Open Thread #27
(To All Open Threads)
Take delight in the smell, taste and the looks of carrot salad for yourself.Grate carrots (one)coarsely ground roasted peanuts ( a cup)Sesame seeds (1 teaspoon)Sesame oil (1/2 teaspoon)coconut powder or fresh grated coconut ( 1 teaspoon)a spoonful of cilantro/parsely ( optional)Mix them well . Enjoy !
New Open Thread, yay! I had just posted this on the old thread:Hi JenPDX,I made the lentil dish this morning. Kick-ass, alright! Made it with green lentils and black lentils from Indian store (I do have 'puy'at home). Reduced pepper from 1 tablespoon to 2 teaspoons & just a pinch of flakes. Yikes, hot and good! Added a generous 1/2 c of my homemade salsa that I use on huevos rancheros (no heat, thankfully). Made corn tortillas & had to taste the combo--very good! will serve with trimmings (cheese..) thanks JenPDXguido thanks for the cookie heads up, I've been wanting to make chocolate mint cookies for a while, bought the peppermint extract.-Do you know Africando All Stars?Faith,Made your chocolate banana muffin recipe. Good/ rich, I can see it being cook as a cake & serving with whipped cream or something. Made the topping as you suggested. Thanks.Last weekend I bought a 5-lb block of Belgian dark chocolate at the wholesalers. How should I store it?I made the maple scones from yesterday's NY Times - excellent!! made them with wheat berries due to walnut problem-they were 'off'. Very good with the wheat berry texture here & there.Yes, had one of my cooking mornings!Posted by leeds at 03/23/06 9:58 AM
hi leeds,my understanding is that you store chocolate like you store wine: in a cool place, not cold.--------i am still soliciting tofu recipes from the old thread, if anyone has any.
thanks liz! Do you want only tofu recipes that include or exclude meat?
Liz - I love tofu! At my house it's an every-other-night kind of thing. We keep frozen blocks (which makes the texture denser and more chewy) in the freezer at all times. Here are a few of our favorite dishes:Jerk tofu - we use the Moosewood low fat recipe, but any jerk marinade that you like would work well here, just freeze, thaw, squeeze, and marinate, then grill, back, or lightly fry it in a pan - delicious with dirty rice, black beans and mango, grilled or whipped sweet potatoes...Tofu with broccoli raab, bell peppers, and soba noodles in peanut sauce - peanut butter, tamari, ginger, garlic, honey, lime juice (coriander, tamarind, coconut milk, allspice are other options, too) blended together for the sauce; pan-fried tofu, bell peppers, and the raab; toss it all with soba noodlesTofu in any thai-style curry, ideally with cauliflower, peas, and sweet potato. Here, it's good to use the fattier tofus (we usually use the low-fat extra firm) for extra richness.Those are the allstars. I also like to use it in place of paneer in the spicier Indian recipes.
leeds: i bought it so i can cut down on meat, but wouldn't object to, say, a meat broth or (gasp!) a little bacon. :)kirsten: thanks! they all sound delicious. my folks live in the caribbean now, so i totally have developed a taste for jerk.
yeah, new thread!leeds: bachata/ballenato/JuanesNO idea!reggeton...gasolina!we have a station devoted to it here, but in terms of particular artists it's a blur to me.do the black lentils look like the puyor are they actually black? and do they hold their shape?my neighborhood lentil guru is in India right now . . .
I'm not an expert on Indian food either, but they held their shape very well (v.dark, almost black). I bought a bunch of ingredients a while ago to make Indian dishes, but I got scared! will try another time I guess/hope.One of my former bosses is from India and his wife gave me & a co-worker a lesson on making samosas a few years back. Delicious of course, gotta find the recipe again.I forgot you guys are lucky to have so many good stations. Still, I should make you a mix perhaps.
tofu . . .our standby with multiple variations isshallots or mild onion in a small amount of oil, and a splash of toasted sesame oil...when that's cooked, add garlic and shitakes...when those are cooked, add a little white wine, or broth, and soy sauce. more broth if you want it more soupy, less if you just need the liquid to cook withadd bite-sized tofu and stir it all up. Add a ton of raw spinach on top (it cooks down to nothing) and put on a lid so the spinach steams while the rest melds together below.for bonus delicious, garnish with Eden Shake (a prepared thing with sesame seeds, seaweed flakes and shiso)we often add chick peas in the mix, before the tofu. fresh parsley or other herbs.brown rice on the side.It takes less time than ordering bad takeout food...actually, I've been getting the rice from chinese takeaway to make this all happen in under 10 minutes.I sometimes do the tofu in a Vietnamese inspired carmel sauce, which involves some sugar and fish sauce. it's good, but I couldn't tell you any proportions...never sure if I can duplicate it myself!
I'm afraid my japanese-purist-tofu bias might not be all that helpful here. However, I'll say that one of my favorite dishes including tofu (actually a chinese dish) is mapo tofu. This dish is sometimes available on chinese restaurant menus. Basically, it's a quick saute of some ground pork, add tofu and add mapo tofu sauce (available in asian grocers) finishing with sliced scallions. Serve over rice and it's a quick, nicely spicy, comfort dish. The sauce can be made from scratch but japanese girl that I am...I don't know how!My absolute favorite way to eat tofu is an appetizer dish. Fresh tofu is a must here (i.e. 'homemade' sometimes found in asian grocers, not the vacuum sealed stuff). Simply cut a piece of tofu into cubes, maintaining its original cube form. Top with sliced scallions, bonito flakes, and soy sauce. Lovely.When it comes to more western preparations of tofu, I'm afraid I don't have a clue.
After reading all of the suggestions for places to visit in Paris, I got a hankering for those tasty Parisian street treats: CREPES!Does anyone know of a good crepe place in NYC? Or even better...an good recipe to make crepes at home? I'm dying for piping hot ham and gruyere crepe.
o leeds,envy our potential lentil selectionbut not NYC music radionot by a loooong stretch
GIRL SCOUT COOKIE ALERTclick on my name for thin mint replica, from 101 cookbooksfrom what I gather from googlepeppermint oil is much stronger than extractand is the magic ingredient that makes real girl scout mint cookies fantabulousthe recipe I'm linking to uses extract howeverI might just cheat with a commercial waferand work on the chocolate outside part using peppermint oil, which I happen to haveany candy/cookie makers out there working with peppermint oil?
Minipanda--this is the question I always have to ask:Do you like natto?(I'm crazy about the stuff!)
On a completely different note, I tried making Luigi's grandmother's blood orange salad last night and it was pretty darned good. If I ever do the recipe again, I'd use more oranges, as they seemed to disintegrate in the tossing process. They were like a mysterious and invisible yet citrusy and tangy force in the salad.
i love tofu in my chicken noodle soupand i second the freezing of the 'fu, it produces a lovely texture, much closer to say, seitan, and since the water freezes inside and makes the holes in the curd bigger, the 'fu will then more readily hang onto yummy yummy sauces
love mapo tofu as well; this is the preparation for the way a special friend makes it, which I really like:12-16 oz firm silken tofu3/4 c chicken stock 1-2 tablespoons grated ginger2 cloves of garlic, grated1 tablespoon Sechuan sauce1 tablespoon black bean&garlic paste1 tablespoon soy sauce1 tablespoon sherry3 green onions, sliced thinly4 oz. ground porkBrown pork, add ginger, garlic, Sechuan sauce, black bean paste. Combine stock with sherry & soy sauce, thn add to mix. Add cubed tofu. Turn heat down & simmer 5 mins. Add sliced onions. Mix 1.5 tablespoon cornstarch with 3 tablespoons cold water, stir into tofu mix until sauce is thickened. Serve with rice.
Oh I LOVE girl scout cookies, it is a very good thing that they only come out once a year!!I have some peppermint oil, but have yet to use it, random impulse buy. But my guess is to use if very sparingly as I am sure it would add a lot of flavor, read spice.Good luck with the recipe, may have to try it out myself, like your idea of using premade wafers.
guido- it'd be great if there were djs that would play different, fun, intercultural music etc. Hard to find (but even in nyc? I'm shattered..)
I have never used peppermint oil in cooking, but I did use it in a bath scrub I made my sisters for Christmas. I still have some left in the cupboard... Hmm... It was very strong indeed.I'm glad you liked the muffins, leeds! Nothing like a chunk of chocolate for breakfast...
Leeds - Thanks so much for the mapo tofu recipe. I'll have to try it out!Nora - I'm afraid I am not a fan of natto. It seems to be one of those love-it/hate-it kind of things. My father and sister love the stuff. I always thought it was kind of fun/cool to stir it up when I was a kid and watch as the fermented beans got "threadier" but the smell was always a big deterrent for me. My father and sister are also the family members that love the stinky cheeses...I'm sure there's a correlation. Enjoy the natto though! It's plenty good for you!
Minipanda--I usually get a love-it/hate-it response (and sometimes strange looks at the grocery checkout :)). I'm a big fan of stinky cheese though too, so I guess it all adds up.
For some reason when I went to whole foods this week I was drawn to a bunch of unseasonable produce. (strawberries & zucchini) Guilt aside- I am looking forward to integrating zucchini into my meals this week.Last night I made a basic marinera- sauce with spaggetti. I added some chicken sausage with feta and red peppers. I like my marinera to be a tad bit spicy so I added cayeen pepper. YUM.Looking forward to Baby Bok Choi later this week.Also my mescelum window box is starting to get nice and green.
Meg -- My boyfriend's family are Franco-Americans from Maine, and his mom's "recipe" for crepes goes something like this:In a mixing bowl with a lip (for pouring ease), whisk together an egg or eggs, some milk and some flour and a pinch of salt until smooth.Okay, yes, I realize that's not much of a recipe, but the proportions really are very flexible, depending on what you have. What you're aiming for is a mixture with the consistency of latex paint, or a little thinner. I like mine a little eggier (so 2 eggs and less milk), and sometimes add a little bit of sugar when the crepes are going to be breakfast.Heat up a non-stick skillet to medium (we use my 10-inch) and douse it with butter. Pour in a palm-sized or so circle of batter, and swirl the pan to thin it out. I still haven't mastered getting them completely round, but it's fun to try! Cook until pale golden, then carefully flip.Mostly we just eat as we go, but if you wanted to keep them warm, I'd put them in the oven with a towel to keep them flexible.The whole thing just takes practice, (his mom's are somehow always better than mine) but it's fun to eat the screw-ups nonetheless.Whee, my first The Kitchen Post! I hope you enjoy the crepes!
thanks for all the tofu recipes! i can't wait to try them.i went to trader joe's yesterday. 1) it was packed, and 2) it looked like it had been robbed, its shelves were so bare.it also reeked of overripe strawberries--they were the only produce available in quantity. i think i'll stick to my brooklyn key food, with union market for the gourmet stuff.
Re tofu- soft tofu may be used for sauces, dips & smoothies. Also you can replace l/2 the amount of sour cream or cream in a recipe with pureed tofu -use in muffins, pancakes etc. Firm tofu can be cubed, julienned or grated and added to any combination of vegs for a salad.liz, here's my fav. Onion Bacon Quiche recipe (may be made without bacon)single 9"pie crust5 slices bacon, chopped & cooked (not crisp)2 cups finely chopped onions1/4 cup soft tofu1/4 cup plain yogurt2 eggs2 tablespoons ricotta (or goat cheese)l tablespoon flour1/2 cup med. or firm tofusalt & pepper to taste (opt.: herb of choice)350 degree oven. Line pie plate with pastry.Cook onions on med. heat 5-8 mins. until translucent, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.In med. bowl, using hand blender whirl soft tofu, yogurt, eggs & cheese. Fold in flour, onions & bacon, cubed tofu & seasonings. Pour into shell. Bake 45-50 mins, until set & light golden.(Adapted from a book I recommend for everyday cooking,v.practical: Tofu Mania by Brita Housez)
I went to Trader Joes yesterday, too! When I got there (prob around 8pm), there was a line outside. It turned out to be a good thing because they were letting only a certain amt of people in the store at once. We waited only a few minutes and the store wasn't too crowded once we were in. But a lot of the shelves were empty. My friend was searching for her favorite corn tortillas and they were out. I found my frozen roasted corn plus a bunch of other stuff (very cool: found little 1cm cubes of frozen herbs) but didn't want to carry juice and other heavy stuff home. At some point while we were shopping, the line dwindled and whoever was in charge of it left their post and then all of a sudden the store got more crowded. Even so, the checkout line was pretty short and moved fast. Overall I didn't find as much stuff as I would've hoped, but I'll definitely go back when it's restocked.
Tofu recipe - I just used tofu and veggie stock in anything that calls for meat and beef stock - but my old standby as a grad student for a quick and easy tofu meal is this:take 1 pound extra firm tofu - slice through the length into 2 or 3 slabs and press between paper towels to get rid of the water, then cube the tofu. Sprinkle with red pepper, a dash of chili powder, some onions and garlic (diced) and fresh cracked black pepper.Heat up some oil in a pan, toss in the tofu (when the oil is HOT) and then pan fry it. Once it's nice and browned, turn off the heat and dump in about 1/2 a bottle of BBQ sauce. Serve on a whole grain hoagie and you've got yourself a fake pulled pork/bbq sandwhich - takes less than 15 minutes, one pan and one dish, and it's cheap. And YUMMY.All the talk of france also made me crave some french food - so last night I stopped and picked up the fixins for french onion soup and a salad and grilled cheese sandwiches - only I grabbed the GOUDA instead of the GRUYERE. It was still good, but I love my gruyere. The grilled cheese was made with sauteed mushrooms, butter and sage, then that was spread on a whole grain bread with the grated gouda (damn! shoulda been gruyere) on top, and then flipped halfway through. The gouda resulted in a more smoky taste, and while good, it really needed the more earthy gruyere notes.Salad and soup, they were fine.
abbyi am VERY intrigued by cubes of herbsare they frozen? what varities? where are they located in the store so i can do a surgical strike??
I don't remember exactly -- I think they were near the center of the frozen aisle that faces the chips (the aisle that's not frozen on both sides). They were actually down to only frozen parsley and I had to dig through them to find a lonely basil packet. But maybe they've restocked since then -- I'd like to try other herbs, too. I always buy them to use for some dish and then the rest goes bad and I have to toss it.To everyone on their tofu recipes -- I love cooking with tofu, too, but how do you keep the oil from getting everywhere when you pan fry it? Even in my deep wok, I seem to splatter hot oil everywhere. Is it because I'm not removing enough water before I cook it?
Thanks for the "recipe" Erin. Most family dishes are never exact. That's why they never come the same twice. I'm definitely going to try making crepes this weekend. I can't wait!What do you usually put in them?
Abby - regarding the oil and tofu difficulties... We tend to squeeze the tofu intensively, sometimes marinate it, and then use a very small amount of oil (typically smeared around with a paper towel with hand safely inside the orka mitt) in either our seasoned cast iron skillet or a nonstick saute pan. The pan should be on the higher end of the spectrum (with caution if you're using nonstick). We don't get much splattering, the tofu crusts pretty quickly, and the texture is just right.Does that help?
Abby and all...stores in general being poorly stocked is a common problem in Manhattan. K-Mart was stunned when they found both their Manhattan units sucked dry of stock almost as soon as it's put out.I hope Trader Joe's understands the culture here, steps up their deliveries and focuses some of their staff on re-stocking through the day. Trouble is that upsets the customers, especially when the store is already-crowded...and *that* demoralizes the staff.
Meg -- When we have crepes, it's usally for a lazy Sunday breakfast. I like them with fresh or frozen and thawed berries, and a tiny bit of maple syrup, or sprinkled with lemon juice and powdered sugar. My boyfriend, though, loves them with only maple syrup, like they're thin pancakes.If you come up with a wonderful savory conction, though, I'd love to hear it!
i bet they'd be yummy with some creamed spinach and bacon....
I cook a lot with indian ingredients. if you have any questions you can send your questions -
'k Fern, THX!how 'bout explaining the lentils, in various states of parboiledness and color(one of these days I'm getting the Julie Sahni book...)
Apparently they're restocking Trader Joe's several times a day. The frozen basil was plentiful on Saturday afternoon. Any ideas for how to use it?
frozen basil . . . most obvious to me is tomato sauce, towards the time you are going to serve, final layer of flavoralso a nice touch/variation in spinach pie, if you make thatI like it with lots of herbswas the TJ wine store open yet?
ha! i finally made it to TJs yesterday toono wine storelots of frozen basilpasta sauce is a no brainer use, but i'm keeping it , and the frozen parsley, around for anytime a dish needs a little pizzazbasil isn't used just for italian cooking here people!use in vege dishes, asian dishes, anything, i'm psyched!
Speaking of basil...I need a basic marinara sauce recipe. My sauce always seems to turn out bland/watery/generally unappealing. Are there any tricks/tips that I'm missing out on?Cooking for my italian bf tonight...any last minute help would be greatly appreciated!
kelly:this is really basic and has no real measurements, b/c i've never really thought about measuring before!if you have any questions, let us know, as i'm sure other folk will have other ideas on a basic sauce ;-)you can feel free to add any other vegetables at the same time as the garlic/carrotother good things include mushrooms, olives, capers, etcoh, and of course, you can add meat tooi suggest half ground pork, half ground beef added around the same time as the garlica rough recipe:lotsa garlic, minced (then again, if he's real italian, leave the garlic whole, but crushed, so it can be removed, apparently italians like garlic, but don't enjoy eating it!)onions, slicedcarrots, cubed1 or 2 large cans whole peeled tomatoesred winesalt, pepper, chile flakesbasil, and if you want oreganohave some sugar on hand toocook the onion in some olive oilas it begins to become translucent, add the cubed carrots and the garlicwhen the onions begin to take on a little golden color, add a heaaaaaalthy glug of red wine, maybe, a cup and cook down until reduced by about halfopen your can(s) of tomatoes, stick a fork in there and kinda chop them up a littleadd the whole can(s) to the pot and stir stir stirallow to cook for about 1/2 hour or so, you can let it go all day if you'd like, but have some more wine and some water to make sure it doesn't get too thickwhen you're ready to eat, season with salt, pepper, chili flakes, whateveradd finely sliced basiltaste the sauce, if it's too bitter add a little sugar to cut the aciditybuon appetito!
I'm going to put a piece of chicken on a cast iron grill pan (I use this pan for EVERYTHING!) and wanted to veer a bit from the salt/pepper/garlic route. Would putting some italian dressing on the chicken as it grills be ucky or good?
That IS a professional cooking term - ucky? right?
how about marinating the chicken in the dressing but then patting it dry for the grill?btw folks, i tried maaaah-tha's polenta fries from this month's "everyday food" and they were delish! be sure to cut them thin.
Thanks liz, I'll try that.
Even though liz's recommendation came too late for tonight's dinner I am going to try it late this week. I still made chicken but on top of salt/pepper/garlic, I drizzled it with Trader Joe's Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette while it was grilling and it was YUMMY!!
While rennovating my kitchen, everything was packed up in cardboard boxes for months. I think that gave time for some moths to find their way in. I thought I got rid of them when I unpacked, but no such luck. Now they are getting worse. So gross.I have some things in canisters and old glass jars, but not everything. I need to get some more jar/canister with full seals right away. Any suggestions? Something pretty and diswasher safe would be good. I'm wondering if anyone has done anything like order a case of canning jars or something like that?
hey chris -- i actually ordered a case of canning jars for my failed attempt at pickling a few months ago. i got them from www.homeandbeyond.com. the store itself is in brooklyn, but i was feeling lazy at the time so i just had them shipped to me.
if you're in new york, my friend just got a bunch of ball jars for cheap at fishs eddy.
When I buy bulk grains, I put them in the freezer for a day. That kills any eggs or larve that might be waiting to hatch.I also have a tofu recipe I would like to share: Cube tofu and put it on a cookie sheet and pour olive oil and soy sauce on it and mix it around. (My favorite soy sauce is a Thai mushroom flavored soy sauce I buy at Chelsea Thai at the Chelsea Market). Let it bake for a long time at a low heat or a short time at a high heat. Watch it and stir it. The longer you leave it, the more jerkey-like it gets.In a cast iron pan: saute chopped broccoli rabe with lots of finely chopped garlic (saute the garlic first so it gets toasted) and olive oil. Mix in the tofu when its done. Serve with pasta. My favorite is radiattore for some reason, with this dish. Season with hot sesame oil and more soy sauce. This dish tastes even better the next day when you reheat it and brown the pasta.
So you think Bell Jars are a good storage idea? What do you use for flour and sugar and other things that would be bigger than a bell jar?
uh, good point. hard to store spaghetti in one of those. :)i have no idea where i got these, but i have some square glass canisters with rubber seals that are marvelous for pasta, rice, coffee, whatever. i'm sure you could get something similar at any home store.
or try the container store. they have containers for absolutely everything.
I went to Kmart, hoping to find something on the cheap, but Martha's canisters were'nt so great and were just as expensive as COntainer Store.I went to Container Store and ended up being split between their square jars with stainless lids or their "french jars" like canning jars in different sizes.I like the square jars since they will fit nicer in the cabinets, but I think I like the romance/timelessness of the canning jars.I need to commit soon!
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