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Gender: Male

Hometown: Darien, CT, US

Food Stamps: 8965

Posts: 83 / Comments: 34


Member since: 12/19/07

Last login: 10/08/08

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About Me

About Me



Mental challenges via video games, and physical challenges via double dare.

What I'm Listening to

Punk rock and roll any any variation thereof mostly. My tastes vary from country & bluegrass, to big band & jazz as well. I like pretty much anything. Not bad rap, or hip hop hippopotamus anonymous my rhymes are bottomless.

Favorite Foods

anything grilled, all soups with fresh baked bread

What I'm Watching

None food related. Dexter, Rome, The Tudors, Band of Brothers, Planet Earth.
Anything documentary or history related.

Actually my favorite cooking show would be "Good Eats" with Alton Brown.

Tastiest Libations

Jim Beam on the rocks
or alternatively
Jim Beam straight from the bottle while sitting in a parked car

Favorite Website Online,,

There would be more except almost everything is blocked at work :(

Most coveted item

A gas grill that gives you room to place wooden chips for smoking, or charcoal even for extra flavor

Wii Mii


My Tags

Congee (jook)

Congee (jook)
It's what's for breakfast...and dinner sometimes too.  And I guess lunch if you're adventurous.  Not for brunch though, what are you, crazy?

Congee is rice that's been cooked in a lot of liquid (water or broth) for a long time (up to a few hours) until it becomes creamy; almost like an oatmeal.  I personally don't like eating it for breakfast, because good jook takes a real long time to cook, and the stuff served for breakfast usually wasn't cooked long enough.  An ideal consistency of jook should be rich and creamy with a light sweet taste.


Your plain vanilla jook is just rice with water.  Here's the basic recipe:
Steam up some rice, add water, bring to a boil SLOWLY* and let simmer.  Stir occasionally.  Add more water if necessary.  Cook until creamy or at a consistency you desire.  Season with white pepper, garnish with chopped green onions and/or cilantro.

The first time I tried making it, I heated it too quickly and burnt some of the rice at the bottom.  Not only do you have to discard the entire batch because the smell gets in all of it, but it is an absolute pain to get burnt rice off a pot.


Serve with Chinese pickled cucumbers, Chinese shredded dried pork, Chinese fried onions, boiled/fried eggs, or other various meats and vegetables.  Use soy sauce for dipping your meats/veggies.


For a more advanced version, cook with a broth instead of water, and serve with the respective meat/vegetable.  For example, use chicken broth and serve sliced/shredded chicken dipped in soy sauce.  I highly suggest using ginger with the chicken broth as well.

If you wish, you can throw the meat/veggies in with the rice/broth as it's cooking; no need to set it aside.  You can serve it as almost a stew.


Here's a picture of some jook with good consistency, garnished with green onions, and Chinese fried onions (the brown stuff):


Suggested meats: chicken, fish, pork (and preserved duck egg), sliced beef, seafood (squid/crab/etc), duck, whole boiled eggs, or top with a fried egg.  Anything light or thinly sliced.

Suggested veggies: anything you can steam, boil, or pickle.  Steamed spinach on the side is always good.  Some places throw in peanuts.

Also if you can get a hold of it, dip some fried dough in the jook:



Posted Apr 9, 2008 by tommy_t | Add a comment |
The Sourdough Chronicles: Part II

The Sourdough Chronicles: Part II

Only time will tell


Here's a quick update of what happened in about 10 hours:

I took it out and gave it a quick stir.  It got a lot goopier and had a very sticky dough consistency to it.  Not many bubbles, and only a very mild sour aroma.


I discarded half,


and added in more flour and water (equal parts again):

 Note that when you feed the starter with flour and water again, you should, at least, double it.

(For example, if you have 1 cup of starter, add in half a cup of flour and half a cup of water.)

This process will need to be repeated multiple times over the span of a few days.  Because I am making it from scratch, there will not be a lot of action at first.  You can buy commercial sourdough starter packages that can help speed up the process if you're impatient.


I will be checking up on it again around 3PM EST tomorrow for another feeding.  If there are no dramatic changes, I will repeat the process and report back when there is dramatic growth.

This is tommy_t signing out.  Good night, and good luck.









I took a quick look.  Picture taken approximately 20 hours after feeding:

The dough has increased in size, and you can see some small bubbles popping up.  Instead of feeding it again, I think I'll wait it out some more.  The colder atmosphere (around 70 deg. F) might be slowing it down a little; most places recommend anywhere between 70-80 deg. F for ideal conditions.

Instead of throwing out half of this again, I think I'll take a portion of it, feed it, and keep it in the fridge as a backup starter.  As a reminder: if you put the starter in the refrigerator, you will only need to feed it once a week.  Also, I plan on doing a test batch with this to see how it is and compare it to the ones I make later.  STAY TUNED!


By the way, if you forget to feed it, a liquid will appear at the top.  This liquid is called the "hooch" and its full of fermented by-product stuff.

(I don't recommend drinking the stuff though; I bet even PBR tastes and works better.)

If you encounter some hooch, pour some of it out and feed immediately.  You can't starve these little guys to death, but it will hinder your starter growth down the line.



I stirred it around a bit and the consistency was real spongy.  It was almost like stirring chocolate mousse.  After working it a little it went back down to original size and batter-like consistency.  There is now a distinct smell to it.





That's it for now.  THE EPIC SAGA CONTINUES...

Posted Feb 21, 2008 by tommy_t | 1 Comment |
The Sourdough Chronicles: Part I

The Sourdough Chronicles: Part I 

Son, This is Where Sourdough Comes From


Here's my attempt at making sourdough:

I've researched a bunch of stuff online and got an idea of how to make it.  This is what I've done so far.



- Flour

- Water


That's it!

Note that the water must be very clean and filtered; no tap water because it can contain chlorine which can kill the bacteria in the dough.  Also, the flour must not be processed or bleached; as wholesome (pun not intended) as possible.  I've read that whole wheat is a good recommendation as it has more naturally occuring stuff inside it or something which is good for sourdough.


The reason behind this is because sourdough is made by culturing naturally occuring yeast and bacteria that's already in the flour.  Normal bread has extra yeast added in which kills off the bacteria.  In sourdough, the levels are pretty even and the bacteria is allowed to thrive.  As it does, acidic by-products are created which is why it has its distinct sour taste.


Here's the basic recipe I will be using:

- Approximately equal parts whole wheat flour and spring water

- One mixing bowl.  Other places recommend using large glass jars but I assume a porcelain bowl is just as good.  DO NOT use anything metallic as it can react with the acidic by-products.


Here's what it looked like after mixing:


I think I may have used too much water.  It had a slightly goopy-oatmeal-like consistency.  Don't think it should be too much of a problem though.


This will develop into what people call a "starter".  If conditions are perfect, then this mixture will bubble up from the acid and gasses produced from the bacteria and yeast inside.

You'll have to periodically "feed" the starter with more flour and water; approximately daily depending on temperature (less if its colder).  If you refridgerate it, then you only need to feed it once a week.  This is a good idea if you want to keep a constant batch of starter to make more dough later on.


I added some extra "food" and leveled it off with a damp paper towel:


Now we play the waiting game.  I'll be checking in on it in the morning to see how it does.



Posted Feb 20, 2008 by tommy_t | Add a comment |
Barilla Pasta Party

Posting a bit more on my blog since I have more creative control here.
Link to submission for more details about the ingredients:


Here's me and LordoftheFoodies discussing various cooking and food related topics.  Also at some point we discussed what we needed to do to cook since we didn't have the cookbook in hand in the beginning.  I had looked at it earlier but didn't get a chance to print it out.  We got a downloaded copy of it at the party and got the gist of it.


Here's me and the Lord with our first finished dish, Penne alla Vodka:

It was swiftly gobbled up.


Here's me immediately after equipping the dish:


And what party wouldn't be complete without jagerbombsjagerbombsjagerbombsjagerbombs?


Or drunken karaoke?  There was a rousing rendition of Run-DMC that echoed throughout the lands.


Here's the Lord and I with our second dish, Spaghetti al Tonno:

What a bunch of pimps.


A new yummrer has joined the party!


Look at him. He loves it.

If that isn't a look of pure ecstasy, I don't know what is.


Where's waldo?

Can you find his missing cane, sock, map, and pasta plate?


And here are some other miscellaneous party shots:




Special thanks to Sue for letting us cook pasta at her apartment, trash the place, and take pictures as evidence.

No thanks to Tom for coming, eating our pasta, drinking our booze, and quickly leaving.

Thanks to Khalid for coming along and letting me school him in Guitar Hero.

Also thanks to PS2 for providing the karaoke, and Barilla for their awesome pasta and recipes.



Finally, here's a better shot of the actual dishes.  The Spaghetti al Tonno is being presented, and you can sort of see a half-eaten plate of Penne alla Vodka in the background:



Posted Feb 19, 2008 by tommy_t | 3 Comments |

Here are a few quick badges I made:

 Baking Badge:

 Beer Badge:

 Grilling Badge:

Wine Badge:

Critic Badge:

Posted Jan 13, 2008 by tommy_t | Add a comment |

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