tastesgoodwhatisit's Profile

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"eggs over easy" what does it mean?

I thought the point of over easy was to have the yolk still runny, but not the whites.

Would you buy dessert sauces at a farmers market?

Could you do highlights of produce that's being sold at the market that would go well with the sauce? Either suggestions (raspberries with ice-cream and chocolate sauce) or a recipe.

Is pot roast safe?

I'd eat it.

As someone said, older recipes tend to tell you to let the meat sit at room temperature for a few hours before cooking. I also regularly buy fresh meat in unrefrigerated outdoor markets, without problems.

What Unusual or Uncommon Vegetables Do You Eat - And how do you prepare them?

They're surprisingly good stuffed with a spam based filling.

What Unusual or Uncommon Vegetables Do You Eat - And how do you prepare them?

Taiwan does do stir-fried leafy green well.

Some that are part of my regular cooking rotation, but would be less common in Western cooking...

water spinach
chaoyte squash leaves
loofah aka silk melon aka chinese okra
winter melon
burdock root
birds nest fern shoots
bitter melon
fresh bamboo shoots
water bamboo shoots (which are actually a grass)
purple sweet potato
lotus root

occasionally I get a hold of betel nut blossoms, which are quite tasty

Offering alternative meals to children - yay or nay

I think there's a balance, and you can go too far in either direction.

I think forcing a child to eat when they are already full is both cruel and bad for long term health (if you're full, you should stop eating). And forcing a kid to sit at the table for hours to choke down food that they loathe is a bad idea too.

On the other hand, if the reaction to "I don't like that" is to jump up and make the kid a plate of their favourite food, it also leads to problems, particularly when you consider highly processed foods that are carefully engineered with multi-million dollar budgets to be preferred over broccoli and spinach. It often takes multiple exposures to a new food for a kid to like it.

I've seen my six year old niece throw a tantrum because her evening flavoured popcorn snack was a different colour than normal (new brand). Normally, she would simply get what she wanted to stop the fuss, but they physically didn't have any of the old brand to give her, so cue the yelling, tears and slammed doors.

Growing up, I was required to try new things, and we didn't get separate meals or even the make-a-sandwich option. But we could serve ourselves portions we could eat, and if we didn't like a particular food, we weren't forced to eat it (but we didn't get a substitute). Restaurants were an exception - we didn't eat out much, but we could order based on preference, within reason.

We also ate dinner together, so it was not just a food thing - there was conversation as well.

Watermelon Controversy! - Seeded vs. Seedless?

I dislike seedless fruit on principle - I think it's generally a bad idea to create a fruit that can't be used to reproduce itself.

The Etiquette of Bringing Your Own Meal on a Plane

I can tell when the grocery store is selling durian the moment I walk in the door, when the produce section is way at the back. I particularly like the oven mitts next to the bin, for safe handling.

Korean Cuisine Beginner: What do I order?

I'm fond of bibimbap, which makes a good beginners dish. It's basically a rice bowl with a mix of marinated cooked meat, vegetables, kimchi, sometimes a fried (or raw) egg on top - mix, add extra hot pepper paste if you want, and eat. It's tasty and not too spicy. Sometimes you can get stone bowl bibimbap, where it's served in a heated stone bowl that gives you a lovely crunchy rice crust on the bottom.

One of my favourite summer dishes is mul naengmyeon - soba noodles served in an ice cold, light but tangy beef broth, with shredded vegetables and half a hard-boiled egg.

Favorite fava bean recipes

I can get peeled ones at the market for a reasonable part of the year. I simmer until almost tender, sautee some diced bacon, and toss with the beans.

Why am I such a bad baker?

Where do you live? If you're using recipes from one region in another, it can definitely make a difference for flour.

For example, Canadian all purpose flour is higher in gluten than American all purpose flour. If you're using a U.S. recipe in Canada and follow the recipe exactly, it will be a bit off - I find I needed to decrease the amount of flour slightly.

And, as other posters have said, substituting things like oil for butter or adding eggs is not a good idea unless you've mastered the basics. Mixes tend to be more forgiving, as they've been carefully designed to be very robust, and are sometimes very far away from a home-baked version.

Cooking and being friendly to planet earth

Now I've got Weird Al running through my head....

The restaurant salad

I ordered a chicken caesar salad the other day for lunch.

What I got was made with iceberg lettuce, carrot, black olives, a bit of red cabbage, and onion, and the dressing was obviously yoghurt based. The chicken was tasty, but the edges were pesto coated.

I wasn't expecting wild authenticity, given that I live in Taiwan, but this was over the top.

Sorbet, ice cream, and other frosty treats

I do mango popsicles during the mango season. Puree mango, pour into popsicle moulds, wait.

I suspect this would work very well for peaches too, if you don't happen to live in a mango producing area.

Recently, I've taken to pouring tea (generally oolong or genmaicha) into the popsicle moulds for tea flavoured ice on a stick. It's cooling without being sweet. We have a very long summer, and the combination of low activity (because it's too hot to voluntarily exercise) and sweet drinks, fruit and ice cream is a dangerous one.

Dipping sauces for steamed artichokes

A homemade garlic aoli would be fantastic.

I'm also partial to wasabi mayo, and a lemon miso mayo is also quite nice.

Please help- need meatless mains for eater with sensory issues

Lentils can be used to make a very soft soup - you can puree for a smooth texture.

The softest tofu can be pureed in soups to add a creamy element (like a dairy free creamy soup) and can be pureed with seasonings to make desserts (chocolate pudding, for example).

Soft tofu is often used in East Asian soups - cubed it and heat it in broth. Egg drop soup sometimes has tofu in it. Would he like eggs in a soup that way?

I've made very tasty lentil cakes by soaking red lentils for a few hours in cold water and pureeing them (still raw) with enough liquid to form a thick paste. You can then fry them (they firm up as they cook).

Eating stale food

It varies a lot with climate - for me, stuff starts to go soft after a few hours if it's not sealed, and even re-sealing a bag is of limited use. I also can only buy individually sealed hard candies if I'm not going to eat them within about a week, or they'll start melting. When I lived in a semi-desert environment, it was very different.

Ever considered writing a cookbook?

Aside from the marketing issues, a good cookbook is a lot of hard work to make. It's not just writing down the recipes - the recipes need to be tested (not just by you, but by someone who hasn't made it before), and you need to make sure the recipe is robust enough that it doesn't fail easily. A lot of the recipes you see people posting on the web are badly presented (unclear instructions, missing steps that the writer does without thinking, rely on local variations of ingredients, poor timing estimates), or just don't really work as printed. Add in professional quality photographs of all the dishes, and writing in a way that's clear and interesting to random people...

For your kids, a self-published book is likely perfect. Write down the recipes, include personal memories about places you've lived and your experiences when you learned to make the different dishes. Toss in some old family photos. It doesn't need to be polished to publication level quality, but it will be a great keepsake for your kids.

How to make a classic chicken noodle soup?

There are a few general guidelines for good stock:

Start from cold ingredients, and let it warm up slowly - this helps extract the flavour from the ingredients.

Once it's hot, let it simmer, not boil (boiling makes a cloudy stock). Simmer for at least a few hours.

Don't worry about fat, because you can skim it off once the stock is cool.

Discard the vegetables and meat you used in the stock, and use fresh for the soup itself.

The rest is more a matter of preference.

Using roasted chicken for the stock gives a stronger flavour than raw.

Bones and ligaments give up a lot of gelatin which gives homemade stock a lovely texture.

For a neutral stock, you can add some onion and maybe a bit of celery and carrot when you make it. If you want a stronger flavour, you an add all sorts of vegetable trimmings - mushroom stems, tomato skins and seeds, celery leaves, the ends of green beans, etc - and a bay leaf and some peppercorns. Don't add too much cabbage/radish/broccoli because it will dominate the flavour.

Your Best Dairy Free Dessert

I'd be a bit wary about using margarine in place of butter for a streusel topping - it will work in the recipe, but doesn't taste as good as butter. The coconut oil suggestion sounds really interesting, as the flavour would complement the dish nicely.

A coconut cream based sauce might pair well with an apple crumble. I might have to experiment with that...

Jam not setting!!

It can also be an evaporation issue - water boiling off increases the concentration of the sugar/water solution, raising the temperature. If your pot is very full, the ratio surface area for evaporation to food volume is smaller, and it takes longer.

I had this issue when making big batches of bolognese sauce, which is barely simmered, and found I needed to split it up into multiple pots for the early steps or it took ages.

Internet Recipes vs. Cookbook Recipes

I rarely exactly follow internet recipes. I'm an experienced cook, so I can adapt the recipe so that I know it will work, and adjust tastes/textures/time as I go. FWIW, I almost never have a recipe failure (although sometimes it's not quite what I wanted).

I think the downfall of a lot of internet recipes is lack of testing. Someone has posted a recipe that works for them, but it's not very robust, or where they neglect to mention details that are obvious to them, or is suited to their particular tastes. I know, for example, that I have a higher tolerance for garlic than most people, so I'll tone down garlic amounts if I'm posting a recipe.

I saw a great example of this a while back. I can't remember what the recipe was for, but a number of commenters had complained that the recipe failed - it failed to set and remained liquid - and the recipe was faulty. The poster got quite snippy, and said the recipe was just fine, thank you - the problem was likely the weather was too humid. Totally failing to miss the point that a recipe that fails based on weather conditions and doesn't mention that is a bad recipe.

How do you feel about waiters clearing dirty dishes and then serving food without washing their hands in between?

Doesn't bother me at all.

I do want them to wash their hands after going to the washroom, and after handling raw meat. And I would love a system where food service people who are suffering from norovirus-type illnesses were able to stay home until they were no longer contagious.

Jam not setting!!

How long did you boil it for? With jam you generally need to cook it down until it is the right sugar concentration for it to set. A cooking thermometer is *big* help, because guessing if it's setting by the look of the jam takes some practice. You want the jam to hit 105 C (220F).

FWIW, in general, go for jam recipes that use weights for both the fruit and the sugar, because with jam, the amounts really do matter - you want 2/3 sugar by weight for the jam to preserve properly (this is less critical if you're going to keep it in the fridge for immediate use, or are freezing it).

I'd buy a thermometer, put the jam back on the stove, and cook until it hits the right temperature. Pour into sterilized jars, and process as per the instructions.

Your best Egg Plant recipe

One of my favourite recipes involves pan frying sliced eggplant in lots of oil, finely dicing it, draining the excess oil off, and then re-frying with diced garlic, and adding lemon juice, a bit of sugar, salt, cumin and chopped parsley. It's sort of like baba ganouj on steroids.

One of my favourite easy preparations is pan roasted Japanese eggplant - I cut them into lengths that fit into a pan, and fry in olive oil on medium high heat, turning occasionally, until soft. The get that lovely roasted texture/taste, without having to turn on the oven in the summer, and the fact that I'm frying the skin means they don't get too greasy by absorbing oil. Typically, I'll cool them slightly, cut up with a pair of kitchen shears, and toss with some roasted garlic, fresh basil, and a bit of wine vinegar, maybe some cumin...

What to do with sliced pork belly?

Slice into bite sized chunks and stir fry with green onion and lots of black pepper.

Definitely Korean style - I had an amazing meal in Seoul once where we had a slanted metal grill with a gas flame underneath, and a grease trap at the bottom. We grilled slices of pork belly until crispy, plus halved cloves of garlic, and ate dipped in various sauces and wrapped in a lettuce leaf.

You could braise it Japanese or Okinawan style - the first is in a soy based broth with green onion and ginger, the second is the same, but with the addition of dashi, dark brown sugar and sake. Eat over rice, or with ramen.

I'd be tempted to try barbecuing it, although it will smoke horribly as the fat melts.

Could really use some guidance - I need to start cooking at home

One approach is batch cooking on the weekend, and freezing. That way you have the core of the meal ready, and just need sides and maybe starch. There are a lot of dishes that are cheap, tasty and easy to make, but take a bit more time than is usually available on the weekend.

Some good dishes for this...

Tomato meat sauce for spaghetti
Chili con carne
Beef stew
Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken vegetable soup (leave the noodles out if you're freezing)
Fried rice and beans
Hamburger patties (aka mini meatloafs)

You can also roast meat on the weekend (it takes time but little effort). Slice it, drizzle with a little stock or gravy (to keep it from drying out) and freeze in one meal portions. Then you just need to warm it up for the meal.

Once you've got the centre part of the meal, you can boil pasta (or steam rice, or boil potatoes, or slice bread), make a salad, and maybe steam some vegetables for a side dish.

how do couples handle dinner?

October. It will have cooled down to an acceptable temperature by then...

The Okinawan pork belly is a surprisingly good hot weather dish, though - I let it go overnight in the slow cooker, cool it in the fridge during the day, skim off the excess fat, fish out the meat and cut it up, and quickly heat it up a frying pan to get a nice glaze.

how do couples handle dinner?

We alternate nights - our kitchen is too narrow to fit more than one person. So one person cooks, the other does the dishes, and the next night we swap.

When we shop, it's not so much a meal plan as a vague idea. We'll typically choose different types of meat, for variety, with some idea of how to cook them, and then get vegetables that go with them. Plus, we keep kitchen stocked with pantry staples, spices, etc.

For example - last night we went shopping after work. I picked up some pork belly with the goal of stewing it Okinawan style, some chicken legs to bake, and a string of Chinese garlic sausages. My husband got some chicken thighs for curry, and some thinly sliced pork for kimchi pork. We stocked up on the usuals (onions, potatoes, celery, carrots, cucumber, leafy green vegetables, mushrooms, daikon, lemons). He grabbed broccoli, green peas and cabbage, I picked some winter squash, beets and cherry tomatoes.

Where has all the fresh durian gone??

We've got it by the bucketful in Taiwan at the moment, so it appears to be in season. I can smell it when I enter the grocery store.