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Stovetop popcorn with lower heat, no agitation?

I've been making stovetop popcorn for a years with acceptable but unexciting results. And it's kind of a lot of work. After recently burning a batch, I realized that the medium-high heat recommended in many recipes is enough to singe kernels before they pop. So I've started turning down the heat and walking away. To make a batch of very tender popcorn with very few old maids, I just:

* pour a thin layer of oil in the pan
* turn the heat to low-medium (will slowly bring the pan to ~300 degrees)
* add a single layer of popcorn kernels, tilting to distribute evenly
* cover loosely (I prefer a small-holed colander) and walk away

** No shaking, no agitation! **

It takes over five minutes for results, but the popcorn I get is tenderer, more consistent, and deeper-flavored than what I've obtained with other techniques. Harold McGee says that popcorn pops best around 380 degrees F, but I've found stellar results at significantly cooler temperatures: the kernels seem to pop in the range from 275 to 300, as the oil slowly heats.

I can't find any descriptions of a similar technique online. Has anybody tried this kind of thing? Or do folks have other preferred stovetop popcorn techniques?

Apr 03, 2011
sopped_up_sauce in Home Cooking

Hardwood Sawdust for Cold-Smoking (e.g. fish)?

No such luck, but they evidently do have a nice selection of chunked and chipped hardwoods -- good to know about!

Hardwood Sawdust for Cold-Smoking (e.g. fish)?

Anybody know a place in the Boston area to buy hardwood sawdust (or fine woodchips) suitable for smoking food? There are plenty of mail-order options, but does anybody have experience with a local supplier?


Dumpling Republic in Central Square?

This weekend somebody left a flier for "Dumpling Republic" hung on the doorknob of our Central Square apartment. It was a funny little ad, congratulating us for being in their "Free delivery zone" and promoting a solitary menu choice of $5 15-piece pork + leek dumplings. We tried them out, and they were pretty good -- your choice of fried or boiled, with a side of sauce. Basic, but no complaints.

Still, we were a bit sketched out by their unwillingness to tell us where they were located (beyond "an industrial complex in Central Square") and they fact that they don't accept customer pick-ups (delivery only).

Anybody else have experience with this place? How long have they been around? Where are they located? Do they have a proper license for this kind of business (and is one required)? A Google search of the City of Cambridge Web site for "Dumpling" turns nothing up...

Why are Boston fish markets lame?

It also bears mentioning that the "Whole Foods" stores in Alton's show have been specially re-arranged and stocked with extra goodies -- so it may be unfair to compare your local market with Alton Brown's fictionalized vision of what a supermarket seafood counter should look like.

Wings Live Poultry: "Brown Chicken" ?

Fair enough, Melanie. Let's call the hard fowl an acquired taste that I've yet to acquire. (For what it's worth, I did prepare the bird in much the way you describe, albeit less on the rare side. I found its texture unpalatable enough to put flavor beside the point.)

In any case, perhaps my question at this point should be: where in Chinatown can I acquire a (raw) chicken comparable to the wares in the windows of all the barbecue joints?

Wings Live Poultry: "Brown Chicken" ?

Well, I've tried it again, with no luck: the brown chicken simply isn't good eating, either simmered or roasted.

Can anybody tell me what to ask for (or what to look for) at these live poultry places if I want something that will be tender when roasted? My English-language questioning of the clerk only goes so far. (i.e. not very.)

Thanks again!

New Pho/Vietnamese N. Cambridge

What is it called, and what's the address?

Wings Live Poultry: "Brown Chicken" ?

9lives: Thanks for the reply -- looks like you got a "black chicken," but in any case, I'm sorry to report the brown chicken was also quite tough, despite a long gentle simmer.

Wings Live Poultry: "Brown Chicken" ?

Hi Chowhounds!

While perusing the Chinatown chicken scene this afternoon, I purchased a "brown chicken" from Wings with the intention of simmering it up Hainanise style. Weighing in at 4 pounds, it's about to find its way into my stockpot.

Meanwhile, I have no idea what a brown chicken is, and whether it's suitable for simmering vs. roasting vs. frying.

Can anybody tell me more about the "Brown Chicken" offering from Wings? For instance, does it correspond to any of the breeds listed at ?

Or does it correspond to anything sold at "Live Poultry Fresh Killed" in Cambridge?

Thanks for the input!

Whither for a Waffle Maker?

A weeks-long waffle craving is starting to get the better of me.

Can anybody please help me find:

1. A no-frills stovetop cast-iron waffle maker for sale in the Boston area? In particular, does anybody know a store that sells the Rome #1100 model? Budget: $20.

Also (I know this came up in a very recent thread)

2. I love the yeasted waffles at Centre St. and have enjoyed several varieties at Deluxe Town Diner (though they always claim the blue corn are unavailable). Am looking forward to trying Hen House's Chicken 'n' Waffles. Any other area waffles I simply mustn't miss?

Thanks Chowhounds!

Color - Allston

OMG if you go here you have to get the "Color Chicken." "Choice 1" is usually about an entire bird, more than enough for two hungry eaters, especially if supplemented with, say, some fried rice. Highly endorsed.

Brunch 'n' Laundry: Sugestions for a killer combo?

Intrepid Chowhounds,

My roommates and I are always on the lookout for a laundromat that's situated close to a good brunch place. Close enough that we can linger over coffee and omelets while waiting for the washers and driers to do their thing. The criteria:

1) PROXIMITY The laundry and brunch shouldn't be more than a block apart.

2) PROPRIETY The brunch place should be casual enough that we can linger, and not so busy that the waitstaff will be annoyed by our lingering at 10am on a week-end.

3) LOCATION Somewhere within 25 minutes' drive of Central Square.

Any suggestions? (Usually we hit up Metropolitan Laundry and Dimitrio's on Brookline St in Cambridge, but they don't really do brunch. We enjoy The Broken Yolk in Somerville for outdoor seating in the warm weather.)

Where to get the best Bread Pudding

Don't discount the chocolate buffet at Café Fleuri --- chocolate croissant bread pudding to die for.

51 Lincoln, Newton Highlands

Dined at 51 Lincoln tonight, another early bird (5:30 reservation was all opentable had to offer). Tried the roast duck breast (properly browned exterior, but slightly past "medium" on the inside) with risotto cakes (lovely, mushy, savory...), steak au poivre with luscious roast potato wedges, and "day-cured" salmon (quite sweet and salty, but not overwhelmingly either). Oh, and the scallop sandwiched in chorizo paired with a shot of limoncello --- sausage browned deliciously, with a meager but succulent slice of scallop inside. Alas, I'm not a fan of the bread, which despite being served soft and warm sported a tough, underdeveloped crust --- I found myself eviscerating each slice. Fat cloves of perfectly roast garlic in the olive oil were redeeming.

Drove out from Cambridge, and was quite pleased with the trip. Will repeat.