yummyummeatemup's Profile

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Roast chicken - what temp do you cook to?

After lots of delightful game bird eating experiences in France, I've become much more a fan of less-cooked poultry. I've come to think that the 165-degree mark is geared to killing the nasties that we get in the US from our factory-produced food. The poor bastards that work on those lines have to keep up with a fast machine line, and poop winds up on everything; hence the need for disinfection via cooking. I avoid those sources now, and am much happier with the results I get at about 155-160 degrees. I've come to regard a somewhat bloody plate at the end of a meal to be a good sign, and not at all a turn-off.

Dec 31, 2012
yummyummeatemup in Home Cooking

Blue Star Range

Chef,
How do I get your discount info?
THanks,
Yum

Dec 27, 2012
yummyummeatemup in Cookware

kitchen ranges

So what did you end up with? I'd never heard of BlueStar. I did see on Amazon that the reviews were nearly evenly split (60/40) between love and hate. Evidently some folks have lots and lots and lots of problems that the company is clearly terrible at dealing with, and some folks have no problems whatsoever. Sees odd, but worrisome. A range seems like such a simple thing; you'd think it would be easy to make them reliable.

Dec 27, 2012
yummyummeatemup in Cookware

Why Turducken Got All Trendy

dduane has it right. I had a five-birds-with-five-stuffings rolled roast at a pub called The Greyhound in Suffolk, England back in the mid-eighties. I think it was dove, pheasant, duck, chicken, and goose. Slow roasted for ten hours. Amazing. Especially after a couple pints of Adnams ale. :-)

Nov 27, 2012
yummyummeatemup in Features

BBQ--looking for the best

EEK! If Red Hot 'n' Blue is a finalist, either the judges don't know BBQ, or this area needs more help than I realized.

Sep 30, 2012
yummyummeatemup in Washington DC & Baltimore

What's up in Huntsville?

I'm travelling here a lot lately, and need some help with finding good eats. I've been here a few times in the last year, and have done some exploring. I've eaten at Cotton Row (my favorite so far), 801 Franklin (very good, if a little stuffy), Grille 29 (chain-like IMO, probably not going back, although I had a fine beer there), Surin (on Airport Rd, very good duck, nice martini), Thomas BBQ (love the pulled pork; ribs good, not great; people really nice), Ol' Heidelburg (zzzzzz......), Greenbriar (away from, not on 565; killer hushpuppies, OK BBQ), 1892 East (nice beer selection, food OK), Dreamland (good pulled pork, not writing home about it, when I have Andy Nelson's killer Q every few weeks back in Baltimore).

I gather I should check out Viet Huong and Charm Thai. I'll try to take care of that business this week.

Any recommendations about where to get a good beer and hear some music would be welcome as well. I've been to the Nook, which seems like a good find for this hop-head. I haven't seen anything yet that I'd call a club here.

So. What next? I can't afford to eat at Cotton Row every night!

Mar 27, 2012
yummyummeatemup in Central South

BBQ--looking for the best

Wow, Scott0, you almost make it sound like Texas, North Carolina, Memphis, and Kansas don't all have a bazillion crappy restaurants that cater to cheap, fast food. It's no different here. Unfortunately, that's the preponderance of American eaters. They want giant portions of sub-mediocre crap for cheap. That's how America rolls. It's just the sad truth of our culture. There are also LOTS of folks around here who know, love, and prepare their own bbq. I think it's just that BBQ isn't as big in this part of the world as it is in others. That being said, make your way to Andy Nelson's in Cockeysville. Big stack of split hickory out back. Long, slow smoke... Big Bad Wolf isn't bad, either.
I travel to Alabama (Huntsville area) a fair amount, and always eat bbq when I'm there. Much of it is crap, precious little sublime. I don't think that the ratio of crap/yummy is much different around here, it's just that there are far fewer places to choose from, and the ones that get the best reviews tend to be in out of the way places. The only bbq place I know of in Baltimore proper is Rub. I've heard mixed reviews. Huntsville, a much smaller town, has a good dozen or more bbq places; maybe many dozens, for all I know...

Let me know when you open your place; it sounds like you'd be doing it right. If you make real, top-notch bbq, we poor blighted delmarva folks will come, I promise. ;-P

Mar 24, 2012
yummyummeatemup in Washington DC & Baltimore

BBQ--looking for the best

Alkapal, I forgot to add that I wouldn't mess with an electric smoker unless you're just doing cold smoking of fish. That's the one thing I use my "Little Chief" for. I brine the fish fillets for a couple hours (I'm a bluefish freak), douse with pepper and lay them out to dry for a few hours, then smoke them overnight with alder and hickory chips. Then I either eat as is with a horseradish cream sauce, or make a finnan haddie sort of dish.

Feb 29, 2012
yummyummeatemup in Washington DC & Baltimore

BBQ--looking for the best

I have a couple smokers from Horizon, which I love. The larger one has a food chamber that's a 20" diameter steel tube, 36" long, with a separate firebox on the side.

Feb 29, 2012
yummyummeatemup in Washington DC & Baltimore

Best dinner eats in Huntsville?

And since you mentioned Thai, I had a very good red curry duck at Surin last week.

Feb 20, 2012
yummyummeatemup in Central South

Best dinner eats in Huntsville?

I'm just a visitor myself, and so far my faves are Cotton Row for slightly upscale dining, and Thomas Pit BBQ for BBQ. I prefer it to Dreamland, both for food and atmosphere. I"ve been to Cotton Row three times, and haven't been disappointed yet.

Feb 20, 2012
yummyummeatemup in Central South

My Huntsville, Alabama Chow Log

I'm at HSV now, and will go check out Big Bob's since I'm half-way already. I fly back on wed, so I guess I'll miss Chuck Wagon :-( Thanks for the tip; I'll try to get it next time. BTW, which Big Bob's? It seems there are two. I guess I'll just hope they're both good.

Feb 20, 2012
yummyummeatemup in Central South

My Huntsville, Alabama Chow Log

I guess we must have different BBQ tastes. I'm going back tomorrow! ;-)

Feb 19, 2012
yummyummeatemup in Central South

My Huntsville, Alabama Chow Log

First, I want to thank all my Chow brethren and sistren for taking the time to post all the info here. I've recently begun periodic trips to Hsv for work, and needed to find good places to eat. My favorite so far, in the dinner department, is Cotton Row, which is consistently delightful, particularly when you throw in a well-made cocktail for starters. Last time out, I started with an Old Fashioned, which was well-made and interesting. Then their pear (?) salad. Perfectly dressed, and well-mated ingredients. I continued with the foie gras, which I've had all three times I've been there. It is that good, with a dandy accompaniment of unctuous candied vegetables. Lamentably, they don't have a good wine pairing for it, so I had to make do with a Riesling. :-( For my main plate, I had the Muscovy duck breast, which was perfectly cooked (not too done; I like a little blood with me birds!). The sauce was perfect as well.
I also followed the BBQ thread here a bit, as I LOVE me some good BBQ. I'm blessed up here in Oella, Maryland, to not be too far (1/2 hour) from Andy Nelson's, who is our local real-deal bbq spot. We had 'em do our wedding, with a whole-hog pig-pull). I started with the pulled pork at Dreamland, which was very good, but not good enough to rave about. You know you can't be too far off when there's a stack of green hickory outside. The meat was tasty and not dry; the sides not memorable at all, literally. I then had the extreme good fortune to check out Thomas BBQ Pit. Now, THAT is some real-deal bbq. As mentioned above, the smoke house out back positively billows smoky goodness, and the proof is in the eats. The first time I went, I had the two-meat plate, with ribs and pulled pork. It was nothing short of sublime, with both the ribs and pulled pork demonstrating that lovely variation in flavors that comes from different parts of the pig; with that lovely sweet taste that only comes from meat living in glorious proximity to the fatty bits. I am also a big fan of their sides. As someone mentioned above, the potato salad is somewhat unusual (at least to a Yankee like me) in that it's a kind of slurry of potato salad ingredients. The potatoes are in little teeny pieces, like 1mm dice, and amazingly not overcooked. I liked it very much. I also got the slaw, which is of the crisp vinegar, not creamy, variety. Very fresh and tasty. Lastly, I should point out that the folks in that restaurant are just delightfully friendly. I had to go back two days later for a repeat of the pulled pork. I was so stuffed after the two-meat plate that I had to scale back a meat. This is the first place I ever had the white bbq sauce, and while I think you're spozed to use that on chicken (?), it was a nice cooler-offer after the spicy sauce, which I loved BTW. I'd have a few bites of the spicy, then a bite with the white, etc.. Mmmmmm.
OK, next it was off to The Greenbriar; the one further from the road. Again, I had the pulled pork. Nothing like a horizontal tasting to get your bearings. I'd put the meat here just below Dreamland. I also had the slaw, and a baked sweet potato(!). I've never encountered the sweet potato before, and it was a nice surprise. It came with little containers of cinnamon, brown sugar, and margarine. (Margarine is one of those things I just don't get. Why waste your fat consumption on something phony that doesn't taste good? Butter, please!)
For my second dinner, I had worked a bit too late, and wound up going to Grill 29 as a quick bail-out as the town started closing around me. I was headed to Surin, but my GPS decided to steer me to Phuket, which I wanted to avoid, thanks to the posts here. I just happened to notice the sign for Grill 29, and headed in. I knew I was perhaps in the wrong place for my taste when I saw the size of the place. I've almost never found an exceptional restaurant that was very big, and this was another statistic for the book. Being a growing fan of the cocktail, I started with a Manhattan. Bad idea. For a drink that can be a wonder of scrumptious simplicity, this was at the other end of the spectrum. Thankfully, I landed on my feet by ordering a Straight to Ale IPA, which was a fabulous, hoppy delight, as well as locally-brewed. I started in foodwise with the gazpacho, which was OK. When done to my liking, gazpacho is aromatic and subtle. Theirs, while quite good, was a bit too acidic and loudly tomatoey. For my main plate, I had the George's Bank diver scallops. Unfortunately for me, as a big fan of raw or at least not-overcooked seafood, the chef seemed to have tried to sear the scallops on a surface that wasn't all that hot; the result being a scallop that was almost as tough on the inside as it was on the outside. And again, the sauce was overpowering. The overall effect, while not quite bad, was not quite good, either.
On my last night, I decided to try Surin of Huntsville. I was still feeling a bit stuffed from lunch, so thought Thai would be a good solution. I started with a martini, which was pretty good. My only complaint was the little tiny pieces of ice floating in it. I like my booze strong, so prefer a quick shake with big cubes, to keep the water content to a minimum. But I digress... I love me some duck, so opted for the duck in red curry. The waiter warned me that it might have some SKIN in it. Horrors! I guess someone must have ordered the duck, not knowing what duck was. I've never heard of skinless duck breast. Anyway, I assured him he could bring be the feet and beak, and that I'd happily eat them, too. Apart from the canned pineapple, the dish was as good as my favorite Thai place at home; lovely creamy sauce, not too hot, not too bland, and good quality rice to go with. Overall, good enough for a return trip.
Thanks again for y'all's help. Any new suggestions would be much welcome!

Feb 18, 2012
yummyummeatemup in Central South

Alcohol newbie looking for some starter tips.

Sku has it right : "DRINK!!!!"
A friend of mine recently turned me on to the Negroni, which I loved at first sip. Then, thanks to this board, I discovered a variant called the "boulevardier", which I now can't stop drinking: my favorite recipe is equal parts Catoctin Creek Roundstone rye, Punt E Mes, and Cynar, with a couple good shakes of Angostura bitters. I'd also recommend looking into the Manhattan.

Jan 02, 2012
yummyummeatemup in Spirits

Etiquette question: if your chicken is not hot and not wholly cooked, what do you do?

No, I disagree. I find a good cut of pork to be delectable when pink and juicy. If yours tastes anything like a piece of wet dishrag, I'd find a new source.

Dec 02, 2011
yummyummeatemup in France

Etiquette question: if your chicken is not hot and not wholly cooked, what do you do?

It ain't the chicken; it's the e-coli and/or salmonella. bad practices somewhere along the line. The big American poultry processing plants are hellish nightmares for both man and beast. A fine argument for a bigger USDA budget.

Dec 02, 2011
yummyummeatemup in France

Etiquette question: if your chicken is not hot and not wholly cooked, what do you do?

I think the best thing to do is to understand the culture in which you eat. When you sent back the bird, sent the chef the message that you can't appreciate his work. This is not a sin; just a statement. And in my mind, when you go to a restaurant, you're there to gratify yourself; not to conform to other people's expectations. I've traveled and eaten in Japan a lot, and have come to really enjoy the native (read "raw") taste of many things that horrify my American friends. For example, on my last trip I discovered that I prefer barely seared pork liver to that which has been cooked through. And that pork ovaries aren't bad, either. A day later, I went to a chicken-only yakitori restaurant, where I had raw chicken breast for the first time.Weird stuff to most of us. I must admit I approached it with some trepidation, and it was wonderful! The other Americans in the group politely refused it. Now, France is not quite as "extreme" as that. The last time I ate at La Regalade, I had a mallard duck that was positively orgasmic. Cooked, mostly. When I was done, there was a delightfully tasty thin syrup of blood in the bottom of my plate. Needless to say, served here in Baltimore, it would have been sent back to the kitchen in horror.

Dec 02, 2011
yummyummeatemup in France

Best Italian Restaurant in Little Italy or Fells Point

I would also say that, while Cinghiale has very good food, it also prices high enough to qualify as a poor value.

Dec 02, 2011
yummyummeatemup in Washington DC & Baltimore

After Thanksgiving Day-

Dear Foie,

Hubbette and I always take the TG meal at home with family, so I can't help with any recommendations in that department. This year we dined upon plum wood smoked heritage turkey from Springfield Farms (yummers!), oyster stuffing, potato/celeriac melange, sauteed spinach with apples. sauerkraut, turkey gravy, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie.

As to other places to check out for dindins, we like Salt, which you mentioned (good cocktails, too!). Sotto Sopra gets a fat zero for service, in my book, so I'm surprised you liked it. Dif'rent strokes, I guess. When we went there we got that cloying service where they come at you every ten seconds asking how much you love everything so far, kind of like Pazo. That goop drives me crazy. I like prompt service that disappears entirely until you look around for them, at which time they materialize seemingly out of nowhere... Out west, there's Victoria Gastro Pub (great beer bar, good food) and Iron Bridge (good food, good wine selection).

Happy hunting!

Nov 28, 2011
yummyummeatemup in Washington DC & Baltimore

Pepper Mills: your picks and pans

I have, and like very much, a Perfex. It adjusts easily and accurately, and the setting stays put. It was made in France. I've had it for decades.

Nov 25, 2011
yummyummeatemup in Cookware

Le Creuset - where is it made?

I've got a couple of the orange ceramic-coated cast iron pots, and they both say "made in France" molded into the bottom of them. I bought them in France 25 years ago, though...

Nov 25, 2011
yummyummeatemup in Cookware

BBQ--looking for the best

we go to KBQ every now and again, just for a change. I'd rate it reliably somewhat better than mediocre.

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KBQ
12500 Fairwood Parkway, Bowie, MD 20720

Sep 25, 2011
yummyummeatemup in Washington DC & Baltimore

BBQ--looking for the best

I think Stubb's ("ladies and gentlemen, I'm a cook") is from Austin, or maybe Lubbock.

Sep 25, 2011
yummyummeatemup in Washington DC & Baltimore

BBQ--looking for the best

My favorite is the pulled pork. And I love their beans.

Sep 25, 2011
yummyummeatemup in Washington DC & Baltimore

BBQ--looking for the best

You're right on the money, Exploremore. That's what they seem to manage at Andy Nelson's in Cockeysville. They've been there for years, and are very consistent; maybe better than when they started. As you point out, they need a steady, watchful eye, and being a family-run affair, I guess that that's Andy's steady hand on the tiller. You know you're on the right track when you find a place that always has a mountain of hickory out back.

Sep 24, 2011
yummyummeatemup in Washington DC & Baltimore

BBQ--looking for the best

I'm surprised that more people haven't suggested Andy Nelson's in Cockeysville.
Andy does it the real, slow way, smoking with hickory. I've yet to have a better pulled pork, and I consider myself to be a serious BBQ afficianado. I have a big ol' Horizon cast iron smoker, and have done whole pigs myself. The sides there are also kick-ass. Great beans, and slaw, all made on the premises. A real family establishment, closed on Sunday, much to my chagrin...

Sep 20, 2011
yummyummeatemup in Washington DC & Baltimore

Grit in my clams - and what didn't work to clean it out

I'm with you, bushwickgirl. I can't imagine the soaking to do any good, anyway. I bet no one has ever looked into the purge water, whether salted or floured or cornmealed, and seen the clams open and eating, which is the only way that the process could work. They sure don't exchange starch for sand with their mouths closed! I'm pretty sure all those folks who've "had luck" with all that soaking simply started with clean clams. I eat littlenecks raw all the time, and don't remember ever getting a mouthful of sand, and they sure weren't rinsed after shucking!

Jan 27, 2011
yummyummeatemup in Home Cooking

Clam storage emergency

The thing to remember is that clams are living creatures, and you must eat them while they're alive. And with clams, telling if they're alive is a no-brainer: they have their shells tightly closed. When they die, they turn loose, and smell bad. If they're tightly closed, and don't stink, they're fine. If you cook them and they don't open fully, don't eat them: they were only barely alive when they went in, and won't be good. They'll live in the fridge, perfectly happy, well maybe not perfectly happy, but perfectly edible, for at least a week, and contrary to the mythology, even in a closed plastic bag. I just ate some that had been in exactly that condition, they tasted fine, and I'm not dead. And when I bought them, they were on ice, as they commonly are. So the notion that that kills them is patently not true, at least in the short term.

Jan 27, 2011
yummyummeatemup in Home Cooking