Title is self explanatory. I like Ig much better than FB, which I have all but abandoned. I haven't found too many great food feeds though.
Every once in a while I get a wild hair. Last Christmas it was bacon. Now it's licorice.
I eat soft licorice with reckless abandon. Kookaburra red, Darrell Lea mango, and yes, nibs. We're talking a bag in a sitting.
A while back, I started wondering what it would entail to make licorice, thinking it wouldn't be too bad. I've had a little candy experience, mostly making caramel of various sorts. I was wrong.
First off, there is little information of much use on the interwebs about the subject. I spent a reasonable amount of time looking. Then, I stumbled upon a post from a cheesemaking blog cheeseaday. The author has a link to SE, so right off the bat, he earned some credibility.
He listed a "master recipe" for any type of fruit licorice, stating that he had tried kiwi, mango, and raspberry with great success. The recipe is fairly straightforward, but I managed to botch it the first time trying to make peach.
He uses 1c sugar, 1/2c fruit puree, 3/4tsp citric acid, 1/8tsp salt and 1/2c flour. He mixes everything but the flour and states that you should let it gently come to 265F; just shy of soft crack. He neglects to mention you've got to stir to keep your sugar from scorching.
That produces a confection more like a now-and-later than any licorice I've tasted. It also looks nothing like the picture he posted. When I got up there with two different batches, they both started turning pretty brown. Which was very different from the soft yellow mango to the bright green kiwi and deep red raspberry. The texture is way off of what I'd like it to be, and you can for sure taste the raw flour.
The final product on round two was better than round one, but it still is not what I want. I'll be testing out another batch at a lower temperature, like 220F or less, closer to soft ball territory, to try to achieve the desired texture. I also may muck around with the citric acid a bit and see how much flour I can get rid of.
Any ideas to this point?
I just finished finals and started on the hunt for the magic ingredient that I've been fantasizing about for the better part of a month: pork belly.
I had planned to cure and smoke bacon for my short list foodie friends for christmas this year, but I've been foiled. There is not a single butcher in the entire Salt Lake Valley who carries or can order pork belly. Wha? I was dumbfounded as I called butcher after butcher and got the "we don't carry that, and we can't even get it" answer.
"Where do you get your bacon from?" I asked.
"Our suppliers sell it to us pre-cut, cured and smoked, in bulk."
Since when did the local butcher become someone who only carries cryovac-ed stuff? My local butchers aren't buying locally, and so the thick cut, "fancy" bacon is really just coming from the likes of Smithfield. Bleh.
I'm entirely disheartened and have had my dreams of home made bacon-y goodness readily dashed on the rocks of mega-farms.
Any Utah SE'ers know where I can get pork belly?
A while back, I began searching for *that* chocolate chip cookie. You know the one. Chewy, gold kissed edges and studded with chocolate chips. I tried quite a few "classic" recipes, my mom's, my mother in law's, SK, CI, Niemann Marcus, and 4 or 5 from SE. The winner for me was a SE cookie from a swap, found here: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/12/thick-and-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe.html
I have tweaked it a little more and experimented with several permutations. My favorite so far is the straight up chocolate chip cookie with maldon sea salt. The second is the one I probably would take: oatmeal with white chocolate chips, cherries and pistachios.
What about you?
For me it was tonight. I took a little bit of a flyer and decided that since I was post call, I'd cook something new. I recently saw a smoked salmon blt on a menu and decided I'd give it a shot.
I fired up the smoker, applied the usual suspects to the salmon and put it in. I lovingly fried up some of my favorite thick cut bacon and sliced up a beautiful brandywine heirloom and got the spring greens ready. I selected some Dave's Good Seed bread and thought I had a slam dunk.
I started out with lovely ingredients. I ended up with a very off putting sandwich. It was offensive, and that's the first time in a long time I've made something truly awful. I knew it was because my wife, who is usually complimentary, was silent. I asked what she thought and she just shook her head.
I screwed up the salmon. My wife had asked me to run some errands with her when I was planning on cooking the salmon. I should have stuck with my gut and stayed home. Instead, I decided to go with her and try to cook it a little faster. The texture/doneness of the fish was not bad, but something went horribly wrong with the garlic in the rub.
It wasn't burned, and it looked like it had turned the lovely caramel color I'm used to seeing. It was incredibly acrid. To make matters even worse, I made a sandwich for my parents and sent them with my mom for their dinner.
I'm certainly not perfect, and I have both good and bad days in the kitchen. This, however, was reminiscent of when my wife and I were first married and she decided to make crab cakes from Simple Living with imitation crab and potato chips. Nothing could have saved that meal. It is the only thing my wife has cooked that we've thrown away after one bite and gone out for dinner. (thankfully, she now is able to read a recipe and suss out whether or not it will be good; and she knows that imitation crab is always the wrong answer).
When was the last time you felt like an utter failure in the kitchen?
I use chrome, and I'm up to date. Last night and this morning the site has been all kinds of messed up in chrome. Anyone else having that problem?
There are only 4 people who I would give a culinary carte blanche. I'd eat whatever they cooked and take any food recommendation they made. They are my culinary kindred spirit/brotha from anotha motha Fish, my friend/chocolatier/creative genius/classmate Linh, Alton Brown and Kenji (I've never met Kenji or AB, but I've cooked enough/read enough to know they are legit).
I got home from a long day of work (5:30am - 7:30pm) in the hospital and opened up the fridge. I was truly exhausted. As I scanned the fridge looking for something tasty, I saw two things that I immediately knew were from Linh. A huge bunch (think bouquet size) of basil, rosemary, mint, thyme, oregano and sage from her garden. She's got an amazing garden. While I was excited about that, it didn't even come close to the next item.
Carefully packaged with a little note, I saw 12 dark chocolate truffles. I read the note and was even more excited.
A while back, Linh had told me that she was planning on making a signature truffle for each of the people in her life that are important to her. She made an espresso/fernet dark chocolate truffle for her brother and bounced a few ideas around for other people. The package was full of my signature truffle. She took my favorite flavors and created a masterpiece. It is honestly the best food item containing chocolate I've ever eaten.
Red wine dark chocolate ganache swirled with rosemary caramel, enveloping a piece of smoky, thick cut bacon, dipped in Peter's burgundy and topped with mediterranean sea salt.
I was speechless (which is rare). So thoughtful, so perfect, so me.
What's the best food gift you've been given?
One of my buddies and I do a quarterly 8 course 8 guest meal. We've done all kinds of cuisines, and this time I'm doing Mexican/southwestern. I'd love any suggestions/recipes you'd be willing to impart. I'm going to make it all from scratch.
Gauc, homemade salsa & chips
Queso fresco quesadillas
Yucatan chicken soup
Chile verde, cilantro lime rice, black beans
Other items I'm considering: tamales, rellenos, queso fundido, tongue tacos.
To quote the dropkick murphy's, "there comes a time in everyman's life, when decisions have to be made. Whether to toil, to labor, or just plain piss your days away." Grinding meat by hand (chopped method) is too much toil, cast iron hand grinders are too much labor, and I'm sick of ground meat from the store (pissing days away).
I choose the option not listed in the song: power tools.
I'm salivating over homemade italian sausage, and I really don't want to use my food processor. It's time.
I wish I had enough $ to buy a fancy grinder, but I just don't. I know that many people use and like the KA grinder and that it gets put through its paces at Kenji's house, but I wanted to get your opinions before dropping the cash.
I've read/seen some disconcerting black grease/goop/sludge that comes out in some of the meat. Any experience with that? Any other pros/cons?
Last year I rigged myself up a version of the AB flower pot smoker. I use a big old 18 terracotta pot & saucer with a cast iron hotplate and weber grate. It works fantastically. I put it together solely for pulled pork (I do some killer tacos with it).
It's not quite as user friendly as my brother in law's $1k traeger, but I spent less than 10% of what he did, and I'm a broke medical student.
I've tried a handful of things, some worked out well and some haven't.
Artichokes with crushed garlic (hickory) = awesome
corn (hickory) = not good
80/20 burger, started over smoke, finished on grill = easily one of the best burgers I've eaten and I'm straight up persnickety.
The burger was dinner tonight, I'd been toying with the idea for a while, and I needed a break from studying, so I fired up the smoker with some apricot. Uh-maze-ing.
What successes have you had?
Over the last few years, it seems like everything I get for my birthday has revolved around food. This year, I got a gift certificate to a restaurant, a "FOODIE" t-shirt, a pork t-shirt and a kitchenaid pasta roller attachment. I love it.
I'm doing Marcella's pasta this week for some left over bolognese, but honestly the thing I've been most excited about is crackers. This weekend, I ground up some wheat, and made crackers with flax seeds, poppy seeds and millet. I experimented a bit with seasoning - salt only, S&P, salt & rosemary.
All very tasty, but the simplicity wins out here. Salt only was my favorite.
Does anyone make crackers? Any other pasta roller applications? Interesting recipes using it?
Fellow kitchen ninjas,
Does anyone remember Clif Nectar bars? They bit the dust a year or so ago in favor of the clif C bars (not as good). If you haven't had one, their pretty much like a larabar. If you haven't had either, they pretty much look like a formed bar of feces but taste much better.
Has anyone tried making there own energy bars or a snack like this? I'll confess, the real reason I want to know is I need something to replace fruitsnacks. I'll be 28 next week and it's time to move on from the magical world of foil pouched shark bites and the like.
In addition to cooking, I mountain bike, rock climb and road bike on a regular basis. I would love to have a snack that is decent, has clean and real flavors, and is portable. Regular clif bars, power bars and pretty much every other energy bar out there are completely awful. I can't even choke them down. Nectar bars were my favorite and now their gone (tear).
Has anyone made anything like this? Most of the recipes I found seem like they are on the right track, but none really address the issue of adding juice concentrate (a frequent ingredient in clif and lara bars) to the mix.
In addition to saudi/jordanian food for our date tomorrow night, the little lady and I are going to do some beta testing. I'll report back.
I've done 6 different baguette recipes now, and I've started to tweak proportions in my favorite ones to get the ideal baguette. Still, I can't get the perfect one.
Most loaves come out of the oven with a lovely golden crust, which at the time is crisp/crackly, but after resting becomes soft. That is super annoying. Recommendations for remedying that?
I also can't seem to get a crumb that is open enough. In spit of my very best efforts to handle the dough as little as possible, it's still pretty dense.
Last weekend I made 8 baguettes. 3 from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Bread, 3 from Artisan Bread in 5min/day, and 2 from NBR. The NBR recipe is ridiculous and the bread is no where near as good as the PR or AB5 recipes. The clear winner was PR, but it still wasn't up to snuff.
If I don't find something soon, I'll be putting baguettes on the "better bought" list. Any help is appreciated.
This marmalade has a gorgeous, purple-crimson hue. The flavor is a bit sweeter than traditional marmalade, with notes of raspberry and wine. It would be absolutely delicious sandwiched between layers of almond or polenta cake, or try it with cornmeal biscuits. A jar would make a great Valentine's Day gift.
The finished jam is gorgeous—it looks like sunset in a jar. Of course it's delicious on toast or stirred into yogurt, but this is also a good jam to get creative with. It would be a welcome addition to many desserts. Spoon some over wedges of simple butter cake, stir it into cold rice pudding, or sandwich it between your favorite ginger cookies.
This jam is insanely delicious; equal parts sweet and sophisticated. The balsamic vinegar adds depth of flavor and brings out the juicy, sunny taste of the strawberries. And the thyme, oh the thyme! It provides an addictive, lemony, herby essence....
Baked for the 2010 Serious Eats Cookie Exchange "I like my cookies like I like my burgers: straight up." —Matt Jacobs, FoSE...
Perhaps more than any other, rosemary is considered the cold weather herb, going with just about everything we eat come fall and winter. When you think about it, rosemary is impressive stuff. It lasts a crazy long time in the fridge (far more than any other herb) and it's the only culinary herb in the Western canon that we infuse into food more than actually eat.
The easiest way to make juicy, crispy carnitas without a bucket of lard.
Carnitas. The undisputed king of the taco cart. The Mexican answer to American pulled pork, at their best they should be moist, juicy, and ultra-porky with the rich, tender texture of a French confit, and riddled with plenty of well-browned crisp edges. If you don't have a 5-gallon vat of lard to cook your pork shoulders in, here's an easier carnitas-cooking method.
Find out which book made Kenji decide to lock his brand-new, never-been-field-tested architecture degree in the vault immediately after college to take a minimum-wage job flipping pizzas and mopping floors—and all the other inspiring books and blogs along the way.
Note: This recipe will work for ribeye or strip steaks. Try and get steaks at least 1 1/2 inches thick. It's better to cook a bigger steak and portion it after cooking than to try and cook thinner steaks....
For the grinding meat, my usual go-to is the KitchenAid meat grinder, but is that always the best method? What about the food processor? Hand chopping? Or—dare I say it—pre-ground beef?