A miso based sauce would be good. Mix some miso with mirin and sugar as a base, than add seasonings that you like. Shichimi, garlic, sesame oil, citrus zest, etc.

    Worcestershire sauce is also good. Add some soy sauce, garlic, ginger and a little sugar.

  6. In some cultures, opening up your home to strangers for home cooked meals is not uncommon. In France it's called Tables d'hôtes. Curious to know if it exists in other cultures, and if it's something that could catch on in US homes?

    This is not uncommon in Hong Kong. Some people cook and serve meals in their homes. Bookings are generally required. Menu is usually chefs choice or with limited choices. Haven't been to one myself though.
  7. Really? Shit. The website mentions they're replacing Der Raum Melbourne with another, differently-targetted cocktail bar. To be honest, as much as I enjoyed their cocktails I disliked the bar itself. The decor was kind of cool but the place was way too fucking loud for somewhere that took the craft of mixology seriously.

    Incidentally, have you been to Black Pearl yet? Worth a visit?

    Article on Der Raum: http://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/nightlife/article/der-raum-packs

    Not been to Black Pearl yet. For some reason, I'm rarely in that part of town....

  8. I think the majority of cocktails everywhere tend to be on the sweet side. Of course that applies to a lot of the early recipes, too. Luckily I'm not as anti-sweet as some people, although there is a line between rich and gag. I don't tend to go out for cocktails here given the driving laws, the prices, and the unlikelihood of finding quality. Although there is a place in Bendigo that sounds promising.

    I don't find that as much in the US. Of course there are sweet drinks, but I find more choices in the non-sweet category than here.
  9. I find that the majority of cocktails here tend to be on the sweet side. On a typical cocktail list of say 10 drinks, when I ask for one that is not very sweet, I'm often refer to 1 or 2 of them. I get more choices if I stick with the classics.

    Agreed. I think it reflects the target audience/cultural perception of cocktails here. That said, there are places like Der Raum that fly in the face of this.

    Too bad Der Raum is closing (or already closed?) and moving to Europe....
  10. I like tea so I do frequent tea shops. The places I go to are generally in 2 categories. Once type generally concentrates on selling tea for home/personal use. Those places may offer some samples, not usually somewhere for people to sit down and have a cup of tea. Then there are places that are more restaurant/cafe type where people will enjoy a cup of tea, but usually with food (i.e. afternoon tea, brunch). I have been to some places that you are just there to have tea and little else, but those places don't tend to last. Even Teavana gave up on serving tea at their shops and tend to only offer samples now. Loose leaf tea to go just doesn't seem to work well, with the care needed for a good brew vs. the minimal wait time that customers want.

  11. I find that the majority of cocktails here tend to be on the sweet side. On a typical cocktail list of say 10 drinks, when I ask for one that is not very sweet, I'm often refer to 1 or 2 of them. I get more choices if I stick with the classics.

  12. And why is this thread in April? I make cassoulet once a year, in January. It's not even a matter of picking a cool day; our metabolisms are different when the weather is generally colder. The peasant original supported people working hard in the fields, where a broader season makes sense. For them it was serious fuel.

    Because it's fall in Australia....weather is starting to get cold and rainy.
  13. Braised chicken with chestnuts is a popular dish across China.

    is a video of a very traditional version from central China.

    And here is a recipe for a more Hong Style version.

    Braised chestnut chicken is one of my favorite recipes.

    Though not my favorite, chestnut cake has always been popular in Hong Kong.

    I am enjoying a nice chestnut tea at the moment, with pieces of dry chestnut in it. I imagine you may be able to make that at home by combining dry chestnut pieces and loose left tea.

  14. Espetus is good if you want a lot of meat. Not that the beef is bad, it's just not great. The best steak in SF that I've had was at Boulevard. But that was 10+ years ago. I personally do prefer small portions of wagyu over a big steak (most of the time), that is why I like 5A5. Yeah, it's pricey....but good wagyu ain't cheap anywhere. Frankly, the wagyu there was much better than the Kobe I had at Michael Mina.

    Used to love the steak frites at Cafe de Paris. It's been closed for a number of year now. I think Chouchou had a good steak frites, but it's changed owner a few years back and I haven't really been there since.

    Lolinda looks great. Haven't been, but I like Beretta and Starbelly.

    I may not live in SF now, but I did for over 20 years before moving to Australia 2 years ago. One of the best things about SF is definitely the food scene. You can always find something good to eat there, from the cheap to the extra pricey.

  15. Just making a large pot of ramen stock and don't want to throw out the dried shitake mushroom in the stock. I've taken them out and sliced them as they're big mushrooms. I will probably have ramen for lunch today so I will toss some of those slices in some soy, sesame oil, etc. and use it as a ramen topping. But what to do with the rest? I've pickled them in the past and they turned out fine. However, since hubby doesn't like pickles, I'm wondering if I can freeze them? If I portion them, then I can take a portion out and add them to ramen or for other dishes when needed. I worry that the texture may be weird though.

    Any suggestions? Are there other ways of preserving them other than pickling?

  16. Haven't been for a few years, but I really liked the steaks at 5A5 (prefer it much over Alexander's). It's more for if you're looking for wagyu and such, not a big piece of meat. If you want more traditional offerings, I like Epic Roasthouse. On a nice day/evening, it's good to sit outside and enjoy the view.

  17. I used to make stock from leftover Costco chicken as well. I tend to use the stock to make soup that contains quite a lot of vegetables (using potatoes probably helped as well), so it never seemed too salty that way. I like using that to make rice porridge as well.

  18. I happen to like the sweetness in Shark brand sriracha. It's not for everything, but it works well in dishes that I don't want as much heat. I also like dipping prawn crackers in it. I have others in the pantry when I want the heat.

  19. I now have the HotmixPro Gastro. I have to say I don't use it as much as I should. I do want to use it for sous-vide but has not had much success with the eggs, as the temp is not as precise without the blade running. How do you set up yours to do sous vide?

    As for the price, I don't think the Thermomix is much cheaper. For the same price, you can get the HotmixPro Easy with some change.

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