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foreverhungry's Profile

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Why Unsalted Butter?

There seems to be a reading comprehension issue here. Clearly some compounds are passed through to milk that affect the composition and taste of the milk. We all agree on this.

Broccoli and garlic are not the issue, though. Salt is. You claimed that eating a high salt diet affects the salt content of milk. From a physiological perspective, I don't see how that can be possible. Is there any evidence of this?

Apr 12, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Why Unsalted Butter?

Again, some compounds are passed. I completely agree. Strawman? Others aren't. You're assuming that all are, including salt. The physiology doesn't agree with that.

Apr 11, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Why Unsalted Butter?

In baking, perhaps. Maybe. I've never baked anything that required 3 sticks of butter, unless I'm making 3 cakes. As for fresher, when used in recipes, I highly doubt anyone can taste a difference in two cakes made, one with salted and one with unsalted butter. Lets not kid ourselves about how well refined everyone's taste buds are.

When used as a solo act, on a cracker, bread, toast, etc., I completely agree that salted v unsalted, fresh v not fresh, European v US, etc. can make a big difference. In recipes, I doubt it.

Apr 11, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Why Unsalted Butter?

Old thread, but I'll bite. Most, but not all, of the butter I buy is salted. I use salted butter for most of my cooking.

The claim that salted butter makes it hard to calibrate the amount of salt in a dish (a claim made by many in this thread) is ludicrous. 1 Tablespoon of commercial butters, such as Land o Lakes, contains less than 100 mg of salt. 1 teaspoon of table salt is equivalent to about 6000 mg of salt. The amount of salt in a tablespoon of butter is negligible compared to the salt added in any well seasoned dish. I doubt anyone weighs their salt to a tenth of a gram when adding to their dishes.

For most cooking purposes, ditto with the water content. Who weighs their water to the nearest tenth of a gram when making a loaf of bread, or even croissants?

When I care about the butter I'm using, the distinction between Land o Lakes salted v unsalted is non-existant, unless one prefers, for taste purposes, one over the other on toast or hunk o bread. Both are mass produced butter with a "meh" flavor, but are affordable to be used on a daily basis. The European butters, salted or otherwise, are, in general, much better than the US supermarket counterparts. Whether it's salted or not doesn't matter.

Apr 11, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking
1

Why Unsalted Butter?

There are definitely flavors that transfer from diet to milk. At a family dinner in France a few years ago, two hunks of butter, one a few weeks old and one fresh, were on the table. Both locally produced, both the same manufacturer, both purchased at the same market. One tasted garlicky, the other didn't. A few nearby pastures had something garlicky blooming, I could smell it on morning runs. It was the newly bought one - that morning, so no possibility for off tastes from the fridge - that tasted of garlic, but not in a bad way. I was really astounded by that experience, living in the midwest I'm used to Land o Lakes mass produced homogenous tasting butter. The side by side of same maker, different tastes based on a few weeks difference.

All of that said, while dietary compounds can surely make their way into milk, that doesn't mean that everything does. A mom that eats a lot of chillies isn't going to produce spicy milk. Salt - NaCl at it's basest form - is absorbed by the intestine, enters the bloodstream, and is dealt with by kidneys. Milk from individuals - human or otherwise - is not saltier if someone is on a high sodium diet, nor less salty if that individual is on a low salt diet. Perhaps other minerals *may* make their way into milk, such as magnesium, but from a physiological perspective, I doubt it.

Apr 11, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

You bought your first Le Creuset pot...

Stovetop braised chicken with lemon and tarragon.

Stovetop braised green pork chili.

Curried lentils.

Apr 11, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

No evidence saturated fats promote heart disease, no evidence unsaturated fats reduce it

This might be epigenetics - your environment impacts your gene expression.

edit - whoops,I see I'm to the party late on that one. One comment, though, epigenetics is not necessarily chemicals that impact gene expression, but other types of environmental exposures.

Apr 03, 2014
foreverhungry in Food Media & News

No evidence saturated fats promote heart disease, no evidence unsaturated fats reduce it

That's not a new area of research (though time is relative...). PYY, grehlin, leptin, etc. research has been going on for at least a decade. I studied leptin 8 years ago, and was not a trend setter.

Agreed, though, gut signaling about appetite is very important.

Apr 03, 2014
foreverhungry in Food Media & News

No evidence saturated fats promote heart disease, no evidence unsaturated fats reduce it

I work in public health, and come from a physiology research background, working mainly on metabolic rate. I read objective, uncorrupted scientific research on health every day.

As others have said, it is important to consider potential conflicts of interest when reading the scientific literature. And I completely agree that pharma has run amok.

All of said, there is still much to be understood about heart disease.

Apr 03, 2014
foreverhungry in Food Media & News

Rye Delicatessen - Minneapolis

I personally had an excellent experience at Rye.

Apr 03, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul

No evidence saturated fats promote heart disease, no evidence unsaturated fats reduce it

"The one thing that is most unreliable is "composite opinion.""

Actually, quite the opposite. Several studies indicate that a large group yields more accurate decisions than one highly trained individual. I completely agree with maria - science runs on consensus. When dozens or hundreds of studies all point in the same direction, then that most likely is the likely scenario.

Apr 03, 2014
foreverhungry in Food Media & News
1

No evidence saturated fats promote heart disease, no evidence unsaturated fats reduce it

Are you seriously suggesting that Science is not a credible source? Data are data, it doesn't matter when they were collected. Just because a study is 20 - or 100 - years old doesn't make it invalid.

The issue of saturated fats and heart disease is complex, and clearly much more work needs to be done to understand the relationship - if any exists. This current Annals of Internal Medicine story adds another piece of knowledge, just like the Science articles cited above did.

Apr 03, 2014
foreverhungry in Food Media & News

Flavor of meat change? South Philly to NOW!

In general, I agree. I grew up in North Jersey, and my mom got went to local butcher. When I lived in Philly, I'd usually head to South Philly butchers. I now live in Minnesota, and in general, supermarket meat is lacking in flavor, particularly pork.

On the other hand, Minnesota does have an abundance of small farmers. Yearly, we split a pig with my father in law, which comes from a local farmer he knows. There is no comparison between the flavor and marbling of the local farm pork and the bland and ultra lean supermarket pork. We've bought beef from local farms, and that meat too, in general, is far superior to the mass-market beef in even the better supermarkets in the area.

Apr 01, 2014
foreverhungry in General Topics

Mirepoix - what's the point?

"Where does it go? I'm not seeing food science here."

Check out the first chapter of Michael Pollan's "Cooked", the chapter on braises. He goes into considerable detail about the science of both the flavor addition from celery (umami) and the science of the proper cooking method, which is not to cook to the point it breaks down completely. The individual pieces should hold their shape, and if I remember correctly, it should not be browned, but maintain its original color, but becoming translucent. I'm a bit foggy on that last part. I don't remember all of the details, save to say he spend a lot of time on the science of mirepoix.

Mar 31, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Mirepoix - what's the point?

Actually, Lebovitz pointing out that he hates celery (in the first sentence!) puts his view of celery right out there for all to see and consider. I'd say that less biased than someone that absolutely loves celery, doesn't say that, and the whole article is about how great celery is. There's no such thing as "unbiased" - we all have biases based on our genetics, the environment we grew up in, our experiences, etc. At best, we can try to see what might be a bias, acknowledge it, and consider it while making an argument or recommendation. As Lebovitz does. We see this all the time in discussions here about pizza, cheesesteaks, steak, chili, etc. Folks from Texas think their chili is the best and that's how it should be made - because that's what they're used to, and grew up with. It's a bias, and that's OK.

All that said, this discussion about celery has been interesting. The lowly celery rarely gets this much spotlight!

Mar 31, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Personal chef

Yeah, the meals are pricy, but she uses top notch ingredients, with an emphasis on high lean protein, complex grains, and vegetables. She doesn't cut corners, and the quality is reflected in the cost.

Mar 31, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Personal chef

Try Laura Bonicelli, http://bonicellicooks.com/. This is exactly what she does for busy folks, prepares meals that are refrigerated or frozen, much of it organic, and all very tasty.

Mar 30, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Italian Subs (Do not count Subway!)

I've only tried the St. Anthony one, and I agree, it was OK. Typical of the for-NJ/NYC/Philly-quick-sandwich-place. Not outstanding, but solid for that style sandwich. Sarcone's in Philly is my go-to when I'm back there, and nothing here holds a candle to it. But Jersey Mike's in St Anthony (at least last year) reminds me of the average sandwich joint in that area, which is still pretty darned good.

Mar 28, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Who's firing out the best food right now?

Thank you for all of your responses! I'm still figuring out our weekend birthday celebration plans, and this input is great.

Mar 26, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Italian Subs (Do not count Subway!)

My favorite's in the TC area are:

Broder's
Brianno's (I had one last week, very good)
Buon Giorno

And as a wild card, Jersey Mike's.

Disclaimer - Similar to other's here, I was born and raised in the Jersey/Philly area (18 years in Bergen County, 9 in West Philly). No, Broder's, Brianno's and Buon Giorno are not on par with what you get in the NJ/NYC/Philly area. But, IMO, those are the best of the lot here, and are still a darned solid sandwich. The bread, IMO, is largely what separates an Italian (sub/hero/hoagie, whatever) here from one in NJ/NYC/Philly. But that won't ever stop me from getting one at a select few places in the TC.

Mar 25, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Your Favorite Source for Roasted Coffee Beans.

I enjoy both Peace Coffee and Intelligensia.

Mar 25, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Homemade Sausage

Ahhh....thank you, I didn't pay attention.

Mar 22, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Homemade Sausage

As others have mentioned, a couple of key points in sausage making. One is the fat content, usually around 30%, so a roughly 2:1 lean:fat ratio. Second is keeping everything as cold as possible. If it warms up, the fat can break out, leaving you with just the lean, which can then give you a tougher and chewier product. Freeze or ice your grinder. Keep your bowls frozen, then place your bowls into a ice bath. Put your meat and fat into the freezer for 30 minutes before grinding. Try to handle minimally with your hands, since that will warm the product up quickly.

Mar 22, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Who's firing out the best food right now?

I'm going back and forth between taking my fiancee out for dinner next weekend for her birthday, or cooking her favorites at home. Of the top restaurants in the area, is there one that's that's firing out must have dishes? I'm thinking either La Belle Vie, Heartland, Alma, or Piccolo. Most likely the tasting menu option, for those available. Also open to other suggestions - Tillia? (but Tillia doesn't take reservations, correct? That might put them out of the running). Anyone new and flying under the radar that's really hitting the mark right now? Thanks!

Mar 22, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Homemade gnocchi…egg or no egg?

Ditto to the comments above. I've been making gnocchi for a few years, and the egg does help to bind them together, so starting with an egg for your first few times is a good idea. It's easy to misjudge the dough and end up with something that breaks apart and disintegrates in the water.

While some may disagree with this characterization, I see the egg as a type of "training wheels" for gnocchi making.

Mar 05, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking
1

Ideal internal temp for rack of pork???

Apologies. Correct, growth hormones are not approved by the FDA for use in pigs. However, drugs are given to pigs: low does antibiotics, and ractopamine, which boosts growth and lean muscle mass.

Whether it's a hormone or not, the fact remains that the majority of today's pigs are fed drugs to boost growth and muscle.

As for Costco, their pork is safe and it is affordable. I personally find it has little taste. To each their own.

Mar 02, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Travail/The Rookery

Hang on, let's all take a deep breathe here, and put this discussion into some focus. We're talking about opinions on restaurants that are high end, not how a kid might be getting their next meal.

In order:
Yes, personally I prefer Picollo to Travail, so in my "book", they are rated higher.

I brought up the 3* rating, and yes, it's intended with the MSP area in mind, not across the US or world.

Lines out the door - Cheesecake Factory has lines out the door. TGIF's has lines out the door. No, lines out the door don't mean anything. Budweiser is the most popular beer in the US (or is it Coors Light? Miller Lite?). Popularity means squat when it comes to quality.

I like Travail. I like the food, I like the concept. It's a fun time, and it's a good value. I haven't been to the Rookery yet, but it sounds like the food is very similar to Travail's, just a different menu concept.

One thing that Travail has been very good at is marketing. With their old space, many folks didn't mind waiting 2 hours for a table. That's not for me.

I appreciate TCchef's comments about the kickstarter campaign. At first it struck me that their doing a kickstarter was a bit like saying, let's see how else we can get people to pay for our new kitchen". But yes, that type of equipment is expensive, and I fully understand that many restaurants survive on slim profit margins. Clearly, it has been working for them.

I appreciate Travail for what it is - it's a very different brand of food in the MSP area, and that's great. Variety is the spice of life. But usually, there are other restaurants I'd pick to go to other than Travail.

Feb 24, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul
2

Travail/The Rookery

It seems that other top notch restaurants in the TC area - La Belle Vie, Picollo, 112, Bar La Grassa - are doing well without Kickstarter campaigns. Alma and Heartland also seem to be doing well.

Popularity doesn't equal quality. Lines out the door doesn't equal 3* restaurant.

Feb 21, 2014
foreverhungry in Minneapolis-St. Paul
1

Bottle of Wine for Braising an Italian Beef Dish?

I see where you're going, but we need to be careful with blanket statements about reduced wine becoming a delicious deep sauce. Yes, it is very true that many of the complexities and nuances that distinguish great wines from very good wines from good wines will be lost when cooked for several hours. But it's also true that some of the more aggressive characteristics in a wine will tend to come out when heated, cooked, and reduced. Take an assertive tannic wine, cook it for a few hours, and those tannins will still be there, just more concentrated and harsher. Take a fruity white, cook it down, and you'll have a fruity dish. Same with an inexpensive California Chardonnay - cook it down, and you'll get oak and vanilla where you might not want it.

From my experience this is more apparent for white wines than reds, and perhaps because dishes that use white wines are lighter in character, with fewer bold flavors to cover up wine flavors you might not want. Dishes using large quantities of red wine tend to me more forgiving, in part because beef is such a big flavor in-and-of-itself.

I've also experimented quite a bit with wine types for dishes where wine is a major component of the dish - where at least a couple of cups are added, if not a whole bottle. That's led me to use Cote du Rhone for red, and a white Bordeaux or most any Sauvignon Blanc for white.

Feb 18, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Sheep milk butter?

Sparked by another thread, I used some aging commercial cream to make some butter. Wasn't sure what the result would be, I did it with my daughter, and hey, darned good butter product.

Question - cows milk butte is the usual. I've seen goat milk butter. But i haven't seem sheep butter. I might have a connection to getting sheep milk. If I can get sheep cream, is it worth trying? Anyone have experience with sheep milk butter?

Feb 14, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking