d

DeeDee_AZ's Profile

Title Last Reply

Recipes You've Never Heard of Outside Your Family

No, but you can find them in most european delis in big cities. Big ugly things, all spatch-cocked out and dried. I pick the meat off with a fork and put it on rye bread cream cheese and paper thin onion slices. My grandmother added a leaf of iceberg lettuce. Her husband preferred to use schmierkase or limburger but kept the lettuce. My kid considers the whole thing finger food and just eats it out of hand, with the kipper (or torn off pieces) in one hand and the slice of russian rye with smetana or cream cheese in the other.

Aug 10, 2014
DeeDee_AZ in Home Cooking

My Brussels Sprouts Kimchi Sucks!

See my more involved reply in the original article. No sense repeating myself here.

Good luck!

Incidentally, I agree with most of what Habanero had to suggest.

May 02, 2014
DeeDee_AZ in Features

We're Making Brussels Sprouts Kimchi with Green Garlic

From what I can see, you don't understand the underlying mechanism that is operating in the kimchi fermentation process. It has to be LAGERED, not just fermented or you have a big jar of rotten cabbage. I have been making kimchi for at least forty years and never had a bad batch. Mine was good enough that a local asian restaurant was buying it from me by the five gallon plastic bucket full.

The yeasts that start the process are on and in the green onions and on the dried pepper flakes. You don't need korean red pepper powder, although it's nice if you can find it. Plain old crushed red peppers, or 'birdseed' as it's called in pizza parlors works just fine. I don't bother with all of the spices that you use, as they are unlikely to be available to the ordinary rural Korean in their kitchens. My version, to make one gallon (in a used plastic pickle jar) uses just a few ingredients: equal parts bok choi (a bag of baby bok choi is even better), white and green parts cut into 1-1/2 inch squares, one large head of gai choi, or napa cabbage cut into similar size squares, half a dozen green onions sliced thin, white and light green parts, about half of a daikon root, julienned into matchsticks, fresh ginger, sliced into coins and mashed with a cleaver. The pickling solution is simply a cup of brown sugar and a half cup of crushed red peppers mixed into a pint of warm water.

Proceed by cutting up the bok choi, napa cabbage and daikon. Put them into a large bowl, covered liberally with ice cream salt, toss and cover with a weighted plate. Keep the mixture stirred. After a day, drain and thoroughly rinse the vegetables. Put them into the gallon jar. Make up the pickling mixture, the brown sugar, the crushed pepper and the green onions. Make sure all of the sugar is dissolved. Optional ingredients that are not for the faint of heart, a dozen whole dried shrimp, available in cellophane packets in the mexican food section, or a packet or two of tiny dried shrimp. The large whole ones look nicer, and during the fermentation, soften up and are full of delicious spicy, cabbage-y goodness. You might also want to add, or to substitute, shrimp paste which is nothing more than finely ground whole shrimp in brine. If you use the whole dried shrimp, add it to the cabbage mixture, if using the shrimp paste, add that to the pickling mixture. The trick is to get as much salt out of the cabbages as possible with multiple rinsings in lukewarm water. The penultimate step is to add the sugar water, crushed peppers, green onions and shrimp paste to the vegetables in the gallon jar. Slosh it around thoroughly to make sure all the vegetables are covered. Make sure that you add just enough water to cover the cabbages and daikon.

The last step is the actual lagered fermentation. Screw the lid on LOOSELY! Put it on a tall shelf the fridge. It will start to ferment within a few hours and make CO2, which must be allowed to escape. Once a day, take the jar out, screw the lid down tight, and roll the jar back and forth on your counter to make sure the pickling solution is evenly distributed. Loosen the lid and put it back in the fridge. It should be ready to eat on day five or day six, and all activity will stop by day ten. At that point it will keep in the fridge roughly forever.

Other additions or substitutions would be dashi powder, or even just a tablespoon or so of bonito flakes. You can intensify the orange colour by adding a couple of tablespoons of Vietnamese crab soup pho base powder. All of those will supply the wonderful fishy flavor of good kimchi. Of course I would not recommend using ALL of them in one batch though.

*lagering is essentially fermentation at temperatures near freezing. It is the main difference between the various types of beer. Lager is always cold fermented, ales are not. There is more to it, of course but for good kimchi, lagering is a must. That, in fact, is why it is usually called 'winter kimchi'.

D M Wilson

May 02, 2014
DeeDee_AZ in Features

Recipes You've Never Heard of Outside Your Family

When I left home as a teenager to go to college (family was ethnic Czech/Slovak) I had a cheap bachelor's dish made of rice, slivered almonds and diced dried apricots with beef bouillon. I was talking to the butcher in a neighborhood market about it, told him I thought it needed something to make it more savory and he suggested ground lamb (which was incredibly cheap then). He told me that what I thought I'd invented was almost a classic persian pilaf. The ground lamb, of course, WAS the secret ingredient it needed. Found that ground chuck or ground round browned with caramelized sweet onions was another acceptable addition when lamb got too expensive. Ground venison also worked. Bit of a disappointment to find out that my wonderful cheapo side dish had been invented a couple thousand years before I discovered it.

Mar 07, 2014
DeeDee_AZ in Home Cooking
2

Salt Brand -- How Important is the Brand?

Holy cow! I could boil pasta and potatoes AND fill up my grinder practically forever! And I thought a ten pound bag lasted almost forever! No snow to speak of in Arizona, and I only make kimchee a couple times a year. Just don't have a lot of other uses for rock salt.

Oct 12, 2013
DeeDee_AZ in General Topics

Salt Brand -- How Important is the Brand?

Exactly. Thank you for verifying that I'm not off my ancient rocker!

B- )

Oct 11, 2013
DeeDee_AZ in General Topics

Salt Brand -- How Important is the Brand?

Same stuff the highway department keeps in big sheds to put on roads. Why would you make a distinction about 'food grade'? Do you believe that herbs, spices and other vegetable flavorings are sterilized or otherwise made 'food grade;? How would you make a nutmeg 'food grade' without ruining the essential oils in it?

Oct 11, 2013
DeeDee_AZ in General Topics

Salt Brand -- How Important is the Brand?

If you don't kinow what I'm talking about, I'd guess that your comment about salt grinders being pretty useless is sort of an indication that you don't know what you're talking about, or as my daddy used to say, 'you don't know your @$$ from your elbows on this subject. Of course your mileage may vary.

Oh, by the way, the salt used in ice cream makers is just plain old mined salt that hasn't been washed or refined.

Oct 11, 2013
DeeDee_AZ in General Topics

Salt Brand -- How Important is the Brand?

In all of these replies, no one has mentioned the method I use. I buy plain old five of ten pound bags of 'ice cream maker' salt and put it into a pepper grinder for the table. I bought two sets of crystal salt shaker and pepper grinder. Usualy, I jut put the shakers away in the cupboard and use only the two grinders on the table. Because they are crystal, they can't be mixed up. The salt that comes out of the grinder has all of the advantages that are claimed for flakes, powder, larger, irregular crystals and so on. The colours in the mined salt are the various minerals that were in that original ocean or sea. Most of the mined salt in the US is from the mid-continental sea that roughly corresponds to the Mississippi and Ohio River systems (under Lake Erie near Cleveland and the salt domes in Louisiana, Utah, and the Dakotas. It is naturally iodized and has a 'brighter' flavor than plain old generic table salt, to my tastes. The comment about being adulterated or 'polluted by rust, volcanic ash, silt, or will not fit through the average salt shaker.' is the whole point of using sea salt. So why not just use mined ice cream maker salt to start with?

Oct 11, 2013
DeeDee_AZ in General Topics

Lids for frying pans, useful or a waste of money?

I have three flat aluminum , self-ventilating lids from Walmart. One fits my two 12 inch iron skillets and a six quart pot, one fits a 10-1/2 inch five quart saucepan and the last one, also 10-1/2 inches, fits my other two skillets, both 10-1/2 inches in diameter. I think they were five or six bucks. You can find all sizes at just about any restaurant supply store. Glass lids are nice, but they don't survive very long and I get along just fine with then ones I have.

Aug 16, 2013
DeeDee_AZ in Cookware

Cleavers Are Not All-Purpose Choppers

I have five chinese cleavers of various sizes. The one I use most is the second largest. It is just about the length, weight and balance of my best 8" french knives -- it has the same curve to the blade, but lacks the point. I have a very thin, narrow cleaver that does excellent work for vegetable prep -- all of my asian cooking projects proceed from 'mise en place' -- with each ingredient prepared with the proper size blade. The two intermediate sizes have specific uses, as well. use two different 'chous' for stir fry, one the ordinary shovel shaped one and one with a slotted blade. That replaces a bronze wire 'spider' when I need it. The heaviest blade is useful for chopping bones, but it is MORE useful to use the chinese cutting or butchering philosophy of cutting throught the cartilage at the ends, rather than using brute force on the bone ends. One can split fowl bones by placing the heel of the cleaver on the joint knob, aligning the blade with the length of the bone, and pressing down with the left hand. That also works with some pork bones, but not beef bones. Those require the heaviest blade, used as a chopper.

he Chinese Taoist, Chuang-Tzu got in trouble with the Emperor's police for using 'magic' because one of his neighbors complained that as a butcher, he did not sharpen his blades often enough to account for the beautiful work he did. It was obvious he was using magic. Chuang demonstrated his butchering style for the Emperor, who found it so reasonable that it became by edict, the 'proper' way to use the butchers' tools for cutting meat. If it was good enough for Chuang Tzu and the Chinese Emperor, it is also good enough for me. I don't have to sharpen my blades all that often, either.

Of course, YMMV

May 07, 2013
DeeDee_AZ in Features

What to do with smoked herring?

There are at least four types that I know of and have bought.
1. Whole smoked herring. They are about a foot long, and still 'fish-shaped'.
2. British style kippers. Split, gutted, salted and smoked to a yellow brown colour. Two half fish joined by skin and a little flesh
3. Blind robins, smoked herring fillets with the hair fine bones left in, salted and smoked. no head, no tail, just the fillets.
4. Canned kipper snacks. Rather like blind robins, but wet-smoked, so they are softer and can be used right out of the tin without rehydration. The German 'Polar' brand is my favorite for kipper snacks (and a bunch of other tinned seafood treats.) They are smoked to a dark red colour on the flesh side, skin is soft and black, very fragrant, no bones, but I do take the skin off to make my schmier for bagels and for black rye bread. They are also good with Liederkranz cheese, as well.

No. 1 and No. 2 are tough and dry, and taking the skin off takes off most of the salt, I think. They can still be eaten out of hand, or you can pull the meat off with a fork. Blind robins are tough, and need to have the hair fine bones pulled out if only for aesthetics. Unlike kipper snacks, you can't just smoosh them up, you need to mince them with a knife. To make your schmier with those, add a TBS of sour cream to the cream cheese, to partially rehydrate the blind robins.

As someone has already mentioned, they are great, right out of the packaging with beer. Chewy and good.

I hope this answers sundancer 10225's question about the differences in smoked herrings. Whew! I'm glad we didn't get into the issue of pickled herring in it's many forms!

Aug 27, 2012
DeeDee_AZ in Home Cooking

What to do with smoked herring?

I buy several different kinds of smoked fish from a Russian deli. I get the larger whole smoked herring and just use a fork to pick off the shiny brown skin (with a lot of the salt) and then use the fork to lift off most of the fillets on each side of the backbone. My kids like to suck the fishy salt flavor out of the head. I'm not quite that adventurous.

Secondly I buy kippered herring in cans, if I can't get them in bulk as 'blind robins'. Polar is the best brand, because they are actually smoked red (red herrings) and have a deeper, richer taste. The meat from either type can be smooshed up with a fork into a block of softened cream cheese or neufchatel cheese. Spread on toasted, buttered bagels, with thin sliced hot white onions (mexican bulb onions are perfect!) or capers, just as you would make bagels and lox. In any case, you have a breakfast treat. Smoked herring is much less expensive than sturgeon or lox or whitefish, of course, and has a stronger flavor. You can also use the schmier on dark rye bread, open-face with lettuce and tomato on top. You need to use a knife and fork for that, because otherwise it is definitely a 'sink sandwich' (That's messy! eat it over the sink!)

You have to like smoked seafood to appreciate smoked herring, I think. But I like all kinds of smoked fish, and smoked seafood, including smoked octopus (Greek delis) smoked clams, smoked bay scallops, smoked oysters, and of course all the various types of fish roe, from caviar on down to the lowly paddlefish roe. If you don't like the taste of the smell, nothing you do to it will make it smell or taste different.

It is entirely an acquired tastes but well worth trying to develop. It opens whole worlds of new flavors to the adventurous Chowhound.

Aug 17, 2012
DeeDee_AZ in Home Cooking

Where can I buy large reusable grocery bags?

Walmart has them in the checkout lanes for $0.50. They have another model for $1.00. Their most expensive bag is only $2.00. I have four of the fifty-centers in WalMart blue and yellow. They are actually a bit larger than a standard brown kraft grocery bag, and have both long handles to put over your shoulders, and little loopy thingies for the checker to slide over the hooks on her rotating plastic bag dispenser. Darn good deal, and they are almost indestructible. Four of them fit perfectly in the large four-wheeled 'cripple carts' that a lot of us old ladies take to the store.

They also fold neatly and fit into the big pocket on the back of an electric wheelchair or scooter.

May 18, 2010
DeeDee_AZ in Not About Food

Does anyone belong to the Cooking Club of America?

Just call their customer service number, (888) 850-8202. Be prepared for a L-O-O-O-O-N-G wait on hold. I used skype out, so it didn't matter. Be firm, tell them that their BS about taking so many days for it to go through the system is not true. Or if the CSR says 'you might get one more invoice.' tell them that you are cancelling today, mention the date, and make it clear that you will submit ANY further invoices as fraudulent, and will report them to the Post Office, and anything they might send you after your cancellation date, TODAY will be considered a gift. Insist that your account number be deleted from their system as part of your cancellation. If they subscribe to the Direct Marketing association, they are required to remove your address from their mailing lists.

This method worked for me this morning. They have 'Offline' (404) pages on every one of their website links, but the CS phone number is (888) 850-8202

I got the first year for $12.00, this year's invoice was for $15.00. In the last year I have received TWO of the magazines, no free anything, and certainly no cookbooks.

These people are crooks through and through. Don't worry about hurting the CSR's feelings, she works for a company that she HAS to know are gonifs.

deedee_az

May 18, 2010
DeeDee_AZ in Not About Food