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Craving Fried Clams like the old Howard Johnson's

Wish I could help, but I can't. But I was born in Quincy, MA, where the original Howard Johnson's got its start.

Dec 14, 2014
bcc in Washington DC & Baltimore

Bamix Immersion blender

I have an old Bamix, some 30 years old. It originally came with a little container for chopping stuff in. I never used it, and have no idea where it is today. I have two or three blades for it. The only one I use is the basic one. All the rest is fluff.

Nov 29, 2014
bcc in Cookware

Authentic Mexican restaurant recommendations?

Tenoch in Medford is good, but Angela's Cafe in East Boston is great.

Nov 23, 2014
bcc in Greater Boston Area

Need a rec for dinner in Tel Aviv

I haven't eaten at Mizlala or Fitzroy, but Bertie is quite good, albeit noisy. Try to sit on the outside enclosed porch, where it's quieter. Whether or not it's "moderately priced" depends on how you look at it. To my mind it's fairly expensive.

Nov 23, 2014
bcc in Middle East & Africa

Second try with octopus

I have always had good results with these two recipes
I know that octopus can also be grilled, but I haven't tried that yet.

Nov 01, 2014
bcc in Home Cooking

Why drink chicken soup when you are sick? What so special?

You mean to say, you don't believe in magic?!

Oct 30, 2014
bcc in General Topics

A report: 10 days in Paris

We visit Paris every year and we visit Italy quite often. I find that people treat visitors with a great deal of warmth in both places, although they express it differently. The Italians are more effusive perhaps. The Parisians may not greet you with "Ciao, Bella!", but when a shopkeeper goes out on the street with you to give you directions to the bus stop--from a shop, mind you, where you have not bought anything--I count that as warmth.

What appliance or gadget for making ginger-garlic paste? Maybe also for grinding whole spices?

I would recommend a large wooden pestle, like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Poundin... or maybe this: http://www.amazon.com/JOKARI-240057-J...
You can use it in any bowl, because you press gently in a stirring motion instead of pounding everything. That way things don't go flying. For garlic or ginger, add a pinch or two of salt. You'll get a great paste in a couple of minutes. For whole spices, roast them first in a dry frying pan and let them cool off before grinding them. That way they are easier to grind and the flavor is improved.

Oct 30, 2014
bcc in Cookware

Where are the best Chinese restaurants in New York?

Hi Pookipichu,

We visited the New World Mall with a Chinese cousin on early October. We really loved some of the dishes we had (lamb stew), thought others were so-so, and tossed another practically uneaten in the garbage. I don't remember what it was. In any case, we only tried dishes from 2 or 3 of the stalls, so a return visit is definitely in order.
My wife and I didn't get to visit most of the places you recommended, since we were with other friends/relatives, who, for some strange reason, did not want all of their meals to be Chinese??!! But we did go to Hakkasan, just the two of us, for Sunday brunch. The food was exquisite: the pipa duck, the various dim sum. This was definitely some of the best Chinese food we have ever eaten. However, the noise level was so high that it made it impossible for me to enjoy the experience. I had bought some foam rubber ear plugs, so I tried them at Hakkasan for the first time. They did reduce the general noise level to an acceptable threshold. But while they were in my ears, the major sound sensation that I enjoyed was that of my own chewing. "Enjoy" may be the wrong word here.
Be that as it may, we were extremely pleased to have your recommendations, and will certainly consider them in future trips to New York.

Oct 25, 2014
bcc in Food Media & News

tel aviv restaurants-still need help :-)

Deb, What's the noise level like at Mizlala?

Oct 18, 2014
bcc in Middle East & Africa

tel aviv restaurants-still need help :-)

At present Oasis has about 4 tables and can seat maybe 12 diners, so reservations are essential. They are planning to move to bigger quarters, but I don't know when the move is scheduled to take place. And yes, it is quite casual.
When you walk up Geula St. and cross Allenby, you'll be right in front of Cafe Bialik. They have a nice selection of small meals and sandwiches. When I say "small", I am not referring to size; small in the sense of informal. Another very informal place in the area is Little Prague, not a gourmet destination, but good and cheap, and with great beer.

Oct 18, 2014
bcc in Middle East & Africa


Haminzar (for lunch, too noisy otherwise; open 24/7)
Thai House
Tschernikhovski 6
Mul Yam (maybe; this could be Tel Aviv's most expensive restaurant)

Oct 17, 2014
bcc in Middle East & Africa

tel aviv restaurants-still need help :-)

I haven't heard anything about Mizlala, but we may try it this year. We ate in Oasis last year, and I think it's terrific. I can't wait to go back.

Oct 17, 2014
bcc in Middle East & Africa

newbie needs help from all you sourdough bakers!

A starter develops a strong smell, but it should not be repulsive. If the smell turns your stomach, I think you should probably chuck it. I have been using Maggie Glezer's recipe, and my starter is going on its tenth year. The recipe has since been posted on the internet. If you are interested, here it is: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2390...

Oct 17, 2014
bcc in Home Cooking

newbie needs help from all you sourdough bakers!

I wouldn't worry about minor discrepancies in the measurements for your sourdough starter. The yeasts and bacteria will grow anyway. The yeasts and bacteria, the organisms that create sourdough, exist on the flour itself, they do not come from the air. They are, according to Maggie Glezer, particularly abundant on rye flour, so that is what she recommends for creating a new starter. It worked for me. You do not need any honey, grapes, commercial yeast, or anything else. Good luck!

Oct 15, 2014
bcc in Home Cooking

Best Sushi for $100pp?

Omakase at Tanoshi Sushi on the Upper East Side is about $100 per person, including a couple of plates of sashimi. It's a BYOB place, but there is a good liquor store on the next block.

Oct 15, 2014
bcc in Manhattan

Getting Into Paris Late, Will Be at Champs Elysee

A cab to Chez Denise and then a cab back to the hotel?

Oct 15, 2014
bcc in France

Bread Knife for Crusty Breads

Hi Bada Bing,

I, too, bake my own bread. For years I had been using a Victorinox Konditoreisäge, like this one: http://www.cutleryandmore.com/victori....
Then I read Chad Ward's *An Edge in the Kitchen* and got all excited and bought myself an expensive Franz Güde bread knife. Great! But, as it turns out, the Victorinox performs better. The super-expensive Güde is a lot thicker; the thinner Victorinox is much more effective when the loaf is a day or two old. I have the model with the rosewood handle. I have given it to a number of people as gifts, and they are all quite happy with it. It can also be resharpened, if necessary.

Sep 18, 2014
bcc in Cookware

Paris In Early October

You may like Au Petit Sud Ouest (01 4555 5959) in the 7th for duck and foie gras.

Sep 11, 2014
bcc in France

Amaranth. Ever cook it?

Hi Caroline,

I cooked amaranth once. I followed the instructions on the package as to how much water to use. I ended up with soup. It didn't taste bad, but it was not what I was looking for. Next time I'll add the water little by little.

Good luck.

Sep 06, 2014
bcc in Home Cooking

I have an okra question too -

Here are two pieces of advice. If the okra is going to touch water, keep it whole. Just slice off the very end of the green stem.
If you are going to fry it in oil, wash it then dry it well before you cut it up.

Aug 27, 2014
bcc in Home Cooking

Zurich - one or two nights September 2014?

If you're not completely convinced by the Marriott, there is a very nice hotel here called the Engimatt. It's just outside the center of town. Lots of our guests have stayed there and loved it. Their restaurant, the Orangerie, is also quite good (as far as food in Zurich goes).

Aug 17, 2014
bcc in Europe

I bought frozen mussels before I knew any better

I cook them all the time. Here's my recipe:

500 g frozen New Zealand green-lipped mussels in the half shell
about ¼ cup sake or sherry
peanut oil
¼ cup sherry
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese sesame oil
sprinkle of garlic powder or roasted sesame seeds

1. Thaw the mussels overnight in the refrigerator.
2. Remove the mussels from their shells, leaving aside the fibrous adductor muscle. Grate ginger over mussles and pour about ¼ cup of sake or sherry over them. Marinate for 1 hour, tossing them several times. Drain the mussels and discard the marinade.
3. Bring ¼ cup of fresh sherry to a boil in a non-stick frying pan.
4. Add the mussels, cover the pan, lower the heat, and steam for about 3-4 minutes. Remove the mussels to a plate.
5. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of peanut oil to the pan. Mix well with the sherry and mussel juices, raise the heat, and reduce the liquid in the pan to a few tablespoons. It should have a syrupy consistency. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Return the mussels to the pan and swirl them around until they are well coated with the glaze. Sprinkle with garlic powder or sesame seeds, if desired, and serve.

Aug 09, 2014
bcc in Home Cooking

Best BBQ in NYC

ZaZa, which Mighty Quinn location did you go to? And, does it make a difference?

Aug 05, 2014
bcc in Manhattan

UPDATE: Magimix Food Processor -- I regret buying.

I have a Cuisinart, 14-cup, I think, with a julienne disk. I never use the normal slicing or shredding disks, but the julienne disk does a good job. If Williams Sonoma does not decide to be extremely generous to you, you may be able to get a julienne disk for your Magimix. Good luck!

Aug 03, 2014
bcc in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

Great report!

Aug 01, 2014
bcc in Cookware

"Starbucks Demands Barista Remove Tattoo or Resign"

I hate warm weather in any case.

"Starbucks Demands Barista Remove Tattoo or Resign"

I completely agree with you. One of the worst things about the warm weather is that people wear less clothing, so that one can see more of their bodily depredations.

I find the policy strange, however. Several years ago we were staying in Brookline, MA and went to a local Starbucks every day. The manager was highly tattooed, which I found extremely unattractive. On the other hand, she was a lovely person, so I was always glad to deal with her, and pleased when she took our order.

Jul 18, 2014
bcc in Food Media & News

Canned tomatoes and there metallic taste!?

Hi, I just saw this post. There is a pizza blog by Jeff Varasano, where he discusses this problem. Varasano recommends washing the canned tomatoes to get rid of the bitterness, but there is at least one brand that he uses without washing, because it is not bitter. I tried washing canned tomatoes, and found it effective. But I have since found a brand--here in Switzerland--that doesn't need washing.
Here is Varasono's blog:

Jul 10, 2014
bcc in General Topics

Trastevere - so many choices

I suggest Le Tre Zucche, Via Mengarini. The food is terrific. You would need to take a taxi, or take tram No. 8 to Gianicolense - San Camillo, and then it's a 15 minute walk. But it's worth it.
Another place we used to go to, although we haven't been there in years, is Checco er Carrettiere.

Jul 09, 2014
bcc in Italy