joelfinkle's Profile

Display Name: joelfinkle
Member Since: 3/23/10

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For a recent Som Tam (traditionally papaya salad [but any mild crunchy vegetable works] whose dressing is mainly fish sauce and lime juice, with lots of garlic, and sometimes dried shrimp), I used a dollop of miso and a crumbled sheet of nori to get the funk, umami and of-the-sea flavors. It might not work in thai curries, though -- I don't know what happens when you cook that mixture.

What's the Best Substitute for Fish Sauce in Thai Dishes? Good Questions
7/22/14 11:27 AM

You'd think somebody in the Etsy/Crafter arena would know of an edible, hopefully flavorless mordant to stabilize the dye.

The Story of Blue CuraƧao: Which Is, Strangely, the Other Orange Liqueur The 9-Bottle Bar
7/16/14 04:26 PM

For weeknight dinners, I couldn't give up the microwave, just for defrosting.
I also find it very handy for melting butter & chocolate, reheating leftovers, cooking bacon without having to watch it, and the occasional quick egg dish (a little frozen spinach, an egg, nuke it, done)

How I Replaced My Microwave Without Buying a New One
7/11/14 02:52 PM

Leeks are a good alternative to the shallots.

A tablespoon of Thai red or green curry paste is also amazing.

A splash of cream after steaming doesn't hurt either.

Make sure you have adequate rice, crusty bread or frites to soak up the broth. This is the essential part of eating mussels.

How To Cook Mussels on the Stovetop Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn
7/7/14 10:23 AM

what about Coke peanut brittle?

Recipe: Coca-Cola Soft Serve Ice Cream Recipes from The Kitchn
7/3/14 03:31 PM

My most used spices, I pretty much can't cook a whole week without these
Kosher Salt
Cumin (ground)
Coriander (ground)
Chimayo XX-Hot ground red chile
Whole black peppercorns
Whole chile de arbol (used for Sichuan and Thai cooking)
BBQ rub (GWiv formula from The Spice House)
Thyme, dried* (essential for eggs, mushrooms, cajun...)

Second tier would be:
Granulated garlic (High bulk index)
Ginger, Ground
Oregano, Dried*
Basil, Dried*
Ground Chipotle Chile
White Pepper, ground

* Much less of this is used when there's fresh in the garden

Now I've got probably four times that many total spices, many of which I should probably throw away because they haven't been opened in a year or two, but others that get an occasional use. Other stuff in my spice cabinet include numerous vinegars, and a few oils, particularly dark sesame and Sichuan Peppercorn (much nicer for finishing than gritty ground Sichuan peppercorns)

What's In the Ideal Spice Cabinet? Good Questions
7/3/14 03:29 PM

The classic "Queen" burger is sliced green olives and mayo, but in our house, it's done with a little cream cheese or goat cheese.

Along with the caramelized onions, sprinkle some crisp-fried onion strings (e.g. "French's") for a textural bonus.

Bacon Jam. Your argument is invalid.

7 Swanky Toppings for Restaurant-Style Burgers at Home Tips from the Kitchn
7/3/14 02:38 PM

The correct answer is,
"Fry in bacon fat."

Apologies, but it had to be done.

What's the Best Way to Make Crispy Tofu? Good Questions
7/2/14 05:21 PM

Can't argue with what's put here... but if there's one pasta I can't stand, hot or cold, it's fusilli/rotini: that sproingy shape inevitably flicks tomato sauce, oil, or balsamic vinegar onto a nice clean dress shirt.

The flatness of a farfalle can make it hard to pick up with a fork. I prefer tubes and shells.

The Best Pasta for Pasta Salads Ingredient Intelligence
7/1/14 11:28 AM

It's hard to find proteins for the vegetarians that grill/smoke well. Tofu works, but, well, tofu.

Peppers stuffed with cheese are what I'm going for, on my smoker. I may wrap some with bacon for the meat-eaters.

I've had suggestions of potatoes smoked, then made into potato salad; eggplants are always good (top with yogurt and bulgur), a head of cauliflower sprinkled with bbq rub can also be smoked.

What Vegetarian Recipes Should I Serve at My July 4th BBQ? Good Questions
6/30/14 04:33 PM

I've got some of these... and they don't seal well. You do not want chinese chile oil all over your fridge when they tip over. But I'll never give them up. I have a bunch of jars closed like these in my fridge as we speak:
Nam prik pao (Thai Chile jam)
Chinese Chile Oil
Pickled Mustard Seeds (Momofuku recipe)
Blueberry-ghost chile jerk-style hot sauce (which I created for "dead parrot" chicken wings)

I also use them in my undercounter pantry to store dry items I want near the stove in smaller containers.

A Useful Accessory for Canning Jars: Plastic Storage Caps Good Products
6/24/14 11:22 AM

what, no pickles?

How the French Make the Best No-Cook Summer Meals The Kitchn Abroad
6/23/14 04:05 PM

Some ingredients do not scale down well:
1) Your 2tbs of oil to saute with are going to remain 2tbs, or you probably can't coat the bottom of the pan
2) If there's a marinade step, you probably can't halve it, because the surface area of a 1/2lb chicken breast is not going to be 1/2 of 1lb chicken breasts of the same thickness. Try 2/3.
3) A lot of stir-fry recipes I will keep the full amount of sauce, just because we like it saucy, and because I will often add a veg not in the original recipe, rather than serving it on the side.

How Do I Scale a Recipe Down to Serve Two? Good Questions
6/23/14 03:31 PM

The melting issue also exists in other types of chips: we've had a lot of trouble getting even Nestle's butterscotch chips to melt well. Why are we melting them?

What to Look for When Buying White Chocolate Ingredient Intelligence
6/13/14 12:28 PM

I can't completely replace sour cream with greek yogurt: the latter hits the dairy and tang, but misses the cream notes that make me go "aaaaaah." But it's close.

In Bill Buford's book "Heat" he reveals a Mario Batali secret: a small spoonful of yogurt with smoked paprika under plated lamb chops makes an instant sauce with the meat juices. You can kick that up with a little coriander chutney for a fantastic quick sauce for those chops, kabobs or wraps.

Like many of the above, I've done lots of salad dressings. One of the few things I have yet to try is miso and yogurt. David Chang's Momofuku cookbook does butter and miso, so it's not that far off, before you make the yuk face.

The New Way I'm Using Greek Yogurt in the Kitchen Kitchen Diaries: Kate in New York City
6/10/14 03:13 PM

Dog Treats (per Alton Brown)

5 Unexpected Ways to Use Fish Sauce Tips from The Kitchn
6/6/14 12:06 PM

I've had a pressure cooker for a year and a half now, it hasn't come out of its box. Not really afraid of it -- it's not going to explode -- just haven't found what I want to use it for.

Frankly, the food processor and the blender both sit on the shelf: they're often more trouble to clean than the time savings in cutting, unless I'm doing large quantities of grating hard cheese (processor), biscuit dough (processor), salsa (processor) or sauces/marinades that aren't so sticky that I have to scrub the darn thing (my waring blender doesn't have a removable blade assembly).

Too Scared To Use a Mandoline: What Kitchen Tools, Gadgets, or Appliances Intimidate You? Reader Intelligence Request
6/4/14 02:43 PM

The biggest problem with many so-called Greek Yogurts is that they aren't strained, they're thickened. If the ingredient list includes starch, gelatin, carageenan, it's going to be an inferior product compared to the natural varieties: less flavorful, different texture. I'm more flexible on flavored varieties, you may need gums in the jammy stuff.
Dannon Oikos: Good. Just cultured milk
Yoplait Greek: Bad. Includes gelatin, pectin, locust bean gum
Chobani: Good. Just milk and cultures
Fage: Good. Milk (and cream in some varieties), cultures.

What's The Difference Between Regular and Greek Yogurt? Ingredient Intelligence
6/4/14 11:28 AM

I don't mop, but I use a squirt bottle with cranberry, pomegranate or other very sour juice, a little olive oil, and some of the dry rub. This technique comes from Gary Wiviott, author of "Low and Slow"

What is BBQ \"Mop Sauce\" & What Does It Do? Good Questions
6/3/14 09:55 AM

For stable whipped cream, add a couple tablespoons of mascarpone before you whip. I found this trick for making mock clotted cream, and it's pretty amazing how much structure it adds to the whipped cream without significant change in flavor.

This Cake is Perfect for Summer. Can You Guess What's it's Made of? Delicious Links
6/2/14 10:04 AM