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Dim sum for Chinese New Years

no, not any dish particularly associated with it, though I'm sure they'll serve those (like mooncakes), I meant that they make a point of doing the FULL repertoire of dim sum dishes on that day, and some of the stuff they do more rarely. Siu mai dumplings and the transluscent skin vegetable shrimp one and beef wrapped in rice noodle are all very well and good, but I have those more frequently. I want the weird stuff. I;ve been to Jing Fong and on some days they had tripe and sea snails. Other days they just had the normals. I want day with full variety

Jan 27, 2014
peanuttree in Manhattan

Learning to cook - techniques rule!

agreed. Alton Brown managed to compartmentalize and formalize cooking by cooking technique and baked goods type

Jan 27, 2014
peanuttree in Home Cooking

Dim sum for Chinese New Years

NO! That is NOT traditional chinese dim sum! That place is TRENDY! Chinese people are not trendy!

I want the real deal; nobody working there should speak English well, it shoul be loud and busy, and the carts are passing by all the time. If it isn't like that, it isn't dim sum.

Seriously though I'm looking for the traditional style with the carts, with no reservation needed.

Jan 27, 2014
peanuttree in Manhattan

Dim sum for Chinese New Years

Oh hey, man, yeah, blah blah blah's chinese palace on whateverdy-first street has an awesoe extended menu for chinese new years...

COME ON GUYS! SOMEBODY HELP ME OUT HERE!

Jan 27, 2014
peanuttree in Manhattan

Dim sum for Chinese New Years

That's pretty much it. Which places are having a special day for it? Will they still have extra variety and servings on Sunday, even if that's the 2nd and not the proper new year day?
I've only been to Jing Fong restaurant and would prefer to go there, so if they have more on Sunday in celebration I'd love to know that

Jan 26, 2014
peanuttree in Manhattan

Babur Garden ~ Afghan in Ocean Twp.

I'm looking at the menu and this is just Persian food, basically

Jan 24, 2014
peanuttree in New Jersey

Kinchley's pizza is bad - what's all the obsession?

there's kind of a lot of "to each his own, I agree with you, but that doesn't make them WRONG" and such nail biting. yes , thank you, different people have different opinions. A real discussion goes beyond that.

also, as food critics/foodies, are we not supposed to NOT subscribe to that? That there often is a right and a wrong? That's why I like Jeffrey Steingarten - "No, it's OBJECTIVELY took salty" (said on Iron Chef when another judge said "it's too salty to my taste")

Not saying that kinchley's is objectively bad, you can't really argue with their kind of success, just making a general point. And maybe pointing to their crust, I could swear I remember it was actually flaky like pie crust, and had that shortening taste . Like I said, can't argue with success, but isn't that an odd thing to do with pizza?

Jan 24, 2014
peanuttree in New Jersey

Kinchley's pizza is bad - what's all the obsession?

well that's what I'm asking; what is the appeal?

Am I not right that the crust has shortening in it? and isn't that weird?

anybody ever work there and can back up my suspicion?

Jan 24, 2014
peanuttree in New Jersey

Kinchley's pizza is bad - what's all the obsession?

I don't get why people love Kinchley's pizza. It's weird and bad. The crust is like pie dough or something, it clearly has shortening in it and was even flaky (NOT normal or good for pizza), the sauce was overly sweet, and the whole thing was just bad.

Why do people love it so much?
You people are just wrong

Jan 24, 2014
peanuttree in New Jersey
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Preserved, no-peel hard-boiled eggs

Yeah, just eating them out of the jar. Between classes, and work, for a lot of people, even peeling an egg is too time consuming, and it's ungodly annoying. Little things like that in life are the worst - after a few days the shell refuses to come off and then takes all the white with it and then you've got a messed-up, pock-marked egg with half the white gone.

Its easier to just do this like once a month, and have the eggs which last a long time.

Jun 07, 2013
peanuttree in Special Diets

Preserved, no-peel hard-boiled eggs

You a work-out buff, low carb, high protein? If you're like me, you like to get protein from eggs one meal a day. Hard boiled eggs are the best, of course, because no added fat.

But here's the problem I have always had, it's too time consuming. Either you store them unpeeled, and then peel them every time you eat, which is annoying, and by then the separate membrane that would allow the shell to come of easily is stuck to the egg meat.
Or you boil them and peel them same day, but then they go all bad and weird-smelling in the fridge in just a few days

So here's what I tried, and it worked. You can sort of "can" hard-boiled eggs in mason jars. I did it like 3 weeks ago and tried it today, and it tasted fine.

get your mason jars, spray pam on the insides so the eggs don't stick. Crack eggs into the jars. I use these little jars and do 3 eggs - in general, eggs don't take a lot of volume so you shouldn't need big jars. Salt the eggs for seasoning/preservatrive - I salted and stirred gently with my finger (to not break yolk). Close the jars, completely submerge them in water, and thn set to boil. Boil for a while. Bubbles should be coming out from the insides of the jars. Anybody who's made preserves or pickles is used to this.

How long to boil? I dunno, on the one hand the more you boil, the more sure you can be you got to bug-killing temps, but on the other hand, you can get the eggs kinda hard, and the vacuum-seal can get really firm and make it annoying to open back up

Like I said, I tried it today after like 3-4 weeks and it tasted fine. I figured this would work both because if the hard boiled eggs going bad quick is from bacteruia, it would kill the bacteria, as preservation like this does, and also, maybe hard boiled eggs going bad is caused by oxidation, and in this process you drive out a lot of air, so it would stop oxidation too.

Either way it worked. Long-preserved, no peel, hard boiled eggs. Perfect for busy people.

Jun 06, 2013
peanuttree in Special Diets

Is there a place in Chinatown to get turtle soup (or any style)?

That's it. Looking where in Chinatown, in any of the boroughs, where at a restaurant I can get turtle soup. Any kind of turtle. Also, doesn't have to be soup, could be whatever kind of preparation, but my understanding is soup is the most popular.

May 25, 2013
peanuttree in Manhattan

What is it with Americans and speculoos?

it started with Nutella becoming popular, which was in turn started by some TV ads they put up in America. Americans like peanut butter, so it was a natural attraction.

This opened the door to other foreign oil-based, sweet spreads. Hence, speculoos.

Certain people's taste (mine included) respond strongly to flavors in liquid oils in particular. I don't get what the obsession with cake by itself is - for me it may as well be bread, but apparently some people love it. But the frosting/whipped cream, that's a whole nother story, or also I LOVE MELTED chocolate, and any sweetened nut butter.
So that part of the population loves stuff like nutella, biscoff, etc.
There'll be another explosion once some smart food corp starts treating hazelnut and almond and macadamia nut butter like peanut butter and replaces some of the oil with shortening (for stability) and sweetens it. Actually, that's kind of already happened with various nut companies, like Justin's nut butters

May 16, 2013
peanuttree in General Topics

things "kids today" are clueless about??

I'm growing it this season. It's called celtuce Where did yoiu see it in a store? I've never seen it in a store

May 16, 2013
peanuttree in Not About Food

things "kids today" are clueless about??

FWIW, I just did this run thingy with a young professionals group, and I mentioned how Whole Foods uses real wasabi in their wasabi at the sushi bar (we were eat ing at whole foods after the run), and to explain, I had to mention it's more expensive because it grows in water, and one girl said
"oh, it grows?"

That sank in for a second, then I had to be all like "Yes, of COURSE it grows. When was the last time you ever ate anything that didn't grow? Literally everything you eat is a plant or animal, which means it grows" Didn't say it quite so thoroughly as we all were talking but you get the idea

May 15, 2013
peanuttree in Not About Food

Long cooking shellfish - doesn't make them softer?

OK people, so this is getting interesting.
It is starting to seem, with further comments and subsequent research, that long-cooking shellfish CAN make it softer. Certainly at least abalone. And according to poster K K, sea snails too.

This is inetersting from a sicentific standpoint. Why is this so, if there is no collagen-gelatin conversion to occur?

Anyway, I guess the only way for me to know for sure is to try myself. I'll start with a pressure cooker, if that doesn't work, one day when I have time I'll try old-fashioned braising

May 13, 2013
peanuttree in General Topics

Long cooking shellfish - doesn't make them softer?

So they do cook whelks for a long time and it softens them?

May 13, 2013
peanuttree in General Topics

Long cooking shellfish - doesn't make them softer?

there's farm-raised conch? Really?
Dang, I thought that was my idea. (just an rough idea, I don't actualy know that much about aquaculture)

May 13, 2013
peanuttree in General Topics

Vegan Comfort Foods

one word, baby
VEGEMITE

(not that I'm at all a vegetarian)

May 13, 2013
peanuttree in Vegetarian & Vegan

things "kids today" are clueless about??

lol, actually not necessarily. Most of th $25,000 is probably eaten up by all that material. You'd be surprised how quickly that many amenities add up in cost.

May 12, 2013
peanuttree in Not About Food

Grass-fed beef vs. Grain Fed beef

I'd like to re-iterate that no cows are ever fed exclusively on grain, as this would kill a cow.
Yes, cows are finished on grain CROPS, but they use THE WHOLE PLANT. Where you and I will eat the starchy seeds of the corn stalk (and call it "grits"), the cow will eat THE ENTIRE PLANT, the stalk and the leaves. The fact that the grain plants have the seed head full of starchy seeds is what fattens the cows up. Cows eat grass? Well, GRAINS ARE GRASSES.

It's not like they're sitting down and feeding the cows bread and polenta and bowls of oatmeal. He's a cow, he has to eat grass/plant fibre. The way their systems are, they HAVE to eat it on a regular basis or they DIE, because that little ecosystem of microbes in their huge guts needs to be kept alive and running smoothly.

May 12, 2013
peanuttree in General Topics

things "kids today" are clueless about??

Oh it isn't that hard. Basic anatomy and a few tips - a few youtube videos and you're set.

I'd never cleaned an animal before, but when my little brother defended my garden from a rabbit, I was pretty easily able to skin and gut and clean him.

May 12, 2013
peanuttree in Not About Food

Is it discrimination?

well, actually, the way the Civil Rights Act was written originally, and the idea behind it, intent DOES matter. Actual discrimination is discrimination, a person actually has to deliberately do it, by the nature of the crime. There actually needs to be some guy to say "I don't like black people, I don't want to hire them" to REALLY discriminate as most people understand it.

It's only with our kangaroo court system that the language and "interpretation" has been butchered into turning things that aren't discrimination into "discrimination", namely competence tests for employment and under-representation of select minorities (read "the minority of whichever jerk sues") in companies. And a few other things.
Funnily enough the civil rights act actually directly has language stating that tests for employment should not be construed as discrimination. Well, I guess our courts missed that part of the law.

May 12, 2013
peanuttree in Not About Food

Unrefrigerated Tomatoes -- I Still Don't Get It

This cis-3-hexanol thing: in plants and fruits and such, besides the obvious basic things like sugars (sweet) acids (sour) and such, flavors are created by volatile organic compounds. In fruits, they're usually esters, and often times just one specific ester can be found creating the one "identifying" flavor. There's one ester that smell strongly of bananas, another that smells strongly of strawberries, etc. This is where artificial flavors come from, they're the chemically produced or isolated-from-other-things versions of these chemicals.
However, usually, there's a whole slew of esters and aldehydes and ketones that produce the complex aromas/flavors of plant foods. Even when one ester has the "identifying" flavor, a lot of other flavor notes come from various other flavor aroms compounds. This is why artificial flavors lack the complexity of real flavors (though make no mistake, people overwhelmingly report the artificial flavors as better in tests. this is because with artificial flavors/extractives, the flavors are in liquid form throughout the food, easily volatilizing and producing the scent, as opposed to being trapped in plant cell walls. And on top of that, flavor companies do their best to include all those odd chemical notes to create a more complex flavor. It's a whole industry, with some very high-paid individuals with amazing noses, and good proprietary flavor mixes can cost a pretty penny for food factories who want to use them)

For all of those flavor "notes", scientists have actually isolated individiual chemicals, each with their own note or scent. ALone, these chemicals give vague but familiar smells. This cis-3-Hexenal is reported to have a intense grassy-green odor of freshly cut green grass and leaves.

Now, at the very least, refrigerating tomatoes will make this note less volatile. I dunno about it "turning off" like Alton Brown is saying, it's not an enzyme, so it doesn't do that sort of thing. But the wikipedi article says that it's an unstable molecule that can isomerize into another chemical, so maybe that's what's happening.

Either way, does this one chemical scent-note not being there really make such a difference? I'd actually doubt it, but it doesn't hurt to keep it around. And let's not forget in general volatile compounds won't be as volatile in the fridge.

Alls I know is the only tomatoes worth eating for me are the ones I grow or buy from the farmer's market and never refrigerate, and they last a while on the counter. Of course they won't last at 90f, but why on earth is your kitchen that hot? That's crazy. The only other tip I have is don't put them in direct sunlight. Do you have a cellar maybe? Maybe a little fridge you could set at 50f? That's always made me think, they need a produce fridge, nothing lasts in normal fridges because of all the dryness, and it's way colder than it needs to be for a lot of produce. Just a little fridge that stays at 50f and keeps it humid inside and also provides some ventilation and fresh air.

Rest of the year, it's canned tomatoes or sauces, which are made in season from fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes and then canned, which is still better than the faux-red baseballs you get at the supermarket (picked green and "ripened" with ethylene)

Unrefrigerated Tomatoes -- I Still Don't Get It

googling "cis-3-Hexenal and refrigeration", found:

in the book "Biochemistry of foods"

"These researchers attributed the lack of flavor in supermarket tomatoes to the lower levels of cis-3-Hexenal as compared to vine-ripened tomatoes. In addition they reported a loss of flavor in refrigerated tomatoes because of lower levels of cis-3-Hexenal. This affect of cold storage on tomatoes was in agreement with previous work by Lammers (1981)"

May 12, 2013
peanuttree in General Topics

Unrefrigerated Tomatoes -- I Still Don't Get It

From Good eats S06E06 Tomato Envy:

"Now when you get them home, don't keep them in direct sunlight, okay, no matter how pretty they look. Oh, and never put them in the refrigerator, okay? If they drop below 50 degrees a flavor compound called (Z)-3-dexenal is just going to flip itself off like a chemical switch ... permanently."

Wikipedia of (z)-3-dexenal:

cis-3-Hexenal, also known as (Z)-3-hexenal and leaf aldehyde, is colorless liquid and an aroma compound with an intense grassy-green odor of freshly cut green grass and leaves. It is one of the major volatile compounds in ripe tomatoes. It is produced in small amounts by most plants and it acts as an attractant to many predatory insects. It is also a pheromone in many insect species.

cis-3-Hexenal is an aldehyde. It is relatively unstable and isomerizes into the conjugated trans-2-hexenal. The related alcohol cis-3-hexen-1-ol is much more stable. It has a similar but weaker smell and is widely used in flavors and perfumes.

things "kids today" are clueless about??

Why do they need $25,000? That seems like a lot. A garden should mostly be sweat equity as a cost.
Mine cost maybe $600-$1000, but It's a raised bed made from fieldstone, filled with delivered compost. But a garden Doesn't have to be that fancy

May 11, 2013
peanuttree in Not About Food

things "kids today" are clueless about??

interesting, but I dunno if I buy it

I'm gonna make a point of letting my kids know the simple stuff like potatoes grow from other potatoes, and flowers need to be pollinated (also, the pollination thing makes it easier to explain the birds and the bees when they get older, I dunno why anybody uses that anymore).

May 11, 2013
peanuttree in Not About Food

things "kids today" are clueless about??

Really? Damn, people nowadays really are scraping the bottom of the barrel, but I guess you're right, few people do it the old-fashioned way anymore. But that's the fun of it, seing it pop.

And frozen waffles don't compare to fresh-made. And waffle irons aren't that expensive

May 11, 2013
peanuttree in Not About Food

Is it discrimination?

quick FYI to everyone, intent isn't actually relevant as to whether a business proprietor discriminated based on case law. It made seem ludicrous but that's how it works.

May 11, 2013
peanuttree in Not About Food