This Christmas, I've decided that I want to purchase a homebrewing kit for my boyfriend. However, I am finding that the number of options are somewhat overwhelming, and I just don't know where to begin. Therefore, I'm looking for a little advice- anyone out there have experience homebrewing? What kits would you recommend, and which should I avoid? He'll be needing everything as he currently has none of the supplies, and since he is rather serious about beer, I want to find the best one out there. Thank you.
This is my first time posting and I was hoping someone might be able to help me. Recently, my boyfriend and I purchased a frozen durian. After bringing it home, we did a little research and the general consensus seemed to be that it is ripe when it splits open. However, we waited a few days, and this did not happen. Instead, we checked on it one morning to discover that it was partially covered in a cobweb-like mold, at which point we realized that we had missed our window of opportunity. Since we intend on purchasing another, I'm hoping that someone out there has experience with frozen durians and can answer the following things for me...
- Is the process for determining ripeness different if the durian is frozen? Or were we just misinformed?
- It didn't smell foul as we read it would (just somewhat fruity)- does this also have to do with the fact that it was frozen?
Hopefully someone knows about this because we definitely want to purchase another, and not waste this one. Thanks in advance!
David Chang of New York's Momofuku has proved that pretty much anything is delicious when served inside a steamed bun with sliced cucumbers, hoisin, and Sriracha. At Momofuku, the buns are stuffed with pork belly (the classic), shrimp, or shiitake mushrooms. These Chinese Roast Chicken Buns with Scallions and Spicy Hoisin Sauce from Mindy Fox's A Bird in the Oven and Then Some are obviously inspired by the Momofuku buns, but are filled with slices of smokey Tea-Brined Roast Chicken.
Patatas Bravas are to tapas bars what chicken wings are to sports bars. Every single one has got them, but other than a few basic similarities, they can vary wildly from spot to spot. Though many feature a spicy, dark red sauce, my favorite version consists of crisply fried cubes of potatoes served with a garlic-laden allioli with a dusting of hot smoked paprika taking the bravas sauce's place.
When thinking about Indian desserts, a delicately layered cake of crêpes and custard isn't the first thing that springs to mind. But according to Anjum Anand, author of Anjum's New Indian, a bebinca is a classic Goan dessert. Traditionally made up of 16 layers of coconut milk pancakes layered with ghee, Anand lightens it up ever so slightly by replacing the ghee with coconut custard and cutting the number of layers in half.
Sometimes I crave simple mussels preparations like this one, where all you need is a hot iron skillet, a few cracks of a black pepper, and salt. But just as often I crave something complex and fiery, like this incredible recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's From Curries to Kebabs: Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail. To be sure, this is no tame dinner. Between the seven cloves of garlic, the wallop of cayenne pepper and paprika, and the earthiness of cumin, coriander, and tamarind paste, this ended up being one of the most flavorful bowls of mussels I've ever encountered.
I didn't really know what to expect from a Chocolate Chickpea Cake recipe. Would it be at all like a cake? Would we miss the flour and the fat? The verdict: Score one for the health nuts, gluten-avoiders, and curious bakers of the world. This is one tasty cake.
It has buttery, smoky caramel, a dash of coffee grinds, and a generous helping of whisky for good measure. It's a bracing combination, but oh does it work. First you taste the coffee, roasted and rich, with the pleasant bitterness of an actual cup of joe. Then comes the caramel to sweeten things up just a tad, melting to sweet buttery goodness. Then the whisky: the more ice cream you eat, the more you taste it.
In Asia, black sesame ice cream is as classic a flavor as vanilla in the States. There's not much to improve on it—it just works. Ground black sesame seeds take on the texture of tahini in that "so creamy it changes your perception of what creamy can be" sort of way. The rich, roasted flavors of the seeds, which give off an aroma as complex as fine chocolate, are a perfect match for a light custard.
I have what could be called an infatuation with fried rice, but have never stopped and thought through every step until I came across this recipe from Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking. It's one of the most meticulous accounts of fried-rice-making I've ever seen. It features a marinade and a sauce, and a fairly complex set of instructions, which has you turning the heat up and down often. Luckily the results were worth all of the fussy instructions.
This isn't so much dinner as a highly addictive drug. When these little hunks of chicken mix with fiery dried red chiles, Sichuan peppercorns, and chili bean paste, something unleashes in your brain that's one part pleasure and one part glorious pain.
The slow-cooking of fish is meant to turn the flesh particularly succulent—even custardy—so that it doesn't become dry or crumbly, which happens at higher heats. Poaching in oil is meant to accomplish the same thing, but I'm sure of one thing: Throwing it in a low oven is a lot easier than using cups and cups of oil.
These crab and chickpea "sliders"* start with a slightly streamlined, miniaturized version of Mantuano's Falafel Crab Cakes (I use canned chickpeas, tweak the spice blend to make it more sandwich-friendly, and add a tiny bit of flour to help the patties hold together more easily during the frying stage), which he describes as from "southern Spain, which owes many culinary inspirations to the Moors of Northern Africa."
I am astonished I haven't written about this recipe before. It's probably my favorite enchilada variation—it's comforting, soothing, and wildly addictive. For help I turned to Rick Bayless's Fiesta at Rick's (one of our favorite cookbooks of 2010) and I'm really glad I did. He replaces the normal shredded chicken with roasted vegetables.
This is the kind of chicken noodle soup I can get into. It's warming and comforting, with hunks of chicken meat and slinky noodles suspended in a rich stock. But this isn't some bland rendition. No, this soup is imbued with the haunting aroma of star anise and cinnamon, and tickled by the numbing sensation of Sichuan pepper. A sprinkling of chopped chile completes this assertive bowl of soup, which comes together surprisingly fast.
Yesterday, Boston correspondent Liz Bomze wrote about chef Barbara Lynch's sauce Bolognese, which she serves at No. 9 Park and her other Boston restaurants. I stupidly wrote in the comments that you could email me and I'd send you the recipe when I should've just outright shared the recipe with all of you right here in the first place.
These Cornmeal Biscuits with Honey Butter from Eric Ripert's Avec Eric are a biscuit-cornbread hybrid and just the kind of Thanksgiving bread that's quick enough to be totally doable. The dough comes out of the food processor moist enough to shape but thankfully not at all sticky. They're simple to roll out and shape, and out of the oven in a little over 10 minutes. They are light and fluffy with a great cornmeal crunch, and when spread with the sweet-salty honey butter, totally irresistible.
Although this Coffee Cake with Espresso Glaze & Cardamom Crumble doesn't really have all that much to do with seasonal cooking or local purveyors, it's just too good of a cake not to share. The cake part is perfectly flavored and textured with a moist crumb and slight tang thanks to the sour cream in the batter. After the cake bakes and cools, it's finished with a coffee glaze that seeps inside, acting as a glue for the cardamom-scented crumble topping. It's one of those wonderfully deceptive recipes that at first looks like nothing fancier than your run-of-the-mill coffee cake, but one bite and the rich coffee flavors and aromatic cardamom are instantly apparent.
This chili-laced soup from Veracruz uses masa as a chewy dumpling—a Mexican version of chicken and dumplings. The heat from the chile and a squeeze of lime keep it refreshing enough even in summer, but I'm also filing this away for my next winter cold.
It's the kind of meal you eat on a table on the back deck, or makes you wish that you had a table on a back deck, a glass of wine in hand, sort of eating it like an open-faced sandwich, sort of eating it with a fork, sort of spilling it on your shorts and sort of not caring. In other words: summer.
I was truly sold on this cherry clafoutis the next day, when I had a sliver straight out of the refrigerator; the flavor and texture of the custard were best when it was cold. Pitting the cherries takes some time, but otherwise this is truly a lightning-fast batter.
I love peanut butter, I love meat, but for some reason if the two were put together, it's not going in my mouth. It came time to crush this peanut sauce aversion into oblivion, and these beef satay skewers did just the trick.
When it comes down to it, my favorite food is pasta. And if you held a gun to my head, I'd probably say that carbonara is my favorite pasta. I love its creaminess-with-no-cream, the chewy, salty bits of bacon, the roundness of Parmesan, the bite of black pepper. So it's not with any flippancy that I say that this recipe reminds me of carbonara, and in the best of possible ways. It's creamy, bacony, and satisfying—yet it's also a lot lighter and more fitting for summer.
This unique, full flavored soup is another winning recipe from Susana Trilling's Seasons of My Heart. Her Oaxacan recipes use humble and simple ingredients, yet create incredibly complex and refined dishes. The roasted poblanos add some heat to this soup, but also a gorgeous smokiness to every bite. Requesón, a delicate fresh cheese, calms the spiciness. A good ricotta can stand in for the requesón.