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Can you oven roast frozen leeks?

About a month ago, I made an Alsatian Stew that calls for "two small leeks". Well, fine, what the heck do I do with the rest of the bundle of leek?! So I figured, nothing to lose, freeze the sucker. I washed the leek and cut it into 8" lengths, put in a Zip-Loc bag and tossed it into the freezer it. It appears that leek freezes very well. The stalks freeze into sticks; no discoloration, no bruising.

This past weekend, I made a mac-and-cheese beaucaire and substituted leek for eggplant. I oiled a cookie sheet, spread the leek on it, straight from the freezer, sprinkle with salt, and baked at 450°. After about 8-10 minutes, the leek has softened completely. They render a bit of fluid but not enough even to cover the bottom of the tray. Most of the leek browned nicely; some of the thicker stalks did not, but that can probably be managed by removing the browned ones first and let the rest roast for longer, or reduce the roasting temperature and let it roast for longer.

I imagine I could probably do something similar if I was to use the leek in a sautee I can also just take the leek out of the freezer and throw it straight into the sautee pan.

about 15 hours ago
aqn in Home Cooking

Butter & Soy Sauce?

When we were young, back in Vietnam, we would often eat our rice with just butter and fish sauce: a dollop of butter on hot steamy rice and a drizzle of fish sauce.

Apr 06, 2014
aqn in Home Cooking

Just got a Sansaire (sous vide machine)! What should I cook?

That's a good possibility, but its dimension is listed as "1 x 1 x 1 inches". :)

Apr 01, 2014
aqn in Home Cooking

Just got a Sansaire (sous vide machine)! What should I cook?

I saw on http://www.sousvidesupreme.com/en-us/...? a mention of cooking several things/a large batch at once. Has anybody cooked multiple things at once? E.g. meat and eggs?

Mar 31, 2014
aqn in Home Cooking

Par-boiling pasta

For home, I cook the pasta to the desired doneness and then zap it in the uwave for a bit before saucing & serving it. I keep the pasta covered in the meantime so it'll dry out only a little bit.

Feb 21, 2014
aqn in Home Cooking

Mail order chocolates?

I have tried these and would recommend them:

http://www.elbowchocolates.com/

http://www.dailychocolate.net/

Jacques Torres Chocolate
http://www.mrchocolate.com

Dec 20, 2013
aqn in General Topics

Coffee + Salt

I didn't think you can't mask bitterness with saltiness. For me, the salt is to enhance the sweetness. It's the same idea as putting salt into pastries (cake, cookies, etc.). I am surprised that people are putting salt into unsweetened/black coffee.

Dec 16, 2013
aqn in General Topics

Will deglazing with cold liquid ruin my SS pan?

...or old. I deglazed an old mid-market copper bottom saucepan once with cold white wine and the copper laminate (bottom outermost 1/4" layer) went "Pop!" and separated from the pan. The pan was quite old by that point and may have been building up to that failure...

Nov 20, 2013
aqn in Cookware

Ancient Chinese Secret? Chicken Broth

"Taiwanese Hot Dog": I have a sneaking suspicion that "dog" here might not mean "sausage". :)

Sep 13, 2013
aqn in General Topics

Ancient Chinese Secret? Chicken Broth

Erm... Tampopo is Japanese.

Sep 13, 2013
aqn in General Topics

Picking up speed in the kitchen?

I prep ingredients as I go. Onion takes a while to sweat, meat takes time to brown, fluids take time to come up to a boil, etc. so there's always time to prep the subsequent ingredients. Mise en place is good for recipes with ingredients that cook very quickly e.g. sauteed zucchini with garlic: the garlic will toast quickly so the zucchini better be ready for the pan beforehand. Mise en place doesn't save any time for me because it requires the exact same amount of prep: washing, peeling, chopping/slicing/dicing/etc.

Also, I don't think better knife skill saves _that_ much time. It takes less than a minute to dice an onion, probably even if one is clumsy with a blade, but it might take five minutes to sweat the onion. Even if one doubles one's knife speed, one would only save less than 10% in time. Now if it takes one five minutes to dice an onion, that's a different story.

My time saving philosophy is basically that programming adage: "Don't Repeat Yourself". If I find myself doing the same thing again and again, for instance, washing cilantro, or washing lettuce for a meal's salad, I'll see if it's possible to do it in a big batch at once: wash the whole head of lettuce and keep in a zip lock bag; wash all the cilantro and keep it in a zip lock bag with a moistened paper towel, wash cucumbers for salad all at once and keep it with the washed lettuce, etc.

Aug 26, 2013
aqn in Home Cooking
1

Picking up speed in the kitchen?

Yup, that's precisely what we do: cook two multi-meal dishes on Sun, and alternate them Mo-Th and Sat dinners. Fri night, we eat out. Sun dinner is usually the only cook-and-eat meal of the week.

Aug 23, 2013
aqn in Home Cooking

Baking with Blue Cheese

Another variation of the "blue cheese and honey" theme is to drizzle honey onto baguette slices, sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles and toast under broiler. Very simple and always a hit!

Apr 09, 2013
aqn in Home Cooking
1

What herb did I buy?

This may help: https://www.google.com/search?q=ngò+ô...
I concur that íts most likely ngò ôm. Its most common use is probably as an herb in Vietnamese "sour fish soup" (canh chua cá)

Apr 09, 2013
aqn in General Topics

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm

Oh, and BTW, I fluff rice with a SINGLE chopstick, doing a "stirring" circular motion in the rice. The single chopstick has enough "presence" to move the rice around and "aerate" it, but not so much "presence" that it'd crush/smear the cooked rice. Also, the bamboo reduces scratching of the non-stick finish.

Mar 25, 2013
aqn in Cookware

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm

I do not have a recommendation for you since my Zo rice cooker is over twenty years old; I have no experience with newer Zo rice cookers!

I am also a bit mystified as to why you need to keep rice for "multiple days". Either your previous rice cooker is huge and holds a prodigious amount of cooked rice, or your family does not eat that much rice and therefore one rice cooker-worth of cooked rice would last multiple days. Can you cook a lesser amount? Also, I think a smaller amount of rice (and therefore lesser amount of water) will cook faster.

My wife and I eat about 4-5 Cs of cooked rice per meal, when we have rice. One meal's worth of rice cooks in about 20 minutes. When we do have left-over, it will keep on the cooker's "Keep Warm" setting for a full day or more before becoming too dried out, but will never spoil.

BTW, the Zo NSDAC10's user manual says:

"Do not use the Keep Warm mode for the following:
...
Keeping rice warm for more than 12 hours."
http://www.zojirushi.com/servicesuppo...

Mar 25, 2013
aqn in Cookware

Blue Cheese Appetizers.....

Another variation on the cheese/sweet theme is blue cheese and honey: drizzle honey on baguette slices, sprinkle crumbled blue cheese on top, then put under broiler or in toaster oven for a bit.

Jan 14, 2013
aqn in Home Cooking

Is it possible to keep crabs alive on an airplane?

I wonder if crabs need air to breathe, like clams and oysters and mussels and such. I have read that, and in my experience, clams etc. would suffocate and die if kept in an airtight plastic bag... Open to air, they last longer.

Sep 21, 2012
aqn in General Topics

Gluten-Free Italian?

I work in the building right behind Trento, and Trento's owner(?)/GM Donnie Damuth (ex-GM of NoRTH in The Domain) is a friend. I stopped by to say "Hi" and saw their gluten-free menu; it has about a handful of items in each.

Additional tidbits:

One of the chefs, Andreas Exarhos came from Austin's Zoot (which has re-opened at a new location on Bee Cave Rd.).

The other of Trento's chefs, Alex Kahn, is a 27-year old "kid" from nearby Westlake:
http://www.austinchronicle.com/food/2...

Finally: no, we have not eaten at Trento yet, but considering that we know both the GM's track record, and that Trento has a couple of (other) chefs from 2nd Bar/Bar Congress, we'll definitely try it soon.

Jan 06, 2012
aqn in Austin

What are these 'knife skills' of which you speak?

I don't know what batonnets or a brunoise or tournes mean (without Google'ing). Is it still possible for me to have good knife skills? :)

Sep 02, 2011
aqn in General Topics

What are these 'knife skills' of which you speak?

OTOH, if two people can produce the same quality of cut/chopped stuff (size, accuracy, uniformity, etc.), but one does it 50% quicker, that person has better "knife skills", no?

Sep 02, 2011
aqn in General Topics

What are these 'knife skills' of which you speak?

To be fair, you also have to count the time needed to clean up the knife & chopping board versus to clean up the food processor.

For me, chopping/slicing/dicing for a meal for two means a knife wins, every time.

I only break out the food processor if I'm making, say, filling for 250 spring rolls.

Sep 02, 2011
aqn in General Topics

Fish Sauce, do you find it overpowering?

If íts not a liquid, it's MOS DEF not fish sauce!!! :)

Aug 10, 2011
aqn in General Topics

Ideas for recipes with sea urchin roe?

10 bucks a tray?! Wow, that's a great price!! (Well, I suppose when compared to a per-piece sushi price, *anything* is a great price!)

May 06, 2011
aqn in Home Cooking

Ideas for recipes with sea urchin roe?

That's a different kind of "cream sauce"! Sounds delish!

May 06, 2011
aqn in Home Cooking

Tip: Invite your taxi driver to eat with you

Great idea! It'd be even more enjoyable if one like one's cab driver.

On a related note, when visiting a place we've never been to before, we usually take a half-day "city tour" of some sort to get a quick overview of the city, get our bearings, note the places we'd like to visit more later, etc. We usually ask the tour guide or driver "If *you* were taking your family out for a special lunch/dinner, where would you go?" We've found that yield much better eating places than merely asking "Where is a good place to eat around here?"

Apr 02, 2011
aqn in General Topics

How to eat sushi?

"Most of this thread is so clearly about traditional Edo-mae sushi, that in context, calling ceviche Japanese food is a tragedy."

Is calling such food "Japanese" the issue? Would "Japanese-inspired" work? Do you have a standard that qualifies food to be labeled "Japanese"? "Italian"? "French"? "Vietnamese"? Let me know so I won't piss you off again. Buddha knows, once is enough.

"And so is claiming that "right on cue" you`re going to link your pet theory about the history of how sushi relates to America with your pet favorite restaurant in Austin."

I offered no such theory. I reported something I heard ("sushi is street food"). I named my source; it'd be up to the reader to decide whether that source are credible and therefore whether to believe that they read without further research or verification.

If anybody cares, they can see from the fact that the overwhelming majority of posts on your most recent ten pages of posts are on "Japan" or "ramen" or "sushi" or "Tokyo" that you might be the more reliable source of theories and observations relating to Japanese cuisine than, say, a sushi chef whose remark is being reported firsthand.

I do, indeed, have a pet favorite restaurant here in the non-Japanese culinary backwater :-/ that is Austin. Why that would be irksome to you is quite beyond me.

"Falling back on the typical concerns about stifling creativity or the authenticity argument is fine, except if you really hang around Chowhound long enough and read around, I think you'll find that many people here are genuinely interested in what and how food is eaten in Japan, Italy, and Vietnam."

And indeed that is a great thing.

"And they want to educate themselves on that on a cultural and culinary level ..."

And *that* is great, too.

"without having it diffused through the lens of some "artist" taking creative liberties- no matter how clever they may be...not that there isn't a place in the world for such experimentation."

OK, let me know when it's safe to talk about "artists" and "such experimentation".

Mar 30, 2011
aqn in General Topics

How to eat sushi?

"...you're not going to find any of this tangerine infused oil ceviche crap like you see in that video."

I can see how watching that video one might get the impression that it's just another nouveau cuisine con-FUSION preparation, heavy on wow factor and low on actual performance. Instead of seeing the chef as an "artist", one might get the impression that he's a "con artist" trying to talk up a weird combination that does not actually work very well. There are lots of examples of that type.

OTOH, while one will probably never see any traditional Japanese-like fish preparation that includes a fruit (even tomato), I would claim that one is missing out on a lot if one regards such a preparation as "crap". It's like dismissing out of hand the possibility of putting fish sauce in spaghetti sauce, or mustard in "shaking beef". Sure, that's not "authentic" Italian or "authentic" Vietnamese. That wouldn't necessarily make it any less clever a combination or less tasty of a dish.

Recognizing authenticity is a good thing. Dismissing something out of hand for being "unauthentic" would be a bit of a tragedy.

Mar 30, 2011
aqn in General Topics

How to eat sushi?

Using your hand is not bad manner. To eat nigiri sushi pieces, that is. :) But, again, I'm not concerned about manners and etiquette as much as I am about doing things bass ackwards.

Re. "not super fancy": during a drinking/hanging out session, a sushi chef told me that indeed, sushi is "street food" in Japan, that it's only here in America that more is made of it. He was very matter-of-fact and even with his remark, not being condescending towards Americans elevating a lowly "cuisine" to new height. (This is is Tyson Cole's "sushi sensei".)

And, right on cue, here is a video (in five parts) of Uchi/Uchiko's owner/chef Tyson Cole making a suzuki ceviche. I learned a couple of new things from these videos. For instance: the tail end of a fish is the least "valuable" part because there is more muscle back there (fish swim with their tail). Also: there are several layers between the skin and the flesh of a fish; those layers carry some of the fish's body fat, and a lot of flavor.

I hope you'll find these interesting and educational as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tebNp...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3o1Xh...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G98Jb...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdSFBI...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cp2EbB...

Mar 29, 2011
aqn in General Topics

How to eat sushi?

At the end of the day, it's your money, and you are free to do as you wish. This thread should be regarded as not about "etiquette", but about "The Correct And Logical Thing To Do".

I don't suppose you would pay multi-hundred dollars for a hunk of truffle and then red-cook it in a vat of fish sauce and sugar? If you love fish caramel, by all means, but you might as well save yourself a lot of money and not bother with the truffle. Same idea here. Some people love soy and wasabi; I know I do. In my early sushi years, when I was much more culinarily naive, I routinely did the soy-wasabi mud bath thing. But I eventually learned, after having spent a small fortune on sushi, that I was wasting money. These days, I buy supermarket "sushi" when I want to indulge in my soy-wasabi fetish.

Mar 29, 2011
aqn in General Topics