The Professor's Profile

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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

Country Ham in Philly?

Not sure what kind of markets the Philly Chinatown area has, but try there...any Chinese grocery I've ever been to almost always has had Smithfield Hams, both whole and in slices..

Jun 30, 2014
The Professor in Philadelphia

The Pastrami List 2014

A lot of black pepper is good, but too much would be overpowering: the main spice in a pastrami coating is crushed coriander seed.

Jun 23, 2014
The Professor in Los Angeles Area

What to do with a *lot* of chopped liver?

I agree with greygarious...I've never once had a problem with the taste OR texture of chopped liver that's been frozen. if you freeze it, you just need to package it in such a way that prevents freezer burn (I use a vacuum sealer) ...and when you go to use it, don't rush the thawing process...thaw it slowly in the fridge.

Using some of it on a terrine recipe (as suggested elsewhere in this thread) is also a great idea.

Jun 23, 2014
The Professor in Home Cooking

Goat cheese haters?

LOL. I had the same reaction. Some people love goat cheese and some loathe it. But spoiling the whole meal?

Could the rest of the meal _really_ have been _that_ bad?

Jun 22, 2014
The Professor in Cheese

Secrets to making great flour tortillas?

I've found that the lard found in the Mexican and other Hispanic stores is usually pretty bad...seems like they render it out at too high heat (the first clue being the color ...properly made lard should be snowy white in color after it solidifies, and it most certainly shouldn't taste overly "porky", if it tastes "porky" at all).

I've taken to making my own, the same way my grandmother made it: rendered very slowly over fairly low heat.
In addition to it's many uses (including flour tortillas) it still makes THE best pie crust.

Jun 22, 2014
The Professor in Home Cooking

substitute for golden syrup

Since Lyle's is at it's heart essentially inverted sugar syrup it's quite easy to make a decent enough substitute at home. Invert sugar syrup is basically cane syrup that has been treated with an acid: phosphoric acid, cream of tartar, or even citric acid. I've made it to use in brewing beer; it is an important traditional ingredient in a number of British ales (including some top-of-the-line 'world class' ones).

The home made stuff also works equally well in baking, imparting identical qualities to what you'd get using Lyle's.

There's an explanation of exactly what it is as well as some good instructions at this website:
http://www.chefeddy.com/2009/11/inver...

Jun 22, 2014
The Professor in Home Cooking

The Pastrami List 2014

Good pastrami should be fatty but if the fat is like rubber bands, it's likely because JP doesn't steam it long enough (if they steam it at all).

Lean pastrami, though, would be a fail from the outset.

Jun 20, 2014
The Professor in Los Angeles Area

FIVE GUYS - Mayonnaise Brand?

Sounds like a "line" he's giving you... the worker was just trying to treat it like a state secret:

In reality it's probably Admiration as others have suggested, or another bulk packaged brand (and probably chosen based on how cheaply they could source it).

In any case, it's good that people seem to like it...the hamburgers 5Guys serves may not be the absolute worst in the world but they still need all the help they can get! ;-)

Jun 20, 2014
The Professor in Chains

Homemade Bloody Mary

Actually, no!
But that observation (along with cobpdx's post below) opened my eyes a bit. I actually love V-8 juice (though I do wish they still made the no salt/no salt substitute version that they discontinued at least a decade ago).
Interestingly (and strangely, I suppose), as much as I love V-8, I never used it or thought of using it in a Bloody Mary. The recipe I originally questioned does admittedly now seem a bit less alien to me.
I guess I was viewing it from the wrong perspective.
Gonna try one made with V-8 tonight. I actually feel a bit silly for not ever trying it before.

I still won't ever use vodka for Martinis though. ;-)

Jun 18, 2014
The Professor in Spirits

Definition of Shepherd's Pie

@ESNY:
Just because "many places the offer Shepherd's pie use beef" doesn't mean anything (other than that they don't know what Shepherd's Pie is. LOL).

Kind of like places that make mixed drinks with vodka and fruit juices, and call it a 'Martini'.

Jun 18, 2014
The Professor in General Topics

Homemade Bloody Mary

Understandable...I was not very clear.
What I should have said was that it doesn't look like a 'traditional' Bloody Mary (or any that I have ever seen or tasted for that matter).

Bottom line is that really, a Bloody Mary can certainly have in it whatever the person making it bloody well chooses.
Let's just say that if I ordered a Bloody Mary in a bar and received (without warning) the poultice described above, I might be at least a bit disappointed...as I would be if handed a 'martini' made with vodka. LOL ;-)
But as always...to each his own.
Cheers!

Jun 17, 2014
The Professor in Spirits

do you add anything to your coffee grounds

Ah...Got it...not sure how I missed that.
In any case, I agree.

Regarding crappy coffee, to me that is pretty much _any_ brand that uses Robusta beans rather than Arabica.

Jun 17, 2014
The Professor in General Topics