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Everything posted by KingLear

  1. The first time I made sauerkraut, I added only salt. The cabbage released enough water to immerse itself, so I didn't have to add more brine. Every time since then, the cabbage didn't release enough water to cover, so I added brine. All batches tasted exactly the same.
  2. I can't remember where I got this recipe, nor have I made it before, but it was sitting in my recipes directory, so here you go: 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds 1/4 cup sumac 2 tablespoons thyme 2 tablespoons marjoram 2 tablespoons oregano 1 teaspoon coarse salt Grind the sesame seeds in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Indeed - don't give up. I've made sauerkraut for a few years and it's always better than store-bought. I have some brining in my basement right now. It's been going for two weeks and it tastes great. I unexpectedly had to be away from home for a few days early on, so took it out to my garage to slow the fermentation (I live in a cold climate). It was still at the point where I wanted to skim the foam every day, so I figured that by slowing/stopping the fermentation, I could leave it unattended. When I returned home, I brought it back inside and it started fermenting again right away. Another poster above said that you don't need to add water. That's likely true if your cabbage is very fresh, but it the water that's released isn't enough to cover the cabbage within 24 hours, mix 1 teaspoon of koshering salt with 1 cup of water and top up the brine in your fermenting container. Sorry for not realizing you were referring to Ruhlman's book. I often serve my sauerkraut with a charcuterie plate, so that's where my brain went.
  4. IMHO what killed home cooking was home cooking. Most mothers were simply not great cooks (not trying to be sexist - I believe that up until at least the last decade the majority of home cooks were the mothers of the family, if not still). Dry meatloaf, overcooked roast beef, peas boiled beyond recognition, glutinous mashed potatoes, lumpy gravy, unrecognizable seafood, mealy pasta. Not that my mom was the worst cook out there - she was par for the course. Being completely honest about it, as a kid growing up, I didn't have one memorable meal at home, or at my grandparents' or aunts' or friends' houses. They were wonderful because they were at home (or a home away from home), but they weren't extraordinary. Even at the houses of my friends who were Italian. Swanson and Chef Boy-ar-dee provided almost the same flavors at a similar cost or less, but yet at a fraction of the time. I have no doubt that there are many of you who regularly had amazing meals at home while growing up, but I would wager that you are in the minority.
  5. They changed the recipe after my comment. Even so, but a huge pet peeve of mine is recipes that leave water off the ingredients list if water is indeed required as an ingredient. Noting the addition of water solely in the body of the recipe instruction is lazy writing. I also dislike that recipe authors regularly omit articles (e.g. "put soy sauce into pan" instead of "put the soy sauce into the pan"). That is also lazy writing, in my opinion. The same goes for using T. for tablespoon and t. for teaspoon, also in my opinion - unless you are the editor of Lucky Peach, then it doesn't matter anyway since the tablespoon/teaspoon amounts stated in the recipes in that publication seem to be interchangeable.
  6. I'm assuming you mean "for" charcuterie. At what temperature is the cabbage fermenting?
  7. Regarding the crispy skin note - just tonight I did a roast chicken, a la Ad Hoc at Home style. As soon as I removed the bird from the oven, I broke off a bit of skin and savored its wonderful crispness. As I thought back to all the birds before and how the skin got flabby while resting (I'm speaking poultry here), I sacrificed my fingertips and, with the help of a small chef's knife, removed all the skin and laid it flat, in a single layer, on a plate. It cooled very quickly, but remained crispy for ages - well at least until my wife and I finished it off after the meal. As I said to her - room temp/crispy skin is wayyy better than hot/flabby skin any day (still talking poultry). I let the skinless bird rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes - beautifully moist and still steaming.
  8. Over the last couple of years, I've had an abundance of grape, cherry and pear tomatoes, so have frozen them. Typically, I have only thawed them in order to totally cook them down into a sauce. Last week I needed to make a pasta dish quickly. I used some of my frozen tomatoes, but didn't completely cook them down to a paste. Instead, I kept a few of the tomatoes whole in the pan - albeit thawed completely. Instead of being squishy and mealy as I had expected, they were juicy and burst with great texture as I bit into them. After that, I tried popping a totally frozen cherry tomato into my mouth and let it slowly thaw before finally crunching down on it - amazing! This has totally changed my thinking (training?) about frozen tomatoes - they were extraordinary.
  9. I live in an area that does not have I+O. However, work takes me to LA on a regular basis. My first order order of business after landing is to steer (pun intended) my rental car to the I+O on Sepulveda right at the east end of the north runway at LAX and watch the big birds land as I enjoy my animal-style, extra toast.
  10. KingLear

    Pig head

    Soppressata Toscana. Very nice.
  11. Just made turkey burgers tonight - shallots, jalapeño, garlic, red bell pepper, parsley, koshering salt, cumin and chipotle hot sauce all in the mix. Irish cheddar, bacon and tomato on top. A little mayo on top - but ketchup, mustard or any other condiment wasn't required - would have gotten in the way. No fast food chain can compare. That said, I crave a QPw/C every 6 months. Almost like clockwork. BUT mostly, I crave the breakfast sausage patty. It's my dirty secret - every few months I'll order a Big Breakfast with 2 extra sausage patties, sprinkle them liberally with pepper, then keep them to the side while I eat everything else in order to save the best for last.
  12. KingLear

    chicken skin

    I keep all the extra skin and fat every time I break down a chicken. Don't forget to take the skin and fat off the backbone - that's the best part. I save it all in freezer bags. When I have lots, I thaw the skin/fat, cut it into fairly even 1"-2" pieces, then put the pieces in a skillet over low heat. I add a thinly sliced onion and keep cooking it all down (rendering) until all that's left is liquid fat and crispy cracklin'/chicharrones/gribenes (all basically the same thing). It could take a couple of hours - just don't let the skin burn. Strain the fat into a clean jar and place in the fridge. That's schmaltz and it will keep for ages. Use it to cook eggs, chicken, whatever - it has tremendous depth of flavor. Place the gribenes (crispy chicken skin and onions) on paper towels to absorb the surface fat, then sprinkle with salt. They keep for days in the fridge (although they won't last that long), while magically retaining their crunch.
  13. I've been looking for the answer as to why most dough (bread, pizza, etc.) recipes say to cover the bowl in a non-terry cloth towel while rising. I can see why you would want to use cotton as opposed to terry cloth if the dough is to sit on the towel, but if the dough is just being covered, what's the diff?
  14. But if you finish the food and the sauce at the same time - now that's bliss.
  15. Is it a beverage, a broth, a sauce, or a ... ? This is a topic making the rounds of my son's high school, as well as gamer forums. Why? I have no idea. I searched the forums here, but couldn't find a current thread, so I thought I'd ask the experts.
  16. Pho - pronounced "fuh" (like "duh"), not "foe" - means rice noodle. Pho Bo is beef noodle soup. Pho Ga is chicken noodle soup. Emeril has a surprisingly good Pho Ga recipe on the FN website.
  17. KingLear


    Chris - I completely agree with your assessment, however the general population would think of rancid as having a much broader definition. Here are a few examples from dictionary.reference.com: 1. having a rank, unpleasant, stale smell or taste, as through decomposition, esp. of fats or oils: rancid butter. 2. (of an odor or taste) rank, unpleasant, and stale: a rancid smell. 3. offensive or nasty; disagreeable. 1. (used of decomposing oils or fats) having a rank smell or taste usually due to a chemical change or decomposition; "rancid butter"; "rancid bacon" 2. smelling of fermentation or staleness [syn: sour] As you can see, by definition, rancid can simply mean an offensive, fermented or stale odor. In culinary terms, those definitions are too broad, but for the general population, rancid is anything that is simply unpleasant.
  18. KingLear


    Now we're talking! Thanks to paulraphael and Chris Hennes. I was indeed hoping to read that rancidity is a matter of degree rather than an absolute. After reading the last couple of posts, the image that comes to mind is that of a dishcloth. After a couple of days, there is an odor that is less than fresh. A couple of days later, the smell is a bit off. A couple of days after that, you'll turn your head in disgust at the smell. I guess that encapsulates rancidity. The reason I started the thread in the first place was because I wanted to start to understand how some people define rancidity as opposed to simply smells/tastes that are not favorable to them. My wife recoils at the smell of my homemade sauerkraut, yet my teenage son can't wait for a Rueben. But the same son wouldn't touch fromage bleu, whereas my wife can't get enough. However, if I make a fromage fort that includes bleu cheese, my son can't stop eating it when I open the jar. Some people would consider cultured butter to be rancid, but many would be drooling at the notion. Anyhoo, it's an interesting discussion of taste - what may be one's garbage is another's gold.
  19. KingLear


    Sorry - other than stuartlikesstrudel.
  20. KingLear


    Great question - I don't know the answer. Interesting that no one yet can describe what a rancid walnut or what rancid butter tastes like. Despite all the warnings out there on the interweb, no one reading or posting to this thread yet has had the experience.
  21. Here's the recipe: Peanut Butter Chicken Soup Serves 6 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 cup chopped onion 1 red pepper, chopped 1 teaspoons chopped garlic 1/4 cup long grain rice 4 cups chicken stock 1 28 ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes, or to taste Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme In a medium skillet, preferably cast-iron, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken on both sides and then reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook, turning frequently, until the juices run clear, but do not overcook. It is actually preferable to slightly undercook the chicken as it will be added to the soup and cooked further in the liquid. Once cooked, remove the chicken to a large bowl to cool. Reserve any liquid that may pool in the bowl. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot set over medium heat. Add the onions and red pepper and sauté until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Add the rice, stock, tomatoes with juice, pepper flakes, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the rice is tender. Whisk in the peanut butter until well blended. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the bowl, discard the skin and, using either your fingers or two forks, PULL the chicken from the bone and apart along the fibers. DO NOT cut, chop, mince or otherwise use a knife or other sharp instrument. Once all the chicken has been pulled into small pieces, add to the soup, along with any liquid remaining in the bowl. Simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of thyme on top.
  22. That sounds interesting. Is it an African recipe? I'd love to see it. I'm not a huge fan of peanut butter but I love unique flavors and different foods. I've never heard of a peanut butter soup before. ← I believe that it is of African origin. My wife made it a couple of days ago using chicken stock that I made on the weekend. It's a friend's recipe, so I'm not 100% certain of the cultural provenance. It does, however, have a flavor also somewhat reminiscent of Thai. Our friend is neither African nor Thai, but she does have good taste. I'll post the recipe soon.
  23. I used to set the tap water to hot and pour it down the drain. Thankfully, things have changed for the better here in the part of Ontario in which I live. Not only do we have a great recycling program, but we now have a green bin program. We put all our food scraps, including bones and oil, as well as used facial tissue, paper towels, dryer lint, dog hair and the like, into biodegradable bags that are then placed in a small green bin. It's picked up once a week for compost. Great program.
  24. KingLear


    I thought for my first post that I'd ask the greater collective to comment on something that has puzzled me - how long does it really take certain foods to go rancid? For example - nuts. I have read again and again that nuts should be refrigerated or frozen. Even though I freeze raw pine nuts, since I typically buy tons at a time, I keep at least 10-12 types of nuts in my pantry - walnuts, cashews, pistachios, peanuts, almonds, pecans, etc. Some have been there for months - perhaps years. Not yet have I had a situation where I tasted one and went "yechhh, that's rancid!". Stale, perhaps, but not rancid. Similar situation with butter. "Never keep it on the counter" we are told. Yet I do - have all my life - and have yet discovered rancid butter in the dish on my counter. I couldn't pick the taste of rancid butter out of a lineup. In the summer, it might go a bit yellow, but it never acquires an off taste. Mind you, we only put out about a stick at a time, but it still takes a few days to get through that much room temperature butter. Even with the butter I make from scratch, it's the same story. Last year, I made a chicken confit - chicken thighs cooked for 12 hours at 200° F in olive oil. After it cooled, I poured the oil, which contained chicken fat by that point, into a jar. It lasted in my fridge for 10 months - not that it went bad, rather I just finally finished it after that amount of time. Given what I have read online, it should have turned long before I used up the last of it. In a somewhat similar vein (even though it's not a fat) - wine - I love it, I drink it every day. I try a wide assortment from all over the world. Unfortunately, I still can't tell a tainted wine from a wine that simply tastes bad. I may have had a rancid wine, but I more than likely considered it not a good beverage, as opposed to an off one. Just in case you're wondering, I'm told that I do have a good palette, so I don't think it's just me. I have queried friends and family about this topic - no one seems to be able to definitively describe what rancid really means. So there you go - I'd love to hear about peoples' experiences with rancid. Is it easy to predict, to taste, to see? Is rancid a matter of degree or is it an absolute?
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