egit's Profile

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chicken on a budget

Hey, if you do this, learn this important tip from me! If you plan to make stock from your veggie peelings, wash your veggies before you peel/save. Otherwise your veggie stock will taste exactly like dirt.

I still do this, but only with select things like mushroom stems, onion scraps, maybe carrot pieces, etc. A lot of veggies aren't particularly good for stock, like cabbages, brussels sprouts, asparagus, etc.

about 22 hours ago
egit in Home Cooking

HELP! Is this safe ?

I think if it were roasted garlic it would be safe from botulism, but it sounds like you're doing a raw garlic paste. I believe roasting the garlic at a high temp would kill off the little buggers, but I don't think I'd feel comfortable storing it for 2-3 weeks in the fridge anyway. I think even with just vinegar and salt, the garlic would start to be weird after 2 weeks.

You should make smaller batches of dressing. :-)

1 day ago
egit in Home Cooking
1

Best way to julienne/matchstick carrots

Another option: Sometimes I just use the carrot peeler to shave a carrot into a salad. It creates nice long, thin shaves, which are light enough to stick to the rest of the salad.

Jan 29, 2015
egit in Cookware

Best way to julienne/matchstick carrots

I like my mandoline. I would say it's probably the quickest way to do what you want. However, mandolines can be dangerous. ALWAYS use the hand guard!

Jan 28, 2015
egit in Cookware

Suggestions for Steak Marinade

Regarding soy sauce marinades, my understanding is that soy sauce contains the same enzymes as pineapple, papaya, etc. It will do some tenderizing, but you shouldn't marinate it too long. Otherwise the texture will suffer.

Jan 28, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Can I use a meat thermometer instead of a candy thermometer?

Just be sure your meat thermometer has the upper range for it. A lot of them only go up to 180-190 or so.

Jan 28, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Chinese ingredients park slope?

Have you looked at the DNY market on Flatbush, just south of the 7th ave stop? Over by the seafood counter they have a bunch of Asian ingredients. They're Korean-owned, so their inventory tends to be more Korean than anything else. But they may have what you're looking for. Or at least an acceptable substitute.

Jan 27, 2015
egit in Outer Boroughs

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

Well, I'm committing another foodie-crime today. Sometimes I reuse brines. I'll usually only reuse one once. If, for instance, I brine some pork chops for dinner, I'll save it and then brine chicken, or whatever.

It's not like these are curing brines. They're just for moisture and flavor. It just seems like there's still plenty of salt, garlic, sugar, etc in it that I might as well use it one more time.

Plus, it's fun to say we're having "pork brined chicken" for dinner.

Jan 27, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Everything You Need To Know About Cooking During A Storm

Yeah, that was my thought. After a little while yeah, I'll assume the foods in the fridge and freezer are spoiled. But certainly not after two hours. My god, can you imagine simply throwing EVERYTHING away, then six hours later being hungry and looking longingly at the garbage can...?

Jan 26, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

Hmmm... I may investigate this innovation of yours.

Jan 24, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

I have a book called Cracking the Coconut by...someone. It's a fun book to browse, but when she was essentially screaming at her readers that they should absolutely always buy fresh coconuts and extract their own coconut milk... Well, I guess I felt I was no longer worthy of that lofty text.

I guess I'll add canned coconut milk to my litany of shame.

Jan 23, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

Umm... does anyone actually make their own thai curry pastes? They're so shopping-intensive that I feel like there's no way I could use all those spices or all that curry before something went bad.

I suppose I should fess up to not making my own soy sauce too... :-/

Jan 23, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

Usually it's with kalamata olives. Though cocktail-olive brine would work well too, I suppose. I'll use a tiny bit (1-2 t) in a vinaigrette. Or a pan sauce instead of some salt. It also works as an accent for couscous salad, pasta salads, etc.

Basically if the olives are out on the counter anyway, I'll use a little bit of the brine.

Jan 23, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

ARE YOU JUDGING ME? ;-)

No, it doesn't taste the same. There are lots of times I'll use real garlic when it needs to be more prominent. But for a tiny bit in a salad dressing or to throw in with softened onions or similar, it works fine.

Jan 22, 2015
egit in Home Cooking
1

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

I buy bottled cooking sherry to make a quick pan sauce frequently. Rare is the day when there's actually any leftover wine lying around the kitchen. And if I open a bottle for dinner neither DW nor I want to be the one to sacrifice OUR glass of wine for the sauce.

I use olive brine in dressings and sauces all the time. Same with feta brine.

"Reconstituting" slightly wilted lettuce in water works like a charm!

Oh gosh, I could probably go all day confessin my various crimes.

Jan 22, 2015
egit in Home Cooking
1

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

For years and years, I looked down upon the jars of garlic in the fridge. "I'll just chop up a clove when I need it!" Then about 6 months ago something changed. "Gosh, it sure would be nice to have just a 1/4t of pre-minced garlic right now."

I'm not ashamed!

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

As far as I'm concerned, American Cheese is the only appropriate cheese for a grilled cheese sandwich. And it's definitely my preferred cheese for a burger.

Morgan's BBQ in Prospect Heights

Yeah, I live right near there. I saw it this morning. It looks like the building Morgan's is in wasn't damaged much/at all by the fire, but I have to believe there would be significant smoke damage. The building that burned is essentially gutted. Since the buildings along that block are all adjacent, and so there is some structural dependency between them. I would imagine they'll be closed for a few days at least, just to be sure the building is stable.

Jan 21, 2015
egit in Outer Boroughs

Hollow bread?

This is really funny. When I saw the subject heading I thought "oh dear, i wonder if they mean Challah bread and don't know the word for it..."

I like Vanity Loaf though. Next time that happens to me, I'll say I mean to do it!

Jan 20, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

A restarutant trend that should die in 2015:

Hi All --

OP here. I guess I was a little hyperbolic. Certainly this practice is far from "offensive." There are far worse things that could happen to someone. I know there are times when a restaurant only has a few portions of a special dish, and they want to save it for some regular customers, or wouldn't even want to offer it as a special because there are only 2-3 portions of it.

And obviously some ethnic restaurants do this for various reasons.

I'll be a little more specific with my examples, but it's certainly not limited to these. This has long been a "thing" with In-n-Out Burger. The list of "secret" special ways to order your burger to unlock the hidden magic of InO is longer than the actual menu. This is fine, I guess. I don't go to InO because I live in NYC and there aren't any here. And InO has been around a long time. These things evolve after a while.

Recently I read something about Shake Shack also having "secret" orders, and it bothered me. Shake Shack hasn't been around that long, so the secret orders were very likely the result of a conscious effort to promulgate the "secret." I guess so people In The Know could display their worthiness. This isn't about limited ingredients. It's not about something that might disgust the delicate American Palate. It's about low cost hamburgers.

Why does it bother me? I'm not entirely sure, but as I've been typing up this post, it's been getting under my skin again. I guess because it feels manipulative, building a false sense of In group vs. Out group. (heh). Danny Meyer is the owner Shake Shack, and he's a master restauranteur. I doubt it was an accident that secret orders developed.

But beyond low-cost burgers and the eye-rollingly obvious efforts to build hype, this happens in other, higher end places as well. It seems to be in places that cater to "in-the-know foodies." The kinds of people who read all the reviews, both professional and not. It's not the chain/-let places. I remember having this kind of conversation more than once, "Oh, you want to that new place, XYZ? Did you order the Pork Chop like I told you about?" "Umm... no, I don't think it was on the menu." "Oh, it's never on the menu, you have to ask for it..."

It's true, I don't have to go to places that do that. In fact, I tend not to. I guess it irks me because, while they're certainly delivering what I ordered, at $25/plate (or whatever) I feel a little annoyed that one of their best dishes is being withheld from my hard earned cash. And no, if whatever I got instead of the Divine Pork Chop didn't please me, I won't go back. It's about knowing that the restaurant is playing the Artificial Hype PR-Game with diners who don't have the secret decoder ring. Maybe this kind of thing only happens in places where the restaurant scene is already frenetically overheated.

I guess I'm just getting too old for that nonsense.

Jan 12, 2015
egit in Not About Food

A restarutant trend that should die in 2015:

It won't die in 2015. It won't die ever, I don't think. But it seems more prevalent in the last 5 years than before.

Secret Menu Items.

How offensive is that? Am I the only one who's offended by it? I guess it makes some people feel good to order something in the hopes that their neighbor overhears them and believes them "cool" because of it. It smacks of in-group/out-group cliqueish-ness.

I know places like/need to acknowledge their regular customers. There are other, less invidious ways to do it though. Send out an extra app, comp their cocktails or desserts, etc. To have secret things on the menu seems to imply that the first time customer (or 20th time customer, even) can't even HAVE the entree sitting on their neighbors table. They haven't earned the privilege yet.

"I'll have the Double Double Lobster Style Paella Burger please." "Oh... sorry sir, that's only available to our gold star diners, you have about 50 more visits before you can have that."

I feel like certain ethnic cuisines may be exempt from this, as reading "pickled fish intestines" may be off-putting for the squeamish. I'm talking about the kinds of places where you have to be one of the cool kids to even know it's available.

Just put it on the #$%^&@% menu!

Jan 08, 2015
egit in Not About Food

Help with Moro Rice

I think it's clear the beans in the first picture have more of a red tint than simply being darker. Try the tomato paste. The second picture clearly has none, or very little.

Dec 31, 2014
egit in Home Cooking

Can I use yellow cornmeal for creamy polenta?

Oh, that's really interesting. I didn't realize that. Thanks! I've always just thought of Hominy as a prefix word for grits; that grits were, *by definition* made from hominy.

Dec 31, 2014
egit in Home Cooking

Can I use yellow cornmeal for creamy polenta?

Yeah, well, don't even get me started on Philly Cheesesteaks. :-)

Dec 30, 2014
egit in Home Cooking

Can I use yellow cornmeal for creamy polenta?

Okay, fair enough. I guess I got my dander up over what I was perceiving as an "Authenticity Authority" tone from your post above. A food as ubiquitous and simple as polenta is prepared in so many different ways (as you also noted above) that the search for authenticity is a fool's errand. As far as I'm concerned, the simpler the preparation, the better. The less processed the corn meal, also probably the better. And forget instant.

Truth be told, I've never been to Northern Italy, much less been served polenta from someone's grandmother. I'm sure I'd love it. I have had polenta in some pretty good Italian restaurants around NYC, so I'm going on faith that those renditions were at least faithful to the spirit of what polenta is supposed to be.

One thing I'd like to point out though. Grits are NOT polenta. Grits are typically made from hominy. Hominy is corn that's been treated in an alkaline solution until the skin of the kernel has broken down.

Dec 30, 2014
egit in Home Cooking

Can I use yellow cornmeal for creamy polenta?

foreverhungry -- I guess I'm a little confused by your assertion that cornmeal isn't polenta. Can you share any information on what kinds of corn/grinds would be more authentic?

Typically when I prepare my "polenta-like product" for dinner, I use a 5:1 liquid/grain ratio, simmer the liquid (usually chx stock), add a little salt and maybe olive oil, then whisk in ground corn in a thin stream. Typically with 1 cup of cornmeal, this takes roughly 20-30 seconds to get a sense of the pace. Then I simmer it slowly, stirring frequently until done--typically 30-40 minutes. At the end I'll taste it for seasoning, sometimes I'll throw in some grated cheese (romano, parmesan, etc.) sometimes butter, etc.

I buy the Goya brand course corn meal. I like the coarser grind because I feel more like I'm eating corn.

Is it food? Yeah.
Is it tasty? Yeah.
Is it Polenta? Um... I guess it depends who you ask.
Does it really matter? No. Not to me.

Dec 29, 2014
egit in Home Cooking
1

Where can I buy live cockles near Park Slope?

The seafood shop on 7th avenue just south of 3rd street usually has them. When I get them, I usually get them there. I don't remember the name. Failing that, maybe Fish Tales in Cobble Hill.

There's also the other seafood shop which used to be on 7th which just moved to 5th Ave, but I don't shop there. I don't remember that place's name either. :-)

Dec 23, 2014
egit in Outer Boroughs

Where Best Places for Local Brews ?

Check out Local 61 (or 61 Local or something like that). It's 61 Bergen Street just west of Smith. They have maybe 8-10 taps and their beers are ALL local. I think in their definition local means less than 50 miles from NYC--so no New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, etc. But I'm not really sure. You probably won't find any Bluepoint or Brooklyn Brewery offerings there. They do mostly very small brewers.

Anyway, the only beers they pour are local and they change it up all the time. Caveat: I haven't been there in some time.

Dec 12, 2014
egit in Outer Boroughs

Does anyone know of a bar that serves Eggnog?

Well, since you ask about Manhattan, the Waterfront Ale House on 31st and 2nd will almost definitely have it. As Steve R says, the WFA on Atlantic may or may not, since they're closing soon.

Dec 09, 2014
egit in Outer Boroughs

Waterfront Alehouse Closing 12/28

For what it's worth, I think the closest equivalent to WAH might be Henry Street Ale House. They have an interesting and ever-changing beer list. And their food is in the same genre: high quality pub food. Admittedly, I don't eat there very often because I normally go there just for a drink or two.

Dec 02, 2014
egit in Outer Boroughs