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People's weird idea of "dinner"

If you actually wanted a knife, why did you write "With one fork per person"?

I don't think I'm taking crazy pills, but that sounds distinctly like a demand for a second fork to me.

Mar 02, 2009
FuzzyDunlop in Not About Food

People's weird idea of "dinner"

Ignoring the tone of her posts, she put quote marks around the words 'food' and 'dinner', which I'm fairly sure were meant to indicate contempt, not that she literally didn't understand that she was being served real food meant to be eaten for dinner. Because that's a ridiculous idea.

Feb 26, 2009
FuzzyDunlop in Not About Food

People's weird idea of "dinner"

What's ridiculous about it?

She wants to know if she's being a snob, and there's your answer. She's expressing shock and distaste at only having been given one fork to eat dinner with--a dinner she's looking down her nose at to begin with, even though she also sees fit to complain about the portion size. That isn't just snobby, it's like a caricature of an overprivileged person.

Feb 26, 2009
FuzzyDunlop in Not About Food

Denuding Thyme. Certainly there must be an easy way. Help!

That's what I do.

The ones you can't do that with, that have a lot of short leafy stems coming off of them, I just yank off the short stems and include them along with the leaves. They're tender enough that no one cares.

Jan 12, 2009
FuzzyDunlop in Home Cooking

Slow Cooked Rack of Lamb

But does it end up pink in the middle?

I know it offends the sensibilities of a lot of food lovers, but I demand meat to be cooked through. That's why I'm thinking about doing this too (though I'd certainly still want to sear it first for flavor).

Plus, I've experienced lamb failure before: hopelessly chewy meat, despite ostensibly flawless efforts at following a good recipe...

This week I did a slow-cooked Irish stew with lamb and it was so tender... it was just dreamy. I took half an hour beforehand to cut away all the silverskin on that oddly cut "lamb for stew"--is that what made the difference? If I do that with my rack of lamb will that stave off lamb failure? Can you even do that with French-cut chops?


Jan 07, 2009
FuzzyDunlop in Home Cooking

Hong Kong House, Knoxville TN

I just used HKH to cater my New Year's party.

We got the Dried Fried Eggplant, Honey Chicken with Cucumber, Beef with Scallion Sauce, and Kung Pao Chicken and Chicken Lo Mein. I was determined to try the Tong Pao Duck, but they'd run out of duck that day. The gentleman up front who always smiles so much was very nice as usual and handed it all over in a handy Tsingtao box.

Everything we got was predictably delicious, and I made a handful of new converts. Everyone was knocked over by the eggplant.

Hong Kong House, Knoxville TN

My husband and I ate there last Wednesday. After reading so much good stuff about it here I really had my hopes up, and I wasn't disappointed.

For an appetizer, my husband ordered the duck from the 'cold appetizers' section. What we got was duck that seemed to have been brined and steamed, served ice cold. It was otherwise unseasoned, and a little beyond our comfort zones, I must admit. I thought I loved duck full stop, but I suppose what I really love is crispy browned duck.

Next came the Sizzling Rice Soup with Seafood. This was an egg-drop soup with bits of shrimp, fish, and unidentified tentacles alongside mushrooms and snap peas. Rice was added to it at our table that did indeed sizzle. I loved this soup. It had a difficult-to-describe flavor that was almost like something had been burned, yet every flavor went together perfectly to create something much greater than the sum of its parts. It was very filling and there was so much of it that it could have made a meal for two on its own.

We also ordered the scallion bubble pancakes, which were just as delicious as promised here--perfectly chewy and just tantalizingly onion-y. You get three or four for $6, but they're big.

My husband ordered the chicken lo mein for an entree. If this was a good test case for the question of whether their American Chinese food is similarly excellent, then I wouldn't hesitate to say yes. It was easily the best chicken lo mein I've had.

I had the Braised Beef with Fresh Garlic. Let me tell you, I love garlic, and have never had the experience of 'too much garlic flavor'. This dish definitely had a lot of it, enough to make my husband's eyes go wide, but I thought it was outstanding! It was in a brown sauce, with carrots, bamboo, peas, and onions. The beef was perfectly tender and yet almost crispy on the outside as well, with a very fulfilling savory flavor.

By the end of the meal, I felt angry that I could not eat more.

Previous reports have said that they have no liquor license but that you can BYOB. That's true, but they also have a small selection of beer available.

Thanksgiving day diasters. Yours?

Not mine personally, but I went to one a few years ago in which the oven died right in the middle of everything.

That was problematic.

Nov 26, 2008
FuzzyDunlop in Home Cooking

drive-through Chinese: does it exist anywhere?

Thanks, I welcome all forms of data. :)

That actually sounds very likely.

Nov 24, 2008
FuzzyDunlop in Not About Food

drive-through Chinese: does it exist anywhere?

Not that I think it's a plan for fine cuisine.

There are lots of Chinese restaurants in my town; the majority are buffets and the food is mediocre if not outright poor. The one that stays the busiest, with multiple locations, had to temporarily shut down a year ago because it had too many health violations upon inspection. Anyway, there's no pretense of cooking food to order because it gets brought out in these huge trays which are refilled regularly.

Meanwhile, drive-through food is limited to subpar American, Mexican, and Italian.

So I wonder, why *not* have drive-through Chinese? Even if the food wasn't great, if would be an equally appealing option.

Are there places anywhere that do this? If not, why not? If so, where...and is it any good?

Nov 19, 2008
FuzzyDunlop in Not About Food

Month of soups - what's your favorite?

I made this "southern Italian chicken-chickpea soup with olives" a couple of weekends ago and it was magnificent:

You can use up some of your leftover turkey in this Italian Turkey Soup:

If you have any love for Asian food, you should also try out Alton Brown's Ramen Radiator recipe. It's so flavorful and filling. I believe it's under copyright protection so I'm neither copying nor linking to it here; it is up on the Cooking Light boards, you can find it via Google, or by buying his marvelous book I'm Just Here for the Food.

Nov 18, 2008
FuzzyDunlop in Home Cooking

Moving to Tennessee

Share Your Favorite Brussels Sprouts Recipe

This thread has convinced me to try cooking brussel sprouts, although I have never even eaten a brussel sprout before.

I have a lovely sack of fresh ones at home right now. They are leafy and adorable and I look forward to trying them. If I cook them this way, how will I know when they're done (during the stock-adding part)?

Nov 17, 2008
FuzzyDunlop in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving for two?

We have mini-Thanksgiving at my house fairly often. It always uses up a lot of dishes, but it's very fast.

I have tried roasting a turkey breast (for 3) and there's always way too much, and a long wait while it roasts. But if you fry a pack of turkey breast cutlets, they'll be done fast and still come out juicy, browned, and delicious.

That also frees up your oven for the many other delicious things you can make for a Thanksgiving feast for 2, like macaroni & cheese. You can still make the classic stuff like mashed potatoes and stuffing for two people.

Do you have any sides at all in mind yet?

Nov 11, 2008
FuzzyDunlop in Home Cooking

Cabin in Gatlinburg, TN

Just to clarify for anyone planning on traveling to the Knoxville area--all liquor stores in Knoxville are closed on Sunday as well.

And you will not find anything alcoholic except beer in the grocery stores in this area of Tennessee.

So if that's a need, plan ahead.

Swanson STOCK, not broth: has anyone tried it?

I tried Swanson's chicken stock and felt it had sort of an odd, almost dusty flavor. I don't plan on buying it again even though it's the easiest brand to find.

I have become a loyal user of Kitchen Basics' stocks.

Oct 30, 2008
FuzzyDunlop in Home Cooking

New to Oak Ridge/Knoxville

Wasabi is very popular here, but I personally don't like it.

You might try Nama, Sakura, or Gohan-Ya if you want something more serious than hibachi.

If you are okay with hibachi restaurants, but would like to go to one that is not so disappointing, IMO Misaki and Kanpai both do everything that Wasabi does, but leagues better, and with more expansive menus. (No krinkle-kut carrots fried with maple syrup, either.)

There is a website that might help supposedly compiles the menus for all Knoxville restaurants online. If it's updated (and I mean ever) it's news to me; so if you ever want to use it to pick a place to go, then by all means call first. It still lists places like Ginza and *cough* Quizno's that don't exist anymore, and many places have changed their prices or their offerings. But it can at least give you a better idea of what some restaurants are about than you could get by just seeing their name in the phone book. Most of the time, it can at least tell you accurately what they have, and it links to official sites if they exist.

Others mentioned Restaurant Linderhof and Sitar--I highly recommend them. Both serve outstanding made-from-scratch food in huge portions.

Also, there's a spot out west called Taste of Thai that has crispy hand-made spring rolls and great lunch prices. The curry is good, but the off-menu specials are really delicious.

Knoxville, TN - Fine dining

What, specifically, makes The Orangery a less-than-high-quality establishment?

Where to go in Knoxville, TN for drinks and fun...

Gay Street/Market Square is a great idea. There are some classy bars there nowadays and the restoration work they've been doing has made it look so much nicer.

There's also Sassy Ann's House of Blues, and Barley's, which still has a good menu, lots of microbrews, some of the best local bands, and tournament-sized pool tables.

FYI's in case they're relevant:
Knoxville went non-smoking about a year ago, except in places that require you to be 21 and over. A few restaurants and sports bars actually went to 21 and over so that it's still allowed, but they're definitely the minority.
Also, I-40 is closed between James White Parkway and Hall of Fame Drive until next summer.

Wanted: World's Best Beef Short Rib Recipe

Seconded--this is one of my favorite recipes ever.

I live where creme fraiche cannot be found, but the gravy you end up with is so awesome that you can serve it over smashed potatoes and it still tastes amazing (and presents well).

Oct 14, 2008
FuzzyDunlop in Home Cooking