So in a couple days I'm going on vacation to China for 2.5 weeks! :) I'll be spending most of my time in Shanghai, with about five days in Beijing. What should I make sure to try while I'm over there? Shanghai soup dumplings (xiaolongbao) and Peking duck are already on the list. Suggestions for both types of food and specific restaurants are welcome! I have not dietary restrictions and I love strange exotic food - the weirder, the better! :D
Found this video online, it's kinda funny so I thought I'd share. One day I'd like to make mashed potatoes by punching them into submission.
(NSFW-ishness occurs at 2:05 and at the end)
I live in a mid-size city with a number of foreign/exotic grocery stores, but I still have trouble finding some food items. For example I've been all over town and have yet to discover a place that sells gochujang, and I really need some homemade bulgogi in my life. I'll also occasionally think I've found what I need, but not be quite sure because the package is in another language and no one in the store speaks (coherent) English. I figure there must be someplace I can order this stuff online, and maybe even save some dough in the process.
Does anyone else order exotic food items online? Which sites do you use?
I am baking a cake for a birthday party that is scheduled for this Friday. Due to some scheduling difficulty on my part, the only time I have available to make it is Wednesday evening. I know this is not ideal, since the cake will lose some of its freshness by Friday. The recipe I have makes a very moist and rich cake, so I'm sure that even without stringent protective measures, my gracious and easy-to-please friends will still find it delicious. But I'd like to keep as MUCH deliciousness as I can. What is the best way for me to ensure that the cake stays as fresh as possible? Should I wrap the layers in plastic wrap? Aluminum foil? Both? Or maybe keep them in their pans?
forgive me if this is a dumb question, but it seems that a lot of professional/highly skilled amateur chefs prefer to use wooden cutting boards. other than aesthetic appeal, how are they better than other materials? i've always used plastic ones because you can put them in the dishwasher.
this weekend i am planning on installing a shelf in my kitchen to store my spices, so that i can move them from above the oven. the cabinet they were in is above the fume hood, so it doesn't get super warm, but i didn't want to take any chances. my question is, what are some heat-stable things i can put up there without worrying about their taste or composition being altered? i was thinking maybe vinegars, alcohol, and some flours - any other suggestions.
for a while i have been storing most of my spices in a cupboard above the stove, but i recently realized that was a bad idea because the heat can affect their flavor. so i would like to either build or buy a set of wall-mounted spice racks. i have pretty limited room, so ideally i want something that is small but make efficient use of space.
does anyone have any recommendations for wall-mounted spice racks that are lightweight, well-designed, and attractive? (Kenji, if you're reading this, i really like the ones shown in your kitchen slideshow - where'd you get em?) or better yet, can anyone provide instructions on how to build one? i built and mounted a pegboard potrack that i am very proud of, so i am more than up to the task :)
this is mostly a question for dbcurrie: i loooove your bread recipes! but unfortunately i am not blessed enough to own a stand mixer (yet), and most of your recipes specify using one to mix and knead the dough. what is the best way to convert a stand mixer recipe to one i can do by hand? i usually mix the wet ingredients with a hand mixer, adding the flour gradually, until it gets too stiff to mix. then i add the rest of the flour with a wooden spoon, and knead it by hand on the countertop for 7-10 minutes. this tends to feel really awkward though, especially the wooden spoon part. and i feel like the dough is always really sticky when i'm done adding flour - almost too sticky to knead by hand. any advice (from anyone, not just dbcurrie)?
i have a carbon steel wok with wooden handles that has rusted and that i need to re-season. i know the general guidelines of how to season pans, but i'm wondering if i can season this wok in the oven. i'm mostly concerned whether or not the wooden handles can withstand the heat. i can of course just season it on the stove, but it's so much easier to just oil it up, stick it in the oven, and forget about it for half an hour. also, i have an electric stove, so it's hard to distribute heat anywhere on the wok except for the bottom of it.
for some reason the Safeway grocery store in Ft. Collins has the most bitchin bakery ever. when i was in high school my family always bought bread and cakes there. you could have cakes made to order for special occasions, with whatever filling and frosting and decorations you wanted. my favorite (which we ordered for several birthdays and my graduation) was a white cake with whipped cream frosting and some sort of pudding-y filling. i plan on recreating this cake for my own birthday (yes, i am making my own birthday cake). i know how to make the cake and the frosting, but i am unsure of exactly how the filling was made. it had the consistency of very thick pudding or custard, but most of the recipes for pudding and custard that i know are of a runnier variety, or have to be baked and set. does anyone know of a recipe for a thick pudding or custard-like cake filling that does not require baking? could i use a regular custard/pudding recipe and just adjust it to make it super thick (and if so, how do i do that)?
a Smashburger recently opened here in Lexington, Ky, and my friend and i decided to go there for dinner today. perhaps it was because i ran this morning, or because i didn't have enough to eat for lunch, but i was STARVING by the time we got there. and perhaps it was only because i was so famished, but that was one of the best damn burgers i've ever had! i bit into it and grease literally gushed out onto my hands. the burger was perfectly cooked and loaded with bacon and deep-fried banana pepper rings. it came on a tasty egg bun and with garlic rosemary fries.
if you live within a reasonable drive of a Smashburger, i highly recommend that you visit one! go when you're starving and it'll be even better :D
aaaand another question about bread! where is the best place in your average home/apartment to allow kneaded bread to rise? is room temperature (between 68 and 74 degrees) warm enough to cause adequate rising after a few hours, or does it need to be warmer? i've experimented with using a barely-warmed oven with mixed results - it usually ends up feel much too warm, even hot. i feel like a sunbeam would be ideal, but all the windows in my apartment face north, so they only get direct sunlight for a few hours in the morning.
i'm back with another bread baking question! when should i freeze prepared bread/pizza/other dough - after first mixing it, or after one of the risings? i love baking my own bread but since i live alone, it's difficult for me to finish a whole loaf before it goes stale. i figure it would be easiest for me to freeze half the dough and bake smaller loaves.
also, i don't know if this has happened to anyone else, but since i started baking my own bread, i have become completely addicted to it. this weekend i literally had to hold myself back from baking another loaf, because i knew i had other cooking planned and wouldn't be able to eat it all before it went stale. it's just so satisfying to pull a hot crusty loaf out of the oven and watch it steam when you cut it open. and it makes my whole apartment smell awesome! :)
lately i've been baking a lot of bread at home (ever since i figured out how easy it was to bake homemade bread, i've been a little obsessed with it). last night i made a sandwich loaf using a recipe for a richer bread, made with eggs and milk. the dough came together very nicely and rose well, but when i pulled it out of the oven and cut off a slice i discovered a MASSIVE hole in the middle of it. we're not talking a small air pocket here, we're talking a gianormous cavern that tunnels through the majority of the loaf. you could fit a sandworm in this thing. while it's very tasty bread, it's not much good as a sandwich loaf if there's a ruddy big hole in the middle of it. how could this have happened, and more importantly, how do i prevent it in the future? i'm thinking maybe it rose unevenly, or i didn't seal the seams well enough when i fitted it into the loaf pan. while i know my way around the kitchen, i'm still a fairly novice baker, so don't hesitate to suggest something that you think is super obvious. thanks!
i recently bought a big cast iron skillet, and tonight i was planning on making chana masala, which features chickpeas and canned tomatoes. i had heard that cooking tomatoes and other acidic things in cast iron can darken the color of the dish, and damage the seasoning if left in the pan for too long. i already know how to season and properly care for cast iron; my question is, how long is "too long?" i wasn't planning on storing any food in the pan, but what if i want to cook something with tomatoes that calls to simmer the dish for 30 minutes, or longer?
in an effort to help cultivation of the elusive Perigord black truffle, and to hopefully prevent truffle fraud and increase harvest yields, scientists have sequenced the genome of Tuber melanosporum. read about it here.
i am a big fan of taking things (usually vegetables) that i hated and refused to eat as a child, and cooking them in ways that make me decide that they are now delicious. i have already conquered brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and kale. since asparagus is coming into season, i think i should tackle that next. do you guys know of any really excellent, cravable recipes that feature asparagus?
i have a bag of red onions that i've been keeping in a covered basket in my kitchen. one of them has sprouted some green shoots from one end. can i still use this onion like a regular one, or it will it taste different? can i just chop the sprouted part off? i hate to throw it away since the rest of it looks perfectly okay.
the other day i made a crap load of Thai coconut curry with vegetables and tofu. since it is DELICIOUS, i'm certain i can eat all of it before it goes bad, but in the future i think i'd like to freeze some for later. do things made with coconut milk freeze well? or does it separate out like whole milk does when frozen? i would hate to freeze a bunch of curry and later find out that the texture is off.
I have a pepper mill, but I'd like to get a spice mill so that I can start toasting and grinding my own whole spices. I don't really know what kind of spice mill I should get. Should I get an electric one, or hand-operated? Will just another pepper mill work? Can I use a coffee grinder instead? Should I get a mortar and pestle as well?
Any suggestions for a nice spice mill would be appreciated; bonus points if your suggestion is also dishwasher-safe :)
last summer i started my own indoor herb garden because i wanted to have fresh herbs on hand for my cooking, but now i'm wondering if it's worth the effort. at the moment i only have thai basil and chives; my parsley plant seems to be on its last legs, and my sweet basil and cilantro plants have long since kicked the bucket. i think that may be partly due to the quality of the plants i bought (i purchased them late in the season), but i'm also wondering if i'm doing something that is preventing them from flourishing. since there aren't a lot of leaves, i can't use them very often. it sometimes seems like a lot of effort to water and prune them when i don't use them much. the main reason i tried to start my own herb garden was because i hated going out to buy a bunch of expensive herbs, and then ending up using only a tiny bit before they went bad. but i'm wondering if i should just scrap my herb garden since it has not bloomed like i thought it would.
does anyone else here grow their own herbs? do you think it's worth it? what kind of plants do you have, and what do you do to encourage robust growth?
(for the record, i keep my herbs inside and they have a fluorescent grow lamp.)
One mouthful gives you the warmth and creaminess of the coconut; the next is all-out chicken stew; then you snag a caramelized onion and it's a salty little explosion of flavor in your mouth.
We all know the best part of a coffee cake is the crumb, which is why there is a heap of sweet pecan streusel topping this moist banana cake.
Chicken skewers are all too often dry and and flavorless, but a sweet and pungent marinade ensures this chicken satay is anything but.
Tender, moist chicken is simmered with chewy brown rice, flavorful shiitake mushrooms, and crunchy chestnuts. Sesame oil pulls the flavors together in this easy one-pot meal.
Spicy-sweet jerk beef stew offers a taste of the Caribbean.
A one-skillet meal of chicken breast and mushrooms simmered in a curry-coconut broth with an herb salad.
Muffins, shrunk down from gigantic bakery proportions, make a simple, quick breakfast. Sweet and nutty date muffins from Mad Hungry Cravings are good enough to enjoy throughout the day.
Bibimbap is not a strict dish, and a number of different ingredient combinations work. So, I decided to pick an assortment that would still provide all the contrast and color that I crave without taking multiple hours to prepare.
Looking for a tart, creamy cheesecake to use up all those Meyer lemons in your yard? Search no further.
A one-pot meal of chicken cooked with tender broccoli and rice.
Thin and crunchy whole grain oatmeal cookies.
Whole pureed oranges make this the moistest cake I've ever had. Ground almonds and a honey syrup complete the Middle Eastern theme.
For these quirky burgers, cooked sticky rice is formed into two round disks and used in lieu of normal bread buns. Sticky rice burgers have been available at convenience stores throughout Thailand for a while. The homemade version is even better!
Rubbed, steamed, and glazed Sriracha ribs are the perfect companion for brothy Chinese noodles.
Mulligatawny marries both British and Indian ingredients to form a soup that is a bit spicy, a bit sweet, and very satisfying. There are many versions of this popular soup - some contain rice, some coconut milk, others are vegetarian while some include meat. The important elements are spice, sweetness, and in my opinion lentils.
This vegetable soup is full of flavor from the many vegetables used to make it, and is given a kick with hot chili oil, bright lemon zest, and nutty Parmesan cheese.
Wanna know the secret to seriously chewy oatmeal bars? Marshmallow. Peanuts and chocolate add a great final touch.
Somewhere between saucy and soupy, this dish is just shy of a full-blown curry. Quinoa, mushrooms and shrimp are cooked in coconut milk and curry powder so they're infused with flavor--and then finished with fresh basil. Adding coconut milk makes the quinoa extra brothy, so it won't dry out when you reheat it the next day.
Short rib and barley stew is fantastic because it: a) is dumb easy to do b) is made with pantry and fridge staples (aside from the short rib) c) lasts for days and gets better with time d) soothes the soul or warms the cockles of your heart, or if you're really lucky, both at the same time, and e) tastes really, really good.
Leftover turkey meat is the perfect foundation for a rich white bean chili made with three types of peppers.
This chicken chili packs a three pepper alarm: smokey chipotle, jalapeno, and cayenne. Plus it's on the table in under 30 minutes.
Those who are down with tomatoes and eggs might love this Moroccan-inspired twist on the classic Eggs in Purgatory. Not happy with a boring tomato sauce, the recipe amps up the flavor with merguez sausage, fire-roasted tomatoes, and a hit of complex spices.
Braised short ribs are one of those no-brainer wintertime comfort foods. Easy to prep, slow to cook, and luscious to eat, the well-marbled cut of beef tastes great simmered in just about anything--from tomato-based Italian broths to beer and beef broth. In Charles Phan's Vietnamese Home Cooking, Phan presents a French-influenced stew laced with lemongrass, ginger, star anise, and Thai chiles. Alongside the short ribs, he braises (not-surprising) carrots and (more curious) daikon radish to add sweetness and texture to the beef. And a bonus? The brothy, rich sauce is wonderful on its own should you "accidentally" eat all of the beef out of the stew first
Streusel-topped coffee cake in single servings.
These golden puff pastry pockets are filled with spinach, feta, scallions, and hard boiled eggs. They make a great savory to-go breakfast or a new spin on a classic omelet flavor.