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How many different types of fish have you tried?

Really no clue. I've eaten quite a bit that others have already mentioned, but I've eaten some fish from various trips that I haven't really seen a lot of on menus here, carp (Germany), barramundi (Oz), garupa, abalone and another fish (Hong Kong), basa fish (Vietnam) dolphin (wahoo in both Hawaii and Caribbean), drum (New Orleans), John Dory, Dover Sole, rockfish, monkfish.....

When I was really young my parents took us on a family trip to Wyoming, we went on a fishing trip and ate everything we caught. I remember when the tour guide cleaned the fish, the worms (night crawlers) were in the fish still undigested and the guide insisted I see the worms up close and personal and it just about ruined me. I thought he was the devil.

Citarella in Greenwich!

It's all the way down West Putnam Avenue and is very large, maybe twice the size of Whole Foods? Still under construction.

How long have you been a vegetarian ? And why did you become one ?

I'm not vegetarian but for me it's easier to eat vegetarian because I can have an entire meal and not have to cook anything, so it's nothing political. I wind up eating a lot of vegan meals because of this. I don't avoid cheese, I love it, but I don't buy it often because I will eat all of it in one sitting, and I really do love eating fruit, legumes, vegetables, etc.

I don't see it as eating vegetarian or vegan but eating natural, whole unprocessed foods, and oddly vegan products can be highly ridiculously processed, but I don't even bother with that anyway.

I find, esp. recently, that I crave meat less and less, including egg whites which used to be a routine staple of my diet for lack of fat and solid protein. Mentally I feel better because of the idea that I'm eating more healthfully, but whether it's true or not, I have no idea. I could be ingesting more pesticides than ever at this point for all I know. :)

I find myself being more inventive at home as well and having a renewed outlook on the simplicity of foods for what they are and how they should really taste, like knowing how to ripen fruits and vegetables and eating them at their best. Makes me happy.

Barcelona

Do you know if the restaurants operate independently? I really like the a Stamford one but it does seem that if I order the same dishes from my past visits, there is always something slightly different.

Barcelona

I didn't know that about The Spread. I like that place, will have to make a return visit. I know the location of the Fairfield one, in that weird motel? but haven't been!

Craft, Telepan, or The Modern Bar Room?

About The Modern Bar Room, I can only imagine it might be less noisy on a Sunday night but I went once on a Tuesday night around 6:00 before a work event and I'd never heard anything like it. What everyone else said is basically a massive understatement. From the outside you walk down that hallway and then it just hits you in the face, and the actual bar is like five deep and all your doing is waiting for someone to leach a silent deadly fart in your face. I swear..... It's either the noise or the farts, choose your weapon. Sunday night may be a different story though.

Jan 11, 2015
mushroomaffairs in Manhattan

Would you ever recommend a place you haven't been?

In person I've said things like " I heard it was really good, you should go". And if they went I'll ask if they liked it. On this site, only places I've actually been I can talk about.

Looking for great wine shop in Fairfield County, CT [Moved from Wine board]

Even though I don't drink I have gone to BevMax and once bought an entire case of wines for a party and the owner's son? hand-picked all 12 bottles for me based on what I was serving. He really spent time explaining everything including prices which varied from $12 to $40 and he separated them for me by course. It was awesome, he also said they are family owned and operated for the same length of time if not more. Best thing was I got to take home a nice wooden wine box!

I went to a Fairway once for a gift, most useless rudest people from the salesperson to the cashier. I love the market but will never ever go back to the useless wine shop! Ever!

Barcelona

Is one restaurant better than the other? I only go to the one in Stamford and just wondering what the differences are, if any, from Greenwich and Norwalk, including the crowd/scene. It's my favorite place and I've eaten the entire menu, paper and all, haha. Is the Norwalk one similar to Stamford's? I read the Greenwich one is all old man sugar daddy and old lady cougars, if so, no thanks, bai.

Mandatory municipal composting: how do you handle your food scraps?

You can go to the pet store and get a small bin that has a lock that stores pet food. As long as the cover is sealed it should contain the smell until you open it again. You can always layer some newspaper between each time you add food scraps to the compost pile and that really helps with the funk.

City composting allows all types of food scraps from what I understand, including meat, bones, citrus peels, egg shells and anything else that you're not traditionally supposed to put into a scrap pile ( as a home composter as I am) because their composting involves really heating the material to kill off everything that is meant to be killed off. The benefit is really rich soil (humus).

What your city uses the organic matter for I wouldn't know, but I envy your city for adopting the program because I started composting about a year ago and I love it. It produces the most beautiful soil for flower and vegetable gardens.

Accused of shoplifting!

I did not put the food in my bags. I put the food in the cart. I put my empty bags in the cart. I did not put the food in my bags in my cart so therefore there was nothing to hide.

Clams that have wide open shells that don't shut?

I did throw them out. They were very strange looking with the shells wide open, sort of frozen in time.

Sunshine, lol, I know but I still have to work tomorrow before I go to see the family.

Clams that have wide open shells that don't shut?

Making stuffed clams for Christmas Eve. I bought large clams, all are very much alive except two have shells that are wide open and stay open (uncooked, pre-steam). They don't move or close shut? They look really nice on the inside but they're dead??

Why are they wide open before cooking as opposed to not opening after cooking?

Accused of shoplifting!

I started to bring my own bags a few of years ago and a few times I felt like I was being followed or check on by store security. I remember one instance where the same woman kept following me from produce to aisle to aisle and I kept seeing her glance into my cart. I actually thought she was some weirdo trying to steal from MY cart, and the weirdest thing was she only had the same two items in her basket before I saw her whisper to some guy and then just disappear. All I could think was "nosy bitch" before my friend who was a criminal justice major said it may have been store security which makes no sense to assume a person is trying to steal by bringing their own shopping bags when the stores are the ones encouraging reusable bags so they can save money on paying for disposable ones (there's no bag ban where I live ).

Another time I bought five bottles of water, did the self-checkout and did not bag any of them. As I walked out of the store pretty much every single cashier loudly asked if
I had paid for the water or if I was stealing the water. Um, if you think I'm blatantly stealing, fucking confront me dumbasses. I just walked out and was hoping someone would confront me so I could tear them a new one.

Why I hate Christmas

What would Jesus do

PLEASE help me make this chocolate chip cookie

Your description of your grandmother's cookies sounds identical to how I make mine come out. I use a basic chocolate chip cookie dough, the biggest difference is that I add extra flour, maybe 3/4 cup? More?

With the extra flour, they pretty much don't spread or flatten and develop into a large puck shape mound. They are also not puffy in the airy sense of the word and develop kind of a dry, slightly sandy on the brink of crumbly texture. They don't fall apart but you can easily break off chunks of the cookie due to the dry texture.

I wouldn't use Crisco or melted butter, just follow the basic recipe and add extra flour. The only difference from what I probably do than from what your granny did was I use a lot of vanilla extract, double the standard recipe.

The cookies in your photo look kind of airy like it has a thin crackly crust, almost like chicken skin that you can peel off with an air pocket underneath. :)

Dec 18, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Home Cooking

Favorite Christmas Food Traditions

Since forever my parents have done the same giant crown or standing roast, popovers, some sort of whipped potatoes and some sort of fish/seafood dish. For some reason chives are the herb of choice also. I can't think of the sides right now. But the whole day is apeshit.

Pre-dinner is total noshes, primarily hot and cold hors d'oeuvres. The giant frozen box of puff pastries, like pigs-in-blanket, potato, sausage puffs are a must, hehe....,, crudités with onion dip a must, stuffed clams, shrimp cocktail, salmon dip, cheese board, fruit platter and a pineapple always makes an appearance, stuffed shrooms, Swedish meatballs, spanikopita, We also do hot chocolate with marshmallows and candy cane thing, mulled cider, sparkling punch, very old school but total tradition.

The oddest tradition is popcorn. My dad always made it for me and my bros as kids. I man the popcorn station now and everyone eats it. Very Charlie Brown.

For desserts, the one real mainstay is the cookie platter. Every so often someone in the family brings over a cheesecake but not every year. I want cheesecake on the dessert menu every year!

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition, part two! [Old]

I'm glad I saw this thread because, coincidentally, I left an entire carton of butter on the counter for almost a week and a half. I was supposed to make cookies but due to a new position at work, I no longer have time to do much of anything, and finally made a million pounds of dough tonight. I hope I don't kill anybody!

So I made a base dough with butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and salt and divided it into 3rds.

One third I added vanilla extract and ground almonds. Shaped it into a disc and put it in the fridge. No clue what to do with it yet. Was thinking of shaping them into little balls, bake them and roll them in something after.

2nd third I added added almond extract. Shaped that into a disc and into the fridge. No clue what to do with that one either.

3rd batch I added vanilla and chocolate chips, essentially making choc. chip cookie dough. But I want to add something else, I still have no clue so that also is in the fridge, but I shaped that one into a log. It's not Christmassy as chocolate chip cookie dough.

What to do with mixed shellfish/arthropod medley?

I buy something similar at trader joes, but it's a frozen bag of mixed seafood. I make kind of what I call a lazy girl's seafood cioppino. Start of with butter and lots of minced garlic, thyme, oregano and lots of dill and parsley, red pepper flakes, then add a lot of chopped tomato. Once the tomatoes are cooked through, 5-10 minutes, I taste and adjust seasoning, salt pepper, possible a pinch of sugar, then I just dump the entire bag of seafood in. Bring it up to the boil and then turn off the heat and let it sit. I like to eat it with toasted bread but you can serve it with whatever.

Sometimes I add cheese tortellini but that's just me but it is pretty awesome. When I started making this and serving it to people, it's like they'd never tasted anything like it. It's the butter, garlic, dill and tomatoes, because most people don't mix butter and tomatoes together. If you've never had it, it's unlike anything you've ever tasted as simple as those two ingredients are. It's just this really weird but awesome aroma and the taste is even better.

Dec 10, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Home Cooking

Graham flour in CT New Haven/Fairfield counties

I bought Bob's Red Mill graham flour at Fairway Market in Stamford earlier this year. I think Fairway has one of the bigger selections of Bob's Red Mill products that I've seen. It was a small bag less than $3. I bought it to try and one day make graham crackers but that day hasn't come yet. :)

Can you please identify this?

You couldn't just stick your finger in it and give it a taste?

Gio said this was a food forum.

Nov 22, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Gardening

What to do with lots of raw tuna other than sushi.

How about a Spanish or Italian carpaccio or ceviche? One dish I had in a restaurant drizzled tuna w/ extra virgin olive oil, some sort of very slightly sweet citrus or vinegar w/ sunchoke and arugula and another did a ceviche with tiny diced onion, watermelon, cukes, tomato and other stuff I can't remember. It was also lightly dressed w/ a slightly sweet sauce and olive oil and served with cracker-like toast. Another carpaccio app dish I had used radishes, but unfortunately I don't remember what else but they were all really refreshing.

Nov 10, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Home Cooking

Fish & Chips - What kind of fish do you like?

Where I live in CT I've only seen cod, haddock and halibut but to be honest, I never really paid attention and I've always ordered cod because it's what I'm familiar with. I like salmon but sounds like a turnoff if fried.

I bought pollock from the grocery store a year or so ago because the store had a big sale, there was a huge line, I didn't know what it was so I just asked a group of little old ladies and stood in line with them. The fish guy said it was a type of codfish with a very mild taste and more firm flesh. He said I would *really* like it so I bought five pounds not knowing how much five pounds of fish was, it was really inexpensive, and really thick cuts.

I baked one, ate it and have never looked back. It's just very mild, meaty and flakes off in these big solid pieces with zero off flavors. If I see pollock I would 100% choose that.

Have you ever made and/or cooked w seitan?

I also bought a blob of seitan. I cut it into little cubes and cooked it with vegetables. It still tasted like dough/flour to me and felt like I was eating little dough pieces.

What bygone food fad do you still enjoy? [NYC]

I didn't say it was gone but not at prevalent as it once was. People who don't live near the EV or in my case no where near EV, I'm not going to trek there just for a drink much as I loved the stuff.

There is a $1 pizza shop on the corner of a Broadway and Franklin that sells bubble tea but every so often when I'm down in the area I can't bring myself to try it.

Nov 02, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Manhattan

What bygone food fad do you still enjoy? [NYC]

I also still love Artichoke but it's not the same as it used to be. The slices used to be thicker and sloppier.

A really old skool dish that I haven't seen is escargot. My parents loved French and a portion of my childhood was staring at my family eating snails en croute. I think the last time I ate escargot was in the late 90s, I can't remember which restaurant but it was served with blue cheese. It would be nice if this dish made a comeback.

I never hit the hot dog craze but before Crif there was another popular hot dog place. I can't remember the name, F something or other.

My god I think about bubble tea. The bubble tea craze was the best thing on the planet. If there was a place in CT that served bubble tea I would glue my entire body to the front door and never leave. This stuff doesn't exist here, but then it barely exists in Manhattan now either. Bring that tea and all those bubbles back!

Nov 02, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Manhattan

A really really difficult vegan thanksgiving challenge

If it's just for your neice, you could bake a smallish sugar pumpkin as a serving vessel (like a bread bowl), fill it with a vegetable chili and cover it with mashed potato mixed w/ sauteeed caramelized onions. Maybe a slice of herbed garlic bread using olive oil instead of butter.

No nuts, beans, cheese, eggs, meat etc.

For the chili use carrots, onion, bell peppers, corn, peas, parsnips, tomatoes, parsnips, radishes, etc. pretty much anything can go in since it's all being cooked down into a chili flavor stew. Adjust for seasoning and use some herbs.

Otherwise, do a huge batch and use small pumpkins for everyone and a larger one for your neice. I think it would make a cute presentation and make her feel really special.

You can do an eggplant/rice cake (like a vegetable burger but without beans) and top it with a vegetable slaw. Nestle it on some corn (if not fresh make sure it's not processed in a facility that processes nuts) sauteed with onion. Caramelized onion is insane and can really shine when you can't use butter or cheese.

Use lots of pepper!

Balducci's new york

$2.85 for a slice of cheesecake and the olive bar. I hated olives as a kid and still hate them as an adult.

Oct 21, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Manhattan

Relatively new baker - looking for some inspiration

I started a few years ago by making everything "healthy" by substituting yogurt for eggs and butter or oil, esp. for cookies. They always came out flat and rubbery. And in place of flour I started to blend oatmeal and nuts for oatmeal and nut flour, not bad but crumbly.

For pizza and bread, I watch Julia Child's Baking With Julia online. It's the full series and it's great.

Sep 23, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Home Cooking

Embarrassing question

Lol, I was born/raised in Manhattan and I always forget. As a kid I always thought of LI as a borough because of Queens.

Sep 23, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Site Talk