chicgail's Profile

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Top Chef Boston - Ep. #3 - 10/29/14 (spoilers)

Maybe I am mistaken, but I recall her saying something about cooking them in a 400-degree oven. An oven that hot is not likely to effectively compensate for the lack of time required for a slow braise. It was a very odd approach.

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #3 - 10/29/14 (spoilers)

<< I sympathize with Aaron because yowza - Katsuji never does close his mouth and he talks so fast about nothing!>>

Apparently Katsuii does irritate people when he talks a lot but that neither explains or excuses how angry and nasty Aaron is to and about Katsuii - and everyone else.

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #3 - 10/29/14 (spoilers)

Agreed. Reality TV is totally the wrong place to deal with a messy past, but I actually had brief twangs of affinity for Aaron.

And then I went right back to disliking him intensely for being such a jerk with an enormous chip on his shoulder.

Everybody deals with something. Some of us are responsible for it and other lay it off on everyone else. Aaron is in the second category.

Boneless skinless chicken breasts in slow cooker?

Chicken, especially breasts, cook quickly enough, I see no reason to cook them in a slow cooker. My one experience with chicken breasts and a slow cooker was similar to yours: dry, unpleasant texture. I have never tried it since. Cooking them whole might help; using thighs might help (I prefer them, also) but I would probably direct you to some kind of oven or stove top cooking technique if you can do that.

Oct 29, 2014
chicgail in Home Cooking

Trip Report: Grace, Schwa, Au Cheval and Little Goat

What a wonderful trip. Your experience is very similar to ours and I'm so glad you enjoyed Little Goat, Grace and Au Cheval.

The weird and sometimes inappropriate sweetness of savory dishes were what characterized our first (and only!) visit to Schwa several years ago. We were disappointed and never went back.

Oct 29, 2014
chicgail in Chicago Area

Food Health Fads Vs Science

Actually, AC, what I've said all along is that the value of organic or natural foods is not necessarily what's in it, but what's NOT in it. If you can find that I said something different, while it's not what I think to be true and I don't recall having said it. That being said, if I did say it, I will be happy to address it.

Listen, I my mouth loves Fritos and Snickers and Velveeta as much as the next guy. I also love the convenience and cost saving of buying any ole stuff at the local grocery chain. I'm not not sure the rest of my body likes it as much. And besides, I love to cook and I think I get better results with fresher, less processed stuff.

There is zero question in my mind that supermarket tomatoes, for example, that have been bred for shipping and long-term storage have - let's say - a very "different" flavor and texture than locally grown (my yard or a nearby farm) tomatoes. I simply don't eat out-of-season grocery store tomatoes. Ever. It's like eating red, wet styrofoam.

What's clear here is that many of us have different points of view and no one is going to convince anyone else to change their minds. I got my mine and you got yours. You'll eat what you like to eat and I will eat what I like to eat and so be it.

Oct 28, 2014
chicgail in General Topics

Would you recommend heritage turkeys over the standard white broad breasted ones?

I'm a dark meat gal, myself, so the idea of a heritage turkey sounded really good to me and I tried it one year. The flavor was rich and - well, admirable - but there was a high bone-to-meat ratio and it was pricey.

I've gone back to your standard turkey, but I do choose the ones that are raised without antibiotics or hormones and that are (at least a little) free range.

Oct 27, 2014
chicgail in General Topics

looking for a diff. stuffing recipe

StoveTop Be Gone!

My all-time favorite stuffing is a combination of cornbread and whole wheat bread, toasted and cubed, mixed with chopped onion and celery, LOTS of butter, poultry seasoning, an egg or two depending on how much I am making and - la piece de resistance - fresh whole oysters.

Oct 27, 2014
chicgail in Home Cooking

Your most delicious and uncanny ways to eat Spam?

Sounds awesome. Do you cook the Spam for the sandwich or just use a cold slice?

I add chopped up Spam to 85% lead ground beef for an AWESOME, juicy, tasty burger.

Oct 27, 2014
chicgail in General Topics

Food Health Fads Vs Science

No question but that Velveeta can be fun to eat and cook with.

I went to the store recently to buy some. I don't remember the last time I had done that. I looked all over the refrigerated cheese area and finally found a manager to help me. He walked to an unrefrigerated shelf and pointed to the yellow box.

"How can that be real cheese if it doesn't even spoil sitting on a shelf," I asked.

The store manager just laughed.

Oct 27, 2014
chicgail in General Topics

Food Health Fads Vs Science

The valuable thing about this whole conversation is not the "nutritional value" that in food, but the crap that's in processed foods that you don't want.

I went to the Velveeta website. Here's what I found:Milk, water, milkfat, whey, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, sodium phosphate; contains less than 2% of: salt, calcium phosphate, lactic acid, sorbic acid as a preservative, sodium alginate, sodium citrate, enzymes, apocarotenal (color), annatto (color), and cheese culture.

Milk is great. Water is fine. Milk fat, whey, even milk protein concentrate (what ever that is) or why protein concentrate.

But do you really want your diet and your children's diet to consume sodium phosphate, calcium phosphate, lactic acid, sorbic acid as a preservative, sodium alginate, sodium citrate, enzymes, apocarotenal (color), and annatto (color) in your cheese?

I know they're all FDA approved, but they're not the same as real food. If that's ok with you, fine. Eat it. Feed it to your family. I prefer to avoid it.

Oct 27, 2014
chicgail in General Topics

Food Health Fads Vs Science

Canned beans probably do have a similar nutritional profile as fresh ones. But they are often grey and taste terrible.

I find it hard to believe that Velveeta (which is so processed that doesn't even need to be refrigerated) is a chemically or nutritional the same as a well-crafted artisan cheese straight from real milk. Can you support that?

Oct 26, 2014
chicgail in General Topics

Food Health Fads Vs Science

I don't know where you live, but I know the farmers at my local farmers markets. I know where their farms are and how far they are from my city. Most are certified organic. I am a big fan of locally grown organic food from sustainable family farms. They are simply not buying produce from a distribution center.

I do agree that the fads go back and forth over the years. Salt is bad. No it's good. Fat is bad. No it's good. Carbs are good. No they're bad. Wait, what about whole carbs as opposed to processed carbs. Which is why the food fads are ridiculous not worth paying attention to.

The closer the food is to the way it is naturally grown - the more that comes out of the ground instead of an animal - it is likely that it will be the healthiest.

And you are correct that "the rules" are difficult to enforce and ensure. That's one reason why I like knowing the farmers.

Oct 26, 2014
chicgail in General Topics

Food Health Fads Vs Science

Is there evidence that people who prefer food from farmers markets can't tell the difference in blind taste tests? I know that there is a "placebo-like" effect and I'd like to see those if they exist.

Oct 26, 2014
chicgail in General Topics

Food Health Fads Vs Science

Organic food is desirable, not because it contains something that conventional food does not, but because it does NOT contain things like antibiotics or pesticides or PCBs or mercury.

By and large, processed foods provide little to no nutritional value except calories.

Still, there are plenty of downright silly notions about food, like that gluten is bad (it's not unless you have celiac disease) or that dairy is unhealthy (it's not unless you have a particular sensitivity. Don't eat fat. Don't eat carbs. Eat raw, Eat Palio. Only eat fruit before noon. Etc. Etc.

There are no bad foods. There are lots of people who are making tons of $$$ propagating silly ideas. What's difficult is for us as consumers to separate the nonsense (some of which comes from the food industry - remember those ads telling us that high fructose corn syrup was fine, just fine!?) from the actual science.

Can Richard Blais Save the Food Network? A Look At His New Show, Hungry Games

"The whole molecular gastronomy thing" is boring when it is used for it's own sake Nothing is more tiresome than a chef who does something because s/he can, rather than because it makes something taste/look/experience better.

I've never tasted Richard Blais' food (altho it usually looks amazing!) but I can tell you that someone like Grant Akatz makes good food magical and even astonishing. And Blais, himself, pointed out on Top Chef that doing a foam just to do a foam is bad cooking.

FWIW, Hungry Games is about the basics of food and how it tastes and looks and feels and impacts us. MG hasn't even been a factor. I'm not sure I love it yet, but it's a really nice departure for the FN. If you haven't seen it, breadchick, you should check it out.

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #2 - 10/22/14 (spoilers)

I think they were more focused on the much more obvious conflict between Aaron and Karianne. Stacy kept her head down in the middle of it - and she was very lucky

Oct 25, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Please check out my food blog

I'm struck by what an incredibly brilliant strategy you find to both drive people to your site - and to get really good feedback about what they like an don't like about it. Hats off to ya.

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #2 - 10/22/14 (spoilers)

You are correct, but she didn't do what she had to do to make sure they were properly cooked and that has nothing to do with "teamwork."

Oct 24, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #2 - 10/22/14 (spoilers)

I think that how Joy sees it is that when she said she was going to break down the veal chops and her teammates said, "No, the presentation will be better with the bone," she went along with them instead of insisting. She's calling that teamwork.

Whether it was on the bone or not, she undercooked them. Period. She didn't undercook them "because" they were on the bone. Teamwork had nothing to do with it.

Oct 23, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #2 - 10/22/14 (spoilers)

It may be that the Elves prefer to keep him around for a while because of all the viewer conversation and interest he adds.

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #2 - 10/22/14 (spoilers)

<< If you can't make a damn bacon jam without reaching for the agar before you even begin cooking, you're nothing but a hack.>>

In this case a hack with a serious case of overblown self-image.

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #2 - 10/22/14 (spoilers)

Agreed about Mexi Kosher guy. He seems weird with wackydoogle ideas. The notion of avocado and fish sauce sounded disgusting, but maybe not. He may just be so out-of-the-box creative that some of his ideas are a little nutzo but others are amazing and wonderful.

I'm actually guessing that he surprises us.

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #2 - 10/22/14 (spoilers)

I can't imagine wanting an inked Patrick Swayze on my arm ... for the rest of my life. Just sayin.

Oct 23, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #2 - 10/22/14 (spoilers)

"When I'm being an asshole, you'll know," said Aaron.
Yeah, we'll know. It's when you open your mouth.

Kariann would have been much smarter to not allow herself to get so triggered by the jerk. She wound up being so reactive that she was more interested in spiting him and proving him wrong than she was in cooking well.

And it seems there is a real conflict between the traditional and MG chefs. Not a professional chef, myself, is that typical in the industry?

Top Chef Boston - episode 2?

Thanks. I thought my cable channel had screwed up.

Oct 22, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Kitchen Inferno?

With Curtis Stone?
Really?

Promo looks like a pathetic rehash of Kitchen Casino, replacing the gambling with Hell. Don't expect to watch.

Oct 20, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #1 - 10/15/14 (spoilers)

He makes for "good TV," Unless he turns the craziness around really rapidly, he won't be there long.

Oct 20, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

freeze parm regg

Wanker, how do you wrap it for the fridge? I have had PR wrapped up in plastic wrap that dried out before I used it.

Oct 19, 2014
chicgail in General Topics

freeze parm regg

I always freeze grated Parmigiano Reggiano. It's too expensive to allow to go back in the fridge. I haven't frozen wedges, but have often wished I had when they go so dry I can't cut or grate them anyway.

Oct 19, 2014
chicgail in General Topics