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Karl S's Profile

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Your favorite blue cheese dressing (need help)

I am very picky about blue cheese dressings. My gold standard is my variation (in parentheses) on the classic recipe from Marion Cunningham's edition of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook:

2 oz (or more to taste if you prefer) Roquefort cheese, crumbled (it really should be Roquefort; other blue cheeses, no matter how fine, do not work as well - I don't normally care for Roquefort on its own, but for this purpose it's sublime)

1/4 cup mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip, thank you kindly)

1/2 cup sour cream (regular, not low fat, unless you are using all of the dressing within a couple of hourse; low fat will separate out much more quickly)

1 tsp vinegar (I prefer cider vinegar for this, but I do use lemon juice sometimes)

1 tbsp milk (I use Kate's Real Buttermilk instead)

1/4 tsp salt (I use celery salt, because celery seed offers more umami; and I usually add freshly cracked black pepper)

PS: NO GARLIC (I love garlic, but it masks the Roquefort more than enhancing it). If you want garlic flavor, make garlic toasts/croutons.

about 14 hours ago
Karl S in Home Cooking

Costco pork ribs and GMO feed

Don't forget the salt.

about 15 hours ago
Karl S in General Topics

Linguine and white clam sauce for a crowd.

Here's a very important tip that is typically neglected by Americans: be sure to serve this hot and on warmed plates/bowls. This is the kind of pasta dish that cools quickly, and should never be served on tepid or cold dishes.

about 21 hours ago
Karl S in Home Cooking

What to cook in rented beach house Labor Day weekend?

Fish and seafood.

Fresh summer tomatoes with feta cheese, and olives to taste.

Grilled corn and peppers.

Grilled cheese sandwiches (either on the griddle or with grilled bread, open face, broiled....)

Fresh seasonal fruit to finish.

Aug 30, 2015
Karl S in Home Cooking

Michelin Star?

Aug 28, 2015
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

Bagels (Somerville Area)

I finally tried Bagelsaurus last weekend (I am rarely in the area anymore - my former stomping grounds for several years) when I happened to be heading to an appointment that allowed me to be in line before opening.

They are definitely sourdough. And while I like the moistness of the crumb, it's more airy and open a crumb than I prefer for a bagel (it's perfectly appropriate for sourdough bread), and makes them fairly big. The crust is excellent.

Aug 28, 2015
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

November 2015 Openings and Closings

Well, I've been wondering how long it would take for Seaport Blvd to be rechristened Menino Blvd (really, Menino's Way would be even more appropriate).

Aug 28, 2015
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

I lied, more questions.

Traffic depends on time of year, week and day - with work days being complicated by the fact that there is a much higher percentage of people working flex-times that allow them to start rush hours earlier than used to be typical for this area (the evening rush hour often starts by 2pm - in advance of school and hospital day-shift staff who formerly were the heralds of the evening rush). Bostonians tend to think we have miserable traffic that people in other metro areas wouldn't blink at. That said, getting around is not always straightforward, and there are very localized problem spots that locals would by nature know more (Oh, don't ever go that way at that time, go this way...; I would say that I have about a dozen alternate local detour routes memorized for each of my daily 12 mile commute, and am regularly innovating them) about than visitors.

Providence is an easy train/car trip, and has much food to recommend it. Rhode Island has far more local food traditions than one might expect for a place its size. For sights, don't neglect Benefit Street on College Hill - one of the most beautiful streets in the USA

http://7e6bfd32e92c7da2fa26-b05ec1b33...

(along with the smaller but even more precious Chestnut Street in Salem)

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/I...

Portsmouth NH is a great destination in the other direction. A great small city to walk around in.

Further northeast, Portland ME is the true food capital of New England, and very much worth a visit, with a wonderful downtown full of treats.

Aug 28, 2015
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

Ice Cream: Best Bang (Density) for Buck

I understand that. My wording did not sufficiently indicate that, but for the record, I do understand that. I view their use as a negative factor in evaluating premium ice creams.

Aug 27, 2015
Karl S in General Topics

If I Were A Fundamentalist Locavore in Boston...

Agreed. Also, water sustainability is highly localised, and therefore its proper placement on a list of sustainability priorities will vary by locality. For people who live with reservoir water of which there is an ample supply (for example, in Greater Boston - the MWRA communities, which have much safer levels of water use than 30 years ago, and our reservoirs are not facing depletion by any measure*), it's should be put further down the triage list of sustainability issues.

* http://www.mwra.state.ma.us/monthly/w...

Aug 27, 2015
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

Do you use garlic powder?

Of course. It's necessary in rubs where minced garlic would burn.

For that matter, dehydrated minced onion is perfect for any wet or damp use - like salad dressings, dips, breads - where you want a pronounced but mild onion onion flavor without the bitter edge. Toasted versions are also available and worth having on hand.

Aug 27, 2015
Karl S in Home Cooking

One-day foodie road trip from Boston

A memory: One of the best meals I've ever had was the late, great French restaurant, Bandol, at 90 Exchange Street in Portland, which was only open for about 3 years in the middle of the last decade, but was wonderful.

Aug 26, 2015
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

Ice Cream: Best Bang (Density) for Buck

I don't distinguish between premium and superpremium brands, because there are variations within brands. To *me*, premium and superpremium have low overrun, but superpremium also relies less on gums/stabilizers and other (perfectly lawful, mind you) tricks to extend shelf life. I don't know SC's vanilla, so I can't compare. The classic *supermarket freezer case* superpremium ice cream, to my mind, is HD strawberry - more than any of their other flavors, it's in a class of its own. You can make better at home, but with a lot more effort....

Aug 26, 2015
Karl S in General Topics

Ice Cream: Best Bang (Density) for Buck

Look at the weight in grams per unit serving (standard serving is 1/2 cup) - that's the single best way to determine density. Premium ice creams tend to be over 100g per serving.

Understand that for other frozen delights - sherbets, gelati, sorbets - they are denser by their nature than typical ice cream, so normal weights are typically > 90g.

One-day foodie road trip from Boston

Portland.
Portland.
Portland.

It's the food capital of New England in a way Boston ain't. (That is, it has a cohesive restaurant and food culture; Greater Boston is too fragmented and the overhead expenses - especially for space - far too high to allow what Portland has been allowed to grow over the past generation.)

Aug 26, 2015
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

What are your favourite Southern Cookbooks?

The fundamental go-to chefs are: Edna Lewis (who was a Southern-raised Alice Waters before Alice Waters was Alice Waters, as it were) and Bill Neal.

Aug 25, 2015
Karl S in Home Cooking

Let's Do Something Different for the Holidays

My condolences on your loss.

Which holidays?

As a *general* rule, holiday meals often have liminal associations that are tampered with at one's peril. For families where N holiday means X, Y, and Z are always featured and beloved by guests at the table, getting rid of X, Y or Z is risky; it's best to add, rather than replace with something very different.

In your case, however, you have standing to want to change the meal precisely because of the particular liminal associations. Others may approach it differently, and you should be aware of that potential. I suspect in this case it's best for you not to host but to be hosted. For gatherings where it might make more sense for you to be host, why not go out to dine instead? (Personally, I've found that Thanksgiving and Christmas are often *wonderful* for dining out - the kind of foods popular for those feasts are perfect for restaurants; this is in contrast to New Year's *Eve* (my suggestion: celebrated the *Day* more than the Eve - it's actually more traditional), St Valentine's Day and Mother's Day....

Pastrami-Hand Cut or Slicer.

Did they say if it mattered ahat cut of pastrami? Round (shudder - leave that for people who want lean, cold pastrami)? Brisket? Navel/plate (applause)?

Aug 25, 2015
Karl S in General Topics
1

Restaurant staff self-grooming

This is something you should alert the management to directly, quickly. Not in a Yelp or similar social network review. Make clear you're NOT looking to be comped or to have staff disciplined (they need to be managed properly before discipline is applied appropriately), but that you thought this would be the most professional way to convey some information that management would probably want to be aware of so that they can manage it appropriately, knowing that they probably not aware of the issue. If they offer you a comp, you can tell them that's not necessary, just to reinforce your credibility.

Aug 23, 2015
Karl S in Not About Food

Par-boil Lobster

I wouldn't risk it at that scale.

It's not like you're only cooking lobster tail or claws. You're cooking the entire bug. Including the head, coral/tomally, et cet., that don't necessarily hold up as well as the muscle tissue for 2 days.

Even more, when you're storing shellfish, it should be stored as closed to the freezing temp as possible - not normal refrigerator temps. A restaurant can easily do this; not so the home cook with 2 dozen lobsters to keep chilled for 2 days in the summer presumably in a auto-defrosting fridge that cycles on and off.....

You can find instructions on the merits of doing this, but note they are not talking about the scale *and* environment you appear to be thinking of.

Aug 21, 2015
Karl S in General Topics
1

Who's next ?

They may have thought you were already being served? In any event, in this situation, you loudly say, Actually, no, I was in line before you.

Aug 21, 2015
Karl S in Not About Food
1

Godavari Vs. Ritu Ki Rasoi

Aug 20, 2015
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

At what point would you not pay?

There's very likely someone welcoming guests. Leave the money with them if all else fails. That's one person whom third parties may reasonably expect to be able to be an agent of the establishment.

Aug 20, 2015
Karl S in Not About Food

At what point would you not pay?

IF cash is not an option (this is one reason, btw, to have enough cash on hand), then you must capture FOH staff. There are many ways to pull that off. It helps to be in a place that would make the FOH staff be forced to deal with you.

Aug 20, 2015
Karl S in Not About Food

At what point would you not pay?

The customer is always free to leave money on the table or, better, with a manager or other FOH staffer. The table guests may stand in place together around the table for a minute or two before conspicuously proceeding out together.

Aug 20, 2015
Karl S in Not About Food

Does It Really Exist- Celery With Flavor?

I'd have to take a look if I remember. It's past peak right now, and amid a pile of other herbs, right now mints that have gone to flower despite prunings. It's no longer in as sunny a spot as it used to be, as a tree has grown to block most direct sun by this time of year (as the sun angle declines, starting rapidly this week in fact for the next two months). The lovage used to flower and seed, but not last or this summer. Winter have been short but very hard of late, of course.... I had to replace a few of my perennial herbs this spring, including a 12-year old sage plant.

The reason I gambled with lovage a decade ago was that it's a lot easier than celery, and saves a lot of space and bother when what you need is celery flavor without a lot of celery bulk. It's a very practical plant for the home gardener in that regard.

I am just pleased that my replacement bay laurel that I got in 2014 not only weathered winter indoors well, but has positively thrived this growing season on the porch.

Aug 20, 2015
Karl S in General Topics

Does It Really Exist- Celery With Flavor?

I can't say about homegrown celery, but I have one clump of lovage, which is celery on steroids in terms of flavor - a little goes a long way.

Aug 19, 2015
Karl S in General Topics
1

Does one RSVP to a Save the Date?

You won the Internet today!

Aug 18, 2015
Karl S in Not About Food

At what point would you not pay?

This.

Aug 18, 2015
Karl S in Not About Food

Best (good) premade crepe mix

For crepes, there's no point to buying a mix, given the minimal amount of ingredients involved, and the fact that you still need to add eggs and milk anyway. You could make your own mix of dry ingredients up yourself for way cheaper.

Aug 18, 2015
Karl S in General Topics