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foreverhungry's Profile

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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

Pulled Pork: Slow cook and then grill or vice versa?

Some (or many) may disagree with this sentiment, but I believe that "pulled pork" is pork that's cooked slowly, in a dry environment (e.g. not a slow cooker), with smoke, at a low temperature. Pulled pork has three elements - low temperature and long cook time until the pork reaches a high temperature (190 - 200 F), smoke, and bark. Pork (or beef or chicken) cooked in a slow cooker and then shredded is just that, shredded meat. Similarly, I wouldn't call chicken roasted in an oven and then served with BBQ sauce barbeque chicken.

Again, I'm sure many will disagree. Dishes with specific names have specific methods and ingredients. Calling pork cooked in a crock pot pulled pork starts to dilute what true pulled pork is, until the term loses its meaning.

Aug 28, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

ISO Middle Eastern Meatball Recipies

Claudia Roden has some great Middle Eastern meatball recipes that I've had good luck with.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

http://saffronandlemons.blogspot.com/...

http://mycustardpie.com/2011/01/24/tu...

Breakfast

Suzie's Kitchen in Rosemount is pretty solid.

Porchetteria

Not sure they'll be hefting porchetta sandwiches in the winter, my impression is that it was seasonal. Maybe not.

Broders has a good quality empire. The wait for the Pasta Bar can be a brute, and I'm not about a wait, but they have great pasta. Personally, I prefer making a reservation at Bar La Grassa, the pasta is as good if not better. But we've gone to Broders Pasta Bar, with little wait, and have had very good meals. Timing and patience dictates there.

That said, Cucina is underrated. That's our main take-out pizza, coming from the other side of Lake Nokomis. Solide salads. Excellent sandwiches. Fantastic stop for a lunch if you're in the neighborhood, even if I was in the 50th and France hood, I'd consider lunch at Broders Cucina, though a travel.

I just realized I need a pressure cooker for canning tomatoes

Excellent, thank you very much for the info. I'm now looking into a pressure canner, if not this year then for next. Thanks again!

Aug 19, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Update to Italian restaurants in Twin Cities

Al Vento in South Minneapolis has solid food, excellent pasta dishes. It's a very nice atmosphere inside, what it sounds you are looking for. I haven't been to Luci or Luci Ancora the ChanchesR mentioned for a few years because I thought their quality was going down.

Pazzaluna is good food, but a little bigger and louder inside, not a cozy atmosphere.

I Nonni is top notch - excellent Northern Italian, service is fantastic. Also, Butcher Block in NE MPLS is a smaller, cozy space, excellent food, it flies under the radar IMO.

Bar La Grassa is geat (best pasta dishes in the area), but it is more of a party atmosphere, and it can be difficult to be heard. The opposite of intimate.

Broders Pasta Bar is also very good, but I haven't eaten there in a while. A new addition is Broder's owned Terzo Wine Bar. I haven't eaten there (though I did have their porchetta sandwiches from their window, which were excellent). The menu doesn't scream "classic Italian", but, like Broder's itself, looks to be inventive and well thought out. Everything that Broders does is well executed, so if something "non-classic" might inspire you, and you enjoy wine, Terzo might be a good match.

Porchetteria

Wife, daughter, and I had the (wife) Rapini, (daughter) Truffle Mushroom, and (I) Calabrian. We all sampled each others. The Calabrian was excellent - great spice and heat, not too hot (could have been spicier for me, but minor quibble), well balanced with the sweetness of currants (though they looked and tasted more like craisens...these items were much, much sweeter than currants typically are, were larger, and kinda wrinkled...hmmmm). The rapini (the few bites I had) was solid - classic pork/rapini combination, the bitterness and bite of the rapini was perfect for the fat of the pork. The Truffled Mushroom was somewhat of a revelation - I usually don't like "truffled" anything, either because it's artificial flavoring, or it just doesn't work. This was fantastic. When my wife asked which was my favorite, I couldn't answer, I'd order any of those three and be very happy.

The pork - great combination of various parts - looked like loin, shoulder, maybe belly. You could see the leaner pieces, the fattier, deeper flavored chunks, and some with nice crisp. Great balance on the pork, with both crisp and tender.

The bread - fantastic. Not sure where they get their buns (I need to call the manager to ask), but these were square-ish, nicely crisp on the exterior, bready in the interior, and held the juicy sandwiches very well, keeping the exterior crispness all the way to the end. Maybe one of the best sandwich breads I've had that can hold up to such as juicy filling, and actually add both flavor and texture to the whole product.

We also had the chips, which I thought were great. Thick cut, good salt, not greasy at all. I'd eat these all day, though they might not be for everyone. I wouldn't say a classic chip, but great potato flavor, thick, firm, well cooked.

Only negative is that the sandwiches are served out of their parking lot. It's really meant for takeout. When we went, it was pretty hot, and while we waited it was baking on the black lot. We ate around the corner on benches in front of Terzo and the bookstore, but there are only 3 benches. Depending on how long your take-out journey is, the buns might start to soak thru, which would be too bad. The lot kinda faces the south, so during their serving hours it's likely full sun. Some shading would enhance the experience. Again, minor quibble, if it's cool and you can eat the great sandwiches as soon as you get them.

Overall, excellent sandwiches, great addition to MSP, easily in my top 5 now.

Your Favorite Bakery

For doughnuts, Mel-O-Glaze or Mojo Monkey
For pastries, Patisserie 46
For bread, Rustica or Patrick's, though Turtle Bread on Chicago has some very good breads
For croissants, Patrick's or Trung Nam

Turtle Bread also has very good other odds and ends, such as an excellent Mexican brownie, very good cookies, and very good pie.

Lastly, I've also had some very good products at Chez Arnaud on Grand Ave in STP, their pain au chocolate was excellent.