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JoeBabbitt's Profile

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Chinese Take Out - Rt 9, Manalapan

Grand China & Panda House I say are 'fair' but the quality varies a lot.. Bamboo Garden 2 has sent us some really bad stuff. Greasy, ugly & on the last occasion I'd say inedible.

1 day ago
JoeBabbitt in New Jersey

Making ribs for the first time!

Just cook them low & slow.

A Question for the Dragon-Mouths !

Yeh - I don't eat the chiles anymore. They just kill me the next day.

Do you eat/serve salad on a plate or in a bowl?

If I'm the only one eating the salad I make it in a bowl & eat it out of the bowl. If it's part of dinner for more than just me I serve it in a bowl to be eaten from plates. I'm just old-fashioned.

1 day ago
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Chinese Take Out - Rt 9, Manalapan

We tried Empire Szechuan tonight and I'd give it a positive review. We've tried most of the other Chinese restaurants in the neighborhood & they have ranged from mediocre to disgusting. We tried a few things & everybody liked everything they ordered. The service was very friendly but not super fast. But I wouldn't call it slow either. Nice atmosphere - a comfortable sort of place.

And.... they deliver so the traditional Friday night Chinese & a movie will be improved by ordering from them.

1 day ago
JoeBabbitt in New Jersey

What's your regional fry sauce and what do you like?

I don't live in western PA anymore but when I did French fries & gravy in a paper cone were the thing. & it was the really thick gravy like the jar stuff.

I'm a ketchup guy myself.

Jan 30, 2015
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

What are your favorite kitchen device for making dinner?

Yup - I'd say the stove too.

Jan 29, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Food Savers/ Vacuum Sealers: Do you use them and are they worth the expense?

Dehydration is certainly an option for food preservation. We dehydrate lots of things. It's more cumbersome & time consuming than vacuuming & it changes the product. For instance - you can dehydrate or vacuum seal beef. But if you dehydrate it you can't make it into pot roast later.

Jan 29, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

What cooking gadgets changed your life?... Well at least your cooking?

My Kitchenaid. That mixer changed everything.

Jan 29, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Not tonight - I have a haddock

Mmmmmmmm... Salt Cod fishcakes for breakfast. I love that.

Jan 24, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Kalamatas no good for Italian cooking?

A discussion of how to make Puttanesca the 'right' way is kind of funny since one of the real traditions of Puttanesca is to use whatever is on hand.

I'm not really a big fan of Kalamata olives (although I've never met an olive I didn't like)so they're never on hand when I make Puttanesca.

Jan 24, 2015
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Granola

Alton's recipe is good. I make it all the time with the following additions:

Substitute equal amount honey for maple syrup
Add 1 T Cinnamon
Add 1 T Vanilla
Add 1/2 C Wheat germ.

If you want to use maple syrup use walnuts instead of almonds.

My kids got through college on this stuff. Every month I sent them a double recipe along with a double recipe of tollhouse cookies. I originally added the wheat gem because my middle child tends to be anaemic & wheat germ is (relatively) high in iron.

Jan 17, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Home Cooks - How do you minimize food waste?

Coffee & tea grounds are good for acid loving plants. Tomatoes, Azaleas, Rhododendrons all love them.

Jan 14, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Tips for Making and Shaping Burger/Sandwich Buns

Guess it was a good recipe.

Jan 14, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking
1

Tips for Making and Shaping Burger/Sandwich Buns

I use this recipe for Kaiser rolls for burgers, sandwiches & pulled pork: http://www.thefreshloaf.com//recipes/...

It's quick - 2 hours start to finish including 1 1/2 hours of rising time and it never failed me yet.

When I make the rolls I use about 100 - 110 gms of dough per roll. That makes a nice sized roll. Not too small & not so big that you can't eat two of them. I just roll each piece of dough out to about 8" & tie it in a knot.

Jan 13, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

tramontina pro-line 24 qt.

I have the 16 quart version & I like it a lot. I do notice that it cooks a bit hotter than some of my other pots. I have to keep the heat a little lower.

Jan 13, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Home Cooks - How do you minimize food waste?

Don't go to the grocery store without a list. Then stick to the list. It helps to cut down on spontaneous buys which often go unused.

Jan 11, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking
1

Cheesesteak with Broccoli Rabe near Toms River, NJ?

Maybe that's Brick over there. It's in the shopping center with Home Depot.

Jan 11, 2015
JoeBabbitt in New Jersey

What are your home cooking goals for 2015?

I've read that a few times already.

Jan 11, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

What are your home cooking goals for 2015?

I'm going to try sausage making again this year. Tried it a few years ago with mediocre results.

I made some terrific dill pickles last year so I'm going to make a lot more of them this year. I'm going to try fermenting pickles this year.

Jan 10, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking
1

What are you lusting after?

Jan 10, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Best wood for a cutting board?

Why have just one wood?

Jan 10, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Making Sauerkraut in Stainless... Possible?

Well it's going to be a while till I shell out that kind of dollars for one but I think the 40L would be the right size. We've been making our own kraut for years.

Jan 08, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Simple Good Things

Leftovers

Jan 07, 2015
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Making Sauerkraut in Stainless... Possible?

I never saw these before. I think I'd like this one:

http://www.harvestessentials.com/40-l...

Jan 07, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Favorite Christmas Food Traditions

We almost always do a rib for Xmas dinner. Desserts vary but always include a steamed blueberry pudding with hard sauce which is an old family tradition. Every year we make a zillion cookies to give away to family & friends. 2 kinds of biscotti, spritz cookies, chocolate chip & the Italian pignoli cookies. This year rice krispie treats got added to the mix.

New year's day is more of a tradition for us though. About 15 years ago we started making our own sauerkraut. You start it in November & it's ready a little before Xmas. Neither of us is of German origin but I lived in Dutch Country for a long time & Pork & Sauerkraut w/ mashed potatoes was a tradition there on New Year's day to bring good fortune for the coming year. So, now, every year on New Year's day we have an open house from 12 to 6 & pretty much invite everybody we know to come have pork & sauerkraut. It's a lot of fun & some years we get a lot of people & some years we get a lot of leftovers.

This year we added a new wrinkle. I corned my own beefs & we had corned beef & cabbage w/ little red potatoes too. My first time corning beef and it was excellent. Also mostly gone so not so much for leftovers. Hafta corn some more I guess.

Jan 03, 2015
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Meat Grinders - Lemme Hear it

Bigger is better. For example:

Dec 30, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Sharpening Stones

There are lots of options for sharpening stones. Prices range from a few dollars to thousands.

Look on the woodworking sites for a wide range. For instance - check Rockler.com. You can probably find something relatively inexpensive to try for your first attempts. Bear in mind, the stone is not going to do the work. No matter what stone you have, you have to be proficient in the technique of sharpening for it to work for you.

My personal opinion is that it's foolish to spend a ton of money on a stone until you know how to use it. So buy a cheap stone & work on your technique, they'll all get a knife sharp.. Once you can get a knife sharp it's all a matter of personal preference. There's no single right or best way to do it.

Dec 30, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Help needed: Good gravy from red meats

I do it the way my mom did it. For a roast like eye of the round, rump & etc I brown the roast in a CI pan, cover the upper surface with sliced onions & roast till done. Remove the roast from the pan & skim off most of the fat. Put the pan on a burner & turn up to med-high. When the pan juices are bubbling. add 2 T Flour mixed with a cup of cold water. Stir the flour/water with a fork to break up all the lumps before you pour it in. Heat to boiling & add salt to taste & water to texture. Don't know why but the CI pan gives it an amazing silky texture.

Dec 29, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

What is your opinion on Pampered Chef products?

I forgot something - I have a couple large measuring cups - 2 & 4 quart that I think are from Pampered Chef. I like them because they have round bottoms so there's no 'corner' that the wisk can't get into.

Dec 22, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Cookware