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neeki

A Tour of a Singaporean Wet Market

The picture of "tongue" isn't tongue, it's actually the lining of the inside of the bovine mouth. The papillae on the tongue are similar, but smaller, and tongues usually are still in tongue form when they're sold. They could be sheep or goat ones as well, visually, the main difference is the size. A lot of these types of stranger offal are imported from Australia and the US; they are tossed into big tubs at the abattoir, and I was interested to see that the mouth linings still twitch for a long time after they've been separated from the rest of the cow.

DIY Grape-Nuts Cereal

please please please do a cap'n crunch peanut butter crunch recipe! i miss that so much from the US!

Quick and Easy 1-Hour Pho

Kenji doesn't lie, it is quick and almost as good as the traditional version, and better than most takeout stuff! I didn't grind up the beef and chicken together, and I just used my chicken carcasses whole. I increased simmering time by 30-40 minutes to compensate. The broth was cloudier as I didn't bother clarifying it, and I like the meaty bits anyway. It's a keeper Kenji, thanks!

The Food Lab: Perfect Boiled Eggs

Kenji, how long would you reckon it would take an ostrich egg to reach 155 degrees if I maintained it in a 155 degree water bath? My particular egg weighs 1.5 kg.

Why does grilled food taste better?

Well, I spend a large portion of my time reading journal articles, so questioning and testing is how I tend to view issues. I would say it was beat into me (and I would say most people with a science background), that you cannot state a "fact" without evidence, and I'd personally feel a bit cheated if grilled foods taste great because of a placebo effect and nothing else. I guess my world view isn't very common.

Why does grilled food taste better?

Hm, maybe someone should do a double-blind taste test to settle the psychological vs. Maillard question!

Why does grilled food taste better?

@AnthonyC: Yes, I do think they cook faster on the grill actually. I did the grilled ones and the baked ones the same way, wrapped in foil with butter. I believe the baked ones took twice as long as the grilled ones, which seems like a likely explanation. Perhaps the direct heat not only makes the potatoes and corn cook faster, but it also allows the butter to penetrate better?

@thingstea: I'd also add that the smell of the grill heating up makes my mouth water, which adds to what AnthonyC said about the Maillard products.

Why does grilled food taste better?

Thanks scotchncoffee! Will hit up my local hardware store sometime soon.

25 Malaysian Dishes You Should Know

This is a pretty good roti canai recipe (it's called roti prata in Singapore): http://ieatishootipost.sg/2010/06/how-to-make-roti-prata-aka-roti-canai.html#more

It's pretty in-depth and comes with a video too.

Why does grilled food taste better?

@scotchandcoffee: Yes, I'm looking to get a proper smoker box sometime soon! Although where I live, it's a bit difficult to find wood chips.

@chc82: Perhaps it's because it's an old grill and has effectively been seasoned by oils from cooking for many years? Although when I have a really nice steak, I'd prefer to sear it on the stovetop as I think it gives me more control over the doneness, and you'd want to taste the flavor of the steak more than anything else.

The Maillard and smoke you guys mentioned sound like a pretty good bet. I have a feeling the Maillard reaction is different on the grill and cast-iron pan as well, maybe it's because of the extra ventilation from the grill surface?

Why does grilled food taste better?

@BF: I did think that it could just be psychological, especially when we associate grilling with holidays and gatherings. You sound like my brother! We once caught him in the bathroom lighting things on fire in the sink.

@thearrogantchef: Charcoal does taste better, and back home that's how we do it, but unfortunately, I don't have the time to set up a charcoal fire most days (and weeks), so I'll be sticking with propane for awhile. There's a great yakiniku place back home that actually imports their charcoal because of the distinctive flavor it gives the meats. Their ox tongue is like crack to me.

"Seriously Indian"?

Yes! I love Indian food, but I never get it right when I do it at home.

Sunday Brunch: Bacon-Wrapped Toads in a Leek-Filled Hole

So delicious. @missjane, your tin was nowhere near hot enough. The oil should sizzle when batter drops in, if not the pudding will be just as you described.

Do or Dine: A Whacked-Out But Charming Bed-Stuy Eatery

oh god. foie gras and doughnuts, my two favorite things, combined into one. there is nothing i want more right now.

Cook the Book: Brown Bread Ice Cream

If you don't feel like making it at home, and you live in Los Angeles, Scoops sells a really good brown bread ice cream.

Seafood in San Francisco?

I think Swan Oyster Depot is exactly what you're looking for. It's a little place with only bar seating, so you can't really go there with more than two people. They have a few different types of oysters, like Miyagis, Kumamotos, and Blue Points, as well as littleneck and cherry stone clams. Their smoked salmon and clam chowder are really good too. It pays to go early in the day though, as a line forms around midday.

Homemade Bagels, à la Jo Goldenberg

These bagels were the first bread I've made that came out edible. Thanks Adam! However, the crumb didn't come out like that picture up there; it's much more coarse and doughy. Any idea why that happened? Thinking back, perhaps I didn't get the dough as satiny as it should have in the processor, and it's cold now, so the rise may not have been as good, although I did pop the stuff in a warm oven for awhile.

Potato Rolls

I've never had a Martin's potato roll, sadly, but this recipe appears to be quite popular: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/side-dish/recipe-potato-dough-rolls-016086

I've never had any luck with it, and I think it may be because the recipe doesn't call for kneading, and maybe it should. Also, I can't bake bread for beans, even though I keep trying :p

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

I have a deep and everlasting love for chocolate con churros. And any type of prosciutto-style cured hams. I think I was so happy when eating some Parma ham once that I laughed and a piece got into my nose...like how milk's supposed to squirt out. I tasted that for about an hour afterwards.

The Nasty Bits: Lard Focaccia

That is such a great idea. The only thing holding me back is that my breads invariably fail.

The Nasty Bits: Skate Wing

I like it best barbecued with a generous amount of sambal belachan.

The $517 Burger that's totally worth it!!!

Yes! Comme Ca is really good, I love their fries too. If you're still in LA, try Animal, Mastros, Gumbo Pot, and Baby Blues BBQ as well. And since you're happy to travel for food, take a trip up to San Francisco as well for Swan Oyster Depot, La Folie, Dottie's Diner, Cafe Claude, and Boccalone.

Snapshots from Thailand: Street Food in Bangkok

@sunpech, i don't think you're going to the right places in singapore. one bad thing about singaporean food culture is that it's very difficult for tourists to find out about the legit places.

The Nasty Bits: Sweetbreads

I think that the throat and heart sweetbreads are both from the thymus gland of the young animal, as the thymus glands of calves and lambs extend laterally up the neck and down in the chest. The pancreas is down in the abdomen, adjacent to the small intestine.

T he dark side of Trader Joe and cheap tomatoes

I'm not very well-read on this particular issue, but I am familiar with PETA and their horrible campaigns, and to be perfectly frank, I have a strong hatred for PETA and their style of "raising awareness," and I want to agree with ByrdBrain that this kind of campaign only turns the industry away from activists and makes them more resistant to listening to new ideas from people outside of the industry. Animal welfare scientists (very different from animal rightists) are doing it the right way, by doing proper research into the matter, and showing the industry not only why they have to change, using non-biased and non-inflammatory language, but also how they can change, and why it benefits them to change. Shouting about the issue without demonstrating solutions to the problem is, in my opinion, completely useless. And what really gets me about PETA is that the public mixes them up with animal welfare groups, and it makes it more difficult for the reasonable side to get the job done. Shock tactics and generating media frenzy is not the way to go for permanent, effective change that makes everyone happy. Reform requires industry support to be effective.

Why does grilled food taste better?

I recently got a hand-me-down propane grill from a very kind friend, and I've been blown away by the flavor of the food I've been cooking on it. For some reason, the flavor is richer, the meat is juicer, the seasonings I use stand out more, and even the potatoes and corn are butterier.

For example, I bought a whole gorgeous lamb (butchered, of course) from one of the farms I did practical work on, and when I seared the chops on the stove, they were fantastic, but when I grilled them, it really blew me away. Same marinade and doneness...and everything.

Can anyone enlighten me on why? Personal theories, opinions, thoughts?

Prawn shells and heads in Los Angeles?

Would anyone know of a place where I can buy just prawn/shrimp shells and heads in Los Angeles? I don't want the meat, just the heads and shells, and buying and shelling several pounds of shrimp would be a bit too expensive for me. I wouldn't mind mail ordering them if its not too pricey.

In case you're bemused and confused for my strange prawn-shell lust, my SO has been craving prawn mee (http://ieatishootipost.sg/search/label/Prawn%20Mee), and the stock is made with pork ribs and as many prawn shells and heads that you can get your hands on. The more the better. At home, people usually just save up the stuff until they have enough, but it takes months.

Is the Thermapen worth it?

I'm set on buying a digital thermometer, and everyone seems to agree that the Thermoworks Thermapen is the best on the market. However, it's also $93, and I would rather spend $25 on the RT600C, also by Thermoworks, if it is just as accurate and precise. The main difference I gleaned from the reviews is that the RT600C is just a few seconds slower. What do you think? Any experience with one or both of these models?

Links: Thermapen: http://www.amazon.com/Splash-Proof-Super-Fast-Thermapen-Thermometer-Professional/dp/B003P63MEW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1305414482&sr=8-3
RT600C: http://www.amazon.com/RT600C-Super-fast-Water-resistant-Digital-Thermometer/dp/B002GE2XF8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1305414482&sr=8-1

Nonya Lou Tng (3 Meats in Caramelized Blue Ginger Gravy)

This is a typical, homestyle Nonya dish that includes chicken, duck, and pork belly. You don't have to cook it with all three meats, but it is extremely delicious with all three. It is similar to the chinese lu rou (卤肉), but with a sweeter, more fragrant flavor. It's best eaten with jasmine/Thai/Basmati rice.

The amounts of meats are not important, and you can add more or less of any kind if you'd like; however, the duck will usually overcook more easily than the pork or chicken. Also, Nonya mothers tend to teach cooking by example, so my mum, and my grandma, don't specify amounts! (Example: "Then add your dark sauce." "How much ma?" "Oh just see, so that it's enough to make the meat dark.") Smell and taste your gravy, and make adjustments according to your tastes.

Ingredients
- Pork belly, cubed or sliced into 3/4 inch thick slices (300g)
- One fat duck, sliced into half longitudinally, or broken down into parts
- 3-4 chicken thighs, skin and bone on
- Roughly 1/2 cup of dark soy sauce, preferably a Southeast Asian brand (Add more if you have a lot of meat; it should coat the meat nicely)
- 1/3 cup of sugar (Mom says 2-3 tbs at least, but it depends on the amount of meat)
- 2 tsp 5 spice powder
- A 2 inch long knob of blue ginger (galangal), peeled and cut into two

Method
1. Heat a pot over a low flame, and pour your sugar in. You want it to caramelize, but not burn. Be patient!
2. Once it starts caramelizing, add the 5 spice powder and blue ginger. If your caramel starts to seize up, add about 1/2 a cup of water and continue cooking; it will smoothen out.
3. When the sugar is brown, add the dark soy sauce.
4. Add in all your meats and toss them in the mixture to coat them evenly. Keep at it until the meats are a nice dark color all around.
5. Add water to cover the meats, and simmer until tender.
6. Taste and add salt or sugar accordingly.
7. Serve with steamed long-grain rice.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

cooking rice in a microwave

Does anyone have a method for cooking rice in the microwave? No salt or anything, just rice and water. Are the ratios different than a rice cooker?

Hong Kong style roast pigeon?

Does anyone have the recipe for Hong Kong roast pigeon, or Shatin pigeon, as it's sometimes called? It produces a mahogany in color, very crisp-skinned pigeon. Quite similar to the usual Cantonese roast duck, it's the kind of roast pigeon you'd get in most Cantonese restaurants. I can't find any recipes online, and I'll try Kenji's Peking duck recipe, modified a bit, if nobody has any idea.

freezing stuff out of springform pans

I know my last few threads have been about cheesecake...but here's another one :p

I want to make a cheesecake for my friend and freeze it so she can have it on her birthday, as the date is a few days after I leave the country. How would you suggest I do it? Should I freeze the whole thing in the pan, then just pry it out when it's frozen? Or should I line the pan with baking paper (crinkles in the cake?) and chill it, lift it out, then freeze it? I want to minimize cake crumblage/breakage as much as possible.

another cheesecake request: baileys/irish cream cheesecake

Thanks to the people who gave me that oreo cheesecake recipe, I mentioned it to a friend, was enthusiastically encouraged to make it, and it turned out great! (Thread: http://www.seriouseats.com/talk/2010/11/oreo-cheesecake-recipe.html)

Would anyone have a recipe for a Baileys or Irish cream cheesecake? Would I just be able to substitute the Baileys for whipping cream in the oreo cheesecake recipe? (And change the crust to a graham cracker one.)

oreo cheesecake recipe?

Does anyone have an oreo cheesecake recipe that they'd like to share? I'm not familiar with cheesecake baking, but I have a Meyer lemon one that I'm going to try, and I remember having an oreo one some time ago that I really liked. None of the google-able recipes really caught my eye. I'd prefer a lighter, baked cheesecake, but if you have a great chilled one, please feel free to share it too.

Thanks!

can you reuse lard?

I'm making some carnitas, after reading Katie Potato's thread about leftover carnitas, and I'm doing mine in lard. Can I strain and reuse the lard? If so, what's your way of going about doing that?

best part of the cow/chicken/duck/goat/pig/etc?

I made oxtail soup the other day, and as I was heating it up for lunch, one of my housemates walked by and asked what I made. Upon hearing, she made a face, and I told her that it's actually delicious, and she said that she'd tried it before, but it was too "weird." I've always considered the tail to be one of the best parts of the cow, along with the ribeye and tongue. I have a serious jones for the ox tongue barbeque from this little Japanese yakiniku place back home.

For poultry, I like the legs, thighs, and livers. And chicken feet. I love goat ribs, chopped up and cooked in a clay pot, and I think the head and skin are the best parts of a fish. As for pigs, I love pork belly and neck.

What, in your opinion, are the best parts of these various animals?

problems with ina garten's perfect pie crust recipe?

i've made her recipe many times before, and it's always turned out perfectly, albeit difficult to work with because it's very fragile. however, i've made it twice recently, and the dough didn't come together in the processor very well, and didn't taste as good nor had the crumbliness of previous attempts. the only variable i can think of is the room temperature; it's around 35 degrees Celsius now.

anyone else having this problem?

stroopwafels

does anyone have a good recipe for stroopwafels? i've never made them before, but i really love them with coffee, and i don't think i can get them where i live (perth, australia) :( are they difficult to make?

also, would i be able to get a pizzelle iron (that's the one you use to make them?) from target, k-mart, or big w in australia? i don't remember seeing them before.

sliced beef and bulgogi

i bought what looked like shabu-shabu sliced beef from an asian store, which i like to throw into instant ramen, but the stuff i got is pretty tough, and not well suited for that. so, i thought it would suit bulgogi, as the recipes i've found call for marinating the beef with something acidic.

how long can you marinate the beef for? it's a large pack, and i was thinking of marinating all, and cooking portions over the next few days.

also, does anyone have a good, authentic recipe for bulgogi? the best bulgolgi i've had was made by a korean friend of my mom's from seoul, and it would be great if i could recreate that.

soft blue cheese?

i mistakenly bought soft blue cheese at the supermarket the other day when i wanted the crumbly, stilton-esque kind for salads. any ideas on what i can do with the soft kind? it's like a brie with a few blue veins running through it, and has a very mild blue cheese flavor.

stainless steel or cast iron?

i've been looking at two oven-worthy pans, and i need help deciding. they're both about the same price.

one is stainless steel and is a bit larger. it is much lighter and seems to have a pretty sturdy base and general construction. the main thing that draws me to this one is that it seems easier to clean, i don't have to season it, and its seems much easier to pick up, especially when hot out of the oven.

the other is cast iron, a bit smaller, extremely heavy and sturdy, with an enamel outside. what i like about this one is, well, i've heard great things about cast iron pans, and it shouldn't be impossible to pick up, as there is a small handle opposite the main handle, but still pretty heavy, and that's not counting the weight of the food in it. i'm also not sure about seasoning and taking care of cast iron. its also a bit smaller.

but really, i have no idea. i'm planning to cook mostly meats and fish in this pan, where i sear it on the stove top, then transfer to the oven.

help?

egg tart recipe?

does anyone have a good cantonese egg tart recipe, the ones with the flaky crust? i've googled it, and i haven't found any that seem to stand out as promising.

brining a turducken?

has anyone else made a turducken from scratch before? i made one last year, which was pretty delicious, except for the dryness in the breast meat of the turkey, probably due to the long cooking time needed. i'm revamping the recipe this year and following some guidelines from fearnley-whittingstall (namely the butter, the foil, and the 6 hour cooking time: http://www.rivercottage.net/SeasonalRecipes~December/160/TheRiverCottageMultibirdRoast.aspx

anyway, i'm wondering if anyone has experience with brining the components of a turducken. do you brine the deboned birds, brine them before deboning, or something else?

frozen pizza without oven?

i have a pack of mccain frozen pizza, and the instructions say to either:
1) heat completely in oven or,
2) defrost in microwave, then heat in oven.

i'm wondering if anyone has heated the thing up completely in a microwave that has no convection setting. are the bases of frozen pizzas usually already baked, or do they definitely require the presence of an oven to cook properly?

Mixed Review: Archer Farms Caramel Monkey Bread from Target

The origin of the term "monkey bread" is a sticky subject. Some attribute it to the round, edible fruit of the African baobab tree. Others argue that the way it's eaten—everyone yanking at it at once, stuffing pieces in their mouths as fast as they can—is reminiscent of monkey behavior. Whatever the true source of the name may be, one thing is for certain: monkey bread is a scrumptiously gooey indulgence that appeals to the sugar-loving kid in all of us. Recently, Archer Farms, Target's brand of "premium foods," introduced a mix for Caramel Monkey Bread that I couldn't wait to tear apart. More