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John Francis's Profile

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Organic agriculture is a colossal hoax

Organic agriculture as I personally define it is not a hoax, and there are vendors in my area (New York City) that I trust to sell me the genuine article at a price I choose to afford.

No doubt there are flaws in the USDA's definition of "organic." No doubt some producers, maybe many, maybe most don't measure up even to the FDA's definition. But I'm not concerned with agricultural policy, just with what I put on my table and in my mouth. And I know very well what I'm doing.

Decisions decisions

I agree. A saute pan provides more cooking surface if you're doing a lot; the skillet's curving-up sides are better for making a sauce, so the whisk can reach everything, and also if you want to slide what you've cooked such as an omelet or frittata to a serving bowl or platter instead of scooping it out.

I have both but I almost never use the saute pan - the skillet or frying pan for me almost every time.

about 23 hours ago
John Francis in Cookware

U.S. House Passes a Bill Banning GMO Labeling

It figures.

Jet.com, a new shopping experience

Never heard of it, and I don't do $50 annual memberships anyway.

Do you drink tea?

Iced tea and sometimes iced coffee.

Jul 17, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Man Finds Food

This series on the Travel Channel is a lot of fun. Adam Richman and his crew, who also are on camera a lot, hunt for off-the-menu dishes in eateries that themselves can be way off the beaten path. It's a funny show and just watching Richman's mighty mouth surround a ridiculously stuffed sandwich is amazing.

(Last year there was an irrelevant controversy, not about the show itself but how Richman responded to some personal comments on Instagram. He later apologized. I mention this because somebody is sure to, so why not me? Any who care can Google it themselves.)

All that said, very few of Richman's finds look all that appetizing to me. But I enjoy watching this motley crew's antics.

Bringing Your Own Grocery Bags Makes You Buy More Junk Food

Not me it doesn't.

Favorite U.S. cities (other than Chicago) for a 3 day weekend? Food is #1 priority.... [moved from Chicago board]

Whatever the temp, New Orleans is in my top 3. The others are New York City and San Francisco. All are places I'd go regardless of the food and regardless of the travel time.

Jul 13, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

QUIZ: Which of These Cookbooks Are Actually Real?

I got the first four wrong and gave up. They all look fake to me!

bad manners to accept preferred treatment

If you've been offered special treatment without asking for it, that means the restaurant considers you to have earned it. I'd say it would be bad manners toward the restaurant to refuse.

A Chef's Life

After watching all the episodes so far, I've come to wonder about Vivian's attitude. She keeps accepting invitations to cook for groups and affairs, and then whining about the difficulties and stress, wishing it was over. She decides to open a second restaurant, but all she has to say about it is how stressed she is and how doubtful that she can manage it. This is easy to understand, but she seldom talks about these things as positive opportunities, as what she personally wants to do.

Come on, Vivian, nobody's imposing these challenges on you. Nobody's holding your kids hostage or pointing a gun at your head. Now that you've overcome some very steep odds to build a loyal staff and clientele for your restaurant, achieve national recognition, and even have a national TV series, you can do pretty much as you please, including saying no. So complain all you like, but how about accentuating the positive too? Just a little bit?

Jul 13, 2015
John Francis in Food Media & News
1

Solo in London in September

If you'll allow for one fancy eatery, I recommend Rules. The place is full of remarkable things to look at, the food is traditional English of the best kind, and the service is perfect. You pay for it, but you'll remember it.

Jul 12, 2015
John Francis in U.K./Ireland

what is the trick to not have rice boil over?

Maybe you aren't reducing the heat enough. I never ever have that problem and I cook rice in a covered saucepan, not a very big one, about twice a week.

Jul 10, 2015
John Francis in Home Cooking

What are some ingredients you don't like to use?

Mustard.

Jul 10, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Canned stock vs. bouillon cubes

I buy stock in tetrapaks, a quart at a time, equals 16 large Knorr chicken bouillon cubes. Trader Joe's organic free range chicken broth costs $2. It's very good, it's ready to use right out of the container, and though bouillon may be cheaper, I'm not inclined to experiment.

Jul 06, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Picky eater

Fish fingers, fish nuggets.

Jun 29, 2015
John Francis in Home Cooking

How Long Will Store-Bought Eggs Stay Fresh In Fridge??

I've never had eggs go bad in the fridge. Of course, they seldom last more than a week. (Hens keep eggs warm for about three weeks before they hatch.)

Jun 26, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

The Etiquette of Bringing Your Own Meal on a Plane

In one of his "Tummy Trilogy" books, Calvin Trillin writes about taking an extraordinary box lunch on a flight. The envy of the other passengers, and they weren't annoyed at him but at the airline. To hear him tell it. Of course he didn't carry on any sauerkraut or limberger cheese...

A Chef's Life

Except when she and her husband are squabbling. But that comes with running a real restaurant, which I'm interested to know about. I like the show and while I wouldn't attempt her elaborate takes on southern cooking, some of the ideas work for me.

does a pan with these specs exist?

Your description fits a pan called a saucier. Alton Brown used one sometimes on Good Eats.

https://www.google.com/#q=saucier+pan

Jun 20, 2015
John Francis in Cookware

Stainless Steel Spatula recommendation

Oxo's fish turner - long, slim, slotted, curved up at the end - is a good all-purpose spatula. Cheap, too. Jacques Pepin uses one (don't know if it's Oxo) for just about everything. OK with nonstick pans too if you're careful.

Jun 20, 2015
John Francis in Cookware

Best soups at Trader Joe's?

TJ makes several kinds of chicken broth in tetra paks. For me, the free range organic broth is the most like chicken soup; the others are insipid. Good for what ails you!

Jun 20, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Spice Racks for Penzey's

Like wvgardener, I have the YouCopia SpiceStack Spice Organizer, the Chef's Edition 30-Bottle version, which I keep on the counter top. It can go inside a fairly deep cabinet, but mine aren't deep enough. YouCopia makes SpiceStacks in a variety of sizes.

http://www.youcopia.com/products/chef...

It's a perfect fit for Penzey's full-size and half-size spice bottles.

Jun 15, 2015
John Francis in Cookware

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread-June 2015 [OLD]

I've been using it for a long time - good stuff. I also use their liquid detergent for laundry, and that works too.

Jun 15, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread-June 2015 [OLD]

Not just the content, the redesign too.

Jun 15, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Spain had a HUGE impact on its colonies' cuisine. Why didn't France?

English food was standard in the American colonies, wasn't it? Except among Native Americans. :-) Most likely because the colonies' population was English or descended from them. When the colonizers are vastly outnumbered by the locals, as in India, then naturally the locals continue to eat what they've always eaten.

What Are Your Favorite Summer Time Foods You Crave and Indulge?

Cold soups: carrot, potato, consomme, gazpacho, borscht, you name it.

Jun 05, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

What the heck happed to Chicken?

You could buy whole chickens and dismember them yourself. The stores near you don't skin their whole chickens, do they?

Jun 05, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Science Daily: New information changes few opinions on GMOs, global warming

Nobody likes to believe they've been wrong. It's about self-respect, not science.

Do you use an American butcher knife in your kitchen?

No.

Jun 05, 2015
John Francis in Cookware