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Most Romantic Restaurant(s) in San Diego

The Bali hai at Shelter Island. Candelas in Coronado ,and most importantly, your kitchen. Just light some candles!

Aug 28, 2012
gourmandonater in San Diego

Hash Browns diaster--need professional help :)

Rather than grating your potatoes you should slice em cross ways into 1/8 slices, make managable piles and then slice em again the other way into mini 1/8th french fries. Match stick taters. Use enough oil to float them till done, Not Burnt!. Drain on a paper towel. You can fluff them up an make a nest with a poached egg on top and good accouterments , or flatten while you fry into a tradition hash brown cake. Better technique than grating.

Jun 29, 2012
gourmandonater in Home Cooking

Lodge Cast Iron Pan/Grill Pan. Worth buying?

40 bucks for two pans that will last you a life time is a pretty fair price. Grill pans serve a purpose, but if I were cooking steaks, chops, or filets, and couldn't grill them over a wood fire, i would rather sear them in a flat pan. Just because it would be easier to deglaze and make a killer little pan sauce with. All cooks should have a few pieces of cast iron in their arsenal.

Jun 21, 2012
gourmandonater in Cookware

Help with Chili Verde

Chile verde, and some cracker version of Chile Verde using" La Victoria" are two very different thangs! I'm from Ensenada, so don't worry about my recipe being un "Authenitic". Its good! The difference between "O.K". food, and really good food, is generally subtle, and has to do with using fresh ingredients. I usually use a roughly 4 pound ,well marbled, pork roast. Pork shoulder will do, but its almost too fatty. Cube it into 1 1/2 to two in cubes. Get yourself 14 tomatillos, a head of garlic, an a big fat jalapeno pepper, cilantro, limes, an onion, a Pasilla or California pepper, and enough chicken broth or stock to barely cover every thing.Slice up half the onion and dice your pasilla pepper. Meez en place for later. Husk and rinse your tomatillos, lop of the top of your head of garlic, grab your big fat jalapeno, throw those into a tin foil lined baking pan. Lightly cover with oil, not olive oil. Broil for 15 minutes. You can do it with the oven door open, just flip everything every so often to get a nice even char. Then throw your tomatillos into a blender, cut off the stem on your jalapeno and throw it in too. Squeeze out 4 or so tooths of roasted garlic into the blender as well. Blend thoroughly. Then brown yo pork in batches, developing a nice fond as you go. You can sweat your onions and pasilla peppers in a seperate pan or remove the pot/pan that you browned your pork in from the heat ,turn your heat way down and sweat them in the same pan, just dont burn your fond! Deglaze with chicken broth/ stock. Add a Tbls of cumin and salt n pepper to taste. Add your pork back into the pan ,your Tomatillo salsa, as well as enough chicken stock to barely cover the meat." DO NOT BRING TO A BOIL". Slowly simmer for at least 3 hours. Slowly add water or chicken stock as needed to keep it from drying out. I used to add cilantro and lime to my sauce, but I've found that they are just as easily added later as an optional garnish. Better yet, make carnitas, the salsa verde, and then simmer them together real quick. The carnitas will still be crispy and the tomatillo sauce will really kick it off! Serve with some home made tortillas, frijoles de la olla and some arroz. Play with it and make it your own. That's roughly how I was taught to make it. P.s. Chimichurri ain't salsa verde.

Jun 19, 2012
gourmandonater in Home Cooking

Santoku knives - Shun or Mac

I'm not into santokus personally. I'm not into Japanese steel in general. Don't get me wrong. If i wanted to lop someones head off, i'd use a samurai sword, but for a decades long sword fight in the kitchen, one might think about dropping a few points on the Rockwell scale. Brittle. Having said that ,my main go to knife, that Ive been using for years, is a 10 in Mac with dimples. They are great knives. Mac all the way. I own a Shun with a good sized chip in it. It still looks cool though......Edit...and yes I know that Macs are Japanese knives, but not in the traditional sense. .

Jun 17, 2012
gourmandonater in Cookware

Why do I own my All-Clad stainless saute pan?

Sorry. I ment to reply to the original poster. I hear what you are saying though. Weird exotic plastics don't jive with the kind of cooking that I do for my family. I suspect that they are relatively harmless, but I can just as easily do with out them. I just bust out my cast iron! Sorry for the confusion. All clad is over priced, but it really does work exceedingly well. So does Demeyere. Never pay full price though. That's for squares. Tramontina and Cuisinart make good cookware. There is a marginal difference, and if you cook a lot you will notice it , but its very subtle, and not at all worth full price.

Jun 16, 2012
gourmandonater in Cookware

Cast iron not too non-stick

I hear you Dixiegal. I didn't mean to sound snarky. I respect your opinion. It's just that I grew up having to cook for myself, usually on cast Iron. My new lodge didn't
behave the way that I was used to. After sanding it down, and 6 months of use, its just about as good as the old cast Iron that I had grown up using. I was just sharing something that worked for me.

Jun 16, 2012
gourmandonater in Cookware

Why do I own my All-Clad stainless saute pan?

I scored a 5 qt All Clad SS saute pan at Marshalls a few years back for around 60 dollars with a lid! It had a few cosmetic scratches on the lid, but other wise it was in perfect shape. I think they retail for over 2 hundred dollars which is crazy. It develops a rich golden fond like no other pan I've ever owned. I love my cast iron and use it often, but if I'm going to be browning large batches of meat and then deglazing, my All Clad is my go to pan. As for burning, they tend to not need quite as high a heat as my other pans do to get a nice sear, so be aware of that. The first batch of meat will tend to stick pretty good once it hits the hot pan, but as it sears it will loosen up and you can flip it. Each subsequent batch of meat that you brown will tend to stick less as the fond develops, just add oil as needed to keep the pan from going dry. Pour out excess oil. Deglaze. They also work great for sauteing vegetables or braising things. I'm not a big enameled cast iron fan simply because of the weight, but I love bare cast iron for its nonstick properties and versatility. Good luck! Just don't give up on your All Clad. They are great pans if you use them properly.

Jun 14, 2012
gourmandonater in Cookware

Cast iron not too non-stick

I must respectfully disagree with you Dixiegal. I didn't "Waste my time" sanding down my pan. Like the original poster, I bought a lodge Logic pan and after two years of frequent use, it never quite worked right. In search of an answer, I took a look at my Grandma's old Griswold and Wagner pans. I noticed that they had machined the cooking surfaces to a smooth finish. Surely they must have done that "for fun"? Maybe they did it because it was more " Cost effective"?. It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that a smooth cooking surface is a desirable trait in a pan.

Jun 14, 2012
gourmandonater in Cookware

You are leaving San Diego forever; where would you eat?

Lobster B.L.T. at the Bali Hai and an Ice cold bloody Mary, all while staring out the window at that beautiful sky line of ours. That's what I had the last time I left S.D. Killer sandwich by the way. Its like 12 bucks and you can't beat that view.

Jun 14, 2012
gourmandonater in San Diego

Best San Diego Mexican Food?

For a special occasion maybe try Candelas in Coronado. It's super expensive, but the food is really good and it has an amazing view. Good place to take a date. For some bomb tacos and sopes, Tacos El Gordo on H street in Chula Vista is pretty hard to beat. Tacos El Paisa off National Ave is really good too. Edit... Just realized you already mentioned all those places. Hmm. El Mercado Negro in Ensenada! Not in S.D. but definitely worth the trip.

Jun 13, 2012
gourmandonater in San Diego

Cast iron not too non-stick

The problem with Lodge, and almost all new cast Iron cook ware, is that they don't properly finish the interior cooking surfaces of their pans anymore! A rough, sandpaper like finish, and "Non Stick" are two terms that don't jive very well. It would take you decades to build up enough seasoning to fill in all those nooks and crannies! I took a day out of my life to sand down the cooking surface of a lodge pan that I bought 2 years ago with 200 grit sand paper. Reseasoned it, used it a lot for baking things like corn bread and pizza , as well as greasy breakfasts and whoa! The thing is like black Onyx glass inside. Things glide across the surface!

Jun 12, 2012
gourmandonater in Cookware