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emu48's Profile

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Best pots/pans?

I'd recommend not buying a set. You'll end up with stuff you don't use, and unless you're paying at least several hundred dollars, you are likely to get mass-market junk. Buy good stuff one item at a time and have no hangups about mixing brands. Chinese Cuisinart (most of what they sell in the States) I avoid. You can find the much better French-made Cuisinart pans, like my lidded 12-inch saute pan, if you look on Amazon.com, and they are finely made multi-clad and a bargain. The best steel woks you can buy, including fine U.S.-made ones in several configurations, are at wokshop.com, a highly regarded San Francisco Chinatown store, for excellent prices. The best lidded saucepans for the money are used thick (made in Toledo, Ohio) anodized aluminum Calphalon on eBay or Etsy. The best enameled cast iron for the money, in like-new condition if you shop carefully, is on eBay and Etsy also ... I bought a bunch of vintage Belgian Descoware, and Danish and Swiss Copco Ware, that way. Descoware is as good as Le Creuset (which bought out Descoware decades ago) and I believe Copco Ware is better made than Le Creuset. I don't like nonstick coatings for general use, but for eggs and pancakes, I bought two new smaller Kirkland-brand nonstick skillets, Thai-made, from Costco because they were high-class heavy anodized aluminum with stainless steel handles and the kind of high-end, extra-durable nonstick coating you usually pay a lot for. They were $22 for the pair. I bought a cheap (under $10) and cheerful supermarket flimsy aluminum six-inch skillet with glass lid and nonstick coating solely for frying eggs in. I would never pay big bucks for any nonstick ware because I've yet to see a coating, even on high-end stuff, that is indestructable. I also won't buy used black cast iron pots and pans because some have held hazardous substances such as lead, commonly melted at home by divers, model boat builders and do-it-yourself ammunition enthusiasts.

1 day ago
emu48 in Cookware

Ketchup on Hot Dogs

I like ketchup and mayo on my hotdog. If I'm paying you for the freaking hotdog, my peculiar tastes are none of your business. Your job is to make me happy.

Like the bumper sticker says: Horn broken. Watch for finger.

Aug 21, 2014
emu48 in General Topics

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

A hot dog is a turnip gone wrong.

Aug 20, 2014
emu48 in General Topics

Just ate lobster for the first time

I never understood the fuss either. Yeah, I enjoy eating lobster. But I find large shrimps and prawns just as delicious. Maybe people think lobster is superior because most lobsters we eat were alive a few minutes before, and most shrimps we eat were frozen. I have a lot more experience eating shrimps and prawns, and have lived many years where live ones were always for sale, and I know that in those cases, the quality difference between fresh and frozen is substantial. Ditto with crawfish.

Aug 18, 2014
emu48 in General Topics

Sichuan Peppercorns & Chili Bean Paste in East Bay? SF?

Lots easier to obtain both via Amazon.com than to deal with Bay Area traffic and parking. Finding the real-deal Sichuan bean paste ... douban jiang ... can require lots of looking, even in areas with huge Chinese populations. (I lived in and around SF for for 14 years.) Sichuan peppercorns, on the other hand , are likely to be in most Chinese food stores.

Aug 17, 2014
emu48 in San Francisco Bay Area

I had no idea immersion blenders were so dangerous!

A jar blender is just as dangerous, especially if you stick your hand in while it is running. And stoves .... my god, they get hot enough to burn you badly. And kitchen knives! The horror ....

As they say on the interwebs, there's no cure for stupid.

Aug 16, 2014
emu48 in Food Media & News

Mother kicked out of restaurant for changing baby's diaper at table.

They should take her kid away from her and put her behind bars. Any restaurant patrons who had to witness the disgusting sight and smell should be filing suit.

Aug 16, 2014
emu48 in Food Media & News
1

Anthony Weiner reveals plans for Queens restaurant venture

Is that a salami on my plate or are you just glad to see me?

Aug 10, 2014
emu48 in Food Media & News

Here's What Every Trendy Restaurant Menu Looks Like

I was just funnin' ya.

Aug 09, 2014
emu48 in Food Media & News

Worst Cooking show Buzzwords

Mouthfeel. Always sounds slightly disgusting to me and kills my appetite.

Also good, as in "drizzle with good olive oil," or good whatever. What, you mean you think I keep bad olive oil (or bad whatever) around? If I did, it would be for feeding people like you.

Aug 03, 2014
emu48 in Food Media & News

"No Strollers — No High Chairs — No Booster Chairs"

More restaurants should ban or discourage small children. If you can't afford a babysitter, you really can't afford to go to a nice restaurant, either.

Oh ... it's on the wharf in Monterey? Right, a tourist hellhole if ever there was one. But even in touristic locales, there should be at least one or a few restaurants strictly for people who are quiet, housebroken and know how to eat with a knife and fork ... or chopsticks, if that's appropriate.

Jul 31, 2014
emu48 in Food Media & News

Fish Sauce Problem

Mam nem is super fish sauce, actually a thin anchovy puree. It keeps fermenting in the bottle (a big reason it is so tasty), hence the fizz, and needs to be kept in the fridge. I keep it around and use it mostly on non-Asian pasta dishes and in stews and braises. It does the same thing as tossing in a couple chopped anchovy fillets, adding a subtle richness (umami!) to dishes. Much easier to handle than anchovies, though. No problem handling mam nem as long as you remove the lid carefully every time. Probably best done in the sink.

Jul 31, 2014
emu48 in General Topics

Arby's, just how is their roast beef made?

I don't know how they do it. And I don't want to know. I ate it once and said to myself: This must be what it's like when you're really poor.

Jul 30, 2014
emu48 in Chains

Why can't I sharpen my knife like a factory edge

I'd find a good knife store and show them the knife that is giving you trouble. May take some looking ... not every big city has a store specializing in kitchen knives. Or find out who in your hood sharpens most of knives for restaurants and butchers ... chances are, it's one guy or one shop or service that they all use. If a daily few licks on a steel or stone isn't restoring the edge for you, maybe that knife needs a serioius sharpening by a pro. Butchers and restaurant workers tend to have that done every few months, sometimes more often. For home cooks, once a year (or less often) may be enough.

Jul 27, 2014
emu48 in Cookware

Used/Vintage Le Creuset--Downside?

If you're considering buying used, look on eBay and don't be a slave to the Le Creuset brand name. There are a couple of now-extinct European brands (my favorites are the Belgian Descoware, which Le Creuset took over years ago, and the Danish Copco Ware) that often turn up in like-new condition, or close to it, and for less money than used Le Creuset. Until recent years, when TV chefs made enameled cast iron hip, relatively few people outside Europe knew what to do with it. In America, decades ago, a lot of pieces were received as gifts and stayed in closets or basements. Descoware has at least the quality of Le Creuset (one of its styles, the oval gratin pans with scalloped handles, is still part of the Le Creuset product line). Copco Ware is better made and better finished than Le Creuset.

Jul 27, 2014
emu48 in Cookware

What would you offer on these Cast Iron frying pans?

Not a penny. The problem with used cast-iron pans is you never know what's been cooked in them. I've had scuba-diving friends who saved money by melting scrap lead in cast-iron skillets to make the weights they wear to achieve neutral bouyancy while submerged ... dive shops sell the mold you need for that. Some firearms enthusiasts who like producing their own ammo melt lead in cast-iron pans also. I wouldn't want used cast iron unless it used to be Mom's.

Jul 27, 2014
emu48 in Cookware

Bugs in Rice-Is it still edible?

When I lived in the tropics (Hawaii), I adopted a practice I learned from friends from India. Buy rice in bags small enough to go in my freezer. Toss them in there for a day or two. Then, after full defrosting, store in tightly lidded containers. That at least kills any bugs (and their eggs) that already may be in the rice, and in the tropics, there usually are some. As for getting them out of the rice, that's why you should wash it carefully every time. Live or dead, they usually float away. Eating them won't hurt you. There probably are minuscule amounts of animal protein in every bowl of rice or beans, or loaf of bread, you've ever eaten. Prolonged freezer storage can make dried foods taste funny.

Jul 27, 2014
emu48 in General Topics

Chipotle is going seatless...

Tables or not, Chipotle is just a sanitized, corporatized facsimile of real taqueria food. Kind of like Cracker Barrel (aka plastic-bag grits 'n' greens) is to the small-town, down-home, mom 'n' pop joints it helped obliterate. I live in an area (Kansas City) with an abundance of real taquerias, most at least pretty good and a few excellent. But if I was in a place not as blessed, I'd be patronizing Chipotle. It ain't love, but it ain't bad. (It is, however, getting rather expensive.)

Jul 27, 2014
emu48 in Chains
2

Here's What Every Trendy Restaurant Menu Looks Like

Doesn't matter to me because I never order from the menu. I'm special.

Jul 27, 2014
emu48 in Food Media & News
1

21 Things chefs wish they could tell you.....

They sure can. Good strategy, too: Keeps the restaurant from getting too crowded.

Jul 26, 2014
emu48 in Food Media & News

What do you think about restaurants charging for bread and butter at dinner?

Seems pretty cheesy to charge for it separately. On the other hand, you are being charged for it in any event: Restaurants don't give away food. Maybe the rationale is that it is fairer to the (presumably many) customers who don't want bread with their meal to spare them that cost. Out here in the Bible Belt, there's a similar controversy developing in a few Mexican restaurants that charge for the basket of tortilla chips commonly put on every table before you even look at the menu. Supposedly because of people who came in, mooched the chips and then left (sounds like they need a classier clientele to me).

Jul 22, 2014
emu48 in Not About Food

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

I've eaten Costco shrimp for years and found it excellent. Most of those years, I lived in Hawaii, where fresh (i.e., live) shrimp and prawns, both saltwater and freshwater, were easily brought home from local farms, so I had something pretty wonderful to compare Costco's with. My experience was that the Costco product, purchased frozen, was top-grade, though of course not as delicious as live local product. Costco's defrosted product, I concluded, was not as good as the frozen stuff. I now shy away from buying any kind of defrosted (previously frozen) seafood. I don't know why inland U.S. retailers even sell defrosted seafood ... I guess because their clueless customers will buy it thinking it is "fresh." Seafood properly frozen and kept frozen is usually better.

Jul 22, 2014
emu48 in Chains
2

Famous Regional Food you find embarrassing or disgusting?

Deep-fried turkey testicles. Ate 'em in a bar once in Pismo Beach, Calif. Guess the locals get tired ot the clam thing.

Jul 13, 2014
emu48 in General Topics

KitchenAid stand mixers

I gave away (dumb move) a 1980s Hobart-made Kitchen Aid mixer in anticipation of an international move. Returning to the States and wanting another mixer, I settled on a 30-year-old UK-made Kenwood. Cost me a hundred bucks. Love it. I'm deeply suspicious of the quality of a lot of current models from most makers. Bought a 1980s Japan-made Cuisinart processor ($70) the same way ... eBay can be your friend, if you are careful. You could get these for less, but I went for ones that looked like new. Why do I mention what country they were made in? Because that has a lot to do with quality and durability. A lot of these rather expensive appliances had a very long run and over the years were made in more than one place. A little web research will tell you which ones to buy and which to avoid.

Jul 04, 2014
emu48 in Cookware

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

It's a fake Chinese restaurant. You can't be too picky in one of those. It would be like expecting hollandaise at McDonald's.

Jun 30, 2014
emu48 in Chains

"New Revereware"

Not wanting to identify the brand. Lawyers are like roaches, everywhere and always hungry.

Jun 28, 2014
emu48 in Cookware

NYTimes: Mark Bittman rethinks the word 'Foodie'

Face it, it's such a stupid word. Like gourmet but marginally less pretentious.

Jun 26, 2014
emu48 in Food Media & News
1

Why do people like sea urchin?

Dunno, but the whole world encases sausages in pig or sheep intestines. Well, except for most American sausages, which are now encased in some kind of corporate chemical gelatin skin.

Jun 26, 2014
emu48 in General Topics

Why do people like sea urchin?

Because it's slimey and orangey-brown. Most of all, because the part you actually eat is the critter's gonads.

Jun 26, 2014
emu48 in General Topics

Help to identify this fish please!

Looks like what is called butterfish or black cod in North America. Up here, it is a very rich, oily white fish, flaverful and delicious. It's a popular smoked item in Jewish delicatessens, under the name sable fish.

Ours comes from Alaskan waters. Maybe there is a Southern Hemisphere equivalent. Yours could be Alaskan, too, given that it was frozen.

My favorite way to eat it is a Japanese style popular in Hawaii, where I used to live: Marinate it (under refrigeration) for at least a day in a mixture of miso paste, minced ginger and minced garlic, plus a splash of mirin, sake, wine or spirits. A white or at least light-colored miso is best, though red miso can work too ... you might want to add a dash of sugar, but taste the marinade and see. Pan-fry, oven bake, or grill. Some like to wipe off most of the marinade before cooking, some don't.

Whoa ... I just googled up some escolar images. Know what? Escolar and black cod look very similar. Both have off-white, slightly pinkish flesh ... and blackish, slightly knobby-looking scales. They are, in fact, two completely different species. The old advice is the right advice: only buy fish from people you trust.

PS: If you're visiting Hawaii, you can pay big bucks for miso butterfish at Roy's or Nobu. But if you can do without the white-tablecloth setting, every Hawaii Costco sells local pre-marinated miso butterfish for around $12 a pound. Just get some, and a bag of charcoal, and head for the nearest beach park that has barbecue grills. Miso butterfish is hugely popular in the Islands and enjoyed by practically everybody.

Jun 24, 2014
emu48 in General Topics