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Discussion Starter · #61 · (Edited)
Instantly Indian is from 2019. That has my favorite saag recipe though it is not pressure cooked. And is more Indian focused and more depth than 100 weeknight curries. I reference it for lentil seasoning though I don't usually pressure cook lentils. I still use a stovetop pressure cooker and don't own an instapot so i have to fiddle a bit more with the cooking and can't say how it compares to the instapot experience. It seems quite well liked.i like it too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Recent Titles that may be of interest but haven't risen to my read list

Asia: The Ultimate Cookbook

Asia: The Ultimate Cookbook (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Asian): Huskey, Brian, Cecena, Vanessa, Sullivan, Jim: 9781646432417: Amazon.com: Books

First Generation:Recipes from my Taiwanese-American Home
I should like this one, but the blurbs are too Americanized for my tastes. Like Cincinnati Chili with Hand-Pulled Noodles. The noodles aren't what need fixing in Cincinnati Chili. Or lap chong corn dogs. I'll probably flip through it when I actually see it somewhere, but the ideas I've seen from it so far aren't interesting to me.

The Vegan Chinese Kitchen
I do have some interest in this. More so if she's making vegan food for its own sake and taste rather than vegan versions of everything else. Haven't seen it yet though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
I've not finished one. I've got a couple in process. Haven't been getting as much reading in. More local travel, more time taking care of my 94 year old dad, a lifestyle change or two. So I haven't found my new balance point for it all yet.

The vegan Chinese kitchen is not so trapped in remaking meat centric dishes. It did a few but it's mostly vegetables for their own sake and taste. So that's good. Only flipped through that one so far.
 

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Thanks @phatch
Always on the look oit for more. Wish I had the excess money for the balinese cookbook.
Pet peeve of mine is that Indonesian food is so underrated.
And with this whole vegan/vegetarian drive: why is tempeh not more popular?
Really don't get it as I'm an omnivore, but will happily forego a meat dish for tempeh!
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
The book I'm liking best currently is German Meals at Oma's: Traditional Dishes for the Home Cook by Gerhild Fulson

It's pretty much what you'd expect it to be, but seems to be from a wealthier class of the culture. So more meat, more mixing of meat types, more spices, more sweet/sour. But it might also be that they found a higher class income as immigrants and played to their view of what wealthy cooking would be like maybe? My experience living in Germany was certainly working class and this is not that kind of eating. More upscale but not exclusively rich.
 

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I can't really say that German ranks high in my favourite list. Except for bread, beer and sausages ;)

I saw you had "paon" on your list (Balinese food). Did you ever get around reading it?
Sounds interesting.

And another thing: Madhur Jaffrey's "curry easy, vegetarian" is on special at amazon uk (£ 0.99) May be worth checking out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
German Meals at Omas by Gerhild Fulson

I've now finished this book. And I do like it.

It's organized by state region though it may not look like it by calling out Berlin and Hamburg. These two are city-states essentially so it still holds.

Hamburg included a dish new to me, Lost Eel soup. Because of dialect conflicts and labeling requirements, this mish mash soup of most everything in it "aal drin". But aal in the proper german means eel. And so because it rarely contained eel, it became the lost eel soup. The other oddity to me as the use of mix dried fruit or prunes. It is seasoned with vinegar too so there is a little sweet sour in play here.

Hamelin Rat Tails from the Niedersachsen region ties into the Pied Piper story, also a new dish to me.

When you visit Hamelin in Lower Saxony, you’ll know right away that you’ve arrived in the Pied Piper’s town. The glockenspiel (carillon) at the Hochzeitshaus (Wedding House) recounts the sinister tale. Restaurants join in by offering their famous rattenschwänze for dinner. Using pork strips flambéed at your table, nestled among veggies in a rich wine gravy and served over a bed of rice, these “tails” are a yummy end to a day of touristy travels.

The actual recipe is a secret, so I’m using culinary license and giving a child-friendly version with chicken and omitting the apple brandy and wine, just like an
oma would do.

and later
Oma’s Ecke

The original recipe uses pork loin that’s flambéed at the table with Calvados (an apple brandy), hence the use of apple juice in mine. The sauce also has olives, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco, as well as ¼ cup (60 ml) each of white wine, red wine and port (which I’ve replaced with beef broth). These aren’t really child-friendly ingredients, so I’ve omitted them from my version, but if you want to include them, by all means do.
In Hessen, there was a Chicken Cordon Bleu with a claim to it originating in Switzerland and of german rouladen heritage. I have no idea as to its true origins, but that story was new to me. And why it was included in Hessen? That remains a mystery.

I learned that the traditional buttery crouton at the center of potato Knoedel/Klosse is to solve the problem of not getting the dumpling cooked through the center. The crouton is already cooked so it doesn't have to be cooked again to be good. I've only attempted these once and the dumplings dissolved on me in cooking. I'll have to give her recipe a try and see if it works for me.

Her version of braised red cabbage is very similar to what i've developed to my own preferences. My Southern German sources tended to omit the sweet spices like cloves and cinnamon, both of which I use lightly. She goes for allspice and cloves. I might give that combo a try. She includes some options for increasing the sweet aspect with orange juice and currant jelly. But I don't think I would like it sweeter.

Probably not of general interest, but if you like German cuisine, and I do, then this is a good cookbook with the right flavors and techniques.
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
Opened up Paon. I recognized maybe 5 percent of the dish names. I'll probably recognize more when I get into it and see what is actually going on. More new usage to learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
From the Table of Contents, The hierarchy didn't come through the copy and paste so I'll try and bold the section headings.

FOUNDATIONS
You are what you eat
Base Genep
Base Rajang
Base Wangen
Base Kuning
Suna Cekuh
Base Bawang Jahe
Clans and climates
Air Kunyit
Uyah Sere
Kaldu Sayur
Kaldu Ikan
Kaldu Ayam
Sambal Goreng
Wayan’s Sambal Matah
Sambal Mbe
Niang’s Sambal Matah
Sambal Ulek Bongkot
Sambal Kukus
Sambal Tomat
The tree of life
Coconut guide

Santen
Lengis Nyuh
Gula Bali
Kacang Tanah Goreng
Kacang Mentik Goreng
Nawa Sanga
From the Fields
Rice
Nasi Putih or Nasi Merah
Nasi Kuning
Nasi Sela
Nasi Jagung
Nasi Bakar
Lontong
From the Land
Edible Edens
Rare edible plants

Tepeng
Bubuh Mengguh
Urab Timun
Urab Kacang
Urab Don Sela
Dragonflies and other strange proteins
Paku Tumis
Urab Pusuh
Tempe Bumbu Tomat
Taluh Mepindang
Gecok
Jukut Nangka
Ayam Sisit
Tum Bebek
Magic in her fingertips
Babi Genyol
Keladi Metambus
Rujak Bengkuang
Tempe Manis
Nyoman’s Rujak
Bubur Injin
Pisang Rai
From the Sea
Where rice doesn’t grow
Nasi Sela Gayot
Pulung Pulung
Sambal Poh
Pepes Be Pasih
Lempet
Be Panggang
Kuah Pindang
Gurita Suna Cekuh
Jero Yudi’s Ikan Bungbung
Pindang Sambal Tomat
Serosop
Ledok-ledok
Urab Gedang
Seaweed
From the Pasar
Pasar Senggol Gianyar
Tipat Cantok
Sate Tusuk
Sate Plecing
Sate Tusuk Sere Tabia
Sumping Waluh
Godoh
Bubur Sumsum
Es Kuwud
Rare and Ceremonial
Food and the universe
Bebek Betutu
Lawar Nangka
Lawar Babi
Lawar Kacang
Balung
Saur Kuning
Bekakak Ayam
Sate Lilit Be Celeng
Sate Lilit Ayam
Nasi Yasa
Urutan
Nasi Bira
Lungsuran
Jaje Wajik
Loloh Kunyit
Daluman
 

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I've put the book on my wish list (together with Fire Islands and The Nutmeg Trail by Eleanor Ford)
Real curious to see what you think. I'm lucky in having most ingredients available to me
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
I'm not far into Paon. But there are some things.

I'm uncomfortable about the ethnocentrism. We're all ethnocentric to varying degrees. And to another degree, I want an ethnic/cultural cookbook to be (somewhat) ethnocentric. That's part of why I'm reading it.

Cooking with fire: All Balinese cooks and food enthusiasts will agree that the best dishes are cooked the traditional way: over a wood fire. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, it adds depth to the food, lacing it with a smoky, rustic, earthy flavour. Rice is particularly delicious when it’s cooked this way. Secondly, it connects the cook and the food to the raw element of fire, which in many traditional medicinal schools is believed to be beneficial for digestion and vitality. So, try and cook with a gas flame at the very least. If you have access to a fire pit or charcoal grill, even better. For dishes that normally require grilling or smoking, a barbecue or oven can be fine substitutes also. We’ve included instructions for how to use modern kitchen equipment in the recipes where appropriate.
Imho, this is starting to veer toward ethnography. Live fire cooking is good. It is also very different than cooking over a Western stove. And their directions so far don't include anything about fire management, control or temerature. It's written as for western stoves, high heat, medium heat and so on.

USE YOUR HANDS

Cook with them. Eat with them. Let them feel for ripeness, texture and seasonings.

Intuition is a huge part of Balinese cooking. Veteran cooks can tell if a dish lacks seasoning just from the way it looks, feels and smells.

Mixing, massaging and squeezing with our hands connects us to our food in a special way. We learn to speak the language of our ingredients, understanding the subtleties of their biological composition, feeling when they are ready without needing to taste.

As we cook with our hands, we spill our own thoughts and intentions into every dish. When we work directly with the raw elements, such as a wood fire, we combine our own human intelligence with the life-giving powers of the universe, the prana (energy) from the water, fire and air that helps bring food to life.
Plastic has no place in a true paon. Banana leaves, coconut shell bowls and containers and baskets woven out of bamboo are used for wrapping and covering foods and storing ingredients. Most dishes are consumed on the day they are cooked, so try and reduce the amount of plastic you use by adopting this principle. If you happen to be in Indonesia, we recommend you head to your nearest market or a traditional home appliances store (known locally as a toko prabot) to source as many of these tools as you can. They’ll take the flavours and textures of your cooking to whole new heights.
Yet, shortly thereafter

These days, most people use a cupboard or a fridge for storage, or they’ll leave the food on the dining table, covered with a bamboo or plastic food cover to keep the flies at bay.
So either the true Paon doesn't exist, or plastic is OK. I'm getting picky, I admit it. But the tone is so preachy, yet the content is contradictory to the tone and actual cooking. Claiming ALL and TRUE Paon is usually a sign of the logical fallacy of the excluded middle or No True Scotsman.

CEDOK

There are probably more than fifteen different household tools made from coconut shells. The cedok is one of the most prominent. It’s a deep ladle made with a curved coconut wood handle, used for scooping water into rice and other dishes as you cook. It can be replaced with a bamboo or wooden ladle. We don’t recommend using plastic ladles and cooking spoons.
I like to know the tradition. I don't want the tradition preached to me as superior or "true".

Does any of this affect the cooking? Probably not. But it makes reading and understanding the cookbook and culture harder. You're constantly in conflict with the assertion of their cultural reality against yours rather than as an intermediary between the cultures.

For Butzy, the book is metric first, Imperial in parantheses.

And the food is interesting, if very difficult to find specific ingredients in my area. Lesser galangal, salam leaves, torch ginger flowers, limestone paste, daluman leaves. I don't recognize any of these from my asian grocers. I'll have to look specifically.

I do find it interesting. But the experience is harder than it should be in a better written book, to my values of better writing.
 

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Thanks Phatch,
That does indeed sound a bit like "holier than thou"....
I'm interested to see what you think of the recipes. Once you find the ingredients.
I have to admit to not knowing all of them, so not knowing how to sub them either.
Lesser galangal could go as wild ginger (David Thompson uses that name in "Thai Food") or kentjoer/kencur
Daun salam is used like bay leaves
Daluman leaves are apparently mint like (thank you google). I had not heard of them before.
I've never had torch ginger, and never used limestone, but I found this The Use of Limestone Solution (น้ำปูนใส) in Thai Cooking
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
So the limestone is like alkaline water it seems? The crisp batter about was mentioned in Paon. Perhaps the Chinese alkaline water might substitute.
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
YouTube channel My Name is Andong announced their cookbook for early next year, Kitchen Passport.

Rarely a primary source for me, I still enjoy his attempts at home kitchenification of things usually highly specialized.

I'm way behind on reading and likely to fall further behind with holidays and travel upcoming. Maybe on the plane I'll catch up some.
 
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