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Messages - nicneufeld

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1
All Things Food / Re: The healthy stuff is tasty
« on: December 23, 2011, 06:22:59 PM »
I'm a fan of cucumber and peppers.  The former sliced fresh, the latter is fine fresh but I prefer roasting them until black, peeling, and then making ajvar with it.

All things in moderation.  I like new potatoes with butter and dill in a more Scandinavian style.  

2
The Pub / Re: Talk me into brewing Saturday morning
« on: December 16, 2011, 02:09:00 PM »
I'm not doing an extract batch over there, because then she won't understand why I have to spend the extra time and effort for all-grain when I finally am able to do it again.

Hehehe, you've struck a fundamental difference between wives and girlfriends.  A wife would see/appreciate the difference in ingredients cost!

I've been trying to convince myself to brew for weeks...probably months now.  Going to try to finally do a batch tomorrow...

3
All Things Food / Re: Nice Rice
« on: December 14, 2011, 01:07:11 PM »
My favorite rice is the following, vaguely from memory...

First soak and rinse 1 cup basmati several times...

Then in a sauce pan, add 3 Tbsp (you heard right!) and start heating.  Throw in 2 peppercorns, 2 cardamom pods, 2 cloves, a 1 inch cinnamon stick, and a bay leaf and heat the spices while stirring for a couple minutes.  Then add your soaked and drained basmati...I like to stir it to coat evenly and then cook it for another minute or two...then add a couple cups of water, an amount of salt which eludes my memory, but a normal amount (1/2 tsp or 1 tsp?), stir, bring to light boil, cover, and simmer gently for I forget how long...12-15 minutes maybe?

Fluff the rice, and root around for the whole spices and remove (that's why its good to have a fixed amount to add, you'll know when you've found them all).  The butter adds fat, but the scent of browned butter and spices with this rice is wonderful.  Great with dal and curry dishes.  I've even made it when not otherwise cooking Indian (ie as a side to steak).

4
The Pub / Re: Another book thread
« on: December 11, 2011, 02:56:39 PM »
Rereading "Notes From a Small Island" by Bill Bryson...nice humorous American account of a trip around the UK.  Finishing up the 1912 Luther translation of the Bible in German, occasionally reading a bit of "Nad: Understanding Raga Music" by Sandip Bagchee, and have been reading a lot of Wodehouse, particularly his very old stuff that is now public domain (and therefore on my iPhone).

5
The Pub / Re: Tinnitus
« on: December 04, 2011, 12:27:18 PM »
That would be one way to develop perfect pitch...you've got a reference tone built in!

6
All Things Food / Re: BBQ Style
« on: December 03, 2011, 06:21:29 PM »
Cool. What are you gonna play the zitar? Thats great. My axe is the tambourine. Maybe we can jam sometime.

Maybe I should dredge up the old ethnic cooking thread and post some Indian bread recipes. I got puris figured out too. and they stay puffed.

You have any atta flour?

Yep on both accounts...I buy atta in bulk.  Atta and besan I always keep on hand.  And yep, I'm learning sitar under the tutelage of Ustad Imrat Khan...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCtjrsu4dFk

Hoping to eventually study surbahar with him. Just finished a lesson and the posture is killing me...one hour sitting like that and I have an early insight into what my old age will feel like.

7
All Things Food / Re: BBQ Style
« on: December 03, 2011, 04:46:34 PM »
Very nice.  I always lean more towards indian bread than rice, but I like both.  Although in 15 minutes I'll be starting my weekly lesson in Indian classical music, which has been consuming more of my time of late.  I'd best go make sure I'm tuned up properly...I wonder if I could get a gig at a local Indian joint...how about 1 samosa for each drut gat I play?

8
All Things Food / Re: BBQ Style
« on: December 03, 2011, 10:48:06 AM »
Love the new blog...too many of your recipes/pictures/etc were buried in hundred-page threads like this, this will make them better organized.

The central European food looks great, I may have to hunt down a bottle of hungarian wine or slivovitz and revisit that stuff!  And Indian bread pointers will be rather useful, I've fallen into a rut with chapatis...water, salt, atta, and kalonji mixed and rolled then baked in a dry skillet.  They make great edible "spoons" so to speak which is their primary function but they aren't fantastic on their own.  Healthy though, I suppose!

9
The Pub / Re: Tinnitus
« on: December 01, 2011, 07:21:36 AM »
For those that have not had the issue, think about driving to higher elevations and your ear pops due to the pressure. Now imagine it will not pop and the pressure becomes so great you can barely hear, you have severe head and ear aches and life is generally miserable...now multiply that times about 10 and you will understand what it might feel like.  ;)

I've been there on a flight once or twice, where when landing, my ears refused to pop.  I was about 20 years old and it was a bit on the alarming side...pressure did release eventually after landing, but dang, that was unpleasant.

10
The Pub / Re: Tinnitus
« on: November 30, 2011, 06:26:50 PM »
Yikes, blood on the pillow and everything?  My wife is a medically hypersenstive person in some ways so anything remotely that severe she'd have carted me off to any number of doctors immediately, regardless of protests.  Hope it gets better for you!

I was sure I'd get this eventually, because in my early 20s I was both cranking up tube amps until my guitar tone was appreciably saturated with power tube distortion (a lovely thing) and I was also in thrall to an enjoyable hobby of target shooting with rather noisy centerfire pistols.  But lately...I maybe shoot once every one or two years, and musically I've switched over to purely acoustic Indian music on the hobby side, where the volumes are very modest, and in the western music sphere I'm playing with in ear monitors and stage volume is much reduced.  It's nice when you pull a meend on a sitar and you, the player, have to hold your breath to hear the sustain and harmonics dying out, softly.  Nice on the eardrums too.

11
The Pub / Re: I need a sword...
« on: November 30, 2011, 06:16:20 PM »
I went to the website because, well, I've never had Taco John's...I was thinking how much less Mexican could a taco joint be and the the answer is none...less Mexican.  But still who am I to turn up my nose at unauthentic cheap American comfort food...I who occasionally like Totinos pizzas (don't you judge me!)...  So I may have to take the plunge next time I'm in the vicinity of a Taco Johns, just for the novelty of it!

This was an epic BFI thread and the ensuing derailment was fantastically befitting in its epicness.  High fives and ninja master secret handshakes all around!

12
All Things Food / Re: BBQ Style
« on: November 21, 2011, 05:26:05 PM »
I usually smoke cheddar but smoked pepperjack is a big hit around here.  Normally I smoke the cheap, non-fancy store brand cheeses, because many of the fancier cheeses are better enjoyed as is for the price, for me.  A bit of good woodsmoke can improve a boring cheese quite a bit.  I'm sure smoked red leicester or smoked parmesan or smoked gjetost would be interesting for various things, though...

13
The Pub / Re: I need a sword...
« on: November 20, 2011, 11:20:54 AM »
I like turtles....

Ninja turtles!!

14
All Things Food / Re: What's For Dinner?
« on: November 15, 2011, 06:51:20 PM »
Yet another reason...laziness combined with a head cold.  Samosas are terrifically labor intensive, so I really didnt feel like thawing out some chicken, making up the besan batter...I thoroughly intended to have chicken pakoras AND naan in addition to the above.  Ah well, at least I know on which subcontinent I could theoretically survive should I be forbidden meat in the future.  Nothing is more soul-crushing than bland vegetarian food.  No wait, I can think of something worse...soy-derived industrial "meat substitute" types of vegetarian food. 

15
All Things Food / Re: What's For Dinner?
« on: November 15, 2011, 06:01:55 PM »
Indian food tonight...completely vegetarian, although not on purpose.  Aloo samosas, with a flour/besan/shortening crust, stuffed with a spicy coconut/potato/onion/red pepper/jalapeno stuffing, deep fried, with a thick dal soup with lots of pureed vegetables (actually a large amount of roasted hatch chilies pureed into it, as well as roasted eggplant and squash), and basmati rice cooked in spice-laced ghee.  The dal was HOT.  Perhaps too liberal a hand with the hatch chilies!  But good.

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