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EvZE's Profile

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How come we don't salt japanese/korean rice? or do you?

Your question got me thinking. I consulted my favorite Asian cookbook: Essentials of Asian Cuisine by Connie Trang. This book really transformed my Asian cooking and I highly recommend it! She goes in depth about rice, different kinds and how they are prepared in different regions. I could not find any reference by her to salt the water. Not in her educational sections or recipes. I know that does not answer your question “why”.

By the way, using a rice cooker is not Ms. Trang’s preferred method of cooking rice. She states, “In my opinion, the rice cooker makes dry rice, especially when the cooker has a warming cycle…” She likes to use a Chinese clay pot. Probably not a common thing found in kitchens.

I always cook rice in a “regular” pot and don’t use a rice cooker. And, I will add a teaspoon or so of soy sauce in with the water and rice. I do this especially when I make fried rice. I like the taste better this way than adding soy sauce afterward.

Jun 26, 2009
EvZE in Home Cooking

What alcohol to use in yellow cake syrup?

Use a good tawny port at least 20 years old. It will have a great aroma, a good sweetness and will match well with the cake.

Jun 09, 2009
EvZE in Home Cooking

What is your favorite dish to have Harissa with?

What don’t I use it in! Yes, Mustapha’s is the brand. This is one of the best “hot sauces” around. Not only does it have the heat but it has a wonderful flavor. I add it to tomato sauce, pizza, meatloaf, I make barbeque sauce with it and I make Buffalo Wings and use it for the sauce. I also use it in the more traditional manner with couscous, grilled lamb and chicken.

Jun 09, 2009
EvZE in Home Cooking

Ideas for using Pumpkin Seed Oil?

This oil has been used in Austria and adjoining regions for a long time. It looks like you've discovered it matches very well with potatoes. A little does go a long way. If you find that it is too strong but you still want the taste and aroma, mix in some Grapeseed Oil. Grapeseed Oil is quite neutral and is often used with stronger oils to bring them down.

Dish up risotto and drizzle it over to finish. Also, do the same thing with leek and potato soup!

Jun 09, 2009
EvZE in Home Cooking

Cleaning fish - tips appreciated

I don’t fish so I can’t help you with the gutting. However, I do buy whole fish. If you are going to do a lot of cleaning then I would suggest purchasing a scaling tool. I use a soup spoon to take off the scales. I put the fish in a large garbage bag and scrape away. That keeps the scales from going all over the kitchen.

To fillet them, cut the head off first, then use the backbone as a guide. If you are not too squeamish, fry up the heads too. There is a lot of good meat there. I never eat them at the table out of respect for my wimpy family. I also fry the backbone because there is meat on that, too. Here is a good video on filleting:

Jun 01, 2009
EvZE in Home Cooking

Fried Chicken Help Please!

Keep trying the recipe. I don’t know any magic ways to tell you it is done. But, keep practicing and you will learn to read the signs; the way it smells, the way it sounds, the amount of time it takes, the way it looks. If you remember about how long you cooked it the first time then extend the time on your next try. Soon, you’ll get it so it will come out the way you like it.

I’m not a fan of cutting it open as soon as it comes out of the oil. It needs time to rest so the juices distribute evenly through the muscle. The cooking oil and heat are pushing in and the water is pushing out trying to escape. The meat gets tight and needs to relax. But, I know sometimes you just have to do it.

May 29, 2009
EvZE in Home Cooking

tasty low salt and EASY, please-y

I would suggest making your own stock. It’s very simple, no need for special equipment and does not require much work. Save the bones from the chicken recipes suggested. Val mentioned lentils. Make lentil soup, meatball soup, chicken soup, etc. Use it instead of water when you boil rice. You can also use the stock to make a quick tomato sauce using tomato paste. The stuff in the tube is great to have around so you just use what you need and store the tube in the refrigerator.

White Stock

This recipe is easily adjustable for your size of stockpot and the amount of bones you have available.

5 – 6 pounds of chicken bones
Approx. 12 quarts of cold water – enough to cover the bones
6 cloves
1 onion
2 leeks (I use the timings from my freezer)
1 rib of celery
2 peeled carrots
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs of thyme or ½ teaspoon of dried

Place the bones in the stockpot, add water and bring to a boil. Boil gently uncovered for about an hour. Skim off the gray foam and fat from the surface periodically.

Stick the cloves in the onion and add to the stock after about an hour along with the other ingredients. Boil gently for 5 hours and skim the fat periodically. Yes, 5 hours; that is the key. I am not the police so if you do not want to cook it that long that is up to you but you should try this at least once. Strain the stock through a fine sieve or cheesecloth and let cool. Place in the refrigerator for storage.

Remove any fat that has collected at the top after refrigeration. The stock will be gelatinous and taste better than anything from a can or box. It’s also salt free! You can further reduce it to concentrate the flavor and it freezes wonderfully.

May 29, 2009
EvZE in Home Cooking

Great Farro ideas?

Farro is very versatile. You also might see it called Emmer. Think of it like pasta. You can have it hot, cold, in a salad, in soup, with beans, meat, side dish, main dish, etc. It does take a while to cook; 30 minutes +. Check the package for cooking time. Do you make soup? That would be an easy way to work with it at first. Just throw it in the pot as it simmers in place of pasta or rice.

I like to mix it with rice (cooked separately) and serve as a salad with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, green onion and with a vinaigrette dressing made with 3 parts olive oil, 1 part sherry vinegar, salt and pepper.

The price you paid is good. Perhaps from a local grower? It can sell for a few dollars more.

May 27, 2009
EvZE in Home Cooking

Your input needed

When my kids were tall enough to work at the counter I had them help with dinner a few times a week. I didn't teach them recipes in the beginning, though. I started them out cleaning and chopping up vegetables. I had to teach them how to hold and use a knife so they would not do any major damage to themselves. They were also responsible for beverages. They learned how to tell when pasta is done, read a meat thermometer and mash potatoes.

As they got tall enough to see into the pots and pans I let them stir and add ingredients. I taught them how to make proper scrambled eggs and omelets. I think you can see where this is going. As they gained more skills they were able to do more in the kitchen. Now my teenager can make spring rolls, risotto, etc. and she has her own chocolate chip cookie recipe. We all use her recipe now.

May 26, 2009
EvZE in Home Cooking

Pitiful request for a salad suggestion - Please?

Have you considered a fruit salad instead of vegetables? My kids eat vegetables and fruit but I have encountered some of their friends who avoid vegetables. Here is a recipe I make a few times a month. Use fruit that is in season and don’t use anything from a can.

1 apple
1 banana
1 orange
3 ounces of plain yogurt
3 ounces of coconut milk
1 vanilla bean
2 teaspoons powdered sugar – optional if fruit is not sweet

Wash all the fruit. Quarter the apple, remove the core and cut into small pieces. Peel the banana and cut into small pieces. Peel the orange and remove as much pith as you can. Separate the sections and cut into small pieces. Add all the fruit to a bowl.

Add the yogurt and coconut milk to the fruit. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and add them to the fruit. Add sugar if needed. Toss gently to coat. This feeds my family of four as a side dish. If you don’t have coconut milk just use yogurt. You can use any combination of fruit that you like: mango, grapes, cherries, etc.

If you are traveling far then don’t add the “dressing” until you are ready to serve.

We have never had a kid turn up their nose at this. If you really want to wow them then use freshly whipped heavy cream instead of the yogurt and coconut milk. I do this for holidays.

Enjoy your party!

May 26, 2009
EvZE in Home Cooking