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mackhound's Profile

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Padre Hotel's Belvedere Room in Bakersfield?

I stayed at the padre several times last year on business. A very charming, modern cool hotel. Didn't eat at the restaurant, however, because my client had other places to show me. Bakersfield, most interestingly, has a rich, traditional Portuguese dining legacy, with several great family style restaurants. Might not be what you are looking for, though.

Feb 15, 2013
mackhound in California

What basic cooking skills should a beginner know?

I hate to say it, because I rabidly clean as I go, but I don't think this is required to be a truly good cook. Some of the best I know, including my Bengali mother-in-law, are horribly messy in the kitchen. It drives me crazy until I taste the food. Having said that, CLEAN AS YOU GO.

Feb 09, 2013
mackhound in Home Cooking

What basic cooking skills should a beginner know?

Here's what I think are two of the most important skills to begin with. 1) Knife skills. To properly cut an onion, or break down a chicken, is the foundation of everything. 2) COURAGE. Don't be timid. Don't be timid with salt. You'll know when it's too much, but often you don't realize that too little is making the food just meh. Don't be timid with heat. If it says to sear it or brown it, then crank up that burner and put some color on that meat. Don't be timid about cooking temperatures. Chicken and pork do not need to reach 170 degrees, or whatever the guidelines say, to be edible. Unless you like hockey pucks. And above all, don't be timid about just giving it a try.

Feb 06, 2013
mackhound in Home Cooking

Son wants butter-poached lobster tails for B-Day Dinner - Sides?

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I went with wasabi mashed potatoes and asparagus (olive oil, S&P, broiled until the tips got a little crispy). Based on the enthusiastic response, I think it went well.

Jan 28, 2013
mackhound in Home Cooking

Son wants butter-poached lobster tails for B-Day Dinner - Sides?

Seventeenth birthday, just the family plus his (nearly 1 year!) girlfriend. I'm thinking maybe a good mac & cheese recipe, but would love some suggestions.

Jan 26, 2013
mackhound in Home Cooking

Ebelskiver - What I have learned

Two suggestions. First, go ahead and beat the egg whites and then fold into the batter. I think it makes a difference. Second, I have just one word for you: NUTELLA!!! Nothing better than taking a bite and getting that hot, goey, yumminess inside.

Jan 09, 2013
mackhound in Home Cooking

What is your favorite cookbook of all time?

I'm going with the single cookbook on my shelf that is more tattered and worn than any other. The New Orleans Cookbook, by Rima and Richard Collin. Yes, it's focused. Yes, I consult many other cookbooks for many other foods. But the gumbos, the jumbalaya(!), the etouffe, and perhaps most of all as far as my kids are concerned, the yam pie, are all authentic, delicious, and doable. Cannot recommend this highly enough.

Jan 08, 2013
mackhound in Home Cooking

Unofficial Chowhounder survey: Who are you?

AGE: 43

YEARS ON BOARD: Since 2001, on and off

CURRENT CITY: Los Angeles, then and now

PROFESSIONAL FIELD OF WORK: law

CULTURAL BACKGROUND: San Fernando Valley (need I say more)

CHOWHOUDER SPECIALTY: Here's a contradiction. I happen to make the best steaks on the planet, seared to perfection in well-aged cast iron. But my life's work is to learn my Bengali mother-in-law's home cooking recipes. She happens to be the best cook I have ever met or even imagined could exist. I am also pretty serious about espresso, and have a real-life southern pit bbq in the yard.

FUN FACT ABOUT YOU: Back in the day, or more specifically in the first year of "Cook's Tour," during a lively debate on this site about Tony Bourdain, I chimed in by condescendingly referring to him as "Food Rambo." The next day, Bourdain himself responded to my obnoxious remark with the most self-effacing reply that I've been a loyal following ever since.

Jan 06, 2013
mackhound in Site Talk

Best place to buy my whole bone-in prime rib this year?

I really noticed a difference in the ones I used to get, years ago, from Owen's Market, on Pico. This was back before the ownership changed, and back when they dry-aged on premises. There was a butcher there, his name was Richard, I got to know very well. He used to let me pick out my whole rib, in advance, before it would go back for aging. Then I would pick it up a few days before Christmas eve. Last I heard, Richard was working at Bob's on Ocean Park. But they don't dry age. Alas . . .

Dec 08, 2012
mackhound in Los Angeles Area

Best place to buy my whole bone-in prime rib this year?

Last year was Bob's Market. Very good. I've done everything from Costco to expensive mail order. Any ideas around the westside?

Dec 08, 2012
mackhound in Los Angeles Area