Posts under ‘Techniques, tips’

B没che de No毛l

Continuing to brag about my holiday baking 馃檪 : I made a b没che de No毛l, a.k.a a Yule log to bring to the holiday dinner at my cousin鈥檚 house. I was overjoyed at how it turned out since it was the first time that I attempted many of the elements and techniques in making it: […]

Apple gingerbread cake

For the holidays, I attempted to bake a couple of things, an activity I engage in a few times a year, always fueled by a wildly optimistic and delusional valuation of my baking skills. I made a Apple Gingerbread Cake. (I also made a B没che de No毛l, but that is a post for another day.) […]

Vietnamese Red-Cooked Baby Back Ribs

Red cooking is billed as 鈥淐hinese stewing鈥, but there is nothing specifically Chinese about it. It is also one of the more major cooking techniques in Vietnamese cuisine. I would not be surprised if the technique is also prominent in other Asian cuisines. In Vietnamese cuisine, the technique is called 鈥渒ho鈥. There are variations of […]

Endives With Apricots, Blue Cheese, Walnut

For a recent fundraiser dinner, I did endive with roasted figs, blue cheese and candied pecans appetizer. It鈥檚 a great combination, as cheese and something sweet always is. It was the first thing to disappear from the buffet! It could have been better though. The roasted figs were sweet enough but they were a bit […]

Weird baked pasta trick! :)

I used to use a metal measuring cup turned upside down on top of a lasagna to 鈥渢ent鈥 the aluminum foil cover so it won鈥檛 stick to the melty mozarella. However, I don鈥檛 like the way the cup leaves a ring in the cheese top of the finished lasagna. Also, when I remove the cup, […]

Keeping track of eggs’ age

We don鈥檛 use many eggs. We don鈥檛 bake many desserts. We don鈥檛 have eggs for breakfast. About the only thing we use eggs for regularly are omelets, e.g. this recent Sunday lunch of an omelet of scallions, cherry tomatoes, and blue cheese: We buy eggs only half dozens at a time and usually have some […]

Using tea ball infuser for spices in ph峄

As you may know from my chicken ph峄 recipe, I use a tea ball infuser for the spices. One problem with using a tea ball infuser is that if I have a large amount of spices, it鈥檚 challenging to close one half of the ball over the other without spilling some spices since one side […]

Grapefruit with sea salt and black pepper

I had some grapefruit with Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper. The black pepper is an idea from chef Tyson Cole of Uchi/Uchiko. Putting salt on tart or sour fruits is an Asian thing. Salt turns the sour or tart taste into a taste resembling sweet, but much more pleasant, in my opinion. For […]

Worthless without a pic :)

So I should have snapped a pic when I did chicken skin cracklings so you鈥檇 have an idea how the end result looks. I mean, in these days of 16 megapixel phone cameras, what鈥檚 my excuse?! So, here it is, cracklings that I made yesterday. They should be called crackling crack because they鈥檙e so addictive!

Chicken Skin Cracklings

A really quick and convenient way to make yummy cracklings from chicken skin is to render it in the microwave. I especially like to do this with roasted chicken skin or skin that has been otherwise cooked. Sprinkle with salt, put between sheets of paper towel and microwave for short periods of time until crisp.

Rice flour in Vietnamese baguettes?

On a lark, I went and Google鈥檇 鈥淰ietnamese baguette recipes鈥. All of the links on the first page of search results either have no mention of rice flour or explicitly advise against using it. The reasons range from 鈥渋t doesn鈥檛 work鈥 to 鈥渋t weighs the dough down鈥 to 鈥渞ice flour has no gluten鈥. In my […]

Knife sharpening hack

Just about every ceramic cup/bowl that I have has a ring of unglazed area underneath. This is where the thing contacts the kiln while the glaze is being fired. The unglazed area makes an excellent sharpening stone/hone. It鈥檚 the same idea as a ceramic steel. It feels a lot more abrasive than the metal steel […]

How I bake cheesecake

When I baked my pumpkin cheesecake with three-chili powder for my company鈥檚 Thanksgiving potluck lunch, I baked at 325 掳 and baked until it reached an internal temperature of 150 掳. I put the filled 9鈥 springform mold into a big baking tray then put some hot water into the tray. (I wrapped the bottom […]

Pumpkin cheesecake with three-chili powder

I baked a pumpkin cheese cake for my company鈥檚 Thanksgiving potluck lunch. To make it 鈥渘ot just another pumpkin dessert鈥, I added ground dried chili. It鈥檚 the same mix that I used for my Texas chili, consisting of dried ancho, guajillo, and pasilla chili, ground in a bladed coffee grinder. I used 1 teaspoon of […]

Chocolate truffles: what not to do

My company had this thing where we volunteer to send surprise gifts to randomly selected users of our product, as a way to show our appreciation. All those who do so will have their gift entered into a contest and the best gifts win prizes. I signed up and decided to make some chocolate truffles. […]

Texas Chili!

The distinguishing character of Texas chili is believed to be that it does not have beans and has cubed meat, not ground meat. Additionally, it often has masa, corn flour (not to be confused with corn meal) as the thickening ingredient. I did a take on Texas chili this weekend, with a chili blend of […]

Freezing leek

About a month ago, I made an Alsatian Stew that calls for 鈥渢wo small leeks鈥. Well, fine, what the heck do I do with the rest of the bundle of leek?! So I figured, nothing to lose, freeze the sucker. I washed the leek and cut it into 8鈥 lengths, put in a Zip-Loc bag […]

Corn husk mat

I made some finger food for a friend鈥檚 surprise birthday party, some mushrooms stuffed with pancetta, shallots, and sage. I wanted to present the food nicely and show off a bit 馃檪 but didn鈥檛 want to go too overboard. I decided on using corn husk to line the plate for mushrooms. I was planning on […]

“En Papillote”

I made this 鈥淪ea Bass In Papillote鈥 recipe today. I used dried thyme (about 1/4-1/2 tsp for two) so I 鈥渢oasted鈥 it along with the garlic聽and capers and tomatoes in olive oil beforehand. My twists were a bit of red pepper flakes, and a tiny bit of butter on each fillet (about 1/2 tsp each). […]

Garlic Bread, My Way

I don鈥檛 understand why garlic bread recipes always call for 鈥渞ubbing halved garlic cloves on bread鈥. I find doing so either doesn鈥檛 impart enough garlic flavor to the bread, or, if I do it too vigorously, would break up the crumb. My method is to squeeze garlic with a garlic press into some olive oil, […]