Profile

wookie

Grew up in the restaurant business, loves to eat or cook, hates to clean up after, addicted to anything food related.

  • Location: Indianapolis--for now
  • Favorite foods: Haven't met a food I wouldn't take a bite out of.
  • Last bite on earth: Due to a serious food allergy I have never tried fried soft shell crabs or Joe's Stone Crabs. I have not had a crab cake or my mom's spicy crab stew in over 20 years. So, a taste before whatever gets me first, the anaphalactic shock or...

The Food Lab: These Are My Knives

There are few things I covet & hoard like knives. I have a couple of knives my husband doesn't even bother asking about. He knows they are off limits (thank god we met while working in a restaurant where these things were just understood).

I remember when the sexy Globals hit the scene. Everyone who was anyone had one. I wanted one. Until I used one. The knife was light which is great if you're dicing and chopping for hours on end...but the handle was too small for me (I'm 5'5.5" with stong hands and long fingers) and seemed slippery when my hands were damp...I complained loudly. Eventually, no one in the kitchens of the restaurants I worked were using Global. Then one day, I see a Global in the communal knife bin. Awesome.

In Our Community Corner: Meet Diana Horst (aka 'dhorst')

Awww, love you dhorst! So wish I could make it to one of those pizza parties.

foodie

A friend of my sister's went through a Food Network audition for a cooking show based on his blog. He made it through 3 rounds and didn't make the cut. But then someone who made the cut became ineligible so now he's back in. He applied through the FN website, sent in a video and a link to his blog, and the rest is history. It should be noted that he went to college, got a great job, and cooked for pleasure. What makes him interesting to the FN people is in fact his non-culinary background. His travel photos, his ex-girlfriend, his home renovations, his friends and family all contribute to making him "real" and not a cutout of a person who cooks.

YELP NO!

There is definitely an art to interpreting online reviews! Somewhere during my misspent youth, I picked up a BS-meter.
It seems I read idiotic comments and nit-picky reviews on all the sites. So, armed with a knowledge of what I want in a particular restaurant, I will browse. Most times, if it is a destination restaurant, there are professional reviews. but let's face it, even they can be skewed. I know what kinds of reviews to toss. I know what kinds of comments are red flags. Yes, it is frustrating that someone who does.not.get.it can comment/review a place, but sometimes that's the price of free exposure and free speech.

Knead the Book: 'The Italian Baker'

My last enjoyable Italian meal was a wild boar ragu with buccatini, garnished with an olive relish and a creamy roasted garlic ricotta cheese. Simple arugula salad to start.

My most recent Italian dinner that was derailed by a trip to the ER would have been lasagna bolognese with homemade pasta sheets, Brussels sprouts with shallots and pancetta. I prefer to forget this dinner.

Where to Eat in the World?

And for god's sake, tell us where they were!

Where to Eat in the World?

If you see Waldo or Carmen Santiago, stop! Eat!

Where to eat in Europe?

I have to ditto the sandwiches. Those crusty baguettes with ham and cheese and great butter. "A simple bit of awesomeness" pretty much sums it up. Go with an open mind and a willing spirit; hopefully, return humbled by the history and culture.

Do You Have A Weird Pizza Eating Habit?

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around only "two strips of bacon."
The horror. Minimum adult serving is four strips.

Would brining steak work as well as brining chicken?

I would not brine a premium grade steak (ample marbling/intramuscular fat). Chicken, turkey, some pork lack the marbling that steaks have so we introduce moisture via brines. Plus we cook steaks to medium rare/rare; whereas, with poultry it's to well.
At any rate, if it's a good steak, don't brine in the traditional sense.

A Sandwich a Day: The Bulgogi Hoagie at Broadway Cafe in Ann Arbor, MI

Boolgogi subs have got to be in every KoreanAmerican's late night munchie repertoire. Which reminds me I haven't had one of those since college.

Sourdough Starter-Along: Day 8 - Getting Close!

I love this project Donna!

Oozey Oozebourne is not nearly as advanced as db's, but I see definite increased bubble activity. I'm thinkin' my starter is a day and a half behind.

Sourdough Starter-Along: Day 7 - Feed And Wait

I'm about a day behind. I can't wait for my starter to look db's!

Are there any healthy slow cooker recipes?

I've found that you can adapt most recipes for the slow cooker. So use your normal, healthy soup/stew/braise recipe for the slow cooker. There's just a few different steps if you need to brown and deglaze. Also, there will be less evaporation so adjust your liquid level.

My friend makes a veggie chilli in the crock pot, starts it in the morning and by dinner time, it's good to go. Tons of veggies, low fat, high fiber, lots of flavor.

I'm not sure what recipes you've been looking at, but there are so many things you can do to lighten up a recipe. Use a homemade stock instead of cream. Add leafy greens and others vegs. Substitute fatty cuts for leaner proteins. And so on.

Sourdough Starter-Along: Day 3 - Feed Me More Flour!

I definitely see bubbles, but I started about 10-12 hours later than everyone else, so I will feed mine later tonight. And I gave Oozey a last name so it is now Oozey Oozebourne, dob 12/01/2010. Please, no gifts.

Uses for pesto?

When I'm trying to use up pesto: stirred into mac&cheese; spread a thin layer on pizza crust before adding sauce and toppings; use instead of mayo on sandwiches (great on BLT's or grilled chicken or grilled veggie sandwich); stirred into mayo & sour cream as a veggie dip; as a "crust" on roast chicken, fish, or lamb.

Send in Your Sourdough Starter Pics!

I have heard of other Mongos and Mungos. I'm naming mine Oozey. Close second was Woo's Ooze, but that sounded kinda like it needed to be lanced.

First mandolin - What should I make?!

Pickled carrots and daikon for bahn mi or bun.
Spicy Korean radish "salad" (for lack of a better word) called moosaengchae.
Gaufrettes-- a must, seeing as how there is no other way to make them except with a mandoline.

Pomegranate Molasses...

chiffy--it's very versatile. I use it as a flavor base for salad dressings, to add a fruity tart punch to marinades or bbq sauces, and in cocktails or mocktails.

Do You Have A Dream Kitchen?

*sigh*

It's just too painful...I can't talk about it.

Waiter's Corkscrew v. Rabbit

Also, due to the nature of the cork, it should heal itself enough to be reused temporarily, unless the center of the cork is ripped out or shredded.

Waiter's Corkscrew v. Rabbit

I have used both. Yes, the Rabbit is incredibly easy and nifty and when my Dad opens a bottle, that's the wine opener I hand him. My husband and I use a double hinged waiter's wine key about 99% of the time. I have found that the double hinged wine keys (vs the standard single hinged wine keys) are less likely to mangle the corks mainly due to the pulling action being nearly vertical the entire time vs a single hinge which creates a sideways pull at the mid point of the extraction. Also, keep in mind that when you insert the waiter's friend into the cork it is best to start the point of the worm at a slight angle then straighten.

What's your favorite dumpling dipping sauce?

This is my basic go-to sauce:
4 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS rice wine or vermouth
2 TBS rice vinegar or white vinegar
1 TBS roasted sesame oil
1 TBS toasted sesame seeds
juice of half a lemon
a few grinds with the pepper mill

some add-ins:
minced green onion
finely crushed garlic
red pepper powder

I like to make my dipping sauce about an hour or two in advance to let everything come together. This is good with dumplings or the savory Korean pancakes known as pa jon, hae mul pa jon or bin dae duk.

Help me clean my pot!

I can't help with the burnt on stuff, but as for the smell: you have to air the place out in addition to cleaning/febreezing, etc. Open all the windows and get a window fan to circulate some of that air out. If you're running the AC, turn the setting from AUTO to ON and let the fan run for a few hours (5-6), change the filter. Hope that helps.

What to do with Goose Schmalz?

I'm about to make some pate and I've run across raves about sauteeing chicken livers in goose fat for the pate. I only have duck fat left from some confit, but if I had that goose fat....

Who's Made Momofuku Bo Ssam at Home?

There's an episode of No Reservations where Anthony Bourdain visits Ssam and dives into the bo ssam, which features a gorgeously caramelized pork butt as the centerpiece. If you haven't seen it--you are missing out on some incredible food porn! Silly me! It's called the Food Porn episode.

So, I've been fixating on that pork butt ever since. I want to make it during my family vacation. I know it'll be a huge hit. I know how to make the traditional Korean version of bo ssam and I have a few ideas of my own to tweak the original. AND, I found a recipe from David Chang, himself, on Martha Stewart's site (she's a huge fan of his, too--she was practically gushing during the intro...well, as much as proper MS can gush).

Has anyone tried the recipe on Martha's site? How did it go? What would you do differently? Have you actually tried the bo ssam at Ssam? How did the recipe compare to the restaurant dish?

Ed? Are you out there? You've raved about Chang's bo ssam in the past. Care to give me any tips or advice on this?

Favorite Kohlrabi Recipes, Please.

Hey kids,

I've never cooked kohlrabi before, but my husband is fascinated with the stuff. He's pointed to it in the market before and asked if I knew what to do with it. I don't, but I'm not afraid of trying it. I've searched online and many of the recipes seem to be salads or Indian inspired. I'd rather not buy tamarind paste, curry leaves and other specialized spices if I don't have to. Don't get me wrong, I love all kinds of curries and Indian food, but I eat out for that usually. And salads are not my husband's favorite.

If someone has a tried and true recipe, I'm all ears.

Oh, and is the whole thing edible? Should I buy big ones or little ones? Peel them or not?

Thanks gang!

What's too far?

Last night my husband was late coming home for dinner. No big deal, I had made that no-knead bread, beef stew and a salad. Well, while wookie was waiting (sorry, I couldn't resist the alliteration), I got online here and saw this.
Today I saw that.
So, I google-mapped the distance to Melt. 5 hours and 10 minutes. A little further than I had hoped. But still considering the trip. Am I nuts? I could swing by IKEA on the way back. I could visit a friend in Cleveland if she's visiting her parents...or I could visit with her parents.
I was reminded of the many times in college that my friends and I would drive two hours in the middle of the night to go to Annandale, VA to eat Korean food.
So, Serious Eaters, are you really serious eaters? How far have you driven just for the food?

Freezing Cakes, Cookies, & Frosting--Need Advice

I've been on a baking kick. I made carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. I frosted half & it's on the kitchen table. I wrapped and froze the other half, unfrosted.

I have 2 cups of cream cheese frosting left--can it be frozen? What's the best container? Ziploc bag or tupperware?

I am about to make some macadamia nut lace cookies. Should I freeze the extra dough or freeze the extra cookies?

OK, I need to get a flouride treatment now.

Do you garden?

I'm more than a little curious. With the rising cost of EVERYTHING, I am reminded that my grandmother used to garden to keep her family fed. While my parents visited two weeks ago, my mother planted two varieties of lettuce for ssam, some scallions, spinach, and jalepenos. I really have no idea what to do with this garden that has so blithely been left in my care. We have fortunately had rain every few days, so nothing is dead yet.
Do you garden? What do you grow? Any advice for a novice?

Need Gnocchi Know-How!

Hubby bought a ten pound bag of russett potatoes because it was on sale for $1.99. We go out of town for a week on Sunday and I don't want to come back to a potato vine growing out of the pantry. I thought I'd make some gnocchi. I've never made gnocchi before. What's the best recipe? Whats the best technique? What should I know before I start? Do I freeze gnocchi after cooking or before? Help!

My Pizza Oven: Pizzahacker, the Renegade Pieman of San Francisco

He appears in the evenings on the streets of San Francisco, mostly in the city's Mission District, with a heavily modified Weber kettle grill in tow. Into his "FrankenWeber" goes wood, though, not charcoal. And instead of burgers or hot dogs, the dish that Pizza Hacker cooks is, obviously, pizza. And while this scene sounds like it could veer toward "gimmick," it is anything but. Pizzahacker is the real deal, as this Q&A with him reveals. Get to know him and his craft! More