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QuantumKitten's Profile

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Scallion Slicing Tool (as seen on Top Chef)?

Sorry, I haven't been on here for a while. I did find a scallion rake at Kotobukiya (thanks, grant.cook!), and have been using that. It works quite well but, as mentioned above, is very prone to rust. I have yet to locate the elusive "water spinach splitter" for which I was originally looking. I'm sure I'll be able to find one the next time I'm in New York. If anyone ever succeeds in locating an online source for this, I'd still love to know about it.

Mar 08, 2009
QuantumKitten in Cookware

sichuan peppercorn

Fuchsia Dunlop's recipe for Gong Bao Ji Ding is online here:

http://leitesculinaria.com/recipes/co...

and it shows off the flavor/sensation of the peppercorns nicely. However, I would recommend toasting and grinding them, as opposed to leaving them whole as the recipe calls for. That distributes them more evenly throughout the dish, which I find preferable; the whole ones can be a bit much, flavor-wise. Also, as mentioned above, you may want to scale back the quantity a bit until you see how strong yours are.

Jun 17, 2008
QuantumKitten in Home Cooking

Besides Lodge, who makes a good cast iron skillet?

I own the 10" Lodge Pro-Logic skillet. I just want to warn you that the actual cooking surface area of the pan seems very small to me--significantly smaller than my other 10" skillets. I don't own any of the regular Lodge Logic skillets, but it looks like they have more sharply sloped sides, hence possibly a larger diameter cooking surface. Maybe someone here owns both and can compare. If this is true, I wish I'd bought the regular Logic 10", or else the Pro-Logic 12", because the cooking surface of mine is too small to be useful for a lot of things. The design of the Pro-Logic is nice--just be prepared for the bottom diameter to be significantly smaller than the overall pan diameter.

Jun 14, 2008
QuantumKitten in Cookware

Japanese Steakhouse-Style Salad Dressing

This is the original Benihana recipe, which is actually tomato-based and doesn't contain carrot:

http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs...

Jun 14, 2008
QuantumKitten in Home Cooking

ISO Awesome lasagna recipes

If you like lasagna made with bechamel (I tend to miss the ricotta when it isn't there), this recipe for Sausage and Wild Mushroom Lasagne with Red Pepper Tomato Sauce from Epicurious is delicious, if a bit time-consuming:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

The one change I'd strongly suggest is to roast the red peppers, rather than just cooking them with the sauce.

I made this for a boyfriend of mine once, and sent him home with the leftovers; he told me that he almost cried when he finished the last of it.

Jun 14, 2008
QuantumKitten in Home Cooking

Hot Artichoke Dip

This is my spinach artichoke dip. If you want a pure artichoke dip, you could easily leave out the spinach and double the artichoke hearts.

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and pressed dry
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained or one package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
3 garlic cloves
2 jalapeno peppers (optional)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
a few dashes of hot sauce
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Finely chop spinach, artichoke hearts, garlic, and jalapeno peppers in food processor or by hand. Combine all ingredients and transfer to a baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot with tortilla chips, raw vegetables, and/or crackers for dipping.

Jun 01, 2008
QuantumKitten in Home Cooking

Scallion Slicing Tool (as seen on Top Chef)?

That's so kind of you. I'm still betting I can find one in the Boston area when I get the time to look around in more Asian markets. Thanks for providing the Korean name; that may prove to be helpful. The one you have looks cool--a bit more substantial, maybe, than the other rake-style ones I've seen pictured. Oh, and I love that it can be used to score squid, as well.

May 13, 2008
QuantumKitten in Cookware

Scallion Slicing Tool (as seen on Top Chef)?

What Japanese grocery in Cambridge, if you don't mind me asking? Was it Kotobukiya in Porter Exchange, or a different one? I haven't yet had time to hunt around any further, so my quest is still unfulfilled.

May 13, 2008
QuantumKitten in Cookware

Scallion Slicing Tool (as seen on Top Chef)?

So, I heard back from Spike. He pretty much confirmed what we've figured out, which is that one should be able to find the item at a food supply/gift store in any Chinatown. He says he gets his at some place on Mulberry St. in NYC Chinatown. He even offered to send one to me if I couldn't find it on my own. Very nice guy.

I'm going to do some more nosing around the Asian shops in Boston. There's a Chinese restaurant supply store that I haven't yet tried. Anyone else had any luck?

Apr 08, 2008
QuantumKitten in Cookware

What are your tried and true favorites from Epicurious.com

Roast Prime Rib With Madeira Sauce And Horseradish Sauce http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Japanese Beef Stew
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Beef Stroganoff (my favorite stroganoff recipe, but decrease the beef or increase the sauce--the ratio seems off to me; also, definitely use crème fraîche or sour cream, not the whipping cream they suggest as an alternative
)http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Sausage And Wild Mushroom Lasagne With Red Pepper Tomato Sauce (a great béchamel lasagna, but roast the red peppers before adding them to the sauce; it makes such a difference
)http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Pasta With Lemon Cream And Prosciutto
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Macaroni And Cheese With Garlic Bread Crumbs, Plain And Chipotle (the chipotles in adobo make it special; if you aren’t cooking for kids, skip the plain half of the recipe
)http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Calf's Liver With Port Wine Sauce (I use chicken livers; this turns them into a very nice main course
)http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Whipped Parsnips With Roasted Garlic (easy and delicious mashed potato alternative
)http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Twice-Baked Potato Cups With Caramelized Shallots
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Braised Baby Bok Choy (ridiculously simple, but my favorite way to prepare bok choy
)http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Apr 07, 2008
QuantumKitten in Home Cooking

Can of beans...your favorite recipe using one

I use Eden black soy beans, which are high in fiber and lower in carbohydrates than other beans. They taste like black beans, not like soy. My current favorite thing to make is mango avocado black bean salad. Fresh cubed mango and avocado, black soy beans, diced red onion and jalapeno pepper, fresh cilantro, dressed with fresh squeezed lime and orange juice, olive oil, dash of hot sauce, salt, and a small pinch of sugar/sweetener. I either serve it straight or over lettuce.

Apr 05, 2008
QuantumKitten in Home Cooking

Scallion Slicing Tool (as seen on Top Chef)?

I'd actually like to try them both, and would be happy to find either one (no luck at the Asian market tonight). It's interesting to know that the tool on the show was actually designed for a different vegetable altogether, because it seemed to work really well for the scallion. I just thought it looked pretty cool for the two seconds it was shown. I'm sure the rake is fun in action, too. If I can get my hands on both of them, I'll do a head-to-head comparison and post detailed photos of the subtle differences in the scallion curls produced.

Apr 04, 2008
QuantumKitten in Cookware

Scallion Slicing Tool (as seen on Top Chef)?

Yes! The water spinach splitter in your link looks to be what he was using. Unfortunately, web searches for "water spinach splitter" and "dao chẻ rau muống" don't turn up any online ordering options, either. I guess I'll have to search for a Vietnamese market in my area. I'm also going to see whether I have any luck at the big local Asian supermarket tonight, although it's more Chinese-centric. Thank you so much for shedding light on the identity of the mystery tool.

Apr 04, 2008
QuantumKitten in Cookware

Scallion Slicing Tool (as seen on Top Chef)?

Thanks so much, Sarah. If you ever need anything exclusive to the Boston area, please just say the word. And I'll definitely post here if I receive a reply to my email or find any other leads.

Apr 03, 2008
QuantumKitten in Cookware

Scallion Slicing Tool (as seen on Top Chef)?

I believe the item belonged to the contestant (Spike), not to the Top Chef kitchen. I just found his web site and sent him an email titled, "I must have your scallion tool!" We'll see what happens.

Apr 03, 2008
QuantumKitten in Cookware

Scallion Slicing Tool (as seen on Top Chef)?

Definitely the same principle, but I'm not sure the scallions would be sturdy enough to be pushed through the device. The one on the show had a metal skewer-like piece the scallion slid along to keep it straight.

Apr 03, 2008
QuantumKitten in Cookware

Scallion Slicing Tool (as seen on Top Chef)?

I've managed to watch the scene again, and to grab a somewhat blurry but still instructive screen capture: http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn... (my apologies to the board powers that be if they take issue with me posting a link to the image). As you can (sort of) see, the device is basically a ring at the end of a metal skewer. The scallion slides along the skewer and through the ring, where it gets sliced into thin strips.

Apr 03, 2008
QuantumKitten in Cookware

Scallion Slicing Tool (as seen on Top Chef)?

Yes, that sounds like the one linked in my first post (remove comma from end of URL to get clickable link to work properly). I don't like that design as much as the one that was on the show, but I would take it. I'm going to look around for one in the Boston Chinatown stores, but I don't recall ever having seen one. I also can't seem to find any for sale online. There's some discussion of them here: http://eatdrinknbmerry.blogspot.com/2... , and info on where to find them in the LA area, but nothing about an online source.

Apr 03, 2008
QuantumKitten in Cookware

Scallion Slicing Tool (as seen on Top Chef)?

No. It was just a little handheld tool specifically for scallions. Sort of hard to describe, and they only showed it for a couple of seconds, but it was a circular thing through which the scallion slid the long way and got sliced into thin strips. It worked sort of like a mini version of an apple slicer (one of these: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I... ), if you can picture that. I really hope someone else saw this and can explain it better than I'm managing to do.

Apr 03, 2008
QuantumKitten in Cookware

Scallion Slicing Tool (as seen on Top Chef)?

On this week's episode of Top Chef, one of the competitors had a little tool that sliced scallions into long, skinny strips, and I must own one. I have a particular recipe that I make regularly which calls for lots of thinly sliced scallion curls, and I always spend too much time cutting them manually. I'm having major gadget envy here, so please help me find this thing. A web search has turned up nothing but this: http://umami.typepad.com/umami/2005/1..., which is not like the circular tool on the show, but I would take one if it were all I could find. Any possible sources online or in the Boston area?

Apr 03, 2008
QuantumKitten in Cookware

Porter Exchange recommendations, please

Thanks again, all. I ended up having the pork katsu at Cafe Mami, and that was good and a bargain, but the highlight of the day was the Japonaise adzuki cream bun. Damn! I could become addicted to those.

Apr 24, 2007
QuantumKitten in Greater Boston Area

Your Favorite Pasta Salad

I make a pasta salad with rotini, shrimp, cubed mango and avocado, and a mango lime vinaigrette (oil, rice vinegar, pureed mango, fresh lime juice, fresh cilantro, salt, pepper, and a touch of sugar/Splenda/honey). It makes a refreshingly light and addictive summer meal.

Apr 21, 2007
QuantumKitten in Home Cooking

Porter Exchange recommendations, please

I didn't ask the other question because I have to avoid the baked goods. However, I really love adzuki bean desserts, so I've already determined to indulge in one and try not to see all the rest of the temptations.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. Very helpful.

Apr 20, 2007
QuantumKitten in Greater Boston Area

Porter Exchange recommendations, please

I never get over to that area, but I have to be there around lunchtime on Monday. What do you recommend to eat at Porter Exchange, and is there anything in particular that I should look for at Kotobukiya Market? Thanks.

Apr 20, 2007
QuantumKitten in Greater Boston Area