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NFNS - Episode 4

I too was glad to see Nipa go. As soon as she started whining about having to handle a dead fish, I just lost so much respect for her. I realize that everyone has their food aversions, but if your life is cooking (supposedly anyway), you should at minimum respect your ingredients and not try to make your discomfort ruin it for others.

I'm really surprised that Lisa did so well, and hate to admit that she's growing on me. But watching her cook in and mention her Gucci or Pucci heels and a $300 designer blouse really irked me. I just have a hard time taking someone like that seriously in the kitchen.

On the other hand, I do feel a little sorry for that "mom" woman (sorry her name escapes me) who keeps apologizing for everything she cooks. There's definitely a niche for her style of cooking on FN (though I confess, it's not my cup of tea so I probably wouldn't watch), but it seems like she keeps losing more confidence with each episode. She may be next to get the ax.

Jun 25, 2008
tachis in Food Media & News

NFNS - Episode 4

Wow! That is so right on! Perhaps in a future ep she'll pass out scented menus.

Jun 25, 2008
tachis in Food Media & News

Simple and Chic

I just happened upon it, thinking hey finally something new on FN. But ultimately, I was not impressed. The knife skills alone (as Jeserf mentioned) made me cringe. And the food did not look all that appetizing or interesting to tell the truth. Overall, the show seems like it's geared towards people who might just barely be finding their way around a kitchen--perhaps folks who've gained enough confidence with Sandra Lee's SemiHomemade and want to move on to something a little more challenging. I guess there's a niche there, and there's really nothing wrong with that. But I keep hoping for new shows on FN that will actually teach and inspire those of us who know how to use a knife properly!

Jun 25, 2008
tachis in Food Media & News

Corned beef in a can

We always got either Libbys or Hormel. At least once a week we'd have corned beef that had been mashed up and fried with diced potatoes, onions, green chile (usually a can of ortega), and tomatoes. That, along with some refried beans and flour tortillas, was a favorite treat and was very economical though I never realized it at the time. Hmm... I might just have to make some this week for dinner!

May 13, 2008
tachis in General Topics

Top Chef-Kids

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought this! As I watched them tear her apart for her dish, I felt really bad because I could have sworn this was a fairly common combination for some African stews. A few years ago I had a stew with chicken in a sauce of peanut butter and tomatoes (and some spices of course, chile being one) that my friend's mom from Ghana made for a potlock. And it was DELICIOUS! I agree with the other poster below who referred to Tom's provencialism, and Gail's too for that matter. The more I think about it, the more angry I become.

May 01, 2008
tachis in Food Media & News

Trader Joe's brand - dissapointing

I also did not like the cookies with perks. Kind of chemical-ly tasting. I had planned on returning them when I returned from a work trip on Saturday, but when I got back, the container was near empty. So I guess my cat-sitter liked them!

Apr 01, 2008
tachis in Chains

Can I like Brussel Sprouts?

I second this recipe. Lately brussels sprouts have been plentiful at my local farmers market, so I've been doing this recipe alot, though have simplified it with good results. I just saute the shallots briefly in olive oil/butter but not caramelize, then add the sliced sprouts and cook until just wilted, finishing with juice of half a lemon. Really nice with fish.

Mar 07, 2008
tachis in Home Cooking

Lindt Chili Chocolate

I also tried the Frey chilies bar from Target. Found the chile too overpowering to enjoy. So it is still sitting on my countertop until I can think of something creative to do with it (maybe melt it down with more good quality choc for a sauce, or chop up and fold into brownies???).

The Frey lemon pepper bar, however, was quite nice.

Mar 04, 2008
tachis in General Topics

Non-Dairy Birthday Treat - Long Beach

Maybe Whole Foods on PCH by Alamitos Marina??? At the very least, you could ask the person working the bakery counter for advice on options there. And if you wanted to do something from scratch, they do have mixes in their baking isle for non-gluten, non-dairy, etc.

Feb 05, 2008
tachis in Los Angeles Area

Best Coffee in Long Beach

I completely concur with ozbuc. I was a long-time customer of IAG but the increase of bad experiences over the past few years has led me to avoid them altogether. Mainly because of staffing/service--getting the order wrong, gossiping with each other and taking breaks when the line was practically out the door, very rude attitudes, unhelpful, etc. The last straw was when they wouldn't honor a coupon I had received as a gift; frankly, I would've paid for the coffee anyway, but the cashier's rudness put me off forever. I even wrote a strongly worded letter to their main headquarters about my bad experiences there, but never got any kind of response. So they are no longer my coffee of choice.

Try Peets instead.

Feb 05, 2008
tachis in Los Angeles Area

New Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares

I am, and totally loving it!! Not just because it's a new episode, but because it brings back lots of memories from my brief teaching stint (it was a teacher exchange program) in Brighton in 1990. In fact, I used to live in that neighborhood in university housing.

Anyway, it's interesting how this owner seems so similar to the restauranteurs GR deals with in the US--stubborn, in denial, etc. Or at least more overtly so than his other UK clients.

Jan 24, 2008
tachis in Food Media & News

Looking for good bottled Ceasar Salad Dressing

Second that. I read about the F&E dressing and decided to give it a try. Sure, nothing beats homemade, but it's great to keep in the office fridge for quick lunch! And less than $3 a bottle too!

Jan 10, 2008
tachis in General Topics

What's on your Christmas menu?

for some reason the link won't paste. so here's the main link to bbc. they have about 5 different chef's christmas menus to choose from, including nigella.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/

Dec 12, 2007
tachis in Home Cooking

What's on your Christmas menu?

Christmas Eve--homemade tamales (pork/beef combo w/ red chile, vegetable, and sweet w/ mebrillo), rice, beans. And for dessert, bunelos and champurrado. Tamale-making started about a week ago and are now standing by in the deepfreeze!

Christmas Day is when we get fancy. In years past, we usually would have herb-crusted prime rib. But the last couple years we've tried to experiment with something new. Last year we made ciopinno (sp?) which turned out great; we basically studied about 4 recipies to see what the basic technique was and then improved to our liking.

This year for Christmas Day, we're planning to do a salmon en croute that I saw on the BBC website by Rick Stein (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/christmas/c...). Looks simple enough. But I'm not crazy about the suggested appetizers, sides, or dessert, so I'm checking the boards for good alternatives--like maybe a chocolate mousse or trifle for dessert. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Dec 12, 2007
tachis in Home Cooking

Happy F*&@$*# Holidays, Love Tony

I was skeptical at first, but in the end I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was great to see him actually cook--educational AND entertaining! If he had a 30 minute cooking show that was just like that in tone and execution, I'd totally watch. Loved the niece and nephew, and Queens of the Stone Age too.

Dec 11, 2007
tachis in Food Media & News

What menu items need to be retired?

Oh man! I'm so with you on that one! When I was a kid, when we were hungry, we just took whatever was left over and WRAPPED it in a tortilla. We called it a burrito. It absolutely kills me to "sundriedtomato tortillas" and "garlicbasil tortillas" that are used for "wraps." Then at restaurants they charge $7.95 for what we basically considered leftovers without using a plate.

Nov 17, 2007
tachis in General Topics

Gougeres - help!

The first batch just came out of the oven. Good Lord! How can anyone resist these?! It's taking every ounce of willpower for me not to devour the entire sheet right now.

I used the Zuni recipe and found it incredibly easy. The dough came together in minutes, though I'll admit it was a bit scary adding the eggs because it just didn't seem to want to absorb. I thought I had messed up, but then, it just magically worked. And boy were you right, beetlebug--with all the stirring, I thought my arm was going to explode!

To anyone considering making these--DO! So much easier than I thought it would be. And gosh durn tasty!

Nov 17, 2007
tachis in Home Cooking

Gougeres - help!

I pulled out the Zuni book and you're right--it's really detailed but not to the point that it's overwhelming, especially as a newbie. I'm going to make a quick run to Trader Joes for some gruyere in the morning and try my first batch in the afternoon!

I ended up Tivo-ing the Good Eats episode on this just by happenstance and watched it today. It was helpful in understanding the way the ingredients interact, but it seemed really complicated. Then when I read the Zuni version, it actually felt less intimidating. So we'll see how it goes! Wish me luck!

Nov 16, 2007
tachis in Home Cooking

Gougeres - help!

Thanks for the tips, Anne! The blue cheese version sounds absolutely delightful! I'm definitely going to try that version once I get the basic down. I love blue cheese of any kind, but unfortunately most of my family doesn't share my passion for it. So I will make these for ME! HAHA!

Nov 16, 2007
tachis in Home Cooking

Gougeres - help!

I was wondering what to serve with cocktails before Thanksgiving dinner that was elegant and tasty without being too filling, and stumbled on this thread--now I think my search is over!

I've never done these before, so I'm going to do a "dress rehearsal" this weekend--I'm going to be cooking in someone else's kitchen on the big day, so I want to make sure I've got the thing down before I change locales.

Someone posted earlier that the recipe from Zuni Cafe cookbook was good. So since I have that book, I think I'm going to go with that recipe. Seems easy enough. But I have a few questions... (please bear with me--I'm totally new to this technique and feel incredibly intimidated! and I appologize if I repeat anything already posted!)

1. Can another cheese be subbed for the gruyere? And if so, what are suitable replacements? Or is it best to stick with tradition here? Just curious.

2. I'd like to do these on Wednesday afternoon/evening or early Thur morning. Can I store at room temp? Air-tight or not?

Sorry if I'm being repetivite. But any more advice you can offer to a first-time gougere attempt would be greatly appreciated!

Nov 16, 2007
tachis in Home Cooking

Gordon, Gordon, Gordon

Agreed on all points. Last night's ep hardly held my attention. I even talked on the phone for about a half hour, came back to the show, and didn't really feel like I missed anything significant. That said, I'm probably going to keep watching it as there's nothing else much better on at the same time!

Anyone notice how the previews at the end always tease "Gordon encounters his most challening case ever!" or "his most troubled restaurant ever!" Seriously, how can each episode possibly show a worse case than the week prior if it's essentially the same dang show?!

I'm surprised that GR actually threw up (or so they would have us believe). Considering some of the other stuff he's had to choke down--I'm thinking the tainted fare at Dillons--the shepherds pie didn't seem nearly as bad. But I was on the phone, so maybe I really did miss something here!

And for the record, I really can't stand the voice over guy.

Nov 15, 2007
tachis in Food Media & News

New Trader Joe's items

Ditto! I was pleasantly suprised by the chicken chorizo. Granted, it's still not as good as the stuff my folks get from a local butcher back home (which doesn't have the uh... other bits), but it's good enough to appease my occasional craving when I need a chorizo fix.

Nov 10, 2007
tachis in Chains

Gordon's latest show

Yikes! This was the most frightening ep yet! At least as far as "characters" go. Though the teasers for next week look like they might top this one.

Thanks for the website, Linda! I checked out the menu and it does not sound very appealing. I don't get the whole "gourmet flavors" thing one bit--are they sandwiches? entrees? And then there's the "gourmet fries" of which there are about seven options (likely from a bag in the freezer too).

Anyway, this guy is so hung up on his "gourmet" concept that it reeks of arrogance, as though he blames the public for not getting his concept which is why his business is on the rocks instead of accepting that it's just not that great a concept and moving on. Sheesh!

The thing that really bugged me was how he was so bent on franchising his concept because he thought it was original and could make money, even though he seemed content to strive for mediocrity using frozen pre-packaged processed ingredients. Good lord--even the pizza dough was frozen! It doesn't seem like making pizza dough from scratch would be an enormous expense when you consider how much he probably spends on pre-made frozen processed stuff. Where is the love? What happened to the concept of having a restaurant because one loves and is passionate about good food?! Might as well be running a TGIF.

Has anyone eaten here pre or post GR?

Nov 07, 2007
tachis in Food Media & News

Beloved Food Jingles?

Haaaaave aaaaaa-Nother Nutter Butter peanut butter sandwich cookie.

Nov 07, 2007
tachis in Food Media & News

Your choice for Trader Joe's BEST item

Call me crazy, but I like their plain flour tortillas--not the "handmade" looking ones, the ordinary ones that go for about a buck-fifty a dz. I grew up on really thin flour tortillas (like paper thin, almost translucent), and since I moved to l.a. 14 yrs ago, I've never been able to find any thin enough to my liking. That is until I discovered TJ's version. Now that's the only brand I'll buy, at least until I make a trip to Phx to get a stash at Carolinas!

Also, while I managed to avoid buying it each year, this year I finally succumbed to all the glowing recs on this board about the pumpkin butter and pumpkin ice cream. Now I'm addicted. Thanks a lot, you evil people! ;-)

Other faves:
Peppermit Joe-Joes
Greek yogurt
Assorted cheeses
Green chile-cheese tamales in freezer section
Family pack of cheese enchiladas in freezer section
Frozen veggies (esp. the french green beans)
Rosemary demi baguettes

Oh there are so many things I like there I could go on and on!

Nov 05, 2007
tachis in Chains

What are you serving night before Thanksgiving?

My family does this too. Fruit and cereal for breakfast. Then, since we're usually out that day anyway doing the last minute food shopping, we make it a point to eat a light healthy lunch at a nice restaurant--bowl of soup, a salad, or an appetizer. And a very light dinner at home while doing the day-before preparations--usually a glass of wine with a nice loaf of bread, good cheese, fruit.

Nov 03, 2007
tachis in Home Cooking

Gillian McKeith - BBC's You are What You Eat

You've piqued my interest now! I'm gonna have to look into the book myself!

The dishes she prepares (or has the clients prepare) are intreaguing. Most of it looks really delish--in fact, I think there was a stew with adzuki beans and squash that looked like it would be quite tasty. But I admit there's been a few dishes that do look a bit dubious. Especially some of those juices. Eww. I'd probably have just as difficult a time forcing those down the hatch as the clients!

Anyway, good luck in trying the recipies! Keep us posted on how they turn out!

Nov 03, 2007
tachis in Food Media & News

Gordon vs Ramsey

There's a lot that's already been said about the differences between the FOX version and BBCA version. But for the sake of continuing the conversation...

I find the FOX version a bit--dare I say?--dumbed down. As the OP wrote, both versions have similar conflicts and issues, but the FOX version has to use that anonymous voice over to tell us what's going on as if we don't get it. And the action that takes place is underscored with dramatic music and editing to make sure that the audience understands. It's a bit cartoonish as are the "characters."

The BBCA version is so understated, which I think has much more impact. No anonymous voice over, just GR narrating from his point of view. No dramatic music. No over-the-top editing. And the personalities of the people involved are more 3-dimensional. It feels more like a documentary than a typical reality tv show.

Anyway, while my preference is for the BBCA version, I still like watching both and find both very entertaining.

Nov 02, 2007
tachis in Food Media & News

Trader Joe's Lentils...What do you do with them?

I've recently discovered these and love them! Even though lentils are pretty easy to prepare from scratch, these somehow just seem so much more convenient. Anyway, I like to make a salad with them--halved kalamata olives, roasted red/green peppers, purple onion, grilled or steamed zucchini or yellow squash sliced thin, feta chese, and a lemon vinagrette with fresh herbs (oregano works well). Makes a great, healthy weekday lunch that tastes best at room temp.

Oct 31, 2007
tachis in Home Cooking

Children's books about food...

"Chato's Kitchen" and "Too Many Tamales" by Gary Soto

Oct 29, 2007
tachis in Food Media & News