Monday Meals: Pan-dering

I had an old non-stick pan that stop being non-stick so I decided to buy a new fry pan. I had no idea how many types of non-stick, cast iron, enamel, and ceramic pans there are. You have to think not only about heat but electricity because Inductive Heating is big here. That is the system where the pan not the stove becomes hot through an electric current. Long story short I bought a pan and later in the comments will share the specifics of the purchase.

Here is a picture of the icons that came with the pan. Can you figure out the different stoves?
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Monday Meals 19-6-17: Edamame

Edamame are soybeans that are boiled or steamed. You pop them out of their pods into your mouth. They are a great snack. Usually they are salted. Recently I have bought the frozen ones since they aren’t in season yet. Mmm, they are good.


Monday Meals: 2019-06-03

Roast Goat Quarter

Roast goat quarter: ingredients

Easter dinner at Fourmilab is usually the traditional Swiss repast of roast leg of goat, served over rice with vegetables. This is an easy-to-prepare, can’t fail meal which is suitable for any occasion. Goat is considered a “red meat”, but I find it most comparable to turkey dark meat in flavour and texture. The taste is unique and not at all gamey. (Of course, this depends upon what the goat was fed. Swiss goats are usually fed on grass and forage; if your goat was fed on garbage and fish heads, all bets are off.)... [Read More]


Monday Meals: Asparagus Glut

Without doubt, spring is here.  Violets are in bloom all over the lawns, and half a bushel of asparagus is hauled in every couple of days.  Any ideas what to do with it?

I hear there are steamers and vertical cylinders and so on.  Right now my go-to method involves a big flat pan with a tight lid. Line the spears up in there; cover barely, just barely, halfway with water; apply the lid; bring to a simmer.  A dramatic color change will impress you:  as soon as they heat up they turn very bright green. So stand right there and be ready to shut it all down and yank them out after about two minutes – before that bright green color begins to dull.... [Read More]


Monday Meals: Educated Potatoes

This is a plate of “Educated Potatoes”. I am being free with the translation. The Japanese is 大学芋, Daigaku Imo. The first two characters mean “big” and “learning” therefore “college/university”. The last character means “potato’.

As you look at the picture you will see this is not your normal plate of fries. They are not deep fried and they are candied. They are not your normal white potatoes but sweet potatoes covered in a syrup with sesame seeds. This plate came hot and sticky.... [Read More]


Monday Meals: 2019-02-18

Sneaking Duck

Sneaking duck: Ingredients

Peking duck (北京烤鸭) is a classic mainstay of Chinese cuisine. It is often a special treat on the menu of Chinese restaurants, requiring diners to order in advance for serving to multiple people. There’s a reason for this: it’s a major production to prepare and serve. The classic recipe takes three days: the first to remove the neck bones and knot the neck, paint the skin with honey and soy sauce, and hang to dry; the second to blow up the skin like a balloon to separate from the meat then blanch in boiling water; and the third to roast the whole duck in a wood-fired oven. As I recall, I’ve only had properly prepared Peking Duck once in my life, when a bunch of programmers at the place I worked in the 1970s arranged a Chinese banquet at a restaurant in Berkeley, California, but long before and after that I’ve made this recipe or variants, which I find excellent, if not authentic, and a tiny fraction of the work. You can look at this as a special treat, but making it couldn’t be easier.

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Monday Meals: 2019-01-14

Jamaican Jerk Boneless Game Hens with Rice


This week we bring the spicy heat of the Caribbean to this cold and dark northern hemisphere winter with this Fourmilab culinary creation: Jamaican jerk seasoned boneless Cornish game hens with jerk, lime, and coriander seasoned rice.  This is a medium-hot recipe (I’ve had much hotter in Indian restaurants), but you can adjust the heat to your own compression ratio simply by adding more or less jerk seasoning to the rice (the seasoning of the meat doesn’t make much difference in the overall heat).  I make this recipe using an Actifry, but if you don’t have one, I’ll provide instructions for cooking in a conventional oven.

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Monday Meals: 18-11-12 Bento

Bentos are Japanese lunches in a multi partitioned tray. In old days it was a wooden box. Now it is usually styrofoam or plastic. The common factor in all bentos is rice. This takes up the most space. After that you can have fish, beef, chicken, or fried varieties of the former. There are various side things that come with it. This can be vegetables, potato salad, Japanese pickles, etc.

7-Eleven sells a lot of bentos here. There is a custom to buy a deluxe bento at the Bullet Train Stations to eat on the Bullet train. These usually have local delicacies in them. There is also a type of fast food shop that sells bentos with hot rice.... [Read More]


Monday Meals: Strange Food

Strange is in the eye of the beholder. At one time I thought raw fish, squid and octopus was strange now I think it is normal. Eel is quite delicious over rice in a nice sauce.

All cultures have their hard to eat foods. Natto, fermented soy beans that have strings like cheese when you eat it, is the one in Japan. I’ll put up a video later. ... [Read More]


Monday Meals: 18-10-29 Food Storage

I don’t remember all the options for storing food as there is today. For the most part it was plastic wrap and Tupperware. Now there is a plethora of options. Take plastic bags. In the old days you you had plastic bags with a paper covered wire to twist the bag shut. Now there are resealable ones. The old ziplock bags with one line has been replaced with two lines to close the bag. There is even a zipper type closer. There are normal storage and freezer bags. Does the food know which bag it is in?

Now there are many Tupperware knockoffs. Some come with lids with a dial for the month and day.
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