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Cooking with "Cradle of Flavor"


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Satay is so much more satisfying on the grill, then under a broiler - doubly so in the case of the anemic broiler in our gas oven. And I could eat the Sos Kecap Rawit with a spoon, I tell you - with a spoon. In fact, I just did - with my leftovers.

The marinade on that chicken satay really is good stuff. After I made the paste, I realized that I scaled back the amount of chicken I was using, but not scaled back the marinade - so I only put half the marinade on the chicken and the rest went into a small container in the refrigerator. Anybody have any experience with storing seasoning paste?

The ingredients are, if my memory serves:

coriander

fennel

lemongrass

tumeric

garlic

galangal

ginger

shallot

palm sugar

peanut oil and salt

What do you think ? Is it worthwhile to hold on to it, or is it better to just start fresh? Well, of course, it is better to start fresh, but how long do you think you could keep marinade like this around and have it be useful ?

So, I am glad to see that so many people have gotten interested in the book and found themselves a copy. I am going on a road trip for the next week or so (Seattle to San Francisco/Marin/Berkeley/Los Altos Hills and back again), and so I am looking forward to coming back to a thread teeming with descriptions of all the Cradle of Flavor cooking that has happened in my absence.

Any chance we will see some more food from you soon Mr. C. sapidus or are you going to continue your explorations of the Vietnamese/Thai/Chineses kitchen for a while?

chrisamirault - any plans to visit the Cradle of Flavor while you are in Montana ? No, I am not stalking you - I just thought I read something about you going to Montana this week ?

EmilyR - what are you going to cook next?

Sony, snowangel, Smithy, anzu, Dejah, Pallee, KristiB50 - When do we get to see what you are making from Cradle of Flavor?

Sir Fat Guy - any chance we will see you tackle those eggs again ?

Oh - one of the really cool tips that came along with this recipe was the use of a stalk of lemongrass as a basting brush. You chop off the very ends of the stalk, peel off the outer layers, and then lightly smash/bruise the bottom end of the lemongrass - and voila, you have yourself a natural, lemongrass basting brush.

Of course, every time I used my nifty and frankly, beautiful, lemongrass basting brush to baste the chicken with a little peanut oil, the oil would drip on to the coals, causing a flare up and causing me to freak out a little bit (experienced griller, I am not). I suspect that my grill is too close to my coals (perhaps because I am using a former gas grill as a charcoal grill - gas disconnected, permanently, of course). But that, my Cradle of Flavor friends, is a tangent I don't have time for right now. I have some road trip planning to do.

edited to include the big guy.

Edited by crouching tyler (log)

Robin Tyler McWaters

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Anybody have any experience with storing seasoning paste?

I make batches of Thai curry paste, which has similar ingredients, and I freeze individual portions for later use. The flavors fade over time, no doubt about it, but freezing seems to preserve the paste better than refrigeration, and it's better than making paste from scratch on busy days.

After making the paste, I apportion it out with a small ice cream scoop (2 to 4 TB per portion is a handy size) onto a small square of plastic wrap or into a sandwich-size plastic bag. I wrap each portion tightly to keep out the air. Then I freeze the small packets on a sheet pan overnight. The next day I bag everything into a large plastic bag and stuff it in my freezer. When I cook something, I pull out one or two small packets, depending on what I need.

I can't tell you how long the paste remains "good." I've used paste that was frozen for a couple months, and I've been happy with it.

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Tyler, your dinner looks absolutely delicious, and the photographs are beautiful.

Is it worthwhile to hold on to it, or is it better to just start fresh? Well, of course, it is better to start fresh, but how long do you think you could keep marinade like this around and have it be useful ?

I have stored plastic-wrapped Thai curry pastes in the fridge for a week or two without much degradation. Perhaps you could make small batches of sate at weekly intervals and report your results. :wink:

Any chance we will see some more food from you soon Mr. C. sapidus or are you going to continue your explorations of the Vietnamese/Thai/Chineses kitchen for a while?

We have some Javanese grilled chicken (ayam panggang Jawa) marinating in the fridge for Thursday night.

I make batches of Thai curry paste, which has similar ingredients, and I freeze individual portions for later use. The flavors fade over time, no doubt about it, but freezing seems to preserve the paste better than refrigeration, and it's better than making paste from scratch on busy days.

This is very interesting. Some authors claim that Thai curry paste degrades in the freezer, but it would certainly be convenient to have pre-made curry paste available for weeknights. Sounds like I should do some experimenting, too.

By the way, I confirmed that the food processor and the Preethi do a lousy job of grinding a tablespoon of coriander seed. I wound up using the mortar, which worked well. When I complained to Mrs. C, she reminded me that we do have a second coffee grinder. Oops. :rolleyes:

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I have to give credit for the photos (and the dishwashing) to Larry (who i think I am supposed to refer to as my dh ? I don't really know what that dh means but I see many people use it to refer to someone whom I presume is some type of significant other. What does dh stand for? - dear heart? designated hitter? dishwashing hunk?).

Ok- I'll keep the satay paste in the freezer, and try it out when I get back. Maybe I'll get all scientific and make a fresh batch to use as a control group.

Robin Tyler McWaters

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. . . I don't really know what that dh means but I see many people use it to refer to someone whom I presume is some type of significant other. What does dh stand for? - dear heart? designated hitter? dishwashing hunk?).

“H” stands for husband; similarly W = wife, S = son, second D = daughter. The first “D” is intentionally ambiguous, and can be inferred by context. Whatever your true feelings at the moment, you can always tell your “H” that “D” stands for dear. :wink:

Ok- I'll keep the satay paste in the freezer, and try it out when I get back. Maybe I'll get all scientific and make a fresh batch to use as a control group.

Control groups are way cool, and you would be expanding the boundaries of human knowledge. If you really get in the scientific mood, you could get a lab notebook and wear safety glasses. :smile:

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I make batches of Thai curry paste, which has similar ingredients, and I freeze individual portions for later use. The flavors fade over time, no doubt about it, but freezing seems to preserve the paste better than refrigeration, and it's better than making paste from scratch on busy days.

This is very interesting. Some authors claim that Thai curry paste degrades in the freezer, but it would certainly be convenient to have pre-made curry paste available for weeknights. Sounds like I should do some experimenting, too.

I'm curious to find out your results. Frozen curry paste doesn't taste as good as fresh, but I find it tastes better (far better) than any canned commercial brand I've used.

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Robin -- Dishwashing Hunk! I love it! That is certainly what I mean when I use the term, as in my house, the cook doesn't do dishes -- Hooray! As for what I'll cook next, ok, you inspired me -- I requested the book from our library again, so I should get it in a few days and will be able to give something else a go...

On a side note, I have what I believe to be the most phenomenally delicious indonesian chicken sate and peanut sauce recipe, from some other indonesian cookbook -- I copied the recipe, but am not sure I even still have the original cite. I traveled in Indonesia as a kid, and this tastes just like my memory of the sate we had there... Perhaps I can PM you the recipe, and you can test and let me know how it compares to the CoF version...

Emily

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I had planned to make Javanese grilled chicken (ayam panggang Jawa) with celebration yellow rice (nasi kuning), but meals got jumbled this week.

Javanese grilled chicken: Earlier this week I simmered chicken thighs and drumsticks in the beguilingly-scented broth of coriander, galangal, garlic, and daun salam leaves. We refrigerated the chicken overnight in the marinade: kecap manis, ground coriander seed, garlic, and peanut oil. The next day, various crises occurred while the chicken was on the grill. I will say this for the recipe – the chicken remained tender and juicy inside despite the fact that we incinerated the outside. No pictures.

Celebration yellow rice: We made this tonight with a Vietnamese grilled beef and mango salad. Mrs. C and I loved the rice, but the boys didn’t. They adore coconut rice with lemongrass, so I suspect that they have an aversion to turmeric – that would explain their resistance to Indian food.

gallery_42956_2536_13885.jpg

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Celebration yellow rice: We made this tonight with a Vietnamese grilled beef and mango salad. Mrs. C and I loved the rice, but the boys didn’t. They adore coconut rice with lemongrass, so I suspect that they have an aversion to turmeric – that would explain their resistance to Indian food.

gallery_42956_2536_13885.jpg

Do the boys have an opinion on French's mustard? That might clinch your guess.

I really am loving this thread, even though it's a vicarious joy so far.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I took the plunge today and made beef rendang from Cradle. Unfortunately, I didn't read thru' the entire recipe when I started this dish at 5 pm. :laugh: Needless to say, I had to throw together something else real quick for supper at 6.

The beef rendang is simmering on the stove, in a new pretty blue non-stick casserol pan. The smell is waffling into every part of the house. I love it already!

The sauce has been simmering for the last 3 hours. I see the oil separating from the coconut milk, the liquid is thickening, and the colour is deepening nicely. I tasted it, and the heat is right there!

I'll finish the dish and save it for our supper tomorrow. The celebration rice looks like a good accompaniment, along with the recommened salad.

Will report back on the results tomorrow. I did take a picture at the beginning, at the stage right now, and will take the final picture tomorrow before we eat.

I am excited! :biggrin:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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I have been jealously following this thread since it started wishing I could join in. Well, I got CoF for my birthday last week, so now I can! All the food so far has looked amazing. I might even make my first foray into the book tonight. :biggrin:

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I have been jealously following this thread since it started wishing I could join in. Well, I got CoF for my birthday last week, so now I can! All the food so far has looked amazing. I might even make my first foray into the book tonight. :biggrin:

I bought the book sight unseen when it first came out. It went right into the bookcase however. Then I saw this thread ...

I'm reading the book right now.

I could definately be persuaded to explore the book together!

Edited by Terila (log)
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Do the boys have an opinion on French's mustard?  That might clinch your guess.

Smithy - good question! When asked whether they liked mustard, both boys answered with a resounding “No!” I’m bummed, because not using turmeric would limit Indian food rather severely. Although now that I think of it, the boys devoured turmeric-containing sate quite happily. :hmmm:

The beef rendang is simmering on the stove, in a new pretty blue non-stick casserole pan. The smell is waffling into every part of the house. . . . I'll finish the dish and save it for our supper tomorrow. The celebration rice looks like a good accompaniment, along with the recommended salad.

Dejah – I’m looking forward to your beef rendang. Celebration rice plus rendang could be coconut milk overload, though (not that coconut milk overload is a bad thing . . .). :laugh:

Live it Up and Terila - Hey, the more the merrier. Please do join in - you will not be sorry!

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My first attempt at beef rendang from Cradle of Flavour:

I didn't have fresh lemongrass, so I used frozen chopped. This may have given the finished product a bit of a grittier texture. Have not seen any candlenuts, but I had unsalted macadamia nuts. I liked these nuts after simmering in the coconut milk.

First picture: oneless beef short ribs mixed with spice paste and coconut milk.

gallery_13838_3834_21648.jpg

After simmering for an hour:

gallery_13838_3834_999.jpg

I forogt to take one at the end of 4 hours of simmering.

The last two pictures are of beef rendang loaded onto a big platter with a stir-fry of sweet peppers, cauliflower, and sugar snap peas; the cucumber, carrot, and shallot salad; and jasmin rice. There was plenty for three of us with a small container of leftovers for my lunch today.

gallery_13838_3834_603.jpg

gallery_13838_3834_6261.jpg

We really enjoyed the deep coconut and lime leaf flavour in the beef. The whole dish floated "on a cloud of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon." This was worth the hours of simmering and stirring. We'll definitely make it again and again. Next time, I will use more chilis, and hopefully, with fresh lemongrass.

The salad was great. Even DH who is not a salad kinda guy liked it. :smile:

Bruce: I'm glad I decided to have jasmin rice instead of Celebration rice. It may have been a bit heavy on the coconut flavour - altho' as you mentioned - that's not a bad thing!

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Dejah: OK, I'm salivating here, big-time. Beef rendang plus a veggie stir-fry, veggie salad, and jasmine rice sounds like an apt combination. I have always admired your talent for balancing meals. I am surprised that even a “small container of leftovers” survived. :biggrin:

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Sue-On, that rendang looks excellent!

One suggestion: Consider making a side of Sayur or some kind of vegetable cooked in belacan (e.g., kangkung belacan).

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Bruce, Pan,

Thanks for the encouragement. The DD ("dear" daughter) ate the leftovers last night behind my back! I guess she liked it. :angry::biggrin:

I want to try the chicken satay tonight, but may not have enough time to pick up fresh chicken and marinade.

Pan: I will definitely try something with belacan on the weekend as we have a 4-day long weekend - Canada's bday! The neighbors will have gone to the cottage, and I now know I can toast belacan in foil. :biggrin:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Bruce, Pan,

Thanks for the encouragement. The DD ("dear" daughter) ate the leftovers last night behind my back! I guess she liked it.  :angry:  :biggrin:

I want to try the chicken satay tonight, but may not have enough time to pick up fresh chicken and marinade.

Pan: I will definitely try something with belacan on the weekend as we have a 4-day long weekend - Canada's bday! The neighbors will have gone to the cottage, and I now know I can toast belacan in foil. :biggrin:

Excellent! :biggrin:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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So, I've finally started cooking from this book! I wanted to do some recipes last week, but I realized I wasn't going to have time to pick up any ingredients before the weekend. So, on my stove right now I have nyonya braised pork and pineapple pickles. I'm also going to make the braised lemograss long beans. I just have a quick question, if anyone is around who can answer it. I have 2 different shrimp pastes at home. 1 comes in a plastic tub and one comes in a block. They seem to have the same list of ingredients (basically just shrimp and salt IIRC). I know that the block one is belacan, but I can't seem to find it in my cabinet. Is the other one the same thing or not? It doesn't have any english writing on it except for the ingredients, so I don't know what it's called. Thanks! I'll post pictures of dinner later, of course.

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Indonesian terasi (=belacan) tends to come in plastic jars (which I guess are also called tubs). As long as it's brown-to-black, I feel pretty sure it'll be the same stuff.

What language is the writing in?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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OK I made my first Cradle of Flavor recipes! They're ones that have already been made here but I'll share anyway.

I made the Javanese Grilled Chicken, The Javanese Cucumber and Carrot pickle and the lemongrass scented coconut rice.

Like C Sapidus I also incinerated my chicken (or you could say got "major char") but it was still delicious and cooked perfectly inside. I used bone in skin on chicken breasts because that's what I had in the freezer.

I suck at tying lemongrass knots. I think my stalks were too short. The Asian grocery store had longer ones so I think I'll pick some up there next time.

The meal got resounding thumbs up!

I've never photographed food before- here are my attempts!

Ingredients

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poaching

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Marinating

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Grilling

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Final product! I did add more of the pickle to the plate. :smile:

gallery_46943_4822_778865.jpg

Edited by KristiB50 (log)
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Like C Sapidus I also incinerated my chicken (or you could say got  "major char") but it was still delicious and cooked perfectly inside. I used bone in skin on chicken breasts because that's what I had in the freezer.

"Major char" :biggrin: For our next attempt with the Javanese grilled chicken I plan to 1) pay attention and 2) turn down the heat and cook the chicken longer. Kecap manis has a lot of sugar, so lower heat should cook the chicken without carbonizing the sugar. If that doesn't work, I'll try painting on the kecap manis towards the end (like one would with sugary BBQ sauce).

I've never photographed food before- here are my attempts!

Ya done good!

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Indonesian terasi (=belacan) tends to come in plastic jars (which I guess are also called tubs). As long as it's brown-to-black, I feel pretty sure it'll be the same stuff.

What language is the writing in?

I don't have it in front of me, but I'm pretty sure the writing on it it in Thai. Anyway, I used it and it seemed fine--Oseland's description of what it should look like after it was roasted matched the results. Thanks for the response.

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Yay, I get to post my first meal from CoF! I let my husband choose the meat dish for me to make, and he chose the nyonya braised pork (he always chooses braised pork, BTW). I really wanted to make ching lee's lemongrass braised long beans, so that was added. And then, I just happened to have a half a pineapple sitting in my fridge, so I also made the pineapple pickles. I would probably never have chosen that recipe to make if I didn't already have the ingredients because hubby won't eat fruit.

This is the pork simmering.

gallery_44218_3482_5479.jpg

The recipe calls for cooking the shallot paste and galangal first, and then not removing it before browning the pork. Oseland also says that you don't want to brown the shallots or the taste will be musky. Normally, I would have just disregarded the recipe and browned the meat, then sweat the aromatics. However, I wanted to follow the recipe, so I did it as instructed. Basically, my shallots browned and my pork didn't. I don't think that the end dish tasted musky, though, so perhaps they weren't too brown.

Here's the pineapple pickle in the pan.

gallery_44218_3482_8021.jpg

This was really good, and good use for the pineapple I had, but I don't really see how it's a pickle. You just cook the pineapple with a bunch of spices and aromatics.

I didn't get a picture of the long beans in the pan, but here they are plated with the other dishes and plain jasmine rice.

gallery_44218_3482_21774.jpg

As you can tell, this is my plate, cause hubby refused to even try the pineapple. I garnished the pork with some thai chilis and the long beans with a little kaffir lime leaf.

Overall, I was extremely happy with this meal. All the dishes needed a little extra salt, but otherwise the flavorings were right on. I think I'm going to try to make the soto king's chicken soup next.

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