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Found 65 results

  1. Every now and then since December 2004, a good number of us have been getting together at the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off. Click here for the Cook-Off index. For our sixth Cook-Off, we're going to be making pad thai. You've surely eaten this Thai restaurant staple dozens of times, marvelling at the sweet, sour, hot, and salty marriage on your plate. There are lots of variations of pad thai floating around the internet, including one by mamster at the eGCI Thai Cooking course. While there is one ingredient -- rice noodles -- that may be hard for some to find, most ingredients or substitutes are available at your local grocer. And, if you're new to Thai cooking, isn't now a good time to get your first bottle of fish sauce or block of tamarind? In addition to the course, here are a few threads to get us started: The excellent Thai cooking at home thread discusses pad thai in several spots. A brief thread on making pad thai, and one on vegetarian pad thai. For the adventurous, here is a thread on making fresh rice noodles. Finally, a few folks mention pad thai in the "Culinary Nemesis" thread. Fifi, snowangel, and Susan in FL all mention in the fried chicken thread that pad thai is also a culinary nemesis of theirs. So, in true cook-off style, hopefully we can all share some tips, insights, recipes, and photos of the results! I'll start by asking: does anyone know any good mail-order purveyors for folks who can't purchase rice noodles at their local Asian food store?
  2. Cold Soups--Cook-Off XL eGullet Recipe Cook-Off Series Welcome to the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off! Click here for the Cook-Off index. From avocado to zucchini, cold soups know no bounds. And, with summer quickly approaching in the northern hemisphere, we thought it might be a good time to take a look at all the wonderful varieties of cold soups that work so well in the warmer months. After all, who doesn't remember that wonderful first slurp of an icy, spicy gazpacho? Or mixing your side of sour cream into a shockingly red borscht for a dish that is so much more than the sum of its parts. Perhaps yours was fancier, the potato and leek wonder known by its French name, vichyssoise...(and which, by the way, is also known as potage parmentier when served hot, according to Bernard Clayton, in his great primer The Complete Book of Soups and Stews; Clayton's book has 29 cold soup recipes - not bad). Stepping back in time, if you'll allow me to poach a couple of cold ones that I made last year, there's ample room for sweet as well as the savory. Strawberries make an awesome soup, or so I'm told. Cherries do too - just take a look below...this sour cherry soup was quite tasty, as well as a great vehicle for ice cream and sorbet ... Perhaps something a little more savory is to your liking...everyone loved cacik, a Turkish yogurt and cucumber soup, redolent with dill and garlic...though I may have served portions a bit too large - So, bring it on eG'ers - get out your blenders, hand mixers, food processors, chopping blocks, ice cubes, etc. and show us what's keeping you cool, at least in the soup department, this coming summer.
  3. Welcome to the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off! Click here for the Cook-Off index. As the first cool weather manifests itself, the quality of the ambient light changes. It stops us as we slog through the everyday world. The air we breathe takes on that crisp clarity that signals the end of Summer, and there is a mist at sunset. We find ourselves instinctively putting a pot on the fire. In France you would say it very simply: "Pot-au-feu." The simple concept of boiled meat and vegetables has probably been with us as long as people have cooked over a heat source. Each time a parent loads a crockpot with beef and vegetables before leaving for work in the morning, they are paying homage to the Pot-au-feu. The Pot-au-feu nets a wonderful meal and then generously provides a complex, but delicate, consommé (see our eGCI course, "Consomme") to be utilized for sauces and soups throughout the week. Enjoy the boiled meat and vegetables on their own -- a simple, straightforward, way of eating. Then, have a toasted slice of rustic bread, spread with the marrow robbed from the bone, and a bowl of broth. The "Pot on the Fire" is apparent no matter what point on the compass you look. In a traditional restaurant in Spain, you will find a Cocido Madriliano. In Italy, you will perhaps run across a fine Bollito. In the United Kingdom, one signature dish is surely the Scotch Broth. Then, there's the very good, old fashioned Yankee Pot Roast. Wherever you find it, the results of a pot on the fire are invariably described as "good" and "solid." Recipes are plentiful and varied. Every French cookbook dating back to the 1800's includes a variation on the Pot-au-feu. Molly Stevens features a great recipe in her book "All About Braising" that we explored here. Food writers from Escoffier to Julia Child to James Beard to Thomas Keller - all pay tribute to the Pot-au-feu. The ingredients are variable enough that you could probably find one that would be suitable for cleaning out nearly any fridge and freezer. So, let's pull out the stockpot or marmite, brush up on our braising skills in eGullet's eGCI Course and Lab on Braising and put it on the fire!
  4. Every now and then since December 2004, a good number of us have been getting together at the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off. Click here for the Cook-Off index. With the weather turning cold in the northern hemispere and the Cook-Off having avoided French cuisine for a little while, it's time to dabble with daubes. There are few things as restoring as a daube, the classic French braised meat stew (usually beef, though not always) that has as many recipes as adults in France. It also helps to develop several crucial braising techniques that will come in handy over the next few months for many of us, and if you develop a lovely relationship with your butcher in preparation for same, all the better. I've found two daube recipes quite wonderful: a fairly straightforward one from Saveur Cooks Authentic French and the other, "Daube of Beef in the Style of Gascony," from our own redoubtable Paula Wolfert and her Cooking of Southwest France. That multiday recipe was the cooking highlight of my holidays last year, and the best beef that my guests had ever eaten. (click here for the link to a discussion of my experience with that recipe.) Wolfert also kindly placed this recipe for oxtail daube into RecipeGullet; you can also click here for snowangel's prep and execution of the dish. There aren't hundreds of posts on daube around here, but there are quite a few interesting topics, such as one that considers Catalan Tuna Daube and another that asks the question, "Daube with veal?" Variationson the traditional beef daube can be found here and there, including in this topic on Daube de Gardian.
  5. Hello and welcome once again to the ever-popular eG Cook-Off Series. So far this year, we've showcased such divergent dishes as the popular diner classic Hash and the intricate details of Cured, Brined, Smoked and Salted Fish. This summer we argued about the sanctity of the National sandwich of Vietnam-the Banh Mi. (Click here http://forums.egulle...-cooking-forum/ for the complete eG Cook-Off index). Today we start a new adventure--a discussion of Gels, Jell-O and Aspic--a subject with unlimited possibilities for the cook. Gels are at once very traditional, yet at the same time a defining aspect of modernist cooking. Molded Jell-O salads and Tomato Aspic are cherished dishes whose roots reach back over 100 years. But gels aren't simply a jiggly dish found wiggling on a cafeteria line. Joel Robuchon's haute version of "Citron Gelee with Lemon Sorbet and Fraises des Bois," is a contemporary play on the gel theme. Science and technology have entered into gel cokkery in the 21st century. "Mussels in their Juice," (a dish crafted by the renowned Spanish Chef Ferran Adria), is an example of how today's Chefs employ highly sophisticated, scientific techniques to fascinate diners with whimsical dishes literally bursting with flavor. I'm thinking of doing a contemporary version of my Grandmother Edna Pink's Tomato Aspic. Family legend tells me that Grandmother Pink served her aspic at luncheons for the Twin Falls Ladies Bridge Club back in the 1930's. Now if I can just find that old copper mold.
  6. Welcome back to our reknowned eGullet Cook-Off Series. Our last Cook-Off, Bolognese Sauce, led to a spirited discussion over the intricacies of the beloved Italian meat sauce. Click here for the complete eG Cook-Off Index. Today we’re launching eGullet Cook-Off 58: Hash, the classic American diner dish. Yet what appears as a humble, one-name dish is anything but ordinary. The difficulty in defining “Hash” is exactly why we’ve chosen it for a Cook-Off—simple definitions don’t apply when one considers that Hash is a dish that transcends regional and international boundaries. The ingredients one chooses to put into their version of Hash are limitless--we aren’t just talking cold meat and leftover potatoes folks. I for one, always thought Hash came out of a can from our friends at Hormel Foods, (as in "Mary Kitchen" Corned Beef Hash). It looks like Alpo when you scoop it out of the can, but it sure fries up nice and crispy. After a few weeks of research in the kitchen, I’ve experienced a new appreciation for Hash. So start putting together the fixins for your Hash and let’s start cooking. Hash, it’s what’s for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.
  7. Welcome to the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off! Click here for the Cook-Off index. This cook-off: posole or pozole, the Mexican stew with hominy corn (the posole for which the dish is named). At the base of most posole is, of course, the corn itself, broth, and meat, usually pork. From there, well, the possibilities expand greatly. The pickin's on eG Forums are pretty slight: one discussion on dried vs fresh posole can be found here, there's a short topic here in the Mexico forum, and another asking questions here in Cooking. There are, however, two posole recipes in Recipe Gullet: fifi's barbeque posole and, well, my mother-in-law's fantastic recipe, which I'm calling Castañeda posole. Finally, our own rancho_gordo sells the remarkable stuff in the image above at his Rancho Gordo website. Posole is in my family's regular dinner rotation. Perhaps it is in yours -- or ought to be?
  8. Every now and then since December 2004, a good number of us have been getting together at the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off. Click here for the Cook-Off index. For our twenty-fourth Cook-Off, we're making kebabs, satays, and skewers. For a while, we toyed with the idea of calling the topic by the more generic and descriptive name, "Meat on a Stick." But we went with three possible interpretations of meat on a stick instead -- to which, of course, you should add your own. snowangel was kind enough to dig out a few jillion related topics here on eG Forums, including: Grub's Seekh Kebab Demo Lamb Kebabs ala Monica Bhide Seekh Kebabs Authentic Chicken Kebab recipe I Love Kebabs Fish Kebabs Shish Kebab Beef Satay Satay -- anyone have a real good, authentic recipe? So, techniques? Skewer styles? Seasonings? Favorite meats? Sauces? Let's see 'em all!
  9. Welcome to this second anniversary eGullet Recipe Cook-Off! Click here for the Cook-Off index. A click on that index shows that, while the Cook-Offs have ventured throughout the globe, but they've never stopped in Africa. One could say we've passed through -- gumbo, for example, is widely acknowledged to have roots in Africa, among other places. So, for the first Cook-Off rooted in African cuisine, we'll be cooking up mafé, otherwise known as peanut or groundnut stew. Mafé is a traditional west African dish that can be found in the kitchens of Senegal and Mali. It's often served with a starch of some sort (rice, most often) to soak up the nutty stew juices, or, alternately, the starch is part of the stew itself, resulting in a drier braise. While there are a few mentions of mafé in eG Forums, there are no discussions of actually preparing it that I can find except this brief post by yours truly. There are a few recipes elsewhere, including this stew-like one and this more braise-y one, both of which are from the Food Network. Mafé is a forgiving cold-weather dish, and one that, like most stews, benefits from reheating (read: swell as leftovers). I'm convinced that mafé is one of the great one-pot dishes in global cuisine, built on a solid base of sautéed onions, peanut-thickened stock, and hearty meat. Like other classics such as gumbo, cassoulet, and bibimbap, it affords tremendous variation within those guides; it would be hard to find very many vegetables that haven't made an appearance in a mafé pot somewhere, and there are lots of possibilities concerning herbs and spices. (I like to increase the heat quite a bit with cayenne, which I think plays off the silk of the nut oil just perfectly, for example.) Finally, it's a pleasant surprise if you've never had a savory peanut dish before, and kids in particular tend to think it is the bee's knees. The kitchen fills with a heady aroma -- browned onion, ground peanuts -- that's hard to describe and resist. So: who's up for mafé?
  10. Every now and then since December 2004, a good number of us have been getting together at the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off. Click here for the Cook-Off index. For our nineteenth Cook-Off, we're making eggs, beaten, with stuff in them. All right, all right, so the name sucks. Feel free to pick your own favorite from among the other suggestions: "Souffles, Frittatas, Omelettes," my best shot but too European for my tastes; "Eggs, Filled, Folded, Fluffed," snowangel's variation on the one I went with; "Eggstravaganza!" -- a name we'll have to save for the Broadway musical adaptation of this cook-off. What we're talking about here are egg dishes that require beating the eggs -- either en masse a la the omelette or yolk and white separately then combined a la the soufflé -- and then combining them with other ingredients. This is an admittedly wide berth, but you probably get the drift. Frittata? Yes. Deviled eggs? No (not beaten). It seems to me like a good cook-off idea because eggs, beaten, with stuff in them appear throughout the cuisines of the world. We've got the eGCI course on omelettes here and the Q&A here. There are at least two solid threads on Italian frittatas here and here. Check out the chawanmushi in this tamago thread. My initial attempts at searching suggest that we're still in need of a definitive Bindae-dduk recipe (the Korean omelette), and I think that we may see a few egg foo yungs before the cook-off is over. So fire up the skillets, people, and get out those whisks. This promises to be eggcellent! Ok, I couldn't resist.
  11. Welcome to the eGullet Cook-off 47 - Asian Tofu Dishes! Click here for the Cook-Off index. Our last cook-off took us to Mexico, where we learned to make the enchilada in all its glorious varieties. Tofu: much maligned, long the subject of jokes involving hippies, health-food stores, granola and Birkenstocks; it may now be poised for a moment in the spotlight. Low calorie, low in cholesterol, and low in price - it seems like an ideal protein for these lean times. However, its bland face and demure demeanor on the plate have left many of us wondering what to do with it. An answer can be found in the profusion of dishes made in Asia, whether it's a boiling bowl of sundubu jigae in Korea; a subtle side dish of agedashi tofu in Japan; or a searing plate of ma po tofu in China. In Asia, fresh tofu can be silken or firm; fried; braised; boiled in a stew or served cold with seasonings. As Asian tables feature a balance of dishes, tofu is rarely used as a meat replacement on its own. It's often used to stretch or complement the flavour of meat, or as a cooling counter-point to other dishes. Good quality fresh tofu is worth seeking out for its creamy texture and delicate flavour, which will benefit your finished dish. Here in the forums, we've talked about where it came from; discussed Japanese dishes and even fermented tofu. In true eGullet fashion, we've also made our own. In our eGullet Culinary Institute, we have an excellent course on Japanese soy products, along with an enlightening Q&A follow-up. Maybe you've always cruised right on by the tofu section in your local Asian supermarket, or turned your nose up at the plastic packs in your produce department. Maybe you already know your momen from your foo yu. Either way, please join us here in learning new recipes or sharing your favourite Asian tofu methods and dishes.
  12. Every now and then since December 2004, a good number of us have been getting together at the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off. Click here for the Cook-Off index. For our twelfth Cook-Off, we're going to continue the cool food trend with composed salads. Ok, yes, another northern-hemisphere-centric cook-off: mea culpa. But even if you've been in the hazy, hot, and humid zone the last six or eight weeks, you surely can appreciate the pleasures of a good composed salad. Which is... what exactly? Well, Dave the Cook found this definition from The New Food Lover's Companion on the FoodTV website: That'll do for now -- but if you have a working definition of your own, please share! Unfortunately and unusually, our eGulleteer forebears haven't done too much research on our behalf. Save for a few threads on Waldorf salad, potato salad, and the like, there aren't too many topics devoted to our composed salad days. Whither Cobb? Nicoise? And what about the composed salad traditions in Thailand, Russia, and elsewhere? What should one drink with them? How should one serve them? Roll up your sleeves and get to steaming, whisking, chopping, and assembling!
  13. Welcome back to the long-running eGullet Cook-off Series. Today we're launching Cook-Off #56: Savory-Filled Pastry. Click here for the Cook-off Index. In the UK, they call them "Pasties," in India they are referred to as "Samosa's," and in Latin countries they are called "Empanadas." Savory-Filled Pastries are the perfect little bite-combining multiple flavors and textures-crisp yet light, flaky pastry enveloping a warm cocoon of savory filling. They are the definition of street food-you eat them with your hands and just a few bites will sate your appetite. Often the simplest, most humble dishes are ones that open the cook to a myriad of creative possibilities--should the dough be made exclusively with butter or should we work in some vegetable oil or rendered pork lard for another flavor and texture element? Will the pastry hold up to the hot, juicy filling and shock of frying in oil? We talked about the best pastry for Samosa's here. Should the filling be ground beef or braised, shredded beef? What about minced lamb in a spicy chile sauce? We can make a savory filling with seafood, perhaps spicy shrimp in a peanut curry sauce? What about a vegetarian pastry filled with pickled eggplant spiced with ras el hanout? Do we deep-fry our savory-filled pastries or fry them in oil in a skillet? If we bake our little savory-filled bundles are we still being true to the intent of the dish? We've relished in Great Moments in Deep-Frying here. I'll admit I never knew how much I would fall in love with these tasty bites until I made a batch-now I'm addicted. So let's get cooking and showcase our best savory-filled pastries.
  14. Welcome back to our eGullet Cook-off Series. Recent Cook-Offs challenged our skills with Grilled Chicken, Gratins, Shrimp & Grits and Savory-Filled Pastries. (Click here for the Cook-Off Index). Today we’ll be launching eGullet Cook-Off 57: Bolognese Sauce. We've discussed Bolognese in the past here, but let's revist this classic dish and get into the heart,(with lots of discussion and photos), of one of the most traditional of all Italian sauces. Bolognese Sauce, (often called “Ragu” Bolognese), dates back literally hundreds of years to the 5th century when the Romans were in power. Yet the historical records as to who actually created Bolognese Sauce are somewhat sketchy. Even more unclear is the question as to what is the “definitive” Bolognese Sauce. The argument over the ingredients that go into a Bolognese is probably as deep as the complex, rich flavors of this classic sauce. As with many legendary recipes, there are literally thousands of variations of Bolognese-the meat, the vegetables, the spices, the “tomato” element and the pasta are all points for heated discussion and that’s exactly why we’ve chosen Bolognese sauce for our latest Cook-off. Along the way, I’ll be sharing a few suggestions for Bolognese from a James Beard Award-Winning Chef known for his expertise in Italian cuisine. Start scribing your shopping list and assembling your ingredients and let's get in the kitchen and cook some Bolognese Sauce.
  15. Welcome to the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off! Click here for the Cook-Off index. Perhaps the most internationally well-known food from Jamaica involves the spicy dry-rub Jerk seasoning, cooked in a 55-gallon drum converted into a charcoal grill, and served screaming-hot as street food across the island. While most of us don't have 55-gallon drums in our backyards, jerk-style meats (and even tofu!) are perfect for outdoor grilling, and (in a pinch) roasting for those without access to a grill. The recipes in RecipeGullet have the common theme of Allspice and Scotch Bonnet peppers, in addition to the inclusion of scallions, garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. We have a recipe for Jerk Chicken and for Jamaican Jerk Paste which it seems can be readily adapted to nearly any protein, with pork, goat, and chicken being the best-known examples. In addition, entire cookbooks exist dedicated to the subject—Jerk from Jamaica: Barbecue Caribbean Style, for example. Here on the eGullet Forums we have topics devoted to Jerk Chicken, Jerk Sauce, Jerk Pork, a discussion on the authenticity of using Soy Sauce in Jerk, and even some advice on Oil Drum Cooking. What is your "house blend" of Jerk spices? Soy Sauce included, or sacrilege? Doin' your thing over gas, or burning Pimento Wood, or living in an apartment with no grill and winging it?
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