Perfectly Poached Salmon

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Admittedly, I’ve struggled with cooking salmon for years now. Coooking salmon seems like such a basic skill.  A little too much heat and salmon can get very dry, still edible but a far cry from that perfectly moist, tender, and cooked result you expected. Justin Chapple at Food & Wine’s Mad Genius kitchen solves our salmon woes.

The answer to perfectly poached salmon after the jump!

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How to Peel a Kiwi

Kiwis have amazing health benefits and yet they’re difficult to incorporate into your normal eating habits, probably because the peel is so tricky to remove.  You just end up with a lot of kiwi fur on your knife and no one wants that!  Food & Wine has a great trick for peeling kiwi to avoid catching the fur while saving as much of the fruit as possible.

See the video after the jump!

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Vegan Miso Orange Glazed Eggplant

Sometimes I forget that vegan cooking can be quite simple.  This eggplant dish is a great lazy meal since it only takes a few minutes to prep.  The rest of the cooking time is baking in the oven so you can set it and forget it.

Did you know that there are 14 varieties of eggplants?  Here, I used the most common one found in American grocery stores – the American or Globe eggplant with its bulbous, pear shape.  If you’d like to create this dish with better presentation, try substituting with the Japanese eggplant with its long and thin shape, cutting in half lengthwise.  You can also garnish with fresh green onions or chilies.

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Recipe after the jump 🙂

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All You Need for Peanut Sauce: Peanut Butter, Hoisin Sauce, and Water

Most recipes for peanut sauce for satay or dipping sauce for spring rolls call for a handful of ingredients.  The big secret is that you only need 3 ingredients!

Chunky Peanut Butter + Hoisin Sauce + Water, that’s it!  More specifically, you need 3 parts peanut butter to 1 part hoisin sauce.  Add water to yield desired consistency.  Microwave for 15 seconds to help the sauce mix.  Mix slowly with a spoon or whisk.  Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, mix, then add more water if the sauce is still too thick.  Garnish with fresh chopped peanuts.

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Recipe after the jump for chicken thighs.

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The Best Way to Cook Dungeness Grab

Here on the West Coast, Dungeness crab season is well under way.  The crab season peaks at the start in December and runs through June.  Here are more Dungeness Crab Season Facts.

Some people lament on how dry Dungeness crab meat can be, but they may not be doing it right.  I’ve experimented with cooking live crab at home and I found the perfect method to yield totally cooked but very juicy meat.  I prepared crab for a picnic party of 10 and made dipping sauces.  The crab meat was so good on its own that no one used the sauces!

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Recipe after the jump! 🙂

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5 Ways to Extend The Shelf Life of Herbs

We all know that buying fresh herbs can get expensive and they tend to spoil fairly quickly.  Whomp whomp.  Here are 4 ways to extend the shelf life of your herbs.

1. Turn Fresh Herbs to Dry Herbs by Microwaving

Food & Wine’s Mad Genius video series on YouTube demos how to dry herbs by microwave. Genius indeed!

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Soft-Boil Eggcellence

Macheesmo.com posted this method for  fail-proof, perfect soft-boiled eggs.  This is truly a game changer.  No more overcooked or undercooked eggs, ever.  The instructions involve boiling eggs in 1/2 inch of water, covered for 6 minutes and 30 seconds.  America’s Test Kitchen also validated this method after experimenting with thousands of eggs.

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Here is the result of my replication:
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Adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the boiling water is supposed to help with separating the egg-shell when peeling.

A Lighter and Crunchier Banana Bread

Banana bread is such a classic dessert.  It’s  great solution for saving over ripened  bananas and pleasing a crowd at the same time!

I’ve revamped the traditional recipe to make a lighter batter and a crunchy top.  I’ve created a lighter batter by using egg whites instead of the whole egg with yolk.  The inspiration came from the Chinese sponge cake, known for its fluffy airy consistency.  Although banana bread baked with egg whites won’t turn out as airy as Chinese  sponge cake, you’ll notice a lighter texture than regular banana bread.

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If the recipe calls for 2 eggs like this  popular recipe on all recipes.com – http://allrecipes.com/recipe/banana-banana-bread/ – egg whites from 4 eggs would be used instead.  Sprinkle on granulated sugar just before baking and the result will be a crispy, sweet crusty top.