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To much pork belly!

Okinawan style pork belly.

Take about 1 pound, cut into strips. Put in a slow cooker with 1 cup cooking sake, 3/4 cup very dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup dashi broth, 2 whole green onions, and about 3 inches of ginger, cut lengthwise into strips. Cook for 8-10 hours on low.

I cook it overnight, and chill. Then I skim off the excess fat, cut the skin off and cut into chopstick sized pieces, and warm up in a pan with a bit of the sauce, to get a nice glaze.

I have to make this in limited quantities, because it's so good I'll eat the whole batch in one sitting...

about 14 hours ago
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Are 9 Classic Candy Bars Better Frozen?

MacIntosh toffee is a totally different food depending on whether it's warm room temperature (very sticky) or chilled (easily broken into pieces).

about 14 hours ago
tastesgoodwhatisit in General Topics

Multi Grain Rice

You can find mixes of various grains for adding to making rice in a Chinese grocery, under the name "five treasure oats" "ten treasure oats" etc - the number is the number of different grains.

What we do is sub those grains for some of the rice, then cook as usual in the rice cooker. You need to stir well after cooking, as some of the grains rise to the top.

Jul 19, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Need ideas for cookies for a crowd

Two good recipes. If you use shortening you will get a crisper cookie, butter a softer but better tasting one.

Dad's Oatmeal

cream

1 cup butter or shortening
2 cups brown sugar

beat in 2 eggs, 1 t vanilla

mix in

2 cups flour
1 t baking soca
2 1/2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Roll into a log, wrap with saran wrap and chill well. Cut into slices and bake for ~8 minutes at 180 C / 350 F.

Aunt Lee's Ginger Cookies

Cream

1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup shortening

Beat with
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together and mix in

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Chill, roll into a balls and coat the ball in granulated white sugar, squash with a fork, bake at 180 C/350 F.

Jul 17, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Eating right on a budget while training

And if money is an issue (ie, you can't gorge off of meat for all your protein), you've got whole grains and beans - brown rice, oats, lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, etc. For maximum cheapness, buy dried beans and cook up a big batch once or twice a week.

Jul 17, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in General Topics

Extreme Picky Eater/Selective Eating disorder

I think this is a case where you have to accept that this is who he is and he won't ever change, and decide if you can happily accept that.

Food will not be something you share. If you're cooking for him, you will make him corn on the cob, roasted potatoes and chicken, and make yourself something you like. If he's cooking - you'll probably have corn on the cob, roasted potatoes and chicken a lot. Eating out will not be a part of your shared life, except at a very restricted list of restaurants. You will be very limited when it comes to food related socializing - you'll get asked over for dinner once, and never again, when your hosts balk at making custom toddler meals for an adult.

If the guy is worth it in other ways, and you can happily accept the above (not grudgingly, not with increasing frustration), then you may have a chance with him.

Me - I'd dump him and move on.

Jul 16, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
2

Is grinding black pepper part of your mise en place?

If a recipe calls for a lot of freshly ground pepper (like a tablespoon), I'll grind it into a ramekin in advance, because it takes a while to grind that much and if I do it over the pot, my hands get slippery with steam. Smaller amounts I generally grind right into the dish.

I find it loses potency fairly quickly - I'd do it the same day, or you're losing the advantage of fresh ground.

Jul 16, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
1

Which 4 cheeses do you recommend for a rich, creamy Mac & Cheese?

The blue cheese needs to be a small amount compared to the other cheeses, or it dominates.

Jul 14, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Which 4 cheeses do you recommend for a rich, creamy Mac & Cheese?

My favourite is gouda for texture, cheddar for the base of the flavour, parmesan for umani, and blue cheese for sharpness. Other seasonings - a little bit of dijon mustard, paprika, and garlic powder.

Jul 13, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Books for beginning a cookbook collection

Marcella Hazan's Italian cookbooks - "Classic Italian Cookbook", "More Classical Italian Cooking".

Jul 13, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
1

WHY does vegetarian Hoisin sauce exist?? [Moved from Quebec board]

As the other thread says, no garlic or onions, to make it compliant with strict Buddhist vegetarianism.

I have personally had the conversation "Is that dish vegetarian? No, it has onions in it."

Jul 13, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in General Topics

Serving Temperature odf Cheesecake?

If you use xylitol, warn your guests! Some people are more sensitive to the side effects of sugar alcohols than others - if I ate a slice of cheese cake make with it would mean that your bathroom would be occupied for the next couple of hours.

Jul 12, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
1

Domestically Disabled

For pasta - pasta continues to cook a bit after you drain it. So you want to stop cooking when it's slightly underdone. That could be why your pasta is mushy.

For rice - rice cooker! Cheap, easy to use, and nearly foolproof (you have to measure correctly and remember to turn it on).

For the gas cooker - a heat diffuser might help, if you have trouble burning stuff. Mine gas stove will not do a low simmer without it.

Jul 12, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
1

dealing with eggplant for recipes

A method I came up with recently that produces meltingly tender, flavourful, not too oily eggplant.

Take the long skinny Asian eggplants and cut into about 10 cm (4") lengths. Heat a large frying pan over medium hot heat, and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom.

Put the eggplant chunks in a single layer. Cook until the bottoms are browning, and then flip over (I use tongs). Cook until the eggplant is soft and tender (about 10-15 minutes). You can then slice it into smaller segments, or mash it.

Cooking them this way gives them that nice deep flavour that roasting or grilling does, and the fact that you're frying the skin means that it won't absorb a ton of oil the way the flesh does. I find that chunks of this size are the best for arranging in the pan for efficient packing and flipping.

Jul 12, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Boiling whole duck

If you don't want to roast, what I often do with a whole duck is to break it up and remove the skin. The breasts get grilled or pan fried until just done, then sliced (goes nicely on a salad). The hind quarters get stewed, as they do well with a longer slower cooking time. Then the skin gets saved for rendering, for fat and crispy skin bits.

Jul 11, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

One Day in Victoria (Cruise Docked)

I like Red Fish Blue Fish in the harbour itself - really excellent fish and chips and other sea-foody items. It's basically a permanent food truck affair (in a repurposed cargo container) with some outdoor seating - if the weather's nice it's a great place to sit and view the water.

http://www.redfish-bluefish.com/

Jul 10, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Pretzel Buns

That's my problem - I love good bagels, and don't mind the chewing but they are thin enough to take a reasonably sized bite easily.

A pretzel bun with filling is too thick to do that, and doesn't compress down the way a regular hamburger bun doesn't. So I can struggle to take a bite that is too large to chew comfortably, or I have to deconstruct it before eating it.

I love traditional pretzels, but I find the pretzel buns a bit gummy unless they're very well made.

The German bakery near my work sells them, and I doubt there's any American food trend influence going on there - they sell pure-German baked goods plus some with Taiwanese influence.

Jul 10, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in General Topics

Chicken Skin Uses

Japanese chicken skin yakitori - thread onto a skewer, season with salt, and grill until crispy. Serve with beer.

Jul 10, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Favorite ways to eat fresh tomatoes and corn?

Tomato and bread salad - make large toasted croutons, and dice some good ripe tomatoes. About half an hour before you are going to eat, toss the croutons, tomatoes, some finely diced onion, fresh herbs with olive oil, wine vinegar, and salt and pepper. Let sit for 30 minutes, and serve.

Roast shucked corn on the grill, cool, slice off the kernels, and toss with finely diced onion, lime juice, cilantro and salt for roasted corn salsa.

Jul 09, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Instant Breakfast Cereal

I second the idea of buying plain instant oatmeal and seasoning it yourself - you can make up individual serving packets to keep at work. Things to add - dried fruit (cranberries, apples, apricots, berries), toasted nuts or seeds, spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg), almond milk powder, brown sugar, etc.

Or check out a good Asian grocery - there are various just add water Chinese porridges that can be quite tasty, with various grains and nuts, and very different from western porridges. Rice porridge is a staple breakfast item, and there are various other grains mixed in.

Jul 08, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in General Topics

Famous Regional Food you find embarrassing or disgusting?

I hate to disillusion you, but fries and gravy is standard Canadian fare, outside of poutine itself. At KFC, when you order a mega meal, the bucket of gravy is for the fries (no biscuits or mashed potatoes are involved).

Jul 08, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in General Topics
1

Low calorie mint syrup for summer drinks

I think the main issue is probably how you extract the mint flavour. As a previous poster said, heat will give you mint tea, but soaking in cold water won't give you that intense flavour you want. The problem is that the flavour is contained in oils which don't dissolve well in water. Most recipes to make your own mint syrup involve using mint extract, not fresh mint.

What I would probably try is to first make an intense mint extract, using lots of fresh mint and vodka. Then you can mix the extract with the sweetener of your choice to make the syrup, or add the extract directly to the drink.

For home extract making, the alcohol generally is necessary. The only alternative I've seen is to make alcohol free extracts involves using vinegar as the base, and then adding sugar, which probably won't duplicate the flavour you're looking for. Commercial manufacture generally involves high tech chemistry not available to a home cook, for their flavours.

Jul 06, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Super low-cal muffins

I did the math for a few recipes.

A low fat, no sugar bran muffin recipe made with skim milk and unsweetened applesauce came out to 130 calories for a standard size muffin - most of the calories were from the flour and raisins.

A non diet bran muffin recipe with sugar and butter came out to 220 calories per muffin.

This, of course, is for a recipe standard muffin, which is generally smaller than a bakery muffin - just looking up the calories in a bran muffin gives 300 calories for a medium muffin.

By my calculations, the flour required to hold the muffin together (not including oat bran) comes to more than 28 calories per muffin by itself.

So either it has been created with some sort of chemical cocktail that bears no resemblance to a muffin recipe, or the label is badly wrong.

Jul 03, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
1

what is the science behind keeping fat at room temp?

For food to go bad, you need a contaminant (bacteria, yeast, mould), you need something for the contaminant to eat so it can multiply, and you need an environment where the contaminant can thrive.

So preserving food is the science of removing at least one of those requirements. For example - pressure canning sterilizes the food so there is no bacteria in it. No bacteria, no spoilage. Drying and salting makes it hard for the contaminants to multiply - most moulds and bacteria need moisture to survive. (Salt draws moisture out of cells, which dries it, and high enough salt contents can kill bacteria). Vacuum sealing can remove oxygen, which again, is needed for many types of spoilage. Freezing and refrigerating prevents bacteria from multiplying - they like body temperature best.

With pure fats, you have no water, and no oxygen except at the surface, so the contaminants that spoil other food can't survive.

Fat can go bad though - it can go rancid, which involves a chemical change in the fat generally caused by exposure to air, or heating. Rancid fat tastes and smells bad, so if your duck fat or frying oil smells unpleasant, toss it.

There is one serious type of food poisoning that can occur when you have a mixture of oil and other foods. Botulism, unlike most food toxins, is anaerobic, which means that it thrives in low oxygen environments, like oil, and it can be fatal. So you have to be careful with things like infused oil, because if it has a few botulistm spores in it, it can quietly and flavourlessly go toxic. Commercial products are specially treated to prevent this, with methods not easily available to home cooks. High heat kills botulism, but if the food is already contaminated it won't become safe, and acid and salt prevent botulism from growing.

Something like duck fat or frying oil is generally quite safe, because you're heating it quite hot (botulism is killed at 120 C, which is hotter than boiling water, but colder than hot fat temperatures), any moisture boils out during the rendering process, and any small food particles left in have been thoroughly cooked.

Jul 02, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in General Topics
1

Salad Dressing: Home Cooking Dish of the Month for July 2014

Hydrogenated coconut oil melts at 36-40 C, virgin coconut oil at ~24 C.

So at a standard North American room temperature, they'd both be solid, but the pure oil would be close to melting temperature. Where I'm sitting right now, they'd both be liquid.

Jul 01, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Salad Dressing: Home Cooking Dish of the Month for July 2014

Miso-Lemon dressing

Zest and juice of half a lemon
~ 1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 teaspoons of miso paste (to taste)
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Blend well.

Goes very well tossed with halved, ripe cherry tomatoes and diced onions.

Jul 01, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

cooking forums moving to facebook??

I do use Facebook. I use it exclusively to keep in touch with friends and family I actually know.

I don't do forums or games on Facebook, and I don't use Facebook to log into other sites. I like keeping different parts of my on-line life separate. If a forum insists on making you use Facebook or Google ID's to log in, I leave.

Jul 01, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Food Media & News
8

summer chuck roast dishes?

The very thinly sliced meat will also stir fry well, and you you can make Japanese beef and rice bowls with it as well - both fairly quick cooking techniques.

Jul 01, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Cottage menu requires help!

For summer, I like doing big chunks of meat in the crockpot - ham, pot roast, pork shoulder, beef shanks, etc. What I often do is cook the meat overnight, cool, and toss it in the fridge. Then at dinner, I serve it cold and sliced, with mustard or other condiments on the side.

Do you have a rice cooker? That's a cool way to get a starch, and you can fancy it up - use tomato juice, wine and/or stock for some of the liquid and add herbs for tomato rice, add butter and cumin for cumin rice, lemon zest/juice and herbs for lemon rice, some chopped green onions and green peas, and so on.

Marinate chicken pieces in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and herbs, and throw on the grill. Grill whole shrimp (shell on). Get a package of frozen shellfish like mussels, and cook very quickly on the stove with a bit of white wine and aromatics, and serve with the pan juices, and crusty bread.

Jul 01, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

how long can duck fat sit out?

No problem.

I keep strained deep frying oil at room temperature, and I have ghee (clarified butter) that will last for months without going off.

Personally, I wouldn't have a problem using *stock* that had been sitting out (covered) overnight, if it wasn't too hot out, but I'd boil it well before using.

Jul 01, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
1