Bookmarks for 28th February 2014

These are my saved Pinboard links for 28th February 2014:

  • Slightly Smoky Mixed-Bean Chili recipe on – Quite simply, this is the dish my children request most frequently.
    This chili was based originally on a recipe from a Sunset Magazine Vegetarian Cookbook for Layered Chili. At the time, 3 cans of prepared beans were adequate for my small family. Later on, I encountered Deborah Madison's version for Black Bean chili, which called for toasting spices and whole dried peppers and grinding them to lift the flavor. Being rather lazy, I simplified those instructions quite a bit, simply adding my blend of spices to the sizzling mix of onions and garlic already in the pan. As my family grew, I added more cans of beans to the preparation, till the cost in terms of cash outlay and the effort of opening 8 or 9 cans in the rush to get dinner on before the school bus arrived (as I said, I'm lazy) outweighed the flavor benefit. So I experimented with the more lazy, leisurely approach of soaking and cooking a mix of dried beans–big pillowy kidneys, black turtle, small Adukis, pictorial Anasazis and pintos. It is I suppose more effort, but can be done in stages. I don't bother soaking overnight, a few hours will do. Don't skip the yummy garnishes. They freshen up the flavor of this rich stew.
  • Chili Gumbo recipe on – This recipe had been percolating in my head, and then on my stove, since last May. Leo and I went to the Bayou Boogaloo in New Orleans, and the first night Cyril Neville and Tribe 13 played. They told a story about how after the storm they were displaced to Austin and lived here for three years. They were welcomed by the community and made to feel that they had a home here. After three years, it was time to leave their new friends and family and return to their home in New Orleans, but Austin had found a permanent place in their hearts. They said when they got back to NOLA they realized that Austin had put a little chili in their gumbo. Then they played the song — recommended listening while cooking this — Chili In The Gumbo!

    This looks like a crazy long ingredient list, but it all comes together really easily one you mise en place. Don't feel overwhelmed!

  • Hawaii-Style Chicken and Rice – I’m fed up with winter. I’ve had it with my high-heeled open toed sandals peeking at me from the depths of my closet. My sweaters have been in a relentless rotation. My hands are constantly cold and I seem to have had the sniffles for months now, which means a chapped nose, which means I can’t really make it to the gym now can I?  To make matters worse, I’m actually working on a project (can’t say what, sorry), so I’m not even able to leave the country to somewhere warm and beachy and margarita-y to dull my winter blues. And before you east coasters start chirping about what a suck I am and how hard you have it, I know you’re worse off. Let’s just all agree that winter blows, and it’s high time it took a long walk off a short pier.

    The only way I really know how to beat any sort of blues is through food (okay, and drink), so I wanted to make something that took me far away to my own little kokomo, which is Maui. I’ve gone off about Maui before, so I won’t bore you here. But I will say it’s my favorite place in the world, and I make sure I get there yearly come hell or high water. One of the things that draws me back to Maui is the food– salty, sweet, full of “umami”, and just plain old comforting. I spent the first few years of my life there and went back every summer to visit my grandparents who lived there, so comfort to me is fried rice and shoyu chicken, lomi lomi salmon, tuna poke, and of course, kalua pork. Alright, I’ll come clean: yes, I’ve eaten and enjoyed spam, and you can take your judgement elsewhere because it is the BEST. *loses 500 subscribers*  One of the best and most celebrated Hawaiian chefs is Sam Choy, who’s known as the godfather of Hawaiian regional cuisine. He’s taught me a lot about how to mimic the flavors of the islands at home, and I decided to pay homage to him with this dish. It’s insanely flavorful, relatively easy (even east coasters can do it!), and goes mighty well with a Mai Tai. Note that the rice needs to be precooked and cooled, and the chicken marinated for minimum 2 hours.

  • Generate an Excel XLS spreadsheet from T-Sql in Sql Server | Raymond Lewallen – Sometimes you find these really old files floating around on your
    harddrive and you forget that you ever downloaded them. Here is one
    such example. I have no idea where I got this or who to credit for its
    creation, but I’ve had it for awhile and came across it and thought it
    would be something nice to share with you, as I’m sure it is something
    of great help to many of you, especially if you are limited in your
    experience on creating DTS packages, which is another way, and
    preferred way under most circumstances, to get data from Sql to
    Excel.  This
    is a T-SQL script that uses the system stored procedures sp_OA* for
    creating and handling OLE objects, ADO, Jet and a linked server to
    create and
    populate an XLS file from a select statement.  By default, if the
    XLS file already exists, the result of the query will get appended to
    the worksheet.  You’ll have to add some code to check for and
    delete the file before creating if that is your desired behavior. 
    Oh, and I used this a long time ago
    with some minor code changes and it worked fine, but this is the
    original script using the pubs database, so there are changes you’ll
    have to make, and they should be fairly obvious to you.
  • Chinese Style Honey Hoisin Sticky Ribs recipe on – You could use almost any rib here for this recipe although probably not short ribs. I think beef ribs would be great, as far as pork goes you could use baby backs, spare, or St. Louis style.
  • Shanghainese Lion’s Head Meatballs recipe on – This is a recipe passed down from my great-grandmother on my father's side — he missed these so much when my family came to the United States that he taught himself to cook just to make them again. They are, in many ways, the epitome of Shanghainese cooking: flavorful but not overwhelming, savory-sweet, with a bit of shaoxing wine for extra depth. Perfect warming comfort food. If you want a saltier or more intense flavor, increase the amount of soy sauce and sesame oil.
  • Spicy Chickpea and Sour Tomato Curry with Noodles recipe on – Spicy Chickpea and Sour Tomato Curry with Noodles
  • Lentil and Sausage Soup for a Cold Winter’s Night recipe on – This hearty one-dish-supper soup is in my regular fall-winter rotation, and has been a family favorite for quite a long time. That means three things: it tastes great, it’s not complicated, and I usually have on hand everything needed to make it. Once it’s served, people dig in and suddenly, the table’s quiet for a minute or two. Serve it with a hearty whole grain bread and follow it with fruit and cheese for a lovely, easy dinner at home. You'll see that the primary herb is marjoram. That's not an herb that you see often in recipes, but to my mind, it's what makes this soup so tasty. Enjoy!!
  • Cinnamon Sugar Breakfast Puffs recipe on – This is a recipe I got from my childhood best friend, college roommate, and partner in all things related to having tea parties, binging on whipped cream and scones, building snow forts, trying to find the source of creeks, spiking hot chocolate, climbing mountains, and other adventures of all sorts. I think she got it from her godmother, who is the ultimate hostess (she has one of those giant houses with stone lions out front, which basically means you're required to be a good hostess).
    My friend had these at a brunch hosted by her godmother, and became unbelievably obsessed with them. She was generous enough to share the recipe with me too. I made some little tweaks and changes because I can't help it, like spicing them up, and using browned butter (because butter should almost always be browned in these types of cases). They're kind of a hybrid of spice cake, muffins, and cinnamon sugar donut holes…so what's not to love?! Plus they're remarkably quick and easy. And, I must admit, I take odd enjoyment in eating anything called a puff.
  • Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Pizza Dough + Margherita Pie recipe on – Jim Lahey has refined his revolutionary no-knead bread technique for pizza and, astonishingly, it's even easier. Though Lahey loves smart, unusual toppings like charred thai eggplant with bonito flakes, shiitake with walnut onion puree, and cheese piled with spinach leaves, here we went with his version of the classic Margherita Pie. Lahey would want you to feel free to tinker, and to feel free to freeze the dough.

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