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Everything posted by Magictofu

  1. I'm always a bit skeptical of recipes using fish and mushrooms. That being said, chanterelles are probably one of the few mushroom I would use in a seafood dish. I'm guessing trout or salmon might do the trick but the lobster idea is certainly one I should try (lobster are quite cheap these days). We often cook mushrooms with pasta or rice (especially risotto). One of my favorite dish is chanterelles with fresh peas and a bit of parmesan. Zucchini are great too in such pasta. I'm not drying my chanterelles this time. I did it in the past and was not too pleased with the results. Contrary to other mushrooms (like morels) I feel they loose too much in texture when dried. I'm trying to freeze them, both cooked and uncooked... I'm not sure it will be better but I bet it won't be worse. We gave some away to friends too.
  2. I went mushroom-hunting yesterday and found the jackpot! I now have something like 20 pounds of chanterelles (probably more, I did not weight my basket and plastic bags) which means I am more willing than usual to try new recipes. I generally tend to pan fry chanterelles as a side dish or to incorporate them in egg dishes like quiche or omelet... I also occasionally use them in sauces. What are your favourite ways of cooking chanterelles? Do you use them as a garnish, a side dish or a main ingredient?
  3. A similar disease struck my garden last year. Most of my tomato plants died very early and I now believe my soil is contaminated. I moved all my tomato plants to another lot this year but I just can't imagine how disastrous this blight could be to any large scale producers.
  4. Magictofu

    Mystery Vegetable

    It is kohlrabi, it's excellent in slaws. I'm not of fan of its stir-fry or gratin applications but others are.
  5. Magictofu

    Fire Pit Recipies

    I love to bake potatoes wrapped in foil in the ambers. You can actually cook a lot of things this way: vegetables, fish, dessert. Bananas with butter and brown sugar is a classic but the liquid gets very very hot, so you need to be careful. Other than that, you can also move the ambers aroung your grill to have a more gentle heat. This is useful for larger pieces of meat.
  6. What's next, crawling in your 800 degrees wood burning oven dressed in an asbestos overall to make your pie? That being said, if the dough is particularly wet (as many no-knead dough are), it will stick to almost any surface... so even a good pizza peel might not work.
  7. Magictofu


    I grew some in my tiny garden last year. The window for picking them to eat as edamame is quite short (10 days?). As soon as they are plump enough but that the shell is still bright green, they are ready to pick. After that, they will get harder and more fibrous and the shell will change color. I don't know if some varieties are better than others for edamame. You can probably try and see if the variety you grow is tasty as edamame... the worst that can happen is that they won't be good eating. You might want to make sure you are picking them a minimal amount of days after spraying them unless you grow organic beans of course.
  8. Lots of good advices here. I'm no expert but one thing I've learned over the years is that you need a good supply of clean towels. Wet towels are very useful to get a good grip on oysters while dry one will help you keep a clean working surface.
  9. I thought that since oil heats up at a far higher temperature than water (temperatures much higher than in a pressure canner) even the most resistant bacteria would be killed by the process. Is the issue mostly about the short cooking time?
  10. I think most North American ferns are toxic. Even the ostrich fern which gives us fiddleheads has some level of toxicity. Your customers might not enjoy the upset stomach. There are tons of very nice edible wild plants that you ca serve to your customers without worries.
  11. I find it interesting that you seem to prefer the refrigerated version of the CI pie. In my mind, a good blueberry pie needs to be on the runny side at least when served hot. That being said all pies look very tasty and I will probably try the RLB pie when wild bluebrerries will be in season in a few weeks. By the way, you got some really gigantic blueberries! Do you need a crane to harvest them?
  12. Thanks for your great contribution. It is because of people like you that I joined eGullet a few years ago.
  13. I've seen it being done in China but never tried it myself. My partner said this cooking technique became popular after being featured in some kung fu movies or novels. Chicken were dispatched, the bigger feathers removed and then tightly wrapped in clay to form big brown-grey balls. These balls were placed in an old oil drum with a bit of wood, twigs and straw and the whole thing was set on fire. When serving, the clay shells were broken with a hammer or stone and big pieces of clay were slowly removed along with most feathers (and often skin) glued to the clay. I have to say that it was quite impressive but my partner convinced me that we could find something better to eat down the road.
  14. I'm very surprised to see this on the Food Network. For some reason I thought their usual sponsors would simply not pay for advertisement during such a show hence making the show less attractive for the network. I guess Jamie Saves our Bacon is next.
  15. Magictofu


    I reheated my frozen meatballs in a tomato sauce but this process made the delicate caramelized crust completely disapear. I think I'll return them under the broiler for a few seconds next time.
  16. I have to admit that the only thing I happily seek at the red and yellow fastfood restaurant is the english muffin breakfast sandwich with ham (they have a shorter name there but I don't feel like giving them more publicity). This is what I like to eat in the morning when I have to drive somewhere on the highway. When I read your description, I just had to try it. I made four sandwiches and defrosted/reheated them in different manners (straight from the freezer to the microwave, defrosted overnight, etc.) I was unfortunately not entirely satisfied with the result. I think it is because I like the english muffin to remain as crisp as possible which was almost impossible to achieve. On a more positive note, I was surprized that the eggs did not turn to rubber as I thought they would. The more I learn to use my freezer, the more I discover that I have to clean up all the bias and myths I accumulated over the years from various sources and simply experiment with an open mind.
  17. Many people disagree with me but I'll nominate granite countertops. Not only are they expensive but they often give a very cold look (and feel) to kitchens which in my mine are supposed to me warm and messy.
  18. I'm a volleyball player. On the court, most of my time is devoted to getting ready for a hit, it seems slow to onlookers but your thoughts are going extremely fast , always evaluating what is going on and anticipating the action to come. When the ball is heading your way however, you have to move very quickly. It is not time to think anymore; you just act the way you should. I like to think that cooking is quite similar to that. There are times when you need to slow down, prepare and think ahead, it can be almost meditative. You get everything ready (make stock, chop onions, etc.) and plan the sequence of events before plating and serving. At the end, things accelerate and you simply execute, often very quickly, what you prepared for. As with volleyball, there are moments when preparation time is limited (e.g. weeknight or an unusual/unexpected hit from the other team) and everything has to be executed very quickly. There are other time when even the execution can be done slowly; these are the time when you either have the perfect control of the ball or the cooking process.
  19. I have an easy no-recipe pie recipe (confusing?). I simply mix enough berries for a pie with a bit of sugar and about one spoonful of corn starch. Roll my pie crust and place all the berries in the center. I then fold the sides on top of the berries, leaving a good size opening in the center and bake until it looks good. I works most of the time but I must admit that sometimes I add too much sugar.
  20. Magictofu


    I am in the impression that soaked breadcrumbs help the meatball stay tender and that it makes it almost impossible to overwork them. Am I deluding myself? Because I'm lazy, I never work meatballs preparation longer than needed anyway so it is essentially a theoretical question.
  21. I watched a few shows recently and frankly I am still puzzled as to why something like that is allowed to be on TV. In the show, Zimmern is not really seeking the unusual or the culturally different... instead he seems to be seeking things that he feels would create an emotional response from his viewers (generally disgust). I bet most curious food enthusiasts who had the chance to travel a bit (or to live in a cosmopolitan city) tried most of the food Zimmers tries in the show so the effect of the images presented to them is probably not very strong to start with. Most annoying is the fact that Zimmern (or the producer) is not letting local people talk or provide the cultural background needed to understand the food presented in the show (there are fortunately a few exceptions). As a matter of fact, he often interrupts rudely his hosts or guests to take center stage with what is presented as some kind of (immature) stunt eats. If he had something interesting to say, I would probably not care that much about the lack of dialogue with locals or experts but most of his monologues are uninspired and often quite insipid. To his defense however, Zimmern does seem quite enthusiast about what he is doing. I bet he is a much more interesting person in real life and that it is the very concept of the show that make him look so annoying, rude and narrow-minded. I'm almost hoping that Zimmern get a second chance in a different type of show because this one is really not flattering.
  22. Magictofu


    I actually use the microwave. It's only about testing the seasoning and its quite fast.
  23. Magictofu


    That's interesting, I do exactly the opposite as I consider meatballs to be in the sausage family. I mix everything very well when cold to create some sort of meat/fat emulsion. With plenty of bread crumbs soaked in milk and a bit of added fat and moisture, my meatballs are very soft. I also cook them on sheet pans in the oven.
  24. Magictofu


    I finally prepared, cooked and froze my meatballs yesterday. I am very pleased with the result. The main ingredients were ground beef and veal, breadcrumbs (2/3 of them soaked in milk), cooked thinly chopped onion and celery, eggs and chicken fat and drippings (from a chicken I cooked previously). The other flavouring ingredients: garlic, sage, chive, parsley, anchovies, paprika, ground coriander seeds, salt, black pepper, and, for a lack of cayenne pepper, I also added chipotle chili flakes. Tomato sauce is an obvious choice to turn these meatball into a meal, particularly with a bit of pasta, rice or other grains. Any other interesting options?
  25. As an avid reader, my main advice to anyone who wants to become a food writer would be to develop your own style, a style that fits the niche you want to create for yourself. So many writers/journalists change their style of writing according to the topic they are covering (often copying the major authors in that field) instead of approaching a topic with their own voice or more accurately the voice they developed for themselves. Readers need to recognize an author, her approach and personality. Content is one thing, technical skill is another... but an identifiable style is also key. The fact that this topic was started with a quote from Ruhlman is interesting because he is someone who was able to create a voice for others as well as himself in the various books he wrote or co-wrote. This is rare and hard to do without causing some confusion with the readers. Other people have developed themselves into characters. I like to think that I know Anthony Bourdain from reading his books but I am well aware that I know very little about him and that the little I know was purposefully placed in front of me for the sole purpose of creating a particular narrator for the stories I am reading. If he wanted to write romance novels, I am sure he would have presented another side of his persona. Without a specific style/character/viewpoint to offer, readers won't seek you, they will only seek content... which you can probably offer but almost any competent writer can also offer good content given the right circumstances and hence replace you at your dream job at the New-York Times or Gourmet.
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