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What's your favourite or most useful, kitchen item?

Hahahah... wine glass -- I should have thought of that one!

Sep 28, 2014
drongo in Cookware
1

Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

Hmmm.... Olive Garden! :)

Sep 28, 2014
drongo in General Topics

Discussion Matawan Cafe, a.k.a. Chopped Salad Shoppe, a.k.a., Philly Cheesesteaks, a.k.a. 18 Burgers, a.k.a. Farmer's Market, a.k.a. ...

Finally, an Italian restaurant in New Jersey!! I can't wait!

Cook's Country chicken chow mein

Thanks Atochabsh. My current benchmark for what I referred to in my post as a "standard stir fry" (American-style) is mamachef's post on this board at the link below. (I actually had that post printed out and posted on my fridge for a while.) In comparison, the amounts of soy sauce and oyster sauce in the Cook's Country recipe are a little high, but I didn't think too much. I sometimes see stir-fry recipes calling for half a cup of soy sauce or more (and those I pass by without hesitation...). http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8343...

Sep 28, 2014
drongo in Home Cooking

What's your favourite or most useful, kitchen item?

I have the usual stuff (including Breville Smart Oven) but something perhaps a little unusual that I use almost every day is my Norpro battery-powered mini mixer. See link below for pictures (if I got the URL right...). The base and the attachments are about 3 inches long, and it doesn't have sufficient power for serious mixing work. But it's perfect for quickly dissolving Better-Than-Bouillon concentrate or dispersing ingredients such as tomato paste, mustard, etc into a marinade or sauce. It takes up only a square-inch of space on my counter, and I use it almost every day.
https://www.google.com/search?q=Norpr...

Sep 28, 2014
drongo in Cookware
1

How to remove Beef Bourguinon stain from dress?

For red wine stains, I've had good success with OxiClean -- the powder version. It sometimes leaves a bluish/greenish residual stain -- I'd guess due to some wine pigments that are less susceptible to oxidation by the OxiClean.

Sep 28, 2014
drongo in Not About Food

Cook's Country chicken chow mein

I read the recipe in the Oct/Nov 2014 issue and it looked like a rather standard stir fry, so it didn't interest me enough for me to try it. What do you think made the outcome so horrid -- was it residual baking soda on the chicken?

Sep 28, 2014
drongo in Home Cooking

What cut of beef is brisket? - Alternate name??

Return of the Living Dead! (Though in that one the zombies wanted brains, brains... in this one, it's briskets, briskets.... aaarghh.)

Sep 22, 2014
drongo in General Topics

I think I saw a mouse in frying pan....throw out or clean it?

That's a genius trap! What was in the stockpot?

Sep 22, 2014
drongo in Not About Food

Preparing couscous with cantaloupe juice rather than water??

Do you get uncooked couscous, Pookipichu? The couscous I see for sale here in the USA is precooked and only needs to be rehydrated. I'm sure that's what's expected in this recipe because the couscous is not boiled -- the hot liquid is poured over the couscous in a bowl (off the heat) and it's allowed to sit for 10 minutes.

Sep 22, 2014
drongo in Home Cooking

Synthetic Food?

I don't see the relevance to the original topic -- "synthetic food"?

Just Mayo uses pea-derived emulsifier in place of egg-derived emulsifier in traditional mayonnaise. But neither are synthetic.

Sep 21, 2014
drongo in Food Media & News

Synthetic Food?

They're not doing any synthesis in the lab pictured in that article. No PPE, no fume hoods or biosafety cabinets. It's unlike any lab I've worked in.

Sep 21, 2014
drongo in Food Media & News

Interesting article about GMO labeling.

I agree that merely labeling something as GMO (or GMO free) is meaningless. Indeed, as the FDA draft guidance points out, almost all food we eat is genetically modified (relative to wild ancestral plants and animals) although not all by recombinant DNA technology. If we are going to label foods as genetically modified, then the label should specify the genetic modification (e.g. for glyphosate resistant plants could say that the plant contains heterologous enolpyruvyl-shikimate phosphate synthase to confer glyphosate resistance).

Unfortunately specifying the genetic modifications for organisms modified by classical methods is difficult or impossible because we still can't say what all the important modifications are (though with DNA sequencing we could enumerate all the thousands of modifications -- but without saying which are relevant and which not). Some of the genetic modifications are quite drastic -- e.g. conventional wheat used in bread is hexaploid (has three sets of paired chromosomes rather than wild-type single set), a change which is believed to have occurred during hybridization of wheat with grasses from different genuses where the diploid hybrids would have been sterile.

Sep 21, 2014
drongo in Food Media & News

What cut of beef is brisket? - Alternate name??

It's called brisket in Australia too. E.g. scroll down to the beef section on the linked web page (which also has an interesting section on crocodile cuts -- only in Australia!) http://wholesalemeats.com.au/author/a...

Sep 21, 2014
drongo in General Topics

Preparing couscous with cantaloupe juice rather than water??

Thanks foodie. I agree that cooking couscous with something flavorful is a good idea. Though cantaloupe is rather mild and so probably only adds a bit of sweetness. I suspect this recipe was submitted by Costco's supplier of cantaloupes, so it's not surprising they'd recommend cantaloupe juice. But I'm probably going to give it a try (assuming I can find reasonable cantaloupes and pineapples at this time of year).

Sep 20, 2014
drongo in Home Cooking

Preparing couscous with cantaloupe juice rather than water??

Has anyone tried preparing couscous with cantaloupe juice? I was looking at recipe (purportedly from Aaron Arditti, Azul Restaurant at Mandarin Oriental) at link below (right-hand side of page 161). It has the following instructions for preparing couscous (to go with chicken, it's not a dessert!):

"Puree 1/2 cantaloupe in a blender with 1/2 cup water. Cook in a saucepan until reduced by half. Place couscous in a bowl and pour in the hot cantaloupe juice. Seal with plastic wrap for 10 minutes." http://www.costcoconnection.com/conne...

It's interesting, but I'm hesitating. What do you think? Is it a joke from Chef Arditti?

Sep 20, 2014
drongo in Home Cooking

Party Early Birds

Shortly after I moved to the USA, I was invited to a colleague's house on a Sunday. Not wanting to offend by arriving early or late, I showed up exactly at the appointed time. I was surprised to find that my hosts were clearly not ready and somewhat flustered by my arrival. I was even more surprised when the remaining guests started arriving at least an hour late! I figured social norms were just different in this country.

It was only the following day that I realized that the Sunday was the first day after the change from daylight savings to standard time. So, of course, I had arrived an hour early. I was from a tropical country where there was no daylight savings time... and though I had probably been told about it, I had forgotten. So I had to make my apologies!

Sep 17, 2014
drongo in Not About Food
1

Coming soon to Old Bridge...

Here's a recipe for the Equatorial Guinean restaurant: Cocodrilo en su Salsa (Crocodile in Sauce) http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/mis...

Or Pangolin con Chocolate (Pangolin with Chocolate) http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/mis...

Sep 16, 2014
drongo in New Jersey

food safety & murdering pathogens

Botulism toxin is fairly easily inactivated - not 160 degF, but 185 degF for 5 minutes does it. Staph toxin not so -- can withstand boiling at 212 degF. And I think Staph is the more likely contaminant (botulism is extremely dangerous, but incidents in developed world are actually quite rare).

Reference: http://www.who.int/csr/delibepidemics...

Sep 16, 2014
drongo in General Topics

Is it too soon to talk about Thanksgiving?

It's too early for me to start thinking about it. I don't even know whose house we'll be doing Thanksgiving in this year. But on Sunday I started getting "holiday" emails -- the first one entitled something like "100 Days of Holidays". I'm sure I'll now get emails each day for the full countdown from 100 to 0.

Sep 16, 2014
drongo in Home Cooking

Historic Taverns in NJ

No, I've not been there. Doesn't appeal -- it was opened in 1954 and doesn't look as though it's changed much.

Btw, attached is a recent review (from the Red Bank "Daily Register", December 9th, 1965).

Sep 16, 2014
drongo in New Jersey

Coming soon to Old Bridge...

Equatorial Guinea? Different continent, but Spanish speaking. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equatori...

Sep 16, 2014
drongo in New Jersey

Historic Taverns in NJ

What about the Stage House Inn in Scotch Plains? 1737 apparently. http://www.revolutionarywarnewjersey....

Sep 16, 2014
drongo in New Jersey

Historic Taverns in NJ

Hah. The historic patrons in Colts Neck are at the Green Meadows Inn.

Sep 16, 2014
drongo in New Jersey

Party Early Birds

Hah... if you put a sign on the gate saying "We're busy getting ready for a fantastic party. See you at 6pm." then any stranger passing by could interpret that as an open invitation to go in at 6 pm! (If I were the passing stranger I'd certainly be tempted to give it a try.)

Sep 16, 2014
drongo in Not About Food

Consumer Reports Investigates Exploding Pyrex

Yes, I agree with both GH1618 and greygarious.

Sep 15, 2014
drongo in Cookware

Consumer Reports Investigates Exploding Pyrex

Since the title of this thread is about Pyrex, we should be clear that this has nothing to do with Pyrex.

I'm surprised a pitcher didn't withstand the fridge.

Last year I had a disaster with a pitcher (not Savoir Vivre -- I don't recall the brand). A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, I decided to make a large batch of turkey stock (using turkey wings and vegetables). The only container I saw in my kitchen that could accommodate all the stock was a pitcher -- so I strained the stock into the pitcher and put it into my freezer. A few days before Thanksgiving I went to remove the pitcher of stock, only to find that the base had cracked and my stock had run out into the freezer (making a major mess, and requiring me to prepare another batch to support Thanksgiving). In my case, the fault was obviously mine -- expecting that a pitcher was safe to use in the freezer. But if I would have expected the pitcher to have been fine if only put it into the fridge.

Sep 15, 2014
drongo in Cookware

Where to buy harissa?

Whole Foods here in NJ has harissa (in jars).

Sep 09, 2014
drongo in General Topics

$100 for All You Can Eat During 7 Weeks at Olive Garden

If someone gave me the card and I could go only once or twice I would accept it. But if I had to go every day(or even once a week), I'd pay $100 to avoid the obligation.

Sep 09, 2014
drongo in Chains

$100 for All You Can Eat During 7 Weeks at Olive Garden

I can see why Olive Garden wants to restrict use to a named passholder -- similar to a season ski pass, where the company wants to avoid a group of people buying one pass and then sharing it. But since this is just a publicity stunt (and seems to be effective in generating publicity -- albeit not much good publicity that I've seen) they should probably just allow people do whatever they want.

Sep 09, 2014
drongo in Chains