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What to do with dried tropical fruit?

Perhaps a day or two late, but Hot Cross Buns!

about 17 hours ago
smtucker in Home Cooking

Lunch near newton Wellesley hospital....with a child

I think the Maugus would be a good place with a child. I admit it has been years since I have eaten there, but it used to be good food, at reasonable prices,with a staff that pampered children.

Apr 17, 2014
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

Freezing Hard Boiled Eggs

One of the many reasons that the Wendy's salad bar was a financial failure.

Apr 17, 2014
smtucker in Home Cooking

Any word on Zoe's in Cambridge?

We called them last week and the woman who spoke with us also indicated a "couple of weeks."

Apr 16, 2014
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

General Tso's Chicken??

Well, to be honest, I can't speak to them not knowing someone, since I can't ever order as that person. So I only posted my own experience.

They can make a wonderful version. Perhaps give them a try?

Apr 15, 2014
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

Pepperplate menu planning app

No problem here.... somedays I really wish that we were paying for this app so we had some say in the upgrades.

Apr 14, 2014
smtucker in Home Cooking

General Tso's Chicken??

In the Boston area, if the folks at Quindao know you, they will make you a spicy, delicious, not-too-sweet version of this dish.

Apr 14, 2014
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

Best place for fried seafood/fisherman's platter?

Well, there is an atmosphere, but it somewhere between nursing home day room and shopping mall food court. If you focus on the smiles of the family that runs the kitchen, it gets better however.

Courthouse is my 'go-to' spot for fried seafood. Close to home, fresh fish, and fresh oil now that I think about it, and a family that I simply like.

Apr 14, 2014
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

April 2014 Openings and Closings

Looks that way. I don't know this spot, but did find this web site:
http://www.southendbuttery.com

Apr 14, 2014
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

April 2014 Openings and Closings

Friend has posted that the South End Buttery is closed due to an electrical fire.

Apr 14, 2014
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

The Dinner I Made Last Night, Boiled Shrimp!

You might want to join the ongoing "What is for dinner threads"

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/972218

Apr 13, 2014
smtucker in Home Cooking
1

Meat CSA @ Stillman's at the Turkey Farm

We gave up on Stillman after one year.... this thread has a range of opinions on the value of their shares:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/563422

Apr 12, 2014
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

Nominations for May 2014 Cookbook of the Month (COTM)

I found it in the EYB Library [twice], but not one person owns even one of the two versions. Seems almost impossible!

Apr 11, 2014
smtucker in Home Cooking

Affordable Food in and almost-in 02143

Since jgg re-activated this thread, Whole Foods pizza has not panned out. It is almost as though they only hire people who love House of Pizza pizza, and the minute they have anyone trained to make a decent pie, move them to another store. Too bad. I had some hopes... so the quest continues.

Apr 11, 2014
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

what should I do with a giant bag of dry roasted hazelnuts?

Ottolenghi has a wonderful green bean and mangetout dish that uses hazelnuts. I make this anytime I need some make ahead side dishes and there is never any left:

http://www.thegrubworm.com/2010/05/gr...

Apr 11, 2014
smtucker in Home Cooking

OK - another fish sauce thread

Just did a few copy/pastes. The editorial content is not mine.

Simply Heinz: Simply Heinz™ is made from the basics: red ripe tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, salt, and a special blend of spices and flavorings – all the good things that make Heinz America's Favorite Ketchup®.

Organic Heinz: ORGANIC TOMATO CONCENTRATE FROM RED RIPE ORGANIC TOMATOES, ORGANIC DISTILLED VINEGAR, ORGANIC SUGAR, SALT, ORGANIC ONION POWDER, ORGANIC SPICE, NATURAL FLAVORING.

Just so you didn't have to search.

Apr 09, 2014
smtucker in General Topics

OK - another fish sauce thread

I think to be fair, you should compare the Heinz with sugar, organic Heinz to the Central Market brand.

I started buying Red Boat as a recommendation of Edward Lee in his book "Smoke & Pickles." It seems mild in comparison to the Golden Boy brand which has been my go-to based on some cookbook recommendations. I understand that Red Boat is the first "pressing" so is milder as an attribute. But, when I need more punch in a cooked dish, I revert to the Golden Boy.

I find the Three Crabs to be harsh, and tastes mostly of salt and it is almost briny.

Apr 09, 2014
smtucker in General Topics

Sausage

I really enjoy Ruhlman's version posted here:

http://theroaminggastrognome.com/2013...

Alton Brown's formula is probably more traditional, though we didn't care for it as much. You can find his version on foodnetwork.com

Apr 08, 2014
smtucker in Home Cooking

Best Burritos in (East) Somerville?

Tonight, after confirming that Zoe's was still closed, we headed towards Rincón Mexicano. Evidently, they are not open on Mondays. [Why oh why do these small places not have websites?]

Since we had found a parking spot right across the street, we decided to walk down to Taco Loco as an alternative. Taco Loco, at least tonight, has stepped up their game. The steak tasted liked it had been grilled, not braised at all, the salsa verde had some real kick, and the veggie toppings were really fresh. And they now have BLACK beans [!!!!!], not those unappealing pintos. Downside? The pico de gallo was not made with August ripened tomatoes, and the radishes should have been replaced yesterday.

Best $4 dinner in East Somerville.

Apr 07, 2014
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

Any word on Zoe's in Cambridge?

Drove by tonight full of optimism, but indeed, the plywood is still up.

Apr 07, 2014
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

Calebressa Bread

You are right. She has pulled down the actual recipe... but thanks to the great internet, I was able to find it here.

http://marcellinaincucina.blogspot.co...

Though you will need a magnifying glass to read it. [Or copy/paste into your favorite word processing app.]

Apr 02, 2014
smtucker in Home Cooking
1

M3: confused waitress or weird definition?

When I was a kid, these cuts, already tenderized, were labeled minute steak in the northeast. You could spot them a mile away since they had a checker board textural pattern. Not sure if this is a term that butcher/supermarkets use anymore.

Apr 02, 2014
smtucker in Greater Boston Area

Calebressa Bread

This is the recipe that I use. I keep a calabrese starter going all the time. I can not translate this to machine for you since I have never used one:

http://cookingwithrosetta.com/pane-ca...

The bread is one of my very favorites.

Mar 31, 2014
smtucker in Home Cooking

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking: Pasta and Other Starches [CoTM Sept 2006 and Nov 2013]

Risotto with Asparagus, page 248

This is a fairly straightforward recipe. Start by cooking the asparagus in salted water. When tender, remove the asparagus and let cool a bit. Remove the tender tops, reserve, then cut the rest of the stalks into small pieces. Into a heavy pan, add butter, oil, and the minced onion. Cook until the onion is translucent. Add the small cut asparagus, stir to coat. Add the rice, stir to coat. Use a combination of the asparagus cooking liquid and stock to cook the risotto to the desired texture. Add a bit more butter, the asparagus tips, grated parmesan cheese and some cracked black pepper.

But, I didn't do that exactly. She suggests cooking the asparagus for 4-5 minutes from the time the water begins to boil, but that is too cooked for me. I removed them from the water at about 2.5 minutes after the boil. Though her headnotes admonished the reader to never use chicken stock, that is what I used. I have a lovely chicken stock made this week and no beef stock in the house. I also substituted shallots for the onions since the onions I have seem quite powerful. For my first liquid addition, I added just a bit of vermouth; two tablespoons just for a bit of acidic flavor. It is also possible that there was a tad more cheese.

This was a delicious dish and Mr. Smt murmured several times. I only wish that I had added a bit of lemon zest with the parsley to finish since a little zing might have been nice. My chicken stock had no salt, but the asparagus water had enough for the whole dish. I suspect one needs to be cautious about the salt levels if you are using a commercial stock. Great hit, and it goes on the list of things that I will make again.

Mar 30, 2014
smtucker in Home Cooking
3

COTM (Cookbook of the Month) Recipes So Good You've Made Them at Least Three Times: Quick and Easy/Weeknight Edition

How did I miss all those recipes in Ottolenghi? Way too many to list, but I particularly love his vegetable dishes in the first half of the book.

Mar 30, 2014
smtucker in Home Cooking

How to cook 3 pound boneless lamb shoulder roast (tied)? [pressure cooker or oven]?

Thanks for the update. You have some delicious eating ahead of you.

Mar 30, 2014
smtucker in Home Cooking

Need wet brine cure recipe for fresh pork loin

Yes of course I was using nitrates in my dry brine, but it was dry not wet which was the point I was trying to [and clearly failed] to make.

When I butcher the pigs we purchase, there is no question that there is a section of the leg called the picnic ham. I am really not making that up. A ham is that section of the pig after it has been cured. Perhaps common use of the word ham has grown to mean something else, but I like knowing the actual cut I am preparing and eating based on butcher words. Just helps keep things straight.

Mar 30, 2014
smtucker in Home Cooking

Need wet brine cure recipe for fresh pork loin

So, it is really hard to follow what you want. A ham is a leg cut. The pork loin is from the backside. So, you want to cure the pork and then after x number of days, simmer it?

The cures that I have done using pink salt have all been dry brines. Not sure why you want the nitrates specifically, but finding pink salt can be tricky sometimes. Here in Boston I find it at a specialty spice store.

If your library is open on Sundays you might want to refer to Charcuterie by Ruhlman and Polwyn to learn more about your curing options.

Not sure if this is helpful.

Mar 30, 2014
smtucker in Home Cooking

March 2014 Cookbook of the Month - Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition by Barbara Lynch with Joanne Smart

Today's NYTimes Magazine has a piece on Ms. Lynch:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/mag...

Mar 30, 2014
smtucker in Home Cooking

March 2014 Cookbook of the Month - Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition: From the Sea (175-204), Chicken, Duck, Goose (205-232), Beef, Pork and Lamb (233-260)

That looks lovely. I so want to make this salad but have the unfortunate problem that no one but me in this house likes olives!

what is BLSL mean?

Mar 30, 2014
smtucker in Home Cooking