LorenM's Profile

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Help: making a roux

As far as cheese sauces go, I find that using some cheese like cheddar notoriously don't melt smoothly, can separate and get lumpy, This is the one place where I will use 50/50 Velveeta and cheddar to get the right consistency and some cheddar flavor. Some other cheese sauces like a Mornay sauce which has copious amounts of Parmesan are best used right away and seem to break down the longer you keep it warm on the stove waiting for everything else to cook.

Feb 29, 2012
LorenM in Home Cooking

"Expired" V-8 juice?

I have had "old" V-8 juice before and while I believe it is safe because the salt and acid content, a lot of settling occurs. It definitely requires a good shaking to get the tomato sludge and spices mixed in. I would use it for bloody marys personally.

Feb 27, 2012
LorenM in General Topics

Does learning how to cook something "ruin" you for ordering it in a restaurant?

Things like crab legs, steamed lobster, etc. I will not order in a restaurant because, really, how hard is it to do yourself at home and at 1/3 (or less) the cost?

Nov 02, 2011
LorenM in General Topics

Rookie Mistake

I do the same dumbass thing every time I make lasagna. I put too much ricotta on the bottom layer and then run out or have to spread it way thin for the rest of it. I hate when I do that which, did I mention, is every stinking time!

Sep 30, 2011
LorenM in General Topics

Stroganoff - What's in a name?

It's like "goulash". In "American" it is named by the maker and resembles almost nothing to the originators of the dish, "spaghetti" (the dish- not the pasta itself) and 'gravy" (meat gravy, bechamel, tomato sauce). There is no right answer and it depends on what you always called it, or grew up calling it. It is only inciting an argument in the US if you claim Stroganoff is a specific dish. For the record, for me growing up, it was Kluski noodles, stew beef, sour cream, beef broth, mushrooms, onions, wine optional and thickened with roux or corn starch and seasoned. I am sure that is wrong as with just about every other recipe commonly used. It's not something I would order in a restaurant so, who cares. If I am cooking at home it may be this recipe or a million variations thereof. I will call it whatever I want.

Sep 29, 2011
LorenM in General Topics

Cooking For Our Four Legged Friends...

To answer the first question in your post, why yes it probably was from ingesting too much human food. A bad diet for human is probably a bad diet for dogs as well. Funny how defensive people become. Guilt, maybe? I don't care but again, I will not feed me dogs human food if I get one.

Sep 29, 2011
LorenM in Not About Food

Tacos de guisado (moved from Mexico board)

I grew up eating my Mom's guisado and I think your friend has a point when he said, "They are what your mother would make". It's stew- slowly simmered, inexpensive cuts of beef, green chiles (we eat New Mexico chiles fresh or frozen ourselves, never, ever canned), potatoes, onions, tomatoes in a beef stock and the rest is up to you. You can use some tomatillos, cactus, carrots, throw in some hominy, season with your favorite red chile powder, garlic, oregano, cumin, and finish with some cilantro or tortilla strips. There are probably a million variations. I have never heard of a guisado taco- sounds freaking awesome, though! We eat it with tortillas on the side.

Aug 19, 2011
LorenM in General Topics

Escargot : Love it, Hate it, or Won't Even Try it?

I have had a handful of completely different versions of them and love them all- from the classic butter, garlic, wine, herbs to a delightful Spanish version of whole, in-shell snails simmered in a spicy red sauce fished out with a snail fork when I was 10. Love at first bite!
I think it is a very versatile ingredient and if I had the accessibility to inexpensive, fresh snails all the time, I would certainly eat them all the time and use them in all sorts of things.

Aug 19, 2011
LorenM in General Topics

fried eggs!

I always assumed the eggs in a steak and egg breakfast were a condiment for the steak- right on top and letting the gooey yolk run all over the meat. Sexy!

Aug 14, 2011
LorenM in General Topics

Iron chef America- what are they doing? And why?

You are right. I suppose I am just kind of tiring of ICA and imagining an entirely different show (I have entirely too active an imagination, also). I really preferred the Japanese version, with it's exotic and often totally foreign ingredients and techniques and do enjoy Chopped (making good food from crappy or incompatible ingredients). I guess ICA just feels like retreads of old episodes to me. Doesn't help that I find Alton intensely annoying as well. Morimoto is still a pleasure to watch, though.

Aug 14, 2011
LorenM in Food Media & News

Flavorless FRESH Farmer's Market Green Beans??!!!

You're right. I live in an apartment unfortunately and don't grow my own but my folks grew both kinds and I recall the pole beans as being a lot better however both were vastly improved by the addition of a couple tablespoons of bacon grease from the old coffee mug on my Mom's stove and a healthy dose of salt and pepper.

Aug 14, 2011
LorenM in General Topics

Season of Fall: Describe your Forthcoming Bounty [Moved from General Topics]

Without a doubt, Fall for me means green chile season! The smell of them roasting, then peeling them with family and freezing for use through the long winter. A cold beer, a big pot of pork green chile simmering in the kitchen, filling the house with the aroma of love and the first football games of the season in the background. That just screams Autumn to me.

Aug 14, 2011
LorenM in Home Cooking

Poll: Would you eat a dog

Yes, I would eat dog in an appropriate setting along with any other thing people regularly eat and enjoy. I don't let the "idea" of things get in the way of what might otherwise be a great food experience. I probably would have missed out on a lot of things already, if I did. I'll try anything as long as it's legal, safe, not endangered and enjoyed by people as food (but not items eaten solely on spiritual grounds or for medicinal purposes). I like dogs, too but don't anthropomorphize them. Animal protein is animal protein.

Aug 14, 2011
LorenM in General Topics

Iron chef America- what are they doing? And why?

That makes sense. However I would love, love, love to see battle liver with child judges for instance. What an honor it would be to hear "Gee, I always HATED liver, but this was really good"! That takes some rare skill! Battle foie gras to a bunch of food critics and restauranteurs? Snoozefest! Like preaching to the choir.

Aug 14, 2011
LorenM in Food Media & News

What discontinued products do you miss?

My doctor told me diet pop was just as bad as regular pop, so I just switched back to regular though I don't drink it very often.

Aug 14, 2011
LorenM in General Topics

Dealing with food snobbery?

I like "food geek/ enthusiast". There is nothing wrong with approaching food as a curious, humble student and sharing what you've learned along the way but when one starts judging others and thinks they have mastered the unmasterable (because it is subjective and relative), then they have crossed the line into snobbery.

Aug 14, 2011
LorenM in Not About Food

Iron chef America- what are they doing? And why?

I wouldn't mind seeing a 10 year old, a starving African refugee and a 500 lb compulsive over-eater as judges or 3 anorexic supermodels. Change 'em up every week. Believe me, there is nothing more challenging as a cook as cooking for the general public with all their weird food hang-ups. Can you prepare a caviar dish so it is palatable for a 10 year old?

Aug 14, 2011
LorenM in Food Media & News

Words that Annoy You in Restaurant Reviews

No, in restaurant kitchens, potatoes are referred to as the "starch" as is pasta, rice, etc. "Protein" is a generic term referring to the, well, protein part of the dish- meat, seafood, tofu, whatever. The fact you find it annoying doesn't mean it's not used in just about every commercial kitchen by chefs and cooks to generically describe that component of a plate.

Aug 14, 2011
LorenM in Food Media & News

North of Denver

I'll ignore the Broomfield snub as I am a Broomfielder. There are good Pho options like Pho Duy as previously mentioned and Pho 79, both quite good and a fun field trip to Pacific Ocean Market right there. Some of the best sandwiches I have ever had (seriously good!) are at Big Dog Deli, a funky, unpretentious sort of joint with a killer prime rib sandwich on really crusty fresh bread but don't be offended by the tattoos and various piercings of the staff. They are only open for lunch and closed on Sundays, however. Also La Casita De Durango about a block away from there puts out some great Mexican cuisine with grandmas making fresh corn tortillas in the back and good tongue, al pastor and pork stomach (buche) tacos, and ceviche tostadas on weekends. Again, not a fancy place but damn good.

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Big Dog Deli
300 Nickel St Ste 14, Broomfield, CO 80020

Aug 10, 2011
LorenM in Mountain States

Incongruently-named/Silly/Misleading Recipe Names

Wow, you would have to be pretty hard-core to make your own Grape Nuts and malt the barley in your bath tub .I am glad I didn't grow up eating "Elijah's Manna".

Jul 31, 2011
LorenM in Not About Food

Reality Food TV - Would YOU do it?

Ha! Very true. The America's Test Kitchen crew seems to get fatter every year especially. I didn't start gaining weight until after I stopped working in restaurants.

Jul 31, 2011
LorenM in Food Media & News

non Chinese pine nuts

I found some at the Albuquerque flea market earlier this summer for about $1- $2 an ounce (I got a 6 oz bag for $8). The Indians have exclusive rights to gather them from the pinon pines on the reservations. I was informed that it was a bad year for them in NM due to drought but AZ supplies were pretty good. I bought some and made some damn fine pesto. Perhaps you can find a supplier in the region who will ship them. Way cheaper than most places

Jul 31, 2011
LorenM in General Topics

Reality Food TV - Would YOU do it?

I cooked professionally for a few years and can appreciate the high and rush of pressure- even with an a-hole, ego-maniacal chef riding me the whole time That stress wouldn't bother me too much but definitely isn't for everybody. I think a reality show would be fun as long as I knew I had a regular life to return to. I wouldn't want to return to it as a career as it is a young man's game though the experience really helped to foster a love of food despite the stress.

Jul 31, 2011
LorenM in Food Media & News

Incongruently-named/Silly/Misleading Recipe Names

...or shrimp with lobster sauce...with no lobster. Hamburger contains no ham (I know- named after Hamburg, Germany). Grape Nuts- no grapes or nuts- sounds better than wheat gravel, though, I admit..

Jul 31, 2011
LorenM in Not About Food

Reality Food TV - Would YOU do it?

They had Master Chef tryouts in my city a few months ago and I was encouraged by some friends and co-workers to try out. I went to the website and it basically said I would need to take a leave of absence from my job for up to six months depending on how well I performed. I imagine I would receive some pay (or maybe not) as a contestant (the website didn't say, if I recall) but I had to ask myself, "Is it worth losing my job for that shot?". The answer for me anyway was "No, it is too big of a risk." If I was retired or independently wealthy, on welfare or had a sugar mama who supported me though- then Hell yeah, I would try! Why not?

Jul 30, 2011
LorenM in Food Media & News

Urgent help - near Denver SW Lakewood for special Aussie visitors

The one I have been to the most is just called Ethiopian Restaurant on Colfax just a few blocks east of York St. and have also been to Arada Ethiopian on Santa Fe. Both were quite good. The one on Colfax hooked us up with lots of free honey wine once- bonus. I have heard really good things about Queen of Sheba on E. Colfax in Aurora but haven't made it there yet.

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Arada Ethiopian Restaurant
750 Santa Fe Dr, Denver, CO 80204

Jul 22, 2011
LorenM in Mountain States

Verdict on the slimcado?

There was apparently a Haas shortage a number of years ago and the chef where I worked ordered Florida avocados for our guacamole because the price of Haas had gone up so much. He insisted I use them. Under protest I made the guacamole with those flavorless things, customers complained and we bit the bullet and went back to Haas. Florida avocados are good at taking on other flavors, like a vinaigrette, for example, but do not have enough of an avocado flavor to stand as the main event, in my opinion..

Jul 22, 2011
LorenM in General Topics

The best hot dog toppings -- Discuss!

That's cheating. Green chiles and guac are good on everything! I bet it would be extra delicious on a chorizo dog. I may need to make some of these.

Jul 22, 2011
LorenM in General Topics

Urgent help - near Denver SW Lakewood for special Aussie visitors

Absolutely, for a little "upscale" there is Cafe Evangeline on South Broadway which I have been to and is very good (great soft-shell crab) but honestly I like Bayou Bob's between 16th St and 17th on Glenarm right off the 16th St. Mall downtown. Good honest Cajun and cheaper (but not "cheap") than Cafe Evangeline. That would be my recommendation anyway.

Good Mexican (and Tex-Mex) is easy to find (and pretty cheap) but as not much in downtown but I have never really looked for it downtown either. I hear Rio Grande is pretty good. If you travel down Federal Blvd. from 52nd to Evans you will pass dozens and dozens of them. The 38th Ave corridor has lots of choices too, my favorite for carnitas being La Fonda. Wow.

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Bayou Bob's
1635 Glenarm Pl, Denver, CO 80202

La Fonda
5750 W 38th Ave, Wheat Ridge, CO 80212

Rio Grande Cafe
270 S Rio Grande St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

16th St Cafe
302 N 16th St Ste A, Canon City, CO 81212

Jul 21, 2011
LorenM in Mountain States

Urgent help - near Denver SW Lakewood for special Aussie visitors

That area is kind of a food chain suburban wasteland (not a bad area, just a lot of chain-type places). I would suggest perhaps driving to the light rail station in Littleton and loading everyone up on the light rail to downtown. There are a ton of choices closer to the heart of the city, everything from the Buckhorn Exchange (pricey but it is the oldest restaurant in Denver) to some great hole-in-the-wall Mexican food to some darn good Ethiopian Cuisine and even a couple of good Cajun places.

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Buckhorn Exchange
1000 Osage St, Denver, CO 80204

Jul 21, 2011
LorenM in Mountain States