Sam D.'s Profile

Title Last Reply

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy Valentine's Day 2015 edition! [OLD]

I rarely buy cookbooks anymore because of the abundance of recipes on the web. But this past week I got Andrea Nguyen's "Asian Dumplings." So far I haven't made anything in it but it contains an awful lot of tempting recipes and helpful preparation methods that are well explained and illustrated.

making cannolis without a dowel or tube

Maybe there's a way to improvise but I wouldn't know how. The stainless steel tubes are not expensive. I bought 2 packs of 5 each for a total of $10-12 on ebay. They make forming and cooking the cannolis a breeze. I would stay away from using dowels.

Feb 24, 2015
Sam D. in Home Cooking

Use the oven or slow cooker for brisket ?

That is the same method I use - a Reynolds cooking bag - and it comes out perfect every time.

Feb 23, 2015
Sam D. in Home Cooking

The Pastrami List 2014

I was sorely disappointed the one time I tried the pastrami sandwich at Wexler's. It was small, dry, and without much flavor.

I've tried Billy's, Canter's, Langer's, Brent's and others. My current favorite is the New York Famous Deli in Eagle Rock. It's small and in a horribly obscure location but Jimmy, the owner, serves up some wonderful pastrami and other deli favorites at very reasonable prices. The pastrami is full flavored, tender and is hand sliced. My only complaint is that the rye bread leaves room for improvement.

Feb 16, 2015
Sam D. in Los Angeles Area

Top 10 Hot Dog Lies (in no particular order)

I live in L.A. and at one time we had Vienna hot dogs, which were superb, available in every major supermarket and used in the better hot dog stands such as Nu-Way. Alas, no more. They're only available by mail order. However, Boars Head makes a superb, full flavored, natural casing hot dog that is at least as good as the old Vienna. They are sold in (Kroger owned) Ralph's Grocery Stores here under the Ralphs label of "Private Selection". They are equal to the tastiest hot dogs I've ever had. They may also be available in other markets in the Kroger chain.

Feb 16, 2015
Sam D. in General Topics

What to do with ribeye trimmings?

Do you have a dog?

Feb 15, 2015
Sam D. in Home Cooking

Harvey's Guss Meats LA Times

Sad to hear that he's making plans to shut down the business in order to retire.

Feb 14, 2015
Sam D. in Los Angeles Area

Can anyone recommend a good Dim Sum option during night time hours anywhere in LA?

Besides their regular menu, you can get dim sum at night at the Won Kok in Chinatown. And they are open until 3 AM.

Feb 11, 2015
Sam D. in Los Angeles Area

Is there a one-dish meal that you can't live without?

Beef Strogonoff
Boeuf Bourguignon (Julia Child's recipe)

I serve both over egg noodles.

Feb 04, 2015
Sam D. in Home Cooking

What oil do you use for homemade mayo?

I have been making mayo for a long time and have experimented with various oils, Now I stick to neutral vefgetable oils, either corn or soybean oil.

Jan 01, 2015
Sam D. in Home Cooking

Restaurants with private rooms in LA

Taix in Echo Park, minutes from downtown.


Dec 30, 2014
Sam D. in Los Angeles Area

Mandolin recommendation

Chem, you are spot on about the Benriner. I have the standard size and, while it works just fine, I really wish I had the wider one. For some reason the wider model is MUCH more expensive than the standard width model.

Dec 25, 2014
Sam D. in Cookware

Prime Rib over cooked! What can i make with the leftovers?

I would slice it and use it to make open face roast beef sandwiches with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Dec 15, 2014
Sam D. in Home Cooking

Remember these Restaurants?

I believe that would have been Del Conte's. I was there a couple times in the 1970s and 80s. I do remember that it was very good. I probably would have gone there more frequently but Torrance was a long way from where I lived. If I remember correctly, I think they also had music and dancing in the lounge area on weekend nights.

Dec 14, 2014
Sam D. in Los Angeles Area

Your favorite inexpensive cookware items

1)The $10 immersion blender I've had for about 6-7 years.

2)The heavy, super sharp cleaver I bought at a dollar store about 10 years ago.

3) A wire whisk, also from the dollar store.

Dec 04, 2014
Sam D. in Cookware

Au gratin potatoes again - what cheese?

I have always used sharp cheddar cheese and have never found cooking with it to be "tricky". But I do pre-cook the potatoes.

Dec 04, 2014
Sam D. in Home Cooking

The Parsnip Challenge

If you can obtain fresh ears of corn now, this is a delicious soup:
Sweet Corn and Parsnip Soup


Dec 04, 2014
Sam D. in Home Cooking

I'm going to The Apple Pan tonight.

It's always been pricey for the kind of food that they serve.

Dec 03, 2014
Sam D. in Los Angeles Area

Brown gravy?

Get some Kitchen Bouquet or Gravy Master and add it, little by little, to your gravy as a final cooking step.

Casell's Burgers is being resurrected!

After reading the Eater article, I'm wondering if the revived Cassel's will attempt to copy Cassell's original burger and related menu items, including the condiment bar. Or will they simply be duplicaticating the burger from Short Order.

Nov 16, 2014
Sam D. in Los Angeles Area

Best pecan pie in LA?

27th Street Bakery


Nov 14, 2014
Sam D. in Los Angeles Area

Thanksgiving smoked turkeys

Loreto's Fried Turkey
983 W Compton Bl. Compton
(310) 537-7612

It's their specialty. A 15 lb. deep fried turkey is $60. They use peanut oil for deep frying.

Nov 12, 2014
Sam D. in Los Angeles Area

Your Thanksgiving Menu for 2014

I have been making the turkey gravy in advance for a long time and in my experience the gravy always reheats just fine but there have been a couple times when it needed to be thinned a bit after it was reheated.

If your gravy is too thin then, yes, you would need to add more flour and maybe more butter but you need to do it before you add the stock.

Oct 25, 2014
Sam D. in Home Cooking

Any legit Pastrami sandwiches?

If you are driving, I would strongly suggest heading over to Weiss Deli & Bakery in Henderson. IMO it's the best kosher style deli in the entire Vegas Valley. The sandwiches are just outstanding and the portions are huge. The rye bread is fresh and very good.

Oct 25, 2014
Sam D. in Las Vegas

Your Thanksgiving Menu for 2014

Mine is pretty standard Thanksgiving fare. I don’t really like to experiment with new recipes for holiday dinners. Besides, whenever I deviate from traditional Thanksgiving dishes, my family complains to high heaven.

Roast Brined Turkey with Stuffing

Melinda Lee’s Ultimate Brine for Turkey

Poultry Stuffing Recipe from Bell’s Seasoning
It’s the same great seasoning and stuffing that my parents and grandparents made.

Mashed Potatoes and Turkey Gravy
I roast some turkey wings and make the gravy a couple days in advance.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Candied Orange Peel, Apples and Walnuts

Sweet Potato Casserole from Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

Brussels Sprouts With Mustard, Apples and Caraway

Green Bean Casserole
Not my choice but if it’s not on the Thanksgiving table, my family will go nuts.

Red and White Wines

Apple Pie and Pumpkin Pie

Oct 24, 2014
Sam D. in Home Cooking

Tamales - Is lard necessary plus...

OK, this is a late response but here is another link for the same recipe:


Oct 21, 2014
Sam D. in Home Cooking

Question About Sweet Potatoes/Yams

All the "sweet potatoes" that I have cooked in the past have reddish bronze skins and orange flesh and they are quite large. Yesterday I bought a couple yams to use in the recipe for Ruth Chris' sweet potato casserole http://blog.nola.com/dining/2007/11/c...

Anyway, these yams were smaller, had dark maroon skins and light yellow flesh. From what I can tell on other sites, they appear to be Japanese yams. So I'm wondering if the two types can be used interchangeably, or should I start over with the type of sweet potato/yam that I'm used to cooking?

Oct 18, 2014
Sam D. in Home Cooking

Turkey Gravy... long form

I make turkey gravy virtually the same way in advance of Thanksgiving. It really saves a lot of last minute stress when you are trying to coordinate all the dinner items to be ready at the same time.

Oct 18, 2014
Sam D. in Home Cooking

Cheese Cake - Looking for a Great Recipe for the holidays

I have used several cheesecake recipes but the best one is the cheesecake recipe from the Carnegie Deli. It calls for two stages of baking but it doesn't require a water bath. The results have been perfect every time.


Oct 09, 2014
Sam D. in Home Cooking

Using a kitchen torch to sear the edges of meat while cooking?

I think you could safely torch the sides f the steak before you cook it. Thomas Keller has a recipe along with his comments on doing this with a prime rib roast using a propane torch at the link below:


Oct 07, 2014
Sam D. in Home Cooking