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Everything posted by Magictofu

  1. Funny people say it's not in season yet... my usual spots have fully developped ferns instead of fiddleheads. I'm guessing most fiddleheads come from further north.
  2. Magictofu


    I wonder if you could not make a mini ham with the leg...
  3. This is also my first year planting a substancial garden (other than a few containers). I only lived in appartment buildings since last summer when my partner and I bought a house on a faily large lot. We now have 11 raised beds and one larger traditional garden along with a few berry patches and a mini orchard. We are so excited! Only problem: pests such as aphids, squirrels and rabbits! But I guess it has to be part of the deal. We live quite far north compared to most of you so our adventure is only begining. Many plants are still indor waiting for warmer weather. We notetheless have other projects such as constituting a very large bed for perenials (rhubard, asparagus, sage, ...) where we could also experiment with growing morel mushrooms using one of those kits available in some garden centers.
  4. Bumping this topic I bought Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables by Mike and Nancy Bubel. It is quite an interesting read but not necessarily what I had in mind. So far my plans are as follow: A medium sized room in the basement with 2 exterior walls and two heavilly insulated interior walls and ceilling. One compressor to use only as back up for certain projects (e.g. ageing meat). One hole to exterior for extra cold air in winter (I wish i could find a way to automatically open and close the trap according to temperature inside and outside the cold room). 3 walls full of shelves, one with a foldable table. A few hooks to hang onions, garlic and charcuteries (occasionally). The floor is quite uneven in that section of the house, I'm not too sure I want to fix it before building everything else. It used to be the furnace room.
  5. Totally agree with Peggy here! I would add that sometimes grass fed beef can be a bit older than industrial beef, especially when raised on a hobby farm. This is both a blessing and a problem in that older animal tend to taste better but the meat is tougher. For stews, this is perfect but for steak less so. Trick for better steaks when using a less tender animal: - Very thick steaks, seared quickly and then very slowly cooked to rare or medium rare in a low oven. (I prefer a pan to a grill but I get a second pan for the oven so that the residual strong heat of the pan does not affect the slower cooking in the oven) - Fat: do not trim the fat before cooking (after, in your plate, is way better), add butter on top of steak (e.g. blue cheese butter). - Buy fresh since freezing breaks cell walls and release moisture - Dry aged steak, although dryer before cooking, tend to remain quite moist That's all I can think of. And kudos for chosing grass fed!
  6. Here's an article from Mother Earth News: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Home...-Soy-Sauce.aspx
  7. I like to steam skate with ginger and green onions and then serve it with a bit of soy sauce and rice vinegar. Otherwise, brown butter is an excellent choice... as with a lot of fishes.
  8. There are egg noodles in China, in fact there are hundreds of different noodles and the difference has nothing to do with their shape. But in general it's flour and water. For fried noodles you might want to make your dough on the stiffer and chewy side.
  9. Magictofu


    Cook them in soups or as spinach... some people eat the very young leaves in salads but I find it dangerous considering that some larger leaves do have some of those painful hair. Picking nettles can be a pain without gloves.
  10. We call them king oysters here but many call them eryngii as well. These are among my favourite and I agree with hummingbirdkiss: the best way to cook them, is simply to slice them lenghtwise and saute them (ideally in butter). This maximize the great texture of these mushrooms.
  11. Magictofu

    Lamb burgers

    Shoulder is great and cheap. Cumin is great as a flavoring for lamb burgers.
  12. Look at the amount of fat and sinew in the piece of meat. If there is little of it avoid braising or stewing, it will get tough and dry. In my familly, we used to make fondue with moose but I assume you could make interesting burgers too. I would add some fat in the ground meat if you decide to go for burgers. You could also slice it very very thinly and cook it in butter flavoured with some herbs (sage, thyme or rosemary). Moose has quite a strong and unusual taste... a bit like a very gamey horse meat. Some people don't like it others are crazy for it. If you want to experience the taste of moose meat, cook it as simply as possible.
  13. I find it weird that all of you seems so enthusiastic about MSG. I find that in many restaurants and prepared meals, there is just too much of it... and when eating it I feel a weird almost puckery sensation in my mouth, as if my tongue is somewhat swollen. I can't eat too much dim sums because of that. I think MSG is like salt. A little bit enhance the flavors but too much can cause a culinary disaster.
  14. Kanata is typically suburban and yes, chain restaurants and box stores are the norm there. You could go to Ottawa... it is not that far. In any case, what type of food are you looking for?
  15. Magictofu


    I love mushroom hunting and tried a few dozens wild species as well as the usual cultivated ones. I love king oysters... they last long in the fridge and cook to delicious chewy bits in the pan. Texture is key here. Second would probably be the king bolete if and only if sauteed with a ton of butter... the alchemy between these and butter is unparalleled in the fungi world in my opinion. I do not share the same enthusiasm for other boletes though... but I haven't tried them all Black trumpets are also on top of my list. These are particularly good with cream, noodles or eggs. Then Morels and Chanterelles are ahrd to beat, one in the spring the other in the summer (at least around here). Blewits are also terrific in the pan... and so are a few other species such as the Man on horseback. I have heard very good comments about other tricholoma such as the pine mushroom but never tried them. The very cute cultivated shemiji mushrooms are quite nice and available in more and more stores. Enoki mushrooms are also among my favourite... I think its all about texture again here. I also quite like gypsies but only had them once and my memory is fading. My girlfriend is crazy about orange milkies... I find them quite good but almost too strong. My girlfriend also really enjoys shaggy manes but I don't like them as much. To my surprise, I quite enjoy the cloud ear mushroom (or juda's ear)... they taste almost nothing but they feel like jelly and absorb almost any flavor. I sometimes cook them in a light syrup and serve them for desert. I like the usual shitake, button mushrooms and its other agaricus family members as well as the oyster mushrooms. I am really not a big fan of puffballs... I truly hate their smell. I have been told that their taste vary a lot from one specimen to the other so I am willing to try again. Lobster mushrooms look terific and their crunchiness is weird to say the least but they are a bit insipid, at least to my taste. I find the taste of aborted entoloma a bit weird and the texture of the aborted form too chewy. Lets not forget truffles... I only tried black truffle, chinese and oregon truffles. The closest thing to white truffle that I tasted was truffle oil and love it. I never tried liberty caps but they are also certainly enjoyed by some
  16. Magictofu

    Trotter gear

    Since I first posted, I made two dishes using trotter gear: lentils and sausage and a chicken stew. I added way too much trotter in the lentils making them quite heavy... Note to myself: use only the cooking liquid next time! The stew was quite nice and the chicken very very moist! However the sherry in the "trotter gear" did not mix so well with the other flavours in the stew. Note to myself: do not use any kind of wine in the next batch of trotter gear... and for that matter, keep the seasoning minimal...
  17. Magictofu

    Deep Fried Beer

    There is one way to make it more like deep fried beer: On the fist day: 1. Add a lot of gelatin to your choice of beer and place in fridge overnight. On the second day: 2. Make a very stiff batter (almost like thick plaster) 3. Make crumbs out of chips or pretzels 4. using a melon baller, make small balls of the very stiff beer jello you should now have in the fridge. 5. Coat these balls with batter so that they are entirely covered of a fairly thick layer 6. Roll them in your chips/pretzel crumbs 7. Fry them very quickly and one or two at the time (to avoid accidents because they could leak in hot oil and cause sudden large bubbles) 8, Enjoy with more beer. The cente should now be runny. Alternatively, you could make a beer, cheese and flour mixture instead of the gelly stuff... it is safer and better.
  18. Magictofu

    Pig Stomach

    The thing I was thinking about is Mao Xue Wang: http://app1.chinadaily.com.cn/star/2001/0329/di24-1.html It involves a few hard to find ingredient but it is absolutely delicious. I was unable to find a recipe in English though but I bet the folks in the Chines cuisine forum could help. And I am also guessing that you could replace the blood pudding with soft tofu.
  19. Magictofu

    Pig Stomach

    That sounds delicious!
  20. Magictofu

    Pig Stomach

    I guess you could also make some kind of terrine: 1. Cook the stomach in a very flavourful broth and add a pig trotter or two to extract the gelatine. 2. Place slices of the stomach in a terrine mold (think about presentation once you cut in it... I would lay strips of stomach so that when you cut the terrine you end up with nice little cubes of stomach) 3. Pour just enough cooking liquid to cover. Place a weight on top. Place in the fridge until it sets. 4. Serve with 'sauve vierge', some pickles, lettuce, etc.
  21. The way I usually cook salmon is by using a hot pan and by placing the salmon skin side down. Then I either flip it to get a crust on the other side or place it in the oven as is for a few minutes. I always serve salmon medium rare to medium unless I poach it this way it does not dry out and you get a variety of textures. You can also partly cure the skinless side with salt, sugar and herbs before cooking it and only cook it skin side down. This way you get a nice crisp skin, then a cooked layer of salmon, then a semi-cooked layer and on top a cured layer. It requires a bit more time though as the fish has to cure for a few hours.
  22. Before I forget... you can also wiz a bunch of parsley in a food processor, squeeze the pulp in a clean towel to extract the juice and use it to color pasta, mashed potatoes, etc.
  23. As a side dish to something a bit heavy (e.g. pig trotters trotters, marrow bones, braised lamb shanks...), you can make the simplest of all parsley salads: - handfull of parsley - lemon juice, - olive oil, - salt and pepper It is meant as a mouth cleaner.
  24. Magictofu

    Pig Stomach

    Make a stuffing using ground pork, some herbs and spices, a few diced veggies (or not) and some kind of filler (e.g. bread crumbs). Stuff in the stomach but not too much as stomach get smaller as they cook. Sew the opening. Poach in a good broth for an hour or more. Use the poaching liquid to cook lentils. Cut slices of the stuffed stomach and serve on a bed of lentils on a large serving plate. Offer a selection of pickles to go with it, a refreshing salad helps too. You could also cook bits of the stomach in a very strong broth (e.g. chilies and sichuan peppers) top with coriander and serve with rice. Tell us how the experiment went!
  25. There is a copious amount of salt... otherwise I believe you have listed all the spices. Oh! don' forget to add lamb fat.
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