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Why delicious Indian food is surprisingly unpopular in the U.S.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. :)

Mar 08, 2015
calf in Food Media & News

Why delicious Indian food is surprisingly unpopular in the U.S.

Can you recommend one book (that is available in NA; I live in Canada) that shows how to cook some Indian cuisine at this level?

Mar 05, 2015
calf in Food Media & News

Hawksworth #2 in Canada?

I tried F.A. last fall for lunch. I appreciated the concept of the dishes, but I would think maybe they didn't score well here due to problems with execution. My dad's dish was way over-salted, my azuki beans were still hard, and my mom's salad was incredibly stingy with the main ingredient. Dessert was, frankly, unpleasant, come to think of it, and I usually one to love the unusual stuff. Vancouver has many restaurants of the same category, but I think there's a balance to be struck between cool dishes/combinations versus getting to the point of a consistent, mature technique. Cooking is hard.

Mar 05, 2015
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Hawksworth #2 in Canada?

I don't see Acorn on the list. I've been once and was really impressed. Impressed is the wrong word. I just really liked their food.

Also, Market?

Mar 05, 2015
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Why delicious Indian food is surprisingly unpopular in the U.S.

What makes Indian food particularly labor intensive relative to others? The article does not back up this claim, though it sounds plausible.

Mar 05, 2015
calf in Food Media & News
1

Every week sushi?

If I enjoyed Sushi Hachi (in Richmond) and Kiriri, what other sushiya should I be checking out? (To clarify I've sampled places like Ajisai, Zest, Minami, amongst others but these two seem to be my preferred style.)

Feb 09, 2015
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Pressure cookers are NOT appropriate for foods, including Oatmeal, Barley, Peas, Pasta? (!?)

Yeah that's what I've been suspecting mainly. However, last night I unearthed this article <http://www.cookingissues.com/index.ht...>, in which the chef suggests that for the case of making stock, a non-venting cooker is the better choice--i.e., otherwise, one would get better tasting stock made the traditional way over stock made with a venting (v.s. non-venting) pressure cooker. I don't know how well his result generalizes, e.g. with stews, soups, grains, or vegetables simply cooked in water, etc.

Then again, maybe his evaluations were in the first place based on having ultra sensitive taste buds.

Feb 04, 2015
calf in Cookware

Pressure cookers are NOT appropriate for foods, including Oatmeal, Barley, Peas, Pasta? (!?)

Thanks for the replies. I am narrowing down my decision to a Fagor 6 qt or a Kuhn Rikon 5 L model. Now based on their user manuals, I've noticed that the Fagor requires a minimum of ≈200 mL cooking water, versus ≈100 mL with the KR. I'm also reading that the Fagor will vent more gas (including flavorful aromatics) than the KR in order to regulate pressure while cooking. The question I want to ask is, how much do performance differences such as these, between cheaper versus higher-end brands, affect the final taste and flavor of the food?

In other words, if I pressure cook a simple tournée of nice, organic carrots, would the Kuhn Rikon be able to a capture a level of flavor or texture that a more budget-conscious brand can't achieve? Or else is the price differential accounted for in other aspects of the value of a high-end brand (such as ease of use/speed, safety/reliability, etc.?)

I've noticed that many of the pressure cooker reviews do not really focus as much on comparative taste testing, which is why I thought to ask about this.

"Does it taste better??"

Feb 04, 2015
calf in Cookware

Pressure cookers are NOT appropriate for foods, including Oatmeal, Barley, Peas, Pasta? (!?)

My brain is exploding!

Feb 02, 2015
calf in Cookware

Pressure cookers are NOT appropriate for foods, including Oatmeal, Barley, Peas, Pasta? (!?)

Thanks. Your suggestions are good to know.

Another question. When a pressure cooker is marketed as "5 qt", the actual capacity is only a fraction 2/3 or 1/2, the choice depending on the type of food?

For example a so-called "3.5 L pressure cooker" could only safely cook 1.75 L of soup at a time. Is this correct?

Feb 02, 2015
calf in Cookware

Pressure cookers are NOT appropriate for foods, including Oatmeal, Barley, Peas, Pasta? (!?)

In the process of looking for a pressure cooker (after hearing how miraculous a kitchen tool it is supposed to be), I have just downloaded the User Manual from the Kuhn Rikon Duromatic website. On page 56 it says:

10. This cooker is not suitable for the preparation of apple compote, cranberries, porridge (oat flakes), barley or other cereals (except those listed on page 73), peas, pasta, macaroni or rhubarb. These foods tend to foam and froth and could block the valve. These foods should not be cooked in a pressure cooker. <-- <--

But unless my memory is failing me at this age, I am quite sure there exist recipes for pressure-cooked 1) oatmeal, 2) barley, and 3) pasta, from both online sources as well as books such as the much-vaunted Modernist Cuisine series.

So what gives, given this apparent blatant violation of the usage guidelines? What's going on; I would like to know to be able to make an informed purchase.

Feb 02, 2015
calf in Cookware

Where to buy food-safe clay for e.g. sealing crockpots?

I have a recipe that says to use a rope of clay around the lid to create an airtight environment for a potroast. Where can one obtain a suitable material? Or is this something I would have to order online?

Also, maybe some sort of pastry dough could work too? I've never done anything like this so I have no idea.

Nov 13, 2014
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

How are the fine dining offerings in Hong Kong?

For example at: Bo Innovation, Pierre, Amber? And the quality of the cooking during lunch versus dinner? My comparison point is fancy restaurants in NYC—however, I don't actually live in NYC anymore, which makes me miss and crave fine dining. But if the value is not there, I would rather skip it entirely and focus on eats that are lighter on the wallet. Mainly just trying to think of something special to take my mom and auntie out with—have about 5 days left before heading home!

-calf

Sep 23, 2014
calf in China & Southeast Asia

Videos about Japanese cuisine, NON-sushi?

(bump - Hoping for some opinions and advice : )

Jul 23, 2014
calf in Food Media & News

Videos about Japanese cuisine, NON-sushi?

I want to see more about the food of Japan—are there some English or Japanese documentaries or series that are considered must-see? I'm especially interested in Kaiseki, desserts, vegetarian/vegan, but anything goes so long as there is insight into the technique, ingredients, and/or cultural and socioeconomic context of Japanese cuisine.

I think in North America the only such media we get exposed to is stuff like Iron Chef, or that Jiro film—surely such a rich food culture has much more that's already been documented, people like me just don't know of it!

Jul 21, 2014
calf in Food Media & News

Thomas Keller at Stanford School of Business

I haven't watched it yet but would you say he mainly explaining his "cooking clean" / "finesse" philosophy, or is there more?

Jul 21, 2014
calf in Food Media & News

Proper way to get tree branches for grilling, smoking

Some recipes that emphasize using local ingredients sometimes call for fresh branches/leaves from pine, fir, and cedar trees. Is there an easy and safe way of getting, say, a ziploc bag full of these for, say, grilling and smoking salmon? Or to make a spruce-flavored ice cream?

Mainly I'm wary of trees in urban areas because of potential pesticides, roadside pollutants, and possibly that it's inconsiderate/not permitted. If I forage a small handful of material from a tree in Stanley park, or otherwise lower-populated but accessible area, is that reasonable? Or not?

Jul 08, 2014
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

2014 spot prawn season

I think it's because Chinese (e.g. Cantonese) cuisine prefers species such as tiger prawns. The texture is different, and thus the cooking style; I had cooked spot prawn for the first time, I thought it was mushy and tasteless.

But spot prawns are a major delicacy in Japan, where they are eaten raw; in Japanese they are artfully called botan-ebi, or "peony prawn". Thus not surprising that this list has lots of Japanese and Japanese-influenced restaurants. Actually, the Japanese species is Pandalus nipponensis, whereas in BC we have Pandalus platyceros.

May 10, 2014
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

What is "fruited hazelnut praline"?

Thanks, that makes sense.

Apr 08, 2014
calf in Home Cooking

What is "fruited hazelnut praline"?

In Pierre Hermé's Pastries book (2012) is a millefeuille recipe where a Hazelnut Praline filling calls for using 70 g of "fruited hazelnut praline (Valrhona)", along with the other ingredients (milk chocolate, butter, Piedmont hazelnut paste, gavottes, toasted hazelnut).

1. What is it? Does it literally contain fruit, or is it a pastry term?

2. I'd rather substitute with something homemade, e.g. I could make the hazelnut paste and buy the gavottes somewhere, but can one also make this "fruited hazelnut praline" instead of buying it from Valrhona?

I found this page but I don't know if it's especially different from a regular homemade recipe for hazelnut praline: http://www.valrhonaprofessionals.com/...

Apr 08, 2014
calf in Home Cooking

Buying good quality duck meat?

Not a frequent buyer of meat, but I'm suddenly craving a nice juicy, Moulard duck breast of this sort: dartagnan.com/Moulard-Duck-Magret,-Half-Breast/FDUMA006-1,default,pd.html

Is there a local market that sells duck or duck breast of a similar quality/price range? I live in Richmond so I'm much less familiar with the higher-end butcher shops in the Vancouver area.

Also, interestingly the supplier above (top search I found using Google) doesn't ship to Canada, but they source from Quebec. I'm willing to consider the possibility of mail order of flash frozen duck breasts, but being more expensive it would not be a regular thing I'd do.

Mar 28, 2014
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

So really what's the problem?

What the heck is TU?

Economic fact: The turnover of restaurants in many urban cities—NYC for as one example—is also 50%. It's because of economic conditions and market structures. Hipsters are not so influential as to be the specific cause across multiple cities. That should be obvious.

As for Vancouver, it is a world class city but for various reasons it is not one that supports specialty restaurants very well. That is why Lumiere closed, for example. Similarly, what some of us call "hipster" restaurants have a larger client demographic in say, NYC and L.A., maybe Toronto, but not necessarily in Vancouver. The food can be actually really innovative and impressive—the ones that do succeed are routinely reviewed in those cities' local newspapers. I don't feel it's a loss that Vancouver doesn't have many of those kinds of restaurants—point is that it's often informative to understand what's going on in the bigger picture.

Jan 01, 2014
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Really dumb sous vide question

Thanks! I did it twice and worked perfectly both times.

Dec 25, 2013
calf in Home Cooking
1

Really dumb sous vide question

It's 100 g egg whites, plus sugar, to be foamed into meringue afterwards. From modernist cuisine. If it fails I can always do it the regular way...

Dec 24, 2013
calf in Home Cooking

Really dumb sous vide question

Generally when a recipe says "using a 70 ℃ bath cook sous vide for 30 min", does this imply start the timer when the food is put in, or when the contents reach an internal temperature of 70 ℃?

I'm inclined to guess the straightforward 30 min, because the food is supposed to be sealed which prevents measuring the temperature. Please correct if mistaken!

Dec 24, 2013
calf in Home Cooking

New Bouley question! 2:45 lunch?

Do you feel the dinner tasting menu, which is same number of courses but 3x the price, is justified? Some of the dishes are even the same--at least in their names. I'm sure there are many factors, but I have to wonder what, if anything, makes up for the price difference?

Dec 08, 2013
calf in Manhattan

Gooseneck barnacles now available in Vancouver

What kind of grill setup is that handsome biologist using?

Dec 04, 2013
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Unpleasant experience at CAGEN Sushi in East Village (former Kaijitsu space)

Good point, because if you ask some sushi chefs, sushi *is*, in essence, the rice. So when you ask for "just" a bowl of rice…

Nov 28, 2013
calf in Manhattan

Unpleasant experience at CAGEN Sushi in East Village (former Kaijitsu space)

Yeah… I bet if you had requested an expensive side dish they would have happily obliged. It's all about money, and they handled the situation wrong.

I think you were being a little bold to "question" the waitress, that's called being pushy, and that's not something that computes well in Japanese culture. But still that doesn't excuse the restaurant for being so rigid.

Nov 25, 2013
calf in Manhattan

How did they make this meringue? (lemon tart from Bouchon Bakery)

Hmm, maybe. Similar to this one: http://goo.gl/c6gBb8

But on closer comparison a St. Honore tip has a smoother shape in that there's no ridge along the top, nor the indentation along the side.

Nov 25, 2013
calf in Home Cooking