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2m8ohed's Profile

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PRISON CUSINE ... What is a typical menu?

The last time I ate at San Quentin, the meal included baked chicken in BBQ sauce, a "cobbler" type dessert, a roll, and some kind of formerly frozen vegetable (I can't remember, probably corn). The time before that, it included mini corn dogs, without sticks (think about it). Both times I thought it was better than expected, but I was hungry. Definitely better than the food served at my sons' public elementary school. At the county jail, I believe the last meal I saw included 2 bologna sandwiches, each one with two slices of white bread and one slice of bologna and a packet of mustard on the side. I didn't sample that but it looked very unappetizing.

I should probably add that I am a college professor who teaches a seminar on criminal justice policy so I was visiting with my classes on field trips. (And I'm sticking with that story.)

By the way, the walls of the cafeteria at San Quentin are decorated with amazing huge murals painted by a former inmate, with lots of fascinating secret details.

Composed Salads - Home Cooking Dish of the Month (August 2013)

Here's a Salade Nicoise from August two years ago when I was fortunate enough to have fresh homegrown Sungold tomatoes, Romano beans, and wax beans; lettuce and baby Yukon Gold potatoes from the CSA; and to top it all, an 80-pound yellowfin tuna caught by my husband on vacation in Cabo and pan-seared at home! (The Kalamata olives and eggs were the only store-bought parts!) IIRC, the dressing was something similar to the one used here:
Hoping we can snag another tuna next week!

Kebabs - Home Cooking Dish of the Month (July 2013)

Made tuna and shrimp kebabs this weekend using this marinade:
and they were very good! I doubled the recipe and had a lot of marinade left over so I also brushed it on grilled skewered mushrooms and onions - very tasty.

Also skewered some stuffed Padron peppers with a mixture of sauteed Italian sausage, onions, garlic, and oregano with fresh ricotta, mozzarella, and bread crumbs. They were a big hit. Two tips: Pulse the stuffing mixture briefly in the food processor before stuffing, which made it easier to fill the peppers (fewer big chunks), and use two thin skewers at a time, to keep the peppers from spinning around and the stuffing from falling out, which happened the first time I tried this. This is great with mild mini bell peppers, too.

Jul 08, 2013
2m8ohed in Home Cooking

Grocery Outlet June 2013

Monterey Blvd, San Jose: Nina crushed tomatoes in tomato puree in stock, 28 oz for 99 cents. Whole seeded watermelons (big ones), $4.99 each. Van Camp's brand canned crab meat in the refrigerator case, $8.99 per 1 lb can (they also have canned crab claw meat for less in the non-refrigerated section). Along with the 2/$1 Haas avocadoes, this is going into California rolls for dinner. Capra brand herb and garlic goat cheese, $2.49 for a 10.5 oz shrink-wrapped log. In the freezer case: Shrink-wrapped frozen wild-caught pink salmon, $2.99 per 12 ounce filet. Wild caught yellowfin tuna, 1 lb shrink-wrapped packages, $7.99 each (4-5 chunks per packet, might be good for kebabs).

Where to buy noodles for chow fun?

Lion market at 280 and Saratoga in SJ. Fresh rice noodles in front of the refrigerated cases near the produce (far right side of the store as you walk in)

Cringeworthy dishes by people who think they are terrific cooks...

Oh, he got points for trying. Of course he was just doing his best. Endearing? A little (would have been more so if he had been a little more modest about his cooking skills, as well as other things). Delicious? Well, no. Fusion? Inadvertently, yes... 20 years before Korean bulgogi tacos became a hot thing! Texan? I'll leave it to the Texans to decide. Memorable? Definitely! I haven't seen the guy in 20 years, but I remember the meal vividly!

May 30, 2013
2m8ohed in General Topics

Cringeworthy dishes by people who think they are terrific cooks...

Back in grad school a guy I was dating kept telling me that he was a great cook and would make me dinner. He was from Texas, and one night he told me he was coming over to my place and making fajitas. When he arrived with his bag of groceries, he took out some boneless, skinless chicken breast, and a bottle of teriyaki sauce. Noticing my surprise, he explained that he hadn't found any fajita marinade in the supermarket (this was in Boston). The next item to come out of the grocery bag was pita bread. Apparently there were no tortillas at Star Market. I believe the final ingredient was shredded cheddar cheese. At no point in the meal did he acknowledge that (1) this meal didn't resemble fajitas at all, or (2) it was not an example of excellent cooking.

May 30, 2013
2m8ohed in General Topics

Happy Halloween! What kind of candy did you/do you buy?

I got Haribo Roulettes in the 10-pc rolls. And Dubble Bubble to give out by the handful, if anyone shows up. We don't get many trick or treaters because there are a couple neighborhoods nearby that have houses closer together and a much more festive scene.

Oct 31, 2012
2m8ohed in General Topics

What five countries do you cook most?


Aug 31, 2012
2m8ohed in General Topics

Bulk instant yeast

I get mine at Smart and Final.

Do you have fish-shaped soy sauce at your local Sushi shop?

I'm also in the Bay Area and have purchased them (empty) at Daiso in Cupertino, near Marukai. They're in a section that includes lots of bento supplies.

Jun 11, 2012
2m8ohed in General Topics

Jam with what crackers?

Carr's whole wheat crackers are my favorite with sweet toppings. They are thick and a little bit sweet, almost like graham crackers.

May 23, 2012
2m8ohed in General Topics

Japanese Salad Dressing?

Sounds like this, which is one of my favorites:

(Red Shell Miso Dressing, the one on the left) - which I have purchased at the Japanese grocery store (Mitsuwa) as well as at Costco here in the SF Bay Area. Amazon carries it also if you're not near either of those options.

Feb 27, 2012
2m8ohed in General Topics

Dungeness crab prices for '11

$3.99/lb for live crabs at Lion Market in San Jose (280/Saratoga). 2+ lbs each.

BBQ help! Cooking fat chicken legs on a charcoal BBQ with no lid today... Ruh roh.. Tips? [PICS]

When grilling chicken legs, I usually score the meat all the way through to the bone in a couple of spots. Not only does it help it cook all the way, but any marinade or rub you may be using will penetrate more deeply.

Sep 24, 2011
2m8ohed in Home Cooking

Teacher lunches

Dinner leftovers, such as rice with stir-fries, pasta, or hearty soups, reheated in the morning, and stored in a good Thermos jar, have worked well for me. The reviews on Amazon provide good information on which vacuum jars keep food hottest. Thermal bento containers can also be found in large Asian grocery stores.

Aug 27, 2011
2m8ohed in General Topics


Just made this with fresh-caught yellowfin tuna, and a couple of weeks ago with abalone provided by a diver friend (abalone must be cleaned, cut thin, and pounded before dicing). The quantities are rough because I just wing it but it was good enough that I thought I'd share:
1. Squeeze several limes into a bowl (amount depends on how much fish and other ingredients you use). I like those little Mexican limes.
2. Cut tuna into cubes and submerge chopped pieces in lime juice
3. In a separate large bowl, dice/chop and combine:
- fresh tomatoes
- cucumber
- white onion
- ripe mango (I like ataulfo but any ripe, sweet mango works)
- jalapeno pepper (chop fine)
- cilantro
- a clove or two of fresh garlic, chopped finely and blended with a teaspoon or two of sea salt into a paste with the side of a chef’s knife
4. Add seasonings:
- a dash of cumin (careful, a little goes a long way)
- hot sauce to taste (I like Cholula and Tapatio)
- fresh ground black pepper
- salt, to taste
5. When the fish starts looking opaque, combine with the vegetables, adjust seasonings, and enjoy!

Aug 15, 2011
2m8ohed in Home Cooking

Marcona Almonds - Inedible?

This is an old thread - but I wanted to thank the posters above for the informative research. I recently had the exact same experience with TJ's marcona almonds with rosemary. I got a couple of incredibly horribly bitter ones in the bag, definitely not rancid, and not the rosemary. But I have never experienced this with the Marconas from Costco or even a different type from Trader Joes' (in oil, might not be available any more). I think I'll stick to the ones from Costco from now on!

Aug 15, 2011
2m8ohed in General Topics

what do you do with beef shanks?

Second that! This is a good recipe that I've made a couple of times with great success:

Feb 19, 2011
2m8ohed in Home Cooking

Dungeness Crab Prices '10

$3.99/lb at 99 Ranch in Cupertino tis past Sunday (11/28). Crabs were lively and plentiful but not very big. It took the guy a while to find four that were about 2 lbs each for me.

Schizophrenic lime tree: graft gone wrong?

Update: I e-mailed Four Winds Customer Service and they replied very quickly! Here's what they said: "Hi, It is on Cuban Shaddock, which is a vigorous relative of grapefruit. Fruit is inedible. Be sure to remove suckers as soon as they appear, since they rob energy from the fruiting wood."

Jun 15, 2010
2m8ohed in Gardening

Schizophrenic lime tree: graft gone wrong?

Thanks for the confirmation! I did see that the new shoots were coming out right under the graft line. Since I already have other lime and Meyer lemon trees, I decided to cut off the new branches since it's really the kaffir lime leaves I want from this tree. I might call Four Winds just out of curiosity though.

Jun 15, 2010
2m8ohed in Gardening

Schizophrenic lime tree: graft gone wrong?

I bought two kaffir lime trees last year and have enjoyed using their leaves in the past year. They are in large pots on my deck along with a Meyer lemon tree and a Bearss lime tree. As the weather has finally become warmer here in Northern California, all of the trees have produced many new leaves and blossoms. However, one of my kaffir lime trees seems to have a split personality. Two new branches have grown, with leaves that are definitely not kaffir lime leaves (not hourglass-shaped, much bigger, don't smell like kaffir lime). The leaves look like those on the Meyer lemon tree, but the branches have large thorns. Could it be that the kaffir lime was grafted onto lemon rootstock but part of the tree is reverting to its rootstock? It's a Four Winds nursery tree, in case that matters. Is there another explanation? Should I cut off the lemon-looking branches if I want the tree to continue growing kaffir lime leaves, or can I now grow lemons and limes from the same tree? Photo attached. Thanks in advance!

Jun 12, 2010
2m8ohed in Gardening

Leftover egg yolks - help!!!

If you have 8 yolks, you can make the Momofuku "Crack Pie."

May 29, 2010
2m8ohed in Home Cooking

Where to buy kaffir lime TREES?

I've bought them at Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH). And they are very useful if you're doing a lot of Thai cooking! Lemongrass is easy to grow, also. Thai chilies and Thai basil, too (once the weather warms up).

Quinoa in a rice cooker?

Here's a thread that may be useful.
It comes out great in a rice cooker, 1 part quinoa, 2 parts broth or water (very nice with chicken broth).

May 12, 2010
2m8ohed in Home Cooking

Roasted Radishes

I like to roast them in a foil packet on the grill. Usually I toss with salt, pepper, and soy sauce, add a few pats of butter, and grill the packet for about half an hour. Thanks to an abundance of radishes from the CSA, I am actually enjoying some right now as an afternoon snack!

May 11, 2010
2m8ohed in Home Cooking

Beginner Gardening Books

I recommend The Vegetable Gardener's Bible, by Edward C. Smith. Once you get past his corny humor it's quite useful, especially the second half, where he goes through different veggies one by one. I also live in the Bay Area and have found this book to be a nice resource. The Sunset books are good, too.

May 05, 2010
2m8ohed in Gardening

Cost Plus World Market and great food buys?

Use it for anything that calls for just a tablespoon or two of tomato paste so you don't have to open up a can! It lasts indefinitely in the tube.

May 03, 2010
2m8ohed in Chains

Is there a tangy-tasting kind of frozen yogurt that I can buy at the supermarket?

Have you tried Dreyer's/Edy's Yogurt Blends? They have a Tart/Mango or Tart/Honey combo that has the "tart" flavor, though not the soft texture. I thought the flavor was surprisingly good for something that's available in the supermarket.

Apr 29, 2010
2m8ohed in General Topics