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About Theophylact

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Date of Birth
May 15, 1940 (76)
About Theophylact
Native New Yorker, somewhat overeducated, serial monogamist (no children), word freak
inside the Beltway
silversmithing, cooking, cryptic crosswords, reading (of course)
chemist (US EPA), retired


L'hypocrisie est un hommage que le vice rend à la vertu. --François de La Rochefoucauld


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Last Activity
February 26th, 2017 10:10 AM
Join Date
October 15th, 2001
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Recent Entries

Soup without shopping

by Theophylact on January 12th, 2015 at 02:13 PM
Here's a good cold- or hot-weather soup that uses only ingredients you probably already have: Canned tomatoes, canned garbanzos (chickpeas), canned chicken stock, olive oil, garlic, dried rosemary (fresh is better, but what the hell). We always have frozen chicken stock on hand, but as the recipe suggests, you can use a chicken bouillon cube, or Better Than Bouillon, or canned College Inn Chicken Broth. Doesn't take long either; if you're using canned chickpeas rather than dried, the whole thing

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by Theophylact on July 22nd, 2014 at 08:06 PM
I used the corned beef (uncooked) from the previous recipe, and treated it with this adaptation from the Artisan Jewish Deli at Home:
4-5 lb of corned beef (from previous recipe)
1/4 cup ground coriander
2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp smoked paprika (the Spanish pimenton is good)

Dry off the surface of the corned beef with paper towels. Evenly rub the mixture on both sides. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the brisket in a pan, and tightly cover

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Home-Made Corned Beef

by Theophylact on July 17th, 2014 at 08:43 PM
This is an adaptation of a recipe from Claudia Roden's The Book of Jewish Food. I use a vacuum-sealer rather than a ceramic crock, as it takes less space in the fridge.
4 1/2 - 5 pounds of beef brisket, preferably flat-cut
2-4 cloves garlic, chopped finely or pressed in a garlic press
3 tsp mixed pickling spice (McCormick's is fine)
2 crumbled bay leaves
1 tsp crushed black peppercorns
1/3 cup Demerara sugar (brown would work fine)
3/4 cup coarse salt (this

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Fragrant-and-hot Shrimp

by Theophylact on July 7th, 2014 at 08:53 AM
This is a nice recipe, slightly adapted from Fuchsia Dunlop's Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. Easy to make at short notice, especially if you have a bag of frozen raw shrimp in the freezer. The "chili bean paste" is also known as toban djan. You can use mirin or dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine.
Fragrant—and—hot Tiger Prawns (xiang la xia)

1 lb. tiger prawns or jumbo shrimp, thawed if frozen
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. Shaoxing wine
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh

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Updated August 13th, 2014 at 06:57 PM by Theophylact


The Best Crab Cakes

by Theophylact on May 7th, 2014 at 09:57 AM
The recipe is from a Baltimore restaurant, the Chesapeake, that's been out of business for years. It was printed in Gourmet, now also extinct, in 1981. But it lives on as long as we pass it on.

As with all good crab cakes, the higher the ratio of crab meat to binder and filler, the better. And of course the better the crab meat, the better the crab cake. Backfin will do, lump is better, jumbo lump the best. Handle the cakes as little as possible; just enough that they don't quite

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