RetiredChef's Profile

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Welcome Home Dinner

If I was complaining about too much booze and heavy food I would be wanting some light and fresh.

Asian style cucumber salad
Stir Fry (either vegetarian or with his favorite protein item)
Fresh mango for dessert

Aug 04, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking

Ultra-fresh scallops...sear, or specialize?

^^^THIS^^^ - sous vide scallops are heavenly. I would suggest finishing them with a torch rather than a hot pan but anyway you do them sous vide really does make scallops a delicious creamy delight that is unmatched by regular pan cooking.

Aug 04, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking

Ever Heard of a Restuarant that Does Not Use Salt in their Recipes? - Try PF Changs

What the heck did you order? I find most of their dishes to be highly salted and sugared for my taste. BTW, somebody forgot to tell their frozen food department since they all list salt as an ingredient.

Jun 30, 2014
RetiredChef in Chains

Is it worth driving 30 miles to get to Trader Joes?

Simple answer is no. TJ's of 2014 doesn't even compare to TJ' of the 1990's when they had truly unique products. Most of their prepared foodstuffs have gone down hill as they have expanded and many of the other items can be gotten at other stores much closer.

Jun 30, 2014
RetiredChef in Chains
1

Buzzfeed's 9 Disappointing facts about Chipotle:

Nope, personally I didn't see anything that surprised me, if you did, I think it says more about your naivety than the company.

Who offers better food, Caribbean cruise or all inclusive resort?

You are going on the wrong cruises. Just like anything in life you can choose to dine at Denny's or dine at Noma. But to generalize all restaurants after your trip to Denny's is a mistake.

I suggest you try the following cruise lines, they will change your mind.

http://www.seabourn.com/main/Main.action
http://www.silversea.com
http://www.rssc.com
http://www.seadream.com

Cheers

Am I the only one who hates using filler in their meatballs?

Your not crazy it's just what you prefer, a more meatier meatball with a firmer texture.

The fact is meatballs are served the world over and in many countries only meat and spices/seasonings is used and the inclusion of a panama would be considered non-standard.

Personally I like small meatballs, the size of golf balls or smaller to be without any fillers but as they get larger I think the addition of a panada helps it's consistency and moistness.

May 14, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking

Please help settle dispute with my Mom

This is like asking what is the proper recipe for bread?

Simple answer is there is no such thing as proper recipe and there are a million twists on potato salad. Just make it how you like it.

May 14, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking
1

A Non-Offensive Universally Acceptable Meal

Since most of my friends are foodies and we always serve a diverse menu everyone always finds something to eat. OTOH if you couldn't you probably wouldn't be our friend for long.

Perhaps you are looking at this all wrong and should take this as a way to weed out the wheat from the chaff, unless you love to hang out with a bunch of whiners. I know this is not PC but so be it, our rather large group of non-whiner, stress free friends have a whole lot of fun together.

In the United States, when, if ever, do you haggle over food prices?

I have haggled at farmers markets, our local Asian market (it's the norm there), and for large banquets and other events like that.

EDIT - I forgot and in Hawaii, I always ask for the local discount, sometimes you get it sometimes you don't, really depends upon how tan I am at the time.
And I'll haggle with fishmongers and fisherman right off the pier.

Oct 13, 2013
RetiredChef in Not About Food

Spokane WA Indian and Asian groceries?

I would start here Asian World Food Market - http://www.asianworldfoodmarketspokan...

If they don't have what you might try here: Bay Market - 2022 E. Sprague, smaller than Asian world but they have some different items.

There is no place that specializes in SE Asian but Asian World does have some items. Coconuts are usually there if not, they are usually at WinCo.

Oct 13, 2013
RetiredChef in Pacific Northwest

Why Yelp Sucks!

I would be careful about relying on elite members. You get the elite status by "sort of" winning a popularity contest. You need to get friends and post "helpful but positive" reviews. I think if you take a honest look at elites vs posters who have 200+ reviews you will find that elites are mostly positive reviews while the non-elites seem to give more 1,2 and 3 stars.

I may be a little biased here, I was an elite once and never received the pin again so I actually emailed yelp. They suggested that I be more positive in my reviews and possibly not review places that weren't up to high standards.

That's not how I review though, I review the good, bad and the ugly and will give out 1 and 2 stars when the places merit it.

Barilla Pasta anti-gay comments

After reading a lot of these comments it was refreshing to see yours. Too many times emotions take over and our brain shuts off. Thank you for keeping this logical and non-emotive.

Cheers

If you knew you would die tomorrow, what would be your last meal, food, drink, setting ?

Strangely enough the food and drink would probably the least important but the people around me and the setting would be paramount.

Let's get my closest family and friends together on a nice Hallberg-Rassy 64 and plop is the Seychelles or Phuket bay or Symi or . . . . . . Somewhere where we can bask in the beauty of the planet and the beauty of the memories of a life.

Oct 04, 2013
RetiredChef in Not About Food

What do you appreciate when you come home from international trip?

Hmmmm, I've been to South America 5 times over the last 2 years. With the exception of very southern Chili and Bolivia, I have never had a problem getting plenty of fruits or vegetable there. Currently about 18% of all fruits sold in America is grown in South America.

And where are you that you are worried about eating them. I have eating everything from street vendor bought to store bought to picking it off the trees and eating it and haven't gotten sick? If there was something in the fruit or water certainly people in the US would be getting sick since they import so much.

Sep 28, 2013
RetiredChef in General Topics

What do you appreciate when you come home from international trip?

Bingo

Sep 28, 2013
RetiredChef in General Topics

What do you appreciate when you come home from international trip?

I'll second that, I can usually find much better food at cheaper price outside of the US. A lot of that has to do with the strength of the dollar but still. Still give me 300 Bhat (10 USD) in Thailand and I can easily eat three excellent prepared meals in one day.

Sep 28, 2013
RetiredChef in General Topics

Chinese Food - Family Style or Get Your Own Dish?

It doesn't matter what the cuisine is I share everything with everybody no matter how it's served. Good food should always be shared and plates get passed around for others to try no matter where I eat. If this "wigs you out" then you don't have to join in but most do. In the end it draws everyone closer and we can all talk about the food and the dishes we like and didn't like.

TheKitchn Cure - refresh your cooking space.

Thanks for the link. This sounds like a great motivator, I am interested in seeing what their assignments are.

Sep 28, 2013
RetiredChef in Not About Food

My best apple pie, ever!

I've used apple cider for years in my restaurant pies. I actually learned that trick during my apprenticeship in France. The other thing I like is to add powdered ginger to my pies. I put it as a background flavor so you don't taste "ginger" but it' there, most people can't pick it out but it adds another flavor dimension.
The other twist I do is to make a ginger crumble where the ginger stands out and put crystalized ginger into the apple pie mixture itself. This turned into a #1 seller for me.

Steak myths (or not?) from Serious Eats

I disagree with #1 vehemently as does many, many top chefs throughout the world and most people who try it. Take your steaks, chicken, pork, etc out 1 hour before you grill it. Besides look at how many CHers have tried this and sing it's praises. Just FYI Thomas Keller says this is probably the most important thing a home cook can do when cooking steaks.

#2 I've heard this from home kitchen cooks not professionals, we sear to brown (flavor) the outside (maillard reaction). Incidentally when cooking in commercial slow-cookers the meat will brown at low temperatures over time so we don't sear then. Searing is done only when needed.

#3 and #4 Call me silly but I have never heard of those before.

#5 No comment, I either marinade before hand or I season after but I season right at service time to have that small crunch of salt flakes that I like. This is a personal preference.

#6 You really don't want to pierce any meet item when you cook it. Some juices will escape and it simply doesn't look professional to serve a cut open or pierced piece of protein.

#7 One of the restaurants I owned was a steakhouse that specialized in wood grilling of steaks. If you know what you are doing then the poke test works just fine. I can poke fish, chicken and meat and tell you within a very close degree of accuracy it's doneness. Just because the author doesn't have the skill to do it doesn't mean it's a myth. I know professional bakers that still mix dough without weighing the liquid, it's all done by feel and look, same thing cooking steaks.
The real key to understanding the touch method is to know how each cut feels as it cooks, flank steaks at MR feel very differently than tenderloins are MR. Also a well marbled choice NY will feel differently than a select NY but these are all things that you can learn.

Sep 28, 2013
RetiredChef in Home Cooking

Oops, I overcooked it. On 'purpose'?

I was shuddering at a lot of these replies but I agree with yours, the intense flavor of browned rice is something that surprises so many people when they first try it and then they usually become hooked.

Sep 28, 2013
RetiredChef in General Topics

Favorite TJs salad dressing

Champagne Pear Vinaigrette - This is one of the few sweet dressing that I actually like. It's very well balanced and works best with more astringent greens. With that being said I would say that the rest have been very average to very bad, however I do like their unusual vinegars that they bring in from time to time and usually stock up on those.

Sep 23, 2013
RetiredChef in Chains

Best Fried chicken chain

Personally I wouldn't waste my calories on any of the chains, there are many great regional restaurants that serve some great fried chicken. IE. Mama Dips in Chapel Hill, NC. Central Michel Richard in DC, Ad Hoc in Napa Valley, CA. Casper Fry in Spokane, WA. All of these places put the chains to shame.

Sep 23, 2013
RetiredChef in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - September 2013 [old]

Well I will have to buck the trend here. Just yesterday I sung the praises of TJ's Kimchee Rice and then later that evening I was having dinner with some friends at their house. We were served this side (unknown it was TJ's when everyone but the person who prepared the meal tried it) it did not go over well. It seemed greasy and strange tasting, although I liked the nuttiness of the toasted orzo everything else was pretty meh. Although we all ate some, only one person finished their portion but refused seconds of it. Later on the hostess/cook admitted that she didn't like it and was disappointed because she had gotten it from TJ's. Everyone else chimed in it was less than a stellar product. To each his own I guess.

Sep 23, 2013
RetiredChef in Chains

The Great American Sunday Dinner

My experience was the exact opposite. Sunday dinner was the low key diner where we ate in front of the TV (the only time we were ever allowed for Sunday night family movie) and usually had home-style foods like Pizza and Fried Chicken. About once a month we would have more of a special dinner that you are describing but that was usual Saturday night or sometimes Friday night but never Sunday.

Sep 22, 2013
RetiredChef in General Topics

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - September 2013 [old]

I am one of the freaks that have been disappointed with TJ's prepared products, I think they have gone down hill over the past 10+ years BUT I will agree with you on the Kimchi Rice, this stuff is excellent.

Sep 22, 2013
RetiredChef in Chains

Deal-Breakers in Salads

Olives
Jell-O
Pickles (Not counting potato, tuna, egg, etc salads)
Canned/jarred white Asparagus
Ranch dressing
Hard Boiled Egg (on occasion it's done right, 99% of the time NOT)
Arugula as the ONLY salad green

Sep 13, 2013
RetiredChef in General Topics

Deal-Breakers in Salads

I have preached this very thing for years and years, in the kitchen, in classrooms and here on Chowhound. Your menu needs to show a fluidity behind it otherwise you have competing flavors that throw all of the dishes off.

Sep 13, 2013
RetiredChef in General Topics

Excluding Shellfish, Which Fish Are in Your Regular Rotation?

There is no regular rotation because many fish is seasonal. Of the fish that are not seasonal I usually buy what is fresh and on sale or whatever my two neighbors, who are avid fisherman have caught and wish to share.

Sep 13, 2013
RetiredChef in General Topics