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Everything posted by willows

  1. What does work is actually adding a potato to the dish. Its starchy blandness requires a strongly flavored broth, so it works with something that's not disastrously oversalted. I've never tried adding a potato and then taking it back out, but simply adding potato has worked for me several times when someone overzealously seasons a soup or stew.
  2. Recently I made a weird Thai-flavored potato gratin (without cheese) using coconut milk in the place of dairy, with layers of spinach, and a sauce for drizzling on top made with olive oil, anchovy paste, and green curry paste; maybe this can be adapted to be done with pasta, like... You cook the potato slices (or pasta) at a simmer in the coconut milk with a minced garlic clove; by the time they are done, they have released enough starch into the liquid to make a sort of white sauce. Season with salt and a lot of white pepper, then put it all in a casserole with some parcooked green vegetable, top with buttered breadcrumbs and bake until it comes together. Meanwhile you make the green sauce with equal parts anchovy and green curry paste and enough olive oil to give it a drizzling consistency; heat it up a little to warm it through and mix everything together. It'll separate like a bagna cauda. It's kind of an ugly colour though; next time I will try red or yellow curry. You spoon it over the finished gratin to serve; it's got a rich salty umami flavor and a great aromatic punch.
  3. This hasn't been my experience, with 2 sugar : 1 water by volume syrup. I use it fairly quickly, usually over the span of a week; in that length of time, it is stable at room temp. The only major thing you need to worry about it is keeping your containers spotlessly clean to avoid contamination, and keep them capped tightly when not in use.
  4. There are a couple different kinds of these based on different nuts... I'll dig up my references and post a recipe soon if you'd like.
  5. Yeah, I grew up with hing in my kitchen and I don't like it at all. Fish sauce on the other hand is delicious. But it doesn't matter, that's not what my question is. So, I know a couple of the generalisations for converting back, like, at home we often made dum and other thick gravies with fried onions. Any other patterns?
  6. So I just acquired Lord Krishna's Cuisine and, while it's pretty neat and has an amazing collection of sweets, it also doesn't use onions and garlic. Instead it tends to use asafoetida, which makes me feel pretty sick when I smell it, so I want to rehabilitate those recipes, and re-substitute onion and garlic for it. Anyone have any ideas about that?
  7. Thank you all for your advice! I ended up picking up Tsuji's book (it was at the used bookstore!) and Shimbo's book both, and I couldn't be more pleased.
  8. They do make a difference! I also sometimes add some concentrated stock to my sauce mixture (or poach the meat in stock) to bring out the meaty flavor. It's absolutely possible to have the chicken play a flavor role in the dish; it definitely takes a bit of careful flavor balancing and maybe some practice and kitchen intuition, but you can do it. Another thing you can do is to use turkey or duck or another more strongly-flavoured poultry rather than chicken; I feel like even the most assertively flavoured chicken isn't as poultry-ish as good free-range turkey.
  9. So, I'm trying to expand my repertoire of simple, casual food that I can easily make in an evening without extensive prep or planning. The next few months, I'm looking into new cuisines and techniques; I just picked up Claudia Roden's Arabesque and Fuschia Dunlop's Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, (True Thai and Land of Plenty too, when money allows) and I'm hoping to find something in that vein - uncomplicated home-food, with techniques and variations that I can extend out into improvisational cooking. So, is there such a book (English-language) for Japanese food? It'd be nice if it had some illustrations, so that I can know what things are supposed to look like, but it's a working book, and so it doesn't need to be glossy and colourful and showy like Roden's or Dunlop's books are.
  10. Hi zeffer, Another really versatile and accessible vegetarian cookbook you might look into is Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, which has a lot of great Indian recipes interspersed with recipes from all over the word. I just picked it up recently and found that she has a lot of great food that's simple because it's good homestyle cooking, and not dumbed-down restaurant recipes.
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