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What to do with LOTS of fresh basil?

Got a tooon of italian basil growing in our garden and I want to use it up before it starts to die out. I've been making weekly pesto which is delicious but I'm starting to get tired of the same thing. Any recommendations for recipes/ideas for what to do with it? I'm open to pretty much anything. For one idea I was thinking maybe pureeing a soup or stew with a bunch of basil.

Sep 07, 2014
vonshu in Home Cooking

Mozzarella at home...what went wrong..3 times!!!

microwave will destroy enzymes/microbes and ruin the texture and flavor of the cheese. please dont use it

Aug 25, 2014
vonshu in Home Cooking

The best way to season chicken?

thoroughly coat the outside and under the skin with fresh herb butter and spices, stick some aromatics in the cavity and under the bird when it cooks

Feb 17, 2014
vonshu in Home Cooking

le creuset dutch oven - stuff burned on bottom

Hi so I was browning some okra on pretty high heat in my le creuset dutch oven and I noticed quite a bit of fond (or what I assumed to be so) was forming. But when I tried to clean it out with soap and a sponge, it wouldn't budge. So now i just have what looks like a burnt on layer of brown/black stuff on the bottom of like half the pot. Any ideas for removal? Any ideas why that happened? I thought these vessels were built exactly so that sort of thing doesn't happen.

Feb 10, 2014
vonshu in Cookware

a couple questions about sharpening/honing knives

Thank you for the very informative reply! I'm gonna go ahead and get the king 1000 grit. I love my new knives, though they seem like they could be a bit sharper, so I may give then a quick sharpen when I get my waterstone.

Another question, is it possible to sharpen a knife too much, so as to degrade it? How will I know if I've gone too far?

Dec 29, 2013
vonshu in Cookware

a couple questions about sharpening/honing knives

So I just got a Tojiro DP 8" chefs as well as the matching paring knife. I was wondering what sharpening and/or honing tools I will need to keep it in shape. Do I need both a honing rod and sharpening stone or just a stone? What brand(s)/type(s) should I get? How often should I hone/sharpen my knife? Thanks!

Dec 28, 2013
vonshu in Cookware

want to make tamarind wine

How would i go about doing this? I'm planning on using tamarind pulp dissolved in water, but what pulp to water ratio should I use? How much sugar should I add? Anybody done this before?

Dec 19, 2013
vonshu in Wine

have a whole duck minus the breasts...what should i do?

How would i go about making stock in way that the meat is still succulent and tasteful? Because I know sometimes when you make a stock, the meat ends up being useless/overcooked because all the liquid/flavor has left the meat and been imparted into the water. I suppose I could just make the stock without the legs/thighs and then cook those separately to liking. Also, do I want to include all of the duck skin in the stock making process? Or will that make the stock too fatty?

Dec 18, 2013
vonshu in Home Cooking

have a whole duck minus the breasts...what should i do?

So I bought a whole duck, but ended up only using the breast meat in a curry. So now i still have a good portion of the duck left, and I'm wondering what kind of things I could do with it. I was thinking of making a really nice stock with it and using it as the base for a Thai duck soup. But I'm also looking for other ideas.

Dec 18, 2013
vonshu in Home Cooking

Survey: Toaster Oven or Microwave Oven? What is more important to you?

toaster oven is far more versatile and healthier. you can cook in several different styles with a toaster oven (anything you can do in a normal oven, size permitting) and it doesn't have the carcinogenic effects that microwaves imbue on foods. of course it isn't nearly as quick, but it can toast, roast, bake, broil, etc. as opposed to merely (albeit, quickly) turning food to hot mush with high powered radiation waves

Dec 08, 2013
vonshu in Cookware

~$100 to spend on chefs knife

Alright, think I'm gonna go with the Tojiro DP, perhaps with the matching pairing knife, and one of the recommended wetstones. Thanks all! Ill report back once I've gotten and tried it out

Dec 08, 2013
vonshu in Cookware

~$100 to spend on chefs knife

Thanks for the replies once again! I guess at this point I am stuck between the Victorinox 8" with rosewood handle for $50, the Tojiro DP 8 for $80 or the Tojiro DP Damascus 8 for $120. I guess first, what is the difference between the DP and DP Damascus other than a $40 price difference? I really like the aesthetics of the Damascus but if that's the only difference, I'm not gonna pay an extra $40. The other thing I'm worried about is switching to a Japanese style blade after using European style for so long. Though I like the ideals associated with Japanese style such less bruising and more precise cutting. Also I measured the length from top to bottom on the base of the current blade I'm using and it's about 4.4/4.5 cm, compared to the DP's 4.3 cm, so I don't think that will present much an issue from what I'm use to. There is also the issue of a less curved blade, but like I said, I am excited to potentially try out a new style. I guess I am only holding on the possibility of the Victorinox because I don't necessarily want to have to acquire and learn how to use professional knife sharpening equipment, though I am not opposed to the idea if I do acquire one of these better knives...

Is there anyone out there who switched from European style to Japanese style chefs knife for general kitchen usage that found a noticeable improvement in their experience/results?

Dec 08, 2013
vonshu in Cookware

~$100 to spend on chefs knife

Currently, I'm just a home cook looking to improve my cooking experience/results. Though I have cooked professionally in the past and I have been cooking seriously for about 6 years. My ordinary usage for a chefs knife would consist mainly of chopping vegetables, cutting meat and pealing stuff. Not much filleting of fish, though I certainly won't exclude the possibility. I'm certainly no kitchen novice, and have used decent knives when I previously cooked at a restaurant, and I think I could appreciate a ~$100 knife. Also, partially because I'm looking for a somewhat substantial christmas gift to ask for. Also, aesthetics of the knife are important to me, and that Victorinox knife just looks plain ugly.

I'm also willing to spend some money/time learning how to properly sharpen a knife, though I'm not necessarily opposed to going with the easy route for now.

Dec 07, 2013
vonshu in Cookware

~$100 to spend on chefs knife

Thanks for all the replies! I think i'm going to go with with the Tojiro DP 8.25 as well as the matching pairing knife. With that said, do I need both a honing rod and sharpening stone to keep it in shape or can I get by with only one or the other? Any suggestions of types/brands for those?

Also, what are the main differences between Japanese style knives and European style knives?

Dec 07, 2013
vonshu in Cookware

~$100 to spend on chefs knife

So for the past few years, I've been using a really awful $20 chefs knife from target, and its definitely time to upgrade. I'm looking for a fairly decent all purpose chefs knife that will last me a while. Any suggestions?

Dec 05, 2013
vonshu in Cookware

Date night help

let her do dessert dont worry about it

Nov 30, 2013
vonshu in Home Cooking
2

Need a "lamb curry" recipe

can you be more specific about this generic lamb curry dish that you get in all indian restaurants? there are many types of lamb curry... what does it taste like? also, keep in mind that indian restaurants tend to use massive amounts of fat and salt, so that could be where the missing flavor is.

Nov 30, 2013
vonshu in Home Cooking

What to do with whole kaffir limes?

bump. any other ideas? i have a bunch of these limes in the fridge and i dont want them to go to waste!

Nov 11, 2013
vonshu in Home Cooking

All purpose non GMO oil for sauteeing

safflower seed oil

Nov 04, 2013
vonshu in Home Cooking
1

Côte d'Azur Cure-All Soup

thinking about making this but without the cheese as cheese tends to make me sicker. any thoughts?

Oct 28, 2013
vonshu in Recipes

Madhur Jaffrey's "Indian Cooking" is lacking as a great Indian cookbook// Recommend me a different one!

So yea it's not a bad book or anything, and I've definitely made great tasting food out of it, but I feel it is lacking as a thorough and adept-skilled Indian cookbook. Many of the recipes seem like the same cookie cutter design with a couple changes. For example, most recipes use the same spices and at the same ratio (mainly cumin, coriander, tumeric, cayenne). Wouldn't it be better to use whole chilies to build a flavor base as opposed to cayenne pepper powder? Also, there aren't that many exciting vegetable dishes. Overall, it just seems to be lacking in some detail and depth. I want to see more variety in spices/flavorings used. One of my favorite Indian flavors, tamarind, isn't even mentioned in this book once, which I find a bit odd, since its such a pervasive Indian flavoring. So with that said, can somebody recommend an Indian cookbook more suited to my tastes. I'm looking for something like Thompson's "Thai Food" but obviously for Indian cuisine. I'm also not opposed to fusion. Thanks!

Oct 27, 2013
vonshu in Home Cooking

What to do with whole kaffir limes?

My kaffir limes from my tree are finally ripe and falling off. What should i do with all of these delicacies? I have like five now in my fridge just waiting to be used. I know I can use the zest and even the juice in some Thai curries, but what other uses do they have?

Oct 27, 2013
vonshu in Home Cooking

good "cheat" injera recipe?

Looking for a recipe for injera that I don't have to spend time fermenting as I would like to eat some tonight for dinner alongside my doro watt. I suppose it would need something along the lines of vinegar to give it that tang that would otherwise be acquired through fermentation. Thanks!

Jul 14, 2013
vonshu in Home Cooking

Are there countries other than America that "-ize" ethnic cuisines?

every country does it...

Jul 12, 2013
vonshu in General Topics

Splenda Sugar Blend discontinued?

Splenda is extremely toxic to humans. You're much better off eating white sugar (of course there are much healthier options than refined sugar as it is). I'm assuming you're using it to lose/maintain weight, in which case I'll tell you this: Splenda will actually cause you to gain more weight as opposed to consuming an equivalent amount of white sugar.

Jul 08, 2013
vonshu in General Topics

Recommend me a good electric spice grinder

For gods sakes, something better than "Mr Coffee" coffee grinder! This thing is awful at grinding spices, even though it says it is "great for both coffee and spices." What I'm looking for must be able to efficiently grind a very small quantity of spices since I usually only grind what I'm going to be using for a specific meal. Also it would be great if spices didn't get stuck in the nooks and crannies of the grinder like with Mr Coffee - it should be able to grind all spices to a fine powder

May 25, 2013
vonshu in Cookware

should garam masala spices be dry toasted before being ground?

the cook book i'm working from doesn't mention it, but i have seen various other sources recommend toasting the spices beforehand (other than the cardamom which apparently loses something desirable)

May 20, 2013
vonshu in Home Cooking

What are you favour 3 cuisines?

Thai, Indian, Chinese in that order

May 13, 2013
vonshu in General Topics

PeiWei and Chipotle in West Windsor

PeiWei is pretty awful, at least the one here in Sarasota

May 01, 2013
vonshu in New Jersey

What do you put in your chicken soup?

homemade sauerkraut. the saltiness, acidity, and crunch are the perfect attributes to cut through the relative blandness and mushiness of the rest of the soup

Apr 14, 2013
vonshu in Home Cooking