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Everything posted by jedovaty

  1. Hi there: Short version: I don't get all the hubbub with dashi. It's nice, and makes my miso soup taste great. Rant: I don't see many recipes on the internet that highlight "ichiban dashi" (first one), other than simmering some veggies. Everything I read about dashi suggests the first is magical and amazing, and not to be used in regular cooking like rice, miso, etc. I decided to ignore it and use it in miso soup. Haters gonna hate. Long version: While browsing a nearby grocery store, I came across "dried matsutake" mushrooms. Never heard of them. $128/lb price tag (this is a small handful, cost $8). Had to try it. They are sitting here in front of me. Reading up on recipes, the most common I find for this mushroom is a simple rice dish. They make dashi, then use that with the soy/sake/mirin to make rice. I'll be trying that. What pushed me over the edge to post this, however, is that I see this alot: dashi, then mix with that trio in a lot of recipes.. I don't get it? I find soy, mirin/sake to be so overpowering, there's no way the dashi will even come through. What's it's purpose here? Simply tradition? Hopefully all this makes sense Thanks for your time! PS: as many of you know, there are multiple variations of dashi, and I've played with many of them, using both quality and crappy ingredients, sous vide, chanting in reverse gregorian while grating petrified fish blocks on wood soaked in logs, even some vegan variations. My intent here is not how to make dashi, but rather, find a use for it other than miso soup.
  2. Hi: I have heard of a few diet restrictions in certain indian regions, including no foods like onions/garlic since they come from inside the ground. I looked up the Iskon standards. Bummer that it excludes mushrooms, because mushroom soup would be a great idea. Can you have potatos? I don't see them included or excluded. I was also going to suggest miso soup without the bonito (fish flakes), but it appears soy beans are prohibited. It also appears lentils are prohibited? Oh boy, that's tough because lentil soup can be delicious. If potatoes can be included, consider potato soup. Also, how about various squash soups, such as zucchini? My central-euro culture has a wonderful squash/zuccini soup that's made with a little fresh dill. These are the soft squashes, similar to bitter melon, but, not so bitter. You can explore other squash varieties, too, they may be called "gourd" in some areas (think pumpkin, butternut squash, etc). What about carrots, or celery? Other soups to consider: green bean, split pea soup, watercress, cabbage, cauliflower. You can do these like plain soup, like a stew, or even "cream of..". You might also consider multiple vegetable in one soup; for example, green bean with caulflower, or tomato with watercress. Or put them all together and make a chili As far as raw-tasting, are you allowed to broil the veggies first? Maybe do that with the asparagus, broil it to pre-cook, instead of sauteeing. Then put that into water and continue your regular cooking, blending to make it a cream of roasted asparagus soup :)!
  3. Hi: how about mimicking left overs? First cook/grill it near blue/rare level, cool it down in the freezer/fridge, then slice thin and fry on some butter to get it well done? The chill/reheat process then is something akin to stew meat (you know how it gets super tough the next day, and you have to reheat it hotter than it was before you first cooked it to make it tender again), so you'll still end up with tender meat. Additionally, if it's a sufficiently fatty steak, this will give it some tasty maillards. Perhaps a variation here is to slice it up, maybe the broadside, and fry that up to maximize the maillards... Or ask the butcher to run through a tenderizer...?
  4. Oh, I totally forgot about this. FeChef, thanks, I didn't mention in my original post, but I've done the double fry method, and results are same, things do get soggy (I tried it a few times actually, things like french fries, chicken karaage, and schnitzel). After the recent cauliflower experiments, it's likely the moisture causing my problems, with batter/technique second. That said, I'm going to give double fry a second try next time, and, I'll throw potato flour into the mix of experiments.
  5. Hi: just reporting back a modicum of success. First attempt was cauliflower. Baked under just tender, then dipped into a fairly runny batter mix of cornstarch, rice flower, baking powder, vodka, and bubbly water - starch, flour, and liquids all same volume. This went immediately into oil near 400F. Although a lot of the batter came off in the oil, the texture was exactly what I was looking for, with a very very light battering, crispy. It retained the crisp for at least five minutes, while I finished the rest of the batch, then into oven for about 20 minutes. It was still good out of the oven, but didn't have quite the same crackle. No big, best ever! Clearly removing the moisture was the key here. We tried raw sweet onion rings in the same batter, this was the bomb. Because of the runny batter, it left a lot of "open space" on the onion so it creating this neat structure of exposed onion, batter interlinked with some batter and onion, and then batter. Doing this one again for sure, the open structure allowed any steam to escape. Finally, tried a small piece of fish. Immediate results were great, but after about 3-4 minutes, the crispy batter became soft. Into the oven for 20 minutes, and meh, didn't help much. Took it back to the oven after overnight fridge, and the crispy returns. Going to try with chicken thighs and tenders next time - I plan on sous-vide + karaage style marinade, then chill, remove the excess marinade, let "dry" overnight in fridge, then try frying in same batter as above. Or, perhaps I'll use vodka instead of sake+mirin in the marinade, then just mix that with katakuriko powder. Hmmm. Thanks again for the help everyone.
  6. Thank you TC, I have a few large liquor stores around or simply order online, so I'll put that Kentucky distiller on the list. If I can fry up something that stays crispy or crunchy for more than a couple minutes, maybe I'll try a fry off between a high priced one and a cheap one another day. So much to do, so little time. I'm beginning to wonder, maybe with something like veggies: would roasting first be helpful, reduce a bit of moisture? Get them sort of al-dente, especially the tougher ones, before frying? Low and slow, vs fast and hot? Or perhaps a few days in the freezer, sort of a half-arsed freeze dry might be interesting tactic <- this might be better alternate for proteins. Freeze some sous vided chicken or pork?
  7. This is just my style, excellent!
  8. Would you consider cauliflower to be a low moisture food? I'm kind of torn whether or not it is, can justify it either way. Last time I tried these, they were soggy within a couple minutes out of the oil. On using high-proof alcohol, does price tag make a difference? I don't drink (although do use wine or sherry or sake in cooking), so it's always a little overwhelming for me. Maybe a recommendation on a brand would be helpful? Will be experimenting this weekend or next!
  9. I've been playing with rice flour or various starches (corn, tapioca, potato) for frying batter, excluding apf due to various reasons. The batter is always perfect as it comes out of the oil, but after sitting a couple minutes before I get a chance to get them to the table, the food becomes soggy. I don't know why. However, if I reheat leftovers in the oven, the batter turns into something awesome. Recipes have varied from only a dusting to full on gooey booze-drenched batters. Frying has been tested between 350 and 400 F, small batches at a time. Food items are everything from veggies to meats. Any ideas?
  10. If you use the bulk foods section in your evaluation, make sure to actually compare pricing to pre-packaged. Most of the bulk foods prices are the same as the package prices at all three WFs near me, just FYI - almonds, walnuts, quinoa, oats, etc.
  11. Final follow up: turned out better than expected. My palate must've been screwed up from all the sugar on Sunday, after an overnight rest, they tasted good. Recipient thoroughly enjoyed it Now I need to research other sweets with coconut or peanuts. Something unusual. Thank you all for the help!
  12. I have a wet grinder, and they are good for nut butters. Super smooth. However, at room temp, all nut butters (sweetened and not) I've made are pretty much liquid. I've tried thickening them by adding a little water drop by drop, but that only goes so far before it seizes. It is kind of a specialized tool, though - I've only found a use to make chocolate, nut butters, and idli uttapam batter. I don't know what else to make with it. I also have a vitamix - love/hate. It is loud and as you mentioned, getting stuff from the bottom is awful, leads to some waste. I use mine intermittently to smooth out soups and make fresh flours. Smoothies tend to give me gas. When you say "choke" on the hummus stuff, are the blades actually stopping, or are you just getting a pocket of air in there where it makes noise but doesn't do anything?
  13. My family's cookie recipe didn't work, I kept getting very pasty/dry/crumbly texture, and ultimately ended up using a failed macaron-type batter (using aqua faba instead of egg whites), and double-baking.. it's the only way to get a crispy/crunch, and they are at just point of burning (cookie tastes.. bold ) Also, I'm not so sure about the coconut filling, right texture but strange taste, almost sour. I made a "dulce de coconut" (reduced coconut milk with coconut sugar for ~4 hours) and blitzed it with some coconut + powdered sugar. To keep the cookie from getting soft, there's a thin layer of chocolate inbetween. Almonds were slivered by hand, did the simple thing, after all this haha, sorry everyone. The chocolate is too thick, and taste wise probably too much "bite" - it's my own roasted, 73%, I might nix that and go to the store bought stuff. First time ever making dipped bonbon thingies. Fun and messy haha. I was afraid everything would be too sweet and cloying, as individual parts are, however, together it all just tastes "unique". Hah. Oh.. and in my first post I mentioned diet restrictions - they had to be gluten free and vegan, so this was extra challenging (I'm comfortable transcribing some recipes). With the taste being not quite what I'm expecting, considering just abandoning this, and maybe making heart shaped chocolate chip cookies since I can now do those with my eyes closed. Still a learning experience! And for the record, I absolutely loathe silicon heart shaped molds now. Stupid nooks and crannies take forever to clean out failed batches.
  14. Hi, and wow, thank you all for the ideas! You all provided inspiration, thank you so much for helping someone new here! I think we're getting close, after trying a few variations. Long story short, the almond butter cookie didn't work for me, they were soft, no texture. Also did not like adding almond extract, tasted more like marzipan than almond to me. While waiting for the almond butter cookie to cool, I remembered that my folks make various nut-based cookies during christmas. The base recipe is similar to a pie crust, and instead of using the nut butter to make a cookie, you simply use ground nuts. Made a small test batch, it worked well, gave me a "ritz cracker" like bite. They did poof up and grow, even without baking soda/powder. I have a few more tests I want to run, and then will follow up. Thanks again
  15. Apologies for responding to a slightly older topic. I'm just a huge fan of tomatoes, couldn't help but share this, though a little late to the game. If you want to go a little away from conventional you can also do a consumme. Blitz ingredients in a blender (tomatoes, garlic, basil, etc, roasted or not, all good), toss them into a nut-milk bag (or flour sack cloth) hang in fridge over night. You'll get a clear, slightly-reddish liquid, that's your soup. Mix the left overs with some flour and optionally parmesan, roll out thin, bake to make tomato crackers along with the soup (melt some cheese on the cracker?). As others have said, the tomato itself is the key.
  16. Kerry: no, I'm trying to shape an almond into a number 1, complete with the foot and nose. Part of an inside joke. I'll be trying the cookie idea when I get home tonight, probably make the butter with the blender not the grinder (I don't have a food processor). Another thought, I could try cutting a shape out of a sliced almond. It's flat, but it'll be less work than whittling. From here, there are more options (e.g. stack a few stuck with a drop of syrup, or go minimalist).
  17. Lisa: That's a neat idea, thanks. I made peanut butter blossoms last weekend, first time ever. They were super soft, I think because it had no flour or other starches, so I'll try adding some and see what happens. I can use my indian wet grinder that I have to make a super smooth almond butter, but now I'm not sure I want to do that as that tends to result in a very runny product. Kerry: primary: I need a specific shape for the almond portion, secondary, I'm not doing an exact replica, but rather a spin off of it. I tried whittling the almonds by hand, but it's inefficient, painful, and my whittling skills are rather poor to begin with, my parents did not let me have knives as a kid :p.
  18. Good morning! Long story short: I am doing a spin off the coconut/chocolate/almond candy (almond joy), and trying to create a specific shape out of the almond. My hands are cramped after a couple dozen failed attempts whittling roasted almonds, so now I'd like to try a different approach, and instead, create some kind of sub-candy or cookie with roasted almonds that I can put into a mold or use a mini cookie cutter. I'm fairly new to sweets, my knowledge in this area is pretty slim. Some ideas so far, I don't like any, but it might help turn some gears: 1. dusting almond over a stencil, but that's not enough almond nor crunchy enough 2. almond brittle, but that's too hard and sweet, I'd like it more of a soft crunch, and bringing the almond flavor forward 3. meringue with almonds (sort of macaron-ish), however, weather has been humid and raining here, and I'm ending up with a gooey mess instead of that soft crunch In addition to having almond-forward taste and soft crunch texture, it'd be fun to explore something modernish - I have a accumulated a few tools and ingredients not customarily found in homes. There are dietary considerations I will have to account for, however, no need to worry about that now, I am just looking for ideas and a place to take it from there Thank you for your time in reading!
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