unixronin: Galen the technomage, from Babylon 5: Crusade (Default)
Friday, April 16th, 2010 02:04 pm

I have a recipe for liver with oranges in our house cookbook.  It's pretty good, but requires good, juicy, tender eating oranges.  The typical California/Florida navel oranges just don't cut it; they're only usable for juice.  So, the last time I made it, a week or two ago (I'm just now finishing up the last of the leftovers because I'm the only one in the house who likes liver), I tried buying some Florida-grown mandarins instead in the hope that they'd be juicier and less tough.

Holy CRAP, Batman.  I don't think I've ever before had any kind of citrus fruit — hell, any fruit, period — as fibrous or as full of seeds.¹  Trying to eat these things, even cooked, is like chewing a mouthful of orange-flavored plastic bags, except that the plastic bags have less seeds.  You've seen "seedless" oranges and tangerines?  Well, now I know what they did with all the extra seeds.  I'm not sure I'd even dare run them through an electric juicer.  They were so full of seeds it was literally difficult to cut them into the quarter-inch slices called for in the recipe, because I couldn't find a cut line that didn't run through half a dozen seeds.

Needless to say, I won't be buying these Florida mandarins again.  I suspect this is another case of foodstuffs bred to ship well, rather than to actually be edible.

[1]  Well, OK, I'll concede pomegranates have a (slightly) higher ratio of seeds to volume.  But I don't eat pomegranates.  They're nasty.

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unixronin: Iron Chef Morimoto (Iron Chef)
Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 10:28 pm

Moghlai eggs

Hard-boiled eggs in a rich, creamy Moghul-style sauce.

You will need:

  • 8-10 eggs
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Moghlai masala
  • 1 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 150ml strong chicken stock or condensed chicken broth
  • 300ml heavy cream
  • A little oil for frying


Hard-boil and peel the eggs.  Meanwhile, combine the Moghlai masala, ginger, salt, lemon juice and water into a paste and set aside.  Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the copped onion until brown at the edges, then add the Moghlai paste mixture and fry for another 30 seconds.  Add the tomato paste and blend it in smoothly, then slowly add the chicken broth and cream, stirring constantly.  (It doesn't matter which you add first.  I usually add them together.)  Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about five minutes.  While the sauce is simmering, cut the eggs in half lengthways

When the sauce is smooth and combined, carefully add the eggs to the sauce, spooning sauce over to make sure they're covered.  Simmer for another five minutes to heat the eggs through.  Do not overcook, or the sauce will break.

Serve immediately over steamed rice.

Moghlai masala

The Moghlai masala for above:

  • To make your Moghlai masala starting with prepared garam masala, combine one part ground black pepper, two parts cayenne pepper, two parts garam masala, four parts ground cumin, and four parts ground coriander.  Store in an airtight jar until use.

  • To prepare your own garam masala from scratch, grind together the following:

    • 2 tbsp cardamom seeds
    • 2 tsp cloves
    • 2 tsp black peppercorns
    • 2 tsp black cumin seeds
    • 2 bay leaves
    • One 4" cinnamon stick
    • One nutmeg
    • A pinch of mace if available

    Again, store in an airtight jar until ready to use.

  • To make Moghlai eggs without preparing your Moghlai masala in advance, use the following spices in place of the Moghlai masala:

    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
    • ½ tsp garam masala
    • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
unixronin: Iron Chef Morimoto (Iron Chef)
Tuesday, April 1st, 2008 07:27 am

... is that while they have lots of great flavor, they're like chewing old boot leather.  If only someone could discover or breed a mushroom that combined the flavor of shiitake with the texture of a regular white mushroom or a crimini, or for that matter a straw mushroom, it'd be wonderful.

unixronin: Ummm....   It's an avatar.  No, not an Airbender or a Na'vi.  Just an avatar. (Hiro-ic)
Wednesday, March 8th, 2006 11:02 am

Sushi moriawase

No ingredient list or prep instructions for this one.  I am still a pebble when it comes to the preparation of sushi.

Notes for future reference:  One cup of nishiki rice to 300ml of water worked well.  Mitsukan's bottled "seasoned rice vinegar for sushi" contains too much brown sugar and molasses, and imparts an undesirable brown tinge to the prepared sushi rice.  The rice is easier to work with more cooling time.  use a deeper fingerbolw for dipping when balling the rice.

Photographic evidence )

unixronin: Galen the technomage, from Babylon 5: Crusade (Default)
Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 07:08 pm

"What just went 'Boom' in the kitchen?" [livejournal.com profile] cymrullewes asked as she put the Kitchenaid mixer back in the pantry.  I looked behind her and saw nothing but Wen the Eternally Surprised lying on the floor.

"Well," I said, "there's a small person on the floor behind you...."

"No," she said, "a real 'Boom'.  Something just went 'Boom' in the kitchen.  Near the oven."

So I opened the oven... )

unixronin: Galen the technomage, from Babylon 5: Crusade (Default)
Monday, January 12th, 2004 09:50 pm

I've just been reminded of the occasion upon which I was persuaded to meet some fellow ICB geeks for lunch at a pho house in north San José.  (During the course of this lunch I discovered that I find pho noodles to be horrible inedible mush ... but I digress.)

I looked down the menu at the available pho selections, and saw one with eggs.

"Hmm," I thought, "eggs are good."  So I ordered that.

"Are you sure?" the waiter wanted to know.  He proceeded to explain to me, in English that wasn't so much broken as shattered, that what I'd ordered had eggs in it, and managed to convey that chickens were somehow involved in the transaction.

"Yes," I said.  "I like eggs."

Well, shortly afterward, my intended lunch arrived.  It did, indeed, contain eggs.  This is the point at which I discovered the key detail which neither the waiter nor the menu had managed to adequately convey, which was that the eggs in question were still on the production line and — as a matter of fact — still attached to the means of production.

Trust me on this:  There are some very strange things inside a chicken.