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LorenzoGA's Profile

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Where did Aspic go?

You Modernist you.

about 8 hours ago
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.

about 8 hours ago
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.

1 day ago
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.

1 day ago
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

Dry Aged Turkey Smell

Oh, man. Tell that to the steakhouses who charge big bucks for their supposedly superior dry-aged meats, or the foodie bloggers who write long articles expounding on the science of dry aging. I think the term has an accepted meaning.

I'm a fan of letting my turkey, duck, goose, or whatever fowl I want to have crispy skin dry in the fridge for 24-48 hours before cooking. Standard procedure. A full week would be odd, but I'm glad your experiment shows that a full week isn't necessarily too much.

Oct 14, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Dry Aged Turkey Smell

"Dry-aged turkey" is a new one to me. I understand from hunters that a freshly killed turkey is best not eaten immediately. I understand from experience that drying out the skin of fowl before cooking will promote crispy skin. And it's hardly disputed that dry aging red meat improves the flavor (though the exact mechanism has been debated). But dry aging turkey? Really?

Oct 13, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

Chuck Norris knows Chinese food.

Oct 13, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

When does the oyster die?

"It's fairly difficult to define the moment of death in a creature that has no brain or heart."

For the same reason, coroners have difficulty when the deceased was a lawyer.

What else can I do with Steel Cut Oats?

I had heard of savory oatmeal recipes but for some reason, until seeing this thread, I had never connected that with steel-cut oats. I guess I pictured rolled oats in my mind, and it didn't seem appealing--too close of an association in my mind with the kind of oats I have eaten for breakfast since childhood.

Oct 08, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

What else can I do with Steel Cut Oats?

Thanks for starting this thread. I have long made oatmeal from rolled oats but have experimented with steel-cut oats in the last few years since they seem to have become popular. I find I do not care for oatmeal made from steel cut as much as rolled. But I have a big container of them that is going unused. Using them in a savory pilaf or risotto-like dish is a GREAT idea! In fact, it just occurred to me I could use them instead of rice to make congee--another breakfast favorite of mine.

Oct 07, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking