h

holy chow's Profile

Title Last Reply

How long does bacon keep?

In my house, bacon lasts about an hour...

Then I have to cure some more.

Mar 17, 2009
holy chow in General Topics

Best Canned Chili For Chili Dogs?

If you are a fan of the Tommy's chain (a Los Angeles based chili/fast food chain) then XLNT brand chili is almost spot on and can be found in local markets.

http://www.xlntfoods.com/news/

Feb 26, 2009
holy chow in General Topics

top 10 food shows of 2009?

I've never seen him use store bought cookie dough, nor anything else store bought besides some odd and unusual pastes. All I've watched him cook was from scratch sauces, soups etc. I have watched him use smoked salmon from a store, but few of us actually smoke our own salmon.

I've sorted through his recipes and didn't see any cookie dough... care to enlighten me?

http://www.kqed.org/w/jpfastfood/reci...

Feb 05, 2009
holy chow in Food Media & News

top 10 food shows of 2009?

Food TV pretty much equates to Betty Crocker Cooking TV these days. Certain food channels have done everything to marginalize themselves into an abyss of semi30secondaddsugaraskoneingredientcrap.

However, if you dig around PBS has the Jaques Pepin series, Made in Spain, reruns of Bitterman and a few other mentionables. Too bad Top Chef this year seems to have gone to the unskilled, untrained or inconsistant.

Feb 04, 2009
holy chow in Food Media & News

Thanksgiving Dinner in Orange County

Try Mr. Stox in Anaheim. I don't remember the cost but the meal was great.

Oct 23, 2008
holy chow in Los Angeles Area

Any Favorites in or near Irvine?

In Irvine:

Lucca Cafe http://luccacafe.net/index.html

Chef Kathy has skills and ideas in the kitchen that really work. Pretence is down and food is king. Don't forget to buy salumi and cheeses to go, the selection is great.

In Tustin:

Pina's Bistro in Tustin (no website - none needed
)Yorba and First St.

Good homemade food by Pina herself. Italian served with love and charm by family members of Pina. This is the real deal; reservations recommended as there are only 10 tables.

Black Sheep Bistro http://www.blacksheepbistro.com/

This husband and wife team put out one of the best menus in OC and are largely overlooked. Again, pretence is gone, food is king.

Those are the more "high brow" in the area, there are however, many more low brow places that are just as great most espcially in ethnic catagories.

Sneak over to Tustin and find the land of great food.

Oct 23, 2008
holy chow in Los Angeles Area

Don't believe the hype: Ramos House Cafe

Took the train down to San Juan Capistrano this weekend to hit Ramos House, tour the neighborhood and hit the mission. While two of the three were great, Ramos House was a miss. I know this will tread on some "foodie" gospel, but really it wasn't worth the price of admission.

The owner, John Q (or John Q Humpheres... whatever pretentious name he goes by) didn't acknowledge our party as he was chit chatting with others at the host's desk. We stood and waited for an uncomfortable period of time until he decided we were worth his time. At that point he lead us five steps onto the patio and pointed at a table, "take that one". Gee, special service.

We were seated for brunch (that is all they serve on weekends) and it is $35/head. The menu looked interesting enough and we both enjoyed first courses (white bean soup and basil cured salmon), however, upon receiving second course we both scratched our heads... Duck hash was lacking in anything resembling duck. Other than that it was marginal. She also had a hash, crab I think, and while it was good, we both thought that there were far too many elements of either dish to make them successful. It was like giving a three year old a box of crayons and telling them to color you a sky... way too many colors. Basically, it was my father's idea that it is all going in the same place, so you really can't taste one discernable item. It is like he took all of his best cooking technique and piled them on those plates which is a horrible idea.

I had a bloody mary, which was good, with the quail egg... which ran the charge for said bloody mary up to roughly $20. Now let me tell you, I've never once had a bloody mary worth $20 and this weekend was no different.

Not to mention that service, for the most part, was a bit off.

So after receiving the bill for $97 for two people for a two course brunch (mind you I've had cheaper breakfasts that were better at a 4 Seasons resort on Lanai), no extra drinks other than the bloody mary, we both decided that we wouldn't visit again. This place is seriously overated and the owner seriously ego inflated.

Sep 29, 2008
holy chow in Los Angeles Area

Claro Market Rec's?

Another place for salumi that carries proscutto from Parma would be Lucca Cafe in Irvine (Sand Canyon south of the 5 in Quail Hill). Chef Kathy also carries some of Batali's dad's salumi which tends to be very creative and amazing beyond belief. Selection changes constantly but they have a walk up counter for cheeses and meats that rivals some of the best.

Sep 05, 2008
holy chow in Los Angeles Area

Concert in Irvine . . . Where to eat

Luca Cafe off of Sand Canyon.

Jun 10, 2008
holy chow in Los Angeles Area

Corned Beef Hash in O.C.?

Benjie's and Keno's both make a very good hash. Keno's is in Anaheim Hills at Imperial and La Palma.

Jun 10, 2008
holy chow in Los Angeles Area

Manhattan Supper Club - Orange

Was there last night and was underwhelmed.

The facility is well done and has a great atmosphere. However, the experience didn't match decor.

Service was strange. Yes, strange. Our server would lean against the booth (high end and you lean?) while explaining specials and would talk to one party, clearly blocking the other party out with body language, while pouring wine. Also, salt and pepper on the table upon sitting, which seemed strange at something billed high end.

They were going for a three tiered service (head waiter, waiter and bus) but it never panned. The head server was bringing meals and clearing plates, bus rarely showed and we were never upsold more wine. The waiter showed twice dropping plates and never would finish with, "enjoy" or any sort of finish to his sentence. He would just oddly walk off after setting food down.

The food. A manager accidentally dropped the wrong salad at our table, and thankfully I didn't have to pay for it; it was miserable. It was a hearts of Romane and was improperly dressed or the dressing was horrid, lacking in any sort of descernable flavor and unseasoned. It was dropped prior to our appitizer of mushroom tart. The tart was good, but needed acid to complete the dish; just a pop of vinegar of some sort would have really brightened the dish, which was very earthy in nature.

Our salads of tomatoes and maytag blue and roasted beats and Humbolt fog were good, but we both thought they were lacking in the amount of cheese served with each, especially since they were offering up rockstar cheeses on the dishes.

Main course of pork chop and short ribs were both very good. However, they needlessly stuffed the chop with cheese, complicating a dish that was well executed and perfectly good in the quality of meat and simplicity. The short rib was great and well executed.

No desserts were tried, but we both walked away with an odd feeling of the service. After much contemplation on the way to the art walk, we both decided that we'd rarely go again. Too many other great restaurants in the Tustin/Orange area to put it high on the list of must eats.

Jun 08, 2008
holy chow in Los Angeles Area

OC Jewish-style delis??

Benji's rocks... take out meat, great food, a good behive... and the karokee bar makes it home.

Jan 13, 2008
holy chow in Los Angeles Area

Wat is the latest on Wat Thai?

Just a question... It used to be my favorite place in the food world, what is going on?

Jan 13, 2008
holy chow in Los Angeles Area

Are "they" dumbing down habanero peppers?

While I agree in theory, however, when a product changes characteristic so much from what is considered normal (ie huge drops in scoville units or flavor profiles) then is it really the same product, and should you really expect the change if it was still sold under the same name as the orig product with specific characteristics (scoville units are specific and scientific and very much a characteristic of a type of pepper)?

Do a search on scoville units and habanero, the defination is very specific, just like a confit is very specific, as is a vanilla bean as is grapefruit.

If you were to buy vanilla and it tasted like chocolate, would you still use it the same? I doubt it and I bet surely you'd be blindsided by the change unless you taste all of your ingredients each and every time before going to cook. Which, if you do, good on you but that isn't cooking, that is obsessing.

Thank you for explaining what you believe cooking is...

Back to the regularly scheduled question.

Oct 29, 2007
holy chow in General Topics

Are "they" dumbing down habanero peppers?

I do use them for flavor, but part of the trick of using peppers for flavor is knowing how to balance heat and in what quanitity to use. In being able to do that, it helps when the product has consistancy so that you don't under, or for that matter, over use the item.

Balance is the key.

Oct 28, 2007
holy chow in General Topics

Are "they" dumbing down habanero peppers?

Ate another one on some eggs this morning. Same deal, pretty mild. This time I used an entire pepper and barely got enough heat to notice.

I may have to start growing my own.

Oct 28, 2007
holy chow in General Topics

Are "they" dumbing down habanero peppers?

Jalapeno's used to be plenty hot, but there was a concerted push to dumb them down so that they became a more tame, and thus more widely used ingredient.

I just put an entire habanero in a quesadilla and barely got any burn. It was disappointing.

So, the non-burning question; are they dumbing down habaneros now too?

Oct 27, 2007
holy chow in General Topics

How to re-treat a cutting board ??

If you are going to sand, I'd recommend the blocking technique to maintain an even surface. Similar to what is done on car bodies to get a perfectly straight surface, attach your sand paper to a long block (the longer the better). Keep your pressure even and your strokes complete end to end. Otherwise you could sand in issues by creating uneven spots on the board.

Oct 15, 2007
holy chow in Cookware

Help: How should I use 5lbs of beef round tip steak?

No meat is tough when cut properly and thinly. I use cuts like this on the grill with apple wood and a rub cooked medium. Then I thinly slice on the Hobart for sammiches. Delish.

Oct 14, 2007
holy chow in Home Cooking

Considering culinary school...any advice?

OCC's program is good. Watch out with the "Arts" school program. I've heard not so great things from people who have gone there.

Oct 13, 2007
holy chow in Not About Food

Top Chef 3 Reunion

If I were CJ I'd be takin' a peek at that Padma. I'm just sayin'.

Oct 13, 2007
holy chow in Food Media & News

What did you make this past weekend? [Moved from General Topics board]

Saturday I did a deconstructed surf and turf bbq for my employees as a thank you.

Instead of a stuffed mushroom for first course, I took the idea apart and did it on a tart and ground as if you'd stuff the cap with.

Then to a torn up ratatoulle with a tomato bisque base, stacked on a wonton crisp with egg plant, roasted tomato, basil and cheese on top.

Shrimp grilled with garlic and ginger then topped with a fresh plumot chipolte bbq sauce that I made.

Then sweet potato garlic mash with Santa Maria tritip thinly sliced with an arugula and dandeloin green salad with crasins and goat cheese or a red snapper with a lemon butter reduction, both served with elephant garlic chips as garnish.

Sunday I made homemade sweet and hot Italian sausage for the freezer as the stocks were running low.

Oct 08, 2007
holy chow in Home Cooking

What did you make this past weekend? [Moved from General Topics board]

Val, if he likes food he will love Orange. However, the Trader Joe's in Orange sucks... way too crowded.

Oct 08, 2007
holy chow in Home Cooking

Do you like dandelion greens? Why? (and how do you make them?)

I mix them with arugula and then sweeten up the salad by adding dried craisons, goat cheese and a black rice vinegarette (less acidity in black rice vinegar). Did that at a dinner this past weekend and everyone raved.

Oct 08, 2007
holy chow in Home Cooking

calling all cooks: pork tenderloin, corn tortillas

Jayes, the best way to keep it moist is to not over cook it. ;) I hit 160* and put it to rest.

I usually do a sweet hot glaze on pork. One of my favorites is marinade it in soy (sauce), vinegar and habanero's that have been finely chopped. The next day put on the grill with coals on either side and the pork in the middle (and a remote thermometer in it to tell me when I hit temp). I turn mid way through and then the last ten-ish minutes I take the marinade that I've reduced with apricot jam and honey, and glaze the pork on both sides and get it crispy (but not burnt).

Pull off, let it rest and serve the glaze as a sauce dribbled down the middle of the thinly sliced tenderloin.

Oct 08, 2007
holy chow in Home Cooking

Most un-Chowhoundish OC Restaurants

Both El Campeon's are good.

Oct 08, 2007
holy chow in Los Angeles Area

Spiny Local Lobster

Prices may drop a bit when the non-commercial season opener hits later in the month. Coming into shore I've been hit up to sell my catch at times, and I'm guessing these guys will sell out of a cart the next day.

However, I've never sold my catch so I wouldn't know. ;)

Oct 07, 2007
holy chow in Los Angeles Area

Brea

Three that have been overlooked...

Brea's Best for burgers and pastrami
PJ Burgers on Imperial heading towards Yorba Linda has a great jalepeno burger and good onion rings.
Fish in a Bottle, also on Imperial, has interesting sushi rolls that are really more fusion than anything. This isn't real sushi, this is funky fusion like a beef and blue roll or the habanero roll... Not traditional but good.

Oct 07, 2007
holy chow in Los Angeles Area

I'm afraid of my habaneros!

Sorry, I don't know where my measuring cups are. I use a stainless rectangle professional kitchen pan to marinade in. I covered half of the tenderloin with soy "sauce" and then added the vinegar solution.

Up to the half way mark is a grip. Anything under that is just shy of a grip. ;)

Oct 03, 2007
holy chow in Home Cooking

Hobart slicer geeks... I have questions

Ask and ye shall receive! Now that is impressive. I'll email you info this evening or tomorrow morning, once home from work.

Thanks, Hobart peeps! Way to make me a fan, and quickly!

Oct 02, 2007
holy chow in Cookware