s

smtucker's Profile

Title Last Reply

Announcement Thread: February 2015 COTM "Mighty Spice"

Thank you for the reminder! I had totally forgotten to actually order the book from the library, not just see if it was available.

2 days ago
smtucker in Home Cooking

Last Thanksgiving leftovers in North America?

Nope. I still have turkey stew and turkey stock left from Thanksgiving.

Jan 27, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking

barberries substitutes

I have bought barberries at Arax in Watertown. They are with the dried fruit, but you can certainly ask them for some help. You can also get the urfa peppers, well, they are ground.

Jan 27, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking

January 2011 Cookbook of the Month: STIR-FRYING TO THE SKY'S EDGE

Stir-Fried Lettuce with Garlic Chili, page 195

This dish was a total surprise to me. To be honest, I had bought the romaine lettuce to make a recipe from Hakka, but veered right tonight and made this instead. I had used all of my serranos in the Manchurian Chicken, so I used chili fermented beans, an ingredient that I just love.

I used a combination of romaine lettuce and 6 tiny bok choy I had didn't use in the Hakka Soup noodles.

This was simple and fast, with a huge payoff. I can imagine using the basic garlic, soy sauce sauce with any number of vegetables, especially mushrooms. I have been looking for a simple vegetable stir fry to make to accompany the meat-centric stir fries, and I think we found it!

Jan 26, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking
1

January 2011 Cookbook of the Month: STIR-FRYING TO THE SKY'S EDGE

Chinese Indian Chicken Manchurian from p. 142

I had a pound of chicken thighs ready for a stir fry and selected this one due to the enthusiasm of Wok Wednesdays for this recipe. I had to substitute serranos for the Thai peppers, otherwise, I made this dish as published. [Snowing like crazy out there. NOT going back to a store.]

We did like this recipe a lot, though I am glad I had made a second stir fry since every bite had the exact same flavor. In the future, I might choose to brown the meat in batches. Not all of the meat got the level of brown sear that I enjoy.

I served this with the Stir-Fried lettuce with Garlic Chili, page 195, which I will review below.

Jan 26, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking

All About Braising: Beef and Veal Recipe Reviews

Oh, I want to be your friend! What a lovely meal to find waiting after battling snow. And, it does sound like we will be battling snow. It would be wonderful to hear how it tastes after hanging out in the braising liquid for a day or so.

Jan 25, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking

Announcement Thread: February 2015 COTM "Mighty Spice"

I went searching for this month's link just moments ago, and it was gone! They used to stay up for the full month, didn't they?

Jan 23, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking

Can I use a frozen pie crust for cup cake pies

Yes, basically. You can choose a roll out pie crust that doesn't have sugar, or, puff pastry. Also pay attention to the amount of salt in the dough. Too much doesn't taste very good.

Either product will work very well. A cup cake tin is pretty small, so you might consider oven-safe bowls or mugs so you have a nice filling to crust ratio for assembling and cooking your pies.

Jan 23, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 5 & 6

Whoops. Forgot to mention that the mushrooms are added in Step 1 with the sauce ingredients so that they braise for the full time with the pork.

Jan 23, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking
1

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 5 & 6

Soy-Glazed Pork and Mushroom Noodles
page 208

This dish is a bit more involved than many that I have marked in this book, but in the end, well worth the effort. Please note, I only made a half recipe.

Step 1, prepare the pork [and yes, chicken thighs would be equally good], mushrooms, shallots and braising sauce. The pork is cut into strips. Though the recipe calls for 1 pound of pork butt, I used 11 ounces of something called knuckle cutlets from this year's pig. To balance the amounts, I doubled the amount of dried Shitakes. The sauce is a combination of dark soy sauce, sugar, salt, and white pepper. Heat the wok over high heat, add some oil to coat, brown the shallots for 4 minutes, add the pork. I did the Grace Young trick of leaving the meat alone for a full minute to get a bit of browning, before moving the meat around. When the meat is loosing its pink hue, add the sauce ingredients to the wok, stir, cover and lower the heat. This mixture braises for 15 minutes [20 minutes for this cut.] She states that you can add a few tablespoons of water if the braise gets too dry. Instead, I used some of the mushroom soaking water. I needed 2 additional tablespoons of liquid.

Step 2. Next up are the vegetables. My bok choy was tiny so I increased the number that I prepared by 50% and kept the amount of spouts the same. The bok choy is blanched for 3-4 minutes [too long for mine] and then the sprouts are added. Immediately you drain the vegetables and mix with some scallions.

Step 3. Cook the egg noodles in boiling water. Drain, rinse, rinse again, and toss with sesame oil, vegetable oil, dark soy sauce and more white pepper. Cover the bowl to keep warm.

Step 4. And you finish with the broth [which I had actually finished by this point] by bringing the chicken stock to a boil, adding soaked and drained Tienstin preserved vegetables and more scallions. A half recipe called for 1 1/4 quarts of chicken stock. Since I had only thawed 1 quart, again, I used the mushroom soaking water to get to the 1 1/4 mark.

Assembly. She suggests 3 cup bowls, but all I have is 2 cup bowls so that is what I used. Noodles on the bottom, slightly to the side. Then some of the vegetables to one side, some of the braised mixture to the other, and then some broth over the top. When the bowls were done, I decided that we needed a few more noodles and added them.

Total time to prepare start to finish was just over an hour.

Once again, I didn't listen to my inner voice. There just was not enough salt in this dish. I should have salted the vegetables when they came out of the blanching water. I should have salted the noodles as they went into the sauce. I should have salted the shallots when they were first being browned. It might be that she assumes that my broth would have salt, but it doesn't. Or it might be that she is trying so hard to "lighten" the Hakka food that she has reduced the amount of salt too drastically. The other change that I will make in the future is to increase the amount of vegetables. After two bowls of this dish, the vegetables are almost all gone, while I still have plenty of noodles, broth, and braised meat/mushroom.

For us, this 1/2 recipe is 5 servings. I can't wait for lunch tomorrow. I have a bunch of bok choy left in the fridge so I can add some more. Great success!

Snappy Patty's West Medford: An early report

That is enough fish to feed a whole village!

Jan 21, 2015
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month February 2015

Yes. You have. I have not had a moment to sit with a book. Very busy time with work. I will do my best to do this, but it may not be immediately.

Jan 20, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking

Lemon thief

Too late for this year, but consider getting a webcam [or a plastic replica] and then posting a sign at the foot of the tree stating "This property is under video surveillance." And if you are a cheeky type, add a second line that recommends "Please smile for the cameras."

Jan 20, 2015
smtucker in Gardening
1

Interesting ideas for leftover cheese sauce?

I would make ham crepes with buckwheat flour, cheese sauce over the top. Classic.

Jan 18, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking
1

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month February 2015

:: Bravo ::

Jan 17, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month February 2015

Oh I wish I could, but the next six months are just nuts here at the smtucker-household.

Jan 17, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 5 & 6

We've all had that reminder from time to time as we sit eating some very flavorful, steamed meat.
::making note to self, again::

Jan 15, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking
2

Mulan take out: need recommendations

I'll bet they haven't even received a penny of insurance money just yet. And then they will have to go through all those building permits. In order to keep my expectations low, I am assuming it will take them the same amount of time as it did to re-open Zoe's. And that was a very long time.

Jan 15, 2015
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

Froze my T-day turkey carcass; okay to use now?

This stock is great. I make pasta e fagioli soup with this stock every year. In fact, we really look forward to it.

http://ruhlman.com/2011/11/happy-than...

And yes. The carcass is just fine.

Jan 15, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking

Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven

My goodness.... I am just noticing how many of the raving comments on this thread are from one-off posters. First, without "knowing" their tastes through posts about other appliances, recipes, or restaurants that they like, I can't gauge if our tastes are compatible. I am going to have to go through these reviews another time to assemble a list of reviews from frequent posters only. Is this thread a record for maximum number of first and only time posters?

Jan 14, 2015
smtucker in Cookware

Tips for Making and Shaping Burger/Sandwich Buns

I like Variation 2 of the "Standard White Bread" recipe from Bread Baker's Apprentice for my hamburger buns. This recipe is way in the back of the book, after the sourdough recipes. I follow his shaping instructions and get buns that are totally appropriate for hamburgers. Since we make smaller hamburgers, I make smaller buns by weight than his suggestion.

Jan 14, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking

The new Rosebud, Davis Square

I have never done delivery from Zoe's. We always eat in the restaurant, which has been more difficult with the recent construction.

Jan 12, 2015
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month February 2015

Is this the book you are referring to?

http://www.amazon.com/Its-All-America...

Jan 12, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking

The new Rosebud, Davis Square

They are not always too oily at Zoe's. When they aren't, they are excellent. I do think they always border on being too salty. Doesn't stop me from ordering them every time I eat there.

Jan 12, 2015
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 1 & 2

Mustard Greens and Pork Soup, page 26

I stayed pretty true to this recipe except I didn't have quite enough Asian chicken broth in the freezer. I decided to just reduce the recipe [though not the meat since it was already thawed] to accommodate. My stock is a very light one, flavored with ginger and scallions, no salt. I brought it to a simmer slowly to extract as much flavor as possible from the garlic and ginger, bringing to a boil as the rest of the meal was done. I measured out the meat mixture teaspoon by teaspoon and then rolled them into balls. After 4 minutes, I added the mustard greens and cooked for the remaining time.

Clearly this soup is all about the broth. If that isn't delicious, the soup will not be either. I have never had mustard greens before and was surprised to find that I enjoyed them. I am a super bitter taster, so some greens are simply overwhelming for me to eat. Not these. Considering all the narratives about how salty Hakka food is, I found the amount of salt in the meatballs to be lacking. I also added some salt when I added the greens to the broth figuring that they weren't seasoned at all.

I served a small portion [less than a cup per person] as part of a larger meal. This soup is simple and light. Chances are I won't crave it, but it is so easy to make, I imagine that I will serve it frequently as part of a larger meal.

Served with the leftover Beef with Cumin, Spicy Ginger Eggplant, and some fresh rice.

Jan 12, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking
2

Help with planning a meal around Anne Burrell's turnip gratin, please.

She serves it with a grilled hanger steak which I think is a clue as to what p[airs well with this dish. I think a simple grilled meat would be perfect. Anne Burrell's lentils with bacon, but without the bacon could be a great side as well, and the pescatarian would have a protein. I would think a very crisp and fresh salad would help cut through the richness of the gratin as well and offer another texture to the meal.

Jan 11, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking
1

Are there any highly recommended vegetarian entrees in the Greater Boston area?

Pasha in Arlington has a lovely menu which happens to be at least 50% vegetarian. I assume that this would be the case at most Turkish restaurants.

Jan 11, 2015
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 5 & 6

Exactly. I used 2 tsp of the cumin and 2tsp of the sesame seeds for less meat. I have already made a note to keep the ratio that I had last night the same, increasing if the meat amount also increases. I think your thoughts are spot on. Gotta have cumin flavor in Cumin Beef.

Jan 11, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking
1

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month February 2015

Not ready to nominate, but did want to throw this book into the collective brain trust. Anyhow, it is a funny book I bought on a whim because the two authors are Molly Stevens [All about Braising, All about Roasting] and Roy Finamore [FISH: Without a Doubt.] I mean, how bad could it be?

Take a look maybe for another month: One Potato, Two Potato. http://www.amazon.com/One-Potato-Two-...

Appears to be out of print, but there are used versions out there.

This book has produced some really nice dishes, some of which are in our regular rotation. To be honest, we don't eat potatoes as often as we once did, but many of these recipes are really complete dishes that happen to have some potato in them.

What brought this to mind is the soup discussion below. This book has some of the best soup recipes I have enjoyed, but they all have some potato.

Jan 11, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking

Wegman's vacuum sealed meats - Sous vide?

I bet that the folks at Wegman's would be able to tell you if the bags that they use are sous vide appropriate.

Jan 11, 2015
smtucker in Home Cooking