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foreverhungry's Profile

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Alternative raclette methods?

I'm a little confused by your question. If you want to serve raclette, then serve raclette. If you want to make a grilled cheese, make a grilled cheese. Those are two very different things. Your question is like saying that you picked up some mozzarella, but don't have a pizza stone, so can you make grilled cheeses?

Raclette is a social event with guest participation in their meal preparation. There are a few customs for raclette - small boiled potatoes, ham, cornichons, bread, and of course raclette cheese.

You could probably use a fry pan, but that's not very convenient. If you're doing it solo, then it would be just as easy to pop the cheese on a round of baguette and into a toaster oven to melt the cheese, then eat with your accoutrements.

Otherwise, use the cheese in the same way you'd use any other semi-firm cow's milk cheese - grilled cheese, mac and cheese, eat it as is with a chunk of crusty bread, lasagna, topping on a pasta dish, etc.

about 6 hours ago
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Best fish to be served with a mushroom risotto.

The idea of a whole fish (sea bass is always a great option) is nice because other guests may want some as well. I understand sticking to one meat when it works for everyone, but when tending to specific needs to one or a couple of guests, having enough for others that aren't of that persuasion is nice too. If you have scallops for your pescetarian, may not other guests wonder about scallops for them? This is something I've struggled with too.

Whole fish is great because some folks may decide they want a bit of each, and it also doesn't call special attention to your pescetarian friend - here's a dinner for all, but for you I made something special. That might draw undue attention to you pesc friend, and make the other like they're missing out on something.

As for the specific suggestion, sea bass is great. Halibut is too, but pretty expensive. For an odder suggestion, bluefish might be good too - it's got some body.

fudge

It might depend a bit on the ingredients. Unless you're keeping the fudge for a few months, room temp (assuming it's not 80), should be fine. There should be enough sugar in there to keep it fine. And the best keeping temp for chocolate is in the 60 degree range.

Dec 14, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

BYO-Low/No Corkage

As I understand it, not all wine is sold through the state - there are some wineries that can sell direct. A technicality for this discussion, as I understand it even then the prices are similar.

Yes, archaic in way - but then again, so are MN's laws, with liquor stores being closed on Sundays and no (real) beer, wine, liquor sold in supermarkets, unlike CA for example.

So maybe it is the economic forces at play - if PA restaurants are only getting wine 10% cheaper than citizens, then why hassle with a liquor license - let the customer do the work of bringing in the wine.

Ah, capitalism, the good and the bad.

Crock Pot Pork Belly Recipes?

I've done many pork bellies in the crock pot, and follow a three step process, depending on the end goal. In some cases, I salt the belly, sear it in a large skillet, stick the belly in the crock, deglaze the pan with either a little wine or stock, and pour that into the crock (just a few tablespoons). Or, I coat the belly in a mixture of salt, sugar, and brown sugar (or just salt and brown sugar; or maybe add other spices), wrap in cling wrap, and fridge it for 1-2 days. Then put it in the crock.

Next, when the belly is done (8-10ish hours), remove it, and put it under the broiler for 1-3 minutes to really crisp it.

Especially the sear, crock, broil method really brings out a good flavor profile and a good crisp.

Dec 12, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

BYO-Low/No Corkage

It would be great to see more BYOB restaurants. Philly has about 50 restaurants just in Center City that are BYOB, ranging from food-truck-turned-brick-and-mortar to some solid places. Maybe the economics are different, but if Philly can have 50 BYOBs in Center City that seem to be able to compete, I'm not sure why that can't be replicated elsewhere, including the TC.

local source for vanilla beans?

What's the quality difference in vanilla beans among different sources? To my taste, there's a giant quality difference in many spices such as bay leaves, peppercorns, nutmeg, etc. between suppliers such as Penzy's and some coops on the one hand, and bulk distributors such as Costco on the other hand. I'm wondering why the same wouldn't apply to vanilla beans?

Of course, this implies that a quality spice makes a difference. To some,and maybe for some applications, it doesn't.

I can't believe anyone hasn't posted about #grapegate yet

Good blog post. I think you nailed it about the insecurity issue.

Let's ban the word GUYS!!!

I'm no kid (turning 46 tomorrow. or is it 47?) and shorten it to d-bag. though sometimes I still go with douche. Or douche bag. Really depends on the context. They're all slightly different, aren't they?

Protein Powder: Is it worth it?

I agree in general. There's too little regulation, too much dishonesty, and too many unsubstantiated claims. On the one hand, I feel there needs to be much more regulation, especially on the side of quality of supplements - just, are they safe? DO they contain carcinogens or toxins? Beyond that, on the other hand, I think consumers need to be more aware. In addition to protein powder in shakes and high BCAA for workout recovery, I take a daily multi vitamin and an omega 3 + D vitamin. I did a lot of research into the benefits, risks, and makers to make sure I knew what I was getting. If a consumer simply believes what's on the label of a bottle in terms of benefits (not talking about safety or quality of ingredients), that's on the consumer.

Nov 20, 2014
foreverhungry in General Topics

I can't believe anyone hasn't posted about #grapegate yet

Yup, I'm talking about something like that. I agree, probably no one would have complained (as I said, the grape salad is bad pick because it's not associated with MN at all). But the general concept of something like that, whether it's grape salad, jello salad, etc. versus something more like wild rice stuffing is also an issue.

Protein Powder: Is it worth it?

While I agree with you that the supplement business is ripe with fraud, let's not through the baby out with the bathwater. There are plenty of excellent supplements on the market.

When I'm training heavily, I take a protein powder supplement that I add to a breakfast smoothie. Yes, I did some research to find out which protein powders are best for my needs (whey vs casein, what manufacturer, US made v China v somewhere else, etc.).

More importantly though, after strenuous workouts, I take a recovery blend, which is high in branch-chained amino acids. A 3:1 carb:protein, capped at less than 300 calories, taken within 30 minutes of strenuous exercise, has been shown in research to speed up muscle recovery, minimizing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and boosting performance on the next day's workout because of the enhanced muscle recovery. In addition, a liquid blend is absorbed by the intestine faster than the same composition (# of calories, carb:pro ratio, and amino acid profile) in solid form (e.g. sandwich). Yes, in most circumstances "real" food (minimally processed) is best. In those few cases for me, a processed supplement works best.

Nov 20, 2014
foreverhungry in General Topics

Protein Powder: Is it worth it?

This. If you exercise a lot - 60+ minute runs, 2hr+ bike rides, lifting, high aerobic work - then yes, protein powder (the right kind and at the right time) is definitely worth it. Otherwise, you're likely getting more than enough in your regular diet.

Nov 19, 2014
foreverhungry in General Topics

I can't believe anyone hasn't posted about #grapegate yet

I'll bite, with a bit of Devil's advocate:

The grape salad pick by the New York Times (The New York Times!!!??!!!) was ridiculous. I'm not native to MN, but have lived here 12 years, and have never heard of grape salad. Clearly few others have (if anyone), given the reactions today.

All of that said, while the specific pick of grape salad is off the wall, Minnesota is associated with things such as jello salad, which while lacking jello, this is not so far from.

If we don't concentrate on the specific pick of grape salad, then would a more general pick of fruit suspended mixed with something like jello or sour cream be so far off base? I'm not talking about what we know when we live in Minnesota - yes, something like wild rice would be a much better pick. But what's the general (read: average person) perception of Minnesota food from outside Minnesota?

Baking question: multicolor carrots for carrot cake?

It would be very interesting to divide the batter pre-carrot addition in half (assuming you're making a double layer carrot cake) and then add the orange carrots to one batch, and purple to the other, and halve the the halfs be slightly different colors. Could be a very cool visual.

Dry curing meat issues (Italian)

I've used Ruhlman and Polcyn, and well as other sources, for some home charcuterie projects. I use my basement, live in Minnesota, and have similar conditions to yours - about 55-65F, humidity ranges from 40% in winter to >70% in summer, but we have a dehumidifier to drop humidity in summer to 50-55% range.

I've made a few salumi, both using sheep and hog casing. The low humidity led to a slightly faster curing time coupled with a slightly drier product. Sheep casing salumi hung for 10-15ish days, hog casing ones slightly longer, 15-20ish days.

Right now I have hog salumi in a zip lock in my fridge that I've been "aging" - they were made over 9 months ago, then stuck in the fridge. There's been a slow white mold accumulation on the surface, and the flavor has slowly been changing to something a bit more complex, a little deeper, more rounded than the original.

I've also made a prosciutto type product, using 1/2 a pig leg, salted for about 10 days (can't remember off hand), then hung in the basement for about 6 months. The results were tremendous. One small part had some rot on it, the rest was excellent.

Nov 13, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Where to purchase Truffle Cream or Truffle pieces in the cities

I wouldn't trust any any retail source for truffles, white or black. We're just too far removed. If you're serious, contact Great Ciao

http://www.greatciao.com/contact-us/

They're wholesale only, but if you're willing to pay $200 an ounce (or going price), that's the place that may be able to get it for you.

Macroni n cheese and flavored cream cheese

This is what's great about Chowhound. I learn something new every day.

Oct 17, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Macroni n cheese and flavored cream cheese

It seems you are asking about using cream cheese for making a Mac and Cheese. I don't think many (any?) Mac and Cheese recipes use cream cheese. It can be flavored in a ton of ways, without using cream cheese.

Oct 16, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Duck for 10 people? Recs needed!

Yes, sorry, my comment wasn't clear. What I meant was, yes, duck confit is fabulous, but does duck confit fit the Thanksgiving mood? I generally equate Thanksgiving with a whole beast, be it turkey, goose, duck. Confit just seems like an odd fit. But hey, maybe it's just my take on it.

Oct 16, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Duck for 10 people? Recs needed!

Agree that duck confit is fabulous. Is it Thanksgiving?

Oct 15, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Duck for 10 people? Recs needed!

Your best bet is to roast whole ducks. Messing around with duck breasts for 10 people will be a hassle. I've roasted many a whole duck, and while the breast does not come out rare, it is nonetheless a great finished product.

Recipes for roasting a whole duck are all over the place, some claiming a 4 hour cook time at 300F (?!?!), some

I've generally followed the hot oven method, like these:

http://www.marthastewart.com/907162/r...

http://www.mapleleaffarms.com/28?reci...

One lowers the oven temp after 15 minutes, the other does not. Don't think it makes a whole lot of difference. Total time is about 2:15 to 2:45 for a 5-6 lb duck, around 22-24 minutes per pound.

A key is to lightly score the skin all over the duck to allow the fat to run off, which can later be used.

One struggle for you might be that you'll need about 3 ducks: a 5-6 pound duck typically serves about 4 people, so 2 ducks might be a bit on the slim side. 3 would be a safe bet, but cooking 3 ducks at once might be an oven challenge.

Duck takes very well to citrus, especially orange, flavors, which works great with Thanksgiving theme - an orange glaze applied later through the cooking process, and orange juice and zest themed sauce with the pan drippings, would be great, and solid recipes for those abound. Since the meat is usually room temp by the time it's served at Thanksgiving, you could roast your ducks in the morning, keep them tented, roast your vegetables in the collected duck fat, then pop the ducks back in a 180 oven for 15-20 minutes before carving, and put the carved duck meat on a warm serving platter.

Good luck!

Oct 15, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

help me create a simple rustic dinner menu

Agreed with sedimental below (or above?) except that I use a wooden skewer through the mandolined potato slices, about 1/4 inch apart. Balance the skewers on 2 microwave mugs. Let's you do way more chips at once, and promotes more even "browning" on both sides. Also, I season after skewering, after spray oil, before baking - seasoning stays on better if done before nuking.

Also, a fall themed ice cream is sweet potato ice cream with pecans and caramel. I think it was a David Lebovitz recipe. It was excellent.

Combining both themes, sweet potato ice cream with a couple of sweet potato microwave chips on the side, chips sprinkled with a chili powder, might be nice for a salty-sweet-crunchy-soft effect.

Oct 13, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

how long does stock keep in the frig?

Perhaps a matter of semantics, but alanbarnes was correct - pathogens (such as bacteria) don't release pathogens. They may release toxins, but a toxin is different than a pathogen.

Oct 09, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Heavy Table's Out of Towner's Guide.

Whoops, thanks for that correction. Yes, Mojo, not Cheeky.

Agreed, Mojo Monkey serves the trendy kind of doughnut, but they pull it off much better than Glam Dolls.

I've never been to Puffy Cream, need to give it a try...

Heavy Table's Out of Towner's Guide.

It sounds like what jfood is describing at Broders is the Pasta Bar, not the deli. The deli doesn't have a u shaped counter.

Heavy Table's Out of Towner's Guide.

I've always had good experiences at Broder's - both the pasta bar and the deli. The porchetta sandwiches at their new Terzo are particularly excellent.

I agree with most of your adds - Bar La Grassa and Travail in particular.

I disagree with Lola, though I understand its inclusion on a "tourist's guide to eating in MSP", much like including Glam Dolls instead of better doughnuts, but not as flashy. We take visiting friends and family to Lola, but don't go there otherwise. Like Glam Dolls, I find Lola to be gimmicky. Their pizza is fine, but just that, not excellent. Black Sheep and Punch are much better IMO.

Heavy Table's Out of Towner's Guide.

Cheeky Monkey on W. 7th in St. Paul, and SugaRush on University Ave in St. Paul are both leagues better than Glam Dolls. I agree with comments above, Glam Dolls is all show.

For a more old school doughnut experience, Mel-O-Glaze on Minnehaha and 28th Ave is great. Nothing fancy, but stellar traditional style (raised, not sure if they have cake doughnuts) doughnut products.

If you like cake doughnuts, Baker's Wife (down the road from Mel-O-Glaze) gets great reviews, but I'm not a fan.

How long to Poach Eggs in a Toaster Oven

A toaster oven can be used to make great meals. Including breakfast. Poached are doable if you have an electric kettle. Pre-heat the toaster oven, boil water, right sized ramekins, and you're good to go. Or don't poach, use ramekins, and make eggs en cocotte, which is a great alternative because you can make each person's to their oder - meat, cheese, herbs, etc. No need to go out to breakfast.

Sep 03, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

French Main Dish for Stand Up Gathering

In line with beef Bourguignon and cassoulet (I'm assuming you're living in a colder climate) would be a pot au feu.

If you can get great quality chicken, volaille a la crème can show off good poultry.

Maybe not what you're looking for, but a tartiflette makes for a nice meal also, and is very different than the typical national variations on stews.

Sep 03, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking