gastronome
New Favorite Tool: Rice Cooker With Steaming Tray

One of my biggest regrets during our last move was packing my beloved fuzzy logic rice cooker away into storage, so it was only fitting that upon moving into our new rental my first kitchen purchase was a new family rice cooker. This one came with a small steaming tray - for veggies or steamed bao buns - which could be inserted over the rice during the cooking process.

I picked up a piece of red snapper at the store a few days ago and modified a recipe from "The Asian Kitchen" - for a whole steamed snapper - to accommodate my little fillet. Basically, I set some white rice for a regular cooking cycle and while the rice started cooking I grated a small pile of fresh ginger, then sliced spring onions into 1-2 inch lengths and shredded them long-ways. About 12 minutes before the rice was due to finish I popped the seasoned fillet into the rice cooker's steaming tray and piled the ginger and green onions on top of it. When the rice was finished, I fished (ha ha) the snapper out and pan-fried it with a splash of soy sauce for a few minutes to ensure done-ness and put a little color on it. Fini! Couldn't be easier.

Posted by rebecca at 11:50 PM

When Experimenting In The Kitchen... (A Lesson)

Say you are dying to bake something and are craving something chocolately, something cakey... maybe a chocolate cookie? You inventory your ingredients and think you can do it, but have no specific recipe in mind. The perfect cookie in your head hasn't been baked yet, and baking is a delicate and exacting science of carefuly tested proportions and measurements. You realize you don't even have a measuring cup or a cookbook on hand. But you want This Cookie. You're a rebel. You've baked cookies since you were knee-high. You can do this! You go for it.

The cookie you produce is utter perfection: a beautiful pillow of chocolately goodness! This would be a perfect ending to that dinner you were planning... maybe next time topped with a chocolate ganache and some chopped walnuts for texture... and oh, crap. Did you write anything you did down? Measurements? Baking time? Nothing? Good job, Slick. By not writing anything down, you've ensured that the secret to your successful experiment will remain a secret forever.

Lesson learned: If you ever want to repeat a success when you're playing in the kitchen, write down what you're doing while you're doing it.

Posted by rebecca at 05:39 PM