RealMenJulienne's Profile

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Bringing My Own Knife to Restaurants from now on. -_-

Yes, and a sharp knife also lets you make the slices as thin as you want. Thinner slices = more slices = more surface area = more enjoyment. Geez do I think about this stuff too much?

Basically anything that can be done with a dull knife can be done more easily, with better results, with a sharp knife. Well except opening an oyster maybe.

1 day ago
RealMenJulienne in Cookware
1

Bringing My Own Knife to Restaurants from now on. -_-

You don't need a sharp knife to cut a good steak, but a sharp knife makes eating even the most tender steak much more pleasurable.

1 day ago
RealMenJulienne in Cookware
4

What would you offer on these Cast Iron frying pans?

$15 for all that is quite a steal. Used cast iron sells for far less than it's worth.

I picked up my cast iron skillet at a flea market. I asked how much. "$4", the guy said. I gave him a five. He got this guilty look on his face, like he's ripping me off or something, and he gave me $2 back. I went home, scoured out the rust and reseasoned it, and it's been giving great service ever since.

1 day ago
RealMenJulienne in Cookware

Bringing My Own Knife to Restaurants from now on. -_-

Nice blade choice tangoking. My carbon steel Opinel also goes in my pocket whenever I head out the door. That thin blade really works well for cutting sandwiches and slicing meat. I definitely get some ignorant comments from dining companions when I pull it out for steaks and such but it's worth it when I watch them sawing away with the provided butter knives.

I think restaurants set out dull knives for liability reasons. They may squash sandwiches and tear meat but it's less likely some numbnuts will provoke a lawsuit by slicing his finger off.

1 day ago
RealMenJulienne in Cookware
1

Questions on grilled shrimp skewers

Work in progress my friend.

1 day ago
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking
1

Questions on grilled shrimp skewers

Forgot to respond to this thread. Thanks for the advice everyone. Head on, shell on shrimp soaked in ice salt water, then simply grilled and brushed with garlic butter were a real hit.

1 day ago
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking
3

Do you grill with aluminum foil (and no, it's not what you're thinking of)

"The only real difference is that you don't get the grill marks on the food, but so what? "

No, the difference is that if you put down the layer of foil there is no interaction between food and fire, thus making the whole grilling exercise pointless in the first place. There is no culinary benefit to turning your grill into a flimsy aluminum griddle.

The better way to control flare-ups is to build a two-zone fire so you can move food between hot and cool sides. You can also smother fires by closing your vents and your grill lid.

1 day ago
RealMenJulienne in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling
1

Famous foods from your region you find tasty and delicious.

My east/west coast friends don't believe me when I talk about the Mexican food in Chicago. I fully believe that Chicago's Mexican food is on par with what you can get in LA. Not the shiny Bayless joints, but the down home westside eateries.

Agree on the Italian beef sandwich with hot giardiniera. This is the Chicago food that deserves to be nationally famous. But maybe it's a blessing in disguise. It would be a shame if it got bastardized in the way of the Philly cheeseteak.

Jul 14, 2014
RealMenJulienne in General Topics

Famous Regional Food you find embarrassing or disgusting?

Even in the "thick" Chicago pizza category, there are sub-divisions. I am not a fan of the "classic" deep dish and stuffed pizza joints like Malnatis, Giordano's, etc because they all use a fatty, dense crust that's almost like shortbread. It's the wrong vehicle for pizza flavors in my opinion. But here and there around town there are thick pizzas which I quite like. For example Pequod's and D'Amatos bakery make excellent pan pizzas which have a crisp, greasy under crust combined with a stretchy, bubbly crumb. These are the Chicago pizza places worth celebrating.

Jul 10, 2014
RealMenJulienne in General Topics

Overcooked Chicken Breasts - Help

For overcooked white meat poultry, thin slice against the grain and lay it in the serving pan with hot - not simmering - stock or broth. The meat will absorb a good bit of moisture and won't cook any further. This is good for meals like Thanksgiving turkey because it doesn't alter the meat's flavor too much.

Jul 10, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking
3

Potato Salad - What Lurks

Hi, for me the crunchy stuff like celery and pickles belongs in tuna salad. Potato salad is about the creaminess and the tang. And of course those tasty tasty green peas.

That French version sounds great, I'll try it next time.

Jul 09, 2014
RealMenJulienne in General Topics

Famous Regional Food you find embarrassing or disgusting?

I don't hate Chicago deep dish pizza but I don't get the love either. The ingredients are typically excellent, but I feel that the pastry-like crust of the classic deep dish is all wrong for those flavors. I don't really know how it became the iconic Chicago food but everyone wants to try it when they come visit.

In my mind the Chicago specialty that really deserves to be famous is the Italian beef sandwich.

Jul 08, 2014
RealMenJulienne in General Topics
4

Potato Salad - What Lurks

Peazza :P

Jul 08, 2014
RealMenJulienne in General Topics

Potato Salad - What Lurks

Peas are indeed a popular pizza topping in East Asia but I realize that's not exactly a great endorsement. I have been known to make a toaster oven pizza bagel out of leftover spaghetti sauce with peas, which might fit your definition.

Jul 08, 2014
RealMenJulienne in General Topics

Potato Salad - What Lurks

The carrots are cooked with the potato until tender, and the green peas get added right at the end so they just cook through. They pop in the mouth like little vegetable caviars. Potato salad without peas is like spaghetti sauce without peas; a sad sad waste of an opportunity to eat peas.

Jul 08, 2014
RealMenJulienne in General Topics

Potato Salad - What Lurks

Crunchy stuff like apples doesn't belong in potato salad. Neither do sweet things like pineapple. Potato salad in our house is red potatoes, carrots, green peas, eggs, yellow mustard and a little mayo (Kewpie preferably)

Jul 08, 2014
RealMenJulienne in General Topics

Yuba, dried beancurd or tofu skin... where can you get it in Chicago?

Joong Boo Korean market in Avondale. Just north of Belmont and Kimball, under the expressway. Look for the green sign. Also, just an excellent Asian grocery all around.

Chinatown Market in uhh.. Chinatown. Just off the Chinatown/Cermak Red Line stop. Their parking lot is under construction so I would plan to take the Red Line or else you'll have to park in the public lot across the street (no validation)

Jul 07, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Chicago Area

Best condiment to throw on a hot dog?

Chicago dogs are some of my favorite but I almost never have all that stuff on hand at home. I'm always out of pickles when I have peppers, etc.

I recently tried sauerkraut on a Chicago dog, along with all the other toppings, at a place called Jeff's Red Hots on Pulaski. Surprisingly it's really good, one of my top 5 dogs for sure.

Jul 03, 2014
RealMenJulienne in General Topics

Questions on grilled shrimp skewers

That's the idea.

I think the plan has now been revised to: soak shrimp in ice salt water, devein and partial butterfly but leave heads and shells on, sprinkle with a little red pepper, brush on garlic butter while grilling, and serve with lime wedges.

Jul 03, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking
1

Questions on grilled shrimp skewers

Looks like I got a lot of NOs for marinating in acid. Is it harmful even if done for a short time?

What about a glaze containing lime juice that's brushed on while grilling? My instincts always tell me to pair acid with seafood but I'm willing to be wrong about this.

Jul 03, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

Questions on grilled shrimp skewers

So salt brine, but no baking soda huh? Does the soda really not enhance the crunchiness?

Jul 03, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

Questions on grilled shrimp skewers

Thanks for the response. This girl is not prissy about her shellfish so that's not a problem. What kind of dry seasoning would you use in lieu of marinade?

Jul 02, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

Questions on grilled shrimp skewers

Grilled shrimp is something I really like but seldom make, probably because I’m usually too lazy to light a chimney of charcoal for something that takes only a couple of minutes to cook. I’ve got non-meat eaters coming for the July 4th cookout though, one of them a cute gal I wouldn’t mind impressing, so I want to make some excellent shrimp skewers for the party. Some questions:

1)White Shrimp or Black Tiger Shrimp?

2) Shells and heads on or off? I plan to cut a slit up the back of the shells to remove the grit, but leave the heads/shells still on, so the meat puffs out when it hits the grill. Good plan?

3) How long to marinade before the shrimp gets too mushy or salty? My marinade mix: 1 part lime juice and 1 part fish sauce. Lemongrass, cilantro, garlic, red chile, sugar to taste.

4) Should I soak the shrimp in baking soda? Some restaurants do this to make the shrimp crunchier for stir fry, but does it work for the grill?

Jul 02, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

What knife should I buy?

Yeah the Shi Ba Zi is not the best knife in the world, but it's given me good service, especially for the price. The steel is not that hard but that also means it's easy to sharpen.

I need to try the CCKs after hearing so much about them.

Jul 01, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Cookware

What knife should I buy?

I'll second the Chinese cleaver suggestion. My $10 Shi Ba Zi cleaver is by far the most-used knife in my kitchen. It's been sharpened, scratched up and worn down to the point where the edge curve is almost gone but it still cuts just fine.

Jun 30, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Cookware

Chinese dog-eating festival

Dogs do those things because we have conditioned them to do so over tens of thousands of years of selective breeding and training, not out of any sense of altruism or "soul". Pigs do not do those things because we've bred them to produce meat, not to save lives.

An octopus is smarter than any dog (and probably some humans) but is it probably the ugliest creature in the sea, therefore no one cares how many of them we butcher.

Jun 26, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Food Media & News

At what temp do you roast a whole chicken?

We all do our own personal risk assessment. 165F in the breast results in chalky, stringy white meat and is way too high for me.

Jun 26, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

At what temp do you roast a whole chicken?

I have to quibble with your numbers. I think dark meat really needs to hit 180F or so, or else it's unpleasantly rubbery and flabby. I agree that the breast should go no higher than 140F.

OP, I precook the chicken in a heavy skillet on the stovetop, thigh-side down, so the dark meat gets a temperature jump start. Then the skillet goes into a 300F oven for about 50 minutes to gently roast the meat through. When the internal temps are right, the bird comes out and I set the oven to 550F. The bird goes in for 3-4 more minutes to crisp the skin, then it's done.

Jun 25, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

Your favorite grilled chicken wing recipe!?!?

I always slice chicken wings and legs down to the bone when using marinade, brine or dry rub because it opens up more surface area to the seasonings. With drumsticks, I also trim the tendons and silverskin around the ankle for a more tender finished product.

Jun 17, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

Your favorite grilled chicken wing recipe!?!?

I feel weird recommending a commercial product but I haven't been able to make a better jerk marinade from scratch that's better than Walkerswood jerk paste. The paste is powerful stuff, so thin it out with some cider vinegar and whisk some fresh thyme into it. Diagonally slice your chicken wings 2-3 times down to the bone, then soak in the marinade for 24 hours. I usually smoke them for 2.5 hours @ 225F, then finish on a hot grill to crisp them, but you can grill them fast and hot the whole time if you are mindful to flip frequently.

This is the best chicken that's ever come off my grill.

Jun 16, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking
1