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Basic Roasted Asparagus

I only roast asparagus anymore. I mix in a little chopped garlic with my olive oil and sprinkle with fresh parm before I put it in the oven.

Jun 21, 2011
Whoopingcrane in Recipes

Guacamole

OK, from a Mexican making guac for years PLEASE don't add Mayo OR sour cream to the mix. And what's with all the spices? Cumino? Cayenne? And did someone actually use Ms. Dash?? Ay! Salt is all you need, gringos. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

May 04, 2011
Whoopingcrane in Recipes

Guacamole

Always use Hass. Also, remove the pulp and seeds from the tomato, otherwise the Guac will be too runny. You don't have to use scallions - white or red onion is fine, but chop fine and use very sparingly - this is NOT Pico de Gallo. Also, be aware that certain taste buds may find cilantro offensive due to a chemical reaction with some people.

May 04, 2011
Whoopingcrane in Recipes

Chiles Rellenos

Cool. Great frying technique. Have always wanted to make these, but don't like the hassle of deep-frying.

Apr 25, 2011
Whoopingcrane in Recipes

length of chef's knife desired

I don't think your size has much to do with it unless you're shorter than the knife... I agree that whatever your size personally, 8" is a good general length. It's more about the balance of the knife. I find 6" chefs to be too handle heavy and 10" chefs to be too heavy toward the tip.

Jan 25, 2010
Whoopingcrane in Cookware

Red Wine with Seafood?

While I agree that it's truly to each their own, there are certain wines and foods that will just not work together. Due to the chemical compositions of each, some pairings may even ruin the meal.

For example, over Thanksgiving, people often want to break out that First Growth Red Bordeaux to go with the Turkey. That will end up making the Turkey taste like metal - I don't care how much you like food, eating something that tastes like it was marinated in a steel hubcap just will not be enjoyably to most people.

Another hard pairing because of chemical reactions is Artichokes. Artichokes contain cynarin, a substance that changes the flavor of wine and makes wine taste sweet. This is fine if you are not bringing out that $150 bottle of Extra Brut champagne - and expecting it to still taste dry...

So by all means, eat and drink whatever you like, but know that somethings just don't work together - unless of course you're also a fan of Choclate Ice Cream with Bologna - or are pregnant.

Jan 25, 2010
Whoopingcrane in Wine

Red Wine with Seafood?

Unlike some suggestions, red wine is not only good with salmon. It depends as much on the way the fish is cooked or if it has a specific flavor profile in a sauce as it does on the type of seafood as to whether to drink or cook with a red.

True, a simple grilled salmon will hold up well to a Pinot Noir (and a red wine reduction). But I make a Red Snapper Veracruzano with a tomato-based sauce that includes olives and capers and a splash of red wine. A white wine just does not pair well with this. In addition If there is some heat in the sauce or a spicy rub, like a spicy grilled shrimp with Chipotle sauce you could drink a fruity Red Zinfandel to offset the spice.

So it's really more about the preparation than the fish itself. But then the fish will often dictate the preparation. For example, I tend to put butter-based sauces on seared scallops because they are a rich seafood. So a buttery wine, like a good Chardonnay, would be my first choice to drink. And if my sauce is a buerre blanc, it will have some white wine in it. And I'd never put a red sauce or spice on a light fish like Dover Sole. So with that, I'd always drink a light, crisp white.

Hope this was helpful. Go crazy with wine - mix it up!

Jan 25, 2010
Whoopingcrane in Wine

Traditional Jewish Brisket Recipe [moved from General Chowhounding board]

Oy. A lot of Chazerai for what my grandmother typically made very simple and excellent It's going to sound odd, but it's easy and great. No carrots, paprika, searing, etc, etc.

1 4-5 lb brisket - first/flat cut
1 can jellied cranberry sauce (yep, that kind)
1 14 oz bottle ketchup (the entire bottle)
1 14 oz can low- or no-sodium beef stock
garlic powder (or crushed garlic)
onion powder
Kosher salt & pepper

So don't go nuts with the meat. You don't need to sear it, marinate it or otherwise futz with it. Just season it simply. I sometimes rub it with a little crushed garlic/Kosher salt paste, but you can use salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. My grandmother actually used powdered ginger. Go crazy.

Mix the cranberry, ketchup and beef stock in a pan over medium heat until well blended. If using low sodium stock, you may want to season the sauce to taste. Slice up the onions into rings. Fill the bottom of your roasting pan with the raw onion rings. Lay the brisket, fat side up, on top. And fill the pan with the stock/sauce mixture until it comes up to the sides of the brisket. If it doesn't fill the pan, get a smaller pan.

Slow cook covered at 325 for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. My grandmother would make it the day before. She'd let it cool so you could more easily cut reasonably thin slices of the brisket on the bias - if you try to cut it hot, it'll fall apart on you. She'd also chill the sauce and onions and skim the fat from it.

That's it. The rendered onions and sauce are all you need. For Hanukkah, I serve it with Kasha Varnishkas and Latkes. For Passover, I'd just make sure your ingredients are all marked Kosher - and nix the Kasha and Latkes!

Dec 05, 2009
Whoopingcrane in Home Cooking

Passover Brisket

Oy. OK, I just made an herb crusted rib roast and seared scallops in a tomato beurre blanc for Thanksgiving, but when I make brisket for Hanukkah next week, I'm using my grandmother's recipe. It's going to sound odd, but it's easy and great. No carrots, paprika, searing, etc, etc.

1 4-5 lb brisket - first/flat cut
1 can jellied cranberry sauce (yep, that kind)
1 14 oz bottle ketchup (the entire bottle)
1 14 oz can beef stock
garlic powder (or crushed garlic)
onion powder
Kosher salt & pepper

So don't go nuts with the meat. You don't need to sear it. Just season it like you would any beef roast. I sometimes rub it with a little crushed garlic/Kosher salt paste, but you can use salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.

Mix the cranberry, ketchup and beef stock in a pan over medium heat until well blended. If using low sodium stock, you may want to season the sauce to taste. Slice up the onions into rings. Fill the bottom of your roasting pan with the raw onion rings. Lay the brisket, fat side up, on top. And fill the pan with the stock/sauce mixture until it comes up to the sides of the brisket. If it doesn't fill the pan, get a smaller pan.

Slow cook covered at 325 for 2-3 hours (like slow roasting a pork shoulder). My grandmother would make it the day before. She'd let it cool so you could more easily cut reasonably thin slices of the brisket on the bias - if you try to cut it hot, it'll fall apart on you.

That's it. The rendered onoins and sauce are all you need. Because it's Hanukkah, I serve it with Kasha Varnishkas and Latkes. For Passover, I'd just make sure your ingredients are all marked Kosher - and nix the Kasha and Latkes!

Dec 03, 2009
Whoopingcrane in Home Cooking

Recipes for grilling fish in foil packets?

Thanks for the replies. My first thought was the lemon (it almost seemed like it had the rind bitterness permeating the dish). But having never used wine before in foil packets I initially had a suspicion about that element. I don't think anything burned into the foil - I placed the packets in a glass baking dish in the oven. The roughy were fillets and came from a good fish monger her in NYC, but you never know - I hadn't purchased roughy from them before.

I also thought it might have been the arugula, but I had used that in packets before with no problem - I just had never used the exact combination of ingredients that ended up being off. Although I see them mentioned together in different recipes here.

I guess my best bet is too avoid that particular combination and stick with the fish I know and perhaps squeeze fresh lemon juice in my packets instead of whole slices.

Oct 24, 2009
Whoopingcrane in Home Cooking

Recipes for grilling fish in foil packets?

Kchurchill5:
Maybe you can solve my riddle. I have cooked fish in foil a few times, but the last time I did, something went horribly wrong. It ended up having an extremely bitter taster and I can't pinpoint the ingredient that may have been the culprit. I used orange roughy and threw in onion, arugula, garlic and laid it on top of lemon slices. (I baked mine in the oven) I have used similar ingredients in the past, but this was the first time I added dry white wine. Incidentally, the wine was perfectly fine for drinking.

I thought maybe the wine reacted with the rinds of the lemon or the arugula, but there was a terrible, bitter taste and we had to toss the whole thing out. My other thought was that something reacted with the foil. I just don't know and have not made fish in foil again.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Oct 17, 2009
Whoopingcrane in Home Cooking

Mexican in NYC?

I agree about Taco Taco. My fiancee is on the UES and I was happy with their food. I live in White Plains, though, and there's some great Mexican in Weschester. (I know that's a haul for someone trying to find something in the city). That's mostly because there tends to be more Mexicans north of the city (including myself). Believe it or not, Poughkeepsie has a large Oaxacan population and I've had some of the best mole poblano up there - but I digress. NYC is just not the place to find the most authentic Mexican (although I wouldn't necessarily call fajitas and burritos authentic). If you're willing to take a trip to the outer boroughs you'll find some decent taquerias.

Aug 27, 2009
Whoopingcrane in Manhattan

Demeyere vs Wolfgang Puck cookware

Puck cookware is pure crap. I bought a set a few years ago for a great price off HSN (yeah, I know - I'm an idiot). I cannot touch any of the pot handles while cooking - they get scalding hot. What a waste of space. How can an engineer design cookware that cannot be touched? Guess he or she went to a safety school.

I ended up spending a few bucks and purchasing an All Clad set. The Puck stuff looks nice, but it worthless as cookware. All Clad is amazing. Also, I use Barkeeper's Friend powder to keep the stainless steel looking brand new.

May 01, 2009
Whoopingcrane in Cookware