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Everything posted by rumball

  1. rumball

    Salad (2011 - 2015)

    you can think of gazpacho as a liquid salad. but then i am not talking about restaurant style pureed mostly tomato thing. of course, i still use plum tomatoes canned in juice, pureed and diluted by 1/3 with water and cooked minimally for 3-5 min as liquid, but then you add diced celery, cukes, red bell pepper and MORE tomatoes, parsley, spices....can add some dry white wine too.. so it becomes a liquid salad. actually that is exactly how i called it when i was describing it to my mom - a salad that does not require so much chewing.. if you also grate pepper/celery/cukes - there is very little chewing left (for those who sadly can't or don't want to do it a lot), but the taste is the same. i prefer mostly raw/roasted veggies myself for salads, but i also convert various dishes from soups to sides or 'main salads' quite often. depending on ingredients, of course, addition of diluted yogurt can almost stretch it into a soup of a kind. you can also dilute it with veggie juices raw or pasterized - spicing the liquid similar to dressing will make more like a soupy salad . then there is bulgarian yogurt soup (tarator) - where you add chopped walnuts/cukes/dill and garlic to yogurt base. then there is 'cold russian borsch' - that is you simmer beets until done and then add chopped fresh cukes, sliced cooked beets, chopped hard boiled egg and chopped fresh dill. you can add some garlic/scallions/chopped walnuts too. or grate most veggies. that should qualify for liquid salad too. they are mostly cold soups, as i think raw veggies would be funny in hot soup. but i very often put raw garnishes in my soups too, since i just want my fresh veggies ALL the time... it's not exactly a salad, but sort of in-between. like i add chopped scallions/watercress and sliced cherry tomatoes to my boullabaisse. and chopped cherry tomatoes/diced red bell pepper to my corn chowder.... you get the idea. herbs go in instead of 'green salad' - parsley/dill/cilantro. and watercress is just a fantastic actual salad green addition. most creamy chowders can take it fantastically. mexicans have this tortilla soup, where you add raw fixings to a creamy soup, just like for tacos fresh avo, chopped iceberg, scallions, hot-pepper or salsa cruda (tomato-cilantro-onion-jalapeno) i prolly can come up with more examples, given time.
  2. rumball

    Blood Sausage

    i looked at the recipes mentioned so far and i don't see barley anywhere. i thought barley was a given. at least the ones i tried in spain/spanish restaurants had it. i am not a blood sausage fan usually, but i had doubles of those. i think in poland they are also made with barley.
  3. rumball

    Salad (2011 - 2015)

    great! i was wondering about those red/green parts too - couldn't figure out what it might be. Taro! i noticed that it's called yam in many recipes - in US markets they mislabel sweet potatoes as yams - which is a totally diff animal. and also diff from taro. i have only tried taro chips, but i have access to a decent latam/filipino market that carries taro. i would think that it is specifically taro that is required for this recipe: yam won't give as much crunch. and i see that i can use japanese pickled ginger and scallions, was wondering about that too - so, basically i can make it, i even have a japanese julienne slicer, the big turner. and i can even get pomelo, which is much sweeter then grapefruit, but not as sweet as oranges. this is very exciting, i am telling you! i can see myself enjoying it anytime, i won't be bound by new year, guaranteed. one more thing - i don't think i have access to sushi grade fish, but norwegian gravlax proly will be ok - it's just salted, not smoked salmon. much milder then lox. i see that i can do var combos: like cucumber, jicama, red/green bell peppers with lime/pomelo with cilantro - for sort of mexican-style for example. i 've never seen green radishes - they are very pretty. that i can't get. but i'll keep an eye for them in chinatown. basquecook - wow ! home made sturgeon jerky? i am russian, that makes me very envious and nostalgic. cured sturgeon is very hard to get.
  4. rumball


    i will try this, thank you. i probably will use a sour granny smith and may be someth sharp acidic, dijon mustard and grated horseradish come to mind. this should be nice for the holidays.
  5. rumball

    Salad (2011 - 2015)

    i just recently started posting again and saw this thread. i live on salads of all sorts and love to find more ways of making them. eric, you can soften the red cabbage bowl by blanching it for a short time then shocking it in ice water - the bottom of the bowl will then flatten out under the salad and it will stand more securely. and may be adding a pinch of citric acid/lemon juice in clod water to prevent oxidation , it will also brighten the color of the cabbage. if that's too much of a hassle, then just either cut of the tip of the bowl, effectively making a thick ring or may be even slashing a cross in the middle of the bowl, depending on how hard the ribs are that might be enough. huiray, i loved your yee sang photos and looked thru the links. am looking into ingredients now. i see that turnips and green radish are mentioned. often oriental turnips are called radishes - are these 2 diff roots? what kind of substitute can you suggest? i seem to recognise some sort of cured or cooked garlic cloves on the plate. can you comment on how is it prepared?
  6. i get inspired in spurts: from tasting smth new in the restaurant (usually a higher-end gourmet one) or reading/watching tv (again usually top chefs or indepth foodie programs, iron chef comes to mind). when i want to duplicate smth i try to find several recipes that appeal to me. i tend to read thru lots of recipes/books/online blogs. but mostly i will cook smth that is not too labor intensive. i often combine several recipes into one. i tend to be very eclectic with mixing various ethnic spices from all over the world, which some people find 'not appropriate'. to me the only thing not appropriate is when it does not taste great. the more products you tasted/experimented with, the better you understand what goes together or not. and yes i document - if you want to repeat it , you need to measure spices/condiments. when you have like 10 ingredients in some asian sauce - it's very hard to duplicate the taste unless you measure exactly. that is not to say i don't change sauces, but it's ... add this, then that, then a pinch more... and afterwards i write it down right away. even on a piece of paper, but eventually it goes into my computer food-files. and you need a good pantry with lots of spices/vinegars/sauces/etc. often i find that in traditional ethnic cousines cooking is very rigid and heavy. so i have to adapt it to my tastes: light, lots of fresh produce, lots of strong tastes, lots of various condiments, spices, salads, low on protein,etc. sort of california type of cooking the way i think about it. so i take a recipe for a stew and turn it into a soup or even salad. salad as being mostly greens fruit/veggie combo but some veggies can be cooked/grilled/baked + some prote/nuts/cheese and dressing. actually i turn pretty much everything into a salad. like take chinese 'gai choy' - it's sort of a cabbagy mustardy green that chinese always wok. i use it as salad greens -it is much better then mustard greens. and it's not a chinese salad either: baked mexican calabasa with goat cheese prosciutto and walnuts, dressed with old balsamico or pomegranate molasses and EVOO. so it's asian-italian-mex-cali? if i have them, i add chinese garlic chives, else just scallions. since i can't always get gai choy, i do watercress half the time, which is the only subs that combines in a similar way. it took probably 6 tries before everything settled to my taste.
  7. rumball


    i make potato + celeriac with cream and butter mash in winter, but how do you treat kohlrabi and apple in your mash? you cook them too?
  8. i mostly eat my veggies raw or lightly cooked, but this indian pan-roasted cauliflower is really special. toss the florets with ground coriander, fennel seed, curry and a litlle cumin, then fry uncovered in a little peanut oil on med to low flame for close to 40 min, tossing every 5 min. then grate lemon zest on top, very fine. it comes out so-o nutty almost like walnuts, and should be caramelized: browned. you can toss it with fried shallots and bacon too.
  9. rumball

    Beef liver

    when i am in the alps in austria - i pounce on calves liver. i can't get enough of it (or grostl). it's a specialty, it's all organic and alpine fed. Tiroler KalbsLeber if you look it up.
  10. rumball

    Shellfish stock

    i usually make a shrimp stock similar to seabream's but with 3-4 times more shells, no heads. so that calls for freezing shells. then i make a kind of quick boullabaisse: layer potatoes, plum tomatoes, fennel occasionally, with garlic, pernod and some other spices (think crab boil sans mustard seeds) bring to rapid boil, simmer for 5 min, turn off let cool. then saute shrimp with garlic and some hot pepper (fresno is my favorite, emerils essence is good and quick) - serve in soup with chopped watercress, scallions and rouille. with croutons if desired. i think of it as sort of caribbean-french shrimp chowder. it could be done with sweet potato/tomatillo/red bell pepper/corn for mex version. if you make stock and rouille ahead, the soup itself is very quick to throw together and quite intense. many variations possible, like adding coconut milk/lime to stock for thai version with may be cuban pot potatoes (boniato - it's only slightly sweet). and on and on.
  11. oh, i forgot to mention that calamansi is the same as calamondin orange (that is how it is usually sold in plant shops - it blooms and fruits indoors easily in a sunny window). the botanical name is Citrofortunella microcarpa. it is native to philippines. james, in nyc you probably can get it in chinatown as a plant, they usually sell them around new year/chinese new year. already fruiting of course. i don't know of any place that sells them commercially as fruit.
  12. the best thing with horseradish that i discovered and incorporated in my cooking is austrian sauce that is served with beef :apfelkren (apfel=apple, kren=horseradish). you can look up the recipe. it is basically apple sauce with a little lemon, bit of sugar and then at the end you add fine grated fresh horseradish - and reheat for a few min. i recently read that horseradish is the earliest green that comes up in central europe and if you cover the sprouts (like chikory) - they will grow bleeched and will be much sweeter then green ones. you could then add them to salads (pick them while leaves are not more then 6 cm long for best taste). am going to sprout a left-over piece from the fridge. apparently horseradish can be quite invasive and super vigorous - best grown in container. when you grate it for future use - cover with vinegar to prevent loss of flavor. the longer you wait to add vinegar, the hotter it will be.
  13. i am growing 2 trees now indoors - 3 years old already - from seeds. seeds should be planted fresh, immediately. soaking in wet napkin for a day or two, until the skin breaks is good. my understanding they could take 7 years to fruit . it is much better to take a cutting from fruiting tree and root it - it should fruit in 2-3 years, sometimes even next year. as far as usage - just like sour oranges. cubans use sour oranges a lot in marinades for pork/fish. in filipino recipes they are combined with soy (toyomansi) /vinegar/garlic for sauce/marinades. also you can make english style marmalade: with skins. usually seville oranges are used for that (sour oranges).
  14. rumball

    Boiling potatoes

    don't boil them - steam them , taste is much better, won't fall apart, won't get waterlogged, retain vitamins better. steaming takes the same time as boiling. just wash, cut in half or may be 3 parts (about 2 inches square), do not peel. cover, steam for 25min over salted water. let cool slightly - peeling skin is a breeze then. i heard that irish never boil their potatoes.
  15. rumball


    kohlrabi is from cabbage family. i like it best raw in scandinavian type slaw: 1 sour apple for 1 kohrabi, thinly sliced with sourcream dressing: 2tb sour cream , 2tb cream, 1tb lemon juice, 1/2 tsp sugar, 2tsp dijon style mustard. can add cumin for unusual but very delish touch. dill/parsley/mint as garnish. it's great with smoked fish or bbq or seafood.
  16. i wanted smth nutty and strudelly for breakfast so i layered every 3-4 filo sheets with nut filling and then for the center piled on minced apple with almond meal/chopped walnuts, sugar 'n spices and dried sweet crans and rolled it up. came out quite satisfying and not as heavy as baklava. i found both recipes in my greek cook book and adjusted them somewhat. even though it's a dessert item, i used 2 parts butter with 1 part grape seed oil for brushing, like i do for spinakopita. i really brushed well the folded edges , every one, to make sure they are not dry and tucked them on the bottom. the top however is too dry for my taste. i was thinking of covering it up and only uncovering at the end to brown. the bottom was not soggy and nice and crunchy, wish th etop was like that too!
  17. you can make a slaw with 2 parts thinly sliced raw collards and 4 parts shredded napa( can add a bit of grated carrots for color). just add salt, pepper and make some marinade/dressing: rice vinegar with mustard seeds or powder, grated fresh ginger and sugar and cayenne to taste. let it stand overnite or more in the fridge.
  18. if you can track that fresh sauerkraut - it's a rare find. i used to make my own, since mostly it's unavailable. it's totally different from cooked packaged /canned sauerkraut. i still cannot stomach american version with mayo . to me it's like french fries with mayo, very strange.
  19. i have read that you seal the stone with mineral oil - just apply sev. applications and then reapply monthly or ev.6 month, depending on usage. it will build an oil seal, making it mostly impervious to liquids. what is the opinion on that?
  20. ah, veselka! that's where we would end up at 2am after clubbing too . lo-ong time ago. how funny! these days i make my fusion borshch myself (with poblanos! ). pirozhki are too labour intensive! however, if you are at that georgian deli in coquitlam - ask if they have chebureki (pronounce like in spanish) . these are deep fried large (6") garlicky ground lamb pies, sort of like calzone or big empanadas. they sell them very widely in russia too. recipezaar has a pretty good recipe, i think. actually, i am inclined to spice these days and probably take georgian food anytime instead of russian. p.s - russian hot/cold smoked fish is to die for - stock up, if you see it:sterlyad (sturgeon), ugri (eel), treska (mackerel), syomga (cold smoked? salmon), balyk (center cut salmon, hot smoked?).
  21. i don't smoke myself, so i can't say how the service is in cigar lounge. but it looks very nice with glassed cases with humidors and cigar selection . it's nicely furnished and there is a bar counter. i am not sure how busy it gets. the place is on expensive side, but not stuffy. be prepared to pay $15 for a drink. there is a larger bar downstairs. from what i know the place in edgewater is more casual, but i think they remodelled and reopened.
  22. http://www.coquitlamdeli.com/ - they have georgian spicy cousine (russain georgia in the caucasus). from what i see they carry pirozhki, pelmeni and even pickled tomatoes - those i would love to have! there's a new russian restaurant in burnaby Romanoff’s: 2830 Bainbridge Ave & Lougheed Hw., ph: (604) 421-2103 http://www.romanoffs.ca/ there's a russian community centre at 2114 west 4th ave . tel 732-9223. they sometimes have russian fairs with food. unfortunately most deli's/bakeries listed are on the east coast. i'm in nyc - so don't have any personal recommendations. but i love vancouver:-D.
  23. kolach - archaic (or kalach in modern spelling) is a special type of bread based on yeast. it's heavily kneaded and often is folded in some way. it does not have stuffing inside. however, you can make small kalachiki - sort of like rolls. for easter they fold them like 'little birds',etc. there's also bulochki or bulki, if big : equivalent to rolls, bigger ones are shaped like medium sized ovals. as you might've guessed russians have as many words for baked goods as eskimos for snow :-D. bakeries usually do not carry anything stuffed, except for smth with cinnamon or raisins. look for a deli to sell pirozhki. usually in russia it's a specialty shop - its russian fast food. i found a russian forum for vancouver - will extract some eating/deli places for you in a minute.
  24. yep, upstairs is a cigar lounge. it's a cuban place, mostly locals go, who live a block away (that would be me) - so snow is not a deterrant. they have live music on some days. it's the 2nd restaurant, the 1st is in edgewater and also quite popular. http://www.azucarcubancuisine.com/
  25. ok, i'm russian . so i can tell you that it's written pirozhki, but pronounced piroshki. it's not bread dough - it's savory dough similar to pie pastry, but it's not flaky usually. there are sev. varieties of dough, actually. one for deep frying , then different for baking. the closest to russian pirozhki are spanish empanadas. and pirog - is the same thing, but usually very large, sort of like calzone. but it can be even larger and much more ornate/complex. like a famous kulebyaka - big fish pie. you can make pirozhki with flaky pastry too. there's an incredible variety, in dough and in stuffings. what is called pierogi in polish is vareniki in russian, as smbody mentioned - but they are never crust fried, like polish ones. only boiled or reheated in butter , more like sauteed under cover - they are supposed to be soft. pelmeni on the other hand are also very much like vareniki, but always stuffed with meat and boiled and served with thier liquid with greens, sour cream or butter and may be vinegar/lemon juice. sort of like a stew, but you can also just have them on the side, no liquid. they are usually frozen and when boiled - somehow are very juicy. they originate in siberia. in central asia they have amazing manty - which are spicy and garlicky and made with lamb, much larger then pelmeni, and are steamed in chinese style steamers : big steel pots with many steamers inside. they are out of this world. in queens, near rego park/ forest hills area (thats in nyc), where many diff. people from former soviet union settled they have some restaurants that serve them.
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