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Everything posted by djyee100

  1. It's all in the cooking method. Okra reduces to slime with wet cooking methods. I stick to dry cooking, preferably high heat methods like frying and sauté. It's helpful to dry the okra as much as possible before you cook it. I rinse the okra, then air-dry it on a kitchen towel. I've even dried each okra individually with a dishtowel when I was in a hurry. In a stirfry with gravy, I cut off the cap and keep the pod whole. The starchy interior in contact with liquid makes okra slimy, so keep that in mind when you're cooking. I've posted recipes and cooking tips about okra elsewhere on EGullet. Indian recipes, my post 10/11/13, https://forums.egullet.org/topic/11909-okra/?page=5 Thai recipe, my post 10/21/08, https://forums.egullet.org/topic/144036-thai-cooking-at-home-2007-%E2%80%93-2012/?page=13 Once I learned how to cook okra, I really love it.
  2. Shelby, I'm so sorry about your gardening disaster, glad you and yours are OK.   If your garden was flattened, I would expect other gardens in your area were too. Maybe your supplier will bring in more tomato plants, etc., for you?
  3. This is my kind of food. That lemonade-elderberry cordial sounds good too.
  4. I can imagine elderberry sauce going well with venison. Maybe roast duck also? I just remembered that elderberry wine played a key role in Arsenic and Old Lace. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsenic_and_Old_Lace_(film)
  5. Deryn (and anybody else), What do you cook with elderberries? I've never tried them.
  6. I'm growing in zone 9. I was talking to a friend about this forum, how everybody else has flourishing gardens, and I've barely started in the last month. I'm living in a place without winter! What's my excuse? I don't have one. This year's herb garden on the front deck. I potted up most of these plants only in the last week or so. Genovese basil, Italian oregano, marjoram, French thyme, English thyme, creeping winter savory, chives, and Italian parsley. Also in the pic, Alpine strawberry (fraises des bois) and culinary lavenders, which have bloomed and been pruned a bit. I separated out the shoot growing underneath my curry leaf tree (Murraya koenigii), which I keep for Indian cooking. I couldn't tell if the shoot was a sucker or a seedling. It separated easily from the mother plant and had its own twisty little root. So far it is growing well in its own pot...seems to like its new independence. You can see it in the northeast corner of the pic. The flashy green and red "palm" next to the curry leaf plant is a tree begonia native to the Brazilian rainforest (begonia luxurians). My impulse buy at the nursery this year. A scruffy back deck where most of the plants are recovering from transplanting or repotting. Last year during the drought I had a Monterey pine tree removed from here. Its invasive root system was sucking up all the water and killing the other plants. Now the area is sunny. I've moved many of my container plants into the ground here. In pots on the deck, my kaffir lime tree (moved from the front deck), a bay laurel shrub (Laurus nobilis), 'Spice Islands' rosemary (which I'm having a hard time growing), and a couple cowslip plants. The cowslips are English wildflowers, the source for cowslip wine, that were my impulse buy last year. I expected them to die from the deer or the drought. The deer didn't bother them, and incredibly, the plants survived one of the worst droughts in California history. I put them in pots a couple weeks ago. They're the two pots at the edge of the deck.
  7. Fava, thanks for the pix. Could you tell us generally where you live? I'm curious about what people are growing in the different places in the world. Shelby, artichokes like the warm even temperatures of coastal areas in Mediterranean climates. But new hybrids and/or some extra effort are supposed to work in cold weather places. I googled "artichokes for cold climates" https://www.google.com/#q=artichokes+for+cold+climates Recently I saw artichokes growing in the front yards of a street in Berkeley. A wise choice. Neither people nor deer will touch them. Them thistles look mean. Kenneth T, I love your garden. It's like a spaceship garden in science fiction. Everybody's pix are enjoyable to see. I'll try to get some pix up eventually of my little gardens, i.e, the front and back decks of my townhouse condo. I did a lot a transplanting and repotting this spring, and everything still looks small, ragged, and recovering from the moves.
  8. I think the plant is potbound and is showing root stress by losing leaves in the bottom branches. I see leaf nodes on the bottom branches. The plant could probably use some fertilizer also. I know, I know, I sound like a spoiled American gardener. Just sayin'.
  9. Goji berry or wolfberry? I couldn't find a good photo of the entire plant after a quick online search. This photo seems to show the same structure of branches for bearing fruit. http://www.edenbrothers.com/store/goji-seeds.html?gclid=CJ6dvYfsycwCFRSUfgodJ7IONg
  10. A large plastic trash bag, preferably heavy-duty, held down by rocks? Plastic is very insulating. I've wrapped my sleeping bag in a spare (clean) trash bag during cold nights while backpacking in the Sierra Nevada. Really. Also 29 degrees is not that far below freezing. Are your plants close to the house? The warmth from the house will ease the chill around it.
  11. I only use the peel in Thai cooking. Offhand, I can't think of any use except curry paste. When I have an excess quantity of limes, I wrap each lime in plastic wrap and freeze the limes for future use. A curl of kaffir lime peel to garnish some limeade (made with regular limes)? The juice is very floral, probably not the best choice for most lime juice recipes. My herbs are starting to wake up, but there's not much to see yet, only tiny buds and leaves on the Greek oregano, culinary lavenders, and lemon verbena. My rosemary plant has decided to live. I ended up ditching my other herbs from last year--the usual culprit, a whitefly infestation during the winter. When the weather warms up some more, I'll visit the nursery for new plants.
  12. Cheese goes so well with beer, and it has salt. Grilled cheese sandwiches or Mexican-style quesadillas. Some kind of empanada with cheese. Any kind of highly seasoned meat. Mini-burgers, smoked sausages, kebabs. I'm thinking of kofta kebabs that are made of ground meat; you form them around a skewer. Popcorn in the microwave with oil and salt, and you can add spices too. Any kind of salted fried potatoes goes great with beer, but maybe not a practical dish for your kitchen equipment. If you start with parboiled potatoes, already cut up, and fry them on your stovetop, that might work. If you go with an instant cooker for braised meat, you could make braised meat slider sandwiches, like pulled pork sandwiches, that are fantastic with beer. I'm thinking of something like this: http://www.chowhound.com/recipes/beer-braised-pulled-pork-27755
  13. Could you tell us a little more about your "local artisanal brews"? I assume these are some kind of beers. Are you looking for salty foods to match the beers?
  14. I was thinking of places where you could walk out of the Moscone Center, circle the block a bit, and find something to eat. That walk down Fourth St from the Moscone Center goes into the gritty now gentrifying area of SOMA. I feel OK walking down there from Market during the day. Not so enthused about that adventure at night. It's not a pleasant city walk, either, especially when you go under the freeway.
  15. I agree with you about the Moscone Center area. I noticed a Super Duper Burger around there. I like their burgers and can recommend them, though I go to another location regularly. Wise Sons Deli at the Jewish Museum is open for lunch and worth checking out. Super Duper Burgers http://superduperburgers.com/ Wise Sons http://wisesonsdeli.com/contemporary-jewish-museum-menu The SF Ferry Bldg is also possible for Sat lunch, with food trucks and other vendors at the farmers mkt (Sat 8-2).
  16. I kept this list of great sandwiches in SF, also from SF Eater. I can vouch for Deli Board and Roli Roti. The rest of the places are on my List. Don't the sandwiches look good? http://sf.eater.com/maps/best-sandwiches-san-francisco If you haven't been to B Patisserie or Dandelion Chocolate, I strongly recommend both of them. http://bpatisserie.com/ specialty is kouign amann https://www.dandelionchocolate.com/ I was at Rich Table in Hayes Valley not that long ago, with a group of friends, and we all liked it. It is upscale, and I know you said you wanted to try something different, but in case you change your mind...this is one of the best trendy-type restaurants in SF, IMO. http://richtablesf.com/index.html I strongly recommend the Russian Honey Cake at 20th Century Cafe, also in Hayes Valley. A unique dessert. Actually, I've liked all the desserts I've tried there. http://www.7x7.com/eat-drink/big-eat-2014-photos#/38 20th Century Cafe's website http://20thcenturycafe.com/ Not far from Hayes Valley, on the other side of Van Ness Ave, is Littlejohn's Candies. The best English toffee I've ever tried. https://littlejohnscandies.com/ Do you want to try out something really new and tell us about it? This BBQ restaurant was supposed to open today. I kept the article from SF Eater and I want to try it. Warning: there may be long lines. It's a new place for the restaurant mavens. http://sf.eater.com/2016/1/11/10738958/black-bark-bbq-david-lawrence-fillmore-san-francisco I noticed lots of cozy restaurants and nice shops the last time I was on Fillmore St, places I haven't checked out, and I told myself I should do some serious exploring there someday. It's still on my ever-longer List. I've heard about Dongbei Mama in the Richmond, but haven't tried it. Thanks for the rec, Shalmanese.
  17. There are so many new restaurants in the Bay Area right now, I can't keep up. Not all my discretionary income can be spent on food. When I'm looking for a new place, I rely on friends' recs and also consult SF Eater. Best SF restaurants, winter 2016 http://sf.eater.com/maps/best-san-francisco-restaurants-38 Heatmap of hottest SF restaurants right now http://sf.eater.com/maps/best-new-san-francisco-restaurants-heatmap-oakland-berkeley According to SF Eater, 50 new restaurants are about to open in the Bay Area. Whew. I like Marcia Gagliardi's reviews also. Her top 10, right now. http://www.tablehopper.com/10/ Have fun in SF! Pls let us know if you find something new and great--then I can try it!
  18. My adaption of Kasma's recipe with a pic on the Dinner thread, post dated 2 Jul 2010. These days I make this stirfry with thinly sliced red Fresno chiles, very pretty with green basil. https://forums.egullet.org/topic/143505-dinner-2010/?page=28
  19. Ravioli and tomato salad with masses of basil, a recipe from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I recommend tossing in the basil just before service. Otherwise it gets mushy. I take this salad to summer potlucks and people love it. http://www.bigoven.com/recipe/ravioli-and-tomato-salad-with-masses-of-basil/183205 Also Thai Basil Chicken, one of my faves for a quick weeknight dinner. I cut back on the garlic and chiles in this recipe. I prefer Thai basil for this dish, but I've used Italian basil with good results. I sometimes cook this recipe with an equivalent amount of ground chicken instead of boneless thighs. That works well too. http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/recipes/basil-chicken-recipe.html I wish I had too much basil now. Also, I long for good tomatoes. And it's only January!
  20. I grew up in New England. Lettuce in December, that's incredible.
  21. The winter garden on my front deck. I cleaned it up yesterday for the holidays, so I feel OK about taking a picture now. Mercifully, we have had rain here. No frost, though. For the second year in a row I ditched my basils because they were unproductive and scruffy, not because they had been killed by frost. Meanwhile the parsley does well in the cool weather, the marjoram and lemon savory are hanging on, and the rosemary is very unhappy. The culinary lavenders are dormant even though they don't look it. My roses are still growing, and I would prefer that they go dormant. The weather simply hasn't been cold enough. I will prune them down soon and tell them to go to sleep. Despite the brutal drought this year, my kaffir lime tree did very well and bore abundant fruit. In the summer it was failing, so I made a hysterical call to my gardening guy. He said large container plants were drying out and dying all over the Bay Area. He gave me instructions on how to give it a slow soak, followed by a healthy dose of liquid fertilizer. It worked. The tree perked up right away. I picked almost all the fruit yesterday. In the background, my curry leaf tree for Indian cooking (Murraya koenigii). I pruned it back severely last spring because it was getting out of control. My gardening guy and I have a dispute about the small plant at the base of the tree. He says it's a sucker. I think it might be a seedling because it's growing slow and strong. The tree should be repotted soon, we'll pick around the roots then and find out who's right. Hummingbirdkiss, LOL, your pig story. Pls keep up the saga of Bacon into bacon. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to everyone!
  22. The key is to remember that clay is slow to heat and slow to cool. If you protect it from thermal shock, it survives much better. Paula Wolfert wrote an excellent claypot primer in her cookbook Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking. It is available for reading on Googlebooks. Scroll to page xvii for clay pot care. https://books.google.com/books?id=iHh19M8YNxEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=wolfert+mediterranean+claypot+cooking&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiNraevqPXJAhUEy2MKHcX2D08Q6AEIMjAA#v=onepage&q&f=false I've used diffusers on electric coil and ceramic top stoves. I've used the cheap wire diffusers (which I was told not to use ) and also this one: http://www.amazon.com/Nordic-Ware-Tamer-Burner-Plate/dp/B00004W4UJ/ref=sr_1_24?ie=UTF8&qid=1450988576&sr=8-24&keywords=amazon+heat+diffuser My clay pots and the cooking turned out just fine. My method is to start the clay pot on medium-low heat and gradually increase the heat. Clay pots can take a lot of heat as long as you're slow about it. When I'm done cooking, if I decide to be extra careful, I set the pot on a towel to cool slowly. Clay pots are great for braises; at best they act like little ovens for moist cooking. They provide even, moderate heat, and coddle the food. But clay pots are lousy for searing. I gave up trying to brown meat or vegs in them. I sear in a metal skillet, transfer the ingredients to the clay pot, deglaze the skillet and add the juices to the clay pot. Yes, you can do the whole business in a cast iron Le Creuset. But I prefer the results I've gotten from the more gentle heat in clay. The simmermats were highly recommended to me though I chose not to buy one. I think you'll be fine there. I've only experienced serious breakage with some old Emile Henry stoneware. I was using the pans for roasting, which you're not supposed to do. The uneven distribution of ingredients on the surface of the pans causes uneven heating, a kind of thermal shock. Then, since I'm such a practical housekeeper, I was adding cold tap water after cooking so the pan would be easier to clean. More thermal shock. CRR-AACK. I lost all but one of my EH pans before I did my research and figured out what was wrong. No more roasting in my stoneware pans.
  23. I like the idea of white wine in the gelatin with the lemon. People can eat bites of the ice milk, cake, butter topping, caramel; then refresh their palate with the lemon-white wine gelatin; then start over again. I've never tried onion caramel, but I would expect it to be vegetal and bitter, not only sweet. I like that touch. I'm not keen on adding sorrel--too many flavors in this dessert, and people's palates start to become confused. I like the idea of the codfish fritters with honey and dried fruit for dessert. Something acidic in there also. I think that would be the best-tasting option for a fish dessert. But while it would taste good, it's not really high-concept, and I have a feeling you're going to be graded for something fancier and less traditional. Unless your chef-instructor is a fan of Alice Waters' food? I like Lisa Shock's smoky fish slice on a melon cube--wonderful idea--but not as a dessert. I can see it as an amuse-bouche to start. No other fresh fruit but the melon, and the cube should be sitting in a small pool of sauce. Don't ask me what kind of sauce, I just see it in my mind's eye.
  24. I'm fine with this as far as I can imaginatively "taste" it. It feels heavy in the mouth with the milk, butter crumble, and olive oil cake. I want enough acidity and salt in there somewhere to balance off the fats and sweetness. The lemon disk is a step in the right direction. I would like it to be sharp and tart, not tart-sweet. Any way to get some crisp white wine in the mix? Maybe in the gelatin? After a fish dinner (& I love fish), I dislike the fishy taste that lingers in my mouth. I want something cleansing and refreshing to finish the meal. Pls let us know how it goes.
  25. Your chef-instructor is being cute. I've been there with some of my professors. You jump thru the hoops if you want the degree. I think you can create a decent, even good dessert with codfish if you aim for a savory dessert. Consider it similar to finishing with a cheese course, rather than a typical sweet dessert. Another possibility, deep-fried fish pieces, cooked until very dark brown and crunchy all the way through like a cracker. The frying process dries out and crisps the fish pieces. I learned this technique in Thai cooking. You could then crumble the fish crackers over a dessert. Don't ask me what. Lemon and/or anise flavors would be compatible with fish. Crunchy fish topping over lemon anise panna cotta? I recently tried these crunchy fish pieces in a Thai dish with ginger, basil, and green peppercorns. A crunchy fish topping over basil sorbet? To make the crispy fish: Bone and cut fish into 1 1/2 inch chunks. Salt well. Douse with tapioca starch until well-covered, then toss in a strainer to remove any excess starch. Deep fry in hot oil over medium heat, occasionally turning the pieces, until they are very dark brown, maybe 15-20 mins. Don't overload the fryer or the fish pieces will crowd and stick together. As the oil bubbles around the fish pieces decrease, you'll know the fish is drying out and becoming crispy. Drain well on a rack. Cool. Note: This crisping method works with lean white fish like catfish, red snapper, rock cod or tilapia.
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