Tag Archives: ingredients
Powder to the people

Fresh ingredients: Powder to the People!

Recently, I was in Ottawa, where I took the opportunity to stop by Powder to the People to pick up some new ingredients I’ve been wanting to try out: malic acid, Versawhip, and a couple of types of carrageenan. With luck, I’ll have some time soon to put them to the test and write about […]

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Red wine vinegar

Revisiting vinegar: Curing “nail polish remover” taint

A while back, my homemade vinegar died an ignominious death. I’m not sure why, though I suspect excess free sulphur in one of the wines I used. All I know is that, at a certain point, it stopped growing a cellulose mother, smelled like a mix of vinegar and wine instead of pure vinegar, and […]

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Pea pods

Pod people: Pea pod juice

A recent encounter with a chilled sweet pea soup got me thinking. At its most fundamental, sweet pea soup – we’re talking about the kind made from fresh shelling peas here, not dried split peas – is nothing but pea puree that’s been thinned to soup consistency. So it follows that the liquid used to […]

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Queso fundido

Chorizo: A tale of two sausages

I have many pet peeves, both culinary and linguistic. (Possibly too many.) One that falls into both categories is the word “chorizo”. Why is this a pet peeve? It’s because there are at least two types of sausage that go by the name “chorizo,” and they’re very different from each other. One, Spanish chorizo, is […]

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Menu creation, repetition and repetitiveness

One of the challenges I always face when coming up with a menu for dinner parties like the one I had recently is avoiding too much repetition. This is especially true because I’m working with other people’s recipes, and I try to adhere to them as closely as I can, substituting ingredients only when I […]

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Pickled myoga

Pickled myoga

At times, I have a certain compulsion around food: when I read about an ingredient enough, I eventually have to try it, no matter the cost. (OK, within reason.) In this case, it was myoga, a Japanese ingredient related to ginger. Nearly every Japanese cookbook I have mentions it, but I had never seen it […]

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Mexican Black Beans

On beans and hard water

On the heels of the cassoulet I made a couple of weeks ago, I’ve continued working with dried beans, trying to get a handle on the best way to cook them. It seems I’m not the only one who has dried beans on the brain. At this point in the winter, many storage vegetables are […]

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Retrograde Potato Puree

Perfecting potato puree

In the realm of all things spudular, French fries are king, but mashed potatoes are a close second. As with fries, there are certain criteria that can be used to distinguish good examples of the genre from bad. Mashed potatoes, however, come in two acceptable styles, like peanut butter: chunky and smooth. Chunky mashed potatoes […]

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Sauerbraten marinade

Vinegar success

After letting my blended cider-and-red-wine vinegar ferment for a week, as recommended, I checked on it. It definitely smelled more like vinegar than wine at that point, but I decided to leave it for another week. A couple of days later, it was smelling sharper still, and I had some leftover wine, so I added […]

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Vinegar Take 2

Homemade wine vinegar, take 2

After the disastrous end to my last attempt to make my own red-wine vinegar, I was resigned to having to work with the only vinegar mother easily available to me, thereby producing a hybrid cider/wine vinegar. Being something of a purist, I figured I would start with a small amount of unpasteurized cider vinegar to […]

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