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Can't use cast iron, Won't use non stick, options for omelettes?

Correct, and that's why I keep my little nonstick around. I personally can't tell the difference too much. Done the SS+oil way, they come out a little less fluffy I suppose, but it's not too bad. Also, you simply can't do it with cheese and expect it not to stick, and I usually love putting cheese in there, so I have to go back to nonstick for that as well. But the SS suffices when I have to cook for more than myself.

Sep 29, 2009
drharris in Cookware

Can't use cast iron, Won't use non stick, options for omelettes?

Ok, I use a SS pan all the time, and not even all clad. It's a cheapo, because I'm poor, but I get nonstick scrambled eggs all the time. I'll tell you the secret. This technique also works well for cast iron that isn't quite nonstick enough. Also, it may go without saying, but use a rubber spatula here.

Ok, first of all, make sure the pan is hot enough where a drop of water beads up and slides around the pan, and no hotter. For me, it's around medium on my gas stove. If it gets too hot, you can sear the eggs to the pan and thus, sticky mess. Once your pan is hot, put in enough oil or butter to coat the whole pan (and maybe a bit extra), and slide it around to even it out.

Here's the trick: while the oil is still lukewarm, pour the egg into the pan, and pour gently. The goal is to have the eggs floating on top of the oil, instead of displacing it and touching the pan directly. It's the old "Hot pan, cool oil, nonstick" mantra. And here's the second trick: do not start stirring! Wait until it begins to cook a little bit at the top of the edges, and then gently fold it over, allowing more raw egg to take its place. If you do it right, the oil stays where it is, and no raw egg touches the pan. The technique is difficult at first, but basically, you should stop if you feel like the egg is ever touching the pan directly and leave it. So, then you keep this process going, gently folding it over and over until it cooks through. You should not chop through the eggs, do this at the end to break them up.

At no point should your utensil actually hit the pan (this is an exaggeration, but what you should shoot for). Think of it as frying the scrambled eggs; at no point should there be egg on pan, but there should always be oil in-between. As long as you have this focus (along with ensuring your pan is not too hot), it should work out well, even in a cheap SS pan. Good luck! It's really about technique. I personally feel that people who rely on nonstick pans for eggs are probably doing it wrong. Not that I don't have one for those mornings where I just need quick eggs, but you get my drift. :)

Edit: I should mention that they won't necessarily "slide out" of the pan, like teflon, but any egg on the pan will easily come off with a paper towel, no scrubbing. There may be bits left in the pan, but it won't be a sticky mess that you have to scrub or soak; just wipe clean and be done with it.

Sep 28, 2009
drharris in Cookware

Gulf Shores, AL

I'm originally from Gulf Shores, so I'll bite (no pun intended).

If you head up to the Mobile Bay area, there are a lot of good hole in the wall places, but I don't know which ones are still out there so I wouldn't want to get you lost. Just be on the lookout for vague signs like "shrimp" on the face of a gas station, something that looks like it was painted 50 years ago. That's usually a good place, but no guarantees. Probably safer to stay with known restaurants.

The best thing you can do is go into an actual seafood market (you should pass about 6-7 on your way into GS - look for the "we pack to travel" signs), and ask them where some good cooked seafood is. I personally recommend the Original Oyster House (http://www.theoysterhouse.com/). It's not a hole in the wall, but it's solidly good seafood of all types, never disappointing, and of course it's fresh.

You may also check out http://www.gulf-shores-alabama.net/gulf-shores-restaurant-reviews.html
Out of those, I recommend Cosmo's, Giggling Grouper, Tin Top, Shrimp Basket, The Undertow (great sandwiches), Lester's, Lulu's (Jummy Buffett Style), and Bahama Bob's.

Most of all, call the places before you go to find out if/when they have live music. There are a LOT of non-famous incredible musicians down there, you'll find a lot of bluegrass and country and southern rock. That way you get the full experience. :

)

EDIT: I almost forgot two of my favorites. Gulf Shores Steamer (http://www.gulfshoressteamer.com/), try some of their Royal Reds. And, the Pink Pony Pub (http://www.pinkponypub.net/), good for atmosphere and good food too.

Overall, you really can't go wrong down there unless you visit a chain restaurant. Also, if you try to go with "fancy" food, I can guarantee you it won't be good. Stick with the basics. :)

Jan 05, 2007
drharris in General South Archive

10 Best Southern Hotdogs?

I'm also a big fan of the Chicago Dog at the Atlanta Braves Stadium...

Jan 05, 2007
drharris in Southeast

10 Best Southern Hotdogs?

I'll second Hot Dog Heaven, for the name if nothing else. It's in the center of woodstock, ga. Go to Atlanta, North of the perimeter on I-75, take I-575 north, turn right off the Towne Lake Parkway exit. When you hit Main Street, it's near that intersection.

Dec 21, 2006
drharris in Southeast

Sunday Night Restaurants in Birmingham, AL

If you enjoy BBQ ribs, I'd go to Dreamland BBQ (http://www.dreamlandbbq.com). If you have the time, make the trek over to Tuscalooosa for the original location (it's not too far of a drive), but the Birmingham gets you close enough if you can't. It's a sparse menu, but I'd recommend a rack of ribs (share for two), and banana pudding for dessert. If you like sweet tea, they have the best. I'd say if you're looking for something you can't get in Toronto, that'd be it. Distinctly southern and Alabamian.

Sep 20, 2006
drharris in General South Archive

"BBQ in Atlanta?" a Canadian asks

I'm going to second BBQ-1 on Lower Roswell. It's right across from our office, and we order Q at least once per week. Best brisket I've ever had that wasn't smoked at my house. Sides are excellent. They have a more texas sweet bbq sauce and a north carolina type vinegar-y sauce, both of which are pretty good, but I'd say the meat stands out more than the sauce, which I find refreshing. I actually barely use the sauce these days, the meat is that tender and flavorful. I normally go for brisket, but I've tried everything except the sausage and you really can't go wrong with anything you choose. Sides are great, I love their BBQ Beans. Their sweet tea isn't good though, that's the only downside.

If you're looking for a more commercial place, Williamson Bros. BBQ would probably work. They have great sauce, but most of the meat tends to be sub-par. They have all-you-can-eat pork plates for less than ten bucks at lunch, so if you're one to like volume over quality that would work. It's good Q for the most part, just doesn't taste like good home-smoked pit BBQ. I'd go BBQ-1 though.

Sep 20, 2006
drharris in General South Archive