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Found 65 results

  1. nakji

    Slaws -- Cook-off 49

    Welcome to Cook-off 48: Slaws! Our complete Cook-off Index is here. Summer usually means that we've dusted off our salad bowls; we've been debating pillowcases versus OXO over in the salad spinner topic. Some of us are already making plans for this year's tomato crop. But if you're sick of lettuce, and your tomatoes are still green on the vine, it might be time to get out your mandoline and start shredding. Our slaw Cook-off embraces a whole range of shredded salads. Everyone loves coleslaw - although opinions differ on whether a creamy dressing or a vinegar dressing is superior. You can have it out here, or make your case for both. Maybe you add nuts, apples, or broccoli. Maybe you only adhere to the spirit of slaw, and make yours with green papaya and chili, like they do in Thailand. Whichever way you slice or dress it, come join us in shredding your salad.
  2. snowangel

    Feijoada--Cook-Off 38

    Welcome to the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off! Click here for the Cook-Off index. As many of us in North America slog through the last bit of winter, time for a hearty and warming dish -- Feijoada. Reseach indicates that this is a Brazilian and Portugese dish of black beans and various pork products, although an old issue of Saveur (the Jan/Feb 2005 Top 100 issue) refers to a Feijoada de Polvo, an octopus stew. There are a few topics on eG about feijoada -- one is here and another one here. And, johnnyd made some beautiful looking feijoada during his foodblog. Scroll down in his blog to see the feijoda-making in progress, as well as the accompanying salad and cocktails. Get out those pots, start sourcing the appropriate black beans and pork products and let's make feijoada!
  3. Chris Amirault

    Burgers/Meatloaf--Cook-Off 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. Over the last few weeks, there are been two camps vying for particular cook-off dishes. On the one hand, those people in the northern hemisphere who are heralding the arrival of grilling weather are eager to have a cook-off on that grilling favorite, the burger. On the other hand, several people have been pushing meatloaf for the next cook-off, against the objections of the burger grillers, who don't want to heat up their kitchens with their ovens. (While I haven't heard from those in the southern hemisphere, I can imagine that a toasty kitchen might be just the thing as the days grow colder.) I hate such dilemmas between well-meaning, kind-hearted food folk, and I've been stalling about the tenth cook-off for a while now. But this past weekend, as I was grinding a chuck roast for burgers and had a couple of pounds left over, I heard a voice in my head.... Yes, as with many of my life dilemmas, I was freed from the blur of misunderstanding when I read Jinmyo's post in the Don't Make Fun of My Sandwich! thread. And I thought: what a brilliant idea! So! For our tenth Cook-Off, we're going to pick up Jinmyo's gauntlet and battle burgers versus meat loaf. Let's face it: both involve ground meat of some sort mixed with other ingredients (or none) and cooked until done (whatever that means). As we know from the sandwich thread above, many meatloaf acolytes enjoy a slab of their terrine between two slices of bread -- practically a burger, when you think of it. Of course, one of these versions of ground meat is clearly better than the other, and you must surely be in possession of a string of rigorously logical criteria that demonstrates the superiority of your own opinion. So make your case, not only in words but in pictures, through which you can show us all why burgers are best -- or, conversely, why meatloaf is most excellent! As always, we can thank our eGulleteer forebears, who have been struggling with this existential dilemma for some time. For burgers, there's the The Perfect Burger thread, a slew of threads in the regional forums on burger hunts, the Turkey Burger thread, and the How to Cook a Burger at Home thread. For meatloaf expertise, we have one meatloaf thread, another meatloaf thread, a Meat Loaf Sandwich thread, the best of the several Terrine threads, and the aforementioned "Don't Make Fun!" thread, in which both burgers and meat loaf are discussed.
  4. Chris Amirault

    Grilled Chicken -- eG Cook-Off 53

    Welcome to eG Cook-Off 53, grilled chicken! (For previous Cook-Offs, check out the eG Cook-Off Index.) For such a ubiquitous summer protein, there have been few eG Forums topics on the subject. CDRFloppingham asked us to consider his grilled chicken dilemmas over in this topic, and there have been a few discussions about par-cooking chicken prior to grilling, a recent long one here and a brief excursion into the topic here (during the Cradle of Flavor topic). But parcooking is just the tip of the wing. Rubs or marinades? Gas or charcoal? Direct or indirect? Whole, spatchcocked, or parts? When do you add salt? Acid? Anyone want to drag the grill out and throw a few birds on it? Just keep your hands off the charred skin I "accidentally" pulled from that stray thigh....
  5. Chris Amirault

    Tempura--Cook-Off 22

    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-second Cook-Off, we're making that familiar non-sushi Japanese restaurant stand-by, tempura. Reading up on tempura for this cook-off, I've learned a few things that surprised me. Apparently tempura is an early version of east-west fusion, in that the dish is often credited as having origins in the Spanish and Portuguese missions of the 16th century. Of course, the dipping sauce and the shredded daikon were uniquely Japanese touches. Having had mediocre tempura many times, I ate one meal at a tempura specialty restaurant in Tokyo many years ago, and instantly realized -- of course -- that my tastes were bastardized by poor imitations here in the U.S. Though I ate many wonderful deep-fried courses, I also drank far too many wonderful Asahi Dry beers at the prompting of my hosts, so don't remember too much about the preparation save for the huge caldrons of oil, the constant grating of daikon, and the surprisingly small bowls of batter. In his brilliant, encyclopedic, essential Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art, Shizuo Tsuji explains in typically perfect prose that the proper batter is, indeed, crucial: Carefully chosen, fresh ingredients, some hot fry oil, and lumpy batter: sounds like a perfect dish for the cook-off novice and veteran alike! Unless I'm missing something (always a possibility), there's not a lot going on here on eGullet involving tempura. There are a couple of Cooking topics here and here, and there's a brief discussion of the origin of the term "tempura" in the Japan forum here. So I think we'll be forging new ground, folks. Who's going to start us off?
  6. Chris Amirault

    Chili – Cook-Off 15

    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 fifteenth Cook-Off, we're making chili. I'll admit that most cook-off dishes are inspired by compelling tales from eGulleteers, or particularly memorable dishes, or somesuch. This time around, it was the What is wrong with this chili thread that did it. In that thread lurks a recipe so utterly defiling that it forced me to do a cook-off to erase the Frankenchili from memory. Click, ye who dare. But chili seems a good cook-off dish for a lot of reasons. There's lots of secret tricks (peanut butter, cinnamon, baby arugula and fig jam ) to share; cuts of meat must be discussed; the great bean debate can be commenced, as can those devoted to rice, cheese, onions, sour cream, chocolate chips (I'm not kidding), and other toppings. Who knows: someone might actually post a vegetarian chili and risk ridicule from a Lone Star Stater! Finally and as always, the eGullet Society is boiling over with experts ready to share ideas and recipes for this dish. Start by clicking here,here,here,and here.We've also got RecipeGullet recipes here,here,here,here (purists beware),here (ditto),and here (double ditto). You got a beef about how chili must be made? Let's hear it! Get out the dutch ovens and crock pots, people! And if anyone wants to take a crack at the Frankenchili, we're all dying to know!
  7. Chris Amirault

    Cook-off 1--Cassoulet

    [This is the first cook-off; click here for the Cook-Off index. -- CA] In Culinary Bear's great thread on confit, Al_Dente mentions that he's thinking about trying Bourdain's cassoulet recipe in January. Turns out I had had the exact same dish in mind (and I finally just ordered Les Halles Cookbook from Amazon, with the eGullet link of course, to be able to use his recipe), and it made me wonder: Every couple of weeks, might it be possible for us to select some recipe, either from eGullet or a well-known cookbook, and all make it, eat it, snap photos of it, and compare notes and pix? I'm thinking of more involved dishes (like cassoulet). Like the Wine of the Week gang, different people could get tagged to facilitate, nag, and so on. I suggest this because I'm usually the only person in my non-virtual life who would be compelled to discuss the absurdly picayune points of cooking, but I can imagine a large number of similar obsessives around eGullet. If enough people are game, I think it would be a blast! So, what do you think? Any takers?
  8. snowangel

    Paella--Cook-Off 31

    Welcome to this edition of the eG Cook-Off! Click here for the eG Cook-Off index. This time around, paella is going to be on the table. I've had it but once or twice, and this eG Cook-Off now a bit about preparing it -- what to include, what to exclude, what kind of rice to use, and the appropriate cookware. There is a bit of stuff floating around here on making paella, including the Paella topic, one on fideua (a noodle paella) and a couple on paella pans (one on carbon steel vs. stainless steel and another on smooth vs. pebbley interiors). There's also a recipe in RecipeGullet for Rice with Salt Cod, Chickpeas and Red Peppers and one for a Seafood Paella. Then, there are books about paella. The first one that came to mind was one I saw at the library a few days ago: Paella!: Spectacular Rice Dishes From Spain by Penelope Casas. There's also La Paella: Deliciously Authentic Rice Dishes from Spain's Mediterranean Coast by Jeff Koehler. I know nothing about cooking paella, just that I like it! For starters, do I really need to buy a paella pan for something I won't cook very often? Are there absolutely required ingredients?
  9. 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.. Oh, those little dumpling pillows filled with broth! They are a favorite at dim sum places, and it's time we tried our hand at making them. There are many topics on where to get the best ones in different cities and a few on making your own (and there seem to be many different spellings on these lucious dumplings): Xiao Lun Bao/ Soup Dumpling Recipes Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Tang Bao) Xiaolong Bao Little Steamed Juicy Buns Let's talk filling, technique, wrappers, and just how to get those perfect topnots, and then let's eat!
  10. Welcome to the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off! Click here for the Cook-Off index. This cook-off focuses on felafel. I've enjoyed fine felafel here in the US and overseas, but I have literally no idea how to make this, the national street food of at least a handful of Middle Eastern countries. Several people who have recommended this cook-off did so because, while they felt they had some clues, they didn't really have a consistently successful recipe or method. Sounds like a good cook-off topic, eh? There are a few topics on the felafel matter, including this one on tips and tricks, an older topic that finds more woes than techniques, and this preparation topic, How Do You Like Your Falafel? I also found this recipe by Joan Nathan, which seems like it might be useful. But what do I know? Not much, I'll tell you. Time to chime in, you!
  11. Welcome to the eGullet Cook-Off XLV! Click here for the Cook-Off index. After our recent braised brisket and ossobuco Cook-Offs, we thought it was time for a change. We're going from soft and succulent meat to crisp and crunchy fried potatoes. Whether you call them fries, frites or chips, it's time to get the deep fryer (or pot of oil) going. Fries are a popular topic in the eG Forums. For a seemingly simple dish, there's a lot to discuss. First, we need to know what kind of potatoes to use. The standard seems to be the Idaho potato, but I prefer a good red, while some of our members like to experiment with sweet potatoes. Next, what kind of oil do you use? Peanut, canola, soybean? Is there a difference? How about duck fat? Then there's the method - fry once? Fry twice at different temperatures? Do you peel them, soak them in water, use a deep fryer or a pot of oil? Now is the time to try the Robuchon Method if you haven't yet. Finally, what's your condiment of choice? Ketchup, mayo and vinagars (malt or white) are common, but I'm sure Society members are getting creative. Potatoes are still inexpensive so stock up, get your knife out, heat the oil and tell us how you do fries.
  12. Welcome back to our popular eGullet Cook-Off Series. Our last Cook-Off, Hash, took us into a heated discussion of the meat of the matter--should it be chopped, hashed, sliced, diced, or chunked. Click here, for our Hash discussion, and the answers to all of your questions about this beloved diner staple. The complete eG Cook-Off Index can be found here. Today we’re launching eGullet Cook-Off 59: Cured, Brined, Smoked and Salted Fish. Drying fish is a method of preservation that dates back to Ancient times, but more recently, (let’s say a mere 500 years ago or so), salt mining became a major industry in Europe and salt was a fast and economical way of preserving fish. Curing agents like nitrates were introduced in the 19th century, furthering the safety and taste of preserved fish. Where I live in the Pacific Northwest, Native Americans have been preserving fish and seafood for millennia. While we are best known for our ruby-red, oily-rich, smoked salmon, other species of fish found in the Pacific and in our streams are delicious when cured and smoked including Halibut, Sablefish and Idaho Rainbow Trout. And don’t think that you can’t smoke shellfish, alder-smoked Dungeness Crab is a wondrous Pacific Northwest delicacy that evokes memories of crab roasting over a driftwood fire on the beach. Another method of preserving fish is to bath the beauties in a brine—a combination of water, sugar, salt and spices that adds flavor and moisture to fish before it is dried or smoked. And speaking of smoked fish, you can do it in a small pan on top of the stove, in a cast iron drum, a barbecue pit, an old woodshed or a fancy digital smoker. The methods and flavors produced by smoking fish are endless. Old-fashioned ways of preserving fish, (while adequate at the time), aren't always the best method today. Today's technology provides us with the tools to create cured fish that is moist, succulent, tender and with a hint of smoke. The Modernist movement has certainly played a role in bringing this age-old craft into the 21st century, so for the avant-garde in the crowd, show us your creative wizardry for preserving fish the "modern" way. Cured, Brined, Smoked or Salted, the art of preserving fish opens us up to limitless possibilities that transcend the boundaries of cuisine and culture. So let’s sew-up the holes in our fishnets, scrub the barnacles off the rowboat and set out to sea in search of some delectable fish to cure, brine, smoke and salt.
  13. Chris Amirault

    Gumbo -- Cook-Off 3

    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 third Cook-Off, we've chosen gumbo (or gumbo ya-ya), the roux-based cajun stew. Unlike char siu bao, at which I'm still a novice, I've been making gumbo since I first taught myself to cook in college, starting with Paul Prudhomme's recipe in his first book (which I was fortunate to watch the kitchen cook on a trip to K-Paul's in 1986), and working through virtually every recipe I've found. Gumbo is an astonishingly varied dish, much like cassoulet, about which there are great arguments concerning what must or must not go into the pot: gumbo file powder (ground sassafras), crawfish, andouille sausage, okra, fish, chicken, pork, hocks.... The agreed-upon basics involve a dark roux (flour and oil paste), to which diced onions, bell peppers, and celery are added, to which a hot stock is incrementally added, to which seasonings are added, absolutely including a good batch of ground chili pepper. From there, the sky's the limit. As it turns out, I made a massive batch of gumbo last night (with sides of collards, corn bread, and rice), most of which is being frozen for the arrival of Bebe, our daughter, due March 27 or thereabouts. I was able to use some wonderful fresh Maine shrimp and excellent monkfish tails, but: in my haste I didn't fry up the okra dipped in cornmeal to sprinkle on the top, the quality of the chicken turned out to be mediocre, and the "andouille" was chicken sausage from Whole Foods (please don't revoke my eGullet membership because of this -- ). But, like sex, even when homemade gumbo isn't good, it's GOOD, so I'm game for another batch real soon! So get out your digital cameras and stew pots!
  14. annecros

    Cold Noodles--Cook-Off 33

    Welcome to the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off! Click here for the Cook-Off index. This time, we're focusing on cold noodles, suggested by Society Member "Hiroyuki" as a great way to beat the Summer heat. Some version of a cold noodle dish can be found in virtually any cusine in the world. Whether you've wanted to try your hand at Somen (Japanese cold noodles), Nang Myung (Korean), or Aunt Irene's Cold Pasta Salad let's go for it! Let's talk about the various types of noodles and each one's virtues! Homemade vs. dried? Dressings and additions? Nosing around the forums brought up several topics: "Pasta Salad" the topic "Cold Noodles w/ Szechuan v. Dan Dan Mein" "Pasta Salad for Father's Day" "Pasta Salad lacking Nuance" "Nyang Mun (Naengmyun) Korean cold noodle dish" RecipeGullet offers these great looking recipes: "Cold Peanut Noodles" "Orzo Salad with Apricots" "Curried Macaroni Salad" I am not familar with anything other than cold pasta salad with ranch dressing dumped on it (I know, I know, but my kids consider it the required side dish for BBQ) - so I am looking for cookbooks that can help me out. I am considering the following: "The Noodle Cook Book: Delicious Recipes for Crispy, Stir-Fried, Boiled, Sweet, Spicy, Hot and Cold Noodles" by Hayto Kunumi "Noodle" by Terry Durack and Geoff Lung "James McNair's Cold Pasta" by James McNair "Garde Manger, The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen" by The Cuinary Institute of America Any other good cookbook suggestions out there? Who's up for some cold comfort in July?
  15. weinoo

    Lamb Stew -- Cook-Off 50

    Lamb Stew -- Cook-Off 50 eGullet Recipe Cook-Off Series Welcome to eG Cook-Off 50. Click here for the Cook-Off index. Lamb stew can be called by so many different names, in so many different languages. It can be a navarin, ragout or even a daube. It might be called mishmishiya in Egypt, where the name comes from the Arabic word for apricot, or mishmish; apricots make up a large part of the recipe. It's a tagine in Morocco, certainly. And a calderete de cordero in parts of Spain. In Peru you might eat seco de cordero, lamb stew with vegetables, while lamb curries are popular in Africa, India, Indonesia and Malaysia, amongst other locales. But whatever you call it, in whatever language you'd like, lamb stew is a great dish. Wanna use the neck or shoulder? Go right ahead. How about the breast? Be my guest. Is it a leg you prefer? Well, jump right in. That's what makes lamb stew so good (besides the taste) - you can use practically any part of the animal (though you wouldn't really want to use the loin) and be assured of a tasty, tender dish that will wow your friends and family alike. As a matter of fact, this month's issue of Saveur, # 123, has a great cover and stories about lamb, and inside the mag is a pictorial guide to all the cuts of lamb - almost everything you need to know. Me - I like the shoulder. The other day I popped over to my butcher shop, where I was able to procure basically a whole front part of a lamb - both shoulders and the neck, actually. I took both shoulders, which were kindly boned out for me; the bones, of course, were used to make 2 quarts of delicious lamb stock...perfect to add another layer of flavor to my stew. Here's the butcher at work, while some beautiful shoulder and bones await their fate. Now, I don't know exactly what type of stew I'm going to cook tomorrow, but the apartment is going to smell great and the neighbors down the hall are going to ask me what's for dinner. So let's see amd hear all about your favorite way of preparing lamb stew, recipes and all. I'm getting hungry.
  16. David Ross

    Grilled Pizza--Cook-Off 48

    Welcome to our latest eGullet Cook-off, number 48, Grilled Pizza. You can find the complete Cook-Off Index here. Our last cook-off took us into the world of Asian Tofu dishes. Tofu, one of the world’s oldest and most versatile vegetable proteins-an inexpensive ingredient that yields exotic and flavorful dishes. When Summer weather beckons, we move the kitchen outdoors and onto the grill, the smoker, the barbecue or the hibachi. And while we typically associate outdoor grilling with meats, fish and vegetables, there is another favorite food that is delicious when grilled on the barbecue-pizza! Of course, pizza is the subject of great debate. In fact, two recent topics on pizza have garnered quite a lot of discussion in the eGullet forums-“The best pizza in New York,circa 1999” here and “Alan Richman’s Top 25 Pizzas,” here. When you think about it, grilling a pizza over an open fire on your barbecue grill makes perfect sense-traditional pizza ovens are fired with wood or white-hot coals. Grilling a pizza results in a crispy-crust with a smoky flavor and oozing cheese. And a grilled pizza doesn’t have to be savory-fruits and sweet pizzas are wonderful on the grill-caramelized fruit sugars mingling with sweet cheese and honey are just one of the endless possibilities. Please join us as we explore the art of grilling pizza and the creation of some unique dishes for your summer barbecue parties.
  17. weinoo

    Braised Brisket -- Cook-Off 43

    Welcome to the eGullet Cook-Off XLIII. Click here for the Cook-Off index. In the past, we've taken a look at braised brisket in a topic devoted to anything and everything about the dish. This cook-off will dive even more deeply into that most complex of cuts. Ahhh, brisket...that wondrous cut of, in this case, beef (other animals have briskets too) - from the front part of the animal...take a look and see from where it comes... The brisket is the front part of the breast, and a whole boneless brisket weighs anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds. A brisket is generally divided into two parts, called the flat and the point, with the flat cut being leaner and the point cut having (imo) more flavor due to it's extra fat cap (btw, the point is often called the deckel). It is also an inexpensive cut that requires long, slow cooking to break down the collagen in the connective muscle tissues in order to achieve tenderness. The fat helps to keep it nice and moist. Briskets can be prepared in many ways. In some places, the whole brisket is smoked - low and slow, sometimes for as long as 24 hours. Lots of brisket is corned (a wet cure), and then cooked up with potatoes and cabbage, or, sliced and piled high on a sandwich, lunchtime dreams are fulfilled...often with pickles and cole slaw, but hold the mayo, please. In Asian cooking, brisket is often used as a wonderful base for soup - think beef pho, and you'll get the picture. Pastrami, by the way, is prepared in a similar way to corned beef - but dry cured and then smoked. Now, for our purposes and this cook-off, we're going to look at braised brisket. Whether you braise it on top of the stove or in the oven, wrapped in aluminum foil or naked, with wine, beef broth, water (liquids are necessary because this is braised brisket, after all) it's time to get out those heavy duty pots and pans, prepare your mirepoix, and share with us your most wonderful braised brisket recipes.
  18. 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 seventh Cook-Off, due to an overwhelming campaign by a lurking group of Greek cuisine fans, we're going to be making mousssaka. And listen up: y'all have some work to do! When it comes to moussaka, it's all Greek to me! I cannot find a single solid lead on an eGullet thread concerning moussaka. In addition, I cannot find a recipe for moussaka in RecipeGullet. Finally, I've never had nor cooked this dish, and the only cookbook I have that includes it (our own Paula Wolfert's great book on The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean) is explicitly non-traditional. So, as in any decent democracy in the wake of a power-shift, the reigns must now be handed over to you, my moussaka-loving friends, to guide us through the pleasures of this fine dish. Tell us, what exactly is it? What produced your eager advocacy? How does it address the cook-off criteria? What are its classic forms? What links might guide us? What recipes do you use? What techniques can we learn? Info! Photos! Opinions! Sing, Goddesses!!
  19. Chris Amirault

    Char Siu Bao--Cook-Off 2

    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 second Cook-Off, we've chosen char siu bao, or steamed bbq/roast pork buns. You've probably had this dim sum staple many times, often a tough dough encasing a gummy, cloying clump of pork -- . But if you had a good one, you know how ethereal the dough and amazing the double-cooked pork can be. And that's what we're going to be making, pillows of porky perfection! In my two previous home attempts to make char siu bao, the three distinct steps (marinating and cooking the pork; making the dough; constructing and steaming the filled buns) were fun and compelling but rife with screw-up possibilities. Questions I know I'll have include: How does one make perfect dough? What ingredients are crucial? What sorts of tips are also crucial? (For example, I've been told by a dim sum chef that bamboo steam racks are crucial to bao, and that metal steam racks don't work well at all.) What cut of pork, marinated in what concotion (including, essentially, shaoxing wine, aka Chinese sherry), cooked in what manner and for whom long, should we use? Some links to get us started: Here is an eG thread on char siu, broadly defined. Here's a thread on evaluating roast pork buns, with a discussion of NYC restaurants. Here's one on Wow! Bao! that expands rapidly into the tao of bao. I'm not at home, so I don't have any reference recipes to use, but I know I'll be checking Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's Chinese Banquet Cookbook and The Chinese Kitchen (both of which were iffy, if I remember correctly), and Barbara Tropp's Modern Art of Chinese Cooking. Saveur also had a recipe in the back of the issue sometime in 2002 or 03 (anyone remember that?). What other recipes will people be using? So let's go bao!
  20. Chris Amirault

    Lamb Curry--Cook-Off 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. For our third Cook-Off, we've chosen Indian lamb curry. Yes, it's true: that's a huge category for a cook-off, and saying "Indian" is about as stupidly broad as saying "American." However, like gumbo, there are some basic elements to most of the many, many permutations of this dish, and several cook-off participants wanted to start cooking Indian at home with several options. So, instead of choosing a specific lamb curry, I thought that having a conversation about those different permutations (like the gumbo okra/roux discussion, say) would be interesting and fun. I also wanted to avoid too particular ingredients that some of our cook-off pals can't get in certain places. A few things that we can discuss, photograph, and share include: -- the spice mixture: If you've never toasted your own spices, then you have a world of aromatic wonder ahead. I'm sure many people can share their ingredients, ratios, and toasting tips for curry powders that will blow away the garbage in your grocery's "spice" aisle. We can also have the ground vs. whole debate, if there are takers! -- the paste: many curry dishes involve frying a blended paste of onion, garlic, and/or ginger, along with the spices, in oil or ghee (clarified butter). I found that learning how to cook that paste -- which requires the same sort of patience demanded by roux -- was the key to making a deep, rich curry. -- accompaniments: rice dishes or bread (I have a pretty good naan recipe that I'd be glad to try out again). Here are a couple of related eGullet threads: lamb kangari a lamb and goat thread If anyone finds more, post 'em! So: find yourself a leg of lamb to bone, sharpen your knives, and get ready to update your spice drawer!
  21. 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 fourteenth Cook-Off, we're making bibimbap. Aficionados of Korean food and cooking are well aware of this famous dish, but many who have not had the pleasure might find this a surprising cook-off selection. Folks, I'm here to tell you that everyone should bring this remarkable dish into their repertoire. What is bibimbap, you ask? In a previous thread devoted to the subject, Jinmyo offered this typically inimitable explanation: True, some ingredients (the pickles known as kimchee and the red pepper paste known as gojuchang) may be a bit tricky for you to find, but we can summon up some possible substitutes. No special equipment is absolutely necessary, though if you have one of the stone or metal cook bowls known as dolsots, you'll want to use that. Like cassoulet, bibimbap inspires many debates about authenticity and regionalism, which means that the neophyte can experiment with great flexibility and still claim some amount of technical merit! Finally and as always, the eGullet Society is chock-a-block full of experts ready to share ideas and recipes for the various components of this dish, not only on the thread referenced above (click the little pink box in the quotation) but also here, here, and here, with a kimchee thread here and a kochuchang thread here. So turn on your rice cookers and get your beef a-marinating -- and if you have any soju handy, get it damned cold!
  22. Chris Amirault

    Crepes--Cook-Off 23

    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-third Cook-Off, we're making crêpes. There's been an intense push for a crepe cook-off for many months, and we've finally arrived! While usually considered to be French, crêpes have made their way into lots of other cuisines and, in some cases, were there long before the French ever showed up. A definition from wikipedia, s'il vous plait: In addition, there are banh xeo, the Vietnamese crêpe, banh chiao, the Khmer version, dosas from India -- heck, I think you could make the argument that injera is something of a crepe. So far on eG Forums, we've got a General topic devoted to crêpe fillings, a Pastry & Baking topic devoted to crêpe technique, a topic on Japanese crêpes (which are pretty eclectic, let me tell you), another on injera, and a topic and recipe devoted to mille crêpes. I also found this charming pictorial how-to, which would suggest that you need neither a fancy crêpe pan nor one of those T-thingies to push the batter around. Let's see some crêpes, folks!
  23. David Ross

    eG Cook-Off #64: Confit

    Fall is but a whisper of the recent past--at least it is where I live in the upper reaches of Eastern, Washington. We had our first fluff of snow a week ago and a reasonable November storm is predicted for this weekend with temperatures holding at a chilly 18 degrees at night. Along with the rumblings of cold winter weather and Holiday feasts, we turn our culinary musings to time-treasured, comfortable dishes. And so I invite you to join me in another kitchen adventure--the inimitable eG Cook-Off Series. In 2013, we've tackled the tricky cooking of Squid, Calamari and Octopus and we made delicious dishes out of the humble Summer Squash. (Click here http://forums.egulle...cook-off-index/ for the complete eG Cook-Off Index). But today we're shunning all manner of counting calories, salt or fat content--for what is rich in flavor is good for the soul my dear friends. Please join me in crafting, nuturing and savoring a dish of Confit.
  24. David Ross

    Cook-Off 60: Banh Mi

    Today we’ve reached a milestone, the 60th edition of one of the most popular discussions that graces our forums—the eGullet Cook-Off Series. (Click http://forums.egulle...m/#entry1581324 here for the complete eG Cook-Off Index). In celebration of reaching Cook-Off #60, we’ll be discussing a sandwich that is a marriage of French and Vietnamese cultures. A sandwich that has crossed international borders and now finds itself on restaurant menus throughout the world. It’s served on fine china at white tablecloth dining rooms and it’s delivered on a paper plate out of a food truck parked in downtown Manhattan. Yes, friends, you’ve guessed the subject of Cook-Off #60-the Banh Mi sandwich, the current king of sandwichdom.
  25. Welcome to the 2013 kick-off of our popular eG Cook-Off Series. In 2012, our Cook-Offs ran the gamut from “Hash,” to “Cured, Brined, Smoked and Salted Fish,” onto “Banh Mi” and ending the 2012 season with a discussion of “Gels, Jell-O, Aspic.” (Click here http://forums.egullet.org/topic/143994-egullet-recipe-cook-off-index/ for the complet eG Cook-Off Index). I made a personal discovery during our “Gels, Jell-O, Aspic” Cook-off. I found a little metal Jell-O mold on a dark, back shelf in a kitchen cupboard. That little mold led to a cherished family memory and became the vessel that would hold one of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever crafted. (Click here http://forums.egullet.org/topic/143597-cook-off-61-gels-jell-o-and-aspic/ to read about the delicious jiggly dishes we created). Today we’re going to venture into the depths of a discussion about a sea-dweller that is so scary looking to some they refuse to eat the delicious little devils. The horrors of being presented with a steaming bowl of soup with little appendages peeking out. Join in and let’s put forth our very best “Squid, Calamari and Octopus” dishes. Knowing your passion for cuisine, I don’t expect to see squid rings coated in gummy batter and deep-fried to the point that they bounce on the floor like a rubber ball. No, I’m guessing we’ll plate some fabulous dishes that showcase the versatility of these unique creatures.
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