Showing posts from July, 2006

I don't want smoke in my kitchen

Mike and I finally found and moved into a nice two-bedroom apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Two nice features are the HUGE kitchen and an outdoor deck. We have already grilled bratwursts and tuna steaks for dinner in our first 9 days in the new “crib.” We are using a countertop electric grill because legally we cannot have an open flame BBQ on a roof deck. Also we don’t want to burn down the building in case the burning ashes are blown onto the deck or something. The electric grill does get very hot. Of the many stupid things we bought from HSN and QVC, this is the only one that lived up to its value. I guess Wolfgang Puck did get it right. In our previous apartment we could have used it more often, but the smoke from indoor grilling is just so unbearable. Our unfortunate attempt at grilling salmon steaks left us in a weeklong fishy atmosphere. That’s when we said “No” to indoor grilling – at least not until we can install an industrial exhaust hood fan.
I really cannot understand ho…

Thoughts on Diffusion and Stews

I am not sure if anyone has written on this subject. A quick search on google using "stew diffusion" came back with mostly unrelated stuff, so I thought I would give my perspective on it.

One of my favorite kinds of dishes is stews. It's a very general category, but I am referring to large chunks of meat and veggies simmered in a somewhat thickened and heavily flavored sauce. I like the Chinese style beef in brown sauce (紅燒牛肉), which is flavored with star anise, chinese cinnamon, ginger, scallions, szechuan peppercorns, and soy sauce. I claim to know nothing about Indian food, so I feel no shame in admitting that I like the Japanese curry one can make from a box of Vermont Curry. It is especially good if one uses pork spareribs cut into 1" pieces. And then, there's of course the all time classic Boeuf Bourguignonne, made incredibly rich by the wine, stock, aromatic herbs, and the buttery fonds.

All stews require long periods of cooking at simmering temperature. Ac…