chipoltay's Profile

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What are your easy no fail Asian recipes?

I agree with your mom, but think you just need more practice and trial and error. And I don't know, are you wanting to make tasty food for every day sustenance, or to serve at dinner parties and impress people?

I'm not Asian, but most of my friends growing up were. My first cooking lesson was from a Chinese neighbor when I was 4, and I still remember her for it. But I grew up eating mostly Japanese and Korean foods, so my cooking today blends a lot from both. I picked up much of it from friend's moms, watching and eating. Sometimes I think it's more about being familiar with hands on cooking, not a list of ingredients; I was around a Japanese lady a few years ago who could shop at Safeway and make the most unusual little tea sandwiches out of the most ordinary American ingredients and yet everything she made tasted Japanese. Wish I knew her, to this day I still crave a roast beef and avocado sandwich she made!

Rather than piles of cookbooks, my suggestion is to start with a couple of very simple recipes. Then you'll have the ingredients for those flavor profiles on hand. After you're practiced making those, you'll have more of a feel of how much of sauce X to add, if it needs ginger, if a more bitter greens would be good, etc. While eating your cooking, make mental notes of why you think it doesn't taste good and adjust that the next time you cook the dish. I learned more from cooking with or watching other people cook than from books. And when people bug their eyes out and ask how much garlic you put in, then you know to use a lot less next time!

What I'm getting at is to start slow, take it easy, and build your knowledgebase through experience. Your mom wasn't born being able to cook the way she was. Shortcuts is what takeout is for.

Jan 24, 2012
chipoltay in Home Cooking

Why do my toll house cookies deflat once out of the oven?

"thick chewy chickens"? Have to ask... typo or regional/family nickname for cookies? I totally want to steal that!

Do you have an oven thermometer to check your friend's oven? Measure oven rack distance from element in both ovens? Does one oven have a hidden element? Unless you have oven ghosts smashing down those chickens, something simple and easily fixable is at play here.

Jan 23, 2012
chipoltay in Home Cooking

Bourdain vs. Deen

*insert Beavis and Butthead laugh here* -totally agree.

Not giving any disclaimer here about which one I like or hate... but PD got very fat when she got very rich and started eating fancy restaurant food (or maybe she could finally afford that giant vat of buttered butter and gobbles it up while watching AB's show). Why didn't she get that fat and ill years ago when she was poor and making and selling her own food? And why do people think recipes she sells to make money are the things she eats morning noon and night? AB, well, wtf does he care? His show is on opposite hers. Just this morning I watched his show, and he lauded and ingested food laden with pork fat and butter but it was a black owned restaurant so in his PC mind it had to be glorified because of who cooked it. And he's not the picture of health either. And if he hates her so much, shouldn't he be happy she's hurrying herself along in life?

Honestly. PD should just send him a porcelain bus carved from butter and be done with it. Or spend her entire fortune having someone create butter flavored vodka.

Ugh, did I just reply? I'm doing shots with AB out of butter shot glasses, I just couldn't help it.

Jan 19, 2012
chipoltay in Food Media & News

Name Brand Or Generic?

We buy both. Over the years we just keep trying different products regardless of brand; sometimes hit the jackpot with a very cheap alternative we end up switching to.

A few years ago there are certain products I was loyal to, but as they cheapen ingredients and slightly change recipes and package sizes I find myself straying. 6 months ago I only bought Heinz ketchup, but money was tight and Hunt's was about half the price and we were shocked to find we like Hunt's much better. Somehow I'm still afraid to try a store brand ketchup.

Difference in cost is a difficult concept. You can't compare Oreos to Target sandwich cookies to TJ's Joe Joes. All yummy, but if you're craving Oreos nothing imitates that flavor profile. Store brands aren't always a good deal, since package size is used to mislead and you may be paying more than the name brand. But where you can make an accurate cost comparison and the flavor is equal to or better, store brand is definitely worth the switch. But I do find myself more and more looking at lesser known name brands as I've had a lot of luck with those.

Jan 15, 2012
chipoltay in General Topics

Breadmakers? Which ones are the good ones?

Absolutely a better value if you use it a lot. I've had my Zo since 1990 and it's still going strong. It was packed away for a few years, but other than that it's gotten regular use. I always prefer the loaf baked in the regular oven, so I mostly use it to just mix the dough. It does bake a loaf well, just not as good. Oh and I use it for pizza dough a lot.

Jan 15, 2012
chipoltay in Cookware

Any tips to minimize stovetop mess when cooking and frying?

Switch to a pan with higher and taller sides -- bet anything you're using one with sloped sides.

Sounds like a bad stove for someone who doesn't want it to look used. But what about removing the other grates before you get to splattering?

There are also stand up splatter shields that form 3 walls around your pan, I've seen silicone ones that you can just pop into the dishwasher.

Jan 15, 2012
chipoltay in Cookware

Panko Bread Crumbs a Must?

You? No. You're not currently finding them necessary and fear them cluttering up your pantry.

They are fabulous though, and if you try them you'll probably end up wanting to have them on hand if you try any of the suggestions on this board. They come in small enough packages to give them a try without worrying about storage.

Jan 12, 2012
chipoltay in Home Cooking

How do YOU roast a chicken?

Plain chicken, patted dry, impaled on my ceramic vertical roaster pan, in a convection oven. It needs nothing and turns out the juiciest chicken I've ever had, and skin so crispy!

Jan 12, 2012
chipoltay in Home Cooking

Crazy/Most Difficult

How about a 7th way for mountain oysters? Curious to know what the 6 are you made. I have a few recipes, but don't want to duplicate.

Jan 09, 2012
chipoltay in Home Cooking

How would you clean a GLAZED pizza stone?

Make a paste with baking soda and Dawn, give it a good rub. Won't hurt it and will probably work.

Jan 04, 2012
chipoltay in Cookware

Bread Machine but no Bread Flour...

What brand of AP flour do you have on hand? If the protein content is high it will work just fine; I've used King Arthur AP from time to time and it makes a very decent loaf (I believe it's the highest). A minute on google will find the protein content of your flour.

Jan 04, 2012
chipoltay in Home Cooking

Let's talk about Liverwurst.

Try a little homemade fig jam and carmelized shallots instead.

Jan 02, 2012
chipoltay in Home Cooking

Finally Grinded My Own Meat- Still tastes like Storebought Frozen Old Hamburger Patties

Yech, sounds like fried freezer burn. Old beef doesn't = aged beef!

Plus there are a thousand other reasons for your burgers to have been untasty. Were your patties room temp, was the meat loosely packed, did you press while cooking? You just sound unfocusud, it's kind of hard to answer when your question hardly relates to your tale.

Jan 02, 2012
chipoltay in Home Cooking

I Hate Organic Natural Peanut Butter

Two things I refuse to buy salted: peanut butter, and butter. Unsalted is always the premium fresher product, it has to be without salt to distract you from any off/rancid flavors.

Runny natural PB? Oil amounts vary from jar to jar, just pour off excess before stirring to avoid runny PB. Skippy Natural is pretty good, I find it has more peanut taste, but it's definitely different from plain old Skippy. Still, it's worth a try if you're so concerned about hydrogenated oil.

I can't stand fake PB, it has the texture of paste. So you can eat that, and I'll eat the runny gloppy gloop. I just don't get why you made a post, it's like you feel bad or wrong for liking Skippy. It's still PB, it's full of natural nuts, and it could hardly be classified as junk food. Anyhow, it's not like chowhounders are above the worst of foods, just check out some of the bazillions of guilty pleasure threads... you're already in good company here.

Can nobody mention TJ's PB from now on? I've just been incredibly upset since they got rid of their valencia peanut butter and don't need to get wound up about it again. Maybe that's what the OP ate, the new TJ's PB, and I have to admit it might drive me back to Skippy.

Dec 30, 2011
chipoltay in General Topics

A Loss of Lemons

Yes, taste the bottled juice -- some of it is decent, but I've had ones that taste like furniture polish. If it's tasty, it'll turn out a nice pie. No clue what brand "the bottled stuff" is you've got there.

Dec 30, 2011
chipoltay in General Topics

Wasted Food - How to Stop This Horrible Habit

Planning and spreadsheets are too much for me. Instead I peek in my fridge when I grab a snack and do a quick survey. Has kept my fridge clean for years without much hassle. And I don't impulse buy, because that ends up in wasted food 99% of the time. If there's something exciting I want, I jot it down on the flipside of my shopping list and later make plans for it so the whole enjoyment of it comes from eating it, not the thrill of buying it.

I think very few things when I peek:

1. tomorrow is garbage day, let's chuck that thing before it molds because no matter how I kid myself I know it's not going to get eaten and when it surfaces again it will be too scary to touch
2. half a jar of pickle relish, I'm not buying hot dogs, I'll make tartar sauce and pick up some fishsticks or something
3. chop that last piece of bbq chicken and toss it in the freezer to save for a pizza
4. ugh who put the veggies there, they always freeze! I'll throw them in soup tomorrow
5. yay! enough stuff to make yummy fried rice!

The only problem is that one cannot just hope it will manage itself. You have to have a goal of managing your fridge and try things until you find what works for you. Don't wait to do it until someone tells you the perfect solution, just start doing little things and it will come together over time for you. Stop making up reasons and excuses, it does nothing but prolong the agony.

Dec 28, 2011
chipoltay in General Topics

Kitchen towels

I buy kitchen toweling off the web and sew my own (selvages already hemmed). That way I can get quality fabric. Fabricfarms.com has lovely linen/cotton blend from Ireland, it's quite nice. I try something new every time I need to freshen up my supply of towels, there are tons of places on the web to buy toweling. Have a huge stack and hamper for them, and they all go in my washer on the NSF cycle (used to bleach them occasionally which is hard on the fabric, but the NSF cycle treats them better).

Dec 27, 2011
chipoltay in Cookware

food processor vs. immersion blender

I use both and love them, but how can anyone tell you if you will? I suppose if you only want to blend things, the immersion blender would be fine to keep. But it can't slice veggies or mix pie dough. I'm not sure what pickling has to do with either, unless you're slicing veggies, in which case you've maybe answered yourself.

Have had my Cuisinart more than a couple of decades now and it's still going strong. If I had to choose I'd keep it over my stick blender, but then again you can't immerse a food processor in a pot of soup. So if you're asking for votes, I vote for you to keep both.

Dec 27, 2011
chipoltay in Cookware

SOS - how long can I keep a fresh turkey before cooking it?

I know someone who thawed their turkey for two weeks... the family all showed up again the next year so I assume they all lived. She wanted to bring me some since I was cooped up with the flu... I passed on the kind offer. AFAIK she does that every year.

Dec 26, 2011
chipoltay in Home Cooking

At What Point is a Recipe Yours? [from General Topics]

The second time I make a recipe, it's mine. The first time I follow exactly, after that my magic pantry takes over and whatever catches my whimsy goes into the pot.

Recipes are so difficult to attribute, I feel I can only say where I first saw a recipe. There just is no telling where a recipe originated from. Chefs and food companies don't create from thin air every single one of their recipes. Heck, I've had recipes that are supposed to be from such-and-such only to find a couple of them in an ancient recipe book from my grandmother.

It's just food. Unless you're writing a book and worried about lawsuits, why fret too much. Sometimes it's helpful to find the original source, as a technique or ingredient may have been lost over the years that may be essential to the yum factor.

Dec 25, 2011
chipoltay in Not About Food

When you've eaten too much...

Eat an extra helping of dessert. Weird, but it really works!

Dec 25, 2011
chipoltay in Not About Food

Kitchen New Year's Resolutions

Sounds like it's going to be a busy year!

Dec 25, 2011
chipoltay in Not About Food

Can someone recommend a 30'' gas range under $1k?

Agree, look at higher priced models. Sears often has 20% off sales, Lowes and Home Depot have good sales often also. You can wiggle a lot more features and functionality into your $1k that way.

Love Frigidaire ranges, have one myself currently.

Bare bones is sensible if money is tight, but paying for extra features that you'll get a lot of use out of is worth it.

Dec 23, 2011
chipoltay in Cookware

Is chow the only good food site?

No. Yes. No. Sort of. In a way.

I view it as a practical hub with mostly kindly people point someone in the right direction, whether it be to a blog, recipe website, specialty food website (pizza or breadmaking, etc.), scientific information, or a helpful article. You can depend on having a question answered relatively quickly, which doesn't happen on many blogs or specialty sites. The recipes and how-to videos are great, but I usually use them as a jumping off point to google more about the subject.

This thread will prove your question to be poorly phrased. Already many people have shouted out very good food sites you can visit. Where else could you go to get such speedy suggestions?

Dec 23, 2011
chipoltay in Food Media & News

Does a glass cutting board = dull knives

Glass cutting boards are not stupid, they can be purposeful and functional; decoration, trivet, party food platter, making sandwiches, and for cutting the cheese.

Oh and for people who have a couple of cheap dull knives and only once a year maximum "cook" and then go out to dinner because they burnt the chicken. I'm not naming names.

Dec 23, 2011
chipoltay in Cookware

My Aplogies, but I Need to Vent About America's Test Kitchen

You wouldn't even begin to imagine how much money is allocated for bowties and costumes... to bring down costs one or the other could be cut from the budget. But I don't think anyone needs to see Kimball in just his bowtie.

Dec 23, 2011
chipoltay in Food Media & News