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Brie: Cheese of the Month (November 2014)

Just found some old notes about cheese. Several years ago I picked up some Baby Belletoile (French triple creme brie) from Stew Leonard's at a ridiculously low price. If they still have it, grab some.

1 day ago
DonShirer in Cheese

Mr. Jalepeno opens in Old Saybrook

Mr. Jalepeno has opened at 1232 Boston Post Rd. in a location that housed a former sports bar (and before that an Italian restaurant). It is competing with two other Mexican restaurants in the vicinity. Reviews on other sites have been mixed.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mr-Jal...

Cuisines which you like, but not all the time.

With so many choices available, I would get really bored eating any one cuisine more than twice a week.

Nov 19, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

Anyone else on Planet who doesn't like Fruit??

I dimly remember a book on human evolution I read several decades ago that said humans like fruit because that was the preferred diet of the arboreal apes we descended from.

Nov 19, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

What's the best basmati rice?

Did you know there was a hybrid called Jasmati? My wife bought some, and while some may be able to tell the difference between that and Basmati, my jaded tastebuds can't.

Nov 18, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

7 thoughts for next growing season

Your bean trellis ought to work for dukes as well. I grew some that way, others on strings between two 5-ft posts. If I don't raise the dukes, chipmunks and rabbits nibble on them.

Nov 17, 2014
DonShirer in Gardening

Favourite type of rice?

Needed some rice to go with curry tonight. When I looked in the cupboard I found DW had bought a jar of Jasmati rice, evidently a cross between jasmine and Basmati. It cooked up as usual (twice as much water as rice) and tasted fine, but I haven't made any side-by-side comparison tests.

Nov 17, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

Weird, unique, amazing eats in CT...

K.Lamay's Steamed CBurgers are just as good. (IMHO)

7 thoughts for next growing season

Too bad you are having troubles with cukes, tcamp. I grow them vertically and have no trouble with them. Have you tried the oriental types like Suhyo Long?

Nov 14, 2014
DonShirer in Gardening

Fish & Chips - What kind of fish do you like?

Along the CT shore, my favorite fish place offers Sole, Tiliapa or Scrod(8% more).
Most other joints do not specify the fish used in their F&C.

Nov 10, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

No flip omelet - raw egg on top?

That's what I do. Turn down gas after skillet heats up, add egg, sprinkle on additives, cover and wait. Sure beats all that shaking that the master chefs do in those videos. I also tried pouring boiling water on the edges after bottom was set until top was covered. That sort of worked too but added unnecessary complication.

Nov 08, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

What to do with old dishes

I have almost a dozen old plates under flowerpots in various windowsills. Never thought of painting them, but that would liven up the decor.

Nov 08, 2014
DonShirer in Cookware

Brie: Cheese of the Month (November 2014)

Both Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun (real brie!) are raw cow cheeses and supposedly cannot be imported into the US. I have tried several cheese specialty shops but have never found them. Several online references say any Brie in the US is only a pale substitute, and if you consider the stuff available in grocery stores, I would have to agree. There are exceptions, however.

Brie Fermier Jouvence from a small farm near Versailles is pasteurized, but oozy with a sort of mushroomy taste.

Coulommiers is sort of a nuttier version of Brie and can be pasteurized and shipped to the US. I have found it difficult to locate, but Lille Coulommiers, from Vermont Farmstead Cheese, is a more than acceptable substitute.

I find myself liking the non-brie but similar creamy types like Coach Triple Créme, Fromager d'Affinois, St. Andre, Seal Bay(Australia) or Pierre Robert as much or more than the actual bries.

Nov 06, 2014
DonShirer in Cheese

Green Bell Peppers-- Need to Use 'em Up!

Add chopped peppers to:
Green Beans, Onion & Bacon
Mac & Cheese
Chinese Fried Rice
Omelets

Deseed, slice, and freeze for future use. No problems with freezing in our fridge.

Nov 05, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

Soupy Mashed Potatoes -- Help!

Your recipe said 1 1/2 cups of half&half. That's usually more liquid than I find necessary. Reheating might drive off the excess moisture.

Nov 03, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

Tomatoes 2014 - Variety Experience Yea? Nay? Meh?

Connecticut. Zone 6.

Nov 02, 2014
DonShirer in Gardening

Interesting thing I heard about super-aged Gouda

I happened to get some Old Amsterdam this week from "The Cheese Shop" in Centerbrook, CT. It was labeled as aged at least 2 yrs. I put it in the class of Parm-Reg with a nice aftertaste. Not too expensive either, so this is definitely a keeper. Didn't see any crystals, though. Seems to be some question as to the manufacturer.

Nov 02, 2014
DonShirer in Cheese

Tomatoes 2014 - Variety Experience Yea? Nay? Meh?

Neve's Azorean Red, Nicholaevna Pink, Kosovo, Cherokee Purple: YEA
Matina, Pink Oxheart, Momotaro, Yellow Pear: MEH
Heidi Riesentraube, Bloody Butcher, Matina, NAY
Tried several dwarfs, most succumbed to blight. Best was Perth Pride. Iditarod Red was good until blight hit. Dwarf Wild Fred and Rosella Puirple were so-so.

Best results: Pink Ping Pong. Kept pumping out 1" diameter tomatoes until frost. Good size for salads.

Nov 01, 2014
DonShirer in Gardening

Why sauté onions first?

Thanks for the temperature tip. The recipe said "Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat." and never said to reduce it. Your method sounds more reasonable and I'll try that from now on.

Oct 29, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

English beans on toast?

Gramp: Now there is a variation that sounds more interesting than the bare bones version. I found several recipes on the web. Do you have a favorite?

Oct 29, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

2 Ingregient Pizza Dough

https://www.yahoo.com/food/two-ingred...

Yes, it does work. We made it with half all-purpose, half whole-wheat flour. The crust was nice and crispy. CAUTION: The recipe above only makes enough dough for a 11-12 inch round pizza.

Oct 29, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

Why sauté onions first?

I'm not an experienced cook, so I tend to follow recipes.
A recent recipe for sautéed zucchini said to sauté onions and garlic first (2 min) then add the sliced zucchini and cook until crisp (~8min). As I feared, by the time the zucchini was done, many of the onions had turned brown and shriveled (I ate it anyway). I have seen many similar recipes (for lots of things other than zucchini), but am thinking from now on, maybe I should either add the onions later or take them out of the frying pan while the main ingredient is cooking and add them back at the end.

Is there a reason why onion (and/or garlic) often seems to be the first specification in these recipes?

Oct 28, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

Saturday late lunch in Essex, Old Saybrook or Westbrook

In Westbrook, Christy's is best known for breakfasts but is also open for lunch and dinner. Mostly familiar home cooking, nothing too exciting.

Turtle Cafe has a more interesting menu but usually closes at 2 pm.

Lenny and Joe's FishTale is the primary seafood restaurant. Casual, popular.

In Old Saybrook Pennylane Pub has a varied menu (like their sweet potato fries). The Red Hen is more innovative, but a bit more expensive. Liv's Oyster Bar has the best seafood in O.S. Aspen Restaurant is popular with shoppers.

What Goes Well with a Chicken Pot Pie?

If not a salad, perhaps chunky apple sauce.

Oct 25, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

Pho Madison Open

Went by on Monday, they were closed. Better luck on Saturday. Had their Pho Bo Vien, which I would describe as noodle soup on steroids. The meatball is essentially sliced sausage. You get a nice branch of Thai Basil with your sprouts. I only could take half the hot sauce they supplied, which I am guessing is Sriracha. Enough for two lunches!

Hot fudge sundae, what flavor ice cream?

Usually vanilla, since I want to highlight the chocolate fudge, but once in a blue moon I may substitute butter pecan.

Oct 22, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

Anything & Everything About Seeds

Dave's Garden site has a Watchdog feature that rates garden suppliers by user's responses. Hopefully you can find it at http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/

Besides the seed suppliers (Baker Creek, etc) mentioned already, you might like to know about:

Johnny's Seeds: A little pricey, but very reliable hybrids and site has lots of info.
Diane's Seeds: Started with flowers, but lately has lots of good veggies too.
Pinetree: Lower price for fewer seeds per pkg. Good for experimenting with new plants.
Sample Seeds: Like Pinetree.
SandHill: Specializes in heirloom and open pollinated seeds, mostly veggies.
Swallowtail: Many many varieties. Generous number of seeds.
J. Hudson. Low prices, lots of seeds, mostly standard varieties.
Victory Seeds: Lots of heirloom and OP seeds.

I have had some bad experiences buying seed from eBay or Amazon.

Oct 21, 2014
DonShirer in Gardening

Anything & Everything About Seeds

I would only suggest the paper egg cartons for starting fast-growing plants that you will want to transplant quickly. A few years ago I started some perennials in them and by the time they were big enough to move, the paper was a gooey (and smelly!) mess, so I don't use them for anything any more.

Oct 21, 2014
DonShirer in Gardening

Recipes from NY Times

DW regularly tries recipes from the Sunday magazine. I haven't objected to any of them yet.

Oct 21, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

Funny creamery name--Seriously good cheese

I've had the Grayson. I liked it, my wife loved it! Haven't found Mountaineer yet, I'll keep looking. Thanks.

Oct 17, 2014
DonShirer in Cheese