January 28, 2007

Mousetrap - 89

Click, chop, simmer
CookingByNumbers
Recipes books are all very well, but what about those times you need to knock together a quick meal, and you haven’t the time to go buy all the ingredients? Try this site out. Simply look inside your fridge and your shelves, then come back, and click on all the items that you have in stock, and then hit “Find Recipes.” If you check the “I feel lucky” option as well, you get recipes for which you lack maybe one ingredient; up to you then to decide whether you can live without it. The shortcoming from the average Indian kitchen’s point of view is that the items listed, and the recipes, are from an average western kitchen.

Mouthful
eGullet Society for Culinary Arts and Letters
As the name indicates, this site takes itself seriously. I know a few dedicated foodies who spend a lot of time here, and they speak highly of it, which is good enough for me. The tag line of the site says “Read. Chew. Discuss.” The main deal here is the eGullet forum, where all that discussion takes place. The forums are open to anyone to read, though you’ll have to sign up to join in, naturally. You’ll find sections on culture, on cooking, and on restaurants, cuisine and travel (neatly sorted by region). You should also check out the RecipeGullet section (link right at the top, above the masthead), for RecipeGullet, “a unique repository of recipes -- tested through extensive trial and error, and subjected to thorough discussion. Nowhere else will you find a better collection of clear instructions, illuminating techniques and thoughful ingredient lists.” Burp.

You will feed a hungry columnist
Weird Fortune Cookie Collection
For a minute there, I thought this was going to be one of those totally useful columns. Can’t have that, can we? Here you go: a nice, time-wasting, amusing site, its sole purpose is telegraphed by its name. For those who are wondering what a fortune cookie is, as far as I know, they’re a little gimmick that Chinese restaurants in the USA came up with, inserting personal predictions—rather like the ones we get from railways station weighing machines—into their after-dinner cookies. Much like our Gobi Manchurian, in that it is associated with Chinese cuisine, but isn’t really authentic. Worth a nibble any time, this.

Leftovers
Indian cooking frowns on leftovers, I know, but I love ’em. And I have quiet a few sites on my list, so expect more foodie suff next week. And do mail in your favourites too, hm?

Reader suggestions welcome, and will be acknowledged. Go to http://o3.indiatimes.com/mousetrap for past columns, and to comment, or mail inthemousetrap@indiatimes.com. The writer blogs at http://zigzackly.blogspot.com.

Published in the Times of India, Mumbai edition, 28th January, 2007.

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