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cigarmedic4's Profile

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If You Could Only Pick 1 Top Chef Contestant (any season) to Cook You a Meal, It'd Be:

From Masters: Rick Moonen, hands down. From regular series: Lee Anne Wong. From Just Desserts: Not a damn one of them.

Mar 07, 2011
cigarmedic4 in Food Media & News

What to do with Szechuan peppercorns?

I add them to the brine when brining chicken or pork.

Feb 27, 2011
cigarmedic4 in Home Cooking

Steak Frites in NYC - not the restaurant with the same name, but the dish.

I've had the frites at Les Halles and couldn't get enough of them.

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Les Halles
15 John Street, New York, NY 10038

Feb 27, 2011
cigarmedic4 in Manhattan

where can i buy okara (preferably downtown)?

A lot of people make their own tofu. I have for years. And several Asian markets make it. I've found everything from silken, to firm, to frozen in them.

Feb 24, 2011
cigarmedic4 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

where can i buy okara (preferably downtown)?

This isn't okara, it is yuba.

Feb 24, 2011
cigarmedic4 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Dried Cilantro

Dried cilantro is pretty much a waste of money. Very little flavor at all. Fresh cilantro keeps pretty well if you stand it up in water, or if you wrap it in a paper towel in the fridge. As far as Mexican herbs, I also use epazote as well as Mexican oregano. Penzey's sells it dried, and it adds a nice Mexican flavor.

Feb 24, 2011
cigarmedic4 in Home Cooking

Totally Ruined the Chilean Sea Bass Last Night

It's not uncommon for Escolar to be passed off as Sea Bass or other fish. It is a very oily fish, and the oil content can approach 25%. Due to the oil content, and that the oil is actually a waxy ester, cooking it at high temperature can easily cause spattering of the oil. Escolar is actually banned in Japan due to its less than pleasant side effects. If you eat more than 6oz in a day, you will find out why its nickname is "Ex-lax fish".

Feb 23, 2011
cigarmedic4 in Home Cooking

Totally Ruined the Chilean Sea Bass Last Night

I'm wondering if instead of Chilean Sea Bass you actually got Escolar. Escolar has a very high oil content and could easily cause smoking when cooked at this temp for 35 minutes.

Feb 23, 2011
cigarmedic4 in Home Cooking

Curtis Stone to replace Kelly Choi as Top Chef Masters host

I can't stand Padma. I don't think she has ever had an original thought. Anytime there is a group of judges eating, when one says something, she pretty much repeats their comment as if it were her own idea.

Feb 19, 2011
cigarmedic4 in Food Media & News

(Not about) Food words I'd like to never see again.

"Respect". Animals I eat aren't likely to run for President, win a Nobel Prize or cure cancer. They are raised for one reason, and one reason only: To GET IN MY BELLY. While I don't believe in wasting any, its simply because I pay good money for the meat, not because the cow is a great thinker. Stop anthropomorphizing meat!

Feb 19, 2011
cigarmedic4 in Not About Food

Am I the only Hound that doesn't get this trendy passion for offal and off cuts? (moved from Ontario board)

There's nothing crazy about it. I grew up in the South in a family that didn't have much money. We ate this "trendy" stuff all the time, because at that time it was the cheapest meat products available. I never liked it then, and believe me, I've eaten a LOT of it, cooked in just about every way imaginable. Once I got in a position where I didn't have to eat it anymore, I didn't, and I refuse to eat it to this day.

Feb 10, 2011
cigarmedic4 in General Topics

Am I the only Hound that doesn't get this trendy passion for offal and off cuts? (moved from Ontario board)

No, you aren't the only one. I have a specific place for those things. The garbage container.

Feb 09, 2011
cigarmedic4 in General Topics

Unhygenic restaurant practices

With regard to wearing gloves, they are essentially useless in protecting customers from contamination, unless they are changed after each and every task. The only benefit gloves have is protecting the person wearing them from contamination. Otherwise, filth is filth, regardless if it comes off of someone's bare skin or off of a dirty glove.

Having been a paramedic for 20+ years, I see people wearing gloves all the time who have touched a patient, dirty surfaces, steering wheels, etc. without ever changing or taking off the gloves. Gloves are essentially a false sense of security if not changed frequently. Frequent hand washing is not only as effective as wearing gloves, I would hazard a guess that it is more effective, as somone could easily be more likely to forget the purpose of having the gloves on, and freely touch anything and everything because, hey, they are wearing gloves.

Feb 07, 2011
cigarmedic4 in Not About Food

Quick & Savoury Breakfast ideas needed – unconventional suggestions welcomed!

I cook grits the night before, spread them in a pan and refrigerate them. The next morning, cut them into strips, pan fry in butter, and serve with maple syrup over them

Jan 22, 2011
cigarmedic4 in Home Cooking

Tapas Molecular Bar in Mandarin Oriental Hotel

Jeff was born in Okinawa, his mother was born in Hiroshima.

Jan 20, 2011
cigarmedic4 in Japan

Lyle's Golden Syrup in Pecan Pie: Bad move

I use Alaga cane syrup in my pecan pie. Melt butter, and add syrup and sugar then boil before adding the rest and baking. It makes a world of difference.

Jan 02, 2011
cigarmedic4 in Home Cooking

Top Chef: Just Dessert Episode 8: CelebriTea

If Yigit's vase was that fragile, he should have put it somewhere safe, not right next to where Morgan was working. It's his own fault it got broken.

Nov 06, 2010
cigarmedic4 in Food Media & News

Just Desserts Episode 4: High drama

Perhaps Bravo should rename the show "Top Chef- Personality Disorders". This show catalogs just about every psychiatric disorder there is, to the point that the food takes a back burner.

Oct 12, 2010
cigarmedic4 in Food Media & News

Sick Food Movement

Being in the medical field, I would love to get a look at Adam Richman's blood work, especially his cholesterol and sodium levels.

Sep 28, 2010
cigarmedic4 in Food Media & News

Top Chef: Just Desserts S1 Episode 2

Seth is the first person on TC that is so annoying to watch that I am seriously considering not even watching the show. There are others I can't stand (Spike, Dale, Marcel) but none of them annoy me so much that I would change the channel. Seth is Top Disaster.

Sep 28, 2010
cigarmedic4 in Food Media & News

Nutrisystem?

I tried it for a few months. The food was for the most part awful, a couple of things were tolerable, but its pretty boring stuff. They only supply the entree for the most part, you have to supply fresh vegetables, fruit, dairy ect. so your actual cost for food is much higher than they lead you to believe.

Jan 22, 2010
cigarmedic4 in General Topics

Vodka Sauce... what's the point?

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this yet, but part of the problem people are having is that not all vodkas are created equally. If you use cheap, bottom shelf vodka, that is what you are going to taste. Would anyone here use the wines found in the supermarket labled as "cooking wine" which are found on the shelf right next to vinegar when they cook? Probably not, because it is well known that these "wines" are garbage. You cook with wine that you would be willing to drink. Same with vodka.

Granted, using a top shelf vodka like Grey Goose or Chopin is more expensive than with the cheap stuff, but you get what you pay for. There are many different flavor profiles with vodka, partly depending on what it is distilled from: Potato, grapes, grain, etc. and how many times it is filtered, the quality of the water, etc. Simply put, if you want a good vodka sauce, start with a good vodka.

Aug 26, 2008
cigarmedic4 in General Topics

Your local supermarket chains

Upstate NY near Rochester. One word: Wegmans! Hands down THE best supermarket I've ever been to. I've been to Publix, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Wal Mart, Tops, etc. The bigger Wegmans will blow you away. The flagship, in Pittsford has become somewhat of a tourist attraction.

Wegmans is, and always has been family owned. They have branched into PA, VA, MD and probably more. Other large chains study and copy them quite extensively.

Aug 22, 2008
cigarmedic4 in Chains

Wegmans in Boston?

Notice all of the new stores are nowhere near Rochester? Rochester, where Wegman's started, is the king of NIMBYs. Rochester completely shut down Wegman's attempt to build on Elmwood Ave. near the old RPC site. Significantly downsized their plans for the East Ave. store. Even Henrietta made them scale back on the new store on Calkins Road. Rochester and Monroe County continually try to break one off in Wegman's a@$ while other areas would give their eye teeth just to get Wegman's in the area. Nobody, but NOBODY beats New York and Rochester at driving people and business out of state.

Aug 20, 2008
cigarmedic4 in Chains

Ancient Spice Rack - Which spices get weak the fastest?

I keep my spices in small 8oz mason jars which I vacuum seal with the jar attachment for my Food Saver. They seem to stay fresh much longer this way. And no matter how you keep them, it is important that they be stored away from direct light or heat.

Aug 20, 2008
cigarmedic4 in General Topics

Clover Club Chips

Does anyone know a way to mail order or order online Clover Club Barbeque potato chips? They aren't available anywhere in my area of the country.

Aug 12, 2008
cigarmedic4 in Mountain States

How many people buy supermarket chicken and meat?

I won't buy any meat from Wal Mart. I can't speak for every Wal Mart in the country, but the 3 in my area that sell groceries do not sell "pure" meat...Every single package of beef, chicken and pork are marked as being "Enhanced with up to 10% solution". For one thing, I brine my own chicken and pork when I cook it, so I don't need this, and for another, this means I am paying for water weight instead of pure meat, so the lower cost of the meat really isn't that low.

While I prefer a couple of the meat markets in Rochester, I have yet to find a grocery store that can even come close to Wegman's.

Aug 08, 2008
cigarmedic4 in General Topics

Not-to-be-missed Food Festivals?

Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival in Buffalo, NY on Labor Day

http://www.buffalowing.com/

Aug 07, 2008
cigarmedic4 in General Topics

what foods does your city have that mine doesn't?

In the Rochester NY area there are also Beef on Weck, Loganberry drink, Salt Potatoes ( I think originally from Syracuse) State Fair Chicken, and more fish frys than you can shake a stick at.

Aug 04, 2008
cigarmedic4 in General Topics

What do you think fried chicken is?

I agree with using buttermilk, however I put the chicken into the buttermilk in the fridge the night before, so it gets almost 24 hours to soak in it. It gives the chicken an excellent flavor. Then I mix into the flour a bit of black pepper, chipotle powder and garlic powder before I dredge the chicken in it.

Aug 04, 2008
cigarmedic4 in General Topics