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How do I know what String or Twine is safe to be used for cooking?

Should be 100% cotton. I like the thicker 24 strand vs the more common 16 strand. Most hardware stores should have it although I buy mine online @ Amazon.

about 14 hours ago
zackly in Manhattan

Fried Clam Question

Here's a good video on how to clean steamer (soft shell) clams for frying:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVaBSt...

I like her salad spinner technique.

about 15 hours ago
zackly in Southern New England

Oversoaked flounder with sodium tripoly phosphate

I'm going on a charter fishing trip in a couple of weeks on Long Island Sound. I'm hoping to fill my freezer with fluke & blackfish (tautog) filets. I know these will be chemical free.

about 18 hours ago
zackly in General Topics

Help me build a great cookware set!

First, congratulations on your impending nuptials! AC and LC are great but pricey and I'm not a fan of WS. I would supplement you AC with some inexpensive non-stick using the latest generation Teflon that doesn't contain PFOA. I cook everyday 2-3 meals and I use my Teflon coated aluminum 10X more that I use my multi clad stuff. I prefer the quick heat transfer and easy clean up that the non-stick offers.

about 18 hours ago
zackly in Cookware

Oversoaked flounder with sodium tripoly phosphate

Buying filets in general, snapper, grouper in particular, is difficult. Unless you have a lot of experience you have to trust your fish monger and frequently they just tell you what they've been told and want to believe. And with the chemicals available to dip, the fish look great. The problem with supermarket seafood it's usually a division of the meat department and these "meatheads" don't have the knowledge or expertise to buy correctly.

about 18 hours ago
zackly in General Topics

Oversoaked flounder with sodium tripoly phosphate

Agreed, I went in to a local fish market and the were charging $16 or $17# for fresh cod filets a couple weeks ago and it was mostly tails, not loins! I'm not eating as much fish as I would like to because of the price. Good beef is much cheaper. I bought a beautiful 2# Choice Porterhouse for $7.00 a pound this week.

about 18 hours ago
zackly in General Topics

Help me build a great cookware set!

duffy, You and my wife. When we were married I wanted to include checking account deposit slips in our wedding invitations but I was overruled.As far as cookware, I own them all, several All-Clad pieces as well as LC. They are fine cookware and maybe work SLIGHTLY better than the knockoffs but not worth the 2/3/4 times the price of the generics. I think foodies buy these brands as much for the cachet as for their function. It makes them "serious" cooks, I guess.. As for the OP, assuming they don't have an unlimited budget, they'd get tremendously more bang for their buck following my suggestions. They would have 100's of dollars left over for other kitchen niceties like a stand mixer, food processor, sous vide immersion circulator, etc. Williams Sonoma's pricing is obscene, IMHO.

about 19 hours ago
zackly in Cookware
1

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

This guy had a good reputation when I was in the shrimp business. He may sell Mexican Wild Whites or Browns. Just make sure they are wild caught because Mexico also farms shrimp.
http://www.valsop.com/product_catalog...

Actually, he may only sell wholesale

about 20 hours ago
zackly in Chains

Help me build a great cookware set!

Personally, I'd ask for cash gifts instead of All-Clad @ William Sonoma. That's like shopping in a first class hotel gift shop! You will be paying way too much. There are comparable clad cookware brands that can be bought for a fraction of AC that are functionally very similar. Cuisinart and Tramontina come to mind but there are several others. Same for LC, good but overpriced. Look @ Lodge enameled cast iron.

about 20 hours ago
zackly in Cookware

What's your favorite way to cook?

Depends what I'm preparing and for who. If it's a laid back meal for myself and my wife I have sports or political talk radio on but when I'm cooking for guests I'm all business and focused on the tasks at hand. I don't want guests in my kitchen asking "what you making?" . I politely ask them to leave. My family and friends know the rules. A dinner party to me is a day @ work and a gift to friends. I have my reputation to protect and I want my guests to leave in awe. I don't drink alcohol when I'm cooking and I don't relax until after dessert is served.

about 20 hours ago
zackly in Not About Food

What oil do you use to sauté with?

I keep an old wine bottle with a speed pourer on top on the counter next to my stove. I use a blend of about 30% pure (not extra virgin) olive oil and the rest a neutral vegetable oil like soybean, corn, peanut or grape seed, whatever is on sale. I also like to sauté in clarified butter but I rarely have it on hand. I like to do vegetables in lard that I get @ the Mexican market.

about 21 hours ago
zackly in Home Cooking

Oversoaked flounder with sodium tripoly phosphate

That law is broken all the time. Because there is no definitive test for added STP. Asian seafood packers are huge violators. Most of the so called chemical free shrimp from Asia contains added phosphates.

about 23 hours ago
zackly in General Topics

Oversoaked flounder with sodium tripoly phosphate

I think these are in the frozen fish case. I bought mine from the "fresh" fish case.

about 23 hours ago
zackly in General Topics

Tounge in groove closure used in plastic food bags S@C*K$

Not to mention S&M applications:)

1 day ago
zackly in Cookware

Oversoaked flounder with sodium tripoly phosphate

$7.99 last winter. Sadly, that's cheap around here.

1 day ago
zackly in General Topics

Oversoaked flounder with sodium tripoly phosphate

I don't kknow what species it is but I know it was soaked because it had a beautiful sheen to it like fresh fish and defrosted fish does not look like this. The industry term is "refreshing" where the soak defrosted fish in STP which greatly improves its appearance and of course adds water. I knew when I bought the filets that they were soaked but not to the degree they were.

1 day ago
zackly in General Topics

Oversoaked flounder with sodium tripoly phosphate

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5tCXI...

I bought previously frozen flounder today @ Shoprite supermarket. I should have known better but because it looked pristine in the fish case and was only $6.99 a pound I bought a little over a pound. When I sautéed it, the fish fell apart in the pan even know I handled it gently. If you watch the attached video, towards the end they cook a filet of over-soaked pollock and the same thing that happened to them happened to me today. STP has long been a problem with scallops and shrimp but now it's showing up in filet fish with regularity. There is no easy/inexpensive test to detect its presence (because phosphates occur naturally in all living things) sio it's used with impunity. I know I posted on this subject before about a similar problem I had with some cod from Fairway Market. I made a serious inquiry there but they turned a deaf ear to the whole situation because they want to sell cheap and profitable fish.

1 day ago
zackly in General Topics

ISO ideas for boneless beef short ribs from Costco

I was mistaken when I said Costco's boneless short ribs come from the plate. They are cut from Beef Chuck Eye Roll, NAMP 116D. This is considered a steak that can be quickly grilled or moist cooked. Costco was reluctant to give me this information because this is not a "short rib" only marketed as such. It's a fine cut of meat, tasty & versatile, but not a short rib by definition. Short ribs are in high demand and Costco has raised the price on these from $4.99# to $7.99# in only a few years.

1 day ago
zackly in Home Cooking
1

Stew Leonards...an ongoing debate

I'm a regular Stew Leonard's shopper in their Norwalk, CT store. They have some good stuff but buyer beware they are unscrupulous, unrepentant merchants! Stew Senior fell on his sword for the whole family doing a stretch in federal prison for tax evasion. When interviewed he wasn't apologetic, he only regretted that he got caught. The acorn apparently didn't fall far from the tree as Junior has a pretty bad reputation too. As Billy Martin, NY Yankee manager once said about Reggie Jackson & George Steinbrenner, "one's a born liar, the other a convicted one".

1 day ago
zackly in Southern New England

Seafood Main Course for 8 That Doesn't Break the Bank?

Ciopino or the similar French fish stew Cotriade is easier to prepare than paella. With paella you've got to get the crispy rice correct so it does take a little more attention.

1 day ago
zackly in Home Cooking

Why coconut oil?

As for your granola, the thing that jumps out at me is that olive oil is liquid @ room temperature and coconut oil is not, not that necessarily is bad. I would experiment.

2 days ago
zackly in Special Diets

Tounge in groove closure used in plastic food bags S@C*K$

I don't experience any of he problems you mentioned. I roll up the bag tightly expelling as much air as possible then one clip seals it fine. I do use small medium and large clips depending on the size of the bag.

2 days ago
zackly in Cookware

Low Carb Vegetarians, what's on your plate?

Thanks! I couldn't have done it without the knowledge and support of my fellow Chowhounders!

2 days ago
zackly in Special Diets
1

Low Carb Vegetarians, what's on your plate?

Thanks, I'm familiar with Dr. Fuhrman's work but I find his diet much more restrictive and unappealing than the low carb, high protein/fat diet that I'm currently eating and getting good results from. I've lowered my A1C 3 full points in six months & my endocrinologist is thrilled.

2 days ago
zackly in Special Diets
1

Tounge in groove closure used in plastic food bags S@C*K$

These are my default bag sealers.............

2 days ago
zackly in Cookware
2

Seafood Main Course for 8 That Doesn't Break the Bank?

Be careful with mussels many people don't like them. I frequently prepare scampi for a crowd when I want something simple that almost everyone loves. Big shrimp, wild caught if you can get them, & garlic butter. Make a pot of rice, perhaps a salad or corn on the cob. It couldn't be much easier.

Jul 22, 2014
zackly in Home Cooking

I'm thinking of buying the Breville You Brew BDC600XL

I've used the Breville toaster oven @ a friends house. It works fine but I don't understand why it costs 3X what similar machines do. Plus, if they are that much better than the competition the manufacturer should back them up with a superior warranty of a minimum of five year with no freight charges either way, IMHO. Like a lot of things, people love them until they break.

Jul 22, 2014
zackly in Cookware

I'm thinking of buying the Breville You Brew BDC600XL

I've had several of these grind and brew type machines including two of the one your replacing.. They all have made very acceptable coffee but are prone to mechanical failure. If Amazon.com sells the product read the negative reviews to gauge how good their customer service is. Those steered me away from the Breville toaster oven. Very expensive, prone to failure and only a one year warranty. I would buy based on the terms of the warranty. Make sure they will "pay the freight" back to them and back to you. Use a credit card (most do) that doubles the manufacturer's warranty.

Jul 22, 2014
zackly in Cookware

Native Corn

I'm with Science Chick on this one.
I don't consider stripping back corn or sampling a kernel to taste for sweetness improper. It's a good shopping practice and the cost of doing business that sellers build into the price as they do waste corn that does not sell in a day or two. Just like when a bag of grapes or cherries is left open in the bin I sample one without guilt because if they're good, they've sold me.

Jul 22, 2014
zackly in Greater Boston Area

Tounge in groove closure used in plastic food bags S@C*K$

Anyone else hate these? The idea of a resalable plastic food bag is great but many don't work very well. I just carefully cut open (along the dotted line) a bag of Costco whole almonds. When I went to reseal the tongue in groove didn't align properly. Very frustrating! These types of bags are ubiquitous now, even in the supermarket deli they put cold cuts in very flimsy bags with this type closure that don't work well. Grapes & cherries are packed similarly. The bags that have the plastic zipper are fine but probably are cost prohibitive for many applications. I think we are stuck in the middle of the bag closure evolution and we'll be laughing at these primitive bags twenty years from now.

Jul 22, 2014
zackly in Cookware