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Chinese rib soup (pai gu tang)

Heh, I think we already had a discussion about Szechaun peppercorn. I can't stand it so it will not make an appearance.

I will definitely do the skimming step. Not because I think it's worthwhile (waste of time in my opinion) but because I will have relatives chastising over my shoulder if I don't.

Does anyone ever put red carrot in this? Definitely non traditional but it might look nice with the daikon and cilantro garnish.

Dec 22, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

Chinese rib soup (pai gu tang)

I want to stay with the clear broth, but with a deeper meatier flavor than the one we usually made. I don't know if browning will muddy the broth.

I am going to use a good homemade chicken stock as the base to simmer the ribs.

Should I add a spice pack of any kind?

Dec 22, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

Chinese rib soup (pai gu tang)

I wouldn't have thought to use bean curd sticks but I do have some laying around, maybe I'll try it.

You've reminded me of something else: dried goji berries.

Dec 22, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

Sides that cut through fat/ richness

The ratatouille from the movie "Ratatouille" is a real recipe that Thomas Keller developed for Pixar. It's called confit biyaldi and it's my go-to vegetable side: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/13/din...

The tart tomato-pepper sauce really cuts the greasiness and starch of a lot of holiday meals. Great presentation too, always a crowd pleaser.

Dec 22, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

Chinese rib soup (pai gu tang)

Hi, I'm going to make this for my parents when they come for Christmas dinner. The traditional family recipe we use is very simple: chopped ribs, ginger, daikon, salt and white pepper simmered in a clear meat broth. It's good but maybe it could be better. I'm thinking of browning the meat and ginger before simmering. Maybe adding some kind of spice pack too. Should I keep it simple or try and punch it up a bit?

Dec 22, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

Should I bring a whole fish to a dinner party?

In the end, I went with a ratatouille instead of the mackerel. The temptation was great but reason prevailed in the end. Thanks for the input all.

Should I bring a whole fish to a dinner party?

The potluck dinner is at someone's house. My co-workers won't be there, they were just asked about the idea.

Should I bring a whole fish to a dinner party?

Early potluck Christmas party with friends this weekend. I think a whole roasted king mackerel stuffed with scallions, leeks and lemons would look awesome next to the ham and turkey. Not to mention taste great too. But I realize there are those who don't want to have a staring match with the face and eyeballs of the thing they're eating. Everyone at work is telling me not to do it.

Should I?

Need help marinating a whole chicken in lemon

I think the issue is that marinades need surface area contact to work properly, and a whole chicken has a lot of "dead space" where the marinade is not touching the meat, like the inside cavity and any part under the skin. Cutting up and deboning the bird before marinating as some have suggested is the best way to open up that surface area.

If you want to keep the chicken whole, I'd suggest a dry rub instead of a marinade. Make a blend of salt, pepper, thyme and plenty of lemon ZEST and generously rub it under the skin all over the bird. Squeeze the lemon juice over the bird and let sit for a couple days before roasting.

Dec 11, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

What's your go-to method for roasting a chicken?

I always slice the skin between leg and breast, and pop the thigh joints out so the dark meat sections lay flat. Salt and season under the skin well in advance, about 3-4 days.

When it's time to roast, use an oven-safe pan to precook the bird on the stovetop over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, legs and thighs down. This gives the dark meat a temperature jump start so it hits target temp before the breast has a chance to dry out in the oven. Roast at 350F until the dark meat hits 180F and it's done. In my opinion, breast meat should never go over 140F to stay juicy but you have to do your own risk analysis.

Dec 09, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

What makes a Diner special?

Yes, a good gyros omelet is a thing of beauty.

What makes a Diner special?

There is more great reading on this diner thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/888336. My diner is Belmont Snack Shop in Chicago. What makes it great? Formica counters, tape-patched rotating stools, and wood paneled walls that look like they came from your uncle's basement in the 1970s. The music of a steel spatula scraping and banging on an ancient, blackened griddle. A grizzled counter man who works with power and precision: he can go from smashing burger patties with a steel plate to frying delicate over-easy eggs without ever breaking a yolk.

Hash browns are of paramount importance. Those processed frozen cubes of potato, pepper and onion that get nuked to rubber before serving are a travesty, even worse than no hash browns at all in my opinion. Proper hash browns are par boiled, then either 1)shredded into a cake 2)roughly chunked and then crisped on the griddle with plenty of fat. No finer food on this planet than diner hash browns done right.

Cooking (frozen) potstickers in a rice cooker?

I guess it is possible, but I don't know why you'd want to. There's no way to get a crispy bottom on potstickers in the steamer rack.

If you just want steamed dumplings, then go for it.

Dec 03, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

Left the cooked sausage stuffing out all night. Safe?

I am normally pretty lax when it comes to food sanitation, but your stuffing story is making me a little queasy. Meat stock grows microbes very quickly - similar substances are used to grow samples in labs after all - and stuffing is basically bread sponges soaked in stock. I would probably toss it.

Now if it's just the Stove Top stuff made with hot water, I'd be more inclined to keep it.

Dec 01, 2014
RealMenJulienne in General Topics
1

Next year will be different: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving went like clockwork, I was very pleased with the meal. No changes are needed.

Deviled eggs
Mini cheese tarts
Bacon wrapped figs
Turkey - pre cooked and pre carved
Red wine gravy
Sausage Dressing
Ratatouille
Pecan and pumpkin pie

Plus various potluck dishes people brought.

Dec 01, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

Best New Thanksgiving Dish

Unfortunately not, but I am going to try making it anyway.

Nov 30, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

Best New Thanksgiving Dish

We have the Chinese potluck Thanksgiving as we do every year. A guest brought a dish of spare ribs braised in soy sauce and then broiled in a honey glaze, served on a bed of broccoli. One of the best things I've eaten all year.

Can I dry salt rub this turkey?

My experience is the same as yours. I never buy anything but a mass market Butterball turkey and I always do the salt and herb rub under the skin a week in advance. Never have a problem with excess salt in the bird or drippings.

Nov 28, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

Does anyone have a recipe for Thick balsamic dressing??

A basic ratio, not a recipe, is a good starting point for figuring this out. The classic vinaigrette ratio is 3 parts oil to one part vinegar, with a spoonful of Dijon mustard to emulsify. I find this much too greasy so I go with a 1:1 oil-vinegar ratio, with extra sharp Polish mustard. So choose a ratio, whisk it together, and add various seasonings until the flavor is right.

To get a thicker dressing, whisk an egg into it. Whole eggs produce runnier results, while egg yolks make it creamier.

Nov 28, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

What are the cuisines that you know little about but want to try?

South Indian Food. I've eaten this a few times in the homes of friends and enjoyed it very much. Much lighter than the north Indian restaurant food I'm used to. Sambar, sauteed cabbage with mustard seed, dosas, etc. I'd like to learn more.

Has anyone used Baumalu copper pans?

Thanks for the responses all. I will buy a couple and test them out, maybe gift one for Christmas.

What kind of tests would you guys suggest? I will do some simple sautes, and also the boiling water test to see how even the heat is (does it boil in a ring). Fry some over-easy eggs, etc. Any other ideas?

Nov 25, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Cookware

Has anyone used Baumalu copper pans?

Hi, yesterday i noticed a nice-looking set of copper cookware at TJ Maxx. The label is "Baumalu", which I have never heard of before. They have copper outsides, silvery insides and what look like cast iron handles riveted onto the sides. The prices were about $30 for a blemished skillet and $45 for a nice looking one, so about half the price of Mauviel.

My kitchen is stocked with very practical (but ugly) cast iron, stainless, carbon steel and aluminum so to be honest I have no real practical use for copper cookware, but it does look very pretty so I'm curious to try it out. How does Baumalu perform compared too the more famous Mauviel?

Nov 24, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Cookware

The Ubiquitous Maggi Seasoning

Everything cooked at those Japanese steakhouse places always have this indefinable savory flavor. I am pretty sure that teppanyaki flavor is just Maggi seasoning mixed with margarine. I'm telling you it's magic. It has the power to turn $.15 of rice and eggs into $15 House Special Fried Rice.

Is King Arthur Flour worth the price?

I am not an expert baker like some on this thread, but I can only recount my own experience. I have compared king Arthur bread flour with other brands when making NY-style pizza dough, and the difference is significant. The King Arthur dough produces much better oven spring and hole structure than the other brands do. Flavor-wise there's not much difference but the texture of KA is clearly superior.

Opinel Chef Knife from France

I do not have the Opinel chef's knife, but I do use an Opinel carbon steel folder as a daily use pocket knife and I'm a big fan. The design is very simple and elegant and the build quality is excellent. It takes a very keen edge and sharpens up in a flash. Not to mention, it is just down right beautiful.

If the quality of the chef's knife is anywhere close to that of the pocket knife line you won't be disappointed.

Nov 16, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Cookware

What type of cuisine do you NOT like?

I do enjoy yu xiang eggplant and make it at home a lot but I've never had it at a Szechuan restaurant. In fact I didn't even know it was a Szechuan technique so I guess I did find something to like after all.

What type of cuisine do you NOT like?

Thanks for the compliment, your posts are likewise fun to read, especially those about cookware. I can find something to like about every other Chinese regional cuisine but Szechuan food just grosses me out. I especially hate it when those mala peppercorns creep into non-Szechuan dishes and you bite down on one unexpectedly.

What type of cuisine do you NOT like?

Don't like Szechuan food. Too much oil and one-note blazing heat. Not to mention Szechuan peppercorns are absolutely disgusting.

I like Thai food but dislike Thai curries.

Thanksgiving Meal Other Than Turkey

We usually do hot pot the next day, by boiling the turkey bones for the soup base.

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

I read an interesting article which stated that fundamental differences in Chinese and European cuisines could be explained by their respective water supplies. Many parts of western Europe are watered by fast-flowing rivers fed by mountain runoff, which are more resistant to contamination. On the other hand, Chinese rivers are meandering, slow-moving and silty. This could explain why Chinese traditionally prefer hot, boiled drinking water and avoid raw salads.

These days however raw salads are quite common in the larger cities. I’ve had many business dinners in Beijing where mixed green salads with soy-based dressings are served family style.