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sparky403's Profile

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Chorizo, Chevre, ____?: How to Top This Canape ?

I think roasted fig's with port or fig jam would round things our nicely... sounds yummy even without however.

Aug 26, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Thai Red Curry / Thai Panang Curry

Here's a recipe for making your own... fairly entertaining at that.... though it looks very labor intensive.

http://www.eatingthaifood.com/2014/06...

Aug 11, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Stretching food with beans

I love beans.... My favorite bean soup, is a 16 bean soup mix (from Kroger and a number of other markets).

A quick soak is best IMHO ...(bring to a boil for five minutes let sit for an hour and change the water ... the less time you soak beans the less gassy they make you).

Once the beans have cooked for an hour and are mostly done, I add, a bunch of kale, fresh or canned tomatoes, carrot, and what ever else is in the fridge (squash, green beans, zucchini, etc).

I will also add a pork neck bone (smoked), a ham hock, or chicken base (powdered), as well as a head of garlic (outer husk removed, head cut off), bay leaves, a few whole pepper corns etc.

I started making this soup/stew when I was having challenging times financially, it's become one of my favorites regardless of budget...

here's a photo of the packet..

https://weretheminivan.wordpress.com/...

Also, these black bean burgers from serious eats....

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

A great thread on stretching food dollars...

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9037...

Aug 09, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Can I save this soup?

I would bring it back to a boil and leave it out for several hours hoping that the residual heat would fully cook the beans...(not sure this will work, but I think your best hope).

Aug 09, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Appetizer Help

Aug 09, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

How do I cook through an entire cookbook?

You might look here for pointers... Momfuku for 2. Stephanie Li did it with David Chang's book.

http://momofukufor2.com/

I am sure you could ask her for guidance directly...

Aug 09, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Appetizer Help

I just found this... I haven't made it yet but it sounds good and I think would go well with your menu?

Tomato coconut dip

http://hot-thai-kitchen.com/coconut-t...

An other idea might be Thai or Asian style Mussel's ?

Aug 08, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Grilling Butterflied Chicken

I have to agree - this is the way I do it... the fat renders and then you can sear.

Apparently there are more than one way to skin this cat... (sorry for the politically incorrect analogy... sheesh I am old).

Aug 06, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Rinsing chicken with vinegar? Cultural thing?

I had heard about this - so I tried it with some chicken that was maybe a day past ideal. Since it was just me, I tried washing with vinegar.

I don't know that it would have tasted "off" in the first place, but it worked and I will do it with chicken that has sat for a few days.

Aug 01, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

$500 on the line with a friend in a steak cook off

I go off direct heat for say 3-5 minutes to bring the steak to an even temp. Not to cook the whole think off direct heat. To my experience it doesn't steam the meat at all.. Quite the contrary it just drys the surface so you can get a really hard sear and char (I often use lesser cuts of meat and a wet marinade - click the link above to see a chuck roast as a for instance).

As to pepper burning - I have heard that it supposedly does, I say supposedly because I have never actually experienced it... (or I love the burnt taste:-).

No real reason behind the 21 days... fairly easy to find? I have heard that longer aged isn't always the taste that less refined palates like (I haven't had one aged longer than this).

Reverse seared, tenderizer 7 blade roast:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3059...

Jul 27, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Help!! Cooking 30 lbs of ribs in oven

I go for 3 hours at 275 or so (a few times I have run short of time and went at 400 for the first 30 minutes and then back the temp off). I also use apple juice to braise.

What you're really looking for is the meat to pull back off the bone 3/8 to 3/4 of an inch (more than that is too much).

I rub the night before also. And I very much recommend the apple juice!!

Doing that many labs I would also rotate them half way through (30 lbs will be ~ 6 racks?).

I also cool completely, portion them into individual, or two ribs, and hot smoke them on charcoal or gas using a foil pouch) for 30 - 40 minutes and then finish with sauce.

Jul 27, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Summer dinner for colleagues?

I do my ribs similarly - I rub (the night before), braise in apple juice, let cool, portion,

To finish: Hot smoke them for 45 mins or so... then open the vents (to increase the heat - or add more coals) sauce and carmelize done..

You get just enough smoke this way with out the hours and hours of waiting...

Jul 25, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Summer dinner for colleagues?

I agree you can break through some barriers when everyone has to get in there... ribs are a great call.

but you might query the group with a few choices and go from there

Alternatively, steaks on the grill (a bit of cooking yes... but it goes fast)

I love to do bruschetta on the grill - very fast if you have your tomatoes basil etc mixed up and ready to go. Grill the bread, use a rub with a clove of garlic, top, with basil tomatoes fresh parm (I also love blue cheese added to the mix)

Jul 25, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Informal dinner challenges

I would do a big batches of potato salad, slaw (I love Asian and Thai styled slaw and will often use rice noodles to get past the gluten free folks) or corn, tomato and fresh basil salad (I'd use frozen corn, thawed, add the basil and dress last).

- bean salad (like 3 bean) will keep well.

- Deviled eggs.

- you could also do a spring roll bar in case the taco bar is not grabbing ya..(I like to throw some Asian items into the traditional)

- I love doing bruschetta on the grill super easy to do a couple of loaves a time, tomatoes, balsamic, garlic etc can be mixed hours in advance.

- for the meat eaters,.... I love doing ribs for a crowd. I rub them braise them in apple juice (can be done days in advance) and then smoke, and finish on a hot grill).

- Pasta night, one meat sauce, one veggie.

- If you're going to cook for every body, draft a helper asap...

Another fun idea for the first night... have everybody bring their best dish... and the recipes to share..

Jul 24, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

$500 on the line with a friend in a steak cook off

This is an apples and oranges comparison. Burnt ends on a brisket are un-believable but they get this way through a long slow cook at 225 or so for hours...

Steaks need high heat to create a char on not just the meat but also to begin to render the fat.

I swear by the reverse sear, I know that an immersion circulator could also produce a great result. But I don't think I would (purposely) cook a steak passed medium unless my guests handcuffed me to prevent getting it off the grill.

Jul 19, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking
2

$500 on the line with a friend in a steak cook off

I think the bone in rib eye is the best bet in terms of flavor. (21 days aged). I would also leave it un-covered in the fridge for day or so, this way you get the best sear.

I highly recommend the reverse sear to get the most even color and doneness... I started with this a couple of years ago and will never go back.

Here's Kenji's complete guide.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/12/th...

Finally, I would leave off the fancy marinades and just go with salt & Pepper (I think a bit of sugar would help too). Wet marinades don't sear as well Imho.

I might recommend chimichurri to finish with (just a touch)

Good luck and let us know how it turns out...

Jul 19, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking
1

Okra happiness

I have been hankering to try this recipe...

Grilled Okra with red curry lime dressing... doing it this weekend.

http://www.thebittenword.com/thebitte...

Jul 15, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking
1

Why do my pan roasted meats never sear on the bottom?

If you're using a wet marinade = or using liquid to braise it won't brown.

Meat must be dry in order to sear properly. Also, when you sear the bottom, either use a part of the pan that has not been used to sear, or let the pan come back up to temp as Joon mentions.

Jul 08, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking
1

Received a BUNCH of pork chops... what to do??

Pork Satay!

I like this recipe but there lots and lots on the net

http://hot-thai-kitchen.com/satay-and...

Jul 08, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Ways to use up hard ciders

I just posted this recipe in a saffron thread here on Chow.

I have never had angry orchard... (I normally use ace or Hornsby for this recipe) so it maybe too sweet... (you can send me a six pack if you want me to test it for you:-).

This is one of my favorite recipes to make for a crowd...

+++++++Muscles with hard cider, chorizo (Spanish only ),fennel & saffron

3 Lbs Mussels
- a good Pinch of Saffron (2 teaspoons? too much and it will taste
medicinal).
- 3 or 4 cloves of garlic (or more....)
- 2 good sized shallots
- 1/2 to 1 stick of butter
- Flat leaf parsley (fresh of course)
- 1.5 to 2 bottles of hard cider Like Ace (plus one for the cook - this is important)
- 1 Spanish chorizo (make sure it's not Mexican - Spanish ones are smoked you can get at whole foods or Spanish / basque markets).

- Optional: 1 small fennel bulb thinly sliced / diced.

Method:

Brown the chorizo in some of the butter to render the fat from the sausage on medium.
as the fat renders add the shallots, garlic and some of the parsley,

after those are browned add the saffron for one minute.

-Add the cider (making sure that you're drinking one as you do). Bring
just to a boil to combine the flavors. add the rest of the butter.

- Add the mussels all at once, cover to steam for about 5 minutes or
until they all open - discard the ones that don't - throw more parsley
on top and serve with lots of bread.

Jul 08, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Saffron . What should I make ?

I recommend this place - They do mostly mail order (even if you live in SF it's easier to purchase by mail).

http://www.saffron.com/

Lot's of good info about saffron on the site. I think the best advice is to make sure there are flecks of white and that the color is not completely uniform - if it's all the exact same color chances are very high that it's been died (sp?) and is not the real deal.

Have fun.

Jul 03, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Saffron . What should I make ?

Here's my favorite recipe using saffron (other than Paella which has been covered)

Muscles with hard cider, chorizo (Spanish only ),fennel & saffron

3 Lbs Mussels
- a good Pinch of Saffron (2 teaspoons? too much and it will taste
medicinal).
- 3 or 4 cloves of garlic (or more....)
- 2 good sized shallots
- 1/2 to 1 stick of butter
- Flat leaf parsley (fresh of course)
- 1.5 to 2 bottles of hard cider Like Ace (plus one for the cook - this is important)
- 1 Spanish chorizo (make sure it's not Mexican - Spanish ones are smoked you can get at whole foods or Spanish / basque markets).

- Optional: 1 small fennel bulb thinly sliced / diced.

Method:

Brown the chorizo in some of the butter to render the fat from the sausage on medium.
as the fat renders add the shallots, garlic and some of the parsley,

after those are browned add the saffron for one minute.

-Add the cider (making sure that you're drinking one as you do). Bring
just to a boil to combine the flavors. add the rest of the butter.


- Add the mussels all at once, cover to steam for about 5 minutes or
until they all open - discard the ones that don't - throw more parsley
on top and serve with lots of bread.

*Optional - one fennel bulb sliced thin - add it with the shallots and garlic (but worth it).

Jul 02, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Marinading steak

If it's really great meat than salt & pepper... or some Montréal steak seasoning is about as far as I will go.

However, if it's a chuck steak, tri=tip or lesser cut of meat I do the following (I swear by the coffee) .

- Dijon mustard,
- good quality coffee grounds (fairly generously - you won't taste it - so - a table spoon or two).
- Salt & Pepper, Dry rub or Montréal steak seasoning
- Slivers of garlic
- Worcestershire

FYI I am also a Huge advocate (if grilling) of the reverse sear.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/12/th...

May 25, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Side dishes for Vietnamese BBQ?

Would you mind sharing the recipes for the veg red curry, a the slaw (was it a sum Tom dressing?)

May 25, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Potato salad secrets?

I will give it a try. I think I would add my roasted garlic with the cream.

Likely some celery, olives etc. too.

If it's James Beard's favorite - I won't screw with it too much:-)

I really appreciate you sharing it.

Happy BBQ's:-)

May 21, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Potato salad secrets?

The link to the boiled dressing didn't work.

I love your writing style and enthusiasm:-)

May 15, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Potato salad secrets?

This might make an interesting way to make the potatoes creamier..

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/11/sa...

Obviously you'd have to rinse off the salt prior to making the salad. But if you're the potato salad fan (potato salad slut that you say you are...:-)). that you say you are, than it maybe worth the try.

You can also search on Syracuse salt potatoes.

http://www.cookscountry.com/recipes/4...

May 15, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Potato salad secrets?

Fish sauce or anchovy paste finds it's way in just about everything I make these days (it's a secret weapon for sure). I will have to try to boiled dressing.

I didn't realize there were so many aficionado's of potato salad:-)

May 15, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Chilled Pesto Pasta Salad Recipes?

I think it would - you just want a bit, also you could use heavy cream (which I think would be a better option)

May 15, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking

Potato salad secrets?

Pretty interesting an old thread. I do have a couple things to add (and I have learned a lot too).

- I add one head of roasted garlic.
- Pickle Juice
- Red wine vinegar,
- a bit of sugar to balance.
- I use mostly sour cream these days (lots of people freak about mayo at room temp out here) No real difference in taste to me.
- Coleman's dried mustard (along with regular Dijon)
- Celery
- I use red onion (just for the color).
- a bit of anchovy paste or fish sauce for the umami

- My mom swears by steaming the spuds instead of boiling them we made a batch last year this way, it I will steam from now on

- FYI roasted garlic and pickle juice are also secret weapons for deviled eggs.

Sometimes I use chopped up fennel instead of celery and a roasted red pepper too (though this get's a bit too fancy - so I tend to stick to a more basic version these days... roasted garlic always goes in).

May 15, 2015
sparky403 in Home Cooking