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.


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's the best way to cook eggplant? How, specifically? Grilled? Sliced? Oils? Salt? I find what I cook tends to not have a very good texture.

Roasting it. Preheat oven to 425. Cube eggplant (leave skin on), place on a baking sheet. toss with a little oil oil, sprinkle with Kosher salt. Roast 30–40 minutes, turning twice during cooking.

Love this dish with the roasted eggplant: Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: A day in my pouch

What is the best computer program for recording recipes?

I’ve been using MacGourmet (on a Mac, naturally) for many years. Currently it holds around 9000 recipes, which would be totally unmanageable on notecards.

The app supports very flexible searching, printing in various formats, direct recipe-to-email, and even lets you set up a web site for your recipes (assuming you have access to a server).

What is the most indispensable cookbook?

Ottolenghi is the cookbook I happen to most cherish right now. It may not be as comprehensive as How to Cook Everything, but its fresh, Mediterranean recipes always offer a very original take on how to combine ingredients like saffron, lemon, garlic, aubergine, pistachios etc. Plus the patisserie section has never failed me. http://www.amazon.com/Ottolenghi…