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Fish Without a Doubt by Rick Moonen & Roy Finamore

Wow, that's pretty much the same technique (heating the pan under the broiler) that I use (thanks to AB) for steaks during the frigid Minnesota winter. I would have never thought to try something similar with fish, but you better believe I will now!

Jan 06, 2009
ewallace001 in Home Cooking

Halibut wrapped in bacon and proscuitto?

catherineny... have you tried anything yet? I'm noticing that all of us have done a good job of being critics without offering much in the way of suggestions. I'd love to know if you've come up with a recipe!

Jan 05, 2009
ewallace001 in Home Cooking

Halibut wrapped in bacon and proscuitto?

Could be, and thinking more about it I really think pancetta would add a nice crunch to a dish like this without adding the smokiness that would overpower the dish.

Jan 05, 2009
ewallace001 in Home Cooking

Halibut wrapped in bacon and proscuitto?

No recipe... and I guess I won't stick to specifics either. This is just off the top of my head what I might try and I'm definitely open to critique! I would render the fat from a little pancetta and use it to saute the halibut fillets. I'd use pancetta instead of bacon because, imho, the smokiness of the bacon could cover the taste of the fish, especially when paired with the proscuitto. Then I think I'd do something similar to chicken picatta... a *light* lemon and butter sauce with capers and a little white wine, with the pancetta lightly crumbled on top . Forgive me for not staying true to your original request catherineny. This is probably nothing like what you had.

Jan 04, 2009
ewallace001 in Home Cooking

Recipe for a simple pot roast?

I make mine with two batches of veggies... after searing the roast and adding stock I toss in big chunks of carrots, potatoes, parsnips (my wife's favorite... add a great sweetness to the flavor profile), and red onion to give up their flavor to the stock, becoming mush in the process. As the roast nears doneness I strain these out and add smaller, more uniformly sliced/diced veggies, usually adding mushrooms as well. The result is a a wonderfully tender roast with a very flavorful braising liquid and firm veggies. It might not be worth it to waste the first batch of veggies, but I love the flavor they give to the liquid and meat and hate my pot roast to have veggies that are mush.

Dec 26, 2008
ewallace001 in Home Cooking

Top-5 Cooking Goals for 2009

I have a funny fresh pasta story... the first time I tried to make it I failed miserably. Mostly this is because I can't tell time, or rather I hadn't properly set the clock on my kitchen timer. I was home alone with a couple of hours to kill so I thought hey I'll try this out, and if it works I'll try to repeat it tomorrow for my wife. So I get everything out and set up, when I glance at my timer that is stuck above the stove. It says it's 5:20, and I freak because I am meeting friends at 6. So, I rush through the pasta making and fail miserably. In defeat and frustration I grab a box of dried spaghetti and cook enough for myself with a jar of store-made sauce since I didn't think I had time to make some. When it is done, I sit down in the living room (our table doubles as the counter in my apartment kitchen) and discover that it is really only 4 pm. Had I not been laughing so hard at myself I might have cried. I haven't tried it again since... but dammit I will soon!

Dec 25, 2008
ewallace001 in Home Cooking

Top-5 Cooking Goals for 2009

absolutely wonderful book! Getting it was my inspiration for my goals!!! To elaborate on my dorkiness... I am thinking of making flashcards to study so that when I am in the store/market I can remember different components.

Dec 25, 2008
ewallace001 in Home Cooking

Top-5 Cooking Goals for 2009

1. Learn the basic flavor combinations/recipes/techniques of some different cuisines
2. Try to use those basics to be creative in the kitchen
3. Strive to perfect two or three original dishes
4. Gain confidence with the basics of baking
5. Use more grass fed beef and free range poultry

Dec 24, 2008
ewallace001 in Home Cooking

Can anyone explain why my kid's will only eat at Olive Garden??

Probably because they see commercials on TV all of the time... you can tell what the food actually tastes like on tv, but it does look like people are having fun. I think that's why I liked Chef Boyardee better than homemade spaghetti when I was a kid.

Feb 17, 2008
ewallace001 in Chains

Waffle House! Are they any good?

I grew up down south amd waffle house trips were at least a weekly occurance, and not just when drunk (though sometimes quite drunk!) I loved to get the chopped steak and eggs, scattered and smothered, and instead of ketchup on the hash browns I'd use their syrup - made them nice and sweet. The waffles were hit or miss, sometimes great, other times terrible. I can also remember some rather interesting conversations with fellow diners on topics such as theology or politics. Everyone needs to experience WH at least once!

Feb 16, 2008
ewallace001 in Chains

Hickory, North Carolina Food Joints Worth Visiting

I went to college at Lenoir-Rhyne. The philosophy student's adopted McGuire's Pub as our home away from home - the food was mediocre but the atmosphere perfect for discussing existentialism or metaphysics. Music students adopted the Olde Hickory Taproom for the local brews (Hickory Stick Stout was my fav.) and decent burgers along with live music. We went to Sims BBQ for special occassions for great food and square dancing. Other than that, we'd go pretty much anywhere to avoid the cafeteria!

Feb 08, 2008
ewallace001 in Southeast

Why is Wendy's so much better?

At the Wendy's I frequent you can still get the Big Bacon Classic, you just have to ask for it.

Jan 29, 2008
ewallace001 in Chains

Spicy Skillet Cornbread

Hominy is a southern tradition, but I lived most of my life in the south and never had it, or peppers, or sugar/honey for that matter, in cornbread. If my grandpa wanted some spice he'd serve pickled hot peppers along side the meal. The recipe is right on with the bacon/lard, and ours was always made with white corn meal.

Jan 28, 2008
ewallace001 in Recipes

fresh pasta newbie

So, I'm gonna take the leap and try my hand at fresh pasta. I have one question: if I make it and don't cook it immediately will it dry out too much, and will that affect the cooked product? Any other advice? Thanks in advance!

Jan 24, 2008
ewallace001 in Home Cooking

Best Culinary school for change of career

I'm touched! Good idea on not starting with the top places right away. I think maybe I'll start a new thread to keep those who might be interested updated. I'll post another message here when I do. I REALLY REALLY appreciate all the advice I've gotten so far!

PS - Don't worry about offending me my calling me sheltered - I know I have been. I love being a student, don't get me wrong, but it is nice to start branching beyond that life. Thanks again! :-)

To the OP - sorry, I feel like I hijacked your thread.

Jan 23, 2008
ewallace001 in Not About Food

Best Culinary school for change of career

Doc, again thanks! I ask such questions because I've been a student pretty much my whole life, so these things I've been asking about are not concerns I've really had to face before now. I'm know how to get applications, etc. My goal has been to find out how the process works in this particular field while I look around.

Jan 23, 2008
ewallace001 in Not About Food

Best Culinary school for change of career

AMEN! That's pretty much what they teach us. You could turn that into a sermon pretty easily I think :-) I never meant for my advice seeking to lead to such a debate, and in a sense I guess I am feeling like I've been used as a springboard a bit. All I want to do is learn, and the questions I've been asking have been trying to get advice on how best to get started. I think I've hit the age old quandry - to get a good job, you need experience, to get good experience you need to work in a good place. I appreciate everyones comments and suggestions, and if I think of any other questions as I continue searching I'll ask. Thanks to everyone!

Jan 23, 2008
ewallace001 in Not About Food

Best Culinary school for change of career

Doc, I appreciate the wisdom of what your comments. That said, I feel the need to "defend" myself a little bit. I don't lack confidence that I can learn the things I need to learn to succeed; I've been trying to teach myself for a couple of years now and the more I learn the more I want to know. I know that what I have learned barely scratches the surface I need and want to know, but I know I can learn them given the opportunity. What you see as lack of confidence comes from the fact that it's difficult for me to find guidance in pursuing my thirst to learn about good cooking. The seminary life style doesn't permit much time or money to pursue other endeavors, and there aren't many seminarians who understand the food world that I want to learn about (mostly I cook for people who would rather eat at Applebee's, or who think that our bad cafeteria food is enough for them). So I guess what I am trying to say is that I that I am confident in my ability to learn and am willing to work very hard to do it. I'm just looking to get pointed in the right direction and not take too many wrong steps along the way. I am willing to wash dishes if that's what I need to do to get my foot in the door and be around people who can teach me. I'll start wherever someone gives me the chance to start learning.

EW

Jan 23, 2008
ewallace001 in Not About Food

Best Culinary school for change of career

Sorry to seem ignorant, but I still have some more questions for you. The opportunity to pursue this piece of my dream job came up rather suddenly and unexpectedly so I am feeling a little overwhelmed. A couple more questions have come to mind:

So, once I make a list of places I'd like to be, how do I go about pursuing it. Do I just show up and ask for an application, make phone calls, etc?

If I do have to settle for dish washing or the like, how do I communicate that I have greater ambitions in a non-annoying way?

When filling out an application and it asks for what position I am applying for, should I aim low (dishwasher) and see what happens, or should I maybe just talk about what my ultimate goals are instead?

Sorry to be so clueless.

Jan 22, 2008
ewallace001 in Not About Food

MSP - Where to find real lard?

Nevermind - just checked the website, all they have is Amour Star.

MSP - Where to find real lard?

I know I have seen lard at Byerly's, but I haven't looked at it to see if it would meet your standards.

Best Culinary school for change of career

May I ask - where has that experience taken you today?

Jan 21, 2008
ewallace001 in Not About Food

where to get good chicken? MSP

Anne, thank you very much; my mouth is watering just from reading your descriptions! One wouldn't expect to have "essence of Clorox" from an "all natural" chicken, but this dang taste just won't go away. Maybe a Manhattan before bed would help...

EW

where to get good chicken? MSP

My braised chicken with yukon gold potatoes, mushrooms, and carrots turned out ok. Almost everything turned out the way it was supposed to... the only downfall was the chicken itself. Maybe this was due to cook's error, but I don't think so. I used a cut up Gold'n Plump chicken, and it just didn't bring much in the way of flavor. I am finding that I have an aftertaste dominated by a very "chemically" flavor, even now close to 45 minutes after eating (yes I am aware that it's almost 11:30 PM - had to watch the nail-biter in Green Bay. Sorry to all you Packer fans.) Would Trader Joe's or Whole Foods have any better chicken to try, or does anyone know of a butcher shop (Clancy's maybe?) that has dynamite birds? I guess the other option would be to try brining the meat (a hotly contested issue around these boards I know), but I'd like to see if a different starting product would yeild better results first. Thanks in advance!

Best Culinary school for change of career

OK, sorry it took so long. My MIL had surgery for cancer this week so my mind has been occupied with other things. I have several follow-up questions, so perhaps I'll just list them:

1) Would you still recommend that I work at the seminary cafeteria if you had tasted the food (i.e. the food is mostly pretty terrible)?
2) Of the two schools you mentioned, is either better than the other?
3) If I took classes at one of them would I need to enroll in one of the degree/diploma programs or could I take random classes?
4) What might be some good restaurants to look for emploment at (I would be perfectly willing to accept the dishwasher position to get a foot in the door)? Unfortunately I don't really have any friends in the business to make inquiries of.

I'm currently in search of employment anyway as I am on a leave of absence from the seminary for family/personal reasons, so I have some time to start figuring out this part of my dream. Yours (and others) comments and suggestions are GREATLY appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Jan 18, 2008
ewallace001 in Not About Food

Best Culinary school for change of career

VERY HELPFUL! And I am touched by the thoughtfulness of your response! I'll probably have some more questions/comments when I can read through it all again more carefully (I've been at the hospital all day - MIL had surgery, so not all that coherent), but for now let me just say thanks a lot!

Jan 16, 2008
ewallace001 in Not About Food

Who uses homemade chicken stock in recipes?

Are the bones still ok to save and use later after cooking, or do you just save one's that are removed before cooking?

Jan 16, 2008
ewallace001 in Home Cooking

Great Chef's

I enjoy the video's on the Cook's Illustrated website. The recipes aren't as haute as Great Chefs, but very informative. You have to pay to join the sight, but for an annual fee it''s pretty reasonable - I think around $20.

Jan 16, 2008
ewallace001 in Food Media & News

Best Culinary school for change of career

I've been watching this thread with interest. I have been thinking about culinary school not as a change of career but as additionaly career training. Perhaps this is wierd considering I am a seminary student pursuing ordination, but hey... it makes sense to me. The ultimate goal for me would be to create (with my wife, also a seminary student) a small spiritual retreat center for fellow clery to use for sabbaticals and the like. Being able to do this would nealty blend my call to ministry with a growing passion for cooking. It seems that the general consenus is that actually working in a restaurant is the best way to get started on the road to learning to cook professionally. So my question is, how does one do that? Are there skills an applicant must have? What are some good types of restaurants to start in? I think I have a pretty good grounding in basic techniques - but how do I know if that's enough or if I need to learn more before filling out an application?

Jan 15, 2008
ewallace001 in Not About Food

MSP - need to be rid of Olive Garden memory

My wife and I went to Olive Garden last night (her idea not mine) and I ordered the spaghetti and meatballs figuring they couldn't screw that up too badly... I was wrong! The pasta was gummy and overcooked and the sauce was just blah. Guess I should have expected that. Anyway, I'd like to rid myself of that memory by consuming some dynamite spaghetti and meatballs. I'm pretty much willing to drive anywhere in the twin cities metro area to rid myself of that awful taste. Where can I go to restore a fond memory of one of my fav comfort foods?!?!? Thanks in advance!