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Posts posted by McAuliflower

  1. If I ever get a kitchen, I will be so happy that I might install an old mainframe IBM to keep it warm.

    In the past, when I had, like, well, a kitchen, I usually had a laptop on the kitchen counter connnected by wifi.

    Hmmm, I'll have to add this to my collected list of tips on homemade proof boxes for rising dough!

    Or copy the cat and sit said dough on top of the monitor.

  2. Man, refrigerators that produce water and ice? I just use that area as a cubby for potholders and the like. Dang campus area rentals...

    Regarding recipe databases, my fantasy is to have publishers create searchable indexes of their cookbooks available on a website or as a CD with each book. Or hire monkeys to copy all of my cookbook's indexs into a database for me.

  3. Ohh.... to echo the previous mentions : the pomegranate site mentioned by gifted gourmet is great. Beacuse of them I now make my guacamole with pomegranates in it.

    Ove the years I've been working at recreating a long lost local Khoresht that is a stew of walnuts and pomegranate juice. I've made it successfully with goat and pork (the pork being my favorite).



    Toast 3/4 cup of walnut pieces.

    Add to a blender with:

    * 3/4 of a large onion

    * 1/2 cup of stock

    * two cups of pomegranate juice (the pom-tangerine works really well too, as I imagine the blueberry would)

    Blend till the nuts are ground fine.

    Brown 2 lbs of your favorite meat that will hold up to a long cook and pour the blended sauce over.

    * My favorite method is making this with country style boneless pork ribs. The traditional methods are making this with chicken, duck, lamb and goat.

    * Cube two pounds of country style boneless ribs into 1 inch cubes. Sprinkle with two tsp of salt. In a hot pan, add 1 Tbs of oil, and allow to get hot. Add cubed pork and sear on all sides till browned and juices have evaporated, taking approximately 15- 20 minutes. Now pour your blended ingredients over the seared meat.

    Sprinkle on:

    * 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

    * a good pinch of saffron

    Stir in either two Tbs of ketchup or two tablespoons of tomato paste with 2 tsp of sugar.

    Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer with the lid on for at least one hour.

    Remove lid and continue to simmer, allowing sauce to thicken. The longer this cooks the better! (If making in a pressure cooker, cook for 45 minutes till the meat is tender. Remove the meat chunks to a plate and reduce the sauce till thick. Add the meat back to the thickened sauce.)

    When meat is tender, stir in one Tbs of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and possibly add more sugar to taste.

    Break up the pork cubes by pressing down on them with the back of a large spoon. I find this shreads them the easy way.

    Serve up! I like serving this on saffron rice made with butter and onions, Or just with warm pittas. Also, the leftovers make a great burrito with guacamole.

  4. You are also certainly wittnessing the beauty of tv editing. Just because *they* don't show it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

    In regards to the Grapefruit Moon makeover- there are many piles to sort through to find out the real story going on there.

    This show was a great example though of how not to be a designer. She made the mistake of designing to her own desires, not what suited the restaurant and its clientel. Grapefruit Moon is in reference to a Tom Waits song, which kind of adds to the dark, cozy feel the owner wanted in her restaurant. I don't think that goes hand in hand with an interior reminiscent of Miami in its color choices.

    The restaurant did need help though, don't get me wrong. However, it needed an upgrade, not a make-over.

    There is an interesting interview here with the owner of the restaurant about this tv experience. In a nutshell there's alot of sour grapes involved, but the owner has some great points about what you don't see in the tv show.

  5. if done right.. which means a bit smarter.. this could be the SCRUBS of kitchen shows... it wasn't bad..

    I was thinking the same thing. Scrubs came to grow on me- its quick and goofy funny. Also- if you are looking at Kitchen Confidential as verbatim of the book or how a real kitchen runs- give it a break- its a tv show, not a documentary. Do I yell at Scrubs for not showing enough blood and kidney stones? No, cause its a comedy.

    I'm surprised more people here didn't seemingly like it as much as I did. But I understand that expectations run high.

    "You put the ho in hostess..." how can you not love that! ;)

  6. When I was in university my prof had a bunch of jars going with different liquids -  I used the vodka hoping that it would keep the vanilla flavour as pure as possible... but I can see where using a different type might be less harsh. 

    Hrmmm... now I'm wondering about my everclear tincture I've got brewing! ;)

    I've got a pint of vodka with 3 split beans steeping to be made into a liquer with vanilla simple syrup. I've also got a pint of bourbon with three split beans. Everyone's getting alcohol for christmas this year!

    The everclear is 1 pint: 1 oz of snipped up beans. I plan on letting that steep for a month and then warm it up with honey and orange essence to form a syrup.

    I forget how addictive steeping things in alcohol is! I'd love to play with medjool dates, and golden raspberries... :)

  7. Definitely check with the manufacturer of your essential oils to see if they are food grade.

    Many commercially available essential oils are not food grade. It varies by manufacturer and the process used. Very nasty stuff can be present.

    That said- food grade essential oils are great when used oh so sparingly in ganache and curries.

    This thread listed some great resources to cooking with them... as they are very strong: one drop at a time!!

    I enjoy adding lavender essential oil to creme brulee and chocolate truffles.

    Nichols Nursery sells food grade oils.

  8. gulp

    thanks to the eBay tip, I am the proud owner of 1 lb of 5-6" organic tahitian vanilla beans. $14.25! They arrived plump and almost waxy. I don't see any vanillin crystals on the beans. Also, several of the beans are smaller than 5 inches.

    How does the bean length contribute to bean flavor?

    looking for favorite vanilla extract methods...

  9. savory dishes with vanilla... I too am in search of!

    I recently have become the proud owner of 1lb of tahitian's thanks to an eGullet tip about using eBay for whole beans, so yeah, you could say I'm looking!

    Pan fried potato cakes with mango-vanilla dressing and caramelized onion dressing were divine the other night...

    the magazine Herb Companion had a nice vanilla article in their May 2005 issue. I have vanilla vinegar steeping which works nice with beets. Adding vanilla to waldorf salad sounds nice too.

  10. Wonderful listings of flavors in this thread. I'm curious (in a good way) about the goat cheese addition!

    I enjoy using food grade essential oils to flavor ganache. This is a nice way to introduce flavor without adding liquid. Bergamont, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, orange and lime have been thoroughly tested out with much satisfaction.

    Looking at essential oil offerings is a fun way to force open my mind on flavor possibilities: basil, fennel, allspice...

  11. Please, please bring out the old chemistry texts and sets.  I think a thread about the chemistry of smells, the "chemical bonds of the various chemical components in the collected off-product" etc would be intriguing!

    I just got a present of Mr. McGee's book, so need to get my teeth into that.

    Regarding smells... the Emperor of Scent is a wonderful read. It conveys the amazement of what the human can process as far as recognizing smells, and smell memories. Makes science seems like magic.

  12. I have one question: Is there any way of quantifying the molecules that are released in the "smell" of conventional cooking and therefore retained in sous vide?

    Smell molecules released during cooking can be quantified- this procedure is a fairly commonplace technique of organic chemistry (heck, and non-organic chemistry too, excuse my bias please).

    Food could be heated in a semi-closed environment, steam and condensation is collected and cooled down to bring it back into liquid form which is collected and analyzed using mass spec, to identify the chemical bonds of the various chemical components in the collected off-product. sorry if this is a bit vague, I'm tired, but excited about this thread really digging into the preseumptions of cooking techniques... maybe we should ring up McGee?

    Hmmm almost have the desire to bring out old chemistry texts... almost...

    reminds me of a great story involving making banana smell in chem lab, but that should be another thread!

  13. Well, kind of along different lines, but who is tired of having to name every single piece of produce to the cashier. You should see the look on their face when I haul my countless bags on the checkout line. I usually have to explain what it is and what I'm gonna do with it too. :biggrin: .

    Last time I shopped at corporate mega-mart I was buying kumquats. The cashier-kid picked them up and gave me a kind of "these are cool- mini oranges!" comment. I agreed, being one who also likes mini-things. He then asks out loudly to the station next to his: "Hey Lucile! To look these up... is it c-u-m?"

    I giggled out that they are spelled with a K... I guess I have to give him credit for knowing they were kumquats... or was that cumkuat?

  14. first time playing in this forum... oh my!

    I like the inventivness of vegan pastries... though not vegan myself. I look forward to digging around more here.

    We have a local bakery that makes a version of *everything* vegan... its a special agenda of theirs (I guess as most things vegan). It's interesting because they offer the vegan and non-vegan items side by side, which is fun to compare.

    Great book, the Artful Vegan contains a small dessert section. You can preview this cookbook through print.google if you want a peek.

    So back to this local bakery... items that do particularly well veganized: mouse and parfait cups, individually wrapped brownies, pies, truffles...

    - the parfait cups are simply layers of brownie type chunks (great way to use up your scraps!) with various flavored vegan mousse's (coffee, raspberry, mocha, orange, rose) layered with seasonal fruits. These are made in clear plastic cups that have domed fitted lids. These work especially well as take-and-go items.

    - truffles are dead simple. The Artfull Vegan has an excellent Orange Port Chili Truffle recipe that I have also used well with making vegan mochas.

    There are amazing soy based replacers out there. However, I've yet to find a nice fake whipped cream.

    Nut butter based items are very rich and wonderful- just make sure to have the smoothest possible nut butter you can make/find.

    Recipe: Vegan Chocolate Mousse

    based on Alton Brown's moo-less pie, this recipe has been extensively tested on non-vegans who are simply amazed.

    Chocolate Silk Tofu Cream

    In a double boiler over hot water, combine:

    * 2 cups of chocolate chips

    * 1/3 cup of coffee liquor, or espresso (translate: whatever liquid flavoring you want)

    Stir occassionally until the chocolate is completely melted. Allow to cool slightly.

    In a blender, combine:

    * one 10oz package of silken style tofu

    * 1 Tbs of maple syrup

    * 2 Tbs of Flavored Syrup, the syrup coffee drinks are flavored with

    * 1 tsp vanilla extract

    Add the melted chocolate mixture to the blender and continue to blend until smooth.

    Pour into cups and refrigerate.

    Vegan chocolate chips: Tropical Source are very good.

    Servings... ? I have divided this into 12 4oz jam jars for small servings.

    Haven't tried it yet, but I suspect that this would pipe well.

    White chocolate- haven't found vegan, darn!

  15. Anybody use one of those cool inverted in water butter crocks I love mine. :wub:

    Edit: no need to refrigerate it keeps butter at room temp with no problems.

    French Butter Bell... this item always causes raging debates amoung those who make them (potters).

    The water keeps the butter protected from air- and a well designed/made butter bell can keep the water and butter cool through evaporation.

    jackal10, did I read you right? You don't refrigerate eggs?

    I don't refrigerate beer or green onions. The green onions I treat like fresh cut flowers... they keep on growing in their water jar too.

  16. We were dining with a very bio, health-conscious individual last night and she asked if toxic ingredients in the plastic bags leached into the food.  I could not answer.  Googling the subject today I'm aware that there's much concern, eg in iv bags.  Anybody worried about this?

    Umm, add me to the list of those concerned.

    Of particular concern is use of the type of plastics that are flexible and pliable. Exposure to heat and water are two components that set up your typical bendy plastic to start leaching its plasticizers.

    a real world aside note: My day job is work as a research tech. We raise small fish to study early developmental genetic issues. Been doing this for 13 years. We have begun to amass direct evidence of our fish being adversely affected by the flexible plastic components in their tanks. Our recent studies show that baby fish are harmed (dealth, and tail malformations) by contact with new flexible plastic after only 24hrs of exposure. Older supplies of flexible plastics don't harm our fish in this testing context.

    Advice to help you feel like you have some control: boil your plastics that are thermal resistant to help facilitate the plasticizer release in a known manner.

    Does this include fear of leaching from zip lock type brands? Don't know. Do they offer a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for their products?

    - yuck.

  17. I first caught the KK bread pudding show while home sick and dopped up on cold meds. Thanks for confirming the hallucination.

    My favorite Fairy Fat Mother moment was when she caught herself in the melted butter act mid pour.... as she was about to pour two sticks of melted butter on her fried chicken!

    She paused and looked up at the camera with tears of laughter in her eyes: "now don't y'all write in to me about this one!" she giggles, "it's gooood"!

    I think there were toasted pecans in there too...


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