Commenter

lliang

  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Last bite on earth: Mashed potatoes with gravy.

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Eating in Taipei

Thanks for the great tips everyone! I haven't been back to Taiwan since I was 8 or 9 and the only food memory I have is going to a McDonalds and the live frogs being prepped in my grandparents' kitchen for that night's dinner. How would you rate the cost of food and eating there?

How was your (wedding) food?

We just got married in September and I have to say our food was awesome for both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding reception. We were working on a budget but food was really important to us so we cut other places to be able to afford the food we wanted.

We started with passed appetizers which included shrimp scalling potstickers, spicy eggplant tingmo, crab cakes, and shiitake chopsticks. The dinner itself was served family style so people could taste a little of everything and everybody could get served at the same time.

The salad was a Tuscan grill bread salad with pesto, kalamata olives, mozzarella, and coppacola. The entrees were black cod with shiitakes and sesame salad, pork belly with muscat figs, lacinato kale with lemon and toasted garlic, garlic fried smashed potatoes, and brown butter delicata squash.

For dessert we had a donut lounge where they did made to order donuts with you choice of chocolate sauce, caramel, vanilla mascarpone, or a seasonal jam. We also had a cake that we got at a local bakery who does pretty cakes. We saved money by just ordering a regular cake and not a wedding cake because the regular cake looked like it could have been a wedding cake but for far less money.

This post is already super long so I won't put up what we had at our rehearsal dinner but that was amazing too. It was just a great food weekend that helped make it a perfect wedding.

Win Fuchsia Dunlop's 'Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper'

My favorite would be the jiaozi (dumplings) we would make every Sunday when I was growing up. A close second would be za jiang mien...which I'm sad to say I haven't had in years.

Matching Wine with Food?

I highly recommend the book What to Drink with What You Eat by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. They have an extensive list of pairings, and it isn't just wine but also things like beer and water!

http://www.amazon.com/What-Drink-You-Eat-Definitive/dp/0821257188

Whole salmon

Thanks for the suggestions, I may have to pass on the poaching in my sink though. To answer Wookie's question, it's a 6.5 pound sockeye.

Mac n' Cheese: Tips?

I usually make a bechamel for my mac and cheese and fold in cheese and partially cooked macaroni before putting it in a casserole and baking.

For a pound of macaroni I'll use 6 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup of flour, and about 5 1/2 cups of milk. I'll cook my macaroni a few minutes short of the suggested cooking time on the box and then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

Start by making a roux with the butter and flour and then slowly pour in the milk (whisking the whole time). After you've got all the milk incorporated and the sauce has thickened season it with salt, pepper, and some cayenne. Next stir in some sharp cheddar (I usually use sharp white cheddar) and pecorino, about 4-5 cups total with most of it being cheddar. Of course how much cheese you want depends on your taste. Then I'll incorporate in my partially cooked macaroni and transfer to a casserole. Next I'll top it with more cheese and some buttered breadcrumbs before I pop it into a 375 oven until it gets browned on top, usually about a half hour.

Hope this helps!

Weekend Book Giveaway: 'The Elements of Cooking'

Care and respect for the food you are cooking.

What''s your favorite way to eat peanut butter?

My favorite is on warm toast where it starts to get a little melty

Cook the Book: 'How to Cook Everything Vegetarian' Book Giveaway

Farro with Swiss chard and chanterelle mushrooms...the ultimate comfort food!

Terrific Local Products

We just love the beef, pork, bacon, chicken, and eggs we get from Skagit River Ranch here in western Washington State. In the summers we also get fresh halibut and salmon that had just been swimming a couple of days before and was never frozen. There's also a local forager who sells at the farmers' markets in Seattle and I just love to get all sorts of things from him...chanterelles, morels, lobster mushrooms, huckleberries, sea beans, etc. Being in the Pacific Northwest we're pretty lucky with all the fresh produce around here as well.

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