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My Own Ground Beef Makes More Tender Burgers Than the Store

Yep temperature would be my guess, the store is grinding a lot of meat at the same time, thus the grinder gets heated the fat breaks down the meat texture changes. at home only a couple of pounds, not enough to heat the grinder significantly. anyway that's my guess. and how is that hijacking the thread as it does speak to the question?

Aug 10, 2011
willdupre in Home Cooking

Mozzerela cheese curds in Orlando?

Seems to me if you are going to go to the trouble to find the curds you might as well try doing it from scratch as finding whole milk that would work is probably easier than finding curds and its a really simple process.

Aug 02, 2011
willdupre in Florida

Most disgusting taste (of normal foodstuffs)

Rootbeer, even the smell revolts me.
Licorice or anything flavored with anise.
Sweet Potatoes, except as fries.
that stuff they call roast beef at Arby's.
marshmellows, though I do have a secret penchant for fluffernuters, which I indulge in once every few years, go figure.
Sweet Iced Tea, or sweet Coffee drinks.
Maraschino cherries.
White chocolate, really I avoid anything but dark, even most milk chocolate is mildly disgusting to me.

Jul 28, 2011
willdupre in Not About Food

How do you keep fettucine pasta from sticking together?

Lots of salted water, don't ever put pasta in until the water is boiling, I break my pasta in half to get full submersion right away, and for easier stirring, stir pasta pretty much constantly until the water comes back to a full boil, by that point the pasta should have softened a fair amount, and you shouldn't have any sticking as long as you give it an occasional stir. but its that early stirring that keeps the pasta separated until the outer starch washes away.

Jul 27, 2011
willdupre in Home Cooking

Who else prefers to eat ground beef (hamburger) vs. steak?

A good hamburger, medium rare is hard to beat and if I can get it that way I will almost never order steak, its not that I hate steak its that there is so much of it out there that is awful, gristly, tasteless. But the other night I did have a really memorable steak, at Fridays of all places. I am not a devotee of chain restaurants but my date really wanted to go to Fridays and I acquiesced with a bit of quiet grumbling. I was going to order a burger, and than noticed the fine print, all Hamburgers are cooked Medium or Well done, just like a lot of restaurants they are so afraid of the BOH that they insist on overcooking burgers, and I refuse to get a burger that is cooked beyond medium rare, so I decided what the hell and got a steak, it was a Flatiron steak which I have had luck with in the past. and it was so tender and flavorful that I couldn't believe it came from Fridays of all places. if I could get steaks that good on a regular basis I would definitely be a convert to steak but until than I will consider the properly cooked burger to be my ultimate red meat experience.

Jul 19, 2011
willdupre in General Topics

Whole Wheat flour go bad?

to be fair most powdered milk on the market is non-fat so shouldn't go rancid. and I have also heard that about honey, that it doesn't go bad, crystalizing is just due to the fact that its a supersaturated liquid and when water content evaporates the crystals form which does no real harm and can be reversed as has been noted. salt is a no brainer, as it is a mineral. but I also have to agree that whole grain flower will go rancid if it isn't preserved in some way. I've considered vaccuum sealing flour as my freezer space is at a minimum but not sure if that along with storing in a dark place would be effective or not it certainly would be proof against bugs but not sure about rancidity.

Jul 15, 2011
willdupre in General Topics

What is the worst thing you've been served and ate?

Yeah I'm sure its quite good, and one of these days I will work up the nerve to try it again, its just hard to get past remembering my first experience when I see it on the menu, and somehow anything else on the menu seems appetizing.

OHH remember something else I found particularly nasty, a Norwegian friend invited me to a cultural festival, and I tried Lutefisk I don't know what is with me and unappetizing gelatinous seafood but that was another winner on my least likely to revisit list, though at least since that was a buffet I was able dispose of the remainder with no one any the wiser.

Jun 05, 2011
willdupre in Not About Food

What is the worst thing you've been served and ate?

quite a few years ago I went to a highly rated restaurant, they had a special, soft shell crab with a lemon sauce, I love trying specials, as they often give me an opportunity to try something I have never tried before, and this was the case here, I had never had soft shell crab before so decided to try it.

when the dish came out, the crab was swimming in the sauce and looked like a deflated balloon, the first bite reminded me of a lemon flavored kitchen sponge. I tried eating a few more bites but found it truly inedible, it was the first and only time I have ever asked the waiter to take a dish away and get me something else. I am not sure if it was actually intended to be that texture as I have never been brave enough to try softshell crab again, but they were very nice about it and seemed happy to replace it with something more to my liking.

Jun 04, 2011
willdupre in Not About Food

jimmy johns sandwiches coming soon to my area....

one opened here a few months back, figured I would try it, it left me thinking I know of at least two Italian shops within a short drive of here that make killer subs why would I ever come back? I would put them only a step above subway, would put them below quiznos(primarily because I liked the boldness of some of quiznos sauces) If I am going to get chain subs I will go with Publix.

May 24, 2011
willdupre in Chains

One Sandwich for Every American City

Yep I would vote for Tailor Ham, Egg, and Cheese on Kaiser as well for Newark or Trenton NJ. my all time favorite breakfast sandwich.

May 23, 2011
willdupre in General Topics

BK Stuffed Steakhouse Burger

I had the same experience, Dried out and overcooked, the scary thing I noticed is that those chunks of cheese still looked completely solid making me wonder what they are actually made of, because I would have thought that real cheese would have been oozing out to some extent due to the cooking process.

Jan 28, 2011
willdupre in Chains

Big Macs more like slightly overgrown sliders

nope it hasn't shrunk everything else has gone supersize. sodas and fries have all gone up in size through the years, so of course the burgers are looking smaller in comparison.

Jan 20, 2011
willdupre in Chains

ISO Fantastic Bread Pudding in the St Pete/Tampa area

I have to second the Whiskey Bread Pudding at Cajun Cafe, its so addictive that all of my relatives make a special request to go there anytime they are visiting.

Jan 08, 2011
willdupre in Florida

Five Guys vs. Fuddrucker's burgers (split from Ontario board)

I find 5 guys a bit overhyped. the burgers are ok but really only a small step up from other fast food burgers, and you can't get them cooked to order, which puts them completely out of the running for me, I want my burgers thick and medium rare, and Fud's cooks to order as well as offering a good thickness patty, so I will always pick Fud's over 5 guys if those are my only two choices.

Jan 07, 2011
willdupre in Chains

Anyone else tried Gulf Coast Po' Boys Restaurant?

I went back and tried the oyster Po'boy recently and yes it was awesome, but than I also really really liked the roast beef.

btw the owner says his favorite is the fried catfish, will have to try that next time

Dec 03, 2010
willdupre in Florida

Cheap Beers with Merit?

I am very familiar with what the term skunky means, and I stand by what I said, but I will rephrase if you want to be pedantic about it, the taste of yuengling lager has an element that is reminiscent of skunky beers. sure it is possible that a few bottles can be lightstruck or old but since my brother for some reason actually likes yuengling I get lots of opportunities to try it and it consistently has that taste to me.

Oct 27, 2010
willdupre in Beer

Cheap Beers with Merit?

I have to say that I agree with those who say that standard yuengling lager is rather skunky and I know I'm getting it fresh as I live only 30 or so miles from their tampa brewery, its the hops profile that's off (and I do like hoppy beers). I haven't tried the premium, it isn't distributed widely down here despite their proximity. but I would say that both their Porter and Black and Tan are definitely on my list of cheep beers with character.

Oct 26, 2010
willdupre in Beer

Anyone else tried Gulf Coast Po' Boys Restaurant?

Thanks so much for the Rec, I stopped by there the other day and had the Dirty Roast Beef Po'Boy and it was really awesome, the sandwich was stuffed overflowing with spicy beef the consistency of pot roast literally falling apart in its own juices, I can't wait to get back there and try some of the other Po'Boys.

Oct 26, 2010
willdupre in Florida

coffee grinders

I have been considering picking up a Turkish grinder for when I want to grind a single cup, turkish grinders are made of brass and look like a fancy pepper grinder with an attached cup to catch the grounds. for general use I have a blade grinder but I do find that the grind consistency is awful and a standard 10 second grind can give me everything from fine powder to large chunks in the neighborhood of an 8th of a bean all in one grind, so when that quits I will definitely invest in a burr grinder.

Oct 25, 2010
willdupre in Cookware

Salt in coffee? Anybody do this?

the eggshell trick was for the older percolators which were very inefficiant about holding grounds in the coffee basket, or direct boil methods such as Turkish coffee. With paper filter or super fine gold screen filter automatic drip coffee makers this is unnecessary as there are generally no grounds getting through the filter

Oct 14, 2010
willdupre in General Topics

Tilted Kilt?

Its all about the girls wearing very short kilts and button down shirts tied under their prominently displayed cleavage. as has been said they have a laudable beer selection but their food is not anything to write home about. I feel the same way about Tilted kilt as I do about Hooters, if you want to ogle half dressed college girls while drinking an ice cold beer its certainly the place to go but if you want really tasty original food there are far better places to go.

Oct 13, 2010
willdupre in Chains

Anyone else tried Gulf Coast Po' Boys Restaurant?

Thanks for the info, I will have to swing by there this weekend. Looks like its in the same place the inhouse roasted coffee place used to be.

Oct 08, 2010
willdupre in Florida

Jalapeno peppers....what to do with a couple extra pounds?

I am a fanatic for Jalapeno Relish, to the point that I ended up learning to make it myself.
2 lbs of Jalapenos diced small seeds removed
1 carrot diced
1 Red pepper diced
4 cups of apple cider vinigar
1 1/2 cups Sugar (more or less to taste depending on how sweet you want the relish)
1 table spoon whole mustard seed
1 tablespoon Dill

put all ingredients into a large pot and simmer for 20 minutes, than refrigerate.
awsome on anything from chili to enchaladas, to hotdogs and hamburgers.

Oct 08, 2010
willdupre in Home Cooking

Potluck Brunch recipe...

How about a Reuben Dip? It can be assembled in a few minutes in a crockpot and cooked on site pretty much on its own in 45 minutes, just an occasional stirring needed, and is wonderful on bagel chips. I have seen it done for a few brunches and its always a hit.

Oct 01, 2010
willdupre in Home Cooking

Man vs. Food challenges in central Florida

I don't get the phenomenon at all, I watched that show a few times and its interesting to see a lot of the places he goes before his "Challenge" but each time it got to the power eating challenge I had to shut it off. I can put down some food when I'm in the mood, much to the regret of my groaning waistline but I just don't see the allure of stuffing yourself with 5 or so pounds of food just for bragging rights.

Sep 28, 2010
willdupre in Florida

Gourmet grocery

There is a fresh market in Ft Myers, they generally have a nice selection of those things, its at 13499 South Cleveland Avenue

Sep 13, 2010
willdupre in Florida

Spicing up mac n' cheese

A couple of shots of Worcestershire sauce and a spoonful or two of jalapeno relish spices it up nicely for me and if I have to make the box version my secret is to replace the milk with sour cream.

Aug 31, 2010
willdupre in Home Cooking

Who Has the Best Onion Rings - Tampa Bay

Finley's Irish Pub in largo has some tasty black and tan rings with horse radish sauce side. the beer batter includes a mix of Guinness and Bass as one might expect from the name, they are good sized rings, and my favorite thing about them is they tend to bite cleanly, meaning the onion doesn't slide out of the crust to scald your lip when you bite into it. BTW they also have the best Reuben I have ever eaten.

Aug 25, 2010
willdupre in Florida

Checkers Drive In Coming to Connecticut

there used to be quite a few in the tampa area but a bunch of them closed down over the last few years. which is a shame because if I am going to get a quick burger from a drive-through checkers is definitely the place I would go over the other big national chains, even their wings are not half bad in a pinch.

Aug 02, 2010
willdupre in Chains

Oysters in the Tampa Area

Yep the rule I have always gone by is only buy oysters in months with an R in them.

Jul 30, 2010
willdupre in Florida