stock–interesting info

Cooking | NATIONAL

Master and Commander
A stock that you’re meant to use over and over

Generally, we insist on being the masters of our meals, not the other way around.

But with Master Stock, an offering from the just-launched line Agrodolce for Fast Foodies, we’re learning to take orders.

The line is the brainchild of Prue Barrett, an Australia native and private chef who turned to prepared foods because she wanted to inspire more people to cook on their own.

Her Master Stock ($9) is a blend of soy sauce, Shao Xing wine, yellow rock sugar, ginger and a medley of fragrant spices, which is boiled down into a cloudy and potent elixir. The stock does its best work in the presence of protein. Bring it to the boil, add your choice of meat (chicken and lamb both work well) and cook the meat to your desired doneness.

Rather than tossing the stock when the cooking is complete, Barrett recommends straining and freezing the stock for future use. “In Chinese kitchens, they use these stocks for years,” she told us. She compares her stock to a sourdough starter that you can “feed” over time, adding more soy sauce or ginger to the base material.

Just confine your reuse to one protein type: “No mixing chicken stock with beef stock,” instructs Barrett.

http://www.tastingtable.com/entry_detail/national/5934
Courteousy of Tasting Table

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food research–as they say “really”

Cheese: The Most Stolen Food On The Planet

cheese

oct1911cheese.jpg
Krzysztof Slusarczyk/ Shutterstock

http://gothamist.com/2011/10/19/cheese_the_most_stolen_food_on_the.php

File under: Really? A new report from the Center for Retail Research claims that cheese is the world’s most frequently stolen food, and as such, it has been labeled a “high risk food.” Are terrorists loading up on cheese to destroy the planet?

Almost four percent of the world’s cheese supply ends up stolen, putting cheese ahead of other frequent grocery targets like candy and alcohol. Shoplifting rates as a whole are going up, because, hey, times are tough. “For the past six months, [retailers] have been affected by bad news—economic slow down, government cuts and now an increase in shoplifting,” one retail analyst told Sky News.

Globally, the trend makes sense: cheese, unlike beer or Kit Kats, provides a healthy source of calcium and protein, and there’s no relatively little shame in whipping out a wedge in public. There has been no word on the kind of cheese stolen, though it is presumably not of the breast milk variety.

craving for sweets

have you ever had a craving for something and you did not know what–then the ah ha moment,
chocolate chip cookies–really good, chunky but sort of soft and melt in your mouth chocolate
cookies are always better when slightly warmed or freshly baked–they are an awesome comfort food, just like a nice piece of pie

here is a recipe i just saw that made my mouth water–i also recently had Mexican hot chocolate to accompany my dinner (enchiladas) and it was great, it was not overpowering in sweetness

try it out and let me know what you think–i have not tried as yet but will soon (i have a birthday coming up)

Mexican Chocolate-Chip Cookies
Recipe adapted from Michael Voltaggio, Ink.sack, Los Angeles

Mexican Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Yield: 20 to 25 cookies

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tablespoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups light brown sugar
1 egg
¾ cup semisweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup Mexican chocolate, chopped

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside. In a standing mixer, mix the butter and sugar together until well incorporated. Add the eggs and mix until incorporated, scraping down the mixture from the sides of the bowl.

2. Add the flour mixture and blend until a dough forms. Gently mix in the semisweet and Mexican chocolates.

3. Using an ice cream scoop, form 1½-tablespoon-size balls of dough and place them on a sheet pan; leave about 1 inch between cookies. Place the pan in the oven and bake until browned on the edges and set in the center, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven. After 5 minutes, transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough until all the cookies are made. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy
Let me know how it goes.

Recent Dishes

This is what I have been up to the past few weeks.

First is Presniz–Northern Italian dessert
( like a fruit cake with 1/4 the fruit, plus nuts and no alcohol)
individual servings and a whole circular pan worth
comments:The Presniz gets a crust and is a good peel apart pastry. Next time I will separate the dough into individual cake pans (cupcake size), that way each person gets a peel apart crust. Next time more brown sugar and slightly different fruits as well.

Shrimp Skewers
yummy 20 minute prep and 20 minute cook dinner (depends on your oven heat and if you have a grill)
comments: peppers, onions, pineapple and shrimp
When using pineapple juice as a glaze in the oven, make sure you have a tray under the grill and the tray should be filled about 1/4 way up with water.

Mushrooms and roasted red peppers meat sauce, accompanied with pesto crostinis and egg noodles
comments: shrooms and peppers make a cool tasty combination if you cook them separately first and really flavor them, then add back to the meat and add the diced tomatoes and let sit for a while to get sauce-y

until next time at dinner time
enjoy eating–dinner should always be interesting

Raceway Jaunts, at Yonkers–TERRACE RESTAURANT

It was a random Friday night jaunt. We ended up at the Yonkers Raceway Casino. We knew there would at least be a place to eat so figured why not. We even checked out the people on the little shuttles. Wow the people you see in your “neighborhood.” I will say no more. Again we said, why not!

We walked through a casino where we saw people tossing money into machines. (My money and I cannot part in this way.) So for finding the food, we walked around in circles to find the entrance to the restaurants. This was kind of an annoyance. When we finally found the restaurant area we chose the more upscale looking one, relatively speaking. (EMPIRE TERRACE RESTAURANT)

DECOR
The 3 walls were glass, floor to ceiling.

You can see Co-op city in the left distance and the roadway to the right. Without looking on the sides, it is easy to forget where you are. The seating in this big room resembles a university seminar hall–but with carpet and outdated tv screens recessed into the platforms/banisters. I guess it was important for them to not destroy the decor. (requires them to pull out all the wainscoting that hold the tvs) Fast forward to the 21st century- on top of the tables are LCD screens that show the commercials, menus and various races.

EATING TIME
We had:
Maryland Crab Cakes–yummy and just good enough for my sore mouth
Babyback Ribs–better get them at Fridays as any place outside of a chain restaurant gives you a child’s portion for an adult bill.

We sat through the races by the way. Wow, the things that get people excited. When we went outside, there was a free seating area. Anyone can sit and watch the races–we mean anyone. We even saw some lost fried chicken wings being devoured by ants–some quality seatin’ and eatin’. We make no judgements.

Next time you want a different experience, try eating at the races.

additives

Well I never thought there would be a day when I saw MSG

MSG
in my local Latin supermarket.

By the way, I have no plans to use MSG. So onto the next powdery substance.

I have a box of barely used cornstarch at home. I have used it so sparingly. I opt instead to use flour.

http://store.ethnicfoodsco.com/grocery/ProdDesc.CFM?itemid=CHFL104&Description=Corn%20Starch%20-%20thickening%20agent%20for%20soups,%20sauces%20and%20casseroles&countryid=&countryname=&countryorderid=

Corn Starch
thickening agent for soups, sauces and casseroles
$3.99

As per the above website:
Corn Starch is used extensively in Chinese cooking as a thickener. In China, sauces are light and barely coat the food and are thickened at the last moment with corn flour (blended in cold water) which gives the dishes a translucent, glossy, velvety texture. It is also dusted over veggies before frying in oil by helping to seal in the juices, producing a crisper coating than does wheat flour. It can also be used as a binder for minced stuffings. The the lack of gluten proteins in corn starch produces a lump free thickening properties and a glaze and an opaque effect. Unlike arrowroot, unless a liquid thickened with cornflour is allowed to boil it will have an unpleasantly raw, powdery quality.

The next bit of research is for Cream of Tartar.
Cream of tartar is best known in our kitchens for helping stabilize and give more volume to beaten egg whites. It is the acidic ingredient in some brands of baking powder. It is also used to produce a creamier texture in sugary desserts such as candy and frosting, because it inhibits the formation of crystals. It is used commercially in some soft drinks, candies, bakery products, gelatin desserts, and photography products. Cream of tartar can also be used to clean brass and copper cookware. (that makes me happy to read)

Cream of Tartar

That one is hard to get over as well.

Powdery substances–it is funny how they work.

Happy Eating 🙂