Monday, June 26, 2017

Melted Onions

"Melted Onions" is a bit confusing given there's a recipe for caramelized onions from Thomas Keller with the same name (which itself is a bit confusing because it seems to be the same procedure most people use for making French Onion Soup--the slimy, uncaramelized kind that I hate--plus a ton of butter).

Not sure how this will turn out, though I know blackening chilis drastically alters their flavor and releases all kinds of savory oily goodness. So maybe something similar happens with onions.

I'm also skeptical about a recipe from a grill manufacturer's website, but in the worst case I'll be out a few pennies so it seems worth trying.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Brutus Salad

After watching the associated video I'm skeptical about how easily one can eat those pecans with a salad fork but we'll see.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Quenelles de brochet

My God, these are good. When I try to picture what it was like during the heyday of haute cuisine, sitting in some opulent French restaurant trying to convince myself aspic isn't disgusting and watching the staff pointlessly set all of my food on fire to amaze and astound me, staring at some orphan children with smudgy little coal faces and gesturing to the waiter to shoo them away from the window, talking about recent rumblings in Eastern Europe and getting gout in realtime, these are the sort of overly-rich, everything is full of cream and gelatine to prove we can afford cream and gelatine and everything is perfectly shaped like a French garden shrub to show our mastery over the humble fish, kind of food that I think of.

That being said: don't eat more than two, maybe three of them depending on your body size. More than that will seem like a good idea at the time because they're so light and pillowy, but you'll regret it later.

It's kind of funny that such a good recipe is to be found on what appears to be an English real estate website for renting fishing lodges across the channel. How utterly random. But it's just as good as the others and it includes an alternative to sauce nantua if you're not adventurous enough to make/buy it.

The hardest part about making quenelles is shaping them with two spoons. Don't expect it to go well in the beginning. I recommend watching someone do it on YouTube beforehand.

Easiest way to improve creaminess of hummus

Unfortunately I can't remember where I once read this bit of advice so I cannot give them credit, but it absolutely works and is part of my weekly routine:

1) whip your tehina with the lemon juice in a separate bowl. And I mean whip it. Pretend you're making the world's worst mayonnaise. It will lighten up and start to resemble nougat; I'm not exactly sure why this helps, perhaps it has something to do with trapping more air in the mixture and making it feel lighter; Update: I've now tested this both ways and found no difference in either texture or taste. Not going to do anymore.

2) blend your chickpeas, skins and all, fresh off the stove. Do not let them cool down. Do not waste time peeling off the skins and chucking perfectly good fiber in the trash. Reuse the cooking water to thin it out and don't forget that it will thicken up a bit after it cools

Why I continue to drink my red wine out of a Coca-Cola promotional glass I got for free from a McDonalds

This was one of the few bookmarks I had under cooking that actually had nothing to do with cooking.

Does glass geometry affect the taste of alcohol? No.

Save your money and ignore the snobs.

Maschu Maschu (But Not Really) Eggplant Salad

If you've never heard of it, Maschu Maschu is a highly recommendable Middle Eastern (I think Israeli?) restaurant chain in Vienna that focuses on recreating the cramped, overcrowded experience of a Spanish tapas bar but with the reserved use of salt that only comes with decades of not making most of your money selling sangria. And they make a damn fine eggplant salad. Damn fine.

And that's why I find it almost a shame that the author of this recipe compares her eggplant salad to the original. They're both excellent, but in my opinion taste nothing alike. If I were her I'd just call it "Paules Eggplant Salad" and take proper credit for it.

This is also extremely easy to prepare on the grill as a side dish when you're in the backyard in the summer. In fact that's mainly what I use it for. It's a cheap, delicious way to trick people into eating their vegetables and fill them up so you can save money on meat.

Anyway:•-orientalischer-melanzanisalat-fast-wie-bei-maschu-maschu/ (link is in German)


I don't really use a recipe for tsatsiki anymore. I prefer to just do it by feeling and taste. But this used to be the recipe I liked the most. Also leaving it in the refrigerator overnight is an absolutely unskippable step. The garlic and cucumber get milder and permeate everything else and more importantly the sauce thickens considerably. Don't serve people fresh yoghurt soup.


The preparation of this dough is odd in that it uses hot liquid mixed with raw flour (something you're supposed to never do when thickening a sauce). It reminds me a bit of pâte à choux. Also the recipe below is for lamb, but I actually prefer vegetarian tschebureki with a mixture of chopped champignon mushrooms, some sort of mild white cheese with a low melting point, and salt and pepper. The frying oil, presumably some of the flour, the water from the mushrooms, and the cheese mix together into a quite good sauce that I've never had luck reproducing ex utero. The fried dough also has a chewy, flaky texture (sort of half calzone half chimichanga) and an irresistible aroma. You'll feel like barfing after two of these and your gall bladder might implode, but man, what a wild, greasy ride. 
(link is in German)

Spinach and Cheese Strata

Strata seems like a clever way to use up a bunch of leftovers and stale bread. Unfortunately while eating it I had the distinct feeling I was eating stale bread and leftovers. Just toss them in a frittata and use the bread for croutons instead.

Grilled Watermelon Salad

Used charcoal instead of gas. Wasn't crazy about it but everyone else was. Watermelon resists the grill a lot better than I expected it would. Just don't think the texture on the inside is all that different from a raw piece. It's not.