paulj's Profile

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Trader Joe's / Whole Foods...sterility vs. other

I've heard that for New Yorkers there are only 2 places in the world - the city, and upstate.

None of the places that you cite are within 3000 miles of where I live. However, I do often stop at a multi-ethnic shop a few blocks away from my local TJ for produce, Asian, Mexican and a occasional eastern European product. A California Chinese chain, and NJ Korean chain are also on my regular shopping rotation. While I'm a TJ regular, it is not my only stop.

about 3 hours ago
paulj in Chains

Soba vs. Buckwheat noodles

From what country? Japan, Korea, China? Dried, cold? Ingredients - wheat, buckwheat, 'yam', etc?

about 3 hours ago
paulj in General Topics

Canned condensed milk morphs into Dulce de Leche

Nestle makes this caramel in the can

http://www.amazon.com/Nestle-La-Leche...

It is sold in the UK as Carnation Caramel
http://www.tesco.com/groceries/produc...

By all appearances the same can as regular sweetened condensed milk - just caramelized and a different label.

1 day ago
paulj in Home Cooking

Canned condensed milk morphs into Dulce de Leche

I think the crystals formed during storage. I don't know if the cold storage promoted this or not. Some of the cans that my mom made (many years ago) had this problem.

Crystals in homemade caramels are a common problem.

1 day ago
paulj in Home Cooking

Canned condensed milk morphs into Dulce de Leche

I'd wait at least till I could comfortably hold the unopened can in my hand.

1 day ago
paulj in Home Cooking

BREAKING: PUMPKIN SPICE IS LOADED WITH GLUTEN. White Girls Everywhere Can't Even. Literally Dying.

No mention of victims among TJ customers???

Oct 22, 2014
paulj in Food Media & News

Tony knocks one out of the park

Oct 22, 2014
paulj in Food Media & News

Sides to serve with crab legs

The OP is still around. :)

Oct 22, 2014
paulj in Home Cooking

Canned condensed milk morphs into Dulce de Leche

Do you mean there were identifiable sugar crystals? What was the color? How soon did you open the can?

Oct 21, 2014
paulj in Home Cooking

New PBS series: The Mind of a Chef

KCTS is now showing Mind at 11:30pm on midweek night.

But, yes that station prefers their home grown 'Cooks' - for fund raising purposes.

Oct 19, 2014
paulj in Food Media & News

Trisodium phosphate in my Trader Joe's O's cereal- why?

In foods like this TSP IS part of a buffering solution - it is used to counter excess acidity in the cereal batter. There isn't any TSP in the baked cereal. It is all 'used up' during mixing and baking.

The same thing happens when you using baking soda or powder in your cakes. Unless you have used too much, there isn't any sodium bicarbonate in the end product. The carbon has combined with oxygen from the acid ingredients, and turned into CO2. The sodium remains, and does the phosphate (from monocalcium phosphate in the BP).

Anyone can read the ingredients, and look them up. But it takes some effort to understand basic chemistry, and to weigh the significance of the facts.

Oct 16, 2014
paulj in General Topics
1

Tibetans Tselling Tsampa in Tsquamish & Tsteveston!

That makes sense. The Korean barley has the husks. Recently I bought some 'sprouting barley' which also has the husk. I sprouted some, and dried it, but had a hard time making something useful (e.g. malt flavor) from it, due in part the presence of the husks.

I also bought some purple barley, which I think is a hulled Tibetan variety. It cooked, and tasted, much like the other hulled (hulleless) barley.

Oct 15, 2014
paulj in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Supermarket relabels "choice" and "select" USDA meat grades as just "USDA-graded"

I don't recall ever making a beef choice based on grade.

Oct 15, 2014
paulj in Food Media & News

Trisodium phosphate in my Trader Joe's O's cereal- why?

You tossed the TSP boxes, but kept the TPP ones? How long have you been eating the brands you tossed?

Oct 15, 2014
paulj in General Topics
1

When a recipe calls for 'chili sauce,' what do you use?

can you supply the bigoli as well? :) or the bigolaro?

Oct 14, 2014
paulj in General Topics

When a recipe calls for 'chili sauce,' what do you use?

Few, if any, recipes are written with a completely international audience in mind. I've come across local ingredients in British recipes (what are medium oats?), Swedish ones (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8440...), Italian recipes (salt packed anchovies?).

Oct 14, 2014
paulj in General Topics

Supermarket relabels "choice" and "select" USDA meat grades as just "USDA-graded"

If grading is largely based on a visual inspection, shouldn't an experienced shopper do (nearly) as well as the USDA inspector? Surely we can judge the marbling of a steak.

That said, I rarely cuts where grade matters. My last beef purchase was shank. Even for steaks, I'm more likely to choose flat iron or hanger.

Oct 14, 2014
paulj in Food Media & News

pumpkin pie recipe

The canned dulce is usually Nestle brand from Chile. I think they just subject the condensed milk cans to longer/higher heat, copying the home made version. It's a bit more expensive than plain condensed, but worth it.

Some markets also carry a more traditional dulce from Argentina, often in a jar. The Mexican equivalent is called cajeta (named for the wood box it used to sold in). The Mexican version may be part goat milk, and vanilla flavoring, and may be pourable.

Oct 13, 2014
paulj in Home Cooking

pumpkin pie recipe

I just tried kabocha mac-n-cheese. I roughly followed a recipe by Edward Lee (currently on Mind of a Chef).
http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recip...

Basically the squash is diced, roasted till tender, pureed, and mixed with the cheese and macaroni.

My version included some left over cooked leeks. And instead of pork rinds I used crisp bacon bits.

Oct 13, 2014
paulj in Home Cooking

Historical interest? McCawley's proto-chowhound Chicago guide

Thanks for the link. I was aware of earlier versions of this list from CLS meetings. I had Dr McCawley for a couple of linguistics classes eons ago. He stood out as one of the more eccentric and interesting teachers I had, though I never had occasion to eat out with him.

I'm passing through Chicago next week, though it'll probably be along I294 rather than the city proper.

Oct 13, 2014
paulj in Chicago Area

Why Is Carla So Loud On The Chew?

I don't normally watch daytime shows like this, but caught a few snippets of this show while exploring on-the-air program options. It had a lot of frantic, silly interactions. One was some sort of 'going green' costume skit, and in another everyone rode on stage on bike, trikes and skateboards.

Then I caught a bit of FN's The Kitchen (via on-demand). Compared to The Chew this was sane and much more food oriented. No one was trying to outshout or perform anyone else.

Oct 12, 2014
paulj in Food Media & News

Why doesn’t Indian cuisine make use of tofu?

Soybeans in India might be a relatively new crop, grown more for industrial products - oil and meal - than direct human consumption. India does consume a lot of other legumes though (dahl).

Oct 11, 2014
paulj in General Topics

New PBS series: The Mind of a Chef

My local PBS stations aren't showing this series, so I'll have to wait till they put them on the PBS website. The opening one is available.

Oct 11, 2014
paulj in Food Media & News

Signs that someone is a GOOD cook

or one is a sign that the person can shop at Whole Foods, and the other visits the food bank a lot.

Oct 11, 2014
paulj in General Topics
2

For Breville Oven Owners--Toast Times

I use my toaster oven 90% of the time. Biscuits, dutch baby, clafouti, small casseroles, basically anything for 2-3 people, that fits in a 9-10" baking pan or handleless skillet. I only use the regular oven for things that are too tall, or require the half sheet baking pan.

Oct 10, 2014
paulj in Cookware

For Breville Oven Owners--Frozen Food Button

Features like this are selling points. They don't add any real functionality.

Oct 10, 2014
paulj in Cookware

For Breville Oven Owners--Toast Times

I had a Delonghi toaster oven for a number of years, until its controls broke. I then bought a slot toaster, and only recently got a Frigidaire toaster oven (which is just one step down from Breville).

If the pieces fit, the slot toaster is better, faster and more even. However it is harder to observe the bread and pull it if the toasting is going too far.

The oven has too many compromises to be a great toaster. With fewer heating elements, they have to be further away from the bread to heat evenly. The top elements glow brightly ('halogen') but still the radiant heat on the bread is not as strong as that from the closer toaster wires.

The controls on the Frigidaire are something of a joke, giving an unrealistic sense of control. Being digital it is easy to add features that don't do anything different.

The basic variables are: use top or bottom elements or both, cycle on/off to maintain some rough air temperature, and time. For toast the only real variable is time. I prefer to leave the controls on a hot oven, and time by sight.

I like the toaster oven best for baking 2c batches of things like biscuits and oven pancakes. For those it heats up fast enough that I often don't bother with preheating.

Oct 10, 2014
paulj in Cookware

The Best Smoked Paprika ?

Mesquite is an American SW tree. Elsewhere it is an unwanted invasive species (Africa, Australia, etc). No mention of it being a problem in Europe.

Could it be that some of the Spanish oaks are scrubby like mesquite? Not the cork oaks, many of which are a 100yrs+ old.

In my limited experience (from camping in Texas), mesquite smoke is acrid. BBQers use it in moderation (if at all). http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/10...

Oct 08, 2014
paulj in General Topics

No-Yeast Bread Maker Sourdough Recipe?

You might find this blog interesting:

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com...

Stephan Guyenet, a Univ. of Washington researcher who personally favors soaked whole grains

Oct 08, 2014
paulj in Home Cooking

No-Yeast Bread Maker Sourdough Recipe?

But most of the phytic acid in wheat is in the bran. White flour, without any bran, is thus low in phytic acid. Soaking, sprouting and/or fermentation may matter when working with whole grains, but not with the typical grocery sourdough bread.

So the typical industrial age diet that is high in refined flour, sugars, fats and meat is not a high phytic acid diet.

Oct 07, 2014
paulj in Home Cooking