l

lagne's Profile

Title Last Reply

No I Don’t Want to Split 4 Deviled Eggs 6 Ways: Why Sharing Sucks

Dude, forgive me if I'm taking this essay more seriously than you meant it... If you meant it kinda sarcastically, then I chuckle with you. But if you're serious here, it sounds as though you're conflating assertiveness with impoliteness. You've "learned to sit back let other people do the ordering," then gripe about having right the imbalance of the veg/meat math? Are you beholden to the group at all times? Screw passive aggression, and screw splitting plates if you don't want to: Order your own entree, and tell people "No, thank you" if they want you to taste their food. Let them know in the beginning, "Man, I'm absolutely starving, so if you guys want to try this avocado/beet salad, you might want to order an additional one to split, because I'm gonna throw down on this one!"

I'm kinda not seeing the issue here.

Basic Mashed Potatoes

Believe me, I love heavy cream as much as the next fat chick, but I think mashed potatoes made with heavy cream are too heavy and become gummy faster with over-mashing. Potatoes made with whole milk and butter are lighter and fluffier.

Jan 31, 2014
lagne in Recipes

Honey-Mustard Glazed Ham

I dislike ham. But I LOVED this ham. Seriously. Make it.

Dec 04, 2013
lagne in Recipes

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

I'm a chef, and I can honestly say I have NEVER owned a blender that works as fantastically as a Vitamix. I've put mine through its paces, believe me, and have never seen another blender completely puree things like apple cores, raw carrot, and kale stems. Flax seeds, and even strawberry seeds, completely disappear into smoothies. The list goes on. if I could get away with it, I'd rather save money than drop $500 on a blender, but there's just no beating a Vitamix, so the price is worth it.

Aug 21, 2013
lagne in Cookware

Cronuts?

The dough used IS croissant dough, regardless of how they are actually cooking it. The finished product is not a croissant, which is why they aren't calling them "croissants."

Jun 06, 2013
lagne in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Walking out on a restaurant meal

As I read the OP, they were already enjoying appetizers when the offending party was seated; perhaps this was the reason for leaving money? or perhaps it was to tip the server, as I personally generally don't tip the host staff (if they are two separate people).

Also, the OP requested that the other party be moved OR that his/her party be moved. I gotta object to comparing someone's irritation wtih a loud, boorish party to someone's obviously inappropriate problem with a child afflicted wtih Down's.

I agree with you, though, that the hostess should have done SOMETHING other than essentially penalize the OP's party by confining them to a section with loud, disruptive fellow diners.

Apr 18, 2013
lagne in Not About Food

is beef becoming tasteless?

I wonder how much of it, too, is related to the fact that many (most?) people just don't know how to cook.

I give lessons in basic cooking techniques to young parents at a community center where I live. They are consistently amazed at how their food preferences shift when they learn to treat even previously-reviled foods simply and properly. "So THAT'S what lentils should taste like!" "My mother's broccoli was always mush!" "I've never eaten chicken breast that I actually like before!"

The only seasonings I allow in the first month of classes: salt and pepper. Occasionally garlic.

Most of my students have long been suckers for the "30+ ingredient" recipes because they felt it made them better cooks; meanwhile, all those herbs, spices, and ingredients were covering up the fact that an unseared roast doesn't lend much flavor to the final stock, or improperly-prepared roux will funk up your texture, and the like. "But we dump 9323593593 spices in, so this burger patty must taste better." No... get some good beef (the best you can afford) and learn to properly sear it to bring out its OWN flavor.

"30+ ingredient" recipes only go so far in covering up a lack of technique.

Mar 29, 2013
lagne in General Topics
1

is beef becoming tasteless?

I disagree. A good chuck roast, slow-braised for hours, has fantastic flavor enhanced only by salt and pepper.

Not to say that other ingredients would detract or distract.. not at all. But I don't think a good cut of meat NEEDS lots of flavoring ingredients in order to shine.

Which goes to the original question; I do think that modern meats (beef in particular) suffer from blandness. I might agree that industrial-produced meats, versus meats produced 50-60 years ago, highly benefit from other flavors in order to be at their best.

Mar 29, 2013
lagne in General Topics

is beef becoming tasteless?

When I was in culinary school and we worked with meats, one of my wisest teachers always told us: "You can slather it with all kinds of stuff when you cook at home. in this kitchen: you will learn to make it taste good using just salt and pepper. Until you can do that, you aren't treating the meat correctly."

(not to argue that anyone isn't treating their meat correctly.. *insert immature chuckle here*)

Mar 29, 2013
lagne in General Topics

Split-Second Cookies

Just pulled these out of the oven; they're delicious, and they WERE easy. I added a scant teaspoon of almond extract to mine, along with the vanilla. But I deducted one star for the following: 1) I had to bake mine for 18 minutes total, not 12; 2) I found it much easier to use the side of a fork to "scoop" up the jam, place it in the groove, then use the fork's end tine to drag the preserves down the groove, rather than messing around with piping and/or heating the jam - most methods involving piping bags don't qualify as "split-second" for me. Still, this will be my go-to quick cookie recipe from now on.

Mar 18, 2013
lagne in Recipes

Porcini-Parmesan Salt

The salt should preserve the cheese for the two months specified.

Mar 06, 2013
lagne in Recipes

Alfajores

Oh, man, these are good. I added an extra egg yolk to the dough, and also a tablespoon or two of cream, since I (somehow!) had no liquor in the house and the dough definitely needed the moisture (it would've been fine, though, without the additions). The dough scraps can be re-rolled several times without the cookies suffering, which was nice. Used my own dulce de leche recipe (milk, sugar, baking soda, salt, cooked forever). A keeper!

Feb 01, 2013
lagne in Recipes

Is It Unprofessional for a Chef to Criticize a Food Critic?

Honestly, all the best chefs I know are hotheads who would never let a bad review pass without addressing it somehow. Some would probably show more restraint than others, but still.

It's interesting, as the author noted, to consider how chefs might have responded a decade ago. When there was no forum (Twitter, media, etc.) in which to respond verbally and directly to his/her criticcs, what recourse did a chef have other than to rachet up his game so as to be above further reproach as the ultimate "fuck you" to the critic? Has all this instant accessibility negatively affected the tangible ways in which a chef might respond to a critic? Thought-provoking.

Dec 03, 2012
lagne in Features

Thanksgiving Appetizers?

I'm making a roasted cheese pumpkin:

1 sugar pumpkin, 4-5 pounds
4 ounces smoked gruyere, shredded
4 ounces swiss cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/3 cup chardonnay
1 1/2 teaspoon honey
a few pinches/grates of nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 12-inch baguette, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled but intact
Vegetable oil

Cut the top out of the pumpkin and scrape out the innards. Save the seeds for another use, if desired.

Toss the cheeses and thyme together in a bowl. In a large measuring cup or a bowl with a spout, combine the cream, milk, chardonnay, honey, nutmeg, and salt.

Toast the baguette slices and rub each slice with garlic. Lay a few baguette slices in a single layer inside the pumpkin. Top with some of the cheese mixture, then pour on some of the cream mixture. Repeat this until all of your ingredients are used up. (You might have a bit left over).

Pop the top back on the pumpkin, place the pumpkin in an oven-safe dish of some kind, and coat the outside liberally with oil. Roast at 375 degrees for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the pumpkin is tender all over. Let it stand for about 15 minutes before diving in.

Serve with toast rounds, raw veggies, crackers, or pita chips. Try to scoop a little pumpkin onto each bite.

Nov 19, 2012
lagne in Home Cooking

Pete Wells Kneecaps Guy Fieri. Is This a New Era for Food Reviews?

Wait, so now we have to defend The Tourists from the big bad Guy Fieris of the world, who are in the restaurant industry just to make money? I am never going to fault Guy Fieri for being in it for the money. I am in this industry because I love it, but damn if I'll turn away a dollar (or million) for being in it. Except the food-knowledgeable among them (I'd argue they're the minority), Tourists are not suckered by the Guys of the world; they're thrilled to be eating at A Big Name's table and will convince themselves that it's fantastic, simply because it has a big name behind it. This brand of Tourist is, I'm betting, the one Guy's targeting in Times Square, in the company of Bubba Gumps and other Hollywood-related culinary travesties; Tourists leave such places happy, so although we know that shitty food and hedgehog hair is a problem, I don't see where there's a problem in someone charging money from people who are there to pay for an experience. I will, though, wholeheartedly agree with you on who reaps the most benefit from the bullshit "Triple D Stamp of Approval."

Nov 16, 2012
lagne in Features

Pete Wells Kneecaps Guy Fieri. Is This a New Era for Food Reviews?

I'm not a big Guy fan, but god, am I sick of reading about how horrible he is. Low-hanging fruit ain't worth pickin,' people; if Wells is such a fantastically forward-thinking critic, why not try a similar strain of "wit" on a real heavyweight in the industry? His review read like it was written by a playground bully.

Nov 16, 2012
lagne in Features

What discontinued products do you miss?

Yep, I just relocated from Chattanooga, where Moon Pies are produced (no idea if there are other locations, too; I just know they're huuuge in southeastern TN), and they're still very much a thing. Zap 'em in the microwave for 15 seconds and eat with a fork... swoon....

Oct 19, 2012
lagne in General Topics

Need small finger desserts for a crowd

Salted caramel shortbread squares.. This would probably make about 18 two-bite pieces:

Crust:
2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 ¼ cups flour

Press into bottom of parchment-lined 8x8; bake at 350 til golden, about 15 minutes.

Caramel:
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp. butter
½ cup heavy cream
2 tsp. vanilla
Sea salt

Combine sugar, butter, and cream in a pot. Cook mixture until temperature reaches about 241 degrees (you want the mixture to hit 244 degrees, but it’ll coast another few degrees off the heat). Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and pour onto crust, then immediately sprinkle with salt. Let cool until set, then lift out of pan and cut into squares.

Sep 30, 2012
lagne in Home Cooking

Vanilla Pudding Pops

After leaving a lukewarm review, I'm back to edit: These are great. My main quibble previously was the pops' texture: after three hours, they seemed to be frozen through, yet still soft and jiggly. After leaving them to freeze for about seven hours, their texture is great (to be fair, I made 8 pops instead of 10, so they were a bit larger). I'm still going to play around with different amounts of half and half versus milk, to mitigate what I found to be an overly-rich mouthfeel, but that might just be personal preference. Yum!

Sep 30, 2012
lagne in Recipes

Butterscotch Pudding Pops

After leaving a lukewarm review, I'm back to edit: These are great. My main quibble previously was the pops' texture: after three hours, they seemed to be frozen through, yet still soft and jiggly. After leaving them to freeze for about seven hours, their texture is great (to be fair, I made 8 pops instead of 10, so they were a bit larger). I'm still going to play around with different amounts of half and half versus milk, to mitigate what I found to be an overly-rich mouthfeel, but that might just be personal preference. Yum!

Sep 30, 2012
lagne in Recipes

Do you ever order less because of obnoxious upselling?

True, such a varied assortment of posters will rarely agree fully.

However... Where do you get that offering alcohol runs contrary to "proper etiquette?" As many posters have noted, it's widely known that restaurants make more money from alcohol than from food. If you frequent restaurants, maybe it's incumbent on YOU, as the guest, to recognize this and adjust your expectations accordingly?

Nothing about such an offer in a restaurant is personal - it's about making money, period. Restaurants will offer alcohol, because it makes them the most money. The offer isn't any kind of moral barometer, on either side. Why make it so? Why choose to make it personal and take offense? I think, no matter how you reword, your approach is waaay hypersensitive.

Sep 29, 2012
lagne in Not About Food

Do you ever order less because of obnoxious upselling?

Agreed. I don't get the fuss.

Not ordering something of your own accord because someone suggested you order something not of your own accord... My head spins.

I think I need a cocktail.

Sep 27, 2012
lagne in Not About Food

Chef's Tasting Spoons: Essential or Eww?

First-world problems.

Sep 27, 2012
lagne in Features

Thickening cream soup..HELP!

good luck! It would be great if it did work out; I love a liason-based sauce/soup.. so velvety.

Sep 16, 2012
lagne in Home Cooking

Thickening cream soup..HELP!

Yeah, thickening with egg yolks (called a "liason") won't tolerate freezing and reheating; your soup will break.

I would suggest making your soup as usual, freezing it, and then, when you bring it to a simmer to reheat it, whisk in a mixture of equal parts flour and butter, kneaded together... It'll thicken nicely, and you won't have to worry about breakdown/separation.

Other than that, I flour/butter roux is the way to go, if you're going to freeze a thickened soup.

Sep 16, 2012
lagne in Home Cooking

How do I cook a beef brisket roast in the oven?

This is what I like to do - a pretty classic prep, nothing fancy, but my absolute favorite (forgive me if I'm overexplaining, but you indicated that you haven't cooked many roasts so I'm going to over- instead of under-explain)..

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Salt and pepper your roast on all sides. Heat the pot you're going to cook the roast in over high heat. Add a little vegetable oil, and sear the roast on all sides until it's browned, then set the roast aside and lower the heat to around medium. Add about 3-4 tbsp. butter to the pot.

Throw in 1 medium onion, 1 medium carrot, 1-2 medium stalks of celery, chopped, and about 2 tbsp. tomato paste. Cook for 2-3 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add 1-2 cloves minced garlic and cook another minute. Then stir in 3-4 tbsp. all purpose flour - enough that any shiny fat on the veggies seems absorbed by the flour, but not so much that the pot seems dry. Eyeball it and add it little by little. Cook it for 2-3 minutes.

Increase heat to high, and add a good glug of red wine - at least 1 cup, more if you like (I like merlot for this, and I usually use closer to 2 cups). Let it cook for a minute, then nestle your roast in there and add about 2 tsp. each fresh rosemary and fresh thyme (or a scant teaspoon dried), and beef stock and/or water to cover the roast by about 3/4.

Cover and bring to a simmer, then slide into the preheated oven and cook about 1.5 hours - 2 hours. (If you want potatoes as part of the roast, I would cut them into large-ish pieces and add them to the pot about halfway through your cooking time.)

Remove the roast to slice. If the pot liquid seems too thin, reduce it on the stovetop until it reaches desired consistency (alternately, combine equal parts butter and flour and whisk it into the simmering liquid until it reaches the desired thickness).

Sep 10, 2012
lagne in Home Cooking

Source for fresh ricotta in Central Pennsylvania?

Thanks for the tips!

Sep 10, 2012
lagne in Home Cooking

Eggs and non stick

You can make stainless steel temporarily nonstick:

Heat some veggie oil over medium/high heat until it starts to smoke - enough to generously cover the bottom of the pan - then throw in a handful or so of kosher salt. Let it cook for about 5 minutes, shaking occasionally. Pour out the salt and oil, wipe out with a towel or paper towel, and go about you business. I do this all the time for crepe-making and they never stick. I've never used it for something like a nice fried egg, though, so can't say it'll work for sure with eggs. Might try it today, just for kicks.

Sep 10, 2012
lagne in Cookware

Foods from your childhood that seem laughable now

I made homemade candy corn once, caught in the throes of a mad curious phase. Burned the heck out of my hands while dividing/shaping it, and it took a long time, but the flavor was actually nice. The recipe I used was from Tasting Table.

Sep 10, 2012
lagne in General Topics

Using boullion cubes

I like Musie's suggestion: Make some broth with the cube itself, familiarize yourself with the flavor, and that'll probably help you figure out how you'd like to use it.

Aside from that... You know, sometimes I get terribly frustrated with tone. The OP wasn't asking for a treatise on the evils of bouillon, right? As blue room suggested, bouillon is often used to enhance the meat flavors in a dish - so the availability of nonmeat flavors can be intriguing, hence the OP's curiosity. It's not like anyone's suggesting grating a bouillon cube into your eggs as a truffle substitute or anything.

Sep 10, 2012
lagne in Home Cooking