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  1. Barbara Tropp's The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking. Still one of the two top chinese cookbooks I've ever used.
  2. tomishungry

    Dinner 2019

    You're now offically my hero.
  3. I replaced my vintage 1981 Swingaway in January of 2019 with an ez-duz-it. I'll report back when it breaks or in 38 years, whichever comes first. I thought the Swingaway was fine, but my kid complained it wasn't sharp enough. Wow, these punks are soft.
  4. Yeah, you can do that, or just man up and cook it entirely in one go in the wok. Seriously though, I've done it both ways. Blanching/par cooking is fine, but doing it all with the proper heat control in one pot is way more convenient. I've never seen a professional chinese kitchen take two steps when one will do. If you pre cook, you're obliged to shock everything in cold or ice water to stop the heating process before everything overcooks. That's too much work - it's easier to sear/brown over high heat and then gently simmer for a minute to cook through. Boiling at high heat as the OP did is too hard on timing for non-professionals to do consistently. Even the pro cooks I've seen turned the heat down to a simmer so they wouldn't compromise the texture of the longer cooking veggies.
  5. I've never seen this covered in a book. The closest coverage like this I've read is when a hacker starts stir frying in his backyard over a turkey fryer, an imported Asian burner, or a grill. There's some coverage in assorted blogs across the internet. Try searching wok + grill, wok + turkey burner, etc....you get the idea. Kenji over at Seriouseats has a great article on stirfying over a grill. Having watched pros at work (I worked at a chinese resto as a kid) and comparing them to home setups, I'd say the techniques are the same, they're just way faster on a pro burner. The searing times are much shorter, and then as Catdaddy said, turn the heat down to cook through. Trying to cook broccoli through at 180K BTU and then pulling it off at just the right moment makes timing too hard for most mortals.
  6. Half ounce bottles of tabasco from the early 90's. I use one bottle every few years, then pack up the others whenever I move. They've done about four thousand miles with me so far. I go through the full size ones on a more regular basis.
  7. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008C9UFDI/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 The Panasonic oven isn't so cheap, but it's small and extremely straightforward to use. My second one's going strong on 5 years ; I cracked the heating element of my first one after about 8 years, and waited around dallying with lesser ovens until Panasonic started exporting them into the U.S. again. It's one of the few toaster ovens I've used that actually makes good toast. It uses a quartz heating element that's the same basic technology as the Breville, but seems to have a slight edge on reliability based on all the Amazon reviews.
  8. tomishungry

    Too-thin porkchops

    Try this recipe for vietnamese caramelized pork chops. http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/vietnamese-pork-chops The marinade has enough sugar and salt in it to act as a brine to keep moisture in. The fast sear (or charcoal in the original recipe) cooks the meat quickly enough it won't dry out. I tried this recipe once with regular pork chops and it didn't work. It relies on having super thin pork chops or slices to get the proper sear and taste.
  9. tomishungry

    Microwave Tips

    defrosting bread before slicing and toasting it (bagel, bun, muffins) defrosting pizza before reheating in a pan to crisp it heating dried shitake mushrooms submerged in water for an emergency soak and soften hot lemon towels warming honey to pour it out of a jar (don't do this with plastic jars) hot maple syrup for my pancakes! melt butter at 50% power so it doesn't splatter (yes, your power levels will vary. 50% @1500 watts works for me) chocolate goes in my mouth before it'll hit the microwave the chamber makes a great bread box when you're not using it the chamber makes a great proofing box - power on for a few seconds to warm up the dough if it needs a boost defrosting is the killer app for me.
  10. there isn't enough wine in the world for me to deal with the elections right now.
  11. Commercial mushrooms are grown in a substrate which contains sterilized manure. Any that I buy are going to take a nice long salt water bath and get thoroughly scrubbed down. A quick run through my salad spinner and everything's dry and clean. I haven't noticed any water absorption, and at least psychologically, the flavor's greatly enhanced. No BS! (couldn't resist). Prep them the way you're comfortable with. I'm comfy with nice, clean mushrooms.
  12. Congratulations indeed! This is one of the best chinese cookbooks I've ever read, and like everyone else here I'm a pretty avid reader and cook. The only other book that even comes close is Barbara Tropp's Modern art of Chinese Cooking.
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