CDouglas's Profile

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Where to get the best fish tacos in DC?

MadHatter on Connecticut Avenue has blackened grouper fish tacos which are very good.

Would you eat it if . . .

Um, I guess you have never been fishing for a meal, or hunting, or clam digging, or obviously wringing a chicken's neck etc...

To answer your other question I would happily be the one to pull the switch on someone convicted by jury of a crime deserving capital punishment.

If you have certain sensibilities and harbor personal guilt then you should alter your behavior accordingly. Don't expect everyone else to share your opinions or reactions.

Perhaps you should investigate the various vegan/vegetarian lifestyles if that is more to your taste or conscience. But please don't expect everyone else to have to feel the way you do just because you believe in a certain way.

Feb 14, 2014
CDouglas in General Topics

Where can I buy good Turkish Pistachios

Are you tossing in-shell Anteps into your mouth without opening them first? Do you crack open the shell with your teeth? If you are cracking them before putting the meat in your mouth you would have discovered that there was a stone in your bag.

Feb 14, 2014
CDouglas in General Topics

Chili powder questions.

You're welcome.

Here is a completely over-the-top article and recipe for chili that hits all of the basics but goes overboard in the flavor department in my opinion:

In my experience a person's chili preference is largely (maybe solely) dependent on what they ate and enjoyed when they first experienced it. Endless debates about tomatoes, beans, chile powder vs. puree, chocolate, cinnamon, coffee etc... wind up going nowhere because chili preference is subjective. I can't say what should or should not be in another person's chili but I know with absolute certainty what I like and don't like in mine. I appreciate anyone who likes a good bowl of red however they choose to have it.

Alton Brown has a solid, if slightly eccentric, homemade chili powder recipe that is very good:

Competition chili, which usually are the ones that win awards and internet acclaim, don't make a good bowl of eating chili. They are designed to be one hit wonders for judges who get only a few spoonfuls before they move on to the next entry. Therefore they need to be highly seasoned and crafted to pack flavor into one punch. A ramekin sized portion of this chili would be great, a big bowl would be overwhelming.

Feb 11, 2014
CDouglas in Home Cooking

Best chili in NOVA/DC?

I don't think so.

Answer applies to all of the above.

Best chili in NOVA/DC?

Hill Country BBQ in DC has the best chili in the area. You know, because chili is not subjective at all.

Chili powder questions.

As this recipe adds its own cumin, garlic/onion powder and paprika it is calling for ground "chile pepper" not "chili powder" (two different things entirely).

The recipe itself is styled after many of the traditional CASI/ICS winning recipes of the past decade. Note the use of beef and chicken broth, 1 can of tomato sauce and the stealth MSG additives of beef/chicken granules and seasoned salt.

Light New Mexico chile pepper is made from green not red chiles. It has a fruitier, less earthy flavor to me. I like it but not for chili. New Mexico Hot chile pepper, NM green and Texas Red Dog chile pepper are competition staples provided by Pendery's. For me a blend of ancho and New Mexican red chile pepper forms the basis of chili. Garlic and onion powder are used to contribute to the smoothness of the gravy and the consistency of the recipe. Fresh garlic and onion can run bland or hot depending on what you happen to pick up from the grocery store.

Gebhardt is a "chili" powder meaning it contains ground chiles, cumin, garlic etc...

The pitted prunes addition is a gimmick made to be a signature/marking/secret ingredient tag.

Tabasco does not belong anywhere near chili.

I also find tri-tip to be gamy/livery and I would never use it for chili. I prefer small cubes of flank steak or short rib.

I can't imagine this recipe being very good for eating chili. Maybe worth a tasting spoonful or two at a competition but that would be about it.

Feb 11, 2014
CDouglas in Home Cooking

Recommednation for Hot Chocolate Drink Mix

Valor Spanish drinking chocolate is the best:

This is bar chocolate used for making hot chocolate but they make a powder as well.

Feb 07, 2014
CDouglas in General Topics

Please Share Your Favorite Apple Crisp Recipe (No Oats) and a Question: Best Apples for Crisp & Pie?

Serious Eats took on the apple pie thing a few years back.

Part 1 concerns apple selection:

Part 2 gets into the pie filling:

Part "3" concerns the pie crust:

In short - Golden Delicious apples, pre-heated apple filling, and foolproof pie crust.

Feb 07, 2014
CDouglas in Home Cooking

Your Favorite Newman's Own Products?

The Natural Flavor microwave popcorn is pretty good but I prefer Orville's Classic Butter and Sea Salt.

Feb 07, 2014
CDouglas in General Topics

Old Lunchbox Favorites

Bologna and cheese on white bread
Nabisco Vegetable Thins (yeah Mom, the carrot-shaped ones are really healthy)
Hostess Snoballs - while still in the package they kind of felt like... trouble
Hi-C - what's a juice box? This was stored in my Evel Knievel lunch box thermos
Ritz Handi-Snax cheese dip and crackers with the rectangular red plastic spreader
One nickel and 3 pennies for a carton of chocolate milk
Triangular folded napkin

Feb 06, 2014
CDouglas in General Topics

Berger Cookies in DC?

The House Truffles from Chocolate Chocolate on Connecticut Avenue, NW are amazing.

Both the Coconut Rum and Bailey's Irish Cream versions are personal favorites.

Your Favorite Newman's Own Products?

Caesar Dressing (oil based), Fig Newmans, Newman-O's, Uncured Pepperoni thin crust pizza, Roadside Lemonade, Limeaid and the Shrimp Scampi skillet meal.

Feb 05, 2014
CDouglas in General Topics

Old Style Family Restaurants?

Cracker Barrel.

Please explain this green bean casserole thing

Sigh. For some of us it is a tradition. Try this version if you are curious and ambitious. It will change your mind.


Nov 22, 2013
CDouglas in General Topics

What are your Fall/Winter comfort foods ?

My new favorite is birria - essentially chile-stewed protein, served on corn tortillas, topped with onions/cilantro/radishes and scented with freshly squeezed lime juice. This taco is then dipped into the strained chile stewing liquid before each bite. This stuff will cure your cold and hangover at the same time.

Solid recipe here (I sub white onion, cilantro and radishes for the pickled onion):

Short ribs are tremendous but you can use pork shoulder, lamb, goat, other cuts of beef etc...

Nov 18, 2013
CDouglas in General Topics

too many Granny Smiths

Homemade Granny Smith hard cider is like drinking alcoholic, green Jolly Ranchers.


You're welcome.

Nov 15, 2013
CDouglas in Home Cooking

What new flavor of M&Ms would you like to see?

Chocolate chip cookie dough.

Nov 15, 2013
CDouglas in General Topics

How do you sesaon your turkey?

Butter, salt, pepper, sage, thyme.

Nov 08, 2013
CDouglas in Home Cooking

Food that isn't what it seems, need creative ideas

I once had "faux deviled eggs" that were peeled and halved new potatoes with a yolk-sized hole scooped from slightly off-center which was then filled with a spicy, yellow potato salad. They were good but rather filling.

Nov 07, 2013
CDouglas in Home Cooking

What's your favorite recipe for a whole chicken cut up?

I reserve roasting for whole chickens. For parts I like Chicken Fricassee. Great recipe and a step-by-step photo tutorial here:

Serve it over egg noodles as recommended.

Nov 07, 2013
CDouglas in Home Cooking

Tentative "New Condiment Basics" List - What do you think?

I would replace black bean sauce in the smoky category with either smoked paprika or Lapsang Souchong tea (can be brewed strong and added to many sauces/recipes).

Also I find ginger dressing to be more of a savory/salty flavor profile than sour. Maybe something like chutney (sweet/sour) or kimchi would work instead.

Nov 05, 2013
CDouglas in General Topics

Mocha Cookies & Cream Shake

Anyone else had the new Mocha Cookies & Cream milkshake from Chik-fil-A? It is an improved version of one of my favorites - the Jamocha shake at Arbys. This one has chocolate cookie crumbles and real whipped cream on top. Tremendous.

Oct 25, 2013
CDouglas in Chains

What is this fruit? Anyone?

The one on the left looks like a Kiwano melon, specifically when you look at the cross-section of the sliced one on top of the pile.

The other one looks to be some sort of tangerine/ugli fruit hybrid.

Sep 27, 2013
CDouglas in General Topics

Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day - October 26

Here is the one I have been making and it is very good:


Sep 17, 2013
CDouglas in Home Cooking

Upping the ante on boxed pancake mix

Krusteaz dry mix
Add ins:
Malt powder

Sep 17, 2013
CDouglas in Home Cooking

King Taco

A guy who works for me used to work in McDonalds' food laboratory. He has a recipe which is very close to the Big Mac special sauce:

Big Mac Special Sauce
1/4 cup KRAFT Miracle Whip
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons, heaping, WISHBONE deluxe French salad dressing (the orange stuff)
1/2 tablespoon HEINZ sweet relish
2 teaspoons, heaping, VLASIC dill pickle relish (Heinz dill relish also works)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried, minced onion
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon ketchup
1/8 teaspoon salt
Mix everything very well in a small container. There better be no streaks! Microwave 25 seconds, and stir well
again. Cover, and refrigerate at LEAST 1 hour before using. (to allow all of the flavors to "meld") Makes nearly
1 cup... enough for about 8 Big Macs

I have made it numerous times with tweaks but still don't think it is exactly right. I bet if I continue to go back to McDonalds to taste the original I will keep getting closer and closer in my experiments.

Man, McDonalds should pay me for the free marketing I am doing for them.

Aug 29, 2013
CDouglas in Home Cooking

Best way to prepare skirt steak?

Marinate in margarita mix overnight and then grill. Serve as soft tacos with diced white onion, cilantro, lime wedge, pico de gallo, chiles etc...

The grain on the skirt runs from the top to the bottom of the short cross-section, not down the length of the steak.

Aug 23, 2013
CDouglas in Home Cooking

Most bizarre canned food item you have encountered

Canned durian. Don't open it. Ever.

Inside lies a matte yellow, play-doh brain that is supposed to be a fruit but smells like a football locker room in the summer after two-a-days.

Aug 23, 2013
CDouglas in General Topics

Why are chicken breasts so HUGE?

"I hate those huge breasts..."

Now there is a statement that I have never made in my entire 44 years on the planet.

Aug 21, 2013
CDouglas in General Topics