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FoodMuse

eG Foodblog: Foodmuse (2010) - What foodblogger Grace Piper eats in a

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Hello everyone,

eGullet was nice enough to invite me to write a food blog chronicling what I've made or eaten out for one week. I'm so excited about it! Thanks guys.

About me:

I dream about food, I wake thinking what's for dinner and I'm so excited to share it with you. I'm part of the food world in New York. By that, I just mean that I'm so fortunate enough to be invited to great events where I get to eat great food. I'm also a nerd and a part of the technology world. I produce, edit and sometimes host food related web videos and I'm also a part of the tech world.

I'm launching a website called Please, Pass the Gravy. www.pleasepassthegravy.com We let you create a menu, invite friends and then collaborate on that menu. Never host another potluck with 8 pasta salads. :) You could use it now, but we're alpha launch, it works but it's ugly. It's my ugly baby. So, if you use it be kind and message me if you have improvement ideas. I thought it would be ok to write about it here because it is food related.

I live in Brooklyn with a lovely guy who likes to eat and a small corgi mix dog. I cook pretty much every night and do a nice brunch on the weekend. I am not a crazy dog lady, but I do admit to cooking food for the dog. :) I have an excuse, beyond doting, he had seizures that have stopped since not feeding him dog food.

Foods I cook:

Spicy foods! If you look at my blog I have a simple papaya ketchup with habanero that is pretty darn good.

I love great cheese. This may be the week for Beer Cheese Soup.

I try to limit carbs, though I do cheat.

In any given week C. and I probably eat cauliflower, broccoli and green beans as a side.

Tonight's dinner will be Vietnamese inspired. We'll see how it goes. I'll post about it as soon as I can.

Any requests? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.

-Grace

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Thanks for taking the time to chronicle your food life. Have you always been interested in food? Have you always cooked or did specific events lead you to your current path?

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One thing I've always envied about people who live in multicultural cities like New York is all of the options you have when exploring a new cuisine. You want to learn to cook Mexican food - no problem. Haitian? Sure. Moroccan? I'm sure there are dozens of shops that cater to that market.

How do you ever make a choice? And do you ever feel overwhelmed by options?

Never mind the dining out choices....

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Thanks for taking the time to chronicle your food life. Have you always been interested in food? Have you always cooked or did specific events lead you to your current path?

Yes Heidih,

Thanks for commenting. I've always been obsessed with food. I read cookbooks the way some women read romance novels. I was the awkward fat girl in middle school who baked cookies when she got home from school and made my own peanut butter. I read the ingredients on the jar, put peanuts, sugar, salt and oil in a plastic grocery bag and smashed it on my basement floor with a hammer. It was pretty good.

I'm old enough that I was a kid before the era of markets grinding fresh peanut butter. :) I grew up on Jiffy.

@nakji

I've been lucky enough to grow up in the Boston area, live in Los Angeles and now live in New York, so what you say is true I have such a diversity of ingredients around me. Money is tight, so no I don't eat out often. Lucky I love to cook.

I have my Vietnamese inspired slaw in the fridge, now I need to get onto making my dipping sauce for fried snapper.

Take care friends,

Grace

.


Edited by FoodMuse (log)

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This will be a delicious journey this week. I'm already curious about the slaw and the snapper. Looking forward to it.

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The slaw tastes great and is in the fridge. The recipe is below, but for now let's just talk about my burning nose.

I minced a serrano pepper for the slaw, washed my hands well and despite a great handwashing must have touched my nose with some hot oils on it. :/ On to the recipe.

Vietnamese style slaw

To save time for dinner I used a prepackaged coleslaw mix. You can leave out the fresh sliced red pepper, but do not leave out the onion.

First I mixed up and let sit for about 1/2 hour to marinate:

Juice of 1 lime

1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced

1/2 red onion, halved and thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons Fish sauce

1 1/2 Tablespoon Sugar

Let that sit for at least 1/2 hour.

Then add:

1 1/2 cup slaw mix or sliced cabbage

1 shredded carrot

1/2 thinly sliced red pepper

This slaw can sit for quite awhile, even overnight, but the vegetables give off alot of liquid you might want to drain off. BUT save that liquid, I think it would make a great marinade for chicken. Not sure about that idea of a marinade that's just a theory.

Now taste for the sweet, sour, salty balance adding more sugar, lime juice or fish sauce as needed. I think this is a skill that takes practice, figuring out how to balance flavors. It will probably need a little more fish sauce or sugar. Go very, very slowly when adding them it. Keep tasting.

Just before serving stir in

1/4 cup fresh mint

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, make sure to include minced stems

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I live in Brooklyn with a lovely guy who likes to eat and a small corgi mix dog.

Does he do any of the cooking? I mean your guy, not your dog. :wink:

I have my Vietnamese inspired slaw in the fridge, now I need to get onto making my dipping sauce for fried snapper.

Slaw sounds great. Please tell us about the fish. I'm always looking for new ideas for fish.

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I recently ate a whole fried snapper in Puerto Rico that was the best fried seafood dish I've ever had.

The fish had it's backbone removed while leaving both fillets attached front and back. It was dredged then deep fried. THEN they doused it with the special local mojo. It was well cooked, properly seasoned and beautifully presented (with beans and rice of course).

No doubt salt, lime, sugar and garlic were involved. The subtlety was the key.


Edited by catdaddy (log)

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Thanks for doing this Grace, looking forward to seeing what you'll be cooking this week.

Do you have a particular cuisine you come back to most often for your spicy fix? Where do you usually find your recipes, from the cookbooks you said you love to read, or online?

I usually go online for recipes, when I'm ready to cook, even though I love reading cookbooks! I think it has something to do with the rating system websites such as Epicurious offer.

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This slaw can sit for quite awhile, even overnight, but the vegetables give off alot of liquid you might want to drain off. BUT save that liquid, I think it would make a great marinade for chicken. Not sure about that idea of a marinade that's just a theory.

Thanks for blogging, Grace!

One thing you might want to try when making your slaw is salting the cabbage for an hour or so before mixing it with your dressing. As a matter of fact, since you let the dressing marry for an hour or so before dressing the cabbage, the timing would be perfect.

Simply use a teaspoon or so of kosher salt, toss it with your shredded slaw mix and let it sit in a colander. Right before tossing it with the dressing, rinse and squeeze dry. I think you'll find both a crisper slaw as well as a lot less liquid being thrown off. Give it a try next time and let us know what you think.

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Hello. How fun! Thanks for blogging! I will be following the blog. It is such fun to peek into someone else's life, especially when it is all SO different. I will check out your website.

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Looking forward to another peek into the New York food world. Thanks for inviting us along!

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I make that slaw quite often in the summertime! I like to add in shredded steamed chicken breast and some ground sesame seeds as a changeup from the more typical ground peanut garnish.

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Now taste for the sweet, sour, salty balance adding more sugar, lime juice or fish sauce as needed. I think this is a skill that takes practice, figuring out how to balance flavors. It will probably need a little more fish sauce or sugar. Go very, very slowly when adding them it. Keep tasting.

I wanted to pull this great point out. Dressings are a great place to figure out these sorts of balances, because you can usually and endlessly adjust with a pinch of this or a dash of that. David Thompson talks about that in his classic Thai Food, and emphasizes tasting as you add each ingredient.

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Does he do any of the cooking? I mean your guy, not your dog. :wink:

No, all the cooking falls on me, which is more than fine. When I moved in with him I had to have the gas turned on for the stove to work. It had been off for 8 YEARS. No oven, no top burners, no toaster oven. He just ordered food and reheated delivery with his microwave.. for 8 years. :) I may have improved his quality of life.

Slaw sounds great. Please tell us about the fish. I'm always looking for new ideas for fish.

Fish Fillets and Scallops

Salt and Pepper. Dregdged in cornstarch, I normally use flour but I read a Vietnamese recipe online that did it this way and thought I'd try it out.

I quickly cooked the scallops in a little veg oil in a non stick pan, but fried the fish in about an inch of oil.

5138136849_99e229bef3_z.jpg

Fish & scallops by gpiper, on Flickr

I also made a quick quinoa side dish.

You have to rinse the quinoa first. I prefer it to couscous. We aren't big rice fans.

1 cup quinoa, 1 tbsp butter, 2 cups of chicken broth

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Takes about 10-15 min.

5138725048_61aa6a5cf3_z.jpg

The dish by gpiper, on Flickr

That unappealing smear on the plate is a delicious Date Tamerind sauce made by a friend.

Altogether this was a delicous meal!

Here's breakfast.

Cold quinoa, leftover slaw topped with an egg. I think I did a little better with the photography here.

5139841819_5ee9d8fd8b_z.jpg

Quinoa, Vietnamese slaw and Egg by gpiper, on Flickr

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Hi, thanks for sharing your week with us. I sorely miss our foodblogs.Will we getting a peek into your refrigerator?

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I recently ate a whole fried snapper in Puerto Rico that was the best fried seafood dish I've ever had.

The fish had it's backbone removed while leaving both fillets attached front and back. It was dredged then deep fried. THEN they doused it with the special local mojo. It was well cooked, properly seasoned and beautifully presented (with beans and rice of course).

No doubt salt, lime, sugar and garlic were involved. The subtlety was the key.

That. Sounds. Good! I've never fried a whole fish and I can get them at my local fish monger. I'm lucky to have a great local monger just 3 blocks away. We eat fish once a week. Usually fatty wild salmon or blue fish.


Edited by FoodMuse (log)

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I make that slaw quite often in the summertime! I like to add in shredded steamed chicken breast and some ground sesame seeds as a changeup from the more typical ground peanut garnish.

Good idea. I forgot to say I sprinkled the slaw with sunflower seeds this morning.

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Thanks for blogging, Grace!

One thing you might want to try when making your slaw is salting the cabbage for an hour or so before mixing it with your dressing. As a matter of fact, since you let the dressing marry for an hour or so before dressing the cabbage, the timing would be perfect.

Simply use a teaspoon or so of kosher salt, toss it with your shredded slaw mix and let it sit in a colander. Right before tossing it with the dressing, rinse and squeeze dry. I think you'll find both a crisper slaw as well as a lot less liquid being thrown off. Give it a try next time and let us know what you think.

Yes, I should have done that. Next time.

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Now taste for the sweet, sour, salty balance adding more sugar, lime juice or fish sauce as needed. I think this is a skill that takes practice, figuring out how to balance flavors. It will probably need a little more fish sauce or sugar. Go very, very slowly when adding them it. Keep tasting.

I wanted to pull this great point out. Dressings are a great place to figure out these sorts of balances, because you can usually and endlessly adjust with a pinch of this or a dash of that. David Thompson talks about that in his classic Thai Food, and emphasizes tasting as you add each ingredient.

Another cookbook I need! I love James Oseland's Cradle of Flavor for inspiration, but haven't made any recipe straight from the book. Yet. He tells wonderful stories among the authentic recipes.

I actually had a meeting with James to do a video with my web video company and although he was really kind I just got so, so nervous. It was ridiculous. I have had meetings and interviewed famous people and this guy had me completely losing my cool and blushing. Ughh. So unprofessional.

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Thanks for doing this Grace, looking forward to seeing what you'll be cooking this week.

Do you have a particular cuisine you come back to most often for your spicy fix? Where do you usually find your recipes, from the cookbooks you said you love to read, or online?

Great question. I don't have a specific cuisine. I like the sharpness of jalapeno in my salsa, smoky chipotle in a beefy chili and the floral heat of habanero hot sauce with extremely ripe(completely black is key) fried plantains. I think my favorite dish lately is plantains with my Papaya Habanero Ketchup.

Those links above are to the recipes on my blog. The ketchup is so easy to make and I keep that rather mild and up the anti with my Mango Habanero Hot Sauce(also homemade). That's based on Chef Chris Schlesinger's Inner Beauty HotSauce that he stopped producing years ago, but that peopled are still jonesing for. There are lots of threads on eGullet about this hotsauce. Mine is good, but it still isn't the real thing. I can't believe how much I miss that hotsauce.

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Any chance of getting the date tamarind chutney recipe from your friend? I've tried so many commercially-made tamarind chutneys, but none of them are very good. A samosa just isn't right without tamarind chutney!

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Any chance of getting the date tamarind chutney recipe from your friend? I've tried so many commercially-made tamarind chutneys, but none of them are very good. A samosa just isn't right without tamarind chutney!

I'm sure she'll be happy to share.

Here's my snack/supper. Celery with a cream cheese dip with minced green onion, red pepper, and a little seasoned salt to taste.

I have no idea what dinner will be. In New York people eat dinner at 8. It's not just the name of a movie.

5140329273_c9a007298a_z.jpg

Flavored cream cheese dip with celery by gpiper, on Flickr

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Another cookbook I need! I love James Oseland's Cradle of Flavor for inspiration, but haven't made any recipe straight from the book. Yet. He tells wonderful stories among the authentic recipes.

His recipes are authentic and amazing. If you need a recipe to start with I recommend Asiah's Eggplant Curry. It's made with tamarind and coconut milk, and when he describes it as "candy" he's not kidding.

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