j

John Francis's Profile

Title Last Reply

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - March 2015

I did a couple of years ago. They don't compare with what you'd get in a dim sum place, but they're good.

about 15 hours ago
John Francis in Chains

Can Dried Beans Go Bad?

Beans can go bad, but not just from sitting around for a while if they're properly stored.

Mar 16, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Trends: Has brisket replaced short rib as the trendy meat?

Not in the restaurants I know about - except barbecue.

Mar 11, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Why Are All ‘Good’ Restaurants Around the World Starting To Look the Same?

They aren't. Can't tell you anything about Buenos Aires, but in the cities I know - New York, San Francisco, London, Berlin, Vienna - the good restaurants do not look like each other.

Are there advantatages to a pressure cooker besides saving time?

If you live well above sea level, water boils at lower temperatures than 212/100, and that affects the cooking. A pressure cooker supplies the additional pressure so the food will be cooked at the higher temperature.

Mar 09, 2015
John Francis in Cookware

Are Small Sauce Pans Necessary?

Since I cook just for myself, and sometimes one guest, I use a 1 quart saucepan more than any other size. No need for a smaller one - for me it would be wasted space.

Mar 06, 2015
John Francis in Cookware

Kitchen towels - am I just being OCD about this?

I put kitchen towels in the washing machine along with everything else. Why not?

Mar 06, 2015
John Francis in Cookware

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

NAY - Scallion Pancakes (Pa Jeon) (frozen). Nearly flavorless, the texture isn't particularly pleasing, and the nutrition facts include a surprising amount of sodium and saturated fats. If you want a potato-based patty as a side dish or a main dish, the frozen Vegetable Masala Burgers are about the same as to nutrition facts but far more tasty.

Mar 06, 2015
John Francis in Chains

potato flakes

Jacques Pepin sometimes uses them as a thickener for a sauce or soup. Alternative to corn starch or flour.

Feb 27, 2015
John Francis in Home Cooking

do you return items to Trader Joe's?

I've done it a couple of times. No questions asked.

Feb 27, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

The Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil is still my choice of the several canned tunas at the local TJ's. Can't say I've noticed much change in it.

Feb 21, 2015
John Francis in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

That one's a Yea for me. Don't care whether it's authentic, it's good.

Feb 15, 2015
John Francis in Chains

I have New Orleans Boudin Sausage- what to make?

Sahadi on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn carries frozen boudin blanc and noir. It's the French kind, not New Orleans (no rice in the ingredients list). Distributed by White Toque of Secaucus, NJ; don't know where it's made or how authentic it is. Not much flavor or texture; I don't like it.

Feb 01, 2015
John Francis in Home Cooking

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Yea - Chunky Salsa (mild). I've tried the fresh salsa and it was watery and insipid. This salsa in a jar is very tasty and, as it says, chunky. Not labeled mild, but on the chili gauge the red part covers only the bottom 4 lines. That's as hot as I want it; others will have to rate the hotter varieties.

Feb 01, 2015
John Francis in Chains
1

Lebanon bologna in NYC?

Thanks! I should have thought of that. Now it's off to Zabar's!

Jan 30, 2015
John Francis in Manhattan

Lebanon bologna in NYC?

I guess the answer is no. As for ordering it from the makers, I knew about that, but not having tasted their products and at a dollar or more an ounce, I'm not *that* nostalgic. Thanks anyway.

Jan 27, 2015
John Francis in Manhattan

Lebanon bologna in NYC?

I'm nostalgic for this salami-like bologna that I grew up with in Pennsylvania. Does anybody know of a store in Manhattan that sells it? I know I can buy it from amazon.com, but that would be expensive and, well, kind of absurd. And of course I want it pre-sliced. Thanks for any pointers.

Jan 27, 2015
John Francis in Manhattan

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - January 2015 [Old]

I've used the soyrizo when I'd ordinarily use chorizo, and like it. But not for breakfast, I think.

Jan 22, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - January 2015 [Old]

Nay - Meatless Breakfast Patties (frozen). Flavorless as cardboard, the worst kind of vegetarian substitute for the real thing.

TJ's used to carry MorningStar Farms' Original Sausage Patties, also meatless, which really do taste like very good breakfast sausage, but dropped them in favor of their own inferior product. TJ's still carries MorningStar's Sausage Links, which for me aren't as good as MorningStar's patties.

Yea - Hashbrowns (frozen). Shaped into oblong patties; 10 minutes in the toaster oven and they're done. At least TJ's has gotten something right for a hot breakfast.

and, on the subject of breakfast:

Yea - Multigrain O's Cereal. The grains are oats, barley, wheat, and rice. Slightly sweetened, no additional sugar needed.

Jan 21, 2015
John Francis in Chains

America's Test Kitchen Magazine

Both the show and Cooks Illustrated are based on the work of the same cooks in the same test kitchen, and there's been some content overlap between them. If the new magazine simply prints the same recipes, tests, and other content featured in the show, then it's kind of redundant. If not, then it will be much like another Cooks Illustrated. This is the kind of thing I'd like to know and the promotional blurb says nothing about.

America's Test Kitchen Magazine

Just got an e-mail announcing the launch of this new publication from the Christopher Kimball empire. Here's the info:

http://link.emails.americastestkitche...

What Kimball doesn't say is how this differs from Cooks Illustrated, and why subscribe to it instead. Also, specifics about how its content relates to the content of the TV show, which can be viewed for free on PBS.

If anybody has any information - or actually signs up for the "charter issue" of the magazine - I'd be very interested. I'm not going to myself, because once you take up one of Kimball's offers it may take some doing to disentangle yourself.

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - January 2015 [Old]

Nay - Maple Chicken Breakfast Sausages (12 links, 12 oz, $4.49). The right shape and size for a breakfast sausage, but otherwise not. Bland flavor - the slightest hint of maple and no sausage seasoning that I can taste - and a harder texture than the classic breakfast sausage.

Not in the new Fearless Flyer, which is here:

http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer

They've redesigned it and the whole web site, not an improvement, and I didn't get an e-mail announcing the new Flyer. What's up?

Jan 20, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - January 2015 [Old]

I've been a fan for a long time. Just eat one as a side dish, or even as the main course.

Jan 14, 2015
John Francis in Chains
1

The Mind of a Chef: Traditions

Oh, "The Mind of a Chef" isn't a cooking show. The kinds of dishes the chefs make really aren't for the likes of us to copy. The traditions program is perhaps a little different, as the cooking wasn't done by the chef and other professionals but by a family - but several of the ingredients aren't available in our country. No, "Mind" is more a reality show than anything else, like Bourdain's own shows. It doesn't teach how to cook any more than watching a football game teaches how to play football.

How do you pronounce your foreign food phrases?

Here's PBS's blurb for Cooking 80/20:

Robin Shea has been entertaining and inspiring audiences with her passion and zest for life for the past seven years through her television programs, speaking engagements, magazine articles and lifestyle classes. She brings creative solutions to a variety of life’s challenges such as raising positive children, creating a personal vision, the importance of the family dinner hour, the 80/20 Lifestyle solution to weight management, conquering your fears, and much more. Through her creative vision and dedication to helping individuals find their personal purpose in life, Robin empowers her audience with the courage to not only face… but embrace, the unknown.

Blah, blah, blah. As far as I can tell, Shea's only qualification for hosting a show telling us how we ought to live is that she's pretty. Oh, and she's a born-again Christian, so she has God on her side. So she says.

The Mind of a Chef: Traditions

Episode 13 is really special. Instead of concocting sophisticated new dishes in a restaurant kitchen, Magnus Nilsson joins his family at home preparing a traditional Swedish meal in the traditional Swedish way. All of the family are in the kitchen to make dumplings, from grandma down to the pre-teen children. Here's PBS's preview:

http://video.pbs.org/video/2365357243/

How do you pronounce your foreign food phrases?

That's pretty much what I do too. You won't hear me saying "li-KOOR." :-)

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - January 2015 [Old]

Yea - Free Range Organic Chicken Broth

Nay - Free Range Chicken Broth

What a difference a word makes. The organic product is flavorful enough to use as chicken soup right out of the box; the other is thinspit, the next thing to colored water. Oddly, it has the longer list of ingredients other than chicken and water.

By the way, the design of the opener is different. Now when you twist it off the seal is broken and you can pour; no inner plastic seal to wrench off. This fooled me at first - I thought there was no seal and would have

Storing butter outside of fridge

Never heard of such a thing.

Dec 31, 2014
John Francis in General Topics

CH has changed - WHY?

I'm seeing the same, and I'm seeing all the threads in my profile as unread when only two or three should be. Apparently this is working as designed - see mselectra's explanation. Talk about high-handed. The forum management should not have hit us with this change but should have kept the previous setup as the default, with the new "pagination" as an option. Better, they should have designed "pagination" to retain the crucial read-unread distinction, which they have not.