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The Evolution of Pizza

Wow - that was quite a response. Very interesting.

It is surprising based on today's frame of mind and hypersensitivity to "authentic" - as seen in the hundreds of posts on CH that are "you can't call it ________ if it isn't _________" (substitute tons of things i those blanks from ingredients, to cooking methods, etc) - that the original "pizza" and todays "pizza" have the same name.

Apr 23, 2015
thimes in General Topics

Tips and tricks for new basement freezer!

well my advice is so similar to others - I do 2 things

1) I bought a roll of bright colored electrical tape at Home Depot (Lowe's - where ever) and use it to label with a sharpie everything that goes in - the reason I love the electrical tape is that it stays stuck on frozen things and it peels off really easy, I store a lot of things in those re-usable/disposable zip lock containers and hate writing on the lid if I'm going to re-use them. The electrical tape now comes in all sorts of colors.

2) I have a chest freezer and found that buying a few containers to hold food in was very helpful. That way I can either rotate the containers from top to bottom or lift one up to get what is underneath without everything sliding around and causing smaller things to get buried for years on the bottom.

Apr 22, 2015
thimes in General Topics
1

Williams Sonoma gift card - what would you do?

I'm in a similar boat when it comes to kitchen things - I'm just well stocked at this point.

So I go for ingredients.

Most WS stores have some pretty good olive oils and some vinegars. I'm not so enthralled with their "sauces" and things. They sell a nice fleur de sel and some different peppers at times.

Apr 22, 2015
thimes in General Topics

Lollypop Lamb Chops

Sorry just did a quick read before posting and was too lazy to scroll up to see who posted.

Next time I will call you out by name ;D

Apr 22, 2015
thimes in Home Cooking

Lollypop Lamb Chops

I understand. When doing a large party there are only so many things you can do the day of, so every little step you can do ahead counts!

Apr 22, 2015
thimes in Home Cooking

Cooking Lobster - and why it has to be alive?

it's been about the same amount of time for me - and I'm now worlds away from marine biology

I think there is a truth somewhere in between what you both are saying.

If I remember correctly lobsters don't really have "blood" nor do they have a real circulatory system. Their body cavity is just kind of filled with fluid with a primitive sort of heart that pumps it around the organs. So it isn't the "digestive tract" per se that is breaking down and ruining the meat but lobsters do start to decompose quickly upon being dead - I think because this "blood" isn't contained in vessels.

but it is early so I could be confusing animals - but right now I think that is right.

Apr 22, 2015
thimes in Home Cooking

Lollypop Lamb Chops

Yes you should be able to sear them the night before and then finish by bringing to temp in an oven the day of the party.

My preference is to sear and bake them whole and then slice after they have rested - as opposed to searing individual chops as another poster seemed to have suggested.

Apr 22, 2015
thimes in Home Cooking

Top Chef Season 13 Is Heading To...

Thought show biz angle too - craft services, premier, celebrity party in LA.

I'm also guessing a:
"Mexican" challenge in SD
"Chinese" challenge in SF
"beach party" (could be anywhere, I'm guessing Malibu)
"farm / wine pairing" challenge in Napa
"fishing" challenge - cook what you catch (could be anywhere)
"vegetarian" challenge - very CA

Apr 21, 2015
thimes in Food Media & News

Top Chef Season 13 Is Heading To...

What about that horrible season where - wasn't it in the finally - they had to cross country ski and then shoot their ingredients out of blocks of ice or something like that . . . that was ridiculous, so I've kind of blocked it out but the faint stink of it still lingers in there somewhere.

lasagne vs ziti

Maybe it depends on what lense you are looking through.

Through the lense of Italian baked pasta dishes these are pretty different.

Through the lense of food they are pretty similar.

So ziti and lasagna have way more in common than say if someone asked for ziti and you brought BBQ chicken.…

I'd still happily eat all three.

Apr 16, 2015
thimes in Not About Food

lasagne vs ziti

That I agree with ;)

Apr 15, 2015
thimes in Not About Food

lasagne vs ziti

Of course it does depend - but having grown up on NJ as well, I've had a million different baked ziti and lasagna.

Ziti can be just sauce, maybe dotted with ricotta and topped with another cheese ( have had this thousands of times at graduation parties, post soccer games, etc)

But also I've had ziti with meatballs, peppers, etc mixed in (mostly smaller family meals - sometimes it becomes the what do I have left over that I can mix in kitchen sink dishes).

All these from the same families in NJ (and my own mother). So unless you're asking for baked ziti and providing a recipe you could get a wide range of results.

Which is why I agree that I would ask - but they really are pretty similar dishes.

How Do I Thicken Buffalo Wing Sauce?

Somewhere I saw them called dinosaur wings - thought that was cute.

Apr 13, 2015
thimes in Home Cooking

Is riccota insalata ideal for cannolis?

I've never tried it in cannoli but for other preparations I have used ricotta with a few parts of goat cheese mixed in to give it a little more "earthiness". I find that US ricotta doesn't taste quite the same as the stuff in Italy and a chef used that trick himself, so figured good enough for an Italian in America, good enough for me.

Apr 13, 2015
thimes in Home Cooking

Throwing a party with no oven...suggestions?

some good ideas and directions posted above -

Do you have neighbors that you can ask to borrow their oven? Not so much for cooking but for re-warming and keeping warm?

If so then I second the chafing dish route - lots of recipe options from there too . . .

Apr 13, 2015
thimes in Home Cooking

Got a whole carton of double yolk eggs from Costco

It's happened to me. I know now it isn't all that abnormal … doesn't make it any less creepy when you go through a dozen eggs and they are all double yolks. I still eat the eggs and don't feel the need to conduct an exorcism but creepy.

Apr 12, 2015
thimes in General Topics

Why I love our Asian grocery stores

Yes I see. You posted that here In this thread and then linked to where you posted that on another thread.

None of those are the stores to which I was referring in my post and they aren't the ones I shop in (though we did just get a Sagara market which is a chain but has great prices at the same time). I'd link to their store sites so you can confirm they are ma and pop stores but they don't have websites.

Apr 12, 2015
thimes in General Topics

Why I love our Asian grocery stores

I"m glad you found your local Asian grocer.

Too many people just rule out the "little guy" shops and you're right, they miss out on some much better deals on some items. Not to mention, you often get better (more authentic, etc) specialty items. For example the curry pastes and coconut milk/cream I can get at my local Thai place is so much better than the mass produced brands I can get at my grocery store (and cheaper - and the coconut milk has no stabilizers - etc).

Get out and support the little guy! You'll be surprised what you can find.

Apr 12, 2015
thimes in General Topics

The Backroom (Moody's in Waltham)

I'll add - for dessert we had the creme brûlée. While passible, it comes with bacon biscotti, which were so smokey tasting they were horrible. So if you order this and don't want to feel like you licked an ashtray as you leave, skip the biscotti (Sig Other wanted me to add this)

Apr 11, 2015
thimes in Greater Boston Area

Sauteed shrimp. Oil turned orange. Is this odd or not?

I guess it depends how orange we are talking - but yes, when I cook shrimp the butter/oil takes on an orange hue - I notice it more in the cold fat when I have leftovers and chill it, but yes it happens.

Apr 10, 2015
thimes in Home Cooking

Pomelo = grapefruit?

Very interesting. I always assumed it actually reduced the effectiveness of the medication - not that it would actually cause more drug to enter the system. That is kind of a cool interaction effect from a biology perspective.

Apr 10, 2015
thimes in General Topics

How Do I Thicken Buffalo Wing Sauce?

Wing sauce is not something you would reduce.

One thing with the butter/hot sauce mixture - It will be thicker the longer you let it cool, so if you put just melted, hot butter over the wings it will run off. If you let the butter cool a little after it is melted - voila thicker sauce. That would be my first suggestion - let your butter/hot sauce cool to thicken, then toss with hot wings.

Secondly - corn starch if you still want it thicker. I'd mix it into some water and then into boiling hot sauce to thicken the hot sauce, and then add that to the melted butter. Corn starch needs to be at a boil to thicken effectively - if you don't want to boil the hot sauce there are other gelling agents you could use but they aren't as straight forward as corn starch.

Apr 10, 2015
thimes in Home Cooking

The Backroom (Moody's in Waltham)

We went last night (night 2). We didn't order too much food, but we both like what we had.

Chorizo and Shrimp Flatbread - very tasty
Meatballs - very good (I love mine better of course LOL but great flavor and good texture)

They were both "starters" from the menu but it was enough for us that night.

We didn't sample enough wine to speak to that but the pricing of some of the bottles was pretty high.

We will definitely be back. The place was slammed, loved our server and the room (though they keep it VERY cold so at times it feels like you're eating in a walk-in, so if you get cold easily bring something to wear).

All in all - for a second day I was impressed.

Apr 10, 2015
thimes in Greater Boston Area

Madrid Locals Tips

San Miguel is very touristy and I think it isn't fair to call it a "market" or consider it in the same vein as the other more true markets.

It is a food hall. And worth going to as a tourist. If I lived there I don't think I'd go but I would take visitors. Locals and visitors have very different needs and expectations from some things.

Apr 09, 2015
thimes in Spain/Portugal
1

Madrid Locals Tips

Well there you go.

Apr 09, 2015
thimes in Spain/Portugal

Madrid Locals Tips

I never went but someone at some point had recommended el Pabellon del Espejo. Anyone ever been? I think it is right by the hotel too.

Apr 07, 2015
thimes in Spain/Portugal

Madrid Locals Tips

Hopefully on of the locals can help you out.

From my brief experience in Madrid - the hardest part may be finding what we "westerners" (assuming you are I guess) would call a dinner place at 4-6pm. People in Madrid just would never eat "dinner" at that time.

there was one place I was going to recommend that isn't too far, easy walk, but they aren't open at that time (I think we went at 8pm and they were just filling up).

Apr 07, 2015
thimes in Spain/Portugal

Ceviche help! Please!

I may be too late as well but I've responded to 6 year old threads too, so not letting that stop me . . .

1) When not using fresh fish, I learned a trick that works well for me - a quick 45 second poach in boiling water. I do this for frozen shrimp as well. A quick poach and right into ice water, then pat dry and continue as if it was raw. It won't cook it all the way through, so you don't get any real texture difference.

2) I would marinate the fish for no less than 15 minutes but it will "hold" for about 3 hours until you start getting textural issues. I think that window is what causes recipe confusion.

3) Keep any lime juice? How does your recipe go? The question makes me think that your recipe has you marinate in lime juice and then drain the fish and add to other ingredients (thus your desire to save some juice for the final mixture). That isn't how I put together my ceviche. I may marinate in the acid for a while and then add other ingredients later (though not always) but I don't typically drain that acidic marinade. If yours does call for that - I would save some to add because you may find your final ceviche doesn't have that nice acid taste.

4) Yes chop everything before hand if doing this for a party. And then combine later - it is the sitting in the acid that will start turning some of those ingredients too.

5) No parsley. But I do sometimes add ginger to my ceviche. It isn't super obvious but gives that same sort of brightness that lime does.

How did it go?

Apr 06, 2015
thimes in Home Cooking

pizza problem

250 should be hot enough to bake a pizza.

The dough recipe I use is posted above. Do you have a link to the recipe you use?

What type of crust do you want? Some people like thin crust that is crispy, others like thicker and more bread like.

Apr 04, 2015
thimes in Home Cooking

Madrid Locals Tips

That's interesting. I didn't know it was so traditional and regional. It isn't one of those things that you hear about as far as "oh try this when you go, it is traditional and every town has their own version" - like other things in say Italy, France, or Germany. Cool, glad I tried it a few times ( though I did pass on trying a spoonful of the blood being offered by one tent at a food market - regret it a little but couldn't get my head around it that day ).

It certainly was everywhere - and often quite good (sometimes blood sausages are too much for me). I'd recommend people try it a few times - even as an ingredient in something if eating it by itself gives you pause.

Apr 03, 2015
thimes in Spain/Portugal