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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Pan

  1. Hi, everyone. I made goulash today, using the Round the World Cookbook's recipe minus most of the salt, since that was the recipe my mother used and I always enjoyed it. I also made a rather dangerous dish for someone on a low-salt diet: uborkasaláta (Hungarian cucumber salad). Why dangerous? Because to get the right texture for the cucumber slices, you must salt them, and then it's very difficult to rinse the salt off completely. But that aside, I found that a recipe in the Gundel Cookbook that my father bought on the street for $1 but which we threw away when vacating his apartment because it was falling apart was the one that really tasted like the salad I had enjoyed so much when I was in Budapest. I tried to find the same recipe online and didn't, really. As near as I can reconstruct the recipe, it had these ingredients: 2-3 cucumbers, sliced and salted all over, then left to sit until water has come out of them, then optionally rinsed and patted dry onions (I don't know how many - we used 2 very long hothouse cucumbers and 1/2 large white onion, and it seemed like enough onion) vinegar mixed with water (but how much?) pinch of sugar generous amount of paprika I don't remember whether black pepper was asked for, but some recipes call for it, and I figure it couldn't hurt to use a little. I can't find the online recipe I mostly consulted, but it called for 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of water. I used cider vinegar; maybe I should have used white vinegar, but in any case, it really came out too vinegary and with too much liquid for my taste, or compared to what I enjoyed eating in Budapest, and I added more sugar than I would have wanted to (5 or 6 pinches, I think). However, it did taste a lot better when I added additional sweet paprika to both the goulash (for which I used spicy paprika while cooking) and the salad. So my question for you: Next time I make this salad, how much vinegar, water and sugar do you think I should use? And do you have a favorite recipe? I should add that while it's perfectly valid to add sour cream, dill and various other ingredients to your version of uborkasaláta, I'd rather not. The only additional ingredient I might consider is garlic, which some recipes suggested, but I don't remember there being any in the Gundel Cookbook.
  2. I would more or less deny that. If I remember correctly, Laut always served Malaysian and Thai food and pretty quickly also added sushi. They did have more Malay dishes than some other "Malaysian" restaurants in Manhattan, but you had to know which dishes on the menu were really Malaysian, and even then, getting them to be made spicy and real was a bit hit or miss. Sanur (this is the place on Doyers St., right?), if I remember correctly, was - at least the last time I went there (probably well over 10 years ago) - run by a husband-and-wife team, both Overseas Chinese people. One of them was from, I think, Batam, an Indonesian island just south of Singapore, and the other was from somewhere in Malaysia (Ipoh? Penang? I don't remember). It is not easy to find specifically Malay, as opposed to Malaysian food in New York. What follows may not be as knowledgeable a discourse as you'd get from a real expert, but here goes: My experience in terms of rendang is that in Indonesia, they cook it down longer than in Malaysia, so that it has a more refined taste and more tender meat. More generally, since many Sumatrans (especially but not only in Riau and Palembang) are basically Malay and loads of Minangkabau came to Malaysia starting in the 19th century, not surprisingly, there is more overlap between Malaysian and Sumatran cuisines than there is between Malaysian food and the styles in Java, Bali and other Indonesian islands. But even talking about "Malaysian food" ignores the large differences between West Coast and East Coast styles. Kelantanese food, for example, is quite distinct from West Coast food, and unfortunately, I don't think you're ever likely to find items like Ayam Percik or Nasi Kerabu in Malaysian restaurants in New York.
  3. I don't have a pressure cooker. My girlfriend has been talking about how good they are. I agree that 1 teaspoonfull of caraway seeds is insufficient, and I would recommend more vinegar but also more apples.
  4. Sure. By the way, my refrigerator is so small, I've just left it out, covered, on my stove, so I'll make sure to reheat it thoroughly when I have more tonight.
  5. By the way, the cabbage is a little chewy. I'm glad I'm eating this now, not a couple of weeks ago, as I had a tooth extracted on Jan. 5. One other thing, the parsley is a great idea. I think I used more than 4 tablespoons' worth, and I would seriously consider using about twice as much next time; I may add some fresh parsley tomorrow. This tastes very good.
  6. OK, I just pretty much finished making it. It's come out well. The cider was fine, and I'll bet this would be OK with beer, too. I was impatient and didn't completely evaporate it, but I think that's alright. I ended up adding additional caraway seeds, for a total of 2 1/2 teaspoons, and yellow mustard seeds, for a total of about 1 1/2 teaspoons, but I don't have a mortal and pestle, so that makes a difference. I also added about a half tablespoon more vinegar, for a total of 6 teaspoons and 1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar. Next time, I think I'd up the number of apples by as many as 2, for a total of 4. I also used enough black pepper to make the dish slightly peppery. I added 1/2 teaspoonfull of allspice. At that amount, it doesn't taste much, but that's fine. OK, now I'll eat some. By the way, I could not have fit more than one head of cabbage in my large saucepan, and I also inaugurated a ladle I bought at Pearl River the other day. Thanks, everyone!
  7. Will do. I like cloves, but I'm sure my mother didn't use any when making this dish.
  8. Thanks for the info. In that case, I'll use the Granny Smiths in this, and I'll bake the McIntoshes in the oven with cinnamon, allspice and ground ginger.
  9. I guess I'll stick with 1 head, then. This is just for me, but it would be great for it to last for a while. I will keep this vegetarian, not because I don't eat meat but because my mother didn't use any animal ingredients when she made this (unless maybe butter), and I don't want to deal with salt. I do have some allspice and cloves. How much would you use? I don't have bay leaves but can easily buy them.
  10. I didn't get around to making this today. If I make 2 heads' worth of cabbage, should I double all the other ingredients? If not, which ones should I avoid doubling, and maybe keep the same?
  11. I'll look into that. Thanks for the suggestion.
  12. My mother's recipe never had mustard seeds in it. As a child, I wouldn't have liked that. I suspect it used lemon juice, rather than vinegar, but I'm not sure. She often used it as a side dish for goulash or chicken paprikas, but I'm not going to make either of those today (maybe another day). I could also look for half-bottles at my local discount wine and liquor store, but I have the general sense that they're usually a bad value.
  13. Looks like an excellent recipe. I may use olive oil instead of butter and will indeed omit salt, but otherwise, I think I'll follow your recipe. So no alcohol?
  14. My mother used to cook an Austrian-style red cabbage with apples and caraway seeds that I really liked. I'm not sure what cookbook she was using. Anyway, I found a recipe on the Food & Wine website: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/braised-red-cabbage-with-caraway-and-apple My mother didn't use mustard seeds, but I thought I'd try them, along with the caraway seeds. However, I don't have red wine and I'm reluctant to buy any because it would go bad easily if I don't drink it up. I also would rather not use sugar. So I'm thinking that it might make sense for me to instead get a granny smith varietal of hard cider and use that, knowing that the rest will be in cans and won't go bad quickly, and I can drink some with my cabbage. I was also thinking of using a couple of apples instead of just one, to up the sweetness (I have granny smith and McIntosh apples, so not so sweet, but sweeter than vinegar for sure). Do you think this recipe will work well with those changes? (I'm also not going to use any salt, as I'm on a low-salt diet.)
  15. Pan


    Of course it will! You probably can't get fresh coconuts in Montana, but I hope you can get unsweetened dried shredded coconut somewhere, like maybe a health food store if supermarkets don't carry it.
  16. :-) Doesn't sound like you have a warped mind, just a particular taste and affection for a type of comfort food. Another idea I have would be to make an Italian-style risotto, but with the oats instead of rice. To avoid salt, use no cheese but make a stock from some good-quality dried mushrooms that you soak in water for some time, and use that as a base, along with fresh mushrooms and any kind of herbs you like (parsley, thyme, what have you), plus maybe some other vegetables like carrots.
  17. Another idea: Do you like yogurt? If you do (and you can eat it), you could consider combining your oatmeal with some yogurt and, say, ground cinnamon. When I was on the Zone diet, I used ricotta, but unless you make it yourself, be careful about the salt content. It's not nearly as salty as most other cheeses, but I've been avoiding it.
  18. I haven't eaten oatmeal in a long time, but you could try a masala oatmeal with various spices, perhaps some curry leaves and some fresh cilantro and see how it works out.
  19. Sure, if I make any of these recipes, I'll be sure to report back on my results.
  20. Steve, in the past, I found that things were intermittently oversalted at Lupa, but the last time I was there, it was awful. I agree that Otto is better in that regard. I had a very good meal there last spring. gfron1, if you are now doing low-salt cooking, we have things to talk about in the Cooking thread, as that's exactly what I'm doing now, too, and therefore, I'm not eating out much at all, at least for now (my BP is down nicely, but I'm still on medications and also need to lose more weight). The only places where I eat are places that can actually make things for me that are without salt, and that's mostly not really worth doing except at places that are cheap and convenient. I think tasting menus can be great, but I don't like it when they're only 2 bites of each course. I think the best "tasting menu" I ever had was probably the 10-course kaiseki at Kyo Ya, back in 2012 or so. No wine pairings, just a couple of great sakes with the meal. It was very expensive, but it was worth doing once (and again someday, if I come into more money). I also had a very good tasting menu, also not with wine pairings as such but with several wines (at least 3 pours, but we might have had a dessert wine, too) chosen in consultation with the staff at Degustation the previous year. I remember having wine pairings somewhere, but I don't remember where. I guess I feel like tasting menus are fine when they're a real event. This isn't something I can do regularly, and it also isn't something I'd want to do often, as my experience was that they are very filling (though I've read accounts of tasting menus that somehow are not).
  21. Thanks for all the links. Sodium Girl's recipes, in particular, are really interesting! I think I'll try her "cauliflower chorizo" at some point.
  22. Thanks for the reply, but I almost never add salt to anything, anyway (with the exception of sul long tan that I've gotten in Korean restaurants). In this thread, I'm just asking about cookbooks or websites that either have good recipes that are expressly non-salty or well adaptable to leaving out the salt and salty ingredients.
  23. That sounds good. I'd probably use fresh garlic, though.
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