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Fairview Heights/Belleville Area International Grocery Stores

Bob's Seafood is easily the best in STL for seafood & fish. Mostly wholesale; i.e. , restaurants,. so high turnover. Not as big a selection as WF but better & cheaper. (I'm a native New Englander and formerly a pro chef.)
If they don't have something you want, ask and they'll see what what they can do.You can usually get bones for stock - call first.

Bob's Seafood
8660 Olive Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63132

Aug 18, 2010
Richard 16 in Great Plains

Best Pizza in St. Louis – WITHIN Parameters

Thanks for the heads up ammy! Sauce still has Laganini as having no wheel chair access..

Aug 13, 2010
Richard 16 in Great Plains

Does Brown Rice Freeze Well?

You certainly can freeze. The best wayI know of is to reheat with steam.

Aug 09, 2010
Richard 16 in Home Cooking

Rice in a Pressure Cooker?

As I posted earlier using the "Mt. Fuji method" eliminates the need for measured ratios. You will find that printed ratios show that ratios of water to rice go down the more rice is used. And it's incrredibly easy!

Aug 09, 2010
Richard 16 in Home Cooking

Best Pizza in St. Louis – WITHIN Parameters

Laganini does not have a wheelchair access, so for me it's a no go.
Farraros has their second store in the South County. Slightly thicker than a New York style (few people would even notice) still easy enough to fold a piece. As Mario says, the crust is the most the most important part of a pizza. It's extremely good, if they had an 800° oven like LaPizza I would be much, much, fatter.

Aug 08, 2010
Richard 16 in Great Plains

54th St.. Grill

Going to the 54th St., Grill on Wednesday (not my choice) for dinner with an old friend and my wife. He does appreciate good food, but somehow this was picked. If we do wind up going there is anything good there? What should I avoid? I'm easy to please but difficult to impress.

Jul 26, 2010
Richard 16 in Chains

Tips and Tricks for Cooking Corn on the Cob?

I am certainly not going to make you like boiled corn. But it seems to me that with a couple of tricks it can be pretty darned good. (Although I do prefer roasted corn.)
1) I posted this earlier but I'll say it again: a save the boiling water, reduce, and freeze. add back some water, cook, reduce and reuse, each time giving the corn more corn flavor.
2) as others have noted add sugar to the water.'
3) Try a different sauce – clarified butter, umeboshi plum, roasted garlic/onion, etc. etc.
4) Flavor the water with some vegetables and/or herbs - such as rosemary. Not my preferred approach but some people love it.

Jul 25, 2010
Richard 16 in Home Cooking

Anybody catch Throwdown with Mark Israel of Doughnut Plant?

And it is *lobster* *truffle* mac & cheese! Sure, it is technically mac & cheese but with those two things it is a substantially different item. How do you compete against that unless you're willing to charge a lot more for mac & cheese –usually a lower priced item.
Unlike Delilah (and most of us) you can see the future. It is easy to lambaste others when you can see what they can't.

Jul 23, 2010
Richard 16 in Food Media & News

Ask Sushi Man

I would hope get that simply asking for the *type* of crab used would get an honest answer. Quite frankly if the menu has "crab" we should be able to automatically get actual crab and not some substitute,
OTOH "krab" (or any similar euphemism) isn't *bad* per se, but calling it "crab" is wrong. I prefer (as with most of us) the real thing, but I've been known to order Krab occasionally.

Jul 16, 2010
Richard 16 in General Topics

What's your "secret ingredient?"

Allergy to anchovies is relatively common and can be very serious. Anchovies are also used in a variety of sauces including Caesar salad dressing sauce, fish sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Sure to ask your guests if they have *any* food allergies. Having a guest on the floor gasping can be a real downer to any party.

Jun 07, 2010
Richard 16 in Home Cooking

Can You Cook with the Water Used to Soak Beans?

Gordo has some good tips in his video but is completely wrong on using the soaking water when it comes to nutrition.

It's not simply a question of gas. Beans contain anti-nutrients such as phytates and trypsin inhibitors, and some have specialized complex sugars that can contribute to painful gases produced in the mammalian gut. Some people handle the sugars better than others, but there seems to be little question that using the soaking water -- which now contains defensive anti-nutrients -- is less healthy. If you want to develop flavor from the water -- use the cooking water or a stock of some sort.

Deborah of CHOW gives a link
)to a previous discussion on this topic. I have two comments in this thread both with various references to the science involved.
Here is another:

Apr 14, 2010
Richard 16 in Features

Pad Thai--is it an authentically Thai dish?

Exactly, thew. traditional, classic, and similar terms are tossed around seemingly to emphasize what the speaker wants it to. Are tomatoes an Italian Ingredient? if we go back only a few hundred years they are not -- since, of course, they originated in Central and South America. the same with potatoes and Ireland. Of course tomatoes were thought of as poisonous, as were nightshades and general -- hence the term deadly nightshade.

Does it bother anyone else here that terms like "classic" are tossed around by advertisers subverting their meaning? How can anything be an "instant classic"? I MO simply using terms like "traditional" only have meaning in context. This would make pad Thai either "traditional" because it is so ubiquitous, or not "traditional" in the sense that it hasn't been around for thousands of years in Thailand.

An antique car is, what, one that's over 25 years? (I don't really know...) as we all know, apples did not originate in the Americas -- but what about the phrase "as American as apple pie"?

in every place I've ever seen it Pad Thai i listed as a Thai dish. I make a great pad Thai and I'm a white Jewish boy from the burbs. Except for the fresh vegetables and proteins most of the items are in the Thai section. and I often use a great mirin in mine; obviously not a traditional Thai ingredient.

Oh well. I may be curious about its origins, but the best part is it tastes great!

Apr 07, 2010
Richard 16 in General Topics

Ask Sushi Man

Hmmmm... I guess I just didn't think of inari as a roll.
One of the best pieces of inari I've had had small pieces of arame in it. So easy to do at home; I add a few drops of toasted sesame oil. Something else I like to do a home is sprinkle red Hawaiian sea salt and black sesame seeds on top. Very pretty. The

Question: store-bought tofu skins are so easy to use. Are there any advantages to making your own?

Mar 29, 2010
Richard 16 in General Topics

Sukoyaka Genmai

Hi Amy!

It's really good! Makes great sushi rice texture-wise, with a touch of nuttiness yet gentle enough for the full regular range for sushi. It's good plain, too. Whiteness, when cooked, is very similar to white as it's the germ that's retained.

It's up there with my favorite, Tamanashiki. Let us know what you think!

Mar 06, 2010
Richard 16 in Home Cooking

The Four Worst Restaurant Etiquette Gaffes

Sure, Cape. I'm guessing you mean Bosnians, since there's such a big population here in St. Louis.;-). But I moved here after my restaurant days, so I can't help you there.

Servers are, in my experience, a pretty cynical bunch. We form cynical opinions about every group. OTOH, we're results oriented. We're pretty fluid about judging individuals - treat us like humans and tip well, and we won't care if you're a blue skinned Andoran with antenna. And your attitude counts a lot more than ethnicity.

OK - I'll bite with the stereotypes. And that's what they are - stereotypes. We're usually cynical but changeable. OK - some servers are just nasty, but hey - don't bind me up with them.

Blacks. Poor tippers. A wide variety of maintenance levels. Some obnoxious (especially a guy trying to impress a girl; true of white kids too). Families can be really nice, especially if you're good with kids.

Italians & Greeks: Very good tippers (Italians better), fun, low maintenance but will sit at the table - and sit, and sit...

Business people. Great when the company is paying, and usually low maintenance, but will often sit... On their own dime - they're, well, businessy, especially at lunch. Business women at lunch - wide range of maintenance, small meals, **exactly** 15%, and separate checkland that takes 2-3 days for them to figure out.

Clergy (and I'm married to a Methodist PK): Very nice & low maintenance (after a gazillion questions when ordering), small meals, and water to drink. 10-15%, but then it's the churches dime. And they won't sit too long.

Jews. (I'm Jewish!) Lousy tippers or *great* tippers. Fairly high maintenance.

Doctors & CPAs - exactly 15%, generally low maintenance.

Chinese: Poor tippers; moderate maintenance.
Japanese: Good tippers; fairly low maintenance. Very polite.
Koreans: One Korean chef - owner told me he'd never open a Korea restaurant because they're cheap and demanding. Hmmmm... My experiences were more moderate.

The best? Current and former waiters and gays. Get yourself a table of gay waiters after they've come off shift elsewhere. Work hard but mentally relax. Bonus.

I know I've left off groups, and other servers' experiences may be different. BTW - any of you that take this seriously need to get a grip.


Feb 21, 2010
Richard 16 in Features

The Four Worst Restaurant Etiquette Gaffes

Ron, you may have figured out that most of our reactions are from those of us in the USA. Bringing up other places social customs is fine if you want to *discuss* cultural contrasts/comparisons.

But the holder of my car loan couldn't care less. They want their money, and I don't blame them. I want my car - in fact I need my car. I can (and do) advocate for public transit, but for now and for the foreseable future, I need it. Do you blame me?

I have waited (or served - what's so horrible about that word?) in three star restaurants and one four star. Many people were lifelong pros. Take away their tips and we'd lose these wonderful, experienced people. Is that what you want, here in the USA's reality?

This the real dining out and tipping culture of the USA, whether or not you or I like it. The options above stand.

Feb 21, 2010
Richard 16 in Features

Su-kinua (Quinua)

Amaranth goes great brown rice, even better with brown basmati, especially pressure cooked. I use about a 4:1 BR to Am ratio.

For straight amaranth (or even the combo):

Use a big pot with a tight fitting lid. Get the liquid to a rolling boil. Pan toast the grains until pretty hot. (Cute little popped ones if too hot.)

Turn down the heat under the liquid. Slowly add the hot amaranth to the liquid - it should boil furiously at first. Cover and cook; don' t peak.

Feb 16, 2010
Richard 16 in Home Cooking

The Four Worst Restaurant Etiquette Gaffes

There are plenty of examples of rudeness, as we've already read here. Another example is the boor trying to impress a lady. Talks loudly on their cell, snaps at the server, complains about perfectly good food, insists on favors, etc.

It's tough to complain about good service, although a high end place should have well timed service. In my example the rude guy at first usually feels flattered by all the attention. Then, as time goes on, the brief and oh-so-gentle appearances keep going. Since they're by different people it's hard to criticize.

And these people are horrific tippers.

OK, I only did it few times (hard to organize when busy) but they were very satisfying. And all they had to do was ask their server.

Feb 16, 2010
Richard 16 in Features

The Four Worst Restaurant Etiquette Gaffes

For a server one of the harder aspects of BYOB is cutting off a customer that's had too much. The customer is already drunk and you can't mollify them by not charging them for their wine, and in every place I've worked it's illegal to leave with an opened bottle.

For the servers and managers, here's a little trick for the rude customer: (I've posted this before on CH.) :
Over-service. One by one different servers and managers come by and *very* politely and quickly check on the table. Nothing pushy; It's the accumulation of visits that does it. It's actually fun.

Feb 16, 2010
Richard 16 in Features

Raw Food Diet

How is it a scam if you can to the library, borrow books, talk to people, go to web sites, etc. - all for free? And with a little thought the food is cheap and the preparation easy.

Of *course* there are scam artists out there. They range from individual book sales up to tobacco companies. There are fake olive oils, but not all of them are fake. Caveat Emptor. But to prejudge all of them is just plain, well, silly.

Feb 15, 2010
Richard 16 in Not About Food

Su-kinua (Quinua)

Hi Folks!

Has anyone here used or heard of quinua being used instead of rice?
The recipe linked to below is more kimbap than sushi, but I wonder if the nuttiness of the kinua would work well with a su? Quinua is delicious and is *much* healthier than white rice.
I'm going to experiment anyway, but ideas will be appreciated.

Feb 15, 2010
Richard 16 in Home Cooking

Best Pizza in St. Louis . . .

Feraro's now has a location in S. County - Baptist Church at Tesson Ferry. I find the crust is just a little thicker than NY.; very foldable (to give you a sense of the thinness) with an excellent crust. No wood or brick, but an 800 degree oven.

Feb 02, 2010
Richard 16 in Great Plains

Good way to doctor up jar spaghetti sauce?

Laugh all you want, but many of the top chefs in the world (such as Mario) will often use high quality canned tomatoes. (As above, I like the "fire roasted" Muir Glen.) Adding some of these to a jarred sauce just right before plating really perks it up.

Question: You use "Italian seasoning"? As opposed to fresh herbs? Or separate dried ones? Personally I find that being able to control the specificity of what I'm using lets me match a sauce better to the rest of the sauce's ingredients as well as the rest of the meal. This works very well with jarred sauces.

Jan 06, 2010
Richard 16 in Home Cooking

You don't like that?!

Doesn't the spoon make it kind of crunchy?

Nov 16, 2009
Richard 16 in General Topics

Best and Worst Cooking Shows

It's a pan mostly used for japanese omelettes and it's called a tamago-yaki. They keep the final product even across the width, whereas rounded pans make more of a cigar shape. (The latter OK for chiffonade and maybe just to eat, but difficult to slice evenly for sashimi or sushi.)

You can use use it elsewhere (where are my saute pans?) but it's more of of a unitasker.

Nov 15, 2009
Richard 16 in Food Media & News

Knives in St. Louis

Bertarelli Cutlery in the Hill is a small but well equipped restaurant supplier, including a small selection of good quality knives.They have a great knife sharpening service as well. A fun store to wander around.

How bad does accepting credit cards hurt small restaurants?

I'm not sure, but I'm reasonably certain it is a violation of a CC's contract to charge anything more - a cash vs. CC cost, a fee or whatever you you want to call it - for CC cards customers. You don't get charge less for cash customers.

Sep 17, 2009
Richard 16 in Not About Food

Can You Cook with the Water Used to Soak Beans?

JanRan and others, including Rancho Gordo, seem to keep not mentioning the major point I linked to above - soaking the beans in warm water (140 F) is the only known way to dramatically reduce the phytic acid content. The PA reduces the availability of valuable nutrients.

As for tummy music, here are two studies that, at least within the confines of the studies, that soaking and discarding the soaking water reduces that which causes the music.

Your tummy, however, may march to the tone of a different tuba.

Sep 11, 2009
Richard 16 in Features

Sukoyaka Genmai

I had been reading about Sukoyaka genmai, a partially milled rice. Finally bought some.

Has anyone else here used it for sushi? How does it compare in flavor, texture and stickiness? Any particular items it plays well with, or less well? Has anyone here experimented using different su mixtures?

How about other uses?

Sep 08, 2009
Richard 16 in Home Cooking

Can You Cook with the Water Used to Soak Beans?

Beans have phytic acid, which decreases the absorption of many nutrients. Health wise the best way is to soak in warm water first then discard the water. Two good sites:

Sep 06, 2009
Richard 16 in Features