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Found 65 results

  1. Welcome to the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off! Click here for the Cook-Off index. A couple of days ago, we were trying to figure out a good cook-off topic for late April/early May, and someone suggested tacos. Shortly thereafter, Mark Bittman of the New York Times decided to weigh in with this article, titled "Sunday Morning, Yucatán:" Bittman shares three recipes, as well, for Taco Filling With Poblano Strips and Potatoes, Mushroom Taco Filling, and Nopales Filling. Meanwhile, over at Bon Appetit, Steven Raichlen writes about the food of the Yucatan, including, naturally, tacos. Finally, someone pointed out that the 5th of May was coming -- you know, Cinco de Mayo. So tacos it is: soft or hard, corn or flour, meat, fish, or veg. As always, we've got a few topics to get us started, including these on tacos al pastor, how to create a DIY taco stand, cabbage in tacos, and fish tacos. There are also tortilla recipes here and a reheating tortillas discussion here. From cheap on the low-down to gussied-up, tacos run the gamut. What are your go-to recipes? Any that you've been dying to try? You can do better than a big fast food chain place, even if you want that ground beef Tex-Mex style of taco. Let's get cooking.
  2. 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.
  3. Hello friends and welcome back to a time-honored tradition--the popular eG Cook-Off Series. We're in the heat of summer right now and our gardens are literally blooming with all manner of peak of the season ripe fruits and succulent vegetables. And there's no better time of year to honor a vegetable that is often maligned as not being as colorful or trendy as the chi-chi breakfast radish or the multi-hued rainbow chard. In addition to not always being recognized for it's looks, every August and September it becomes the butt of jokes at State Fair competitions across the country. If you can get past the embarassment of seeing the poor devils dressed up and carved into silly, cartoon-like farm figures or pumped-up with organic steroids, you'll find a delicious, low-calorie vegetable packed with potassium and vitamin A. Yes friends, your dreams have come true for today we kick-off eG Cook-Off #62, "Summer Squash." (Click here http://forums.egulle...cook-off-index/ for the complete eG Cook-Off Index). According to the University of Illinois Extension Office, summer squash, (also known in some circles as Italian marrow), are tender, warm-season vegetables that can be grown anytime during the warm, frost-free season. Summer squash differs from fall and winter squash, (like pumpkins, acorn and butternut squash), because it is harvested before the outer rind hardens. Some of the most popular summer squash are the Green and Yellow Zucchini, Scallop, Patty Pan, Globe, Butter Blossom and Yellow Crookneck. My personal favorite summer squash is the versatile zucchini. Slow-cooked with sliced onion and ham hock, zucchini is perfectly comfortable nestled on a plate next to juicy, fried pork chops and creamy macaroni and cheese. But the chi-chi haute crowd isn't forgotten when it comes to zucchini, or, as the sniffy French call it, the "courgette." Tiny, spring courgette blossoms stuffed with herbs and ricotta cheese then dipped in tempura batter and gently fried are a delicacy found on Michelin-Star menus across the globe. Won't you please join me in crafting some delicious masterpieces that showcase the culinary possibilities of delicious summer squash.
  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 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!
  5. 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.
  6. Welcome to the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off! Click here for the Cook-Off index. There was this rat, and he wanted to be a cook. When he finally made it into the kitchen of a Parisian restaurant, he needed some help coming up with a signature dish to impress the critics. So he sent his producer to stage a few days at the French Laundry, a little-known, out-of-the-way joint run by a guy named Thomas Keller. Keller had come up with a dish he called "byaldi," and with a bit of tweaking, handed over a recipe for Thomas Keller's "confit byaldi." Rat made it, critic was thrilled, everyone's happy. A little while later, this eGullet Society member, KarenM, prints out the recipe and makes this thing of beauty: Fortunately, there were many dozen grateful Heartlanders eager to devour the dish, which some of them called by its ancestral name: ratatouille. Ratatouille is the perfect late summer Cook-Off. Shockingly, we have only one topic dedicated to it, but it's a beaut. You'll find disagreements about whether ratatouille should be a jammy, stewy ratatouille or a discretely sautéed and layered dish. Advocates of Provencal authenticity face off against the fresh, clean, and bright brigade who know no region. And then there's that picky olive oil question. I'll admit that I've always hated ratatouille, which has been throughout my life the potluck dish I should avoid at all costs, so I'm game to figure out how to make something that doesn't suck. I also have no fear of the mandoline, if it comes to that. So where do you stand? Jammy goodness or definitive elements? Are you a Provencal stickler or a "what's ready in my garden" free spirit?
  7. Welcome to eGullet Cook-Off XLIV! Click here for the Cook-Off index. We've just devoted a Cook-Off to braised brisket, and we're turning again to moist, well-cooked proteins for our next adventure: ossobuco. You will see it spelled a number of different ways out there, but Marcella Hazan refers to it as one word in her definitive Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, so I'm going with that spelling. No reason to argue with Marcella, after all. Ossobuco is braised veal shank, named after the "bone with a hole" that used to be attached to the hind shank of a calf. (Let's all agree to stick to veal, and not have, say, halibut ossobuco. ) The classic Milanese version includes vegetables, tomatoes, wine, and broth, and is served with risotto alla milanese, perfumed with saffron, and with gremolada. Some of the versions out there are a bit wacky. In particular, The Silver Spoon Cookbook simmers the 2" thick shanks for 30 minutes atop the stove. Given that Hazan has 1 1/2" shanks in a 350F oven for two hours, I'm pretty sure the SSC is a waste of good veal. Indeed, I'd think that a much lower oven for longer would work wonders. There are more things to talk about here than just braising temps and times! For example, many other versions of ossobuco depart from the Milanese approach. In her out-of-print More Classic Italian Cooking, Hazan provides the recipe for Ossobuchi in Bianco, the white referring to a sauce lacking tomato. In The Fine Art of Italian Cooking, Giuliano Bugialli offers ossobuco Florentine style, with peas and pancetta, and Lynne Rossetto Kasper's Italian Country Table offers a home-style version with mushrooms, favas or snap peas, and more intense flavors such as anchovy, sage, and rosemary. We have one short discussion of ossobuco here, and an even shorter one on wine pairings here. Indeed, as is often the case with Italian food, the best discussion is the one shepherded by Kevin72, the Cooking and Cuisine of Lombardia, which muses on on the dish's origins and execution throughout. I'm wondering a few things myself. Some folks say that braised veal cannot be reheated, unlike other dishes that benefit from a night in the fridge. I'm also wondering what other sorts of sides -- polenta, say, or the Italian mashed potatoes that Hazan suggests for the ossobuchi in bianco -- would work and/or are traditional. So who wants to welcome the new year with some bones with holes?
  8. Welcome to the eGullet Cook-off 55: Shrimp & Grits. Click here for the Cook-off index. Let's just start with a shameful fact: until this moment, eG Forums has had no topic dedicated to making this classic southern dish. True, there's this rambly topic on the origins and particulars of shrimp & grits, and this one on a shrimp & cauliflower "grits" project by Chappie, and a couple dozen on grits basics. But nothing focused on preparing shrimp & grits. Perhaps this is because many think of it as a dish without need for specificity or even care. I mentioned to someone recently that I had to do some prep for a shrimp & grits dinner; he retorted, "How much prep is there?" I suppose you could toss some grits into boiling water, toss some shrimp into a skillet, dump B onto A and call it done. But that seems unfair, doesn't it? The grits below can be a simple foil for dolled-up shrimp, or they can be the luxurious star, creamy, cheese-y, and more. Additional ingredients, garnishes, and accompaniments vary widely, too. If you've had a top-notch version of the dish, you know it isn't just, well, shrimp & grits. Even this Yankee knows that it's good for what ail's you, late winter blues included. So let's see what your basic recipe is, and then you can show us what you do to kick things up a notch. So to speak.
  9. 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!
  10. We were wondering what a good next cook-off would be when Restaurants and Institutions posted this list of the Top 10 Most Googled Recipes of 2009. We compared it to our eG Cook-Off Index and realized that we'd hit most of those main dishes save one. So: Welcome to the latest eG Cook-Off 52, lasagna! We've had a few discussions on the dish (click here and here) but long ago. Given the poke from Restaurants and Institutions, it seemed an update was in order. I've often made both the bolognese & bechamel version as well as the Italian-American red sauce & ricotta, mozzarella, and parmiggiano version, and I love 'em both. I'm also a convert to using as many fresh ingredients as possible, most especially the pasta itself. With kids in the house, it's a fun dish to assemble, and they wolf it down. So is anyone up for some lasagna al forno?
  11. 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?
  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. 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.
  13. [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?
  14. 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!
  15. 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....
  16. 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.
  17. 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?
  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.. 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!
  19. 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?
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  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 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!
  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 eighteenth Cook-Off, we're making Asian noodle soups. We're talking about Vietnamese pho, bun bo hue, and hu tieu, Chinese niu rou mian, Phillipino mami, Japanese tonkotsu and miso ramen, Korean kuksu... and dozens more. If it's Asian soup and it has noodles in it, then you've got a Cook-Off dish! If you ask me, it's taken a bit too long for the Cook-Off to get here, given that there's a movie devoted to the subject (Tampopo), that the dish of pho is likely one of the big eGullet go-to foods (see, for example, the adopted comfort foods thread, where pho makes regular appearances), and that a noodle soup, well prepared, is a thing of beauty, care, and warmth. (Of course, if you're like me, you've also had a lot of noodle soups, poorly prepared -- but gussying up your Sapporo Ichiban is a subject for this thread, and not our Cook-Off, deal? ) When preparing Asian noodle soups, there are three distinct and crucial components: the stock or broth; the noodles themselves; the accompaniments or other ingredients. I'm hoping we can share strategies and tips for the first and the last here -- but if there are any noodle makers out there, please do chime in, as we all would find that art fascinating. No surprise that other Society members have paved the way for our efforts here. There are threads devoted to Ramen and to Tonkotsu Ramen broth, ruminations about pho, Chinese beef noodle soup (Niu Rou Mian), and guppymo's Vietnamese cooking, which starts off with Bun Bo Hue. Those approaching stock making with trepidation will find calmer nerves after perusing the eGCI stock course -- and Ah Leung (hzrt8w)'s directions for soup bone stock here are very useful for a Cantonese method. Time to find some big bones and meat, some lemon grass and ginger, some rice or wheat noodles, and get cooking!
  24. 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!
  25. 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!
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