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What type of cuisine do you NOT like?

I was speaking about the native Dutch cuisine, which I ate a lot of when I lived down the road in Belgium as a child. Indonesian cuisine is wonderful. The Dutch are crazy about it for the same reason Brits love curry: It rescued them from a life of boring meals. The first Asian food I ever tasted was Indonesian, in The Hague. I still have a photo of the very moment my life of adventurous eating began. I'm on the left.

Knives for a Paris rental kitchen

Whenever I fly somewhere long enough to do any cooking, I check one bag, so there's always one or two Kiwi or Kom Kom knives in it plus a small, light Fiskars sharpener. (Kom Kom is just Kiwi's slightly upscale brand.) These are thin-bladed knives that don't weigh much. They're also dirt cheap, and if I stay with a friend who has lousy knives, I usually give them the knives and sharpener when I leave. Knives in suitcase are wrapped and labeled for the safety of any TSA person who opens the bag.

Feb 17, 2015
emu48 in France

Cool discoveries in Indian/Pakistani food stores? Tell us

Let's see if this becomes a thread.

Must be a lot of people like me, non-Indians who have been enjoying Indian food and shopping in Indian food stores for a long time.

Ever make some amazing discovery, something new to you that you want to tell other people about? Or if you're South Asian, know of some food item the western world really needs to know about and taste?

For instance: I recently discovered Saffola (brand name, I guess) masala oats. What it is: spicy oatmeal! What a concept! I normally despise oatmeal, but this stuff is wonderful. Kind of a spicy distant cousin of jook, the Chinese rice gruel.

Also: Aam panna, a refreshing cold drink, based on green mango pulp, sold in one-liter cartons. Flavored with black salt, cumin, etc, an amazing combination of tangy, salty and sweet. It's a hot-weather drink in India. Manufactured by Deep, a big name in Indian food products in the USA. Imagine Gator-aide that went to India and got reincarnated. Awesome!

What's yours?

Feb 07, 2015
emu48 in General Topics

What Is America's Worst Restaurant Chain?

Arby's, for some of the most unappetizing roast beef-like food product I have ever tasted, and Domino's, for serving pizzas devoid of herbs and olive oil (obviously they are not unique in that, at least in the United States). I don't think Olive Garden is that bad ... it's just Italian-like food as prepared in cafeterias in Texas or North Dakota, edible but meh.

Jan 18, 2015
emu48 in Features

How many people really use shallots? I generally don't.

If you can find a Thai or Vietnamese grocer, they may sell shallots for a lot less. In those cuisines, shallots are a staple everyday item rather than lah-dee-dah foodie chow that always costs too much on general principle

Jan 15, 2015
emu48 in Home Cooking

How many people really use shallots? I generally don't.

If you can find a Thai or Vietnamese grocer, they may sell shallots for a lot less. In those cuisines, shallots are a staple everyday item rather than lah-dee-dah foodie chow that always costs too much on general principle.

Jan 15, 2015
emu48 in Home Cooking

PBS FREAK OUT - Joanne Weir. Come on, PBS- you can do better.

I'm in the semi-rural Midwest (Kansas City), and public TV here is overloaded with these schlock merchants .... Martha Stewart, of course. That Weir woman. Somebody called Christina Cooks, and now I see another, called Katie Brown. Jesus, are people out here really bored enough to like this stuff? Last night, the Christina Cooks lady made guacamole. First she put all kind of extras, including kernels of corn, into a bowl. Then she ran her avocados through a food processor .... for a couple of minutes! She also poured in glugs of olive oil and advised using lots of lemon juice to cover up that "fatty" avocado flavor. Dude: avocado toothpaste with crunchy bits!

Watching her made me want to run out and buy some Hostess Twinkies and Jell-O.

Dec 28, 2014
emu48 in Food Media & News

What type of cuisine do you NOT like?

Dutch. it's like British cuisine's cousin from the slums. Except for the pancakes.

Dec 09, 2014
emu48 in General Topics
1

Eggnog - Love It or Leave It

It's always better with booze in it: rum, brandy, whiskey, whatever floats your boat.

Dec 09, 2014
emu48 in General Topics
1

Tabasco substitute?

Hard to answer, because everyone has different taste preferences. I love Tabasco (the traditional red version). Other people hate it. I'm OK with the cheaper Louisiana sauces. Cholula seems rather bland and flavorless to me. I'm also fond of two sauces that aren't widely available: Hawaii chili pepper water and zhoug, a thick sauce of Yemen origin, popular in Israel. Zhoug (spelled innumerable ways) comes in red or green versions, depending on the peppers used. Also usually has in it garlic, cilantro, salt and one or several spices that may include cumin and cardamom. Recipes for both the Hawaiian and Israeli/Yemini sauces are all over the web.

Dec 09, 2014
emu48 in General Topics

Hello, I am looking for some recommendations for store bought marinades, sauces, and pre-mixed seasonings for chicken

Many years ago, a great Mexican cook named Sally Martinez taught me several of her recipes. One was for a table salsa. I made it a bunch of times, faithful to her recipe. Then, a few years later, I tasted a salsa at someone's house and said wow, this is exactly like Sally's sauce! My host said it was store-bought and showed me the little yellow El Pato can. Been buying it ever since. Excellent product.

Nov 10, 2014
emu48 in General Topics

Why is Cheese Forbidden in Authentic Italian Fish Cookery?

My rule is I eat whatever I want. In a restaurant, I'm a customer, and I'm always right. So go ahead and roll your eyes when I ask you to bring parmesan for my seafood pasta. And enjoy your nickel tip.

Oct 30, 2014
emu48 in General Topics

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

Tried the frozen 16-oz package of linguine in (white) clam sauce and was pleasantly surprised by how it tasted. When I make my own, I use more clams and a pinch of hot chili flakes, but this frozen stuff is darn close to being as good. I did add a splash of the white wine I was drinking.

Sep 28, 2014
emu48 in Chains

Costco Food Finds - 3rd Quarter 2014

Costco pulls slow sellers all the time. I wouild suspect Costco's customer base skews less rightward than, say, Walmart's, and that's probably why the D'Sousa book did not sell well there. Many of us are Costco members not just because it's a great place to shop but also because of its labor practices. Even shopping can be a way of supporting social justice. I have personally verified that Costco at least sometimes bring back discontinued products when customers make a fuss, so D'Sousa fans should do just that.

Sep 27, 2014
emu48 in Chains

Monte Cristo Sandwich

An atrocity. Extra-greasy bastard child of grilled ham & cheese and French toast ... with powdered sugar on it. And jelly on the side? Gag a maggot.

When I was a teenager in Kansas, in the 1960s and '70s, this sandwich was considered the most piss-elegant haute cuisine luncheon item there was. (The dinner equivalent was beef Wellington.) it was available only in the local version of really swell eateries ... such as the dining rooms of small-town country clubs.

I remember walking into a couple of these places, on more than one occasion, and seeing the town rich guy lunching with his pals. They were all chomping Monte Cristos, every time. To the best of my knowledge, none of these guys ever lived to their 80th birthdays. Maybe it should be called the Croak Monsieur.

Sep 25, 2014
emu48 in Recipes

What's with all the lining up for hours for miserable, crappy food?

Maybe they figured lining up is cool because people do it all the time in San Francisco.

Sep 25, 2014
emu48 in Japan

What do dirt-poor French people eat?

They eat cake, right? Brioche, anyway.

Sep 25, 2014
emu48 in France

All-Star Donuts [San Francisco, Marina DIstrict location]

It's a shame. Fortunately, there is still Bob's Doughnuts on Polk. Possibly the finest doughnuts and related pastries in the free world.

Fed-up chef posts angry signs telling hard-to-please customers to stay away

You expect me to eat what's on the menu? Only proles eat what everybody else eats.

I'm special!

Hell, it's San Francisco. ALL his customers are special.

The chef is a worthy successor to the late, great Edsel Ford Fong, until now the only restaurant guy who knew how to deal with the fab Frisco freak show.

Sep 23, 2014
emu48 in Food Media & News

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

It's routine in tropical places to throw every newly purchased bag of rice (and similar bug bait) into the freezer overnight. Then defrost to room temperature and repackage in glass jars or other sealable containers.

Sep 21, 2014
emu48 in Chains
1

SF: What's Left to Do?

Just have one more burrito and then stick a fork in it.

Replacement Blade For Cuisinart Food Processor?

Used and new-old-stock Cuisinart blades, all types and vintages, are common on eBay or Etsy, often for cheap.

Sep 20, 2014
emu48 in Cookware

Does anybody LIKE their ceramic cooktop?

Never owned one, but over the years, have used early ones and recent ones in other people's kitchens. Never met one that I would want to have in my own kitchen.

Sep 20, 2014
emu48 in Cookware

Olive Oil Tasting

Well, boutique olive oil always costs quite a lot, and I buy only small bottles for drizzling on food just before serving, and salads. I'd never cook with oil that good, though I did once when it was abundant and cheap.

I got spoiled by living in an olive-growing Israeli village a couple years. When I shop for the good stuff now, I ask for tastes of the two or three newest oils they have. I tend to prefer fruity, slightly bitter oils like I enjoyed in Israel, where the local olive was an ancient variety called Suri. But for me, freshness is criterion No. 1. My last two buys were one from California identified as Arbequina and one from Peru called Coratina. Google tells me those are olive varieties of Spanish and Italian origin. No idea who grew or produced them.

Sep 14, 2014
emu48 in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Basic Tomato Sauce

That is pretty much the recipe I use when I have really ripe ... even over-ripe ... fresh tomatoes. Only I use butter and usually omit garlic. Got the recipe years ago from a Williams Sonoma cookbook. The onion is cooked in the butter over low heat, until transparent, with no browning. Sometimes a splash of water or white wine is added, as the onion stews, to prevent browning. Given the richness, it's not a sauce I'd want to eat a lot of, or often. But it's a summer tradition for me, and my idea of the finest fresh tomato sauce ever. Given how variable tomato sweetness/acidity can be, I may add a dab of either sugar or vinegar toward the end to balance the flavor to my satisfaction.

Sep 13, 2014
emu48 in Recipes

Do I have to peel and seed tomatoes to make marinara sauce from scratch?

It's a personl preference thing ... some people always peel and seed. Some never do. Some people always peel broccoli, artichokes and asparagus. Some never do.

Sep 13, 2014
emu48 in Home Cooking

Seafood differentiation between grocery stores

When I lived in places with reasonable access to fresh seafood (Honolulu), I bought either from the most reputable local fishmonger (Tamashiro Market) or the supermarket chain with the most reputable (and busiest) seafood counter (Foodland). Now that I live in the Kansas City area, where most people don't eat seafood much, I avoid the allegedly fresh stuff in high-end supermarkets, because I've found it expensive and not very good, probably because of low turnover, maybe because of poor handling. I buy only frozen stuff (Costco, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods) because I think it's the best I can get out here. If you live closer to the ocean, what you find in your local supermarket may be a lot better.

Sep 13, 2014
emu48 in Philadelphia

Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

I think honey walnut shrimp is legit (mayo and all), one of the new-wave creations that came out of Hong Kong in recent years. Haven't been there recently enough to say for sure.

Sep 13, 2014
emu48 in General Topics

Discounted cookbooks- where do you buy or order online?

Amazon.com. Usually you can choose from a number of used copies in varying conditions at various prices, most of the time bargain prices.

Sep 13, 2014
emu48 in Food Media & News
1

Great pieces of inexpensive equipment?

New: Kiwi knives from Thailand. Victorinox knives from Switzerland. U.S.-made carbon steel woks from wokshop.com. Garcima paella pans from Spain.

Used: 1980s Cuisinart processors, and Kitchenaid and Kenwood standing mixers, from eBay or Etsy. Vintage U.S. made manual can openers from second-hand shops ... most of the new ones are junk. Vintage Copco (Danish) and Descoware (Belgian) enameled cast iron, from eBay and Etsy. A lot of the used stuff is beat up, but a lot of it is lightly used or like new. Buy with care.

Sep 13, 2014
emu48 in Cookware