The Professor's Profile

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Trader Joe's ghee is weird!

Agree,
My homemade ghee is also liquid (if not refrigerated) during the summer months.
Perfectly normal.

Aug 12, 2014
The Professor in Chains

Arby's, just how is their roast beef made?

You're right. Arby's "Roast Beef" is definitely in the same category as most "chicken nuggets"...a homogenized, processed meat food (which I also find generally un-apealling). Nothing wrong with such processed foods per se (if they're done well). I just think it's funny that they call it "roast beef". "Roasted Beef Loaf" would be a more honest description.
It's great for Arby's that people like the stuff.
It just tastes odd to me, though I've certainly eaten it in a pinch. The horseradish sauce really helps it along though. It helps mask the odd and un-beef-like, salty flavor of the meat itself.

Aug 09, 2014
The Professor in Chains

All Grain Brew For Fall

In the fall I usually do a few batches of my IPA to start enjoying beginning the _following_ fall (I like my IPA the old, traditional way--long aged).
It's also a very good time to brew some bock beer to enjoy in the spring.

For quicker drinking, there's always a nice brown ale...I've done those on occasion and had them finished, fully conditioned, and quite drinkable in as little as 3 weeks from brew day.

Aug 06, 2014
The Professor in Beer

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

Of course it's a sandwich...no one has offered a single truly rational reason to _not_ consider it as one.

We all seem to have too much time on our hands.
LOL

The controversy _has_ been a lot of fun, though.
;-)

Aug 03, 2014
The Professor in General Topics

Do you eat the...gulp...fat?

...sounds just like my modus operandi!

Aug 02, 2014
The Professor in General Topics

Arby's, just how is their roast beef made?

I liked Arby's _until_ they strayed from their original recipe (of actual roast beef). Whatever flavor the current iteration of their "roast beef" has is from the added flavorings in the slurry. Some folks like it, and that's ok by me...but it doesn't really resemble actual roast beef. It's more like a kind of generic mystery meat loaf.
To each his own.

As for gelatin...no problem at all with that. I usually add some to my home made soups and stock.

Aug 02, 2014
The Professor in Chains
1

How well does rice freeze?

That's what I've found too.
Can't comment on converted rice though...I despise the stuff and never make it to begin with.

Aug 02, 2014
The Professor in Home Cooking

How long does beer last?

Precisely. Though it was undoubtedly at it's peak at the time it was bottled (having already been long-aged and periodically topped up solera style in one of Ballantine's gi-normous wooden tanks), it still tasted pretty remarkable considering it was brewed 6 years before I was born, and not bottled until I was around 14.

The massive hop presence that defined this and other Ballantine brews had long since faded, but underneath the mild sherry notes was a pleasant 'woody' character and a rather impressive and surprising maltiness, and not even the slightest hint of any oxidation or other spoilage. It was pretty remarkable even it's faded state; this was probably one hell of a brew when it was at it's peak (rather like Ballantine's IPA, which many ale lovers still agree leaves most of the current crop of IPAs in the dust).

Since my original post, I've consumed another bottle (I still have 5 left with varying bottling dates) with identical results.

Jul 29, 2014
The Professor in Beer

Shop Rite

Definitely with you on the Karl Ehmer stuff...especially their liverwurst products.
Great stuff.

Jul 28, 2014
The Professor in Southern New England
1

Shop Rite

Interesting, and thanks for the input.
While you're probably right that my NJ observations may not mean much in New England, for clarity purposes it should however be noted that the "World Class" brand of deli meats, sausage, and smoked meat products I mentionedwhich are found only in the Saker owned ShopRit stores have no connection whatsoever to the "World Classics" brand to which you referred.
They are two totally different companies, which just happen to have similar names.

I've never had the "World Classic" brand products, bu the "World Class" products are more like the products you'd find in the small, old world style ethnic delis which were once plentiful around here, but are sadly becoming extinct.

In any case, "World Class" is certainly several notches above lesser brands like Schickhaus, Hillshire Farms, Oscar Meyer, and the dreaded (but unfortunately ubiquitous) Boar's Head.

Regarding ShopRite's chain-wide house brand (Black Bear): those are apparently actually manufactured by Dietz & Watson in Philadelphia.

Jul 26, 2014
The Professor in Southern New England

Shop Rite

It depends on who owns any given ShopRite store. In NY and NJ, the ones owned by the SAKER company generally tend to be the better SR stores. A big bonus in their stores is the availability of the Saker company owned "World Class" house brand of deli meats and sausage products (which put brands like Boar's Head to shame).

In general, just about ANY ShopRite store tends to be better than just about any Stop N Shop, which seems to have gone downhill in recent years both in prices and what they decide to carry. That's how it seems here in Central NJ...it may be different in other regions.

Jul 26, 2014
The Professor in Southern New England

Is NJ's "Italian Hot Dog" crazy?

I don't think the Italian Hot Dog itself is 'crazy'...it's a rather tasty combination. But truth be told, it's much better (not to mention more 'Italian') when made with good Italian sausage rather than with the standard hot dogs most places use.

The only crazy thing about most Italian Hot Dogs (especially the ones from the most famous NJ purveyor of the genre) is that they're usually a badly executed and rancidly greasy mess.

Jul 26, 2014
The Professor in New Jersey

Is this saffron?

Too bad if it's not.
Iranian saffron is touted as being the best in the world...miles above the oft adulterated Spanish saffron commonly sold.

Jul 05, 2014
The Professor in General Topics
1

Left cheese out overnight; unsafe?

I worked in a pizzeria many years ago, and when the shipments of mozzarella cheese delivery came in, the Italian owners of the joint instructed us to leave it out of the cooler overnite (at least) lo let it "ripen" slightly. and develop more flavor.
I'll admit to being skeptical about that procedure, but the fact is that it never caused a problem...and it really added a distinctive and positive "something" to the pizzas.
It improved the taste immensely.

Jul 05, 2014
The Professor in Cheese
1

Memorable Quotes about booze

re: "Beer is proof that God loves us" which may or may not have been said by Ben Franklin...

I believe that it has been determined that the attribution to Franklin is indeed correct...but that it he has been misquoted thru the years. Evidently, he was in actuality speaking about wine.

Still love the spirit of the quote, however.
;-)

Jul 04, 2014
The Professor in Food Media & News
1

I'm so over...

LOL!

Jul 02, 2014
The Professor in General Topics

who makes the best hot dogs?

Same here! I always boil or steam the natural casing ones and if grillng, I use the skinless ones.

Jul 02, 2014
The Professor in General Topics

Stage Left, New Brunswick - Terrible

LOL. Hadn't noticed that before!.
No matter, SL is still a great place...and looks like it's still going strong. :-)

Jul 02, 2014
The Professor in New Jersey

Bass Ale - The Horror

Löwenbrau sold in the USA is imported from Germany. The North American brewed versions sold under the Löwenbrau brand name (made by Miller and later, Labatt) were discontinued more than a decade ago.

All Löwenbrau sold in the USA is Munich brewed. Still a very good beer, too.

Jul 02, 2014
The Professor in Beer

Bass Ale - The Horror

Watney's never got very much respect...it wasn't as bad as people usually say and not as bad as it's reputation would suggest, but on the other hand, I find it hard to believe that it was ever considered any kind of standout.

When it was widely available both in the UK and here in the states for years, it unfortunately _was_ sometimes the best available choice (which doesn't say much for the other choices).
That said, I admit that I drank my fair share of it ;-)

Jul 01, 2014
The Professor in Beer

I'm so over...

"Craft Beer/Craft Brewed" doesn't _always_ make me cringe...it's only when it is implied that it is a bona-fide guarantee of quality beer that I'll wince just a little.

I like the idea of locally made, small brewery product. Some of it is very good indeed...it can even be world class...but by the same token, an awful lot of it is really pretty dreadful amateur tasting stuff propped up by hype.

Jul 01, 2014
The Professor in General Topics

Butter versus Margarine

I grind fresh black pepper onto my buttered popcorn.

Jul 01, 2014
The Professor in General Topics
1

how long can duck fat sit out?

I wouldn't have any problem using it.
It's fine.

Jul 01, 2014
The Professor in Home Cooking
1

Why do people like sea urchin?

I couldn't have said it better.
Tastes and preferences vary...that's what makes the world go 'round!

Jul 01, 2014
The Professor in General Topics

Why do people like sea urchin?

(deleted a redundant post...didn't read the thread carefully enough! sorry...)

Jul 01, 2014
The Professor in General Topics

Leaving half doughnuts behind

It doesn't bother me at all (unless there are bite marks on the half left behind) ;-)

Jul 01, 2014
The Professor in Not About Food
1

Stage Left, New Brunswick - Terrible

Interesting. Sorry you all have had bad experiences at Stage Left.

I've been going to this place since the 2nd week it was open, and have always had an excellent experience. Has it changed over the years? Sure...head chefs, waitstaff, bartenders, and favorite menu items come and go.
But even considering the changes and inevitable problems that might _occasionally_ pop up with any business like this one, this place still remains a few notches above any of the "fine dining" places in New Brunswick (and many places in NJ for that matter) with regard to the quality of the food. Could the service be improved? Sure...there's always room for improvement there, but for the most part the service is professional and courteous.

Before I get flamed and accused of being a shill, I should note that I have _no_ connection whatsoever with the restaurant other than as a patron.
I've had to wait past my reservation time on a few occasions, but I remain a happy patron, too.

For a higher end fine dining restaurant to survive for so long in this still shaky economy (especially in New Brunswick) I'd say that despite a few naysayers, this place's survival is a pretty good indication that they are doing _something_ right.
I'd say that the reviews here are more descriptive of the now closed Soho On George...now THAT place was a fail on all levels.

Jul 01, 2014
The Professor in New Jersey

Memorable Quotes about booze

Frank Sinatra once said:
"I feel sorry for people who don't drink because when you wake up in the morning, that's as good as you're going to feel for the rest of the day."

It's probably an old joke he stole from a vaudeville old timer...but he delivered it with panache and conviction, :-)

Jun 30, 2014
The Professor in Food Media & News
4

Cask Ales in the US

I'm surprised I don't see cask ales more available, but then again, on;y hard-core beer afficianados would really appreciate it...the average person would probably say it tastes "flat".

As one who _never_ liked frozen and overly carbonated beer, I got hopelessly hooked on cask ales on a trip to the UK back in the mid 70s (when it was just making a comeback even over there), and really missed it when I got back home.

It was a nice surprise when my 'local' in NJ (New Brunswick's OLD BAY RESTAURANT) started featuring cask ales in the early 1990s which were flown over especially for them from various UK brewers; one time, Sir Anthony Fuller even accompanied a small supply of cask conditioned Fuller's ESB. It was quite a revelation tasting it side by side with the kegged Fullers that the OB carried on a regular basis. The cask conditioned version was much hoppier and less sweet than the keg and bottled versions.
Unfortunately, when bar manager Chris Dimitri left the OLD BAY, the hand pumps were dismantled and haven't made an appearance in quite some time. :-(

Jun 30, 2014
The Professor in Beer

Fish/seafood sausage?

If you are anywhere near a ShopRite store, you may find some there...many ShopRites have it in their fresh seafood dept.

Jun 30, 2014
The Professor in Manhattan