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Probiotic food is all the rage at the moment. In food and health magazines, blogs and newspapers, everywhere you turn there are articles singing the praises of tempeh, or extolling the benefit of kombucha in keeping our digestive systems...
Probiotic food is all the rage at the moment. In food and health magazines, blogs and newspapers, everywhere you turn there are articles singing the praises of tempeh, or extolling the benefit of kombucha in keeping our digestive systems healthy. Television commercials advertise the miraculous power of yogurt whose live cultures keep us all regular. Even sauerkraut and kimchi have been enlisted to manage the balance of bio functions in our gastrointestinal tracts. So are there probiotic foods in Chinese cooking?The post Probiotic Pickles of China appeared first on Red Cook.
about 5 hours ago
Drawing influences from Eastern Europe and in particular Hungary, Chef Nick Balla assembles a Californian menu that is spiked paprika, sour cream, savoury seeds and pickles. This meal was interestingly different in a good way. We don’t g...
Drawing influences from Eastern Europe and in particular Hungary, Chef Nick Balla assembles a Californian menu that is spiked paprika, sour cream, savoury seeds and pickles. This meal was interestingly different in a good way. We don’t get much of these Hungarian/Eastern European flavours in our part of the world, so this was a delectable introduction into this spectrum of flavours.The dining is casual and communal. The plates are all meant to be shared and bread is meant to be enjoyed on its own, slathered with lard, tapenade, dipped and eaten with pickles.We started with the roasted kale and rye seeds and yoghurt, which was a good start but were quickly distracted by the next dish, the potato flat bread. When you do come, you have to order the potato flat bread, it is ridiculously delicious – fried dough + fried potato, a crunch and squish, then spread some cool tang with sour cream, altogether is very good. The meal continued with pickles, more bread and we finished off the green chili fisherman stew that was surprisingly greener and lighter than I thought it would be and the very heavy handed paprika spiced tripe. All in all, some of the flavours were unfamiliar to me but it was all good in a new exciting way.What we ordered:Mangalica Lard with onion and paprika Assortment of pickles – creamed beets with green horseradish, brine dill pickles, green beans with aspic and herbs Potato flat bread with garlic and sour creamBeef tartare on koji toast with bottargaSmoked potatoes with ramp mayonnaiseRoasted kale with rye, seeds and yoghurtGrilled tripe in paprika broth Green chili fisherman’s stew with collards Bar Tartine561 Valencia StreetSan Francisco, California
1 day ago
I like to think that on most days, I eat pretty well. As in, balancing proteins and carbs with lots of fresh vegetables. And sticking to moderation. But put me in a room full of cheese and I'm a lost cause. Or worse, put me in a 675,000-...
I like to think that on most days, I eat pretty well. As in, balancing proteins and carbs with lots of fresh vegetables. And sticking to moderation. But put me in a room full of cheese and I'm a lost cause. Or worse, put me in a 675,000-square-foot convention center full of cheese, and I won't even know I'm well past the point of fullness.In July I attended the Summer Fancy Food Show, a trade show for anyone working in the food and beverage industry to discover new, interesting products. It's a great show and I always end up learning a lot about both local products and international products that have yet to find distributors in the U.S. The show is also a sampler's paradise. Everywhere you turn a producer is offering an enticing food to sample, and many of these foods happened to be cheeses. (Or maybe I'm just magnetically drawn to cheese booths. Who knows?)This is all to say that by the end of two days at the trade show, I was in dire need of food that was very light and healthy. Fortunately, I was working on a campaign with Wildwood to try out their products for a post. Now, I'd actually been using various Wildwood fresh and baked tofu for over a year, since discovering them at my local co-op, so I was really excited to try out the tofu in a simple summer salad.The product I used for the salad was the High Protein Super Firm Tofu, and organic, Non-GMO-verified tofu made with sprouted soybeans. It came in a vacuum pack instead of the conventional tubs, which I love because the lower amount of water means lighter grocery loads to carry. (Every little bit helps when the store is a 15-minute walk from home!)For the leafy greens portion of the salad, I just dressed mesclun greens with cider vinegar and olive oil. As for the tofu, I cut it into 1-inch cubes, seared them with ginger and a good amount of garlic, and added a light sauce made with sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and honey. A bit tangy, a bit salty, a bit sweet. It was an ideal healthy meal after two days of gluttony.A few days later, I also served this salad to friends who were visiting, and I'm happy to report it got rave reviews, even from those who don't normally like tofu. And since the salad is so easy to make in big batches to serve to groups, it just might become a cookout or picnic staple before it gets too cold out.For a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card, tell me in the comments below: What would be your ideal dinner recipe using Wildwood tofu? ______________________________________ Garlic and Sesame Tofu Salad Serves 41 pound Wildwood Super Firm Tofu3 tablespoons cider vinegar3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil4 ounces spring mix salad or baby romaine3 cloves garlic, minced1 teaspoon minced ginger2 tablespoons soy sauce2 teaspoons sesame oil2 teaspoons rice vinegar2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar1 teaspoon white sesame seedsDrain and rinse the tofu and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and press gently between two more clean kitchen towels to remove excess water.In a small bowl, whisk together the cider vinegar and olive oil. Using your hands, toss the salad greens in a large bowl with the dressing. Set aside.In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and honey.Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and gently cook just until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the tofu and spread it out into a single even layer on the pan. Allow the tofu to sear undisturbed for about 1 minute. Stirring occasionally, cook for another 3 minutes until all or most of the sides are golden. Add the soy sauce mixture and stir until the tofu is well-coated. Transfer the tofu to the large salad bowl and serve. (Alternatively, divide the tossed salad greens into individual bowls and top off with the tofu.) Sweepstakes Rules:No duplicate comments.You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
3 days ago
The mission district, unlike the general hilly images of San Francisco, is relatively flat. Come hungry and in comfortable shoes to walk the streets to take in the artistic vibe of the area, its colourful murals and just keep repeating t...
The mission district, unlike the general hilly images of San Francisco, is relatively flat. Come hungry and in comfortable shoes to walk the streets to take in the artistic vibe of the area, its colourful murals and just keep repeating the process of walk, eat, walk, eat. Stop 1: Four Barrel CoffeeCoffee was priority numero uno and so we kick started at Four Barrel Coffee. Four Barrel Coffee is a cool joint. Cool tables, artwork on the walls, inked baristas and their own roasting operation at the back of the shop. After our cup of coffee here, we had concluded that unlike the coffee that is generally roasted, brewed and served to us in Hong Kong, the blends in San Francisco tend to be more acidic and sour. In foods I love acid, I love sour but in coffee, not so much even though it is probably a superior product. With coffee, I’m not too much of a purist either, I sometimes put varied amounts of milk in my cuppa, so with too much acid or sourness, once hit with some milk – the thought of sour milk doesn’t sound too delicious to me. But that’s just me. Stop 2: La TaqueriaYou can’t go to the mission district and not have a taco or a burrito. That’s just silly. La Taqueria is self proclaimed "Best Taqueria in the World". I don’t have too many points of comparison but I had good tacos here. It isn’t fancy but it is busy and churning out scrumptious fresh fast food. We ordered a bunch of tacos – chicken, tongue, chorizo, pork – and they recommended that we get them with guacamole and lined with crispy tacos. The tacos were good but not equally good. The chicken was probably the least interesting but the pork and tongue tacos were yummy. Tasty meats topped with fresh bright salsa and guacamole and lined with a soft and crispy taco, together the taste and textures all work. Stop 3: Humphry SlocombeThe sun was shining down on us and so it was a perfect day for ice cream. I actually love ice cream in all weather, so in fact even if it was raining I would have still tracked down this ice cream shop with their interesting sweet savoury, savoury but sweet flavours. Ok, I know this sounds weird but the ice creams taste as they sound. The exception is probably secret breakfast, since it is relatively hard to decipher what it is simply from its name. But for the straightforward names like peanut butter curry (my favourite of the lot!) it tasted like peanut butter with curry flavour in an ice cream form. That’s a good thing! It tasted natural and non-synthetic, just favours as they are and as they should be. Stop 4: Mission Chinese This was an unplanned stop and I had my reservations about eating here – amped up Americanised Sichuan influenced food in a dive environment as opposed to a local mom and pop Sichuan food joint in Hong Kong where deco is dismal, food is excellent and rude service is complimentary. Can it be better in a different way? But much have been said about this restaurant, Bon Appétit named it one of the 20 Most Important Restaurants in America and even James Beard has weighed in, so since we were in the neighbourhood and were still a little peckish, we decided to drop in to share a few plates. We placed our name on the waitlist but then decided to takeout instead since there were about 15 people before us. But as luck would have it, just as we had finished placing our orders, a steady stream of people started to pour out of the restaurant, so we decided to stay to eat at the restaurant from our takeout tubs and to order one more plate. Ma Po TofuKung Pao PastramiSalt Cod Fried RiceErm. I don’t get hype about this place. Let’s just say I have yet to fall in love with Americanised Chinese food and we’ll leave it at that. Stop 5: Tartine Bakery If you have heard about Tartine, you have probably heard about the line that would snake out of the shop and maybe around the block. The original plan was to get here early to pick up breakfast pastries (and to get our hand on those morning buns) but that got scrapped and so here we
3 days ago
Hello, I’ve just spent a little over two weeks in California and it was an awesome trip. It was sunny with clear blue skies on most days, I met up with some old and dear friends and visited some really kickass restaurants. As a travellin...
Hello, I’ve just spent a little over two weeks in California and it was an awesome trip. It was sunny with clear blue skies on most days, I met up with some old and dear friends and visited some really kickass restaurants. As a travelling party of four, we visited some really amazing restaurants, found a great hole in the wall Peruvian place, scratched the surface about the idea of modern American cuisine and thankfully still fit into our clothes and didn’t come back as rollie pollies.It has been long time since I’d been to California. I might have been less than four feet tall when I was last there, so my memories are a little dated and a little fuzzy, so it was almost like being there for the first time. All I had on this trip was a fresh mind, a very detailed itinerary (thank you to our planner who we estimated had put in close to 500 man hours of research!), open table reservations, an open stomach and three fellow eaters to chomp along. We started in San Francisco, and then drove out and spent a few nights in Napa, visiting the vineyards and the eating was concentrated in Yountville and Oxbow market. And again from San Francisco, we drove along Highway One to Los Angeles, which hugs the Pacific Coast where I sat on the side of death in the car where I could see the drops and the amazing landscape of the coast and very vast ocean. The highlight and best meal of the trip was unanimously agreed and the winner by a mile, Saison in San Francisco. Just thinking about that meal makes me smile. I wish I could live in that restaurant. It is a stunningly beautiful place. High ceilings, gorgeous solid wood tables, cashmere scarves, the open kitchen, the seafood tanks, the bar, the romantic idea of cooking by the fire, mind-blowing food and a very gracious service staff. Seriously, Chef Joshua Skenes, can I stay there? Please? California was great. If I don’t get everything down in words the wordless entry is here.
7 days ago
Whew! I was finally able to find some time this week to organize and put up photos from Tangra Summer. This past August, Chitra Agrawal and I decided to host an Indian-Chinese pop-up dinner at the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum in Brooklyn, a ...
Whew! I was finally able to find some time this week to organize and put up photos from Tangra Summer. This past August, Chitra Agrawal and I decided to host an Indian-Chinese pop-up dinner at the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum in Brooklyn, a wooden house that dates back to 1652 and is the oldest surviving building in all of New York. We wanted to combine our respective specialties to creative a cross-cultural supper club event that also used locally grown produce. Jason Gaspar, head gardener at the Wyckoff House, grew some of the gorgeous vegetables we had at the dinner, including the enormous bottleneck gourd in the photo above. (For more background on the dinner, see Chitra's wonderful article An Indian Vegetable Grows in Brooklyn on Medium.)While at times exhausting, the experience was still an amazing one all around, from creating the menu to figuring out tiny details for table settings. It was also wonderful to collaborate with a talented group of people for the event, including Chitra; Jason; Ethan Finkelstein from Color + Information, our photographer who took all these great photos here; and Big Alice Brewing, our beef sponsors and creators of delicious and unusual beers using ingredients like lemongrass, curry leaves, and lapsang souchang tea. We're already cooking up ideas for the next seasonal dinner. (And hopefully you can join us too!) Curry leaf cold sesame noodles Sweet potato dumplings Beers from Big Alice Brewinng Sweet and Sour Tomato Chaat
7 days ago
Korean beef and kimchi are words that are like music to my ears. Ever since my trip to Seoul about 5 years ago, I've been in love with Korean food and have kept a jar of kimchi in the fridge at all times, for both planned meals and late ...
Korean beef and kimchi are words that are like music to my ears. Ever since my trip to Seoul about 5 years ago, I've been in love with Korean food and have kept a jar of kimchi in the fridge at all times, for both planned meals and late night spicy food cravings. So when I saw this recipe for Korean beef bites in Jaden Hair's latest book Steamy Kitchen's Healthy Asian Favorites, I knew I needed to try it. Jaden and I first "met" online via our Asian cooking blogs back in 2008, and in person for the first time later that year for dinner down in Tampa. Her blog was an inspiration back when I first started blogging (oh god, so long ago!) and it's been great to see her come out with two beautifully photographed cookbooks since then. So yes, back to all this juicy beef business. This is a great easy recipe that involves just quickly marinating the beef, searing it, and assembling the beef with pre-made kimchi on a rice cracker. In short, very little effort for very impressive-looking results. I found that these particular brown rice crackers are the perfect size for holding the beef and kimchi, and for eating in one bite, but feel free to use any rice crackers that you can find. Technically, these Korean beef bites are party appetizers. But that doesn't you can't whip up a batch for lunch one day to break out of the salad and sandwich rut. I might do that again next week. ________________________Korean Beef BitesMakes 241/2 pound flank steak or skirt steak1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari1 teaspoon brown sugar1 teaspoon sesame oil1 clove garlic, minced1 teaspoon minced or grated ginger1 tablespoon olive oil24 rice crackers1/2 cup prepared kimchi, store-bought or homemade1 scallion, thinly sliced at an angleCut the beef against the grain into bite-size pieces about 1/4-inch thick (at least 24 pieces). For easier cutting, freeze the beef for 20 to 25 minutes before preparing it.In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. Marinate for at least 10 minutes, or for a stronger flavor, overnight in the refrigerator.Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the beef and spread it in a single layer to cover the pan and allow it to sear undisturbed for 1 minute. Then stir and cook for another 2 minutes or so, until the beef is no longer pink.Assemble the appetizers: on each rice cracker, lay a piece of steak and 1 or 2 pieces of kimchi, then add scallions on top for garnish. Adapted from Steamy Kitchen's Healthy Asian Favorites by Jaden Hair
15 days ago
A must see five-tissue moment... Spencer's Home Depot Marriage Proposal: via @youtube
A must see five-tissue moment... Spencer's Home Depot Marriage Proposal: via @youtube
19 days ago
Love Chinese food? But sick of Moo Shu? Chew on this via @WSJ
Love Chinese food? But sick of Moo Shu? Chew on this via @WSJ
20 days ago
I've been trying to pack in as much cooking with tomatoes as I can before the official end of summer. Yesterday I was browsing through my friend Chitra's blog The ABCD's of Cooking for inspiration and came across her wonderful-sounding p...
I've been trying to pack in as much cooking with tomatoes as I can before the official end of summer. Yesterday I was browsing through my friend Chitra's blog The ABCD's of Cooking for inspiration and came across her wonderful-sounding post for paneer with sun-dried tomato curry, which used both fresh and dried tomatoes. I had eaten a ton of curries in my life but never tried one using sun-dried tomatoes (to my knowledge), an ingredient I buy twice a week in bulk and can't get enough of. Needless to say, I was quickly sold. You may remember Chitra from some of my earlier blog posts. She was my co-conspirator for Tangra Summer, an Indian-Chinese pop-up dinner we put on in August in Brooklyn. She was also the wiz behind the naan breakfast pizza I made back in June, and just an all-around great resource for ideas for vegetarian meals with tons of flavor. So it goes without saying that I was immediately excited to try out this curry.I love that this recipe can be made with either paneer or tofu. Since I was headed to the Indian grocery store for shopping anyway, and because I'm a cheese addict, I decided to pick up a block of paneer cheese. Though I may also try this with tofu soon on a day I feel like a lighter dish.Almost all the ingredients in the original recipe are ones you can find in any big supermarket. The only exception was fenugreek leaves, which I couldn't find, so I ended up just leaving it out. I made a few other minor adjustments, including using Greek yogurt instead of cream. The dish still ended up being extremely flavorful, full of tangy and salty goodness. And pretty substantial when paired with basmati rice. A big win if you're partial to one-dish meals like I am.The making of the dish was pretty easy too. I have a pretty good blender (one that you can screw a Mason jar into!), so I ground the cashews and made the tomato puree pretty easily with minimal clean-up. This was the texture of my tomato purée: After pan-frying the paneer and simmering the sauce, all of which took under 15 minutes, this was my sun-dried tomato curry. Not that I ever doubted it, but it turned out to be such a great recipe to have on hand, especially since there are absolutely no good Indian restaurants in my neighborhood!Have you ever made a curry with sun-dried tomatoes?(Check out more of Chitra's great vegetarian recipes on her blog!)___________________________________Sun-Dried Tomato CurryServes 410 sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)1 cup hot water1 large tomato or 2 medium tomatoes, diced1/4 cup raw cashews14 oz paneer or tofu, cubed2 tablespoons ghee or preferred cooking oil1 large shallot, thinly sliced3 cloves garlic, minced1-inch piece ginger, grated1 teaspoon garam masala1 teaspoon ground coriander1 teaspoon ground cumin1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste2 tablespoons Greek yogurt (preferably full-fat)2 teaspoons sugarSalt to tasteSoak the sun-dried tomatoes in the 1 cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes to soften. Combine the softened sun-dried tomatoes and chopped fresh tomatoes in a blender and add 1/4 cup of water, reserving the remaining 3/4 cup of water. Blend until smooth and set aside.Grind the cashews in a spice grinder, food-processor, or high-powered blender. Set aside.Heat the ghee or oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Pan-fry the paneer or tofu until lightly golden on the outside, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.In the same pan, sauté the shallots, ginger, and garlic for about 1 minute. Add the tomato puree, then add the garam masala, coriander, cumin, and red chili powder. Add the ground cashews and the 3/4 cup of water that the sun-dried tomatoes soaked in. Add the yogurt and sugar and salt to taste. Bring the curry to a simmer. Return the paneer or tofu back to the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and garnish with slivered sun-dried tomatoes, chopped cashews, or cilantro if you'd like. Adapted from The ABCD's of Cooking
24 days ago