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Everything posted by nakji

  1. nakji

    Shao Xing longevity

    I use Shaoxing and cooking sake interchangeably in cooking - they don’t taste similar really, but the main purpose is to take the “strong taste” off of the meat, no? I can’t remember where I read that, but a bit of cooking alcohol is almost exclusively used with meat or fish dishes in Japan and China - am I right? I’m just going off of an old memory here.
  2. You can use peels of root vegetables to make a kinpira- a Japanese dish. Scrub your veg, and and retain your peels if you want to add the "meat" of the veggies to stews, etc. thinly julienne the peels, and stir-fry with garlic, sesame oil, chili flakes, sesame seeds and a sprinkling of sugar, salt, and mirin if you have it. All greens can can be blanched and dressed nicely with salt, garlic, and an oil of your choice.
  3. Do you eat the sage garnish, or is it just there for aroma? this is a reverse-ratio Manhattan made with Cocchi Vermouth and Knob Creek Rye. House-made cherry. I usually use Bulleit, but the Knob Creek was new, so I thought I'd give it a try. I can't say I noticed a difference.
  4. I'd eat those! Sprinkles also cover a lots of sins. I got a new waffle iron, so I did a test-run of Liège-style waffles while I'm waiting for a delivery of pearl sugar to make them properly. They were very rich - the recipe called for a full cup of butter! Totally worth it though. We guilded this lily with Maple Syrup because: Canada.
  5. I was in PEI this past weekend, enjoying a seafood feast at a relative's. Our mussels were tiny, too - IIRC, he said it was because they're breeding this time of year. The Malpeque oysters we had were also in spat, but I found them no less delicious.
  6. The banh my I recall eating in Hanoi were almost all crust, with very little crumb inside. I figured they were just cheap to make that way. I found them painful to eat, as the crust would shatter and do a number on your palate. The key was to make sure you had them well- dipped in curry, or had enough sauce and pickles on the sandwich to soften it up somewhat.
  7. Too many elements in your opinion? Or too few? I think it looks lovely- did the nectarine compote work well with both the strawberry and the apricot?
  8. There's a cucumber do vanilla yogurt soup recipe I saw on Pinterest that I'm morbidly curious about. It must be based on the cacik mentioned earlier in the topic.
  9. Rotuts, I found it on Pinterest, oddly enough. Here you go: http://www.pbs.org/food/fresh-tastes/blueberry-bread/ Catpoet, I know the sort of strawberry you mean, with holes in the middles. Those are the kind I get in China. We have local strawberries coming in now, and there is no substitute.
  10. Pie crust is not my strength, but Dorie's recipe is generous enough that I'm not left trying to scavenge scraps to cover the tin. I find old- fashioned pie crust recipes use proportions for people who were already proficient in crust making. The water proportion was never enough to stick my crumbs together, and my crusts were always too dry to roll out. Dorie's recipe calls for quite a bit of water comparatively, but I didn't find this tough as a result. I did over-process some of the butter trying to break some bigger chunks down, but next time, I'll adjust by cutting down the butter before I throw it in. Dorie calls for shortening, but all of my pie- making relatives swear by lard for flavour. As for the rhubarb, the filling had one cup of sugar to six cups of fruit, which made it pleasingly tart. Given the rhubarb was frozen, I was happy how thick the filling came out - rhubarb seems to make for extra runny pies.
  11. Great looking chutney, David! There's a recipe in my mother' s collection for rhubarb chutney to accompany tourtière. I want to look it up after seeing yours. I had my mum put some rhubarb into the freezer for me in early June. Local strawberries have come into the stores, so I defrosted some to make a strawberry- rhubarb pie for my husband. The pastry is Dorie Greenspan's recipe, and for the first time I had a food processor to make it in. I couldn't believe how easy it was compared to by hand. I have "hot hands", so my pastry is always hit or miss. The filling Is thickened with tapioca, which seemed bitty yesterday when we had it out of the oven, but was fantastic and thick today. No rhubarb juice flooding the pan, as in past pies I've done. I was quite pleased with the result. I bought some more lard today with the intention of practicing my pie- making skills further this summer.
  12. Those are King/ Eryngii mushrooms. Very nice, especially sautéed with a bit of butter and soy sauce. I cut them into thin strips for my son, and he likes to slurp them like noodles.
  13. Do they serve chowder in a bowl? The Rancho Gordo stand looks like fun - I bet I could drop a lot of money there. Do you have any eating/shopping goals for this upcoming trip?
  14. I don't find that menu to be particularly boring, but then, my brunch context is rather different. I guess pork belly and pulled pork might not be the height of trendy anymore, but that's no reason not to want them for breakfast Wait - is that a brunch menu? I just assumed it was, because it starts with pancakes.
  15. nakji

    Nutmeg and mace

    Saveur did an article on nutmeg - I remember tearing it out, because I enjoy the flavour of nutmeg even more than cinnamon, which seems to get the lion's share of attention in sweets. There were some nutmeg tarts that looked worth a try - here is a link to the recipes from that article: http://www.saveur.com/find/nutmeg (Hope that works) There is a cake, custard tarts, donuts, and a syrup, along with the typical drinks selections. The custard tart looks particularly delicious - I can see it going really well with a fruit compote.
  16. nakji

    Dinner! 2014 (Part 3)

    That's interesting - I've tried ancho before, but I can't think of what might be similar here. Most dried chilis available in and around Shanghai are the short, dried red ones you usually see in Chinese cooking - I'm not sure how they'd convert down to a paste up on soaking. It might be time for a project - or a quick taobao to see if anyone is selling anchos. It would save me from having to haul them back from Canada anyway.
  17. Ooh, that might work! I'll adapt it and try it out, as I see his is for pork ribs.
  18. nakji

    Help with menu

    Hmm. I see this list, and I think Japanese food, oddly enough - but the kind you can make with household staples. For either of the ground beefs, how about either meatballs or "nikomi hamburger" - http://forums.egullet.org/topic/103230-dashi-soy-sauce-mirin-ratios/?p=1460782 - you can substitute barbecue sauce for the tonkatsu sauce, and leave out the mirin and sake without affecting the taste too much. Serve over rice with vegetable? Salmon, could you make a modified sauce with soy and honey, grill or pan-fry and finish with the sauce? Disregard these suggestions if you don't have soy sauce on hand; I consider it a staple but realize others do not. Otherwise, you could mix the ground beef with some cumin and garlic, and make meatballs to bake along with eggs in a tomato sauce. Serve with bread and a salad. Stew pork - can you slow cook with onions, tomato, cumin, garlic, touch of chilli - serve with rice, beans, grated cheese, lettuce…? I'm trying to think of things that do not require a lot of prep time as well.
  19. nakji

    Dinner! 2014 (Part 3)

    Those tomatoes look scrumptious! I may have to try my hand at the filfel chuma, although ancho chilies are pretty thin on the ground in China. I bet it's good on eggs. As for the chicken with cardamon - I agree, it's a stand-out dish, especially once you add the yogurt-honey-cumin sauce, which sounded terrible on paper to me, but really worked. I wonder - did you use barberries, or sub something else in?
  20. nakji


    I think old-school traditional cooks shaved their own fish for soup. A Japanese friend of mine reminisced about pinching shavings as her mum shaved fish for her daily stock. I don't think it would be any worse than grating anything else for a stock, although I guess you'd need a good source for your fish. I can imagine that once you have some, it would keep for a while. And good dashi is certainly worth it, although if you are going to go to the trouble, I would suggest trying to source a nice miso as well. I had some truly beautiful miso soups in Japan that are unmatched by anything I have had outside of Japan, no doubt due to the quality of the miso and the dashi. I can't remember exactly, but I feel there is a special shaver/grater for the bonito.
  21. That looks gorgeous. The dressing is what really appeals, though. I wonder if it would work on potatoes, as well?
  22. Well, they were pretty precise with Canada, if they were choosing dishes that would appeal to the Chinese palate. When I think of the Middle East, I never think of celery - I wonder if that's artistic licence, or if celery is really popular in the Arabian Peninsula? Given the popularity with which everyone is downing the meatballs at our local Ikea, it's no surprise that made the cut. The South American dishes seem completely random, but then aside from feijoada or chimichurri, I'd be hard-pressed to name any others. Maybe these are the only dishes they could find on Baidu?
  23. Thanks! Her recipe that I'm thinking of is for cabbage soup, which I would have a hard time selling my family on in this heat, but I am keeping it in mind for later on in the year. Fortunately, Shanghai has everything you could ever want in terms of produce (and beyond), and potatoes, beans and corn are all in at the market here. The shop suggested straight up with bread and honey for breakfast, which seems like a good place to start the day. I also have some beautiful assorted small tomatoes that might make a perfect bruschetta. I guess I'm off to buy some bread!
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