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RI Swampyankee's Profile

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Is Light Roast Coffee Better Than Dark?

The bean should determine the roast. PNG and Sumatran beans can handle a full city roast, most African beans require a lighter roast. A dark roast should never taste "burnt" or "bitter" unless you're at Starbucks.

Mar 15, 2013
RI Swampyankee in Features

The Cindy Sherman Ice Cream Float

You have to muddle the Double Bubble with sugar because there's not enough sugar in the Double Bubble? Don't get me wrong--I know you've worked this out--but still the mind boggles. That said, I am so trying this recipe.

Aug 31, 2012
RI Swampyankee in Features

Mitt Romney's Grits Conversion

Here in Rhode Island, we eat jonnycakes which are essentially fried grits. No horror here for properly cooked cornmeal, southern or swampyankee style; it's all good!

Mar 12, 2012
RI Swampyankee in Features

The Unthinking Man's Case Against Backyard Slaughter

I was a college professor for 24 years. McWilliams' thesis would not have survived rough draft in my seminar.

Sep 19, 2011
RI Swampyankee in Features

Exotic Granola: Four New Versions That Don't Use Oats

When I saw Exotic Granola headline I thought, wow--gluten free?--but no, no such luck. Granola is one of those things that celiacs really miss.

Sep 19, 2011
RI Swampyankee in Features

Rules for Effective Food-Swapping

I have been the chef for a meal site for 4 years and I can tell you this. The homeless person does not want your gluten-free scones or fancy figs in a cordial. They want affordable housing. As a rule, they don't like your "yuppie food" and your cast offs are an insult: you could not/would not take the time to find out what they do like.

May 22, 2011
RI Swampyankee in Features

Behind the Scenes of a Food-Poisoning Shakedown

Ok. He got his 50 bucks. Make sure that he never makes a reservation at your restaurant again. Folks need to reserve two months in advance? This guy needs a year.

May 22, 2011
RI Swampyankee in Features

How to Make the Best Frittata

I would only suggest beating the eggs first, then adding the cheese and other ingredients. A frittata is also good with left over pasta, assuming that there is any in your house. 8-)

Feb 22, 2011
RI Swampyankee in Features

What We'll Be Drinking in 2011

Agreed. Can you imagine character in Mad Men ordering an apple-tini???? What the hell is an apple-tini? Stop. I don't want to know.

My wish and hope for the new year is this, that

1. People who don't like the taste of alcohol order ginger ale.
2. People who don't like the taste of coffee or espresso order hot chocolate or tea.

Jan 07, 2011
RI Swampyankee in Features

Keene, NH vs. Brattleboro, VT: How would food scene factor in to moving decision?

Brat. You definitely want to be in Brat. The Co-op has great food, local produce, and a killer bulk department. I always stock up on their bulk honey and maple syrup when I'm in the area.

Super Bowl Food Faux Pas

Indiana. Isn't that where they eat the deep-fried brain sandwiches?

Feb 06, 2010
RI Swampyankee in Features

Old Fashioned Cocktail

Gotta give props to the 'sconskis on this cocktail. I moved from the east coast to Wisconsin and found that this was indeed the state drink. I was taught to muddle superfine sugar, bitters, and orange rind with a very small splash of water. Brandy (always brandy) ice and 7-Up garnished with orange and a cherry finished the drink. Way too sweet for my taste but gawd they love 'em in the frozen tundra.

Jan 22, 2010
RI Swampyankee in Recipes

Seafood in RI

You didn't mention if you're East Bay or West Bay. If you're West Bay, contact Smiling Sole in Coventry. They know what you need and with a phone call they'll be sure to put aside an order.

Foodie Family Moving to New England

Providence (natch) is where you want to be. It's a perfect city for a chef. As for the outdoorsy, how about surfing, sailing, ocean and fresh water kayaking.

Beer-Braised Bratwursts with Onion

Peachysis, cooking with beer isn't always like cooking with wine: you know the adage never cook with a wine you wouldn't drink. When it comes to braising brats cheaper is better. Old Milwaukee, Old Brownpants, whatever's on sale is what you want for brats. Save the good stuff for you.

Oct 23, 2009
RI Swampyankee in Recipes

Your Order Is Politically Incorrect

Howza 'bout choosing a restaurant with the diners in mind? If I'm going out to eat with my vegetarian friends, we go to an Indian or veg restaurant. If I'm going out to eat with my friends who have celiac disease we're sure as hell not going to an Italian restaurant. The act of eating together is about connection and commonality, not pedagogy. If shark's fin soup offends thee (and it should) choose a different restaurant with a different cuisine.

Sep 12, 2009
RI Swampyankee in Features

Fried Calamari in R.I.

Calamari is what I consider to be a "barometer" dish. If the kitchen can do right by the calamari, the rest of the meal should be good. If a plate full of deep fried O-rings come out, then I know to order a burger cooked somewhere between medium well and hockey puck.

Are jonny cakes only legend?

Over the years two varieties of jonnycakes have evolved. East bay is more like a pancake often served at breakfast. West bay is more like a fritter and more likely to be served with baked beans at dinner. There is no stigma attached to putting maple syrup on an east bay jonnycake but a west bay purist would never put maple syrup on theirs.

I'm a 13th generation Rhode Islander with ties to both sides of the bay so I love them both. Jiggers for west bay and Commons Lunch in Little Compton for east bay and Kenyons cornmeal when I make 'em at home.

Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus (or just allergy friendly)

Hungry Mother in Cambridge gets my vote. It's a soul food/classic french restaurant which doesn't sound GF friendly, but it is. EVERYTHING is made in-house all orders are made ala minute which means a lot of things can be made without the wheat. The staff are helpful and knowledgable. They serve New Grist GF beer. The prices are more than reasonable for the quality you get.

United BBQ in R.I.

Is there a commercial smoker that won't dry out the meat?

What do you listen to while cooking?

Some great sounding CH kitchens out there!

Aug 01, 2009
RI Swampyankee in Not About Food

Bison Bacon Cheeseburger

Oh yes I do. Pork fat.

Jun 07, 2009
RI Swampyankee in Recipes

New Finds: Explosive Dishtowels

Sweet. Now if only Banksy would put out a line of kitchen towels...

May 27, 2009
RI Swampyankee in Features

Favorite restaurants in South County, RI?

Let's not forget Iggy's for chowder and clamcakes. There's also Carpenter's farm stand when the RI sweet corn comes in and Schartner's for berry picking.

Pasta with Caramelized Tomatoes and Sausage

Fully cooked sausage deprives you of all that great fond. I like to de-glaze my pan with a nice rustic red and finish the sauce with pasta water. Be careful because if you have adequately salted your pasta water you won't want to add any more salt to the sauce. Also, I'm with whack, fresh basil is a must.

Apr 02, 2009
RI Swampyankee in Recipes

A Rhode Island Moment

I'm with you LTD. Having spent waayy to many years in Milwaukee, may I add an amen to your post. After a month in Thailand, the smell of DD was incredibly powerful. My SO didn't get it, but I did.

I love good coffee and I start every morning with a nice shade-grown-organic Sumatran. When that caffo-buzz wears off I make a bee line, crossing three lanes of traffic, for my DD in Apponaug. It is possible to like both.

Feb 20, 2009
RI Swampyankee in Chains

Fried Calamari: Rhode Island's Official Appetizer

Calamari is one of those dishes that I call "indicator dishes". If the restaurant does a good job with the squid, the rest of the seafood should be good. If you order calamari and you get a plate of greasy O-rings then ask them to slap a frozen burger on the grill.

I'm kinda partial to the cornmeal dredged calamari at Legal Seafood. Too much batter takes away from the delicate flavor of the squid.

A Rhode Island Moment

Not only Bankok but Phuket has a DD in the lobby--and it DID smell the same. Maybe it's because I've been drinking the stuff since I was 12, but I don't mind the flavor profile. I do mind the weakness.
On second thought, given how much DD cawfee Vo Dilunduhs drink, maybe it's all for the good that it's not stronger.

Feb 19, 2009
RI Swampyankee in Chains

The Extortionate Glass of Wine

I'm a bit surprised that such a forward looking state does not have a "merlot-to-go" law.

Feb 19, 2009
RI Swampyankee in Features

Single White Vegan Seeks Same

What's shallow is breaking up with someone because of celiac disease. Cripes, who would choose that?

Feb 15, 2009
RI Swampyankee in Features