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Crepe pan - answer to my omelette making needs?

Question about the non-stick performance of blue steel, how does it compare, say between a teflon non-stick and a cast iron non-stick pan? With teflon - when new - it's as if eggs repel from the surface, and even scrambled eggs slide around with ease. With cast iron, I have no problem with fried eggs, though scrambled eggs - since I'm moving it around before its completely "set" - seem to cling a bit, though obviously not as bad as with stainless steel.

Nov 11, 2013
nanobabes in Cookware

Crepe pan - answer to my omelette making needs?

Thanks for the input. I don't think the size of the rim will be too much of an issue, the reason I brought it up was that because the rim of my cast iron has a sharper angle than my other skillets, plus I'm not sure if that area of my pan is as well seasoned as the flat surface.

What material is your current nonstick crepe pan? I may have misunderstood your post, is your current one a deBuyer pan? When you say you'd get a steel one next time, do you mean the blue steel one or stainless steel? (Gah, so many options!)

Nov 11, 2013
nanobabes in Cookware

Crepe pan - answer to my omelette making needs?

Thanks for the link! I see a lot of options on there. To narrow it down, are there any pans you especially like that you think fit my criteria? After a few quick clicks most appeared to be non-stick. My understanding of "blue steel" is that it can be seasoned to be non-stick like cast-iron; are all the pans in that link "regular" steel?

Nov 11, 2013
nanobabes in Cookware

Your best meals for $5.00 or less

This thread has been long dead, but I figured I'd add some ideas for anyone perusing the archives. As a Filipino, I grew up on a lot of stew-y dishes eaten over rice, and have found that to be filling, nutritious, and cheap when I went to live on my own.

I make chicken afritada with chicken thighs, a tomato-based sauce, carrots, bell peppers, peas, and potatoes (sort of like a chicken cacciatore).

Chicken adobo is also cheap, made with just chicken thighs, garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar, and supposedly the vinegar preserves the chicken for a very long time (I've heard of it being saved even without refrigeration for days and weeks, though I'm glad I'm not in a situation where I need to test that out!). Not exactly a nutritious meal in itself, but I like to eat it along with a vegetable stir fry or steamed broccoli or spinach.

When I was really strapped for cash, I lived on rice and beans, and I would make it gallo pinto style, something I picked up from my friend who lived in Costa Rica for a few years. Its black beans and rice with bell pepper and cilantro, and traditionally a sauce called Salsa Lizano, which is delicious, but almost impossible to find here. I substitute it with Worcestershire and also add cumin. Usually it is served with eggs, either scrambled in or a fried egg on top (I prefer fried egg).

Nov 11, 2013
nanobabes in Home Cooking

Crepe pan - answer to my omelette making needs?

In case it is helpful to know how I make my omelettes,
I stir the egg mixture on medium low heat and swirl the mixture around the pan to evenly distribute and create a sort of crust on the edges. Then I top it with my fillings on one half, place it under the broiler briefly. I then slide a spatula along the edges and hold the pan vertically up by the handle and gently tap it down so omelette loosens up from the pan, then fold over the half without toppings over.

Nov 11, 2013
nanobabes in Cookware

Crepe pan - answer to my omelette making needs?

So I've been searching for a pan that meets my omelette making needs, as I love breakfast and making omelettes. Now I make my omelettes a certain way that I've decided is my favorite way to make and eat omelettes, and it requires a pan that is non-stick, light weight, and safe to use under the broiler.

I had been using teflon non-stick pans in the past, but realized that it's probably not wise to stick them under the broiler and would prefer to avoid teflon in general now. Other non teflon options have handles that aren't safe for high heat as well. A roommate of mine had a Calphalon anodized aluminum pan, but I wasn't impressed with its nonstick abilities, especially over time. Now I love my cast iron pans for non-stick needs, but they're too heavy to maneuver and the rim doesn't have that gradual slope. I stumbled upon crepe pans, and I think they might be perfect for my needs - non-stick, not teflon, light-weight, and oven safe. Is there anything I need to know about these pans, do they really fit my omelette making needs?

I'm mostly torn between the De Buyer blue steel crepe pan and the Paderno crepe pan. I'm considering the Lodge cast iron round griddle as it seems like I can get multiple uses out of it, though it might be too heavy.

Lodge round griddle:
http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-L9OG3-Pre...

Feedback on how these pans perform would be greatly appreciated. Please no advice on omelette making methods - I realize I'm not making a classic French omelette, and you may have methods you think work better, but this is the method that most meets my preferences =).

Nov 11, 2013
nanobabes in Cookware
1

Slow-cooking tomato sauce?

I've seen some recipes for slow cooking tomato sauces in the crock pot all day, and just wondering if this is worth doing or not. Either way I'll be starting the sauce on the stove top, so I don't think it would save me any time like other crock pot recipes. Does it develop that much more flavor? I think I could see more rationale for it if it was a meat sauce, but I'm just looking to make a simple marinara sauce, as I like to make tomato sauce in bulk and add meat, cream, whatever I like throughout the week.

Nov 11, 2013
nanobabes in Home Cooking

Grilled cheese sandwich in my cast iron is cooking unevenly

That makes so much sense. And I read part of that article before too, but not the Bernard-Mangaroni effect part. That explains why my grilled cheeses burn in the center but my home fries crisp better by the edges. It must be happening now with the electric coil because the heat is concentrated over a bigger area in the middle, making the oil pool up more towards the edge, as opposed to the wider ring of heat with my old gas burner which probably caused disparities as well, but not as extreme. (Yet another reason for me to hate electric burners!) No wonder my 8 in skillet works fine.

Thanks for the tip, but I'm not sure how I'll be able to work with the weird heat pattern. The article provides a tip of heating oil and taking it off heat so the oil can redistribute but I'm concerned that the temp of the oil will drop down too low. I'll give that a try though. Man, I thought that cast iron was supposed to be heated evenly once it gets to temp. I think I read somewhere here about heating it in the oven beforehand, which I'll try, though it sounds cumbersome as well.

LOL I am really really trying to make my relationship with my cast iron pan work.

ETA: whoops, meant to reply to greygarious's post below, though all replies have been helpful! Last time I post through my phone.

Oct 31, 2013
nanobabes in Home Cooking

Grilled cheese sandwich in my cast iron is cooking unevenly

This is a really old post but I thought is bump it rather than make a new post because thisis exactly the problem I've been having. I notice too that when I'm frying something like home fries and use a bit more oil, the oil pools around the outer ring and barely covers the center. Could my pan possibly have warped over time, the center warped upwards? I don't notice other liquid acting this way when its off the heat though. It didn't perform like this before, though I'm now gonna do a more thorough investigation when I get home. Is this a common problem and is it fixable?

I gotta say, I have a love/hate relationship with my cast iron. I love the results when I get it all right (there were ups and downs with the seasoning due to well-meaning roommates cleaning) but get so frustrated when it doesn't. Thought I finally had it down after proper seasoning, but lately its been very inconsistent.

ETA: In case it helps anyone who could answer, this is happening with my 12 inch Lodge pan and I cook on an electric coil.

Oct 31, 2013
nanobabes in Home Cooking

El Oaxaqueno 3 Restaurante Long Branch NJ

I tried El Rancho out today after I dropped my friend off at the train station. The inside is much cozier and cuter than El Oaxaqueno, and I was delighted with pineapples in my tacos al pastor. I think I'm going to stick with El Oaxaqueno for al pastor though. El Rancho's was fine, but it was a little drier than Oaxaqueno's, I think it was a less tender cut of pork or something. And the flavor of Oaxaqueno's al pastor just packs more punch, IMO. I could not stop licking my lips, and when I was done with mine, I kissed my boyfriend who ordered the same thing, that's how tasty it was!

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El Rancho
98 Remsen Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Aug 24, 2011
nanobabes in New Jersey

Top Chef Masters, Finale spoiler?

I'm sure they never will incorporate past performance due to the same points LurkerDan made. It does makes for more suspenseful and dramatic television for their fates to be more up in the air every week. Which I buy into as well. I don't really care enough to design a system of elimination myself, but maybe some sort of points system (which I liked on TCMs before), with points only rewarded for the top group, or certain amount of strikes for being on the bottom ... either way, it wouldn't get adopted because it would change the structure of the whole show. It's not even a matter for me of who eventually wins, I'm just always interested in seeing what the promising chefs will put out every week, and get annoyed by the lesser chefs taking up screen time that could be occupied by some good food porn.

Jun 20, 2011
nanobabes in Food Media & News

Top Chef Masters, Finale spoiler?

It is really such a shame, too, because this season could have been chock full of drool-worthy amazing dishes if it weren't for all the extra twists and turns and gimmicks they threw at them this season. I found it almost disrespectful to this season's chefs, which especially annoys me since these chefs were such a nice and likeable bunch.

Jun 20, 2011
nanobabes in Food Media & News

Top Chef Masters, Finale spoiler?

If you want to get technical, Richard and Mike I. were the only finalists. Still, Tiffany D. made it all the way to the Bahamas despite being on the bottom on almost every challenge. Either way, the point I'm making is that I see so many chefs I don't care about make it so far, and so many chefs I'd like to see much more of cut earlier. The main reason I posted was in defense of samtron, that having previous performance factor in isn't a totally crazy idea.

Jun 19, 2011
nanobabes in Food Media & News

Top Chef Masters, Finale spoiler?

YMMV. I think there could be some sort of design where past performance is factored in but still have eliminations. I think this structure is why we have Kevin win season 7 and Hosea win season 5 (?), both who were not front runners throughout the entire season. And how Mike I. and Tiffany F. made it to the finale of TC All Stars. I don't want to end up debating over whether or not they deserved to be there, and you can argue that they played the game well, but I just honestly want to see good food, with interesting concepts, and made with "love". I was so disappointed that I didn't get to see Angelo or Dale cook for the Ellis Island challenge.

And it isn't always a level playing field for each elimination. The twists are often ridiculous and aren't reasonable expectations for a professional chef. I don't fault a chef for not being able to sprint around Target to assemble their crappy kitchen equipment and ingredients in time, or not being able to prep with sharp tools in a moving vehicle.

Jun 19, 2011
nanobabes in Food Media & News

Top Chef Masters, Finale spoiler?

I've been watching top chef for years, and have always thought they should have a cumulative score factored in for the entire season. Too many weak chefs getting too far, or a chef who has been dominating and gets screwed by a particular challenge parameter.

Jun 19, 2011
nanobabes in Food Media & News

Draft House LB west end anyone been?

haha, so true. I only went there late night on a weekend, reminded me of the overrated packed college bars I used to frequent at Rutgers, except I don't think they had any good drink specials... And being called Draft House is pretty misleading, I can't remember what beers they had on tap, exactly, but I remember it not being impressive.

Jun 19, 2011
nanobabes in New Jersey

Cinco de Mayo (Long Branch)

I think it was a Latin lounge called Melao's. Cinco De Mayo just opened last weekend. The inside looked a tad bar/club-ish, and what with the name, maybe it's aspiring to be a similar scene. I went at around 7pm, it didn't seem like a dance scene then, but who knows.

Jun 06, 2011
nanobabes in New Jersey

Favorite Vegetables

Should have figured that most chowhounds love vegetables. I know too many picky eaters! I'd love to know more of how you like your veggies prepared because I'm always trying to incorporate veggie side dishes. I usually do steamed broccoli tossed with a bit of butter and S&P, spinach sauted with garlic, and roasted squash and peppers. Lately I've been doing brussel sprouts sauteed with balsamic vinegar, a little bit carmelized, mm...

Jun 05, 2011
nanobabes in General Topics

JERSEY SHORE BBQ AND MEXICAN

In Long Branch, El Oaxaqueno, Acapulquenos, and El Rancho are well regarded. I've only tried Oaxaqueno, and can attest that is indeed delicious. I also just tried a new Mexican place in West End area of Long Branch, my review is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/788381

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El Rancho
98 Remsen Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Jun 04, 2011
nanobabes in New Jersey

Restaurants near Long Branch

Just tried out a spanking new Mexican restaurant called Cinco de Mayo on Brighton Ave (diagonally across from Surf Taco) that was surprisingly really good! I'm no expert on "authentic" Mexican, but it's owned by Mexicans, and isn't like the usual Tex-Mex fare around NJ that's slathered in cheddar cheese, sour cream, and bland salsa. Their salsa actually is probably the best restaurant salsa I've had. My review is here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/788381

Jun 04, 2011
nanobabes in New Jersey

Long Branch, NJ

Just tried out a spanking new Mexican restaurant called Cinco de Mayo on Brighton Ave (diagonally across from Surf Taco) that was surprisingly really good! I'm no expert on "authentic" Mexican, but it's owned by Mexicans, and isn't like the usual Tex-Mex fare around NJ that's slathered in cheddar cheese, sour cream, and bland salsa. Their salsa actually is probably the best restaurant salsa I've had. My review is here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/788381

Jun 04, 2011
nanobabes in New Jersey

Moving to Long Branch- Where to eat??

Just tried out a spanking new Mexican restaurant called Cinco de Mayo on Brighton Ave (diagonally across from Surf Taco) that was surprisingly really good! I'm no expert on "authentic" Mexican, but it's owned by Mexicans, and isn't like the usual Tex-Mex fare around NJ that's slathered in cheddar cheese, sour cream, and bland salsa. My review is here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/788381

Jun 04, 2011
nanobabes in New Jersey

Cinco de Mayo (Long Branch)

So me and my friend were walking around West End (Brighton Ave) after a run on the boardwalk, and happened to come across this new Mexican restaurant diagonally across from Surf Taco, where another Latin restaurant used to be. It might have been the restaurant's grand opening, there was staff walking around town handing out menus. After perusing it, we decided to give it a try. The major pull was the big outdoor seating, really. Also, it was completely empty, so we figured the service would be fast.

When we poked our heads in, we were greeted very warmly. The staff was very pleasant and friendly. It seems like the restaurant is family-owned, run by actual Mexicans. It had the feel of Oaxaqueno, but catered to the West End crowd. I ordered steak fajitas and my friend ordered carne tampiquena (as described in the menu, broiled shell steak Mexican style with cheese enchilada).

Part of what compelled me to write this review was that the salsa was amazing. It had that garden fresh taste to it and ample heat. While we waited, they surprised us with complementary little quesadillas. I've never gone to a restaurant on it's opening day, I don't know if that's customary, but it was a nice treat! Then our meals came. My steak fajita wasn't typical Tex-Mex (it wasn't served sizzling and didn't come with cheese, sour cream, and all that jazz), but it was delicious! They were big juicy cuts of meat with some decent char, in a tasty sauce that was brothy and homey. The refried beans were well-seasoned, and the tortillas appeared to be fresh and homemade. The pico de gallo included peppers with some nice heat to it. The "salad" included in my dish was a little skimpy, consisting of a bit of iceberg lettuce and a couple of slices of tomato and peppers, and two thin slivers of avocado. I especially wished for more avocado. But that's the only slightest complaint I had for my dish, I usually expect "salads" within a dish to essentially be a garnish. Everything else was a generous amount, I didn't even finish it. (I took it to go and ate it the day after, and it still tasted delicious). I didn't get to try my friend's dish, but he heaped a lot of praise on it as well.

Around the end of our meal a lot more people started piling in. We didn't see our server for awhile and it took awhile to get our check, but I don't hold that against them as they're obviously going to be a little disorganized on their first day. And they were very attentive for most of the meal, it was only until the end that we had to wait a bit. They had one person stationed outside to do water refills, which he did promptly, and the server and manager checked in frequently.

Also! We were surprised, AGAIN, with complimentary dessert! It's funny because I've been trying to practice portion control (I tend to overeat until it hurts), but no way could I pass up on the freebies. Dessert was a chimichanga with banana-honey filling topped with whip cream and a dusting of cinnamon. It was a little hard to cut into, but problem solved by just picking it up and biting into it. Overall, a really satisfying meal. I don't usually write reviews, but I really hope they do well, so I wanted to spread the word. It's a nice addition to the West End downtown.

Jun 04, 2011
nanobabes in New Jersey

Favorite Vegetables

Recently I've realized how glad I am that I love vegetables (and I'm a far cry from a vegetarian). I even thanked my parents the other day for forcing me to eat vegetables as a kid, as I remembered that my cousin at family functions would refuse and get away with it, and is still a picky eater today. I've noticed a lot of people (though not all) who don't like vegetables tend to be more narrow-minded when it comes to food. And while I can definitely enjoy a straight up meat+carb dish, I think it's more satisfying when a vegetable is included. When I'm low on money (especially as a perpetual student), throwing in some broccoli with standard pasta+oil+garlic completely elevates the meal. And of course, all the nutritional benefits. I had to hold back in insisting to my bf (who is trying to lose weight) to include a vegetable side to his dinner of ribs and mac and cheese. He was resigned to having a delicious but guilt-inducing meal. When trying to lose weight we tend to think of meals as delicious fatty indulgences or healthy and responsible bland filler.

THEREFORE, I thought it might be interesting to find out from fellow chowhounds what vegetables are your favorite and what ways you like to prepare them and include them in your meal (or even make it the centerpiece).

I love almost any vegetable roasted. My favorite side is a medley of roasted zucchini, yellow squash, green and red peppers, red and yellow onions. I like putting said medley in a wrap with a chipotle hummus. I love roasted grape tomatoes, roasted eggplant. I always think I can make people like vegetables by just roasting them.

Jun 04, 2011
nanobabes in General Topics

El Oaxaqueno 3 Restaurante Long Branch NJ

So based on these reviews and a desire to finally try out more "authentic" Mexican cuisine, I tried out El Oaxaqueno last night. I had tacos al pastor and my friend had a burrito al pastor. We took it to go because it was extremely hot inside. Therefore, the food suffered from a little bit of steaming, but it was still DELICIOUS, I absolutely love pork "al pastor" style! Though, I was under the impression that it would be served with pineapple, and was a tiny bit disappointed that it wasn't, but that's my mistake. Though, my friend's burrito was supposed to have pineapple & pork according to the menu, and he said there wasn't any in his. Didn't stop him from polishing the whole burrito in one sitting though.

I look forward to trying the torta de cubana and torta al pastor when I go back, I just don't know which one to try first! I'd like to eventually try some dinner plates, but aside from fajitas, I'm not very familiar with the dishes. What exactly is "ranchero"? I worked at a Tex Mex restaurant once that had it on the menu, but it was nowhere close to what I imagine steak ranchero actually is (it was drizzled with ranch dressing!). And I'm not sure what "Mexican style" chicken, or pork, or steak means. I'm intrigued by grilled cactus, I've heard of it before but didn't expect it to look like what's in Tapas52's picture.

Thanks for the recommendation chowhounds!

May 23, 2011
nanobabes in New Jersey

Pizza in Monmouth County

Ahh, this is a little clearer. However, I ordered from Luigi's in Ocean for pick-up, and I did get a round pie. Their crust was a little thin for my taste though. The one I ordered delivery from was Luigi's in Little Silver, which is not the same owners as the one in Ocean, they have a different type of pizza. I think there's been some confusion between the two. The Luigi's Famous Pizza in Ocean and Long Branch are the same owners, the Luigi's Famous Pizza and Ristorante in Little Silver are separate (and the Luigi's I preferred).

May 22, 2011
nanobabes in New Jersey

Pizza in Monmouth County

LOL, having the roof of your mouth burnt is like a condition of being a pizza lover. You repeatedly fail to practice restraint because you just want that damn pizza in your mouth already.

May 20, 2011
nanobabes in New Jersey

Pizza in Monmouth County

I'm not quite sure I get what you're saying, Bob. I'm pretty sure the pizza that came to my door was round? lol. Do you mean they're made similarly to the square pies, like a Sicilian? The dough was thicker than other pizzas down here, but I didn't think it was square pie thick. I'm going to wait for your reply before I come off really stupid, trying to figure out what you mean.

May 20, 2011
nanobabes in New Jersey

Pizza in Monmouth County

JustJake, I know what you mean about takeout/delivery, but I don't think I would have changed my mind about Luigi's in Ocean if I ate it on the spot. The sauce was good, but it wasn't the type of crust I was looking for. I also prefer more cheese, or cheese that's more melty and stretchy (I'm not sure how to explain it, I'm obviously not an expert on cheese).

I did, however, recently order from Luigi's in Little Silver, which offers the style of pizza I've been questing for. And despite it being delivered, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Regarding Nunzio's. I never said it was a crime to be closed by 9pm. When I initially called at 9, and they said they were closed, I thought it was unusual, but not especially so. Then someone on this thread told me they close at 8:30, which if that's true, I think is pretty absurd.

May 20, 2011
nanobabes in New Jersey

What makes a good pizza, to YOU?

Mariacarmen, what specifically about Italian pizza did you not like? Is it a particular style of the pizza there, or did you just keep getting pizza with low quality ingredients? I've never been to Italy myself, so I'm just curious.

May 18, 2011
nanobabes in General Topics