Cooking Experiments!

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Re: Cooking Experiments!

Postby Astrogirl » Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:16 pm

I googled potstickers and the Google featured snippet block tells me:
"Homemade potstickers are easier to make than you think, and they taste 10000x better than the store-bought ones! In a large bowl, combine pork, cabbage, mushrooms, garlic, green onions, hoisin, ginger, sesame oil, Sriracha and white pepper. To assemble the dumplings, place wrappers on a work surface."
Microaggression? Microaggression!
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Re: Cooking Experiments!

Postby Apocalyptus » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:27 am

Astrogirl wrote:I googled potstickers and the Google featured snippet block tells me:
"Homemade potstickers are easier to make than you think, and they taste 10000x better than the store-bought ones! In a large bowl, combine pork, cabbage, mushrooms, garlic, green onions, hoisin, ginger, sesame oil, Sriracha and white pepper. To assemble the dumplings, place wrappers on a work surface."

Huh, I got the exact same snippet.
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Re: Cooking Experiments!

Postby Lethal Interjection » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:47 pm

Apocalyptus wrote:Can't the occasion be eating delicious food?
I've made gnocchi a few times, and while it is very messy the process is fairly simple fortunately.


Sure. But it's difficult to be motivated to make more involved recipes when I'm the only one eating it. The occasion I speak of is having house-guests, which doesn't happen very often.
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Re: Cooking Experiments!

Postby Apocalyptus » Wed Jul 13, 2016 5:34 am

Lethal Interjection wrote:
Apocalyptus wrote:Can't the occasion be eating delicious food?
I've made gnocchi a few times, and while it is very messy the process is fairly simple fortunately.


Sure. But it's difficult to be motivated to make more involved recipes when I'm the only one eating it.

Yeah that's definitely true. It's interesting the difference having just one other person around makes to my cooking habits.
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Re: Cooking Experiments!

Postby Liriodendron_fagotti » Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:30 pm

Edie makes good beans.

And yeah, I was thinking the same thing earlier - that it's nice to share that labor with others. For instance, I rarely make my own ice cream/sorbet/sherbet unless we have guests coming over (it is a hand-crank ice cream maker).
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Re: Cooking Experiments!

Postby Lethal Interjection » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:35 pm

Apocalyptus wrote:Yeah that's definitely true. It's interesting the difference having just one other person around makes to my cooking habits.


I don't think I've eaten/cooked as well as I did the month or so my sister was temporarily living with me.
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Re: Cooking Experiments!

Postby Lethal Interjection » Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:12 pm

On Saturday me and my sister made a batch of peach salsa! We've talked about doing some canning for a few years and the opportunity presented itself.

Preamble: The opportunity is that when my parents moved this winter their backyard was much larger. It had a pretty big garden box and it was decided they would make another one as well. All told it's probably about 36 sqft or so. They planted a lot of kale and various tomatoes, a bunch of zucchini and other greens, and a selection of peppers (hot and sweet). The whole endeavour was about 75% my sister's doing. My dad built the box, my sister selected the plants, and my mom and sister have done the watering. Everything has grown extremely well but my sister has done virtually all of the harvesting and, apparently, the eating (for reasons my parents do little cooking).
So, as the peppers (especially the hot ones) had come to the point requiring harvesting, my sister suggested we do something with them. And since peaches are in season, that's what we decided to do.
Also, my parents have the stuff for canning as my mom used to make an excellent sweet chili sauce every few years in my childhood (I don't think it has been used since the late-90s).
So on Saturday morning we went to the Brampton Farmers Market to pick up the peaches and tomatoes (not enough of the latter from the garden), plus a growler of a my favourite local cidery's seasonal offering. Then the grocery store for the other sundries and some canning jars.

As is typical for my sister and I, we didn't use a recipe but glanced at a few to get an idea and then went on our own merry way.
We used:
2 quarts of peaches
1 quart of heirloom tomatoes*
About 2lbs of onions
4 heads of garlic
An assortment of peppers, mostly hot (something like 4ish small banana, 6ish small jalapeno, 12ish habenero** and 2 or 3 small sweet)
2ish cups of vinegar
3 tbsp of honey
An assortment of spices (some chili powder, a bunch of chipotle powder and some Nackle).

It took a couple of hours to peel and chop that lot, but that was reasonably fun when combined with spiked-coffee, music, and a lot of laughs.

Thankfully my parents had a big enough pot to cook it all in one go. Which also took a considerable amount of time.
The recipe instructions we got were a bit misleading. "Bring to a boil, leave there for 10 minutes, then proceed with canning. If you find it too liquid-y, boil until you get the consistency you want." But it felt like the longer we boiled, the more liquid-y it became.... That aside, the occasional tasting was very encouraging. I loved the taste of the 'broth'. It was a lovely mix of sweet, sour, and spicy.
Eventually we just decided we had to call it. It made 12 500ml jars. The first 8 we managed to make as close to a salsa consistency as possible, but the last 4 were pretty liquid-y (though using them for cooking rather than a salsa will be great too).
And even though it was our first time canning all of the jars achieved their seal, which is awesome.
I haven't tried the finished product yet. I figure I'll open a jar in a few weeks and give it a go. I'm quite optimistic. If it's even close to the deliciousness of the mid-cooking tastes it will definitely be a win.

*Tasting the fresh heirloom tomatoes? Well it is another reminder of just how much better garden-grown veg are than the bullshit bought at the supermarket. The ones from the farmers market were good, but the ones from my parent's garden? It was like I'd never actually tasted tomato before.
** Perhaps related to the previous post-script, but I've never had habaneros like that before. Generally, I don't like habaneros as they bring the heat but lack in flavour (whereas jalapenos are somewhat less hot but way more flavourful). These habaneros, though, were both very hot and quite flavourful. We picked most of them green since leaving them on the plant would probably mean they would never see use. And they were great, especially the green ones. They smacked you in the face right away, then again when you swallowed the piece, with a great lingering flavour and continual light-smacking for 20ish minutes. It was delightful and more than a little surprising.
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Re: Cooking Experiments!

Postby Apocalyptus » Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:02 am

That sounds incredibly delicious. I haven't made salsa before, but I've made chutney a couple of times (the first time was locut chutney, the second was apricot).

It's amazing how much better the home made stuff tastes, considering it's not super difficult.
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Re: Cooking Experiments!

Postby Liriodendron_fagotti » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:30 pm

You guys should read Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie if you haven't. It's magical realism but it's really just about chutney.
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Re: Cooking Experiments!

Postby Lethal Interjection » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:50 pm

Opened the salsa. Really pleased.
When it was cooking it seemed a little more like a chili sauce, but tasting the final product it definitely tastes like salsa.
Also a plus? It actually has a variant spiciness depending on what's in the chip-ful. It goes from a medium to extra-hot salsa depending if there is none or a lot of the green habanero. So I can actually share it with a wider variety of people.
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Re: Cooking Experiments!

Postby Liriodendron_fagotti » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:21 pm

Finally bothered to look up a recipe for Thai iced tea and made some myself. A quart is cooling in the fridge now - what I tasted was pretty darn good.*

*read: sweet
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Re: Cooking Experiments!

Postby Liriodendron_fagotti » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:00 am

I might've just made the best meal I've every cooked. I'd been pining for the Malaysian dish I had in Sydney, and after 2 years, realized I could probably just look it up. So I did. I used this recipe for the rice and a combination of that one and this one for the curry part, replacing the mutton with catfish (I just chopped it in roughly inch^3 pieces and stirred gently so they didn't break up).

I improvised a few things. I just added the spices after adding the "tamarind juice" (I diluted about a tablespoon of tamarind paste in half a cup of water). I also used a third of the sugar it calls for. And less coriander. It was not as spicy as I was hoping for, even with a fair bit of chili paste and a good amount of cayenne added, but still delicious.
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Re: Cooking Experiments!

Postby Apocalyptus » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:00 am

Mmm, Malaysian food is the best. Did you get to try Nasi Lemak when you were in Sydney? It's Malaysia's national dish and so so good.

Edit: Just clicked on the recipe link and seems you probably have. Don't mind me.
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Re: Cooking Experiments!

Postby Apocalyptus » Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:26 am

I'm going to try to make an eggless pavlova today, as Mx/Ms Apoc and I are having friends over for dinner including a friend's partner who is from the US and I figure she may have not had a pavlova before.
Making it eggless not for any dietary reasons, but because I have been dying to try out aquafaba meringue ever since I found out it existed. If it fails horribly I'll make a sticky date pudding instead.
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Re: Cooking Experiments!

Postby Liriodendron_fagotti » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:37 pm

My German friend's mom makes a lot of cookies and there's one in particular I've been wanting to make. I finally snagged the (very simple) recipe from her the last time I was over and made them for my lab holiday party, along with a lasagne, last night.

They are pretty hoppin'. A sort of hazelnut macaron.
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