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pecandanish's Profile

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We Learned How to Make These Perfect Meatballs

complex and pointless waste of time

Jun 12, 2014
pecandanish in Features

One from left field: is there such a thing as a craft/boutique/premium Worcestershire sauce?

worcester sauce is artisanal ? hendersons had colouring and flavourings added and is no where near as good

Mar 14, 2014
pecandanish in General Topics

Ditching the mircowave?

there are some real purists providing bad advice. although i predominantly use it for warming plates it is also great for cooking ken hom salmon with ginger & spring onions in 2 minutes and steaming almost all vegetables. also cooking baked potatoes prior to baking. warming slightly cold or stale panettone

Feb 21, 2014
pecandanish in Cookware

Are expensive/gourmet coffee beans worth it?

I think the amazing location and fabulous experience probably contributed hugely to the sensation as open fire ground beans and cane juice sounds objectively inconsistent.

Feb 14, 2014
pecandanish in General Topics

Pot sticker people... have you gotten creative with your filling?

pork, cabbage, worcester(shire) sauce. easy, moist, and best of all lazy (no need for a dip)

Jan 07, 2014
pecandanish in Home Cooking

Punch Things Up with Za'atar and Sumac

"high-gella" lawson recipe turned me on to za'atar raosted chicken and i also pile it on double potato roasted veg'n'halloumi . Sumac is superb for topping spicy eggs baked eggs

Dec 06, 2013
pecandanish in Features

Help me! My pizza stone got covered with grease!

mine goes in the dishwasher a few times until its clean

Dec 06, 2013
pecandanish in Cookware

What ratios do you use for your mashed potatoes?

50:50.m always hot liquid, a lot of patience and as little agitation as possible

Dec 06, 2013
pecandanish in Home Cooking

Heavy perforated pizza pans?

Heston Blumenthal heated a cast iron pan for 30 minutes then flipped it over, put the pizza on and slid it under a pre-heated grill on high in order to replicate the 450 degrees C (860F) required.

he also did lots of other mental stuff.

if you cant be arsed just use a very this flatbread you have pre-crisped and a small amount of topping

Do you eat dried Sichuan chili peppers?

have the confidence to eat what you want to eat and how you want to eat

Nov 15, 2013
pecandanish in General Topics

What's the best halibut dish you have had?

best halibut ever. EVER!!!

1 thick halibut steak, cut through the bone
oil, for frying
1 large knob butter
1 onion, finely sliced
½ tsp sugar
4 tsp sherry vinegar
1 large handful curly kale, coarsely shredded
1 tbsp capers
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1. Season the halibut with a little salt and cook in a hot oiled pan. Cook quickly until golden brown on each side, but do not cook it all the way through. Add a little more oil if necessary.

2. Once the fish is coloured on each side, turn off the heat and add a knob of butter. While it finishes cooking in the residual heat of the pan, baste the fish every now and again with the melted butter.

3. Put the onions in an oiled pan over a medium heat. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, add the sugar and cook until dark golden and caramelised. Pour in the sherry vinegar and cook for 30 seconds.

4. Stir the kale into the onions, add a splash of water to help it steam and cook until wilted, adding a little more water if necessary.

5. Add the capers and parsley to the buttery juices in the pan of fish.

6. To serve, plate the kale and onions and top with the halibut steak. Spoon over the caper and parsley butter sauce and serve immediately.

Oct 04, 2013
pecandanish in Home Cooking

Cutting/peeling butternut squash

dont peel just chop and roast, its all edible and the skin is really really flavoursome (just like potatoes)

Oct 04, 2013
pecandanish in Home Cooking

Boneless skinless chicken breasts...any new ideas?

raymond blanc made poached chicken & morels (which i cant afford) with leeks. here it is on YouTube, it looks lush

Jul 30, 2013
pecandanish in Home Cooking

Storing butter outside of fridge

here in england butter doesnt seem to go off when left out of the fridge. if it does turn a little just make some couscous or a tagine and pretend that its smen; the fermented butter of Morocco

May 10, 2013
pecandanish in General Topics

interesting things to dip in choc fondue?

not strawberries or raspberries or any berries. prunes, prunes and more PRUNES! or dried plums as they have been renamed to increase sales. in dark chocolate.

Feb 21, 2013
pecandanish in Home Cooking

Who's tried horseburgers?

horse is delicious, and widely consumed across many countires e.g. northern italy and southern france. in northern italy it is often possible to enjoy tagliata di cavallo instead of mazno, in verona pastissada di caval (a horesmeat stew dating form 489AD). Horse tartare is also delicious as the meat is lean and sweet, not gamey. In france there are often horse butchers and you can buy all sorts of custs and of course hache (burgers). the only problem for the UK is that citizens have a hang up about consuming horses as food, possibly related to horses being instruments of wealth and power belonging to the privileged elite

Feb 01, 2013
pecandanish in General Topics

Roasted Butternut Squash Panzanella

dont peel the squash, just deseed and chop. the skin roasts beautifully providing a tasty and slightly chewy contrast to the yielding sweet flesh

Dec 05, 2012
pecandanish in Recipes

Try Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder

the jamie Oliver recipe hasn't worked for me. i now slow roast on boulangere potatoes which are just sliced potatoes, onions garlic thyme and a cup of stock, plop the well seasoned lamb shoulder on top and forget it in the oven for 4-5 hours. this is more effrot and completely worth it

Nov 23, 2012
pecandanish in Features

Friarielli, Shishitos, Padróns: Are They the Same Pepper?

hang on. friarielli is the local name for cima di rape (a turnip green) which i think is known as broccoli rabe in the US.

Sep 07, 2012
pecandanish in Features

What are the differences one should look for between good and not-so-good prosciutto? [Split from Minneapolis-St. Paul Board]

the best prosciutto will only contain pork and salt, no E numbers which are added to give a redder colour (and which the spanish in particular like).

its boring and expensive but buy the DOP Parma or DOP San daniele which are the reference points for italians, minimum 12 months cure.

quality characteristics are salmon pink flesh with heavy marbling (so the meat is delicate, soft and moist), pure white fat (no rancidity), free of bloodspots (rancidity again) and preferably with many small white spots which are charateristic of tyrosine manifesting itself after a long cure and add a hige amount of taste.

the american wet cure stuff sounds absolutely revolting.

real quality prosciutto is for eating and not for cookiing

for cooking prosciutto di Speck (especially IGP) is a good alternative, its cheaper beacuse its a boneless production (24 weeks for IGP but the 16 week cure is OK) and tasty with herbs and spices.

if you are cooking then perhaps better to go for spainsh serrano which is cheaper or even a black forest ham which is much cheaper. or coppa or pancetta which both "melt" during cooking.

Sep 03, 2012
pecandanish in General Topics

first experience cooking skirt steak

rosemary salt pepper crushed in a mortar and rubbed all over the skirt (the hangar is better), flash fried and rested. sliced thinly across the grain into a baguette slthered with dijon mustard and caramelised onions. a simple green salad, a glass of punchy red and nothing more

Sep 03, 2012
pecandanish in Home Cooking

Using Parsley by the Handful

i find parsley can be used as a substitute for celery, in stock or mirepoix. and when pondering my 'desert island herb', it has to be celery for its multifunctionality. Gremolata is a life saver helping reviving and enhance all manner of meat, fish and veg. and Parsley is one of the pillars to the overnight pork marinatrix; garlic, fennel, parsley, oil, seasoning. Despite the best efforts of UK celebrity chefs to revive it, curly parsley sticks in my throat like a fur ball so its flatleaf all the way. Mushrooms cannot be fried in EVO without garlic & parsely and Vongole liove to be treated in the same way.

Jul 12, 2012
pecandanish in Features

Salting aubergine (eggplant) - obsolete?

i think the seeds darken as the aubergine ages in the fridge. i havent salted for years and an finding bitterness to be the most difficult but rewarding tastes in all of food.

the other tastes are accessible (even umami), easy-going and grow on you without any fuss. No recipes are too badly damaged by bit more salt, another chilli, a little sugar but bitterness is elusive and risky and can turn your dinner in an instant from unbrdled joy to disaster. from caramel to griddled aubergines to orange marmalade to baked figs to roasted quinoa there is an incredibly fine margin between total success and abject failure

Jul 09, 2012
pecandanish in Home Cooking

Really Super Amazing Broccoli recipe

the sausage & broccoli recipe from Leon 2 is a MONSTER, so much more than the sum of its pasrts; brown sausage meat in a good amount of olive oil, flip and brown again breaking up the meat. Add sliced garlic and fennel seeds to taste and colour them up (and chilli if its adults only). Toss in chopped (walnut sized) broccoli and allow to soak some fat, spash of water, cover cook until broccoli is tender. squeeze over some lemon and season to taste. sprinkle on some chilli for the adults. Variations; the fennel seeds make it taste a bit asian so sprinkle a few sesame seeds in if you like. add extra protein by topping with a fried egg.

alternatively try Broccoli with Pancetta wrapped Tofu from

2 medium heads of Broccoli cut into Walnut sized flowers, tough stalks roughly peeled and sliced into batons
100g sliced pancetta
200g Tofu cut into [Rubiks] Cubes and soaked in very hot water to firm up if you can be bothered
2 Garlic cloves smashed and chopped
1 thumb of ginger grated
1 small bunch of spring onions cut across into “horses ears”
Big splash Shianking or Rice Vinegar, or Balsamic
Big splash Mirin or Shaoxing [its getting more expensive and its not very useful], or [more useful] Sherry + teaspoon of sugar.
Big splash Soy or Fish Sauce, (or Nuoc Man if you are showing off
)Sesame seeds if you remember or toasted Seame Oil if its not gone rancid in the cupboard or chopped peanuts or don't bother.
Adults only – 1-2 tablespoons of Chilli bean sauce or a heavy shower of chilli flakes

Wrap Tofu completely in pancetta as you would chewing gum in tissue when there's no bin around and brown on all sides, take your time. Add the broccoli, give it a few minutes to soak up some porky fat and then throw in as much garlic and ginger as kids will take before shrieking “its too spicy”. Add half the spring onions and give it some a good toss.
Splash the vinegar-wine-soy combo, splash of water, lid on until the Broccoli is tender [5 mins ?] Balance the sour-sweet-salty, top with seeds, nuts or oil and coriander if you want.
Plate up half for the kids which you stick in the freezer to cool down so they don't pull 'monkey bathtime' faces when they try it. Add Chilli Bean sauce or Chilli flakes to the pan and toss it through on the heat. Top with Spring onions. Dig In.

Jun 22, 2012
pecandanish in Home Cooking

Ramps Harvesting [split from Manhattan]

if ramps are wild garlic leaves then there are lots at the bollin valley in cheshire. and more every year. I would recommend everyone goes and picks and handful because they are delicious and food should not be an elitist pasttime

Apr 17, 2012
pecandanish in General Topics

Chicken Giblets Demystified

confit the gizzards to make salade de gezioers, amongst the greatest french starters

Apr 16, 2012
pecandanish in Features

Chorizo and Olive Flatbread

to transform this recipe from mundane to fantastic you must cook the chorizo until the edges crisp, preferably in the same pan before the onions so they can benefit from the fat. 95% of chorizo is fatty and unpleasant as a cold eat as its a cheap sausage made from assorted trimmings and only comes into its own with the additiona of heat.

Feb 10, 2012
pecandanish in Recipes

What's the Most Frugal Cuisine?

the poorest country with the richest culture; indian food with its focus on pulses and veg delivers incredible flavours with a little effort, hardly any meat and the best use of local ingredients.

Jul 14, 2011
pecandanish in Features

Anyone heard of 'peddled parmesan cheese'??

i wonder if the parmigiano reggiano consortium will allow mcd to use the word 'parmesan' if the product is not real italian parm reg ?

Feb 08, 2010
pecandanish in General Topics

[Manchester] ostara restaurant chorlton

great food great wine great ambience. and now great service.

funny location with a roaring bus stop right outside and a big dirty road sign for longsight

well appointed high quality interior sets the mood for serious eating.

the wine list is extensive and interesting.

the menu is based on fresh. local organic produce treated simply. good cooking is when food tastes of what it is.

of the starters the venison scotch egg is perhaps the most interesting [although the accomopanying pickle is a bit sour]

pick of the mains have to be the wild trout and the chicken asparagus steamed pudding. both are generous and superb. the veg is always perfectly and simply cooked

desserts are uniformly good, the choclate brownie is particularly lush.

eat there soon.

although the menu is quite simple the specials are starting to look really attractive. its everything that the jockey on the green isnt .

unfortunately they arent open all day, just form 5 during weekdays and all day at weekends but you should go. and you should make the effort to og

Aug 11, 2009
pecandanish in U.K./Ireland