Karl S's Profile

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Reheating roasted chicken?

Poor man's sous vide: put in a sealable plastic bag, squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing, then seal and put in a bowl; run hot tap water over it. If your hot tap water is around 125-130F, it won't really re-cook the meat, just warm it through. Goal with lean flesh like breast is to warm, but avoid re-cooking. Dark meat is much more forgiving.

about 18 hours ago
Karl S in Home Cooking
1

Salt free Popcorn - where can I buy it?

Salt enhances preservation for a product that is stored on marked shelves. Since it's so easy to make popcorn at home without salt, I don't see sufficient market demand for a salt-free prepopped shelf-stable product.

2 days ago
Karl S in General Topics

Good vs. Bad Pizza: Is there such a huge difference?

Well, for someone from an Asian culture, the same might be said "Why rice?" There are liminal associations with staple foods. For most cultures derived from European cultures, that staple food is most commonly bread. And pizza is a bread, dressed up. But it's fundamentally a form of bread. And just as many people in our culture finely grade quality notches in the bread continuum, so too they can do with pizza. Much as people from Asian cultures will do with rice, as people from MesoAmerican cultures could do with maize, et cet.

Staple foods are known intimately and thus in fine detail. So we will have a greater definition of quality differences across the spectrum.

I thought bolognese had milk in the recipe. Should I be adding milk?

After testing classic recipes, where there are three slow reductions in sequence, I side with the "milk reduction before adding acidic ingredients (wine/tomato)" sequence. Why? The meat seems to retain greater succulence with that sequence in my experience.

Sep 26, 2014
Karl S in Home Cooking
1

The Twelve Weeks of Christmas

Retail started Christmas in the late summer over a century ago, btw.

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/ho...

Anyway, fwiw, Christmas Day is the *first* day of Christmas for most of the Christian world (Catholics, Orthodox, and Oriental Christian churches, at least). And Christmastide lasts anywhere from 12 to 40 days depending on the cultural tradition (What we know as Groundhog Day occurs on the 40th day after Xmas, a Xmas-related feast day in those churches mentioned above).

Sep 26, 2014
Karl S in General Topics
1

Alert: artificial sweeteners

Well, the goal appears to get these covered in the daily medical-neuralgia news items on the morning TV/radio news. It's an interesting cycle: diet-oriented "news" that prompt people to be anxious about what they are eating/drinking, and then the same news shows feature copious ads for comfort foods.

I kid you not. It's amazing to me how people almost conspire not to notice this pattern.

Sep 25, 2014
Karl S in Food Media & News
1

Wheat/Dairy Free Wedding Guest Ettiquette

I'll confirm this in part. My peer data would be 40 years ago (1968 for First Communions, 1973 for Confirmations, 1974 for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs). There were families that had huge parties for these things, catered out or in, as it were. At the higher end were the Bar Mitzvahs (never, IIRC, Bat Mitzvahs) where the parents rented out an entire hotel for the weekend (I remember the tales of what my peers said they did in the bedrooms while their parents got trashed and/or high in the function rooms...those were the days....kids were either getting high or getting it on...). That said, there were families like mine who had modest celebrations: in my case for the sacraments, it was simply dinner out with the immediate family, where I got to choose where from a list of choices. A Bible, a rosary, and a Cross pen or some such. That was it. My parents, being from Connecticut and not fond of the consumerist mores of Long Island, were adamant about keeping our expectations modest, cough, cough. Most families ranged in between.

What I do think has changed is that the costs associated with the event planning industry's desiderata have grown faster than inflation, shall we say. An interesting comparison for the early post-WW2 era would be this Bette Davis film: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cate...

It's mostly gotten worse, except that there are more people willing to opt out of the event industry treadmill these days.

Sep 23, 2014
Karl S in Not About Food

I think I saw a mouse in frying pan....throw out or clean it?

The mind reels at the thought that you'd have to discard the pan because of a mouse. Hey, even if a dog pooped in it, it's just as usable, so long as you clean it. You may not like to realize that dust in many American homes is simply . . . dead human skin plus mites that are eating it (as opposed to fine dirt blown in through the windows and walls the way it used to do).

Sep 22, 2014
Karl S in Not About Food

Beer of the Month Clubs delivered to Massachusetts

No luck. Wine shipments will finally be allowed come January 1, 2015, but not beer or distilled spirits, IIRC.

Sep 21, 2014
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

Wheat/Dairy Free Wedding Guest Ettiquette

FWIW, the diamond engagement ring as a widespread cultural practice dates more to the 1920s. When middle class women needed something to demonstrate bona fides in order to permit sex before actual marriage (not that all women who got the ring necessarily indulged, but it was one of those things that became much more common). It's a most interesting cultural marker of a shift in sexual mores.

Sep 19, 2014
Karl S in Not About Food

Wheat/Dairy Free Wedding Guest Ettiquette

That would be an insult to the insane.

Alert: artificial sweeteners

But he didn't say using artificial sweeteners were GOOD for you. The import of his remarks it that people have assumed they were LESS BAD than ingesting sugar. An important distinction.

Party Early Birds

This.

You can also put this on a note pasted to the doors, which you can take down when you are ready to open the doors.

Market Basket, Thoughts

Yes, a doctor acquaintance of mine tapped me on the shoulder at the Reading store this morning, and confessed this was her first MB experience. The drama acted as advertising to people who had avoided MBs based on outdated reputations....

Sep 13, 2014
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

This.

Sep 13, 2014
Karl S in Not About Food

Market Basket, Thoughts

Where is that location?

Sep 12, 2014
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

Can you pickle celery?

When pickling cucumbers, one traditional tool to maintain crispness was to add part of a young grape leaf to the bottom of the jar. Grape leaves have tannins that assist in crispness; too much makes things too bitter, though.

Sep 12, 2014
Karl S in Home Cooking

Southern Cooking blog

It might help if you provided more information, such as:

1. Where y'at?
2. What kinds of regional foods would you tend to focus on?

Branding will best be achieved with a clear identity. Lotsa ways to do that, but you've not provided any grist to grind here. "Southern" could cover from the Delmarva Peninsula to Lake Charles Louisiana (if one assumes, arguendo, that Texas is sui generis), as it were...it's a lotta terrain to differentiate.

Sep 12, 2014
Karl S in Not About Food
1

Market Basket, Thoughts

It's quite back to normal where I've been (Reading and Chelsea).

Sep 12, 2014
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

96/4 grinding your own beef?

It's probably the least desirable part of the round with minimal fat.

Sep 11, 2014
Karl S in General Topics

Freezable reheatable leftover salmon dish...

I would NOT freeze cooked fish that was not already shredded into some other use (like for a fishcake). Fish has a delicate structure, and each iteration of freezing (before purchase), cooking, freezing (leftovers), reheating compromises the texture, often with fluids released at each turn.

Americans like leftovers, but strongly resist the reality that leftovers do not replicate the original version, but decline in quality unless they are skillfully repurposed (the way a Sunday dinner roast would become cold sliced meat on Monday (laundry day) dinner, and any further leftovers hashed into something or put into soup).

Sep 10, 2014
Karl S in Home Cooking

Freezable reheatable leftover salmon dish...

The best way to reheat flesh that you don't want to actually re-cook is the poor man's sous vide, as it were: put it in a food-grade plastic bag, gently remove as much air as possible and seal the bag, then place the item in a bowl and run hot tap water over it. If your hot tap water runs about 125F or so, you should be able to warm it up nicely without recooking it. Way better than other methods unless you're trying to preserve a particular presentation.

Sep 10, 2014
Karl S in Home Cooking

Words of food wisdom that Food Network NEVER taught you.

There's a big difference roasting a 3.5 lb chicken that your recipe envisions and the 6 lb roaster you actually bought.

Sep 08, 2014
Karl S in Not About Food

Unpasteurized Apple Cider MetroWest now that Phil's has gone away?

You'll only find it at the orchards themselves, per a stupid regulatory policy put into place earlier in the last decade.

Sep 08, 2014
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

Minimum Wage Impact on Restaurant (especially FF) Prices

That commie pinko.

Sep 07, 2014
Karl S in Not About Food

Chicken like Boston Chicken used to make

The ones from the boneless, skinless chicken farm are very unnatural.

Anybody sell REAL double cream?

Clotted cream is not the same thing as double cream. American heavy cream might be thought of a One-and-a-Half Cream, with Light Cream as Single Cream.

Sep 06, 2014
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

Memorial Day napkins, of course. (Or Dia de los Muertos.)

Sep 05, 2014
Karl S in Not About Food
1

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

I'll provide napkins.

Sep 05, 2014
Karl S in Not About Food

best 100% whole wheat flour?

Preaching to the choir here. I get mine at a place that carries comestibles from the British Isles for about US$6.50 for a 2 kilo bag, and keep it in the freezer. I also like their cream flour.

Sep 05, 2014
Karl S in General Topics