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Old 08-08-2015, 10:14 AM   #1
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New from Virginia

Hello Discuss Cooking folks!

After reading some intros here, this is going to be very long and indulgent in comparison. I figure the point of an intro is to lay out a POV people can refer to in order to see where one is “coming from”. I mean no disrespect to folks who aren’t as wordy as me…I’m just weird.

So, I apologize right up front. I don’t usually write in blurbs and I tend to use paragraphs, which can annoy people in the 140 character Twitter world we are in these days.

So here goes:

I am Ken, I only made my screen name here Chef Kenny because “ken” is usually not available on web sites. My wife calls me “The Chef”.

I, at some points try nearly everything as far as cooking. I’m not a big sweets guy, either for eating or cooking; but I do make the occasional cheesecake and my go-to when I want to bake a dessert is Crème Brule’ which I have down pretty darn good…and yes, not only do I have a shop torch for caramelizing but I finally bought a smaller culinary torch.

I make homemade soups and stocks (not every day, but you know…), I like to buy whole or larger meats like chickens and cut them up myself. My favorite parts of a chicken are the thighs, wings and all that carcass meat tucked all over for the picking. (After cooking of course!)

As a man, of course, I grill. Nuff said.

Not a huge fish fan, but I do like most bivalves and my favorite crustacean is the crab. I have had a life-dose of shrimp, but I hold my nose and make shrimp for my wife…she deserves it. As far as fish, I can dig some grilled whole trout but that’s the way of eating fish my wife doesn’t like! Otherwise I like my fish to be sushi (imagine that, a not so crazy about fish guy who absolutely loves sushi. Having been to Japan helps) or I prefer my fish fried…yep, I have a deep fryer.

I smoke meats and have been doing that more and more. Smoked fish is another way I like fish like salmon, but I haven’t done any smoked fish yet. It’s on the list. I make ribs and pulled pork so good I almost never buy it anywhere or order it in a restaurant. Same with steaks…almost never order out, I do very well with them at home. Burgers…same thing, but I do break down and get one out once in a while.

I am working on fermentation and have made my own Kimchi for years now. Working on real crock style dill pickles and next on sauerkraut. I’m even starting to work on old school fermented ginger ale, root beer and such to see if I can get even more probiotics in my diet without buying them.

Game meat. Do that too. Mostly from my elderly dad’s hunting of deer and even a bear, both of which I cook with. Setting up for hunting myself right now and ready to start harvesting my own game. My dad won’t be around forever to supply me with venison. The blood and guts don’t bother me, but getting up early…well, let’s just say I am NOT a morning person.



Jerky, yep. Making and stuffing my own sausage…yep. I even have a Ronco set it and forget it Rotissimatic…and it works well for birds and believe it or not, a rib roast.

Getting in to canning this year. I have canned pickles for years, but with a co-op garden going with a buddy we have abundant fresh organic veggies to harvest…plus my own small garden in the back yard.

My biggest weakness is Asian food as far as cooking. Yea, I can make the stuff Americans “think” is Chinese food, but have not gotten the real stuff down, like even the basic Ma Po Tofu with pork. Thai food, same deal; can’t get the authentic stuff down pat. I can make a Thai red curry with chicken as good as any I’ve tasted but that’s about it, everything else is just not as good. So any help from the community on this and other stuff will be very much appreciated.

Oh yea, I bought the All American pressure cooker for canning vegetables, I want to can meats and such too (I’m a bit of a “Prepper”). I want to cook foods in it outside of canning too. I heard or read somewhere that pressure cooking chicken pieces before breading and frying for fried chicken is a thing…not pressure deep frying…pressure pre-cooking before frying. I would love some feedback on that.

OK, I’ll stop now.

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Old 08-08-2015, 10:26 AM   #2
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Hi Chef Kenny! Nice to get to know you a little... or a lot

I think the secret to authentic tasting Thai food is getting the right ingredients - galangal, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass are just different enough from ginger, regular limes and lemons that it doesn't taste right without them. I got mine through online mail order.
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:56 AM   #3
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Hi, Ken. Welcome to DC.
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:16 AM   #4
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Thanks G.G. (is it OK if I acronym you like that?)

Yep, I get that and have been down that road. I have bought galangal, Kaffir Lime Leaves and lemon grass along with other authentic ingredients.

I have even bought the Thai mushroom soy sauce like this Mushroom Soy Sauce, Healthy Boy » Temple of Thai
directly from my favorite Thai place and tried to pick their brains on how they achieve that wonderful clear broth. Mine is always cloudy...good but cloudy, and I have tried filtering and everything. That soy sauce is now readily available at our local Asian store and it's really good.

Our local Asain market has all this stuff. I love it because you can get a head of Napa cabbage or some baby bok choy so much cheaper than the regular American chain groceries.

I was actually given fresh Kaffir lime leaves from the personal tree of the wonderful quirky Thai woman who owns Ubon Thai in Staunton, VA...she also sent me home with Thai Hot Pepper plants from her garden to grow in mine. Funny thing is, every time I have used Kaffir leaves, exactly per recipe directions it is too strong for me. I actually got my hands on a few kaffir limes once too!

All of my attempts are good, just not replicative of what I get made by real Thai.

I have even built a setup in my garage with a 6 burner gas cook top so I could go "nuclear" with heat and frying and keep the odors out of the house (my range hood is not worthy). One of the factors in Chinese and I suppose most Asian cooking is something called the "breath of the wok"...it's that essence of heat that comes from a super hot wok and the ingredients stirred and turned just right.

I'm getting better, learning and obtaining many ingredients but just not there yet. I am about to ask if I can intern free in the kitchens in my favorite authentic Chinese and Thai places just to see it first hand.
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:17 AM   #5
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Thanks Andy!
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:23 AM   #6
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Hi Ken
Welcome to DC.

Josie
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Kenny View Post
Thanks G.G. (is it OK if I acronym you like that?
Sure, no problem.

You've taken further than I have. I suppose I don't expect my Thai food to taste like a restaurant's food since I don't make it every day. But it's tasty and I enjoy it.

Cool that you have access to those ingredients. An Asian grocery store opened near my house not too long ago. Next time I want to make Thai food, I'll stop in there.
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:52 AM   #8
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Thumbs up

Welcome to this cooking forum, Chef Kenny!

Your intro is very impressive and you are clearly highly accomplished.


No doubt we will benefit from your posts here and, hopefully, have something to offer you too!
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Kenny View Post
Thanks G.G. (is it OK if I acronym you like that?)

Yep, I get that and have been down that road. I have bought galangal, Kaffir Lime Leaves and lemon grass along with other authentic ingredients.

I have even bought the Thai mushroom soy sauce like this Mushroom Soy Sauce, Healthy Boy » Temple of Thai
directly from my favorite Thai place and tried to pick their brains on how they achieve that wonderful clear broth. Mine is always cloudy...good but cloudy, and I have tried filtering and everything. That soy sauce is now readily available at our local Asian store and it's really good.

Our local Asain market has all this stuff. I love it because you can get a head of Napa cabbage or some baby bok choy so much cheaper than the regular American chain groceries.

I was actually given fresh Kaffir lime leaves from the personal tree of the wonderful quirky Thai woman who owns Ubon Thai in Staunton, VA...she also sent me home with Thai Hot Pepper plants from her garden to grow in mine. Funny thing is, every time I have used Kaffir leaves, exactly per recipe directions it is too strong for me. I actually got my hands on a few kaffir limes once too!

All of my attempts are good, just not replicative of what I get made by real Thai.

I have even built a setup in my garage with a 6 burner gas cook top so I could go "nuclear" with heat and frying and keep the odors out of the house (my range hood is not worthy). One of the factors in Chinese and I suppose most Asian cooking is something called the "breath of the wok"...it's that essence of heat that comes from a super hot wok and the ingredients stirred and turned just right.

I'm getting better, learning and obtaining many ingredients but just not there yet. I am about to ask if I can intern free in the kitchens in my favorite authentic Chinese and Thai places just to see it first hand.
Welcome to DC. We like Thai food. We grow galangal and have a Kaffir lime tree. So far, I have never heard of anyone using the actual limes. If you know of any recipes that use them, I'd appreciate one or two.
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Old 08-09-2015, 03:49 PM   #10
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Welcome Ken, we will get along just fine!
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