Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly is a New York Times bestselling non-fiction book written by American chef Anthony Bourdain.

The book, released in 2000, is both Bourdain’s professional story and a behind-the-scenes look at restaurant kitchens. The book is known for its treatment of the professional culinary industry. The commercial kitchen is described as an intense, unpleasant and sometimes hazardous place of work staffed by what he describes as misfits. Bourdain believes it’s no place for hobbyists and all those entering this industry will run away screaming if they lack a masochistic, irrational dedication to cooking.

Easy & Cheap Thai Curry ($2.40/serving using chicken)

So, I want to make this “easy & cheap Thai curry” recipe I found on Reddit and I’m going to store the recipe here until then. If I ever get around to it, I’ll update this post on how it turned out.

Makes 8-10 servings:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cans coconut milk (not reduced fat) – you can add more coconut milk and use reduced fat if you want to serve as straight soup.
  • Fish sauce, 1-2 tbsp (some people are freaked out by/are allergic to fish sauce, so you can substitute with soy sauce. Soy sauce will discolor the curry though).
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Soy sauce 3 tbsp
  • Sugar (white or brown both work) 1-2 tbsp
  • Garlic (6 cloves) chopped
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • Lime juice 2 tbsp (or a lime chopped, Kaffir if you want to splurge)
  • Curry paste (I prefer Mae Ploy green curry paste) 1-3 tbsp depending on how hot you want it. I do 2-3. You can start with one and add in more later with the vegetables if you don’t know your spice level.
  • Basil (handful or 1 tsp dried)
  • Ginger (a piece about 2 inches long, can use powdered 1 tbsp to sub)
  • finely chopped Cilantro (garnish)
  • Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp for veggies, 1-2 for protein
  • A protein 1-2 lbs (I prefer to get the fattier dark meat (legs or thighs and skin them, but really any protein works. Pork and chicken will be cheapest.)
  • Vegetables/fruit/fungus you like (I cook with some combination of 3-4 of these… basically everything tastes better in curry): bell pepper (1), potatoes (4-6), bamboo shoots (1 small can), mushrooms (1/3 lb), Chinese/Japanese eggplant (1), carrots (2-3), baby corn (1 small can), 1 zucchini, 3 tomatoes – chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno/3 Thai chili peppers sliced – (optional, for more heat)

COOKING:

  1. Chop protein into bite size pieces. Season with salt, pepper, and soy sauce.
  2. Cook on stove in pan on medium with 1-2 tbsp of oil until cooked through (no pink/red) and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in ideally a deep stock/soup pot on medium heat. Add garlic, onions, ginger and carrots if you are using those. Cook until onions become transparent.
  4. Add curry paste, cook 1 minute while stirring.
  5. Add in coconut milk.
  6. Add in fish sauce, sugar, lime juice/lime, basil, all other vegetables, your protein, and pepper(s).
  7. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer (rolling boil, usually around 2-3/10) and cover. Cook for 25-45 minutes until protein and any hard vegetables are tender. Potatoes may take longer. I don’t normally need to, but go ahead and salt and pepper to taste if you need it.
  8. Garnish w/cilantro.

Additional hack:

I like to serve this with Jasmine rice cooked at a 2:3 rice to water ratio in a rice cooker or covered pot. However, use one half water and one half coconut milk for restaurant-style jasmine rice.

Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/Cheap_Meals/comments/1aovbp/easy_cheap_thai_curry_240serving_using_chicken/

OQPpYTt

Pretzel recipe that challenges Auntie Anne’s

I found this recipe somewhere online and just got to try it. They were amaaazing. It’s worth noting that the longer and thinner you can make the dough rope, the more like Auntie Anne’s they will be.

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • coarse salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter (melted)

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve.
  2. Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic.
  3. Let rise at least 1/2 hour.
  4. While dough is rising, prepare a baking soda water bath with 2 cups warm water and 2 tbsp baking soda.
  5. Be certain to stir often.
  6. After dough has risen, pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long rope (about 1/2 inch or less thick) and shape.
  7. Dip pretzel in soda solution and place on greased baking sheet.
  8. Allow pretzels to rise again.
  9. Bake in oven at 450 for about 10 minutes or until golden.
  10. Brush with melted butter.
  11. Toppings: After you brush with butter try sprinkling with coarse salt.
  12. Or for Auntie Anne’s famous Cinnamon Sugar, try melting a stick of butter in a shallow bowl (big enough to fit the entire pretzel) and in another shallow bowl make a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
  13. Dip the pretzel into the butter, coating both sides generously.
  14. Then dip again into the cinnamon mixture.