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aroques's Profile

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Sourdough!

WOOOOOO, lets hear it for sourdough! Well tonight I'm just going to cruise the Eastern European neighborhoods for some likely bakeries, commandeer their dumpsters, demand all their blackbread hardtack, and share the grub with all my freebooter friends.

Jan 11, 2007
aroques in Chicago Area

Using MSG in home cooking

I'm 1/2 Chinese, and as a kid whenever we ate Chinese takeout my tongue would swell up hugely. I was taught to believe that that was the MSG at work. I haven't gone out for cheap Chinese food in years so I can't say whether I still get that reaction.

there's a chart on the wikipedia entry for MSG that lists foods that contain free and bound glutamates, its kind of interesting. Both European and Asian foods, mostly fermented ones, have a lot of free glutamates. Parmesan cheese is listed, which I find interesting because whenever I take a bite of it I get strange stinging/swelling sensations on my tongue and gums which I don't get when I eat soy sauce or miso paste.

Sure, MSG is natural, or has natural counterparts. DNA and genomes are also naturally abundant, but wierd things happen to all of these things in labs, so I say let each and all choose yea or nay based on her own tastes, sensations, and knowledge.

Jan 11, 2007
aroques in Home Cooking

wild yeast sourdough starter

I think rye is just fine for a starter. Some cookbooks say it sours quicker and more easily than wheat.

When I was maintaining a starter sometimes I fed it whole rye grains that I sprouted and ground in the cuisinart. The starter gobbled that stuff up. I figured the sprouts, which had been soaked in water 8 hours and then rinsed and drained in a jar twice a day for a few days, must have had plenty of rye-friendly yeasts all over.

Some salt may inhibit unwanted growths. Also, are you stirring the starter regularly? Yeasts are anaerobic, but molds and such need air, so changing the area of the starter exposed to air might give the yeasts a better chance.

hope this helps

Jan 11, 2007
aroques in Home Cooking

Has anyone made almond butter?

I like to soak almonds overnight and drain the water- the butter tastes sweeter to me. Its also supposed to be better for you, but I see that as a side bonus.

Jan 11, 2007
aroques in Home Cooking

Trying to drink more water--how to make it more interesting?

That sounds so delicious. I'm going completely off topic, but this reminds me of a drink a friend introduced me to; they both remind me of orange creamsicles: fill a glass full of ice cubes half with orange juice and half with evaporated milk, adjust to taste, blend if you want. this guy's puerto rican neighbors hooked him on it.

Jan 10, 2007
aroques in Home Cooking

Sourdough!

I can get (an achy gutfull of) all the delicious sweet baked goods I want from all the wonderful bakeries here in Pilsen, but what I'm on the hunt for now is a dark rye sourdough. Any tips?

Jan 09, 2007
aroques in Chicago Area

Trying to drink more water--how to make it more interesting?

chili powder and lime juice in my water- like thai soup minus the fish and veggies!

Jan 09, 2007
aroques in Home Cooking

Sushi Grade Fish?

I doubt kimchi juice will kill most bacteria, only because kimchi (raw) is full of bacteria. i'm no scientist though. maybe the 2 bacterias fight it out...

maybe the kimchi sourness will cook the fish like lime juice? If you try this I'd love to know the outcome.

I've read that freezing cow liver for 2 weeks makes it pretty much safe to eat raw, but this was a cookbook, not a science paper.

In herbal medicine chiles are known to have antiseptic, antifungal, antibiotic properties. Maybe chile sauce will cook fish, or at least inhibit bacterial growth.

Sorry this doesn't answer any of your questions! Good luck!
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Jan 09, 2007
aroques in Home Cooking

Salads w/o lettuce?

I love a grated raw carrot salad with mustard vinaigrette.

Jan 09, 2007
aroques in Home Cooking

Stinky Tofu in Chicago?

Thanks! Do you know if the other dish is vegetarian? Or at least no red meat?

Jan 01, 2007
aroques in Chicago Area

What 's the wierdest recipe you have found and would you attempt it?

Here's a recipe that I keep coming across for some reason...

catch a bunch of little fish such as herring

dig a hole and line it with grass, or get a big black trash bag and...

fill the hole/bag with fish, wait a couple months til they're stinky, debone and eat!

this I have heard is a traditional native alaskan dish, maybe the kimchi of the north.

Dec 30, 2006
aroques in Home Cooking

Making Miso from Scratch - want to give it a go

Has anyone here tried making natto with beans other than soy? I'm thinking about cgfan's post above about searching for soybeans the size of lentils. Are smaller beans better because they have more surface area for the culture to spread on? I've seen natto recipes that suggest cracking the beans in a food mill. Maybe even a spice grinder would work.

I'm still waiting until I fix up a workable incubator before I make some natto- I've got the cultures waiting in the fridge.

Also, it's nice to hear from mingei appreciators.

adrien

Dec 29, 2006
aroques in Home Cooking

Stinky Tofu in Chicago?

thanks! i'll check it out sometime.

Dec 29, 2006
aroques in Chicago Area

Making Miso from Scratch - want to give it a go

Wild Fermentation has good information, also miso cultures from GEM come with instructions for miso making as well as ... what's that sweet, oh amazake, and other things to do with koji. Basically all that i posted above is the results of my own miso experiments, which turned out not much like storebought miso. so don't mistake me for an expert!

Dec 20, 2006
aroques in Home Cooking

How do you like your oatmeal?

raw honey, apples and raisins, maybe ginger or cayenne.

or macrobiotic style: miso and kimchi.

or, whatever leftovers, fruits, nuts, and seeds are around.

oh, and once I had a lot of dumpster-doven smoked salmon, so i cooked it with my oats, mixed some miso in, and it was so good!

Dec 17, 2006
aroques in Home Cooking

boring old steamed veggies

Toasted sliced almonds on your carrots?

Miso or soy sauce on steamed broccoli!

I like to steam my broccoli in a pan with a little water coating the bottom. I cook the stems first to get them soft, and I cook them with one or two tomatoes. Wait a couple minutes, then throw in the brocco tops. When its all done, the tomatoes cook down to a kind of sauce.

I like adding garlic raw after the veggies are all cooked, but I'ma garlic fiend.

Dec 17, 2006
aroques in Home Cooking

Making Miso from Scratch - want to give it a go

I don't think any has mentioned Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz, which has a couple miso recipes.

I attempted two sweet white rice miso batches last summer.

I haven't made natto, although I do have natto spores waiting in my fridge. The Miso making process has a few more steps to it. If you are going to culture your own koji that adds more steps.

You can buy already cultured, dried koji from GEM.

If you make your own koji, steam the rice, don't boil it. The rice substrate needs to stay drier and fluffier than is possible to do by boiling. Variations in the rice moisture make for very different koji outcomes which may or not be good for miso making.

One miso batch I made was wet: I boiled the rice for koji, which made it mushy. The miso was sparkly and ahhhh.... piquant with live culture flavor. It also tasted kind of boozy.

The next miso batch was dry: I steamed the rice and left the grains still hard and undercooked in the middle as per directions. Also, I burned the beans accidentaly. I didn't eat this miso.

If you have the money and inclination to obtain an incubator that would definitely streamline the koji making process. I swaddled my baby kojis in blankets in a cardboard box. They take over 24 hours to culture, and they need to stay warm, so I brought them to bed with me and spooned. It was really nice, actually.

That's all I have to say for now. Have fun with the process!

Dec 17, 2006
aroques in Home Cooking

Stinky Tofu in Chicago?

I wonder if any restaurants serve this stuff here. I'd make it at home except that I'd definitely die of stinky botulism. Does anyone know where, if there is any stinky tofu to be eaten in Chicago?

Dec 13, 2006
aroques in Chicago Area

Pink Kombucha

How do you get your kombucha to be fizzy? I've brewed it for a while, and so have friends, and I've never tasted fizzy homemade kombucha.

Oct 25, 2006
aroques in Home Cooking

ISO Concord Grapes

Thank You!!

Oct 13, 2006
aroques in Chicago Area

ISO Concord Grapes

Ok, so maybe no one homebrews kombucha in this town, and I'm not holding out on finding yak butter anytime soon, but does anyone know where- if - I could find CONCORD GRAPES in the CITY of CHICAGO?

Oct 13, 2006
aroques in Chicago Area

Brewing Kombucha?

I would go to the ends of the city of Chicago to find a Kombucha mother so I could brew my own. Could anyone help me out? Direct me someplace?

Oct 03, 2006
aroques in Chicago Area