JungMann's Profile

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Help identifying a savory Italian Easter pastry

Is that mostly ham in bread dough? I'd assume that could sit out for most of the day?

I'm interested in the pizza gain with salume, ricotta and cheese in crust. I'm told nonna makes it in the morning and it's eaten later at room temperature or cold.

about 9 hours ago
JungMann in General Topics

Pimento Cheese: Unrefrigerated

Pimento cheese sandwiches are a staple of church potlucks in the humid South, but in the urban Northeast, they're still a curiosity in the church refectory.

I'm bringing a pimento cheese ball shaped like a baby chick for our parish's Easter Vigil gathering, which means food will sit in a slightly cold (55-65 degrees depending on whether the doors are open) church hall for about 10 hours. Will pimento cheese made with Duke's hold up that long even if covered in cling film? Would substituting some cream cheese for the mayo lengthen its keeping time as some have suggested?

about 9 hours ago
JungMann in General Topics

Making a sauce that call for 1T cream. What can I use instead?

A lot of folks recommend evaporated milk as a lowfat alternative to cream, but I would just use the 2% milk and thicken the sauce with a roux. It won't be exactly the same as a silky cream sauce, but you can get enough body to coat the chicken.

about 19 hours ago
JungMann in Home Cooking
2

Are you snacking on anything right now? **Springtime Edition**

Where do you buy the hot garlic shrimp chips in NYC? I only see the regular Calbee shrimp chips around here.

about 19 hours ago
JungMann in General Topics

Are you snacking on anything right now? **Springtime Edition**

I get them from the Middle Eastern store. They're called batinjan makdous or just makdous. They're made from small baby eggplants so a couple make a good snack.

1 day ago
JungMann in General Topics

Current obsessions?

It's a gel made from a fiber-rich tuber known as konjac. The traditional type of noodle is made from konjac flour and water. The texture is decidedly chewy, perhaps too much so for the American market, so the major market brands here have added tofu to the noodles to create a more yielding texture without adding additional carbohydrates, but traditional shirataki noodles are still available at Asian and some health food stores.

2 days ago
JungMann in General Topics

Suggestions for using Middle Eastern spice blends

Za'atar is a condiment generally made from wild thyme, sesame seeds, sumac and a variety of regional spices. It's generally eaten as a dip with pita bread and good olive oil. Paint it onto flatbread that you crisp slightly in the oven and you have an easy version of manakish (also called za'atar bread) that is terrific with fresh cheese and tomatoes. I have always thought of za'atar as a condiment, best sprinkled on yogurt, cheese, hummus or popcorn, but a lot of people swear it is a terrific rub for roast chicken or lamb.

Ras el hanout is a much more complex blend of spices that would be very much at home in a braise or tagine. You can use it to season rice or couscous, or mix with some fruity olive oil for a dressing for pasta salad paired with sweet vegetables. Use it as a rub for grilled meats. If you have a sweeter variety that incorporates cinnamon and rose flavors, you can also make cookies or spiced fruits with the blend.

2 days ago
JungMann in Home Cooking
2

Are you snacking on anything right now? **Springtime Edition**

Jordan almonds
Feta cheese-stuffed olives
Spicy pickled eggplants stuffed with walnuts and red pepper
Coconut milk ice cream with crushed Samoas
Girl scout cookies in general

2 days ago
JungMann in General Topics

nyc ice cream strictly speaking

Momofuku Milk Bar
Sundaes and Cones
Shake Shack

2 days ago
JungMann in Manhattan

What to expect at a Nepalese restaurant?

Kati rolls are from India.

2 days ago
JungMann in General Topics

Best uses for rendered beef fat

Old-fashioned french fries

Apr 15, 2014
JungMann in Home Cooking
2

I [HEART] The Splendid Table and Lynne Rossetto Kasper

I listen to podcasts in the order they are pushed to my phone. Now that I've checked the website, I see that I've been listening to some rebroadcasts, so I guess there is no splicing.

I don't generally submit feedback to radio shows. That's advanced level NPR-listening. I try to max out at wearing tortoise shell glasses and shopping farmers markets with a WNYC tote bag.

Apr 15, 2014
JungMann in Food Media & News
1

LEG OF LAMB - Home Cooking Dish of the Month for April 2014

I referred to Food52 for the proportion of bulgur to lamb, but I ended up judging by feel rather than exact measurements and ended up with 3/4 cups bulgur to lamb. The spice blends I made myself with allspice, nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, sumac and white pepper for the filling and a combination of cinnamon, allspice, cumin, black pepper and hot red pepper paste for the crust. All in all it's a forgiving recipe and if you can make meatloaf, you can make kibbeh bi saniyyeh.

Ottolenghi's recipe is different in that it is an open pie with a tahini topping. I pair kibbeh with a yogurt salad or lemon juice.

Apr 15, 2014
JungMann in Home Cooking

LEG OF LAMB - Home Cooking Dish of the Month for April 2014

Just made leg of lamb, but not the way one would expect.

As it is, leg of lamb is the perfect meat for kibbeh. I trimmed a small leg of its fat, grinding any marbled bits to saute with butter, pine nuts, onions, garlic, spices and pomegranate molasses. The perfectly lean portion of lamb, I ground to a paste with bulgur wheat, onions and different spices.

To assemble, I layered the lean lamb/bulgur mixture at the bottom of a pie plate, topped with the sauteed lamb and pine nuts and then sealed with a final layer of the lamb/bulgur mixture. I scored the top with a diamond pattern, filling the diamonds with almonds or pine nuts, before brushing with a final glaze of melted butter and baking at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. The lamb/bulgur turned out light and fluffy with the delicate aroma of cinnamon and allspice. A perfect contrast against the slightly sweet and sour filling. I had meant to take a picture of the completed kibbeh bi saniyyeh, but we tore into it before I event thought to take out the camera.

Apr 15, 2014
JungMann in Home Cooking
1

What to expect at a Nepalese restaurant?

Nepalese cuisine is a cross roads of Central Asian, North Indian and East Asian foodways. Wet dishes similar to curries abound, but the spicing is much more subtle in comparison to similar dishes in North India with more prominence given to ginger and herbal flavors. Because there are fewer spices in the dishes, they don't need quite as much oil so they end up lighter than similar dishes in Indian cuisine. Rice is the staple, but you will also find stir fried noodles and bread on menus. Dumplings, called momos, are also a must.

Apr 15, 2014
JungMann in General Topics

I [HEART] The Splendid Table and Lynne Rossetto Kasper

You hit the nail on the head. She is a terrific radio personality and talks about food with the expressiveness of an opera singer. She seems perfectly lovely.

That said, she frequently passes along incorrect information on any topic that goes beyond Italian cuisine or tomatoes. The episode where she told listeners that the secret to a silky congee is to add pureed meat (which she misidentified as velveted chicken) was so wildly off-base, not just on the topic of Asian cuisine, but also with respect to what happens when you put protein in hot water!

I've also noticed that they tend to splice old calls into new episodes of "The Splendid Table," but they've never bothered to correct her inaccuracies. There's really no reason to recycle misleading information, particularly when calls are pre-screened and the show has time to research the actual answers to callers' questions.

Apr 14, 2014
JungMann in Food Media & News

EV Lebanese mentioned in NYT

I stopped by Au Za'atar for brunch yesterday. Their namesake za'atar is a beautiful blend that is plenty tart and slightly salty, a lively palate awakener on a Sunday morning. The bread it was served with, however, was dense and chewy, more akin to a pizza dough than pita. It wasn't bad, but I found it out of place.

Brunch dishes were fair. The hummus that came with the Au Za'atar breakfast was very creamy but light on the tongue. The falafel was nothing to write home about, but the hot sauce we asked for to accompany our eggs was a blaze of heat, fermentation and spice. I was a big fan. I also ordered off-menu kibbeh nayeh which was pretty good. Served with mint leaves, harissa and toum, the meat was silky and very gently seasoned, maybe a little too subtly. The toum that accompanied the kibbeh was almost flavorless. I might as well have been putting vegannaise on my bread.

Service left a lot to be desired. The dining room was maybe 20% full, but it seemed like our waitress was busy everywhere except at our table and everything took an absurd amount of time to come out. It took well over 10 minutes to get a tea, even longer to get one order of mimosas and who knows how long to get our mains. I had asked for our kibbeh to be served as a starter, but it was delivered after our mains so we ended up having it as dessert. We finally had to get up from the table and flag someone down to get our check after we grew weary of waiting. Our server was perfectly friendly and accommodating, but something clearly wasn't working between front and back of house.

I'd go back, but I'm not rushing. I'm not sure what French influences there are on the menu since a quick review shows pretty much all standard Levantine fare on offer.

Apr 14, 2014
JungMann in Manhattan
1

What would you consider are your 6 essential spices?

Considering what I use daily I think I get the most mileage out of:

Cumin
Coriander
Allspice
Aleppo pepper
Cardamom

I do a fair amount of South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking so I have need of several more spices if I want to cook with any breadth, but these five can get me through most of the mainstays of my repertoire.

Apr 14, 2014
JungMann in General Topics

The Masters is underway - anyone else doing pimento cheese?

Golf or no golf, it's always time for pimento cheese in my house. I like mine with a little kick from either grated onion and Worcestershire sauce or an Asian combination of scallions and Sriracha instead.

Apr 10, 2014
JungMann in Home Cooking

OK - another fish sauce thread

Over the years I've used 3 crabs, Tiparos, Squid, Rufina, Cock and some Western brand I never went back to. I can't say with certainty if you can detect terroir in fish sauce, but the brands do differ from each other.

3 crabs seems to be popular with a lot of people, I think, because it has such a mellower flavor than other brands. It is fine to add some salinity to a dish or a dipping sauce, but it does not have much complexity.

Personally I use Tiparos, mainly because that is what my family used when I was growing up so it makes my food taste like what I remember. It is not too salty and has some aged caramel notes that make dipping sauces stand out. Squid or Rufina would probably be my second choice, though the former is a bit simpler than Tiparos and Rufina is a bit more briney. The last one I don't remember, but how could I turn up the opportunity to stock up on Cock sauce?

Apr 10, 2014
JungMann in General Topics
1

Easter - Grape Jelly and Ham?

Fruit and ham makes me want to fork my life.

Apr 10, 2014
JungMann in General Topics

Non-tomato based pasta dishes that can be made ahead of time

I have always loved pasta with creamy Greek yogurt. There is a warm Greek are laced with sweet caramelized onions and salty cheese, though I prefer the cold or room temperature Middle Eastern version made a little spicy with fresh garlic and Aleppo pepper. An overnight rest in the fridge mellows the heat of the garlic and allows the flavors to come together. Sprinkle with sumac to serve.

Yotam Ottolenghi's version of yogurt noodles with peas, basil and pine nuts is meant to be served warm, but it's still delicious cold: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandsty...

Apr 09, 2014
JungMann in Home Cooking

Easy make ahead chicken dish

I'd suggest any braised dish would work well for you. My favorite, chicken adobo, actually improves after sitting overnight in the fridge, though some may consider the soy sauce in the braising liquid to be kitiniyot.

Apr 09, 2014
JungMann in Home Cooking

If a recipe calls for, simply, a "fresh red chile" would a fresno pepper work?

In most cases I assume when a recipe calls for red chiles, it is calling for my choice of ripened chile, as opposed to green. Fresnos are good all-purpose choice..

Apr 09, 2014
JungMann in Home Cooking

What else can I do with kale and swiss chard?

If he likes it sweet, you can sweat some onions, add in some cumin seed or parika if you like and then add in your chopped chard and cook it until wilted. Add a bit of water or broth and cook until tender. Finish with raisins and toasted almonds or pine nuts.

You can also steam Swiss chard stems until just tender. Drain and puree with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and the optional cumin and/or chili. Blend until you reach your desired smoothness and you have a dip similar in flavor to Sabra brand baba ghannouj.

Apr 09, 2014
JungMann in Home Cooking

Good mexican restaurant in Manhattan?

There is no fruit in nature that grows in neon blue, electric orange or whore's lipstick red! Perhaps there was a fresh fruit involved at some point of the production process, but not before combining it with corn syrup, cellulose gum, and polysorbate 60 to produce the margarita mix Dallas BBQ is peddling. There is a very distinct chemical aftertaste and oil-slick feeling from the emulsifiers they use.

It was fine when I was a student and I could get an extra test tube of tequila chemical for just a dollar. And I had nothing to compare it to so as far as I knew it was great! Once I started branching out post-university, though, I discovered there are better drinks everywhere else in the city.

Apr 09, 2014
JungMann in Manhattan
2

What to make with 20 drumsticks

No love for the Trini Chinese chicken that set these boards on fire last year? That salty and hot glaze is pretty amazing.

Apr 08, 2014
JungMann in Home Cooking

I want to make ginger ale.

To ferment ginger beer you will need a starter: either whey drained from yogurt with active cultures or a ginger beer plant (http://www.gingerbeerplant.net/). Simply combine grated ginger with water and sugar along with your starter in a sterile jar or flip-top bottle. Leave in a sunny windowsill or warm spot for a couple days. The ferment is complete when the ginger beer is actively bubbly.

My preference, though, is to combine 1 part sliced ginger, 2 parts sugar and 4 parts water. Simmer for about an hour, strain and use the resulting syrup with soda water. It has plenty of ginger flavor and bite.

Apr 08, 2014
JungMann in Food Quests

What else can I do with kale and swiss chard?

What is it about juice that gets him to eat his greens? It might give us some help here when trying to think up recipes that would appeal to your husband's palate.

Chard leaves can be stuffed like grape or cabbage leaves. With kale, you have an obvious match with chorizo and other pork sausages to cook up a hearty stew or sautee. But I also like to wilt it and use it in a grain salad with almonds, roasted red peppers, onions and tomatoes with a peppadew pepper dressing.

Apr 08, 2014
JungMann in Home Cooking

Lactose Fermentation for Hot Sauce

I'm not sure what ingredients you are adding that require pre-cooking your sauce, but heat is the enemy of flavor in a fermented pepper sauce. The flavor is already mild to begin with, cooking will destroy the flavor compounds you've worked hard to develop through fermentation.

Apr 08, 2014
JungMann in Home Cooking