Bada Bing's Profile

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Do you wash your pizza stone?

Have only scraped off occasional gunk and maybe rinsed with water. Never soap or soaking.

Jul 26, 2014
Bada Bing in Cookware

Chicken Stock - Pressing Pause?

I'm with those who say you're fine here. I make sure to cover the pot and let it simmer long enough covered so that steam will kill off bacteria above the fluid line and on the lid itself. Takes hours for a pot like that to cool appreciably. Give it another hit of simmering when you're home, and you assure a basically sterile environment.

Jul 22, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Freezer died, need help rescuing meat.

If you mean that the meat has thawed (been above 40 long enough to thaw), then I share greygarious's sense that it must have begun before yesterday. In any case, I suggest using the better cuts in cubed form for a genuine Texas-style chili (no beans--but mainly meat and assorted chili peppers, fresh and/or dried, with a bit of tomato paste and spices).

Tastes great, freezes well in quantity, and still showcases the meat quality.

edit p.d.: This is all assuming that the meat has in fact pretty much totally thawed. Otherwise, go with greygarious's good tips.

Jul 22, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics

New Yorker archives: Why ketchup is universally ketchup

In an old thread here I once called ketchup "the Rodney Dangerfield of condiments"--it gets no respect, at least outside the specific (if various) range of applications that people endorse.

I saw a YouTube video once with an Indian chef bashfully admitting that he often put just a bit of ketchup in his tikka masala (or maybe it was butter chicken). Flame wars can erupt on whether it's okay on things like eggs or--a personal foible--mac & cheese.

Now, if someone were into putting sriracha or harissa or even Worchestershire sauce where it normally isn't, that might be grounds for a claim of inventiveness. But people want ketchup to stay in its place--however that place is interpreted--and that's probably why variation isn't its strong suit.

Jul 19, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics

Good eats between NYC and Interlochen,MI via I80

Depends on tastes whether neehee's is worth the detour. I personally think it's as good or better than any Indian food I have had in the USA, which includes both coasts and NYC travels. All that you say about scenery and the drive is true, though.

Jul 18, 2014
Bada Bing in Great Lakes

Let's talk about white bread

Sure:
12 ounces water by weight
22 ounces bread flour (not AP flour)
2-3 teaspoons kosher salt
2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-2 tablespoons honey
1.5 teaspoons instant yeast (I use SAF)

Put water into bread machine well. Put flour on top, ensuring that the flour mounds up so you can dig out a portion to keep the yeast clear of the moisture. Put yeast onto the flour. Apply remaining ingredients anywhere you like in the cooking pan.

I use a Zojirushi bread machine on sandwich setting or regular white. (Only regular white setting lets me also adjust the crust darkness level, and in my machine, I set it to dark, because it otherwise comes out utterly pale.)

Good luck!

Jul 14, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics
2

Let's talk about white bread

While I never crave Wonder Bread types of white bread, some brands with some pretension and usually more cost can be worthy. But my favorite white bread is homemade in my bread machine. It is the only bread I actually bake in the machine (otherwise it is just for kneading). I can share the recipe if anyone is interested.

White bread is also indispensable for cucumber sandwiches, as well as the bologna and mortadella type sandwiches mentioned above.

Jul 13, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics

Balsamic Recommendation

I can vouch for the "Traditional 18-Year" from this place:

https://www.theolivebranchinc.net/ind...

Very good quality, great price. They keep the price point low by purchasing in quantity from Italy and bottling their own in 375ml. bottles for only 16.00 plus shipping. Great buy!

Jul 10, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics

How do you store your spices?

That looks great!

Jul 02, 2014
Bada Bing in Cookware

gas rotisserie vs charcoal cooking leg of lamb

A few thoughts I'd have first. Is your equipment on each side of equivalent quality and cleanliness? I prefer charcoal always, but would put a good gas set-up before a sooty charcoal one. Also, what cooking you desire could be a factor. Not all gas grills hold low heat evenly, but ones that do would be simpler in accomplishing a broad medium rare character. But experience with charcoal can match that, too.

Also, if your leg is boned, consider unsettling it and introducing flavors into the interior of the meat. Good luck!

Jun 29, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

What I bought today at my Asian market

Your list is very Chinese-oriented. If you wish to remain within Chinese cuisines, you might look into regional variations. For example, Szechuan cooking calls for things like Szechuan Peppercorns and "Facing Heaven" peppers, the latter being short little peppers that look like stubby Thai chiles but are not so searingly hot (so you'd sub something like a Serrano before using the Thai chiles that look more like them).

Take note that there are various type of sesame oil. Can't hurt to have lighter and darker forms. Toasted Sesame oil from China tends to be the default singe one, but then it's good to note that Japan has a toasted sesame oil that appears to me to be different from Chinese--the Japanese, which I haven't tried, looks much lighter in color and consistency.

If you're interested in branching out into other Asian styles, my advice is to use your two-month travel intervals as a device to concentrate on one ingredient-set at a time. Not much overlap between Korean and Thai cuisines, for example.

You might buy or check out at the Library a fine book by Bruce Cost called Asian Ingredients:

http://www.amazon.com/Asian-Ingredien...

Jun 29, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics

So just what is a "Gourmet Kitchen?"

I wouldn't start with major appliances but rather with ingredient-quality and some more microscopic matters.

As a serious home cook, I MUST have knives of good quality, and sharp; pepper mills that grind evenly over a broad range of coarse/fine; various temperature gauges (Thermapen; oven probe); a scale for baking that can handle well north of 6lbs; fresh rather than old spices and herbs; kosher salt; and more, I'm sure.

Nonserious cooks, and also vacation rental houses, seem never to have any of these things. And most people are perfectly happy, it seems. I know people who use jars of ground spices, for example, that expired over 5 years ago.

Jun 29, 2014
Bada Bing in Cookware
1

Bread Rising questions

I think it's possible that you might wear out the yeast with 4-5 or more rises. That's speculation, grounded in a sense that commercial dry yeasts don't propagate really, and it would take days for the dough to begin to ferment naturally into a bigs/barm.

Also, numerous rises might come around to the effect of wearing out the gluten formation, just as it is possible to over knead a dough.

Each kneading exposes the yeast to new, as-yet-unconsumed flour (food for the yeast). But that cannot go on indefinitely.

But flour's cheap. Experiment! And let us know what happens. Good luck.

Jun 26, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking
1

What foods have you made and then decided store bought was good enough, thank you, based upon cost, time, and taste?

This departs from the prompt, a bit, but there are some food items that are close to impossible to make with typical home equipment. On my mind:

1. Gyro meat or any other ethnic variation (Döner kebab, al pastor) which requires shaving meat from a vertical rotisserie. Although I still have yet to try my notion that one might cook this sort of thing with a blowtorch at home.

2. Pressure-fried chicken, as they have at KFC and Popeye's.

Jun 24, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics
1

What to eat in/south of Everett before noon on a Saturday?

Thanks for all the great tips! At this point, I think we're most likely to try Budapest Bistro, suggested by GreenYoshi. It is right by the airport, opens at 10, and represents a savory and "ethnic" style which is perfect for us.

But this thread reminds me again of how interesting and helpful Chowhound site is for such traveling queries, and others besides.

Jun 21, 2014
Bada Bing in Greater Seattle

Bread Baking book?

I also think Reinhart is great although the books I have by him are a book prior to Apprentice, called Crust & Crumb; excellent book--and American Pie, about pizzas.

Jun 20, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Store Brands

I agree that Archer Farms is a standout store brand.

Mainly because I seldom enter a Target store, I don't buy their foods often, but I do think they're the best store brand--along with the less commonly available but also good Costco "Kirkland" brand.

More generally to the OP's situation, I'd buy both butters and do a taste test. I use enough butter that there'd be no waste, and you can settle the issue right there.

Remember to keep the salted/unsalted distinction in mind, and to be aware of the respective sodium levels by reading the label. I hate it when I see taste tests that underplay or ignore the effects of differing salt levels.

Jun 20, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics

What to eat in/south of Everett before noon on a Saturday?

Thanks! I'll check this out pronto.

Jun 19, 2014
Bada Bing in Greater Seattle

What to eat in/south of Everett before noon on a Saturday?

Thanks for both responses. Yes, perhaps a breakfast brunch on the way up would be worth looking into. I don't know exactly how big Everett is, so I will be checking out the mapping situation very soon.

Jun 19, 2014
Bada Bing in Greater Seattle

What to eat in/south of Everett before noon on a Saturday?

My son and I plan to go to an air museum in Everett soon and will need to be there at noon on a Saturday. We'll be drying up from Olympia. I wonder who has ideas about a good place to get a lunch-like meal before arriving at the air museum?

So far, looking around on this site and Yelp regarding Everett, I see that Barney's Pastrami has many fans. Also Brooklyn Pizza. Not sure if they're open Sat mornings though. Kama'aina Grindz gets great notice, but it opens at 11 and does not look like a quick in and out.

Also, there is no reason we couldn't try something of of I-5 on the way to Everett? Ideas?

Jun 19, 2014
Bada Bing in Greater Seattle

Clear or unclear on the meaning of "artificial" in foods?

Thanks, All. I did notice, but did not take personally, the lack of immediate uptake on this thread idea.

On the one hand, I fault myself for having built in perhaps too much into the initial post, as Kris in Beijing suggests. But, on the other hand, perhaps we would have learned nothing more from a more wide-open invitation which managed to solicit a flurry of opinions, adding up to much the same thing. We have little clarity and agreement on what the term "artificial" nor when and how its meanings matter!

Jun 15, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics

Lacey and Olympia Updates -- 2012-Present

I visit from the midwest here once or twice a year, so some years ago I started a thread called "Olympia and Lacey area update?":

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7558...

That thread being pretty dormant for two years, I'll start a new one of the sort. My own preferences go to well executed ethnic dining, but basically I'm enthused by any kind of excellence or quirky ambience and fun. But of course, I want this thread to be for everyone, so what are your favorites around here, in any style?

I'll add that favorites for me that have persisted over the years are
--Curry Corner for Indian,
--Narai Asian Cuisine for Thai,
--Tofu Hut for pan-Asian fusion,
--The Bread Peddlar
--Ramirez for Mexican

Something that seems to have boomed in recent years is Pho. I'm undecided on a best Pho place. I also yet to find a favorite taqueiria.

On my to-do list still is a stop by La Tarasca in Centralia, we just don't get down that far much, plus they're always closed during my Xmas visits! I'd welcome thought, edits, additions, contestation, to widen my experience of this lovely area.

Jun 12, 2014
Bada Bing in Pacific Northwest

View options

After I uploaded my computer OS, I find my CHOW stuff displays differently. I used to have a page I bookmarked "My Chow," which brought up only threads in which I commented on and it highlighted threads there in which others have since comment (I always started there, to make sure I was answering any question dirtily power to me, or whatever else).

How do I restore that kind of setting?

Jun 11, 2014
Bada Bing in Site Talk

Recs skewing to the casual for small, sights-oriented group

In the next 2-3 weeks, we're planning to overnight on Portland, probably arriving in time for lunch and leaving maybe, but maybe not, in time a dinner on the way out day two.

I've tried to give some specificity to this thread title, because I've done some due diligence and have observed that most generic "Portland Recs?" thread generate what are probably more stylish locations, discussion of chefs' table, etc., that sort of dining which is kind of like wine tastings, where discussion is largely about food. That's a kind of dining I relish, but this is not for our group.

I've just heard about Portland food for year, and my own top priority would be to try Pok Pok on the basis of all the amazement people express in national media. I also would welcome pizza place recs. I noticed there was a Cooking Channel show called Pizza Cuz, and I was struck that these guys didn't seem to know how to make a show in which at least one place wasn't in Portland.

To add to the juggling: I'm traveling myself as a pretty advanced foodie with my 14-year-old son who is similarly adventurous (were live in Indiana, but travel). We go out of our way and plan. But then we'll be with 3-6 of my Washington relatives, all of whom are a more or less conventional--kind of "time to refill the gas tank" types--and at least one of them is very gluten intolerant. (I know, sounds like the makings of the world's lamest reality show!)

Thoughts? Maybe a food truck cluster would facilitate something for everyone? Thanks in advance.

Jun 11, 2014
Bada Bing in Metro Portland

Large number of large scallops?

OP here: I went with the vatapá suggestion by mike0989. Truth to tell, I didn't like it, but I think it was my fault. I followed this recipe, mainly:

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

First, the scallops, while okay, where not super-fresh anymore. I think I used too much dried shrimp. I omitted scallions, not having them. Also, I had on hand a bag of peanuts that were unsalted but also untoasted, and the recipe leaves vague whether the nuts should be roasted. So I gave them a sort of half-assed toast--split the difference, you know.

Working too fast before going on a trip, I was not as scrupulous as one could have done well to be. Won't keep me from another try. Thanks, everyone, for all the great ideas.

Jun 09, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

food safety

I'm no stickler. But I'd toss it, even if it's vegetarian, but esp if it had a meat broth.

Been there...

p.s.: if you're in a cool nighttime environment (below the low 50s Fahrenheit), I'd consider keeping it.

Jun 08, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics

Clear or unclear on the meaning of "artificial" in foods?

A new thread to continue conversation on a contested claim that I made in another thread. My claim: "I do think that the term 'artificial,' like 'authentic,' is a rabbit hole. One needs to work from specifics and evidence [before denigrating a food ingredient for being artificial]." (The square-brackets part is added here to clarify meaning.)

I genuinely wonder whether any shared principle can be generated on this question. For example, is dry- or wet-cured ham artificial? Baking soda (which can be mined or manufactured)? MSG? Pickled items? Brisket cured with saltpeter?

Also, I think we might start from an assumption that some people see this as an issue of flavor and/or nutrition while others skew more toward the "health" or ecological end of the spectrum (which can also include nutrition).

CH doesn't want to be a forum for arguments about health, but I think it would be constructive and not over-the-line if people express whether the term "artificial ingredient" is meaningful to them mainly in a health sense (like, "Something loaded with artificial ingredients can taste awesome, but I regard it as unwholesome").

To put my own cards on the table: I'm no purist, but I steer clear of packaged foods with lists of ingredients when many chemical rather than familiar names are totally running the show. Indeed, I don't buy many packaged foods. But I'm also not into being sanctimonious about it. It's just how I roll, because I find most packaged foods to be less appealing in taste.

Jun 08, 2014
Bada Bing in General Topics

Learned from experience?

My son is 14 but might need ADD meds. Following detailed instructions is not his strong suit.

Jun 07, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Participle Placement in Recipes

I wish there were more certainty in how people employ grammar here. But in many cases, as with less, a little difference this or that way is not likely be dramatic. Still...

In baking is where things get more demanding, and I wish recipe-writers would more often go to weight rather than volume. But I understand that, in America at least, only a minority of cooks possess a cooking scale.

Jun 07, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Learned from experience?

I've learned from my experience that my success with rule number four--about strategizing the order in which one uses tools--runs in inverse proportion to the amount of wine we've consumed prior to the main action. Odd, that....

Jun 07, 2014
Bada Bing in Home Cooking
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