I've been working on my technique for homemade vegetable broth. Thanks to Kenji's excellent post from his vegan series earlier this year, and another good one from Carolyn Cope a couple of years ago, I managed to make a broth that has good flavor, color, and even a nice body. I strained it through mesh and again through cloth, but it's still rather murky. The next step is to try and clarify it, the same as you would with a beef or chicken stock. A vegetable consommé if you will.
I don't want to use the egg white method because it would no longer be vegetarian. Is there another way to do it and get a crystal clear broth, so that, as Michael Ruhlman wrote, you could read the date on a dime at the bottom of a gallon?
I hate reality TV. I hate competition cooking shows. But this one is actually watchable and here's why:
1. No bleepety bleep swearing.
2. Very little cutaway-interview snarking at the other contestants or backstory cry-at-the-camera sentimentalism.
3. No bizzare location changes or product placement devices that ruin any sense of fairness.
4. The challenges are honest and the judging is fair. The contestants seem to generally respect each other.
5. The camerawork and editing of the baking sequences is pretty informative. I'm learning a lot by watching it.
I like expensive heavy steel roasters and nice ceramic gratin dishes as much as anyone, but I've come to realize my most versatile and most used piece of ovenware is my good old Pyrex 9X13 pan. Dollar for dollar it's about the best thing in my kitchen. I don't have to worry if it gets a couple scratches or some baked-on oil around the rim, I'm not going to baby it. If I take it to a potluck and it gets broken or lost, who cares? They're cheap, I'll get another one. I also like how the width fits a standard roll of foil or plastic wrap.
It's great for lasagna, enchiladas, gratins, any kind of roast vegetables, chicken, ribs, and all kinds of baked goods. I can brine a brisket or cure a salmon in one. What else am I missing?
I saw this on the BBC website and I'm trying to figure out if it's for real or if they are putting me on:
"For a toast sandwich, take a very thin slice of bread and toast it. Once cold place it between two slices of bread, also sliced very thinly. Butter optional. Salt and pepper to taste."
Apparently this recipe is taken from the Book of Household Management, published in 1861 by the food writer Isabella Beeton. The Royal Society of Chemistry is promoting it as "the UK's cheapest meal."
In the past I've made unkind comments about some of the ads that run on Serious Eats, mostly having to do with obtrusive use of Flash and other scripted media. It got to the point where it was significantly slowing down my browser and I had to resort to ad-blocking software, which made my life easier but also caused me concern because I want SE and the other websites I visit frequently to be successful and profitable.
Anyway, I've noticed recently that certain ads are starting to appear again, in a good way. These are tasteful, static jpeg ads without any of the annoying flashiness or rollover pop-up stuff. They are even topically relevant, for example an ad for pasta that appears on a Talk thread about macaroni salad. Best of all, they are not blocked by my no-script software, because there is no script to block.
So I just wanted to say thanks to whoever is responsible for this development (possibly involving a company called AdChoices though I'm not sure about that). And if there's anyone out there from Illy, Safeway, Post or other advertisers who may be reading this, please be aware that I can see your ads and I'm going to make it a point to click through them and do whatever I can to support your products.
I've never seen prices so high for regular, yellow storage onions before. $2 to $3 a pound. Usually they are less than a dollar. It may not seem like such a big deal, but I go through a lot of onions. These expensive ones are not very good quality either. I realize we are at the end of last Fall's dry onion crop and the new ones aren't in yet, but what's going on? Is there some sort of shortage we haven't been told about?
We took a walk down to the ocean this weekend where, following a series of rather strong storm fronts, we found the entire beach to be littered with millions (more like billions?) of bits of plastic. Extraordinary. Most people have heard or read about the North Pacific Gyre and all the plastic debris in the ocean, but to see this in person was shocking. All the other people on the beach were walking around in a similar daze.
I am not an eco-warrior and I don't mean to sound preachy or depressing, especially on a generally upbeat food blog, but I can't get it out of my mind. The worst is the plastic bottle caps which will never decompose. The worst of the worst is the caps that you have to tear off just to get to the caps. Sigh. :(
Time for some cooking, I need to cheer myself up.
I admire their website and magazines, and I watch their TV shows frequently. However, sometimes they do things that make no sense to me at all. On today's episode they were roasting a chicken in a dutch oven. The first thing Julia did was to take out the giblet bag and throw it directly into the trash. Then she grabbed the fat lobe from the cavity and threw it away in disgust, exclaiming "there's no flavor here." Okay, so maybe those parts had no use in their recipe, but to treat them as trash is irresponsible, in my opinion.
I could list other examples, such as, I think they generally use way too many disposable kitchen supplies like aluminum foil.
Does anyone else find their kitchen practices aggravating?
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