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What knives do I need!!!

The most important thing is keeping your knife sharp because they all get dull pretty quickly. I would acquire and learn how to use a two sided whetstone. Like others have said, all you really need is one large and one small knife. I have average sized male hands and I prefer an 8" chef's knife and cheap paring knives.

about 2 hours ago
zackly in Cookware

Watery Haddock! Help!

The fish has more than likely been soaked in a chemical to add water weight the same as they do with scallops & shrimp. I see it all the time now.
http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/blog...

about 16 hours ago
zackly in Home Cooking

How do you split the bill and tip evenly?

I figure out in my head how much I owe for my food and drink, then round it up to the nearest $5.00 and add 25% for tax & tip.
For example, my two dinks and food come to $63.00, I round up to $65.00 and add $16.00+ (25%)for tax & gratuity. I also always check to make sure that the service person gets a minimum 20% tip on everything if we've been given good service. If we need more in the "kitty" I will say "Ok, we need another few bucks from everyone" I'm not shy especially about outing cheapskates.

about 20 hours ago
zackly in Not About Food

Short ribs sauce thickening question

Sure you can make a roux with the fat or if you don't have much liquid to thicken just whisk in granulated flour (Wondra). I also thicken with powdered demi glace or beef gravy.

about 21 hours ago
zackly in Home Cooking

Any good fried clams in Southern VT?

Hot Dogs... Grilled, Boiled, Steamed... or really?... Microwaved?

"Different courses for different horses" as they say in thoroughbred racing. For all beef, Kosher style I like those cooked and held in water to mellow them out. For milder beef & pork, I prefer those grilled or better yet griddled.

2 days ago
zackly in General Topics

Your favorite junk food or guilty pleasure?

If the world was about to be destroyed by a meteorite I'd gorge on good butter croissants with additional butter spread on them accompanied by whole milk (not low fat)chocolate milk.

Apr 21, 2015
zackly in General Topics
1

Prowashonupana barley AKA Sustagrain; high fiber whole grain

Thanks for your research!

Apr 21, 2015
zackly in General Topics

Smoking on gas grill

I've never had a lot of success smoking low & slow for several hours on a gas grill although many people do it. The issue for me is with the temperature control. I just saw this propane cabinet smoker for $80.00 delivered.
http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl...

Prowashonupana barley AKA Sustagrain; high fiber whole grain

I'm diabetic but one grain I seem to tolerate pretty well is barley (hulled). I just read about this Con Agra barley that has almost twice the fiber as regular barley but the only retail source is King Arthur Flour and they sell it in forms for enriching baked goods. I would like to buy it as hulled barley to serve as a side dish. Does anyone know about this product? Here's the info:

"Barley is highest in fiber of all the whole grains, with common varieties clocking in at about 17% fiber, and some, such as the variety called Prowashonupana barley (marketed by Conagra as Sustagrain), having up to 30% fiber! (For comparison, brown rice contains 3.5% fiber, corn about 7%, oats 10% and wheat about 12%.) While the fiber in most grains is concentrated largely in the outer bran layer, barley's fiber is found throughout the whole grain, which may account for its extraordinarily high levels."

Apr 20, 2015
zackly in General Topics

The Return of Swordfish

Swordfish is one of my favorite fishes but it has gotten so expensive over the last several years, as has most fresh fish. Nice looking, fresh sword approaches $20.00 lb. even in large supermarkets. Sale prices are $10.00-$15.00lb. Same with sea scallops. To grill sword I coat liberally with Old Bay Seasoning then dip in oil. Make sure your grill is very hot to avoid sticking. It's better to err on the underdone side. I like mine cooked medium. A great dipping accompaniment is Mango Chutney.

Apr 19, 2015
zackly in Home Cooking

Fried Calamari

Apr 19, 2015
zackly in Recipes

Uses for about to spoil milk?

Ricotta, yes that's a great idea! I didn't mention that I'm diabetic and try to eat a lower carb diet which eliminates roux and starchy thickeners for me but I was curious to hear all ideas. I made some Jell-O Sugar Free Pudding with this batch of milk, the kind you have to cook.

Apr 19, 2015
zackly in General Topics

High heat cooking with fats

Yes, partially hydrogenated fryer oil was (is?) more expensive. Frymax brand made by Proctor & Gamble was the gold standard. Commodity soybean oil was the cheapest vegetable oil back in the day.

Apr 19, 2015
zackly in General Topics

Uses for about to spoil milk?

I sometimes find myself in possession of milk about to spoil because Costco sells one gallon containers cheaper that the half gallon containers @ my local supermarket. It's generally skim or 1%. Other than pudding and cream soup, what would you do with a quart of milk that will be "gone" by tomorrow? Thanks!

Apr 19, 2015
zackly in General Topics

High heat cooking with fats

When I sold to restaurants for Sysco 30 years ago, I tried to sell our proprietary blend of partially hydrogenated liquid shortening (corn & canola) without any success. Even know it had a longer life in the fryer. It wasn't a health thing for the operators, it was a price thing.

Apr 18, 2015
zackly in General Topics

High heat cooking with fats

In forty plus years of observing, I've never seen any other deep frying/stir frying oil in Chinese restaurants other than soybean oil. Maybe some higher end paces use peanut oil. In the New York City area stand outside of a Chinese restaurant when they are receiving a grocery delivery. There's a good chance you'll see this container.

Apr 18, 2015
zackly in General Topics

Water Added Cold Cuts

Increasingly, I'm finding cold cuts are loaded with water. I'm talking about the ones you buy sliced to order @ a supermarket deli counter. The biggest culprits are ham and turkey. I used to buy Boars Head Oven Gold Turkey but that is pretty bad now. They don't list the ingredients on the packaging, I've been told. It's not as bad as the turkey @ Subway. That stuff is like a wet dish rag. You can wring out the moisture. I had some dry cured ham @ Easter which was great. Are there any brands of cold cuts that don't include much added water (or natural juices) and don't cost a fortune? I've been reluctant to break the $10.00 a pound barrier but feel I may have to.

Apr 08, 2015
zackly in General Topics

Can't taste or smell anything

Be careful with nose sprays. I have chronic sinusitis so I started taking Flonase with great results except my sense of taste was significantly diminished which caused me to use more salt which doesn't help my blood pressure. Pick you poison!

Apr 05, 2015
zackly in Not About Food

Wine Numerical Ratings vs Price

I find wine rating scores confusing. I see wines in the same generic classification (varietal or blends) from the same vintage vary wildly in price but not in assigned numerical score. For example, a 2009 California Cab has a rating of 91 (Robert Parker) and a price of $80.00 while another 2009 California Cab from a winery up the road has a rating of 90 and a price of $18.00. Is the more expensive wine only marginally better or are wines graded with price also being a consideration, where higher priced wines from well-regarded producers are judged more critically? I don’t think this is supposed to be the case. Who among us would buy the $80.000 wine when you can get just about as good a wine for $18.00?

Apr 05, 2015
zackly in Wine

Spiral Sliced Ham Questions

I’m picking up today a spiral sliced ham. There has been a holiday promotion, much like supermarkets do around Thanksgiving, where if you spend $400.00 over a period of time you get buy one item deeply discounted. The two brands of ham offered are Cook’s & Carando. The Carando costs a bit more. Has anyone eaten them both? Any differences? Also, as it will be only my wife and I for Easter dinner I’m not serving the ham. I’ll pick up two steaks, either meat or fish. Is it necessary to heat these cooked hams before serving? I would like to not heat it and use for cold sandwiches and with eggs for breakfast. I think the directions on the package say to heat to 160 internal temperature but I don’t see why this should be necessary. Thanks and Happy Holiday!

Apr 04, 2015
zackly in General Topics

What is It With All the Duck Fat Hype?

To my senses, canola oil does not smell very fishy at room temperature, just unpleasant. The fish smell shows up when heated.

Apr 02, 2015
zackly in General Topics

Too chicken to eat chicken

Personally, I would reheat it to 160 F. when I discovered it in the morning then save it for another use. When you cooked it you essentially sterilized it so you have some time before it begins to spoil. Raw chicken is a much more dangerous product. This is my unscientific opinion based on a lot of observation. I sometimes buy rotisserie chicken before noon and leave it on the counter until dinnertime with no ill effects.

Mar 31, 2015
zackly in General Topics

Grilled Lobster Tails on Cape Cod

Most grilled large lobster tails sold in US restaurants are not from the specie that are trapped in the North Atlantic although the ones in your picture are. They are warm water tails frozen from South America, countries like Brazil & Nicaragua. Now the Cape may be different and with the cheap lobster prices recently restaurants may be doing this. Why not send them to a place that broils whole lobsters? Everybody up there does that either stuffed or unstuffed.

Mar 31, 2015
zackly in Southern New England

What is It With All the Duck Fat Hype?

Agreed, and also the price of duck fat makes it prohibitive for a home cook to buy enough to deep fry with so it's generally limited to pricey restaurants whereas non-hydrogenated beef & pork fat are more available and cheaper.

Mar 31, 2015
zackly in General Topics

The best of Connecticut?

Friends are telling me about the greatest breakfast sandwiches @ Counntry Cow Deli on Black Rock Trpk. I'm gonna try that soon. Also pizza @
http://www.pizza-mediterranean.com/?g...
I've had great slices there.
Fairfield is a culinary hot spot these days.

Mar 30, 2015
zackly in Southern New England

The best of Connecticut?

If you dine around Fairfield and like a good handmade hamburger try Flipside on the Post Road. My new favorite burger in FC. Get the 10oz.
http://www.flipsiderestaurant.com/

Mar 30, 2015
zackly in Southern New England

The best of Connecticut?

My hot dog tastes have changed over the years. I used to like Kosher style dogs like the classic NYC dirty water dog, Sabrett as well as Nathans, Shofar, Best Provisions. I still like these style dogs but only when they've sat in hot water for awhile the mellow. On a grill (griddle) I prefer the more mellow beef & pork. Try a Duchess hot dog. I don't think you will be disappointed.

Mar 30, 2015
zackly in Southern New England

The best of Connecticut?

You like a different kind of hot dog than the ones that made CT famous. Most of the famous hot dogs are beef and pork natural casing. All beef are generally Kosher or Kosher style. They are much smokier & garlicky than beef & pork like Hummels are. I think Super Duper Weenie are also beef & pork.

Mar 30, 2015
zackly in Southern New England

Baked salmon - to wrap or not to wrap...in foil?

No water (or wine) needed. That will create steam and inhibit carmelization and evaporation. Some may like fish cooked this way however because it will make the end product a little milder tasting and less "fishy" but if you're eating salmon you probably like the taste of fish including crispy skin.

Mar 29, 2015
zackly in Home Cooking