Karl S's Profile

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Grassfed beef taste test

It's perhaps counterintuitive that a leaner beef might make a better burger.

American hamburger patties may be divided into two general types: thick "pucks" and thin "flat patties" - the latter seems to be associated with the West Coast and the former with NY-area diners, but in practice I think prevalence is all over the map. Anyway, fattiness makes a difference in patty type: in a thick patty, having a medium rare burger with a lot of tepid fat is not necessarily loved by everyone, while a high fat content renders out in a thinner patty but enough remains to let it still seem juicy even if you overcook it a bit. (This is why the thin patty type is more forgiving, at least IMO. And that's probably why I've shifted strongly to preferring thin patties over the years. A preference shift borne of experience.)

That said, for some reason the more robust texture and flavor of the grass-finished ground beef, even with somewhat less fat, holds up better than with typical grain-finished beef.

about 10 hours ago
Karl S in General Topics

Being "put to work" at a Christmas Party

Not Good Eats.

about 10 hours ago
Karl S in Not About Food

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

For context, some of us go back to the 1990s here, you know, when Altavista was still the search engine of the moment, before Google (is that BG?). IIRC, Jim Leff created the original boards circa 1996, and I have this vague memory of joining perhaps a year in (the post archives don't go back that far, though, I think they only go back to the early 2000s, but I could be wrong, as I so often am).

about 10 hours ago
Karl S in Site Talk

Automatic gratuity - what % is normal?

Sicilians are more, um, versatile.

about 12 hours ago
Karl S in Not About Food

Grassfed beef taste test

I strongly prefer grass-finished beef for burgers. The texture and flavor profile for that purpose are superior.

about 13 hours ago
Karl S in General Topics

Need help for Christmas menu

You need something cold and crunchy to go with all that soft, warm, goeey stuff.

My suggestion would be a Claremont Salad, which is the precursor to the so-called health salad and is a marinated salad that actually SHOULD be made a day ahead.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7923...

about 14 hours ago
Karl S in General Topics

Automatic gratuity - what % is normal?

Actually, depending on the complexity of the menu, it is often harder to time *good* service for a single table of 16 than 4 tables of 4. Why? Because you're not serving the 4 table of 4 simultaneously. This is one reason I strongly prefer to break up large groups into smaller groups.

The hamburgers and pasta have to be sequenced with the more difficult orders; the fact that they are easy individually doesn't change that equation.

The quality of the food, btw, is irrelevant to the tip % unless it's clearly an issue of the server (rather than the kitchen).

Anyway, 18% is very normal for a large party. Your timing experience doesn't appear unusual to me; as an early diner myself, I am aware that the kitchen is still prepping for the busier hours to come, so it's not at full efficiency yet, and so I am never surprised that service takes longer at that time.

While I can't say you received stellar service, it's also clear from your post that your expectations are not quite aligned with reality.

about 14 hours ago
Karl S in Not About Food
1

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

The staff interventions offer a classic example of How To Lose Friends and Alienate People.

about 14 hours ago
Karl S in Site Talk
3

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

"Splitting threads onto a multitude of pages is all about serving more ads and generating page views."

THIS too. We're not that stupid.

1 day ago
Karl S in Site Talk
1

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

Yes, the staff reliance on Site Talk is one of those easier-for-the-staff but useless-for-user protocols. It should be euthanized. But I am sure it won't be.

1 day ago
Karl S in Site Talk

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

THIS. Pay attention CHOW.

Need easy showstopper dessert

A lemon-lime posset. Couldn't be easier.

Lime and Lemon Posset

• 2 cups heavy cream (if you can, try to find simple pasteurized cream (which is hard to find in most supermarkets nowadays - Whole Foods and TJs have the real stuff in many areas), rather than ultrapasteurized cream – the ultra stuff has less flavor and is full of gums to make it seem thicker than it is, and is not as good for a simpler, pure dessert like this one)

• 2/3 cup superfine or granulated white sugar (and it must be white sugar; you will need an extra teaspoon for the garnish, as noted below)
• pinch of salt
• 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (you might want to remove the zest for the garnish first – wash the rind well under warm water before zesting, as citrus rinds are waxed (and full of pesticides if not organic); if it’s not fresh, it won’t taste the same – it will have all the acid but have lost much of its floral flavors)
• 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (ditto)
For the garnish:
• 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
• 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
• 1 teaspoon superfine or granulated white sugar

Over medium-high heat, bring the cream, sugar and salt to boil in a pan or pot, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, adjusting heat as needed to prevent mixture from boiling over. Remove from heat, and stir in the lime and lemon juice, then cool for 10 minutes. Stir again, and divide into up to 6 ramekins or custard cups. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight. The posset keeps for many days if kept chilled. When ready to serve, mix together the ingredients for the garnish and sprinkle evenly. (365 calories per serving if divided 6 ways; 550 calories per serving if divided 4 ways.)

An alternative is to simply have it in one bowl and have people serve themselves in small cups....

Dec 17, 2014
Karl S in Home Cooking

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

Terrible terrible terrible. You should have made this an opt-in option. You've pretty much ruined the historical threads by rendering it all unread.

Dec 17, 2014
Karl S in Site Talk

Christmas Dinner: in charge of turkey and ham and mashed potato -- but traveling 5 hours to get there, arriving just 2 hours before scheduled dinner time

Another idea: Just buy roasted sliced turkey breast from Costco. It's actually a lot better than homemade for a lot of people.

Being "put to work" at a Christmas Party

You are better than me and many Hounds...

Dec 16, 2014
Karl S in Not About Food

Being "put to work" at a Christmas Party

Roz is a possible contender for Dishonorable Mention for Featured Appearance in the Chowhound Hall of Ill-Fame.

My sense is that the current blue ribbon holder of all Chowhound time (at least for notoriety on these boards - and there's so much competition) is the guest at San Jose Hound's cookout in 2008. (The competing ribs thread, for them that remember.)

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4112...

It might be fun for SamuelAt to combine forces with San Jose Hound and have a runoff competition.

Looking to Buy Snail Salad for Christmas Eve

In your queries of local Italian markets, you might also try asking for scungilli salad. Not sure if you'll get an affirmative response, but if you said "snail salad" they might not think you mean scungilli or conch ( a very large snail, of course) but of small escargot snails.

Dec 16, 2014
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

Christmas Dinner: in charge of turkey and ham and mashed potato -- but traveling 5 hours to get there, arriving just 2 hours before scheduled dinner time

I will just add that this should never be repeated. No one should be asked - let alone expected -to cook perishable (in food safety terms) dishes when they are driving over an hour, unless the diner are expecting reheated leftovers that have been cooked, portioned and thoroughly refrigerated and kept chilled before rewarming for serving. Period.

recipe nutrition information?

Don't bother. It will be creepy.

Dec 13, 2014
Karl S in General Topics

What to tip at authentic Chinese/dim sum?

Of course, it's illegal in some US states; the Massachusetts attorney general's office is known for busting restaurants that screw front-line servers out of their tips.

Dec 13, 2014
Karl S in Not About Food

Christmas Day Dinner

You don't have to step up either. If you don't allow a vacuum to be created by failing to step up, it's unlikely anyone else will step up.

Dec 12, 2014
Karl S in General Topics

USA heavy cream vs UK double cream

While this is true of S&S, Shaws and MB, you can find unadulterated heavy cream at Whole Foods (High Lawn), Trader Joe's and a variety of other markets that carry smaller local dairy products.

Dec 12, 2014
Karl S in General Topics

Oysters

Wins the thread.

Dec 11, 2014
Karl S in General Topics
1

Being "put to work" at a Christmas Party

This should be the end of dining with Roz. Period. No longer socialize with her in dining situations. At this point, any further misery is self-inflicted.

No knead bread - rise in dutch oven

A very important caution: you can only use a nonstick pan if it's rated for that hot oven temperature - most are not. Unless you like toxins.

Dec 10, 2014
Karl S in Home Cooking
1

Anyone else crazy enough to bake with a preschooler?

Well, it's easier to bake them crispy when they are smaller, but the larger ones stay chewier.

Dec 09, 2014
Karl S in Home Cooking
1

What makes a Diner special?

Oh, yes, cops. How could we forget that!

Dec 09, 2014
Karl S in General Topics

Why did the chicken cross the road? To avoid a debate!

And don't forget "The General's Chicken", the ultimate finesse.

Dec 08, 2014
Karl S in General Topics

What makes a Diner special?

(cough) New England still has diners. The classic railcar-style ones were manufactured in Worcester....

That said, the diners of the NYC metro area are a special subtype - the 24 hour massive menu Greek-owned everything-to-everyone kinds of place.

Dec 08, 2014
Karl S in General Topics

What makes a Diner special?

In a lot of places, scrambled eggs can be spooned out of a square holding pan of made-ahead. I am notoriously (on the Home Cooking board) fussy when it comes to scrambled eggs - I much prefer the teeny curd custardy French slow cooked style over the dry, large cur broken-omelet style that is much more common in American restaurants, so I rarely order scrambled eggs out, unless I can see a cook scramble them on a griddle and order them very moist (there are short order cooks who are immensely skilled at this, but they are rarely encountered - to my mind, scrambling eggs is up with cooking fish as a test of a cook's skills).

Dec 08, 2014
Karl S in General Topics