The Professor's Profile

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Sous Vide Corned Beef - Original Packaging?

You don't lose anything.
The very best corned beef (as made in a good Jewish deli) is simply steamed 'all by it's lonesome' for a few hours...it never touches potatoes, cabbage, any additional pickling spices, or even the water. And the result is _miles_ above any 'simmered' corned beef in both flavor and tenderness.
Can't speak for a corned beef done sous vide...but nothing I've ever tasted that was sous vide cooked was particularly memorable (or very appealing...but I guess that's just me...)

Mar 25, 2015
The Professor in Home Cooking

Gordon Ramsay in Whitehouse Station

Hopefully, some of the KN successes are doing better, and, perhaps more hopefully, most of the total KN failures have stayed out of the restaurant business now entirely.

Mar 24, 2015
The Professor in New Jersey

Why Does Ketchup on a Hot Dog Piss People Off?

HP sauce works pretty well on a tubesteak as well.

Mar 22, 2015
The Professor in Features

Bass Ale - The Horror

If you first tasted it around 2000-2001, you never really tasted Bass Ale...and yes, once upon a time, it was quite special with a unique character. The recipe and method of brewing it changed well before 2000 (maybe as early as the late 70s? Jess...any input on this).
In nay case, the Bass sold here in the states (now which is brewed in Long Island) is an ok beer, but really nothing at all like it was 45 years ago.

What discontinued products do you miss?

I've had those. Those asian "Sultana Biscuits" are similar enough to remind me of the 'Golden Fruit' biscuits, but they have a more brittle texture and less raisin filling than the old Sunshine ones had.
I ultimately had to resort to making my own, but they are a bit of work so I don't make them as often as I'd like to.

Just do an online search for 'Garibaldi Biscuits' and there are a number of recipes posted around the interwebs. The recipe upon which I finally settled is a combination of three different ones I found. Also, to get the right texture in the biscuit part of it, be sure to add a bit of finely milled corn flour to the dough mix. That was an ingredient in Sunshine's original recipe, and it does make a noticable difference.

Mar 19, 2015
The Professor in General Topics

Making Pastrami

Don't forget the coriander...that's the main component of a pastrami rub...

Mar 14, 2015
The Professor in Home Cooking

Lard, Beautiful Lard!

Home made lard is the best...rendered fat from bacon is great as well.
The key is to do the rendering VERY slowly.
The lard I've seen for sale in the hispanic markets here in NJ is always an odd color, probably from trying to rush the rendering process. My grandmother's home made lard (made primarily from the 'leaf' fat)was always as white as snow and very clean tasting.
One of the challenges nowadays is to find decent pork to make good lard. Most supermarket pork is, unfortunately, pretty awful.

Mar 14, 2015
The Professor in General Topics

Master List of Beers Owned/Destroyed by Anheuser Busch/InBev

A few of the products/companies on this list were nothing special to begin with, however, some of them always were and still are quite good.
I guess this is a helpful list for those who have some kind of prejudice against large companies. In any case, there are a number of _very_ worthwhile products/companies on this list that serious beer lovers will (and should) continue to enjoy.

Bottom line: 'smaller' and 'local' can be an admirable choice, but unfortunately are not always the best choice.

California-Style Pale Ales: Are they All Bone Dry??

A good IPA should have a malt balance.
But of course, in the end it all boils down to personal taste. A LOT of folks obviously like a bone-dry IPA (and though they claim to be beer lovers, ther like them served too cold). Anyway, there are LOADS of products available to scratch that itch. Too many, probably. LOL.

I love a massively hopped ale, but personally find the the bone dry so called "fresh" American IPAs to border on insipid, but that's just me.
So for quite a number of years now, I've preferred homebrewed and properly aged IPA over _anything_ commercially available in the last 25 years. But in those rare instances that my supply kicks and am reduced to buying commercially made IPA, many of the gloriously hype-free ales in Sierra Nevada's range do the trick quite nicely(particularly Celebration Ale...and particularly after it has been stored at cellar temperature for a while).

Mar 10, 2015
The Professor in Beer

Dog Differences

Point taken...in that scenario, you are definitely correct! :-(

Mar 06, 2015
The Professor in General Topics

Four key beer trends for 2015

WOW. The direct opposite of my experience. Most times I went there the place was quite busy. The beers were exemplary lagers of various types and the food was very good as well.
Strange to me that the Heartland brewpub nearby to the old Zip City is still in operation and seems to be thriving despite beers that are nowhere near the same league and quality as Zip.

In my days on the road (in show bizzz) I visited scores of brewpubs over the years and with the exception of perhaps three or four establishments, I found most brewpub beer to be consistently sadly inferior--including the one that is within walking distance from my home :-(
Zip City was definitely one of the rare exceptions. Another great NYC one was the Manhattan Brewery (most especially when Mark Witty was brewmaster...the beers there took a real hit when Mark left). It too was probably just ahead of it's time

Here's a link to an article published at the time of Zip City's closing:
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/NYC%27s...

Mar 06, 2015
The Professor in Beer

I eat it my way

I do as well!
But I then eat the white stuff separately afterwards. :-0

Dog Differences

How sad for you. :-(
But...to each his own. :-)

Mar 06, 2015
The Professor in General Topics

Four key beer trends for 2015

I often wonder what became of their brewmaster, Jeff Sillman. Interesting guy who always reminded me of a younger version of the actor Keenan Wynn (in look, voice, and carriage).
I had a number of great conversations with him that were both interesting and educational. He seemed a bit wary when we first met and I mentioned that I was a longtime homebrewer, but I guess I must have asked him all of the right questions about the setup at Zip City and his process, and it led to a lengthy and most informative dialog.
The beers being made at Zip City, the Vernon Valley Brewery and the the very short lived Red Bank Brewing Co. (the latter two both in NJ) were the only domestic beers that actually tasted authentically German.
Zip City should have survived...the beers were exemplary, the food very good, and the prices fair. Maybe it's because New York City is a tough town, or maybe the place was just a bit ahead of it's time. Inasmuch as I generally hate brewpubs and the beer they make, this one did everything right ...except, I suppose, make enough of a profit
to survive. :-/

Mar 06, 2015
The Professor in Beer

I eat it my way

1) My preferred way with PBJ sandwiches is to make them on good rye bread (preferably seeded) and with good apricot conserves instead of 'jelly'
2) "crispy" bacon is a major fail to me.
3) I hate beer that is served at freezing temperatures in a frozen glass. Since most commercial beer is far too 'fizzy', I usually give it a vigorous stir with a spoon to release some of the excess carbonation (especially important with very highly hopped IPA and the like...too much carbonation and too cold of a temperature utterly kills the flavor).

Other than that, I'm not a fussy person.
No, really...I'm not.

Mar 05, 2015
The Professor in General Topics

Four key beer trends for 2015

Definitely nice to see some brewers focusing on lagers these days. Lager can really showcase a brewer's true level of skill (or lack of it). In this new world of so many new beers aiming to be an explosion of over-the-top flavors and elevated ethanol (not to mention some fusions of very unconventional ingredients), a beautifully balanced traditional lager can really be a revelation (and sometimes, a real relief).
In the 'first wave' of the small brewer revolution (35+ years ago) there were actually a number of micros focusing on lagers, and many of them were quite good. There was even a brewpub in NYC (Zip City Brewing) that specialized in lagers and made some exemplary ones (and brewpub beers rarely measure up to any particularly high standard these days).

Mar 05, 2015
The Professor in Beer
1

Dog Differences

When I was in college in Iowa (circa 1970) they were most commonly referred to as "tube steaks".

Mar 05, 2015
The Professor in General Topics

Dog Differences

Tubed meat of any kind is a gift from the gods.

Dog Differences

I felt that way until I went to school in the midwest in the early 70s. Everyone seemed to be putting ketchup on their hot dogs so I figured "when in rome..." (or in this case, when in Storm Lake)and tried it. To this day, 45 years later and back in NJ, while I still prefer just a schmeer of either brown or dijon mustard, I'll still do a ketchup dog now and then...and still enjoy it.

Mar 05, 2015
The Professor in General Topics

Four key beer trends for 2015

Interesting. I've been homebrewing for a fairly long time and find myself brewing more now than ever, since the stuff in the stores is about three to four times the cost of the homebrew, and the vast majority of it (especially lately) really isn't any better than the homebrew.

Mar 04, 2015
The Professor in Beer
1

What is a "proper pour" for different beers and ale?

The 13 oz pint has actually already arrived. It's pretty much what you wind up with in places that use the gimmicky Sam Adams glass. Not sure if Boston Brewing represents it as a pint glass, but most places I've been to that use it sell it as a pint.

Feb 28, 2015
The Professor in Beer

What is a "proper pour" for different beers and ale?

You're right about that. I guess it's not that big of a deal since it's easier to warm up a 'too cold' beer in the glass as opposed to chilling down a beer that is already poured.
I remember having a few glasses of ale at the Rose and Crown pub at Epcot Center around 25 years ago. When I asked about the serving temperature of the beer, the bartender said "no worries" and after he poured my pint, he inserted a metal cylinder of some sort into the glass for a few seconds. The result was a perfect pint at a civilized temperature.

Feb 22, 2015
The Professor in Beer

Desperate Budweiser add screams "we are cheap beer"

Perhaps he feels (as I have long felt) that "craft" is little more than a marketing term these days. The term was probably originally meant to imply higher quality, but it's most certainly not always the case these days.

Besides, brewing in general is a craft ;-)

Feb 21, 2015
The Professor in Beer

What is a "proper pour" for different beers and ale?

No definitive answer...it all depends on how _you_ like your beer.
Personally. with most American beers (particularly American "craft" beer) I like a vigorous pour since most commercial beer is too carbonated for my tastes.
Actually, it amazes me how many supposed 'beer specialty bars'(and even brewpubs and brewery taprooms) serve _all_ of their beers too fizzy and too cold.

Feb 21, 2015
The Professor in Beer
1

Elysian Brewing Is About to Sell its Soul to Anheuser-Busch

"Sometimes"---yes.
"Usually"---no.

Feb 21, 2015
The Professor in Beer

Desperate Budweiser add screams "we are cheap beer"

Interesting. I live in a university town and my 'local' was actually one of the east coast's pioneering "good beer" bars. Perhaps I don't go there quite as often as I once did, but when I do it's interesting to observe the unusually high volume of bottled Budweiser being consumed there, predominately by the _younger_ patrons.
I once politely asked one of the Bud drinkers why they chose bottled Bud over the dozen+ very good "craft" offerings on draft. The answer was simple and immediate: "...those beers have too much flavor..."

So from what I observe, age doesn't have very much to do with it. When I was in college in the late 60s/early 70s, I was only drinking IPA, Bock beer, and when I could afford it, the occasional imported ale or Maerzen. And my friends thought I was nuts.

Feb 21, 2015
The Professor in Beer

Top 10 Hot Dog Lies (in no particular order)

I agree that their hotdogs are not too bad, but their other products are usually nothing particularly noteworthy (and _always_ overpriced). They really are more about marketing than anything else.
Fortunately, there are other much better and more economical options, at least here in the NY/NJ area.

Feb 17, 2015
The Professor in General Topics

Desperate Budweiser add screams "we are cheap beer"

Interesting observation, especially considering that back in the day, Schaeffer actually had a bit more character than a lot of the other American lagers did. It wasn't the taste explosion that many current day beers are, but I really wouldn't call it "swill"...although the beer currently sold under the Schaeffer brand name (which bears no resemblance to the original) would certainly deserve that classification.

Feb 15, 2015
The Professor in Beer
1

Top 10 Hot Dog Lies (in no particular order)

Local butcher shop hot dogs are still generally the best. Such shops are disappearing at a sad, alarming rate, but thankfully there are still some to be had here in NJ.

Feb 15, 2015
The Professor in General Topics

Top 10 Hot Dog Lies (in no particular order)

Growing up on the East Coast, I never considered putting ketchup on a hot dog until I spent a few years at a college in Iowa. Apparently the practice was fairly common out there and I figured, "...when in Rome..."

I guess I still prefer a bit of mustard on a hot dog (or if it is a really good hot dog, nothing at all) but once in a while I'll do the ketchup.
It still tastes good.
And so does mustard on a hamburger.

Feb 15, 2015
The Professor in General Topics