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LorenzoGA's Profile

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Tips from the commercial kitchen for the home kitchen

If I recall, in Kitchen Confidential Bourdain also mentioned liberal use of shallots as being a reason why restaurant food tastes better than your food at home.

Crispy Skin Duck Breasts...

That's the classic process. What more need be said?

Did the OP try this and it somehow didn't work?

Oct 22, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking
1

Tips from the commercial kitchen for the home kitchen

As Bourdain revealed, the key is to yell to your crew, "DON'T **** WITH MY MEEZ!"

Oct 22, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

Cooked Turkey Sausage Too Long in Soup -- advice sought

Didn't see this follow-up before I posted my reply a minute ago. Glad you found a use for it to your liking.

Oct 22, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

Cooked Turkey Sausage Too Long in Soup -- advice sought

As others have said, the flavor is now in the soup, not the sausage. Why not just bear it and eat the soup? With every spoonful of flavorful soup comes a bite of the flavorless sausage. I think that's the best you can expect. There's nothing worthy that you can make with flavorless sausage that you remove from the soup, unless you want to give it to your dog.

Oct 22, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

Substitutes for Cento Light Tuna Packed in Olive Oil

Good for Nicoise salads, too.

Oct 22, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Where did Aspic go?

You Modernist you.

Oct 21, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Once I tasted ___ from a farmer's market, I could never go back to the grocery version.

Well, that's nice for you. I've visited large chain supermarkets in Europe that have amazingly nice produce, too. So it's clear that large chain supermarkets are not incapable of providing high quality produce, and I'm not surprised that there are some in the US that have high quality produce. Whole Paycheck often has some nice stuff. But I've lived on both coasts and now in the South and never found much in the chain supermarkets that rivaled what's available in the farmer's markets or what I can grow in my own garden. If it isn't old and nasty, it's hard and unripe.

Oct 21, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Once I tasted ___ from a farmer's market, I could never go back to the grocery version.

Please tell me where the "great tasting" produce is in my local Kroger.

Oct 20, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Contaminated utensil

Phil, that's a wise comment. Changing out utensils probably ranks pretty low on the list of importance of things that are statistically likely to keep us home cooks safer. Focusing on this above other things would definitely be silly.

Oct 20, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Contaminated utensil

But when I stir the food in the wok, the shovel turns the food very quickly--the shovel is never sitting "under the food" as you phrased it for more than a half a second or so. It spends most of its time in the air as I flip the food. A half a second in contact with food that's just reaching 160 F or so before I dump it out of the wok may or may not be enough to sanitize all points on the shovel that at some time contacted the raw chicken. If I were to leave the shovel under the food for several seconds, the handle would get uncomfortably hot. While your argument is sound, it seems to me that there are a few variables--time, temperature, conduction, volume of food, etc. I prefer the certainty of swapping out the utensil that was used before the food reached temperature. It doesn't feel like a burden at all.

Oct 19, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Contaminated utensil

Feel free to postulate. I think your reasoning is, well, reasonable. However, I'm going to stick with the certainty of switching out utensils.

Oct 19, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Once I tasted ___ from a farmer's market, I could never go back to the grocery version.

I think monavano and joonjoon BOTH have a point. There are some things, like tomatoes, where the difference in flavor and texture is like night and day between what you get from a farmer's market and what you get from a chain grocery. But there are no doubt others that may or may not taste better from a farmer's market than a chain grocery store, and a blind taste test might reveal some surprising bias. For example, as much as my wife and I prefer to patronize the farmer's market, we just cannot tell a difference between a butternut squash from the farmer's market and a butternut squash from the grocery store. My wife comes from a farming family and explained to me that the greatest difference can be perceived in fruits and vegetables that benefit by longer ripening on the vine. Those are the ones we buy from the farmer's market. Commercial growers tend to harvest their produce as soon as it reaches salable condition, while small farms that sell mainly at farmer's markets tend to let their produce (or at least those items that can benefit from it) ripen longer before harvesting. There are plenty of exceptions, of course--items that are best harvested as soon as possible to avoid insect damage or rot or whatever.

Where we live we can usually find outlets that sell flats of tomatoes from what I suspect are exactly the same fields as supermarket tomatoes but which some enterprising company arranged to have harvested just a little later than the rest of the field (or some such arrangement--that's just my guess). These are a great buy. Not as good as heirloom varieties, of course, but a LOT better than what we find in the chain supermarket.

Oct 19, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics
1

Contaminated utensil

In the case of cooking on an outdoor grill, I suppose I agree with you--the air around the meat is probably hot enough to instantly sanitize the utensil. However, if I am pan-cooking chicken, I might be inclined to swap utensils.

Oct 19, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Contaminated utensil

sunshine, my wok gets very hot, with a propane burner fueling the flame. My wok shovel is all metal--no insulated handle. It would not be convenient to do what you suggest. Much easier to swap out the wok shovel.

Oct 19, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Dry Aged Turkey Smell

I have no idea. I know it isn't common these days for American consumers to buy whole poultry that's been hanging for a week, but I also know that it was a common practice historically and I'm sure is still common in some parts of the world. I think most butchers would have an easier time selling their poultry as "fresh-from-the-farm," not having hung in their cooler for some unspecified number of days. "The fresher the better" is the typical consumer's belief about poultry, whether that is true or not. Your original post mentioned a funky smell. So one would think you, too, had it in your mind that maybe a week was "too long."

Oct 19, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Contaminated utensil

I treat the wok shovel just as other utensils in previous examples discussed here: After the initial cooking, when the potentially contaminated food has reached a safe temperature, I switch out the wok shovel for a clean one. I do this because I'm not convinced the shovel reaches the safe temperature merely by virtue of stirring food at that temperature. Heat transfer is low, and much of the time the utensil is in the air.

Oct 17, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Once I tasted ___ from a farmer's market, I could never go back to the grocery version.

harry, then I'm guessing what we've been buying are "Japanese turnips." Your description is spot on. I never bothered to ask the guy what variety of turnip it is.

Oct 17, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Cholesterol in restaurant ramen?

You radical you.

Oct 16, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Cholesterol in restaurant ramen?

Ding ding. The first reply!

Doctors are still recommending a low-fat diet, though. The point being it's believed to be the dietary fat, not the dietary cholesterol, that raises serum cholesterol. So the OP is not totally off base. Tonkatsu ramen is fatty.

Oct 16, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Once I tasted ___ from a farmer's market, I could never go back to the grocery version.

Speaking of radishes (or maybe not), we have discovered a small white turnip at our farmer's market that has a shape and size similar to a common radish. It has just a hint of radish spiciness and the texture of a radish. I had never eaten a raw turnip before, but we eat it just like radishes: raw (and saute the greens).

Oct 16, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Once I tasted ___ from a farmer's market, I could never go back to the grocery version.

Other than the obvious one, tomatoes, if I had to name just one, it would be lettuce. In a supermarket, lettuce is an afterthought--something with no flavor of its own that is merely a blank canvas to support some kind of dressing. The farmer's market has a variety of different lettuces, all with their own subtle flavors, brilliant colors, and crisp textures.

We don't even bother buying tomatoes, lettuce, berries or stone fruits out of season, and only in a grocery store when the sign says they are from my state or a surrounding one (which is rare). When it's summer, we buy them from the farmer's market. Otherwise, we make do with other vegetables and fruits. It's something to look forward to. Like asparagus is a rite of Spring.

Oct 16, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics
1

Pick Your Own Apples and Fresh Cider Doughnuts

My wife and I love Red Apple Barn.

Oct 16, 2014
LorenzoGA in Atlanta

Contaminated utensil

So long as the utensil has an insulated grip, that works. Hot metal is no fun to touch, though.

Oct 16, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Contaminated utensil

Good example with the grilling of chicken. After 10 minutes, while the bottom side may be cooked sufficiently, the top may still be cool, and there still may be contaminated juices seeping out. I would use the original utensil to turn it at that point and then let the second side cook to temperature. At that point, I'd swap out the utensil for a clean one and use it to remove the chicken from the grill. But if you want to use a third utensil in between the one you use when the chicken is raw and the one you use when the chicken is fully cooked, I would not make fun of you at all.

Oct 16, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Contaminated utensil

Not OCD at all. Once a food item has cooked to the point where it should be free of bacterial contamination, I use a new utensil to handle it thereafter. I would hope most cooks do this.

Dry Aged Turkey Smell

Sorry, by "your experiment" I meant the fact that you chose to buy them and give them a try, knowing they had been hanging in the butcher's for a week.

Oct 15, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Does anybody else miss chicken skin?

Grilled skinless chicken legs, eh? Something for me to think about.

Oct 15, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

When a recipe calls for 'chili sauce,' what do you use?

That's about as comprehensive a "definition" as one will find. But it doesn't really answer the question.

My belief is that the term "chili sauce" in recipes is archaic, used back before English and American cooks had access to hundreds of different kinds of sauces made from chiles. My belief is that in a recipe from yesteryear, the term was most often used to mean "whatever kind of spicy sauce made from chile peppers is available to you." In America, cooks in the 19th and early-mid 20th century had access to Tabasco and maybe a few others, including Heinz Chili Sauce.

When I hear "chili sauce" I think of the 1956 hit song by The Coasters, which featured this line, referring to what we today would call Mexican salsa:

"Down in Mexicali
There's a crazy little place that I know
Where the drinks are hotter than the chili sauce
And the boss is a cat named Joe
. . ."

Does anybody else miss chicken skin?

Couldn't have said it better. For a while, skin was out. But increasingly, SKIN IS IN!

Oct 14, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics