Cooking Tips,Kitchen Gadgets

Hot Lava Hawaiian Food

8 May , 2006  

From steam vents to bubbling hot springs, ingenious chefs (and even a few wayward travellers) acround the world have used volcanic power for cooking…but the folks at Dolphin Bay Hotel in Hilo show off some serious Hawaiian cooking fu with their Hot Lava Game Hen recipe.

Lava Cooking 2

Lava Cooking 1

Surprisingly, cooking with 2000° F still takes the same amount of time as oven roasting, its just a tad more interesting and requires a few special items of equipment like kevlar gloves and a shovel. The Dolphin Bay folks are kind enough to point out that it should be a shovel you don’t mind throwing away.

While this isn’t something you can do at home, you can get a little taste of lava love by using oven heated volcanic rocks…the latest fad in tableside cooking.

Luau RoastOf course there’s always traditional Hawaiian cooking which uses lava stones placed in a imu pit. While cooking with hot lava right from Pele’s mouth requires you to leave a vent for steam to escape, the trick to awesome kalua pork involves keeping the steam trapped inside the covered pit.

Anyone up for a luau?

Cooking Tips,Japanese A Go-go,Kitchen Gadgets,Video Clips

Japanese Cooking Tricks

13 Mar , 2006  

Forget those boring Food Network cooking shows! It’s time to get your Asian geek-on with these hilarious educational cooking vids I found on You Tube. Here’s six tricks every wannabe Iron Chef should know.

1. Removing Potatoes Skins with a Twist
You can use this trick for lots of foods like tomatoes or peaches. Just be sure to score an entire line around the fruit or veggie before boiling, then drop into an ice bath afterwards.

Peeling Shrimp2. The Two Second Method for Peeling Shrimp
It’s so much fun, everyone’s doing it! Just be sure to bring your scissors.

3. A Perfect Cuppa Hot Cocoa
Whenever you want to dissolve powder in a liquid the trick is to stir back and forth in a line, not a circle!

4. No Fuss Fish Cleaning
Apparently rubber spatulas have the perfect edge for removing fish scales. Of course you can always ask the butcher at the meat counter to do it for you.

5. Keeping Your Potstickers From Sticking
Oil the pan after it’s gotten hot, then add your gyoza. If you steam them with water or stock you’ll want to pour that off and cook just a bit longer.

Shelling Crab6. Pulling Whole Crab from the Shell
All of you ReadyMade fans are going to love this one…besides the little sound effects the crab meat makes when it comes out of the shell are, hmmmm…mouth-watering?

Cooking Tips,Kitchen Gadgets

Lab Coats in the Kitchen?

9 Mar , 2006  

Nitrogen Ice CreamThe latest hot food trend to hit the Internet blends high tech science with cooking. It started with pro chefs using centrifuges and microscopes, then hardware hackers jumped in. The guiding principle is to create dishes based on the molecular compatibilities of foods.

Even traditional food bloggers are giving geek recipes a wirl. Heidi at 101 Cookbooks recently shared her experience with creating Liquid Nitrogen ice cream, and if you’d really like to dig in be sure to check out Marc Powell’s molecular gastronomy blog, FoodHacking.com.
If you thought making souffle for Sunday brunch with friends was challenging try Nitro Pumpkin Seed Pie Horchata Foam for 100.

You can often catch Powell cooking in the Bay Area, such as the Dorkbot demo linked above. Check out the Dorkbot slideshow for more photos of some serious food science.

Cooking Tips,Desserts

The Art of Meringue

9 Feb , 2006  

EggbeaterPastry chef Shuna Fish Lydon, whose writings are as tasty as dessert has published a great piece on Bay Are Bites, full of tips on how to make meringue. I can’t say I’ve ever been excited by the standard chocolate meringue pie but this collection of meringue cookie and pie recipes I pulled off of Epicurious.com sounds simply divine.

I think my destiny is calling. Lemon meringue custards anyone?