paulj's Profile

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Clearspring Tamari at Ranch 99?

Looks like Clearspring is a small UK distributor of Japanese products. So I'm not surprised that you wouldn't find one of their products at 99.

Fuchsia is British, right? So I can understand why she might recommend at UK distributor, though why a Japanese style soysauce for Chinese cooking?

99's craft products are more likely to come from Taiwan. I have, for example, a black bean soy sauce and a soy sauce paste, from Taiwan via 99.

about 6 hours ago
paulj in General Topics

For whom still does Receipt = Recipe?

Immigration from England to the American colonies dropped off significantly after the Revolution. That's about the time of those early uses of receipt/recipe, and before cookbooks were common.

I've read the Scotch-Irish who settled in Appalachia retain the strongest linguistic and folkloric connections with the British Isles. There was also a pulse of English immigration among the Mormons to settled in Utah.

The American Midwest was settled by Americans who moved east from the eastern states, and then later by new immigrants, many coming from places other than England - Germany, eastern Europe, Scandinavia.

So linguistic developments in England in the 19th c. mainly came to America via books and the educated. Many of the differences in food names and terminology can be traced to German and Dutch immigrants, or to products that developed after independence (e.g. baking powder). A good example is the different meanings of biscuit/cookie/scone.

about 7 hours ago
paulj in Not About Food

Best non stick cookware for crepes or tortilla/ chapati

For crepes and other pancakes I use a French crepe pan, which is carbon steel. Because I only use it for that, it is well seasoned. Though I had a bit of sticking with thin cornmeal pancakes today. I pour some oil on it, and then rub off most with a paper towel. Then I recoat the pan with a wipe of the towel.

For flour tortillas I use a Mexican comal - an inexpensive carbon steel disk with a minimal handle. Those are cooked dry, and at a higher heat than crepes. So that pan isn't as well seasoned (seasoning can burn off), but it doesn't need to be. It works fine for chapati (whole wheat tortillas), and other flat bread that is rolled out.

Buckwheat and chickpea crepes are more fragile. I've managed with the crepe pan, but I can imagine using a nonstick griddle for those. As long as the batter covers most of the pan surface I would worry about it overheating.

I have another, smaller, comal that is used mostly for baking biscuits. It has developed a seasoning just through use. It doesn't get as hot as the tortilla comal.

about 7 hours ago
paulj in Cookware

How to avoid mold on bread?

How about cheeses that naturally contain those mold inhibitors?

Do those mold inhibitors affect staling, or is there something else? Such a certain sweeteners, including honey? "One important mechanism is the migration of moisture from the starch granules into the interstitial spaces, degelatinizing the starch. The starch amylose and amylopectin molecules realign themselves causing recrystalisation."

about 9 hours ago
paulj in General Topics

How to avoid mold on bread?

Buy bread with calcium propionate

http://nutrition.about.com/od/changey...

about 10 hours ago
paulj in General Topics

How to avoid mold on bread?

What exactly is a 'preservative'? Something that prevents the growth of mold?

about 11 hours ago
paulj in General Topics

How to avoid mold on bread?

Though much of that staling is reversed when rewarmed, especially toasted. It may not be perfect, but often the trade off is worth it.

about 11 hours ago
paulj in General Topics

Gaujillo (New Mex) Chili powder problem

First, is this 'chili powder' - as in a mix with cumin, etc, or ground chile? I have bought celo packages of 'Mexican' spices, some market 'New Mexico', some 'Guajillo' (others Ancho/passilla). Guajillo isn't the same as New Mexico, but though similar (tough smooth skin when dry).

Of the large, milder chiles, Guajillo is one of the hottest. A hot New Mexico is probably similar, though I haven't tried those.

My guess is that 6 whole dried NM chiles will give about a 1/2c of paste. But the quantity of paste isn't important. Compared to other ingredients it isn't contributing much volume or thickening. Rather I'd focus on taste and heat. No point in using 1/2 c of powder and finding the the stew is too hot to eat.

I'd just make the stew and add the powder to taste. Sample the powder before hand to judge its heat level.

about 12 hours ago
paulj in Home Cooking

Ground beef vs. ground lamb?

I'd fry small amounts and compare the fat. Lamb fat has a higher melting point, and feels waxy in my mouth.

about 16 hours ago
paulj in General Topics

How to avoid mold on bread?

I find that sourdough bread stays mold free longer.

about 18 hours ago
paulj in General Topics
1

The Ubiquitous Maggi Seasoning

I don't about restaurants using it, but it is common in Chinese (Asian) groceries. And in large bottles. And I've seen Maggi knockoffs among Vietnamese condiments. My assumption is it being used in the same way as soy sauce - for color, saltineess and umami.

1 day ago
paulj in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

The idea that pork was prohibited in Judaism due to a health hazard (trichinosis) is a good example of a rationalization based on foreign, modern concepts. The prohibition is on animals that don't chew cud and don't have cloven hooves. Not specifically pigs. There are also prohibitions on shellfish, certain bugs, and certain combinations.

It also does not account for the widespread use of pigs in many other cultures (including Chinese).

I think the 'night soil' explanation fails for similar reasons.

Nov 21, 2014
paulj in General Topics

Feta Herb Scones

Flaky scones (or biscuits) need solid shortening or butter. Some recipes call for squeezing it into little disks. Others try to imitate the interleaved layers of puff pastry - keeping in mind that you don't want to work the dough and develop gluten. You could also incorporate the cheese during that layering, rather than in the initial dough mixing.

Nov 18, 2014
paulj in Home Cooking

Electric pressure cookers; should I buy one?

hippressure cooking has a favorable opinion of electric ones. For your purposes I'd focus on multifunction ones.

http://www.hippressurecooking.com/the...

Nov 18, 2014
paulj in Cookware

Substitute for pomegranate molasses?

You probably can get by without it. Basically it adds a tartness combined with a complex sweetness. The vinegar is already contributing the acid. I'd make the spread and taste it, and tweak the flavors if needed.

The molasses/vinegar blend sounds like it would work. Cooking down pom juice might also work, but sounds like a lot more work.

Nov 18, 2014
paulj in Home Cooking

Clam Chowder in Clatsop County, Oregon

Beard may have grown up in Portland, but I never heard of him as defining authority on PNW cuisine. His Portland was only 60 years old, not much time for developing a distinctive cuisine. And the following 100 years hasn't done much to codify any dishes. There may be a Portland style, and some typical ingredients, but few distinctive recipes.

In Seattle, Ivar was a greater influence, at least when it comes to chowder.

Nov 17, 2014
paulj in Pacific Northwest

Are starches interchangeable?

I was wondering why fast food industry would latch on to a potato that is just lower in a suspected carcinogen. But I see that they also promise less waste and damage during processing.

http://www.simplotplantsciences.com/
'Innate™ potatoes have approximately 40% less bruise caused by impact and pressure during harvest and storage than conventional potatoes and have lower levels of asparagine.'

Nov 17, 2014
paulj in Home Cooking

Clam Chowder in Clatsop County, Oregon

http://www.oregoncoast.org/chowder-co...
Lincolon City chowder cookoff - Nov each year.

Nov 17, 2014
paulj in Pacific Northwest

Clam Chowder in Clatsop County, Oregon

I know New England clam chowder is not supposed to be thickened - at least that's what one Chowhound school teacher (from Maine/New Mexico) was strongly asserted. But I have not heard of any such rule for Pacific NW chowder. How can it be served in a bread bowl if isn't thickened?

http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/ind...
in this article from a Portland (OR) paper, PNW chowder is 'thick, stick to your rib with local seafood'.

One of these days I need to make a real old fashioned style of chowder, starting with a handful of Sailor Boy pilot bread (or Purity Hard Bread).
http://www.kirklandreporter.com/lifes...
There isn’t a singular, quintessential chowder that defines Northwest cuisine.

Nov 17, 2014
paulj in Pacific Northwest

Are starches interchangeable?

For some purposes starches are interchangeable.

There are 2 main kinds of starch molecules, the linear amylose and the branched amylopectin. The behavior of plant starches depends a lot on the relative balance of these two.

Without going to a reference book (food science) I believe corn and potato starches are fairly similar. Tapioca and arrowroot produce more translucent solutions. Dairy thickened with arrowroot tends to be slimy.

Starches also differ in whether they thicken or thin when stirred, what temperature they thicken at, and how they withstand freezing and thawing. Instant puddings and frozen foods have carefully selected (and modified) starches.

http://www.foodsubs.com/ThickenStarch...
is a good description of thickeners and starches. Salient points are:
Tapioca - it thickens at a lower temperature than cornstarch, remains stable when frozen, and imparts a glossy sheen.

Potato - Liquids thickened with potato starch should never be boiled.

corn - You then need to simmer the liquid, stirring constantly, for a minute or so until it thickens. Cornstarch doesn't stand up to freezing or prolonged cooking, and it doesn't thicken well when mixed with acidic liquids.

Nov 16, 2014
paulj in Home Cooking
1

Are starches interchangeable?

The Simplot modification reduces the level of a suspected carcinogen. In Media there's a thread about McD not being interested.

In Europe potatoes are a major source of starch, both for food and industrial purposes. A different GMO potato is under evaluation there, one that has a custom starch make up.

Nov 16, 2014
paulj in Home Cooking

Grits Versus Polenta

In the Andes (Ecuador) they fry hominy in pork fond (left over from their version of carnitas).

Nov 16, 2014
paulj in General Topics

Grits Versus Polenta

Perhaps the closest thing to grits from hominy that I've bought is Goya brand hominy - which is the nixtamalized corn that has been cracked - the pieces are smaller than whole kernels, but larger than grits. And they clearly have hulled.

Nov 16, 2014
paulj in General Topics

Grits Versus Polenta

If the package does not mention 'stone ground', then it probably is not. I think they do sell a stone ground corn meal, but it is finer than the stuff they label 'polenta/grits'. Recently they also started to sell white grits - same grind, just white.

It's a perfectly good product for use in either Italian or southern dishes. I like to cook it longer than the package instructions call for.

Nov 16, 2014
paulj in General Topics

Grits Versus Polenta

Stone mills are relatively crude affairs, grinding the whole grain into a variety of sizes. The result is then sifted, the finest sold as meal or flour, the coarse as grits.

Italians adopted steel roller mills early on. These can be operated with greater precision, and as a result, can separate hull from endosperm (and germ), and produce a much more uniform grind.

I've seen references to roller mills being developed in Hungary around the middle of the 19th c. They made a big change in wheat milling, vastly reducing the cost of white flour.

It's unclear whether any besides a few speciality mills like Anson uses a traditional southern dent corn.

Recently I bought some yellow corn grits from a historic mill in Indiana. Other than bits of hull, and a greater range of grit size, I did not notice much difference from other grits (including the Bobs Red Mill polenta/grits mentioned by the OP).

Nov 16, 2014
paulj in General Topics

Grits Versus Polenta

It's questionable whether any commercially available grits are made from nixtamalized corn. Stone ground grits certainly are not. Quaker might be, but they are also degerminated.

Nov 16, 2014
paulj in General Topics

Fresh cranberries

Was that $3.59 for regular or organic? I got a 12oz bag of regular cranberries for $1.99 in the Seattle area.

Nov 16, 2014
paulj in San Diego

Thoughts on restaurants that claim to source locally, but don't

And even in California (or especially) the water used to grow the crops might not be 'local'.

Nov 16, 2014
paulj in General Topics
2

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

Another thread discussed an article about pumpkin in the colonial diet. It was almost a staple, where as now it's a seasonal fad. And most of the modern use isn't actually pumpkin, but pumpkin spice.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/990731

Nov 15, 2014
paulj in General Topics

GMO

What does selectivity (or not) of a pesticide have to do with the definition?

Nov 14, 2014
paulj in General Topics