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Chefpaulo's Profile

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50 Comfort Foods for 50 States

Often out of it...but never far away.

My comments were made in the spirit of Joel Garreau's "The Nine Nations of North America" whose premise was that we are a continent of cultures irrespective of state and international boundaries. Living in eastern Pennsylvania, I have much more in common culturally with my friends in Toronto than I have with folks in Quebec, New Mexico or Louisiana. With the introduction of countless new instructional options via cable television and internet, the melding of these cultural influences makes identification of preferred food by political division a non sequitur. We migrate to other areas with increasing frequency and bring those influences with us.

The P.S. about the Dutch cuisine was to underscore. My Scottish/English grandmother, who has no identifiable Dutch heritage, made the exact same dinner mentioned by the hotel clerk. So, who is to say what is comfort food by locale?
CP

about 18 hours ago
Chefpaulo in General Topics

50 Comfort Foods for 50 States

I don't know if comfort food geographic regions count as much as traditions from early memories. Cable, internet and mobility have pretty much fused national tastes over the last 30 years. We are all sharing grandma's secret recipe, or at least have seen some chef make a reasonable facsimile and given instructions on how to do the same.
CP

P.S. I was just reminded of my brother and I asking our (*gorgeous*) hotel desk clerk at the Hotel Schiller in Amsterdam where to go for authentic Dutch cuisine. Not that it ever crossed our minds what actually constitutes Dutch cuisine - or that we had ever encountered a Dutch restaurant...anywhere...we asked for her recommendation.
"What?" she says wrinkling up her nose. "You don't want to go out for Dutch food. That's what your grandmother used to make - roast chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy and green beans. You don't want to pay for that, do you???"

Upon her second recommendation, we opted for Indonesian Rijstafel and were glad we did.

But now we know what Dutch cuisine is.

1 day ago
Chefpaulo in General Topics

‘Food is Meant to Nourish, Not Entertain’

I didn't see that pic of him until just moments ago. He is scary. Would you trust your kid in the same room with him?

Before I believe anything he has to say about healthful eating, let's review his publications on shaving, shampooing, flossing and other daily practices that seem to have escaped his attention.
CP

P.S. Oooo...gross thought. I wonder what his kitchen looks like.

Jul 29, 2014
Chefpaulo in Food Media & News

What are you baking these days? July edition, part 2! [old]

Lemongirl, Would you do a short video on making this? Mine never looked this good....ever!

I can hear the crust crackle as I bite down on a slice slathered with soft plugra....or roasted garlic cloves.... or aged Roquefort.

Hmmmmm.....accompanied by a nice chilled Pinot Noir (yes, in the heat of summer I like a chill on my reds)and a Salade Nicoise...after the vichyssoise.

Followed up by a peach tart.... with home made peach ice cream.

Espresso and Armagnac afterward.

Now see what you've done!!!
CP

Jul 25, 2014
Chefpaulo in Home Cooking

How often do you drink at lunch during the work week?

I think it comes down to issues of age and metabolism.

Lunch back then.....
First job out of grad school in 1975, we'd all pile into the car, load up a couple of bowls, smoke all the way up to The Wagon Wheel, have a Scotch or bourbon while awaiting our cheese steaks and fries with a couple of beers, get back in the car, pass around another couple of bowls on the way back, arrive in the parking lot, pass around the Visine and Binaca and go back to work.

Lunch today.... I haven't smoked pot since the 90's, fruit and cottage cheese are preferred and one beer will have me asleep in six minutes.

Ahhhh....the good old days.

CP

P.S. And I kept that job for 12 years.

Jul 24, 2014
Chefpaulo in Not About Food

‘Food is Meant to Nourish, Not Entertain’

What a gawdawful PITA he must be at the dinner table.
CP

Jul 24, 2014
Chefpaulo in Food Media & News
1

Food Scars - Things you will never eat again.

I had a similar experience with that stuff. Bartender at a picnic event made me a Sloe Comfortable Screw (sloe gin, Southern Comfort and O.J.) right before I had to pitch a softball game. We lost....big time.
CP

Jul 24, 2014
Chefpaulo in Not About Food

Memorable Quotes about booze

His other great retort after correction for a vulgar remark (not booze related but when he was likely under the influence) was:
Lady Astor: Why, Winston! If you were my husband, I'd put poison in your coffee.
Churchill: And if you were my wife, I WOULD DRINK IT.
CP

Jul 21, 2014
Chefpaulo in Food Media & News

Logan Inn

FD, I had suggested Hamilton's but GF heard Nikolas was good. Now we know.
As for the front of house mess up, I think hostess lady was on break when Moon Unit chickie assistant understudy took the call admiring her new manicure not knowing WTF is going on.
Regarding back of house, Chef went on break while Sous added salt to the paella, line cook added more and chucked it into the salamander where all dried out. Seeing the resultant disaster, summer intern broiler man thought salt might hide the damage.
Those are my only logical conclusions.
CP

Jul 20, 2014
Chefpaulo in Philadelphia

Wegmans going downhill

I live in Collegeville and work in Wayne. To paraphrase the empathic sentiments of a recent ex-President..."Ah feel you' pain."

The K of P store is the "mirror image" of Collegeville as they were all designed.
For someone with life-long left-right directionality problems, I'm constantly asking for directions in K o' P trying to reorient myself in this reverse mode world.
You must be equally frustrated with Collegeville.

I must get out to C' ville to see if these diatribes of Big Box accusations are manifesting. There will be no joy in Mudville...or Collegeville...if true.
CP

Jul 20, 2014
Chefpaulo in Chains
1

Logan Inn

Things have certainly changed at The Logan Inn since my hang-out-in-New Hope days of the 80's, as indicated by the upscale Mediterranean Nikolas at the Logan Inn. I can't say that it counts as an improvement based on our experience of Friday evening. My GF had called ahead to make a reservation only to be told they didn't take reservations on weekends and was first-come-first-served. Upon arrival, we were asked if we had reservations. Go figure. Hostess eventually "found" us an unreserved table near the reception station where everyone else arrived with reservations.

Once seated, we both decided on the special blood orange cocktail (very tasty) and to go for the prix fixe menu of app/soup, salad, entree and dessert. Jen's onion soup crock and serving plate were completely glazed over with a rather bland cheese that took some digging but the soup was good. My "snapper" soup would have been an enigma if not served with the cruet of sherry and was quite well spiced to make up for the dearth of meat. Jen's beet salad was a winner but my "meh" Caesar came sans anchovies (even after waiter agreed) as the top-of-menu caveat "Changes and substitutions will be politely declined" even applies to staple ingredients.

Our entrees were far less-than-stellar. Jen's miniscule lamb shank came in a large crock of orzo in tomato sauce that certainly was disappointing for $40. My $45 paella Valencia with its one shrimp, dried out scallops and tiny mussels was too salty to be edible and was the first time I have returned an entree in over a decade. The replacement salmon with Bernaise was an improvement but nothing I'd go back for.

Desserts were OK - tiramisu and flourless chocolate cake - but we were now too full and frustrated by the increasing noise level to sit any longer so we packed up leftovers for home.
CP

P.S. I can't underscore enough how salty the paella was. It was truly inedible.

Jul 20, 2014
Chefpaulo in Philadelphia

Tea room near New Hope/Lambertville

Rojo turned out to be a very convenient spot to meet my clients midway between Collegeville and Metuchen although the interior was not as expected. Much more a "working coffee shop," there were a few tables and a serving bar in an otherwise warehouse with 75-gallon drums of beans and a loud (but pleasantly aromatic) 1920's-era belt driven roasting machine. Iced latte's were good and I picked up what I thought were two one-pound bags of organic fair traded East Timor maubesse beans for $36 - which only turned out to be 12-oz.Oh, well....

The trip also turned into a convenient segue to meet the GF for dinner at Nikolas at the Logan Inn but I'll save those disparaging remarks for another thread.
CP

Jul 20, 2014
Chefpaulo in Philadelphia

I need advice on cooking fish

Sorry you don't like it rare.

I heard years ago that the best way to cook fish is to have it walked through a warm kitchen by a slow waiter.
CP

Jul 17, 2014
Chefpaulo in Home Cooking
1

Tea room near New Hope/Lambertville

Thanks to all. Clients and I have decided on Rojo's. I'll provide a review.
CP

Jul 16, 2014
Chefpaulo in Philadelphia
1

You know you dine out too often when...

The extended family is gathered for Seder. Grandfather rises and asks,"What makes this night different from all other nights?"
Four year old: "I know!! Mommy cooked!"
CP

Jul 16, 2014
Chefpaulo in Not About Food
2

Crispy Corn Fritters

My Nana's recipe to the T.
CP

Jul 15, 2014
Chefpaulo in Recipes

Egg salad: how many eggs per sandwich?

OK...Mea culpa on the blasphemy and impetus for schism. Let me eggsplain:
After banishment by Pope Humpty II, I took solace in "Degustibus non est disputandum" and moved to Orleans and did it my way. Still crazy after all these years.

However, I withheld confession of my deep penchant for whole wheat bread heaped with egg salad, a mound of crisp water cress and microtome-sliced red onion as this surely would have been grounds for eggscommunication from CHOWHoundia.
CP

Jul 15, 2014
Chefpaulo in Home Cooking
3

Egg salad: how many eggs per sandwich?

As much as you can get on two big slices of rye with crisp lettuce and fresh tomato slices and ground pepper - and a You Bet chocolate egg cream. Don't forget the Utz chips. That's egg salad.
CP

Jul 14, 2014
Chefpaulo in Home Cooking

Famous Regional Food you find embarrassing or disgusting?

dn: I concur without reservation. However, I forget who said it but, "The only bad publicity is no publicity."

I wouldn't be surprised if Pat's, Geno's, Jim's and all other pretenders to the throne were in collusion with an ad agency to make sure that battles are always in the forefront so everyone wins the war.
CP
P.S. Reviews for all of the above are 2.0 to 3.5 (maybe 4) stars. There is no "best" cheesesteak or it would be obvious.

Jul 14, 2014
Chefpaulo in General Topics

Wegmans going downhill

The area flagship store is Collegeville. I'll have to check this out and report back. This would be so sad if true all over.
CP

Jul 14, 2014
Chefpaulo in Chains

Mainland Inn

Great point. I hope its not Blue Bell Inn all over again - copious interior upgrades (except acoustics) run by an Exec chef who cooked in a steak house. I'll investigate.
CP

Jul 13, 2014
Chefpaulo in Philadelphia
1

Famous Regional Food you find embarrassing or disgusting?

I've been off of red/white meat since 1978 and have been on a primarily pescatarian/vegetarian regimen since, with infrequent fowl. Any potted meat product that lists "beef lips and pork snouts" as the primary ingredients is less than comestible to me. Then, I've also had vegan guests refuse anything with butter, cringe at the thought egg and almost faint when seeing raw chicken. It's OK with me and all relative.
CP

Jul 13, 2014
Chefpaulo in General Topics
1

Tea room near New Hope/Lambertville

I'm meeting a client and her daughter mid-afternoon next Friday and was hoping to find a place for tea. Any recommendations in the area?
CP

Jul 12, 2014
Chefpaulo in Philadelphia

Famous Regional Food you find embarrassing or disgusting?

Yeah, souse is correct. I was using the German term "sulze." It might be OK for the porcine-chomping crowd but I just can't do it. Its tantamount to those little cans of generic black-and whlte labeled foods back in the 70's that read "Potted Meat Food Product." Read those ingredients and weep before you hurl.
CP

Jul 11, 2014
Chefpaulo in General Topics

Famous Regional Food you find embarrassing or disgusting?

Oh, I have yet to see it posted here, but Pennsylvania Dutch headcheese (a.k.a. sulze) has to be the grossest thing in North America, at least. This is all the leftover chopped scraps from a butchered pig (snout, ears, other "personal" parts… and more) boiled with herbs and salt, pressed into a mold and then sliced as "porcine Jell-O with mystery flavor bits" - and I am being really polite.
CP

Jul 11, 2014
Chefpaulo in General Topics

Boiling whole duck

FD, You have a lot more fat on a duck than you do your standard grade supermarket chicken. You need to trim it well or all that fat is going to melt and drip into your coals causing acrid smoke.

I use my Laz-Y-Man grill for grilling but I like my Brinkmann smoker for multi-hour, slow roasting and smoking projects. You need to have a water reservoir interface to catch the fat before it drips into the coals. The Brinkmann can be used as a smoker as well as a grill but keeping excess fat from burning is your primary concern.
I hope this helps.
CP

Jul 11, 2014
Chefpaulo in Home Cooking

Boiling whole duck

Monica, If you trim off all of the big blobs near the rear of the cavity, I think the remaining fat adds to the richness. You can always chill overnight and skim off what you don't want.
Doing a second boiling with additional aromatics and the chopped bones releases the marrow and produces an even richer broth. Strain carefully to not get bone fragments in the stock.
Lemon adds a piquant element that I like and somehow needs to be there. Just a few quarters do not make it bitter at all. For an Asian flavor, consider orange zest.
As for the childhood recollections, I also took a while to get over eating Donald, Daisy and Daffy but have yet to chow down on Bugs, Peter or Roger. Jest can't do it.
CP

Jul 11, 2014
Chefpaulo in Home Cooking

Boiling whole duck

Monica, If you will heed the counsel of an infidel who, since childhood was intrigued by the Marx Brother's film title "Duck Soup," I'll offer the following recipe for poaching a duck and making an exquisite stock:

I use a tall, commercial grade asparagus steamer which perfectly accommodates one healthy duck. A tall "high hat" stockpot may work as well.Trim all the excess fat, fill the cavity with onion, lemon wedges or whatever aromatics you want, and some sea salt and peppercorns to the bottom of the pot. Place the duck in legs up and cover with water.Bring to a slow simmer for about 5 min. covered.
In a 300° (slow) oven, place the stockpot in and allow to bake for one hour. Without opening the oven or disturbing the duck, turn the oven off and allow it to remain covered and slowly poach overnight.
In the morning, your broth will still be warm so remove carefully and pour stock into a large saucepan. Transfer the duck to a plate (which will now be falling apart) and reserve all meat. With a cleaver, chop the larger bones in half and add all to the stockpot with some additional onion, celery or whatever you like. Add some water and allow to simmer for an hour or two.
Strain the stock and you now have two great components-moist, succulent duck meat and a rich duck stock-from which to create Duck Soup. I've done an Asian version with shiitakes, bean thread noodles and bok choy, as well as a more Northern European version with egg noodles and finely diced root vegetables. Go for it !
CP
P.S. And I once did the Russian borscht version with shredded cabbage, beets, cubed potato and yellow turnip with a blob of dilled sour cream. I think all Marx brothers would've asked for seconds.

Jul 11, 2014
Chefpaulo in Home Cooking
1

Famous Regional Food you find embarrassing or disgusting?

Utz girl could have held out for better but maybe her clock is ticking.
I wonder what their kids will look like. Any Photoshoppers out there with time to spare?
CP

Jul 11, 2014
Chefpaulo in General Topics
1

Famous Regional Food you find embarrassing or disgusting?

I recall it was Coco Channel who turned it into haute cuisine, not so? (Whoever....thank you!!!)
CP

Jul 10, 2014
Chefpaulo in General Topics
1