Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Egg Ikura: Reconstructing Breakfast

I think it is a sad reflection on our civilization that while we can and do measure the temperature in the atmosphere of Venus we do not know what goes on inside our souffl├ęs.

—Nicholas Kurti

Monday, April 4, 2011

Coming up soon: Science in the kitchen! And some changes ...

Howdy, neighbors!

I have a couple of very cool things planned that I wanted to mention, but hope to not give too much away! The start of Marcel's Quantum Kitchen on the Syfy Channel* has gotten me interested in some various molecular gastronomy techniques. I've been doing some experimenting and have a meal planned out, but I'm still trying to get my hands on some "meat glue" (transglutaminase) without having to spend $90 on buying a 1 kg package. I requested some samples from Ajinomoto, who sells the Activa line of transglutaminase products, but we'll see if they actually send it to a non-chef/non-retailer. What I have in mind for it's use isn't something you would normally do, but I think it would be a good way to show how modern science can be used to create interesting dishes. I'll also be showing you some spherification (more or less) techniques, making agar agar noodles, and converting oils/fats to powders. Expect a different post for each of the four, with the "meat glue" ending the series.

Also, I understand that not everyone has an hour to read my quite lengthy posts. I'll do my best to keep them short and from now on I'll also be attaching a link to a PDF of the simplified recipe for those of you who might be in a rush.

In the couple of months since I started posting somewhat regularly on Mr. Onion's Neighborhood I've had almost 1,700 site visits. A huge thank you to my followers and to all of you who come by and read, even if it's only to look at the pictures! My only hope is that you've been inspired in some small way to try something new, adapt something old, or just appreciate the good food that can come with a little bit of time and a lot of love from your very own kitchen!

Keep on cooking, friends. Until next time!

* I hate the new name, Syfy, for the record. Bleh.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Basics: Tomato Sauce

This is the first in what will hopefully be a series of "basic" recipes. So much good food is based on the simplest of recipes, such as a good tomato sauce. I promise not to insult you by teaching you how to boil water or peel a potato. Let's get to it!

My grandmother, Edith Nero, passed away last year. She was 84, had a small portion of a functioning lung left (she had tuberculosis as a child) and was an awesome lady. She watched a lot of soaps during the day and, if you had the chance to sit with her she'd tell you all of their stories, using phrases like "the girl with the boobs" to describe the characters. She was a funny lady and is certainly very missed.

Some years ago when she first moved in with my parents I had her show me how she made her sauce and meatballs. (Yes, I call it sauce. Let's just let the whole sauce vs. gravy thing go for now, or you can read more on it here and make your own decision.) My older sister, from Ms. Fancy Pants Tris blog (for you running folk) learned how to make her pizzelles, something that my family still makes every Christmas. I was more interested in the meat ... and the sauce, of course.