Tag Archives: food preparation

Low sodium / no sodium Saimin

Hi readers.  My occasional yearning for saimin [ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saimin ] experienced a hiccup when the various sawbones convinced me I needed to be serious about sodium if I wanted to keep making a nuisance of myself.

The other ingredients aren’t a problem, but finding a low sodium, easy to prepare broth is.  I tried using the onion ice cubes and it almost worked, but not quite.  Onion ice cubes, jalapeno ice cubes

But there’s an auction near here every Saturday, and everything that doesn’t sell goes out into the parking area to be sifted through by anyone who wants it before they haul it away to the dump.  I occasionally find things I want there because Jeanne’s been a frequenter and trafficker of auction castaways for a number of years.

Saturday I hit the jackpot.  A brand new, unopened box of Herb Ox NO SODUM chicken bouillon broth.  I never knew such a thing existed.  Never thought it might enough to search for it.

So when I arrived back at Jeanne’s I immediately used one package to test as a cup of bouillon hot drink and it was great.

Yesterday I used one of those onion ice cubes, a package of Herb Ox NO SODIUM bouillon as the base for my first post-discovery saimin.  Everything added was sodium free, or only had naturally systemic sodium.

I used bean sprouts, thin wheat noodles, shredded cabbage and carrots, mushrooms, some corn off-the-cob, and various seasonings.

Tasted precisely as saimin ought to taste, which varies.

Old Jules

 

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Preparing dried peppers for kitchen use

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by.

Does it bother you when you go to a restaurant, order something spicy, and the plate comes with a bunch of cockroach-sized peppers intact scattered into the food?  No way of eating them if you still own your appendix and want to continue in that vein.

Ancho is a favorite of mine because they aren't much hotter than bell peppers, but they have a strong flavor.  Dusky, smoky flavor.  But only rarely will you find them fresh.

Ancho is a favorite of mine because they aren’t much hotter than bell peppers, but they have a strong flavor. Dusky, smoky flavor. But only rarely will you find them fresh.

Same applies for home cooking.  Some of the best, such as anchos, can only rarely be found fresh.  And using them dried requires some preparation if you want to taste the flavor.

 

The blender beats any other method I've ever found for reducing them to a worthy size. Unless it's the heat you're after, such as with habenero. But that's an entirely different story.

The blender beats any other method I’ve ever found for reducing them to a worthy size. Unless it’s the heat you’re after, such as with habenero. But that’s an entirely different story.

Enter, the blender.  No need to dig out the mortar and pistle.  It wouldn’t work anyway.

ancho grinding 1

Starting with low speeds seems to work best.

ancho grinding 2

Be patient and hang in there.  You’ll be able to see the particle sizes decreasing.

`ancho ground

Eventually you’ll end up with this.  Ready to use ancho, not ground enough to qualify as molido, a bit coarse, but with enough surface areas exposed to bring out the flavor.

I suspect one of the reasons so few people use dried peppers is a result  of not knowing what the hell to do with them.  Reducing the particle size enough to bring out the flaver and render them capable of being digested helps.

Old Jules

Onion ice cubes, jalapeno ice cubes

onion ice cube jalapeno ice cube

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.  This is an idea of mine that worked out really well.  Hell, it wasn’t my idea.  It was Jeanne’s.  But I’m the one put that whole bag of onions in the blender, liquified them, and poured them into ice cube trays.  Jeanne just thought of it because the onions go bad so quickly these days.

Anyway, even before the low sodium fanaticism and the sexual experimentation with various foods that followed, counting sodium mgs the way other people count calories, even before that I used a LOT of onions, a lot of jalapeno [and other peppers].

But Jeanne’s ice cube idea throws the entire thing into a new realm.  A new threshold, new horizon of culinary potential.  And you don’t have to chop them every damned time you get hungry and start searching for something to cook.

The onions turn into tiny onion chips when thawed, and a lot of onion juice.  They make an onion broth quicker than I can type it.  And the jalapeno ice cube are great anywhere.  Shove a popsicle stick into them and you have a jalapeno popsicle.  Otherwise just use them the way you’d normally use a jalapeno shaped like an ice cube.

Remember where you heard it first.  It was here.  Not Jeanne’s Library blog.  But if I could think of a way to keep them from melting I’d send some postcard style to her Johnson County Library Postcard Art project.  Because damn me, these are art.  Tastiest damned art I’ve ever eaten.

Old Jules

 

Amazingly toothsome no-sodium/low sodium salad

great salad

Hi readers.  Jeanne suggested I take a picture of this and post it.  I’m not certain why.  I just got sort of carried away making that salad and as always, it turned out toothsome.

Spinach, bean sprouts, frozen grapes, frozen cranberries, sesame seeds, chopped celery, celery seed, chopped carrots and sweet peppers, raw peanuts and snow peas [chopped].  Dressing is rice vinegar and olive oil with a dose of minced garlic and some ginger.

Takes a lot to fill the void, but the sour from the cranberries discourages over indulging.  Not unpleasantly, but insistently.  This one made two meals, second one as appealing as the first.

Old Jules