What is a good fresh salsa recipe?

Why does everyone keep wanting me to answer this?  The salsa that we gave to Quora User was something we threw together and did not resemble any of the recipes we found on the web.  I have absolutely no expertise in salsa-making.  If I remember correctly, it was something like:

  • Chop up a bunch of Roma tomatoes (four maybe?)
  • Chop up like, one onion
  • Chop up a jalapeno pepper
  • Add some fresh-ground pepper
  • Mix all of it together
  • Store it in the refrigerator overnight, which seems to improve it

I think the key was really that we had fresh organic (?) tomatoes that we'd acquired that day.

What are the best ways to brew tasty tea?

Basic rules for brewing good tea:

  1. Use loose leaf, as opposed to tea bags
  2. Use a brewing vessel that lets the leaves expand as much as possible. Tea-ball infusers and some brewing baskets restrict the expansion of the leaves too much.
  3. Use the three factors in your control to get your desired taste:
  • water temperature (too bitter could mean water is too hot)
  • leaf quantity (too bitter and too strong could mean you're using too much leaf)
  • brewing time (again too bitter and too strong could mean you're brewing it for too long)

Those are the basics! My favorite brewing vessel is a gaiwan: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaiwan> 

This is the best for brewing Chinese-style teas and this is ideal for brewing Kung Fu style (aka Gong Fu Tea): http://www.chanteas.com/pages/ku…

What's the absolute best recipe for roasted garlic bulbs?

Simple. 1) Roast a head of garlic drizzled in olive oil and oregano for an hour. 2) Brush some olive oil across a few slices of bread (like ciabatta or pugliese). Toast them. 3) Spread the now soft cloves of garlic across the bread. 4) Then put some goat curd on top (or very young goat cheese). Voila!

I've also mixed it into homemade pizza sauce and it's pretty friggin' unbelievable.

How do you make Hawaiian sweet bread?

Ryan Ozawa posted a link to a recipe by Ruthie Banks, a noted baking contest winner, who designs a nice recipe, apparently based on a sweet-tasting potato-egg bread.  The food.com recipe looked much more complicated, with flour added in stages.

I've enjoyed a boxed bread mix for bread machine that makes a very pleasant "Hawaiian bread" : http://www.continentalmills.com/…
There's also a mix for Organic Sweet Hawaiian Bread by Sandy's – Pure & Simple.  Both of these could be made by hand

How do you make the best pizza dough?

You need wheat flour, water, yeast and salt. I also use a bit of olive oil.

The wheat flour would be labeled "typo 00" in Italy, which means it has a lot of gluten and a high protein content. (I don't know the US categories, so someone might want one to suggest an edit here and add this information).

Use a mixer with dough hooks.

If you use fresh yeast:

  • Dissolve 20-25 g of yeast in 300 ml water at room temperature (a fork helps)
  • Put 500 g of wheat flour in a bowl
  • Start mixing and add the water with the yeast in small portions. Mix thoroughly – it takes time!

If you use dry yeast:

  • Put 500 g of wheat flour in a bowl and add the dried yeast. Blend with a fork. Move the mix to the margins of the bowl to create a pit in the middle.
  • Pour 300 ml of water at room temperature into the pit.
  • Start mixing in the center of the bowl, collecting the flour mix from the rim in small portions. Mix thoroughly—it takes time!

Continue (in both cases) like this:

  • The dough is supposed to be elastic; if not add some more flour or water, but only very little at once! It is OK when your mixing machine starts to protest.
  • Let the dough rest for a few minutes.
  • Then add a tea spoon of salt to the bowl and a table spoon of olive oil. Knead the dough with your hands for five minutes so that salt and oil are slowly worked into it. If do it with clean hands, the dough won't stick to them when your finished.
  • Put a towel on the bowl and let the dough prove at room temperature for app. 90 minutes. Alternatively, you can put wrap on the bowl and let it prove in your fridge (make sure to have enough headroom!). It will prove within 4 hours there and stay fresh for more than 48 hours, so you can prepare your dough days before.

If your ready for your pizza production, make four (thick) to six (thin) portions and roll the dough on plenty of wheat flour to the size you like. Roll it immediately before the pizza goes into the oven; if you can cook only one or two at a time, have the other dough balls covered with your towel.

Pizza is all about heat. Heat your oven to the max, put the pizza onto a solid oven tray (pre-heat it if you can) and use one of the bottom slots. Don't overload it with ingredients.

Enjoy!

What is the best recipe for buckwheat pancakes?

Here's my favorite pancake recipe – Originally from the "Spice and Spirit" cookbook and then I added the vanilla and almond extracts.

2 cups    whole wheat pastry flour

4 tsps.   baking powder

1/2 tsp.  salt

1/2 cup   sugar

2         eggs

2 cups    milk (Soy milk works fine)

2 1/2 tbs oil

1 tsp     vanilla extract

1 tsp     almond extract

         oil for frying

Place flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl. In a

separate bowl, beat th eggs together lightly. Add milk, extracts

and oil to the eggs. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix

together with a fork until the batter is slightly lumpy.

Lightly oil a skillet (or waffle iron)… oh, you can figure out the rest.

Oh, and try sprinkling chopped pecans into the pancakes after

they are on the griddle.

(doubling this recipe is good for about six people for brunch and halving it is good for two people.

How do I make Gazpacho?

Gazpacho, a Spanish summer staple, is a salad blended into a smoothie, or call it a cold soup, or call it whatever you want: is delicious, healthy, cheap and easy.

For a liter and half of gazpacho (serves 4, or just me)
1 Kg of ripe tomatoes, the Roma variety is popular.
1 large cucumber.
1/2 small sweet onion
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
A few ice cubes
Salt to taste

Peel the tomatoes by sinking them in boiling water for 15 seconds, then submerge in cold water to chill, then peel should be easily removed by hand. Chop.
Peel the cucumbers and onion. Chop.
Seed the peppers. Chop.
Put all the chopped veggies in a blender with a little water. As they blend, add the oil in a thin stream. Add the vinegar and about half a teaspoon of salt.
Blend the hell out of the mix at max speed for a couple of minutes, or until it becomes a smooth mix. Add the ice cubes and mix at medium speed, until the ice melts. Taste and adjust the salt.

Serve immediately or save in the fridge for up to a day.

Optionals: a frequent variation is to add a piece of hard white bread to the mix for a thicker texture. I personally add about half a teaspoon of ground cumin and a couple of shakes of Tabasco sauce or similar.

Gazpacho is perfect as a first course, an afternoon snack or a post-exercise smoothie.

Enjoy!

What are the best takeaway points of "The Kind Diet" by Alicia Silverstone?

My takeaway from that book is that you should stick to plant based, minimally processed foods. Add whole grains into your diet and eliminate white flour, dairy, and meat.

Alica gives three levels of the diet in her book. Flirt, Vegan, and Superhero.

A Flirt is someone who is interested in becoming a vegan. Maybe they are already vegetarian, or maybe they are just eliminating meat and dairy a few days a week. If you are in the flirt stage she suggests that you try out some vegan proteins, maybe eat at a vegan restaurant where you live, and just be generally open to trying new things.

As a Vegan you will have eliminated all meat, fish, and dairy products. (Eggs are considered a dairy product in this case). It's important that when you switch to a vegan diet that you make sure you are getting enough dark leafy greens and she emphasizes the importance of whole grains. A big mistake that a lot of people make when they go vegan is to eat a lot of bread and processed vegan "meat" substitutes.

The last step is what Alicia calls "Superhero". This is basically her version of a vegan macrobiotic diet. It consists of eating whole grains, no processed food, no nightshade  vegetables and the “magic” foods like miso soup, pickles and the magical  sea vegetables. Soymilk is considered a treat, as well as maple syrup  and other sweeteners. In moderation, you can have fruits, nuts, salt,  herbs and spices.

I've been vegan now for 7 months and I feel a lot better since cutting dairy out of my diet. I was a vegetarian before, but this was one of the books that helped me towards veganism.

How do I cook frozen tuna steaks in a grill pan or oven?

Defrost by submerging in cold water. Do not use warm water because it will break up the fat in the fish. It's important that the fish is completely thawed before cooking, otherwise you will have an overcooked outside and raw inside.

Dry the tuna steaks thoroughly, then season with salt and fresh ground pepper on each side. Cook time is heavily dependent on the thickness of the tuna steak, but lets assume it's an inch and a half in thickness. Heat a pan with 1tbsp of vegetable oil over med-high heat. Once hot, add the tuna to the pan and cook for 1 minute then flip. You'll notice the color of the tuna changing quickly to an ivory. Keep flipping the tuna steak until the raw color has completely disappeared from the edges.
Remove from the pan, and let it sit for a couple of minutes. The last of the cooking actually happens while it sits. Add some fresh lemon juice and eat.