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Heuchera's Profile

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Let's ban the word GUYS!!!

How many times have you been in a restaurant only to be greeted by the following:

"Hi Guys, how you doing?"
"You Guys ready to order?"
"You Guys all set?"
"You Guys need anything else?"
"You Guys, you Guys, you Guys, ad infinitum."

When it would be much simpler to say:
"How are YOU today?" And so forth.

Your thoughts? Does this annoy you as much as it does me? Or am I behind the times?

Chowhound now allowing advertising posts?

I have always valued the Chowhound boards for their focus on us ordinary foodies where we could pose questions, give feedback and share ideas and recipes.

I would sincerely hope that this board does not turn into an advertising tool for upstarts. If this happens, you will lose a large following who rely on the unbiased opinions of readers.

Please, this site is NO place for advertising businesses!

When I want to research a product or restaurant, I want to hear the experiences of REAL people!

Cutting board and cross-contamination - Is it a real issue?

I have quite a few of the softer plastic cutting boards. However, I have so many because each one is a different size and used for different cutting jobs.

After using one for cutting meat, simply wash with hot soap and water and pour a bleach mixture over for extra measure & rinse. I had to take one of those food safety courses as part of my job and was astonished to find that a mere teaspoon of bleach in a quart of water was considered sufficient to disinfect a surface. I always keep a bottle of the bleach mixture in my kitchen, and when I work with raw chicken, every surface that I've touched is washed and disinfected with bleach. That means the counter, sink, faucet handles, etc.

There's no reason to have dozens of different boards for each food if you simply wash and disinfect. However, I also find it more convenient to use the dishwasher, as the hot water temperatures will kill just about anything.

Because of the porous surfaces of wooden cutting boards and the tendency of their surfaces to get soft or "slushy" to the point that my knife slips, I prefer plastic.

Aug 28, 2014
Heuchera in Cookware

What would you do to fix the Food Network

I love shows where I actually learn something. Really loved Sara Moulton's show. Even after over 40 years of cooking, I'd still learn a new thing or two.

I think it's time they turned back into a cooking channel, rather than those silly contests. They're so childish and boring.

Jul 24, 2014
Heuchera in Food Media & News

Who has the best fried clams without beef or pork fat?

What would you rather do? Eat a wonderful, delicious batch of lard-fried clams and go out with a smile, or eat fat-free for the rest of your life and die with a frown?

Jul 24, 2014
Heuchera in Greater Boston Area

Pasta Clams

You should be using either steamers (soft shell clams) or littlenecks. The larger clams are too tough.

Jul 24, 2014
Heuchera in Home Cooking

Recipe for canned clams?

It may be that you are buying those tiny canned clams from Thailand. They are absolutely horrible, with a strong fishy taste. I'm a clam lover, but these are absolutely gross!

We used to be able to purchase decent tasting baby clams, but no more.

The only possibility might be to try Snow's chopped clams. I think they're still processed here.

Frankly, if you need to get more iron in your diet, I would stick with spinach, egg yolks, or lentils and just eat more of each.

However, you may prefer the flavor of fresh clams which are far superior to canned varieties.

Why not buy the larger fresh clams such as cherrystones or quahogs and make a nice clam chowder? There are plenty of wonderful recipes on the internet. Or better yet, chop them all up and make stuffed, baked clams. With all the garlic, spices, bacon and bread crumbs, you won't even notice you're eating clams.

Jul 24, 2014
Heuchera in Home Cooking

Recipe: PASTA WITH CLAMS, WHITE WINE AND GARLIC

My old time favorite is this:
If using steamers, put them in quite warm water with lots of salt and they will spit out the sand in no time flat. If not, do one more time, rinse, then put in cold salted water. Littleneck clams work equally well in this recipe. I buy the large bag from Costco. Littlenecks only need to be rinsed as they do not tend to be sandy inside.

Then:
Fry together in a good amount of olive and/or regular cooking oil:
A large bunch of curly parsley leaves
Tons of chopped garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

If the garlic starts to burn, add a little water to slow it down. Cook slowly for a few minutes, and then add:
1 cup water or wine

Let come to boil for a few minutes & add 4-5 lbs. raw steamers. Steam 5-7 minutes or until open. Periodically toss the clams around to disperse the mixture.

You may either add the al dente pasta to the mixture or serve the sauce over pasta in a nice big bowl.

Linguine or perciatelli are best with this dish served with lots of grated cheese as an accompaniment.

One never thinks of parsley as a spice, but when it’s fried up in this recipe, it’s an essential part of the dish. Adding the water or wine will give you a little more broth for the sauce. For added garlic flavor, reserve a little raw chopped garlic and add it to the clams after they’re done. A very simple, delicious meal.

Jul 24, 2014
Heuchera in Home Cooking

Fried Clam Question

I love fried, whole-belly clams. Finally, as part of my bucket list I decided to do this at home. I bought a few pounds of fresh steamers, did the usual cleaning and shelling and found that removing the skin on the foot was quite difficult.

I know one can buy them shucked, but I am wondering whether they remove the skin, and if they do, is there an easy way?

I asked the fishmonger at my local supermarket how they prepare their whole bellies for frying, and the said they bought them breaded and frozen.

Now I'm wondering whether it really makes any difference whether the skin is removed. Once they're breaded and fried, does it really matter?

The next time we order them at our favorite restaurant, I will definitely peel away the breading to see if the skin is still there.

In the meantime, your thoughts? Have you fried them either way? If so, is there any difference?

Jul 24, 2014
Heuchera in Southern New England

Whole belly clams vs. strips

Fried whole bellies are simply sweeter. Just close your eyes, pop one in your mouth and enjoy the wonderful nuances of all the different flavors! Yum!!

And, of course, have a nice cold beer along with them.

Jul 24, 2014
Heuchera in Greater Boston Area

Grit in my clams - and what didn't work to clean it out

This is the method I use for the New England steamers (which we also call soft shell clams). I've been doing this for years. As long as you plan to cook them right away, I just put them in a bowl of very, very warm water with lots and lots of kosher salt. They sure do spit out all that grit in a hurry! Then I rinse and do it again if needed. When they appear to rinse clean I then add more salt to very cold water and add the clams. They close their shells and I then drain them before steaming or, in your case, adding them to your sauce. If only steaming them, I usually add about a cup of water or white wine as a starter, turn the heat up, cover them and let them steam till the shells open. Now and then just toss them around to cook evenly.

However, for cioppino I would be inclined to purchase littlenecks, as all you have to do is simply rinse or scrub the outsides, as they generally do not seem to have any sand inside.

Jul 24, 2014
Heuchera in Home Cooking

pesto

I, too, just purée basil and olive oil in my food processor. While surfing the web, a reader suggested placing a spoonful or two in a sandwich bag and flattening the entire glob. It freezes into a space-saving flat sheet, and all you have to do is break off a chunk when you need it. As this pesto is so strong, I found the ice cube size to be too large.

Sep 13, 2012
Heuchera in Home Cooking

The Best Pizza Stones for Home Ovens

After hearing about the wonders of pizza stones, I'm embarrassed to say I just use a heavy aluminum sheet pan and bake my pizza in the middle rack at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. It comes out fine and sure beats those soggy ones I used to get from the local pizzeria.

Sep 13, 2012
Heuchera in Features

do these freeze well?

Galangal is a type of ginger, so I treat it the same as regular ginger. Just peel it and freeze. I find it grates so much easier when frozen. I haven't tried freezing lemon grass, but grew it once in a pot in my New England climate. I went on the internet and learned that if you leave it in water long enough it will sprout roots and can then be planted.
As far as Kaffir lime leaves, I recall asking the Asian owner of his market whether he had any Kaffir lime leaves. He didn't, but he said, "Oh, we just use grated lime rind. It all tastes the same."

Aug 12, 2012
Heuchera in Home Cooking

Grit in my clams - and what didn't work to clean it out

I never have a problem with sand when I use littlenecks, but I do the following with soft shell, or steamer clams which tend to be loaded with grit:
Just pour a couple of handfuls of kosher salt into very warm to hot water. Add the clams. They'll open up in no time flat and spit out the sand. Rinse and do this a time or two more if needed. Make sure to use plenty of salt. Make a final soaking of salt and very cold water. They'll close up again and will be ready to steam.
I usually add a cup of water as a starter, let it boil and then add the clams.

Aug 12, 2012
Heuchera in Home Cooking

Steam, don't boil those hard cooked eggs.

May I add my two cents to those who say that older eggs peel better? We were brought up on a farm where we had access to the very freshest eggs, and my mother said that fresh eggs were just impossible to peel. She said to keep them a week or two before boiling them, so that's what I've done ever since.

And while I'm at it, there's no difference between brown and white eggs. It just has to do with the breed of the chicken. Most farmers had the the type of chicken that laid brown eggs, so a myth arose that brown eggs are better. They're not. So buy whatever is available at the market.

Aug 12, 2012
Heuchera in Home Cooking

Sauerkraut -- like from the barrels

We lived on a farm and my mother would make it from scratch.

Later when we moved off the farm, my mother used Silver Floss brand. This past year I made a batch and discovered the B & G brand in a gallon jar at a local market. It turned out to be the best yet.

It's easy to make and I'm sure you have already been given many good recipes. However, in a pinch, the two above have been pretty good.

Aug 12, 2012
Heuchera in Home Cooking

Cherry Tomato Recipes?

Here's a link to another great recipe using fresh cherry tomatoes. Although it calls for arugula, I have used baby spinach and other greens. It's easy to make and tastes great.

While served warm when first made, this tastes great cold and has become a favorite midnight snack of mine.

Here's the link:
http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/...

Enjoy!

Aug 12, 2012
Heuchera in Home Cooking

Cherry Tomato Recipes?

Last year I had the same problem. I grew Sungold tomatoes and never harvested so many in my life! These plants just don't quit. I scoured the web and finally settled upon roasting them for winter use. Everyone had a different method, a different temperature, etc. After reading them all, I finally settled upon the following:
Cut tomatoes in half (if using paste tomatoes, scoop out the seeds)
Toss with:
a few tablespoons of olive oil
a drizzle of balsamic vinegar (this actually gets sweeter when roasted down)
a few cloves of chopped or sliced garlic
salt and pepper if you wish (I didn't)
Place cut side up on a cookie sheet and roast at 350 degrees. This could be about 1 hour (sorry-I forgot to mark down the time from last year). Just keep checking until they shrink and most of the liquid is evaporated. I cool them on the cookie sheet and then place the whole thing in the freezer. Once frozen, they are easily removed. Place them in plastic bags and back in the freezer they go.
I generally use them as a topping for home-made pizza. However, the list is endless as you can use them to make bruschetta, tossed with pasta, in antipasto, in salads, etc.
I have seen countless temperatures used. Some swear by the slow roasting method of about 200+ degrees, but I think running my oven for the many hours this takes is a waste. I tried it but frankly could not discern any difference. One site mentioned 400+ degrees, but this was way too hot. I found that placing them in the middle rack at the happy medium of 350 was about right.
The reason I chose roasting is that I was very short on freezer space, so needed a compact way to store them. Roasting brings out a strong, rich flavor and I surely enjoyed using them all this past winter. In fact, I just finished up the last and now my current crop is ripening.

Aug 12, 2012
Heuchera in Home Cooking

What is your biggest recipe pet peeve?

Any recipe with a name that ends in Delight or Surprise.

Aug 10, 2012
Heuchera in Home Cooking