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emu48's Profile

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How do you eat tinned sardines?

There are a lot of delicious southern Italian pasta recipes online that use canned sardines. Fire up your googler and take a chance.

about 24 hours ago
emu48 in General Topics

Best inexpensive but decent knives for sharing at cottage (must be avail in Grter Vancouver)

Forschner/Victorinox or the Thai brands Kiwi and Kom Kom. Or the commercial-grade (usually plastic handles) Dexters. The Thai knives cost the least and look like what they are ... cheap blades. But they take an amazing edge. You find them on Amazon.com or at Asian food stores. The other brands I mentioned are better knives but don't do the job any better.

What Is America's Worst Restaurant Chain?

I've never gone to a restaurant and paid money to eat fried chicken (well, except when it was Korean or Thai). I've never understood why Americans think their fried chicken is such a delicacy. To me, it's just bland and boring grandma food. I'd eat it again if I was eating at someone's home and it was what's in front of me (to the exclusion of anything else), but otherwise, no.

Aug 19, 2015
emu48 in Features

Declining quality at Costco?

You live in America, I presume. Eat in Europe for a while and then come home. You will forever regard most American food products as chemical-laden garbage.

Aug 17, 2015
emu48 in Chains

Declining quality at Costco?

Sorry, but a savings of 32 cents on a tank of gasoline is a savings of zero significance unless you buy a tankful every day. Not enough money to buy a pack of gum or a pencil or a roll of toilet paper. My Costco gas give me similar "savings." Maybe cheaper gas used to be a good reason to join Costco, but it's not anymore.

Aug 17, 2015
emu48 in Chains

Declining quality at Costco?

I've noticed, in the last few years, major declines in the quality of two Costco food products that are not fresh produce, both carrying the Kirkland brand. This was a big deal for me, because both of these products are (or used to be) important in my life.

One is the jarred basil pesto sauce. Costco used to sell an excellent one that was mostly basil. Now it sells a very inferior one that is mostly some kind of basil-flavored oil product with very little real basil in it. It is garbage, and I no longer buy it. Both the old and the new versions sold for $7 and change. To keep the price down, it is obvious that they turned the product into shit. This is typical cynical corporate marketing bait-and-switch, not something I ever expected from Costco.

The other is the Colombian ground coffee in the brown three-pound can. It used to be one of the finest inexpensive coffees you could buy. Lately it's become low-quality, inferior crap, and I have quit buying it. About five years ago, its price shot up dramatically because that's what was happening in the international coffee industry. My belief is that prompted Costco to start using cheaper, lower-quality beans in this blend so as to bring the price back down. I guess people kept buying the inferior new blend, so they stuck with it after bean prices came back down. Some of my relatives, with whom I had not discussed this problem, came to the same conclusion on their own, and they also quit buying it.

Complaints to Costco headquarters produced only unresponsive replies. I believe there have been unfortunate changes to Costco's corporate culture since Jim Sinegal quit being CEO.

Aug 17, 2015
emu48 in Chains
1

How do you repurpose lumpy pancakes?

Throw them in the yard for the squirrels.

Aug 14, 2015
emu48 in Home Cooking

Why is Boston food so bland?

Sorry, but I've lived for many years in both Kansas and Hawaii, and have never felt deprived of spicy food. Maybe that hasn't always been the traditional food of most locals, but tastes are changing. The key in regions with bland-food traditions is to make it clear to your server that you want some kick-ass on your plate.

Aug 13, 2015
emu48 in Greater Boston Area

Fresh tuna ideas

If using up five pounds in the next day or two is a problem, consider making some of it into conserved tuna. Google up the Los Angeles Times recipe. Basically, that's chunks of fresh tuna slow-poached in olive oil with herbs, garlic, maybe a chile or two. Keeps for a week or so in fridge, which is considerably longer than the fresh product. Gets you a luscious form of tuna that's like the finest canned tuna you ever will taste. Good in salads, sandwiches or on its own. Easy to do, and workable with large or small amounts of tuna.

Aug 13, 2015
emu48 in Home Cooking

Pizza Nissa Socca, the missing recipe

You're right, the original pizza nissa socca recipe calls for conventional pizza dough, not chickpea dough. The nissa socca aspect is the garnishes, not the crust.

I don't have a recipe for the dough, but no matter. Wheat-flour-based pizza doughs are all pretty basic and pretty much all variations on the same theme. I make a fairly soft dough and roll or stretch it thin; thicker is fine if that's how you like it. Lately I've been using Jim Lahey's no knead pizza dough (just google those words to get the recipe), because the long, slow rise produces a more flavorful crust. Sometimes I cheat by quadrupling the amount of yeast so I can use the dough sooner. There is all kinds of foodie hocus-pocus about pizza dough on the web ... 00 low-protein flour from Italy, semolina flour, adding a little cake flour, etc etc. I've tried all kinds, and anymore I use nothing but unbleached all-purpose flour. That's not how they do it in Naples, but I don't have a 900-degree wood-fired oven like in Naples either, so what the hell.

Aug 07, 2015
emu48 in Home Cooking

Gross Food From the 1950s

You can never go wrong with a bowl of lime green Jell-O with baby marshmallows and cubes of Spam in it. If you want to dress it up, put stuffed olives on toothpicks and stick them all over it as a garnish. You're welcome.

Jun 23, 2015
emu48 in General Topics

What Is America's Worst Restaurant Chain?

I hold Chucky Cheeze in high regard. Not that I ever eat there, Lord no. But Chucky encourages parents of unruly brats to go to a place chock full of screaming brats, a place actually designed and intended for them. All restaurants near a Chucky Cheeze, therefore, are likely to be slightly to a lot more pleasant for those of us who don't think rug-rat rampages are cute. Yeah, I know. I'm the Antichrist.

Jun 12, 2015
emu48 in Features
2

Costco Ahi tuna...sushi grade?

I don't think there's much (if any) farmed tuna being sold. I'm a former longtime resident of Hawaii and coastal California and I now live in Kansas City. I won't buy any purportedly fresh ocean product here except live clams and mussels ... oysters too, if I could find them. The purportedly fresh fish sold in upscale supermarkets here is pretty awful, in my experience. It's either defrosted frozen or never frozen but too old, not sure which. It costs a fortune, for all that. The best and most affordable fish I buy comes frozen from Costco, occasionally Trader Joe's. I've been enjoying Pacific cod, southern African hake, tuha, halibut (before prices went through the roof), mahi mahi and salmon. The salmon has been both farmed or wild-caught and frozen. Properly frozen and handled fish is far better eating than unfrozen fish of dubious provenance handled by Midwesterners who don't have much seafood sensitivity. PS: in Hawaii these days, where fish prices have risen, poke made from frozen fish is becoming the default, with poke made from fresh fish becoming harder to find and much more expensive. People in Japan eat frozen tuna as sashimi and sushi, so if it's good enough for them, how bad can it be?

Jun 12, 2015
emu48 in Home Cooking

Costco Food Finds - 2nd Quarter 2015

Ordered the $1.50 hotdog and drink (Costco in Kansas City, Mo.) today for the first time in months and guess what? No more Polish dog! The choices are the Kirkland hotdog or a bratwurst. The Polish dog was at least decent. The Kirkland hotdog is definitely inferior, especially compared to the kosher dogs they served until a couple years ago. Not keen on bratwurst because they're even more of a fat bomb than the hotdog is. This really sucks!

May 30, 2015
emu48 in Chains

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