Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

StuartHMB's Profile

Title Last Reply

Cooking oils

I recommend rice oil for deep frying, it has a smoke point of 490 and as such won't break down in the fryer. I actually hate seeing all the chefs on TV say "Only cook with extra virgen olive oil..." You are paying good money to have it cold pressed so that no heat affects the flavors and health benefits, and then you pour it onto a searing hot pan? Use olive oil to finish a dish and rice oil for cooking.

Sep 06, 2009
StuartHMB in General Topics

1 Restaurant?

Very Thorough! Thank you.

Mar 16, 2009
StuartHMB in Chicago Area

1 Restaurant?

Will be in town for the Housewares show. If you could eat in one restaurant, which would it be? Must be vegetarian friendly.

Mar 07, 2009
StuartHMB in Chicago Area

One Dinner in San Diego?

Looking for a great place to have our one dinner in San Diego. 2 young kids, and vegetarian options. We'll be downtown and will have a car. Thanks!!

Feb 11, 2009
StuartHMB in San Diego

Winter Fancy Foods Show

I will be going on Tuesday for my store. I agree, there is a lot of stuff I wouldn't dream of eating! The trick is to be focused, 'cause you will get sick if you eat everything! (And I see people who stop at EVERY booth to eat!?!) I would reccomend a trip to the Savor California Booth, which is a bunch of smaller producers, more artisan stuff for the most part. I already carry products from some of them.

As far as collecting catalogs, be green...don't take them if you are not interested, don't take it. That way there is less to toss, and you don't have to sort through them at all. And take notes right on the catalog!

It is always big, and the word is this will be the biggest one in a while...
Have fun, and maybe I'll see you there...
Stuart / Toque Blanche (HMB)

Cookbook Gift Guide

For the best pot to cook your Aijaco go to /

We also carry guascas, an essential herb for the soup.

Jan 12, 2009
StuartHMB in Features

Michel Bras / Kai Knives

You might be interested in in this guy's knives...I've had one for over a decade and love it!

Aug 04, 2008
StuartHMB in Cookware

Kitchenaid 12-C Food Processor and Bread Doughs

I like the Viking FP (14 Cup and 3 cup bowls). That said, I don't think FP's work so well for bread dough...the risk of overheating and creating a very rubbery gluten structure beyond what is desired. If you must, give the dough some resting times with the lid off between "kneading", and you should finish kneading by hand.

Jul 30, 2008
StuartHMB in Cookware

July Napa/Sonoma Trip

If you are staying in Calistoga, and want to visit a great wine tasting room, I suggest OnThEdge on Lincoln. Not everyday wines, but incredible and passionate wine maker. At the far end of Lincoln, (East, I guess it would be) is a nice little grocery store that has lot's of picknicky stuff...I just can't remember the name of it now. And be careful about getting in or drinking the water at the spas...both my kids were conceived there. :)

The Magic of Clay Pots

It depends on what you are trying to cook. Personally, I think these pots really shine through when cooking beans or grains, but there are a host of shapes and sizes out there. You can contact me offline at if you want help finding the right pot for your needs.

Apr 23, 2008
StuartHMB in Features

The Magic of Clay Pots

I use at home and sell in my store Chamba cookware from Columbia. It definitely adds a nice smoky flavor to beans and grains that you can't get from other pots. It's great for vegetarians, because the use of a ham hock is trying to replicate the earthy flavor anyway.

Both Deborah Madison (See page 48 and 155 of "Vegetable Soups") and Paula Wolfert use them, as does Steve from Rancho Gordo Beans.

They are available at

Apr 21, 2008
StuartHMB in Features

’Nilla Salt

Quick recipe for Apple Pizza:
Your favorite crust
Gravenstein Apple Cider Vinaigrette
3 sage leaves
1/2 C provolone
1/4 C Smoked Provolone
Fuji or Asian Pear, sliced very thin
Vanilla Fleur de Sel

Brush the crust with the vinaigrette and tear the sage leaves on top of that. Top with the cheese mixture and then spread the apples on top. Sprinkle with the vanilla salt and a light drizzle of olive oil. Bake until done.

It also works well on Spinach salads with stone fruit; I've sprinkled it on persimmon slices or mango to eat. Also, rolled up goat cheese in a thin slice of pear and topped it with the salt. Yum.

Toque Blanche in Half Moon Bay has a smaller jar for $11.99

Mar 25, 2008
StuartHMB in Features

Top Chef Episode #2

If Dale wants to just cook by himself and doesn't want to be a "Team Player," he doesn't belong in a professional kitchen. He can go cook at his house. I realize it is a competition, but suck it up, dude.

Mar 22, 2008
StuartHMB in Food Media & News

Top Chef Episode #2

About the leaving things out or forgetting items at the store/Farmer's Market...if it is not in the final dish, why bother mentioning it? If the finished product stands on it's on, just let it speak for itself. Do the waiters at restaurants tell you what the chef WOULD have made if they had this or that ingredient? They present the food for what it is. We all make mistakes in the kitchen...fixing them calmly and with skill is part of what makes a chef.

Mar 22, 2008
StuartHMB in Food Media & News

Napa (with young'uns.)

We are headed to Napa (the actual city) for a couple of days with the kiddies, 2 and 8. Any suggestions for kid friendly places to eat and food related things to do? Already suggested has been the new Oxbow Marketplace and Cuvee for a meal. Thanks! Stuart

Visiting SF Jan 25-27: Help with food itinerary

For Ice Cream we love Mitchell's.

Our two favorites in SF are Aziza and Limon.

Alton Brown

Here is a great stock and a risotto recipe that we demo in our store:

Pressure Cooker Tomato-Porcini Broth and Risotto.
For the broth:
28 oz can plum tomatoes
1 head of garlic, seperated into cloves
1 carrot
1 handful dried Porcini mushrooms, lightly rinsed
1 T olive oil
2 t dried sage
3 cups water
Small piece of Parmagiano or Grana Padano rind, optional

Place all the ingredients in a 6 qt pressure cooker, and bring to high pressure. Reduce heat and maintain pressure for 20 minutes. Quick release the pressure and strain, pressing on the vegetables to extract as much flavor as possible.

Tomato-Porcini Risotto
1 onion, diced
2-3 T Olive oil
4 Cups Tomato Porcini Broth
1 ½ C Carnarolli Rice
Grated Parmagiano or Grana Padano Cheese to taste

In the Pressure Cooker, saute the onions in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and saute another 2 minutes until translucent. Add all the broth at once, stir and place lid on cooker. Bring to high pressure, lower the heat and maintain pressure for 5 minutes. Quick release the pressure. Stir the risotto and then stir in the cheese. If still a little soupy, let sit for a few minutes to absorb the stock.

Jan 05, 2008
StuartHMB in Food Media & News

Pressure Cookers and what's your favorite? [Moved from Home Cooking board]

I recommend the Fagor...the Duo model was rated best by CI, and they are less expensive than the Kuhn Rikon. I don't recommend getting anything smaller than a 6 qt, especially if you plan on doing grains and beans. Get a copy of a Lorna Sass book and read what she says before buying. I have an older Fagor that I've had for 12 years, replaced the gaskets twice. (I should have been better about oiling them!) I use it for stocks, stews, risotto (15 minutes total, and no stirring!). I steamed/braised potatoes last night for mashed potatoes and it was great and quick.

Oct 27, 2007
StuartHMB in Cookware

Pizza Stone Help [Moved from DC/Baltimore Area board]

I believe All-clad makes one out of soapstone.

Sep 10, 2007
StuartHMB in Cookware

cranberry beans recipe?

I serve mine, when the weather is cooler than it is right now, with Orchiette and spinach. Cook the beans in water or a light broth for about 25-30 minutes until tender, but still holding their shape. Cook and drain orchiette pasta, reserving some of the pasta water. In a skillet, saute some garlic slices in oil for a minute (add hot pepper flakes if desired) and some good Italian varietal red wine (Sangiovese or nebbiola -- or a pinot noir would work as well) and reduce by almost half. Add the pasta to the pan and stir, adding some reserved pasta water if needed. Add raw spinach, toss a couple of times to lightly wilt it, and then serve. Enjoy.

Sep 10, 2007
StuartHMB in Home Cooking

Apple-Stuffed Pork Chops with Cider Sauce

If you can get Katz Gravenstein Apple Cider Vinegar that would make it even better...

Aug 16, 2007
StuartHMB in Recipes

Tabletop Physics

Dalla Piazza, distributed by Swissmar, has one that my store sells with the same concept, but for only $27.99. See link below

Jul 28, 2007
StuartHMB in Features

Help me decipher cookware set lingo!

I agree with the post about buying individual pieces rather than a set, and what you need depends on what you cook. I don't like anodized aluminum as a cooking material. I would go for Gourmet Standard for regular is a core of aluminum with a stainless surface just like All-Clad, but about half the price. For non-stick pieces, like for eggs, I like Swiss Diamond.

The issue with sandwich bottomed cookware is that once the heat reaches the edge of the pan, it has nowhere to go. If this is in a cheap stockpot, you'll get scorching in anything thicker than a stock.

I could go on and on about this a matter of fact, that's my job. Looks like you are on the east coast and I'm in California, but once you figure out what type of things you need, I'm happy to talk to you through EM about it. My email is Also, if you like to make risotto a lot, check out the Gourmet Standard Chicken's like a 12" 7 Qt saute pan with high sides...perfect for stir frying or risottos.

Jul 26, 2007
StuartHMB in Cookware

A16 is it me?

My wife and I went for the first time last Sunday. We were coming from the coast, so we were a little late...she dropped me off and then it took her 20 minutes to find parking. Meanwhile, they had given away our table and sat me in the bar area. 5 minutes later, wife still looking for parking, they "had a cancellation" and could move us to the main dining room. After dealing with parking, the first thing we ordered was a glass of the Prossecco. The service was good, even helping us with vegetarian options after learning that the tomato ragu had meat braising in it for hours. For starters, we had the beet salad with house made mustard vinaigrette, which was wonderful...roasted beets, potatoes, toasted almonds and greens. (Little Gem lettuce, for those that want to know.) We also got the Burrata, which I actually thought was a little disappointing. I love Burrata and have had several ones both from Italy and domestic. This one must have been on the older wasn't nice and oozy like it should have been, and didn't really have that nice, rich, slightly tangy flavor. We got a pizza, which yes, was charred in places, but that is how it is supposed to be. Cherry tomatoes and a delicious fresh ricotta. The Ricotta gnocchi where hard to differentiate between potato ones, but they were very good. (These went very well with a Sicilian wine...Benanti?) Dessert we split the chocolate budino with sea salt and olive oil. Quite a dessert experience...the salt really opened up the palate at the end and helped cut the richness of the chocolate. All in all, we were very happy, and thought the prices were very good for what we had.

Induction cooktop

If you have any pots or pans that aren't magnetic, Emile Henry is about to come out with an "Induction Disk" that you put between the stovetop and the pan to transfer the heat.

Apr 11, 2007
StuartHMB in Cookware

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet question

These pans are very heavy, so shipping will be signifiacant!

Apr 11, 2007
StuartHMB in Cookware

pizza by the slice in san bruno/ssf?

I totally agree about Toto's crust. I know the one in Belmont has a mini lunch pizza for about $3. Bigger than a slice, but I still usually finish it.

Food related music

One of my faavorites, even if the Mona Lisa did turn out to be a man. This is definately going on, along with Memphis Soul Stew.

Mar 30, 2007
StuartHMB in Not About Food

Building my cookware...

For great cookware at a better price than All-Clad, try Gourmet Standard. Cook's Illustrated recently did a review of them:

For non-stick (I do recommend it, at least for eggs and the like), we have been selling a ton of Swiss Diamond. 8" for $49, 10" for $69. I have not been impressed with Calphalon in several years.

As far as "Dutch Oven", I am loving my Emile Henry "Flame" pot. It is ceramic that can go on the stovetop, oven or even microwave if you must. It is temperture shock proof, so from the fridge or freezer to the preheated oven or stovetop is no problem. Dimples on the lid rain moisture down on braises keeping the tops moist. Clean up is super easy, and best of all, it is lighter and less expensive than an enamaled cast iron.

Mar 29, 2007
StuartHMB in Cookware

Food related music

Want to create a Food related mix...what are your favorite food songs that should go on it?

Mar 26, 2007
StuartHMB in Not About Food