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How do you extract refrigerated oyster sauce from a narrow jar neck?

Did you ever try simply holding it upside down at an approximately 60º angle and just waiting 15-20 seconds, even when cold from the fridge? It will start flowing, and once it starts it will (slowly) keep going. Just slow down your "pouring" motions.

Dec 03, 2012
huiray in General Topics

In your Italian cooking, how important to you is the shape of the pasta vis–à–vis the sauce?

Usually I use something somewhat appropriate but I don't obsess about it nor get bothered about using another shape if that other shape is the only one available and I didn't have my preferred one at hand. However, I generally don't care too much for the tubular ones in short-ish lengths (penne, ziti, etc) so I tend to NOT use them even with sauces meant for them - but substitute some sort of long-ish (usually solid) pasta instead. "Shaped" pasta - that depends...I like something like radiatore, so might use that instead of something that I don't care for like farfalle or conchiglie or similar, (or penne or ziti etc - see above) again even if the recipe was meant for those latter shapes to be used.

Dec 03, 2012
huiray in General Topics

How do you extract refrigerated oyster sauce from a narrow jar neck?

Ditto. Just wait a few extra seconds. I sometimes add more than just a touch of water to get the dregs out, especially when I'm going to use it in a sauce in a dish bubbling along on the stovetop anyway. Sometimes I just stand the bottle on end (cap down) when I store it in the fridge as the amount of the sauce dwindles down, just like ketchup bottles.

Dec 03, 2012
huiray in General Topics

Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #4 - 11/28/12 (Spoilers)

Indeed.

Here's the recipe for the "Canlis salad" as first done by Chrissy Camba (when she was told it was a "thick" dressing) versus the "Canlis salad" she put out in LCK after she was told it was "light and fresh":
http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipes/canlis-special-salad
http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipe...
She left out the red wine and even the cheese in the LCK iteration (the recipe for which seems to have left out tomatoes) but the main difference is in the technique - in the EC she was clearly going for a thick dressing.

Dec 02, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

Last Chance Kitchen 11/28 (spoilers)

Dec 02, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

Last Chance Kitchen 11/28 (spoilers)

Dec 02, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #4 - 11/28/12 (Spoilers)

Yes, that's true. I had either the appetizers or main dishes in mind, though. Even so, I wonder if "Forest Mushrooms" means those button mushrooms/normal white mushrooms that Kristen Kish used. After all, the Canlis brother at the "introduction" to the EC did say that all the dishes except ONE (the salad) had "fallen off" the (1950) menu going through the years into present times.

Dec 02, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #4 - 11/28/12 (Spoilers)

http://canlis.com/wp-content/uploads/...

The other cheftestants in this episode were saying that Camba had the hardest task *because* the salad was a current item. The Canlis brothers did say the salad was the only thing from 1950 that was still on the menu.

Dec 02, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #4 - 11/28/12 (Spoilers)

It's not in question that she *did* make a bad salad.

The larger issue in this case was whether it was so much worse than that inedible soup from Joshua Valentine or those disastrous kebabs from Chris Jacobsen, or even the squab from Carla Pellegrino. Even if gloopy and overdressed and lacking the correct taste profile etc etc, at least Chrissy Camba's salad was edible IMO. Tom Colicchio says in his blog that her salad was much worse - yet their comments at judges' table about the 4 dishes don't bear that out, even though he goes on at length about why he thought it was in his blog.** I can't help but wonder if what you also referred to - her being judged by a dish that was still current, as distinct from dishes that were only imagined, did play a part. And to be misled/given insufficient info about a current menu item by the Canlis brother - she was told that it was a thick dressing, so it seems (as distinct from her asking if it was a thick dressing) - was not helpful. As has already been said elsewhere, even the cheftestants recognized that she (Camba) had the hardest task in that regard.

ETA:
**Well, he's the judge on that show. Personally, I disagree with his comments about the outer leaves of romaine. I would certainly use them. Not the very outermost ragged leaf or two, but everything else from the 3rd leaf in, say, would be used. I like them. In fact, if I were in one of his restaurants and got a salad with only the inner core romaine leaves I would think it was missing something.

Dec 02, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

Washing Fruits and Vegetables

I wash all my berries, when I do get berries. There is no difficulty in doing so. I don't understand how raspberries would get "crushed" by doing so.

Dec 02, 2012
huiray in General Topics

Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #4 - 11/28/12 (Spoilers)

Yes, especially when she was apparently mislead by one of the Canlis brothers when she *asked* what it was supposed to be like.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live...

If you are a native of Seattle AND have eaten at Canlis several times then I agree it would be expected that you should know what that salad is. Even then, I wonder how many "foodies" in Seattle are really cognizant of that salad. Are ALL folks in Seattle *expected* to know what that particular salad is? How long does one have to have been in Seattle before it becomes an "acid test" of what that salad is?

I think it a reasonable supposition that Chrissy Camba had never seen that salad before nor known what it was supposed to be like. Yet she was judged by those who knew what it was supposed to be like when she *did not* know what it was really supposed to be like nor had gotten correct or useful info from the Canlis brothers when she asked them about it.

Even her rival cheftestants realized that her challenge was the hardest, because she was going to be judged against a standard that people OTHER than herself knew about in the current time frame but which she did not. Certainly we heard her cheftestants comment about it. To me, it was an unfair comparison.

Dec 02, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

Last Chance Kitchen 11/28 (spoilers)

It is *so easy* to have a tab open in one's browser pointing to the roster of cheftestants. I don't know why people have such difficulty referring to the list of cheftestants. Here's the link to the current crop of cheftestants on the bravo website for those who have not been able to find it yet: http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...

Dec 02, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

Last Chance Kitchen 11/28 (spoilers)

I personally find it bewildering that people cannot differentiate between Michael Voltaggio and Bryan Voltaggio, even right from the start. But that's my view.

Dec 02, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #4 - 11/28/12 (Spoilers)

Personally, for myself, I really don't mind the outer leaves of a head of romaine lettuce. I *like* the non-supertenderness of those leaves. I *like* them when they are blanched in oiled water, too, then dressed with something like oyster sauce. I consider it such a waste to toss them. I also personally think that the overly tender (with no bite to them) of stuff like butter lettuce and "hearts"/inner leaves of this-and-that type of lettuce used in "salads" to be lacking in texture and mouth-feel. I used to "make my own combinations" from the deli counter at my office cafeteria by asking for a scoop of tuna/egg/chicken/what-not salad, to be put on some leaves of lettuce that would normally have been used for BLTs, other sandwiches etc - and I would always have to stop the server from breaking off the stems of the lettuce leaves.

Dec 02, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #4 - 11/28/12 (Spoilers)

I can do it without any problem too. I just hook my glasses such that the frame sits on my brow on its pads, "just high enough", with the hooked ends of the side arms digging just slightly (but comfortably) into maybe 3/4 of the way up the junction of my ear flaps and the sides of my head. Easy-peasy.

Dec 02, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

What did you have for lunch today Part 4

Looks nice! What's that in the front-center?

If I remember correctly (without searching/looking back) this is the place you personally think of as the current top place for dim sum in S'pore, yes?

Dec 02, 2012
huiray in General Topics

Washing Fruits and Vegetables

Not always. Frequently they're preety clean and I'm content with power-rinsing them. At other times I rinse, then break them up into florets of my desired size and plonk them in my tub of water for a short while. I myself don't remember an occasion when swarms of critters came floating up. :-)

Dec 01, 2012
huiray in General Topics

Washing Fruits and Vegetables

Thanks for the summary.

Then, of course, there are the dehydrated musrooms (dried shiitakes, dried porcinis, etc etc) where you DO leave them in water to absorb lots and lots of water, and if you don't let them rehydrate properly you get "hard"/tough areas which are simply not good eating. :-)

Dec 01, 2012
huiray in General Topics

Last Chance Kitchen 11/28 (spoilers)

Last season (TC Texas) when they eliminated a team-of-two (Team Venison: Dakota Weiss and Nyesha Arrington) in episode 7 [Game On], both of them went head-to-head in a 3-way cook-off with Whitney Otawka, the previous winner of LCK.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Chef...

Dec 01, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

Washing Fruits and Vegetables

I wash everything except thick-skinned fruits like oranges etc. Thin-skinned fruits get washed. All vegetables and herbs get washed, even herbs I grow myself. Many times I would wash the grit off things like leafy vegetables then soak them in a tub of water. That also definitely helps to rehydrate them (after I pluck off or cut off the ends of the stems) even if they were freshly harvested.

When I was growing up my mother would soak vegetables, especially leafy ones, in a tub of water with some potassium or sodium permanganate added to the water. It was fascinating to see the stuff submerged in this deep purple water. Of course, they were rinsed/washed with fresh clean water after the soak.

I've never eaten "bagged salad" at home nor bought any. The cafeteria at work and at other run-of-the-mill places (salad bars) certainly use the pre-bagged stuff - without washing, most of the time. I dislike these salad bars. More than once where I did decide to have "some salad" I had to pick around stuff in the salad greens bowl on the bar avoiding stuff that was clearly turning "mushy" and slimy. Sometimes I just had to abandon my attempt to "eat some salad".

Dec 01, 2012
huiray in General Topics

Washing Fruits and Vegetables

I've always washed my mushrooms - under a running tap and even dunking them in a tub of water afterwards. I've never understood that "wipe off only" thing. I've not seen that AB episode but have never noticed any deleterious effects from washing the mushrooms, unless I leave them too long in that tub of water.

Dec 01, 2012
huiray in General Topics

Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #4 - 11/28/12 (Spoilers)

You're welcome. :-)

Nov 30, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #4 - 11/28/12 (Spoilers)

Au contraire. it has egg, garlic, lots of cheese, even butter in some iterations besides the oil. OK, no anchovies, but as purists like to harp about, that too was not in the "original" Cæsar. I would even consider the bacon to substitute for the anchovies.

http://canlis.com/food/recipes/the-canlis-salad/
http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Canlis-Salad
http://www.themoonlightchef.com/imported-20091221021958/2011/7/11/canlis-salad.html
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/611019

Nov 30, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

What did you have for lunch today Part 4

Wednesday lunch:
Fried rice w/ three types of pre-steamed Chinese sausages (lap cheong) - Soy Flavored, Dong Guan Flavor, and Taiwan Flavor - and chopped celery, garlic, fried eggs.
Blanched Romaine lettuce. drizzled w/ oyster sauce.

Thursday lunch:
Bak Kut Teh using "country-style pork ribs = "Yook Kuat"; w/ selected Chinese herbal ingredients** and "the usual stuff" (including age dofu, and copious garlic) plus Kikkoman soy sauce; boiled white rice.

** These included:
Tong Kwai (Radix angelica 'Sinensis'); Yook Chook (Polygonatum odoratum 'Druce'); Black Dried Jujubes; Dong2 Sam1 (Codonopsis pilosula 'Nannf'); Chun Pei (dried orange peel); Dried liquorice twigs, shaved; cinnamon sticks; cloves; whole star anise.

Nov 30, 2012
huiray in General Topics

Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #4 - 11/28/12 (Spoilers)

But was it inedible?

Nov 30, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #4 - 11/28/12 (Spoilers)

I didn't mind it. If it's a "Cæsar-type" dressing as what I understand this "special Canlis salad" is, then it seems not that bad at all - to me. Yes, it would be nice to have crispy romaine etc but what we see as being presented hardly seemed disgusting nor a hanging offense.

Nov 30, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #4 - 11/28/12 (Spoilers)

Tom Colicchio said in his blog that what saved Valentine's otherwise failed soup was that his stock/broth was nicely beefy. Everything else about it was wrong, including the incorrect plating.

As you noted elsewhere here, he also did call it "almost inedible" during their discussions at the table as shown to us the viewing public. One would have normally thought that that characterization (inedible) and the "oversalted" one (even Padma Lakshmi said she could only take 2-3 spoonfuls) were usually both kiss-of-death offenses. Then he slams Chrissie Camba's salad as so, so much worse. I simply don't see how soggy overdressed salad is as bad as "inedible" soup. I would have considered that salad certainly edible. Colicchio seemed to go out of his way in his blog to justify keeping Valentine on the show.

FWIW both Acheson and Reyhani in their blogs also badly faulted Valentine for his soup, with Reyhani also commenting that he should have taken Tesar's advice. :-) Let us recall also that one of the Canlis brothers commented that Valentine's soup was diner-unfriendly, that one needed a knife & fork besides a spoon to attempt to eat that soup with the hard, large "croutons" that he poked with his finger and which did not yield at all to his poking. :-D

Nov 30, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #4 - 11/28/12 (Spoilers)

" Tom C. loved John's clam dish."
-------
So did Emeril Lagasse who voiced pleasure with it, not just Tom Colicchio. ;-)

Nov 30, 2012
huiray in Food Media & News

Chinese Food on Christmas Day

I don't need to "go out" for Chinese food on Christmas Day. I often cook my own. It is an error to assume that *everyone* cooks (only) Western/Caucasian-USAmerican type food for Christmas, or that such food is "traditional". Traditional for whom? ;-)

Here's a not-untypical menu for Christmas chez huiray, from a few years back, from notes I wrote then, spread out over the day and omitting the cookies and drinkies (alcoholic) from the listing:

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Mapo Tofu sans Chili:
Sauteed julienned garlic, minced sirloin, crumbled firm tofu, Hoisin sauce, chopped green onions.

Pan-seared & Stir-fried Napa Cabbage with Flor de Sal.

Boiled basmati rice

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Harm Choy Tong

Short-cut Pork Spare Ribs:
Steamed with Garlic Black Bean Sauce, chopped garlic, sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms, topped with cilantro florets.

Deep-Fried Tofu slices, with Lingham’s Hot Sauce.

White Rice.

✥✥✥

Crab Cakes à la huiray, with blanched baby Bok Choy.

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Spinach in Clear Broth.

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Roast Leg of Lamb:
With Flor de Sal, fresh ground pepper, garlic slivers; caramelized with peaches in syrup.

Roasted fresh carrots.
Klondike Red & Gold Potatoes.

Nov 30, 2012
huiray in General Topics

Solo Patrons Hogging Booths... A Problem?

Really? With aforementioned plate and glass and fork & knife properly held, plus paper; or with hot dog & sippy cup? Please have a video taken of you doing aforementioned claimed exercise and publish it.

I don't do stilettos, let alone 6-inchers. I am not a cross-dresser.

Nov 30, 2012
huiray in Not About Food