KenWritez's Profile

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How to pronounce Phillipe's

All my family, and everyone I know pronounces it "fuh-LEE-pays." I've never heard it pronounced any other way.

Oct 25, 2009
KenWritez in Not About Food

I fed a vegetarian lard by mistake. Do I tell her?

I disagree, ricepad. "Let sleeping dogs lie." Sage advice. Telling her accomplishes nothing positive and only upsets her to no good end. It could even spell the end of your friendship if she can't get past the incident ("You poisoned me and didn't tell me!")

I've been in lulu's situation. I fed a vegetarian some stir-fried broccoli in oyster sauce and she loved it. It wasn't until she was done eating I realized what had happened. By then, I figured she'd already eaten it so nothing to be done.

Lulu, you've made the right decision, IMHO. Keep quiet and read the labels more carefully in the future.

Oct 24, 2009
KenWritez in Not About Food

Virgin Drink Reminder

Pointing a finger at Helena and accusing her of being an alcoholic goes too far, IMHO. That's making a sweeping decision based wholly on one circumstantial fact.

To the people who say, "I'd never attend a party without alcohol," I respect your preference even tho I disagree with it. I believe you're needlessly limiting yourself by making alcohol your social crutch. If you have to drink to tolerate others or make them more interesting, then again, you're either hanging around the wrong people or you ARE the wrong people.

I've been to plenty of wet and dry parties and had equally good and bad times at both. One of the only positive differences is at dry parties there's usually no long line for the bathrooms.

Oct 23, 2009
KenWritez in Features

Virgin Drink Reminder

Not a party without alcohol? Twaddle.Helena, if you must have alcohol to endure a party, you're inviting the wrong people.

Your statement is on the same level as saying, "It's not a party without matzoh."

Oct 22, 2009
KenWritez in Features

Ace of Cakes & Hygiene

Human flesh?

Oct 18, 2009
KenWritez in Food Media & News

Ace of Cakes & Hygiene

AFAIK no one has immunity to salmonella. Touching raw chicken and then touching other surfaces does not guarantee the passing on of food poisoning. Doing so just makes it more likely. Look at the the Third World street food vendors you see on travel shows. They demonstrate enough unsafe food handling to turn a health inspector's hair white, yet their customers aren't dying in droves from botulism or salmonella. (Could be the immune systems of someone in Laos or Calcutta are probably more robust than ours?) I'm not saying unsafe food handling is trivial, just that it's by no means a guarantee and many people go years without experiencing it despite being exposed to circumstances favoring it.

Oct 18, 2009
KenWritez in Food Media & News

Fresno: Bella Pasta II

If I received a glass of wine with an onion in it--and I hadn't requested it--I would have the same reaction as you.

For some bizarre reason, I tend to have the opposite experiences of most people. For example: 'Hounds raved about Don Fernando's on Auberry Rd. When the Sturdy Wench and I ate dinner there, the food was so bad we sent it back.

Perhaps Bella Pasta has a new chef or kitchen manager?

Oct 18, 2009
KenWritez in California

Lasagna alla Bolognese

The only truly "authentic" foods are raw meat and fresh produce. After that, every cook introduces variations. Every dish is the result of countless experiments, adaptations and substitutions. If our culture is healthy, the fdishes we eat now will change somewhat in the future.

Oct 15, 2009
KenWritez in Recipes

How many people buy supermarket chicken and meat?

< Will I go to foodie hell?>

Chowpatty, by the powers vested in me by the State of California health code and her foodie holiness St. Julia Child, I hereby pronounce your perpetual State of Gastronomic Grace, thus delivering you from the fears and evil glamour of the hype machine that besets and afflicts so much of the world of consumer food. Go in peace and fredom, daughter, content in the realization of the innocence of your motives and the purity of your intent. Reject forever the devilish glamour of the hankie-twisters, fear mongers and the small-minded.

Go in peace, eat in freedom.

Oct 15, 2009
KenWritez in General Topics

Ace of Cakes & Hygiene

Haven't been hospitalized with food posioning, but I have had my bouts with f.p. at home.

I've seen the show many times and I'm satisfied with their levels of food safety. Unless they're doing dangerous things off-camera, but Duff seems professional enough not to allow that.

Oct 15, 2009
KenWritez in Food Media & News

Admit it... There's Some Dishes at Chain Restaurants You Like

Well, if you washed your hands you woldn't be sticking, now would you? ;)>

Great fun jousting with you, E. I feel the need now to re-read some P. G. W. to get back my mojo...

...and go to Taco Bell for some grilled steak tacos. MMMmmmmmMMM!

Oct 11, 2009
KenWritez in Chains

Admit it... There's Some Dishes at Chain Restaurants You Like

The evidence below contradicts your claim, thus I suggest in all humility and bon homie your information to be incorrect. A review of your source(s) may be in order. "Weasels in the henhouse means no rubber in the gazpacho," as my grandmother used to say.

In 2004 the Beeb were cleared of all indictments by British House of Common Lords and their expose of the McDonalds anti-Taco Bell misprisionments upheld. Unfortunately, the news organs you refer to had already repeated the spurious claims and thus the story gained momentum despite being disproved.

McDonals was then rightly accused or being hate speech in and of itself and fined 75p and a piece of cotton string.

The Taco Bell gene therapy has exciting ramifictions. Ig gene therapy can provide the blessings of Taco Bell, why not gene therapy for humanely-raised foie gras, chicken-fried steak or Burger King's Whopper Junior with extra grilled onions?

Oct 10, 2009
KenWritez in Chains

Canned stock vs. bouillon cubes

Why not do a side-by-side taste test and see for yoursef?

Oct 10, 2009
KenWritez in General Topics

Admit it... There's Some Dishes at Chain Restaurants You Like

There is exciting news on this front: New developments in gene therapy suggest cellular DNA transplanted into a woolly llama, which is then exposed to high frequency tacobell-ion impact via being dragged through the Taco Bell drive thru, and then reinserted into the human source host, might be modified in such as way as to activate the Taco Bell gene. This development, if true, is (no other word for it) life-changing! Millions of people, now doomed and living without hope, could embrace the opportunity to revel in Taco Bell as do those fortunate others!

BTW: The allegations against Pushme, Pullyou? BBC aired a report proving said allegations were fabricated by disgruntled McDonald's managers and leaked to the press.

You are correct on the "genetic short straw." Gene therapy however, is providing hope for these people, as I stated above.

Oct 10, 2009
KenWritez in Chains

Healthy Mini Pizza Roll Adventure

<<You must be getting paid to write these reviews from the manufacturer.>>

Lisa: Unclench, girl. If the reviewer was being bribed, wouldn't you expect him to write a glowing review, not this "They don't suck as much as Totino's"?

Oct 08, 2009
KenWritez in Features

WTF Safeway Blog?

AIUI (and I could be misinformed) in commercial food photography the Feds prohibit the use of anything that would render the photographed food inedible or is not food itself. So, no glass marbles in the bottom of soup bowls to make veg soup look thicker, no hairspray in cooked chicken. et al.

Oct 08, 2009
KenWritez in Features

Michael Ruhlman: Expert in Residence!

Sorry, nothing about charcuterie here.

Michael, I'm finishing my first novel and for a future project I'd like to write or co-write a cookbook (I have a specific focus if you'd like to hear about it.)

When you worked on "The French Laundry," what kind of pre-writing prep did you do apart from recipe testing? How did you decide what questions to ask? How did you maintain a consistent voice throughout all its many pages? Assuming you're still on speaking terms with Thomas Keller after moving in with him (IIRC), how did you keep your relationship with him smooth, especially after asking him countless questions?

I will cease with my countless questions now. Thanks so much for your help.

Oct 07, 2009
KenWritez in General Topics

Fresno: Bella Pasta II

My wife, aka the lovely Sturdy Wench, and I have dined twice at Bella Pasta II on Cedar and Herndon in Fresno.

Fabian and Carmela, the outgoing and friendly owner and his wife, came by and introduced themselves to us that first night. We enjoyed meeting them and we talked for almost 20 minutes about the restaurant, the restaurant business, pasta, cooking, recipes, et al.

The first night I had the Spaghetti Della Mamma ($16.95) - "Pasta with homemade meatballs & meat sauce." (A) The next night was the Pappardelle Campagnola ($17.95) - "Ribbon pasta served with tender chicken breast, fresh mushrooms, & peas in a light tomato sauce." (A)

The SW had Lasagna Al Ragu ($16.95) - "Lasagna with homemade meat sauce" (A) and then next night was Polenta Con Salsiccia E Funghi ($17.95) - "Northern Italian cornmeal, robust sausage, mushroom & tomato sauce." (A+)

Both dishes were outstanding. The pastas were perfectly cooked and the food was served hot and in a reasonable time. The food tasted home-made, never the jarring note of a can or Sysco food pack. The sauces are all made in-house, only the pasta and bread are sourced. The pasta is from Sam's Italian Deli in Fresno. The first time I was there I expected a typical DiCicco's red sauced slab of pasta and meat. Instead, the dishes had a dark, much less tomato-heavy southern Italian sauce, which did not overwhelm the pasta. Neither dish was sauce-heavy. Portions were generous. We had take home after each dinner.

The only downside I can think of, and I have to really reach for this one, was the sparse amount of peas in the pappardelle. I would have preferred more than just the spoonful I saw. This is like complaining Sophia Loren has ugly toes.

The SW loved her dishes. The polenta was of a different texture than what she was expecting, so it took a few bites for her to get comfortable with it, but she did so easily.

The flavors were rich, robust, mildly earthy, and highlighted meat more than tomatoes. The meatballs were golf ball-sized, light and tasty.

The wait staff was friendly, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and seemed truly interested in making sure you were having the best time you could there.

Special mention for the pappardelle. This twisty, curling ribbon pasta was wonderfully al dente, offering just enough resistance to make eating it a pleasure.

The ambiance is intimate with darker, richer colors predominating. Large, colorful posters in Italian for Italian foods and services line the walls. Seating is armless wooden chairs and banquettes. Bella Pasta offers a full bar.

Bella Pasta is the northern Fresno/Clovis answer to "Where can I get some great Italian food?" I recommend it highly.

-----
Bella Pasta II
7033 N Cedar Ave, Fresno, CA 93720

Oct 07, 2009
KenWritez in California

So what's in your tuna sandwich?

Inexpensive water-packed tuna (We're on a budget)
Mayonesa con Limon (mayo w/ lime)
Sweet pickle relish
Chopped celery
Chopped yellow or green onion (depends what I have)
Chopped fresh dill or parsley
Chopped hard-boiled egg
Dab of yellow mustard
Raisins
Sliced almonds (if I have them)
Old Bay to taste
Garlic powder
Fresh ground black pepper
Few dried red chili flakes for brightness

Sep 24, 2009
KenWritez in Home Cooking

Checks Check Out

<<Dan Mitchell cheers the move, noting of check writers: “You want to kill them, or at least say something nasty to them.” Time is money, apparently, particularly when you’ve got a stack of people grumbling behind you as you fill in the dollar amount for a second time, using words instead of numbers.>>

Aww, poor babies! Mama's widdo snookums gots ta wait a whole extra three minutes for inconsiderate ol' lady to write her check!
Quick! Call the wah-mbulance!

Sep 24, 2009
KenWritez in Features

Fresno's Year-round Vineyard Farmers Market

Great pics, thanks for taking them. I love the Vinyard Mkt, and I love it even more after the summer heat passes! lolol....

Sep 22, 2009
KenWritez in California

When boiing potatos, does salting the water add flavor?

See for yourself. Boil one potato in plain water. Boil a similarly-sized spud the same length of time in heavily salted water, and taste both results. The salted water potato tastes much better.

Sep 22, 2009
KenWritez in Home Cooking

Restaurant Week - Fresno

I don't see that many restos on the list. Where's Trelio, Cracked Pepper, Hunan, Wassabi, Thai Royal Orchid (or *any* Thai place)?

Sep 18, 2009
KenWritez in California

Can You Cook with the Water Used to Soak Beans?

Once I forgot to drain the soaking water when cooking a pot of beans, and that pot ended up as the best tasting pot of beans I ever had! It had such a great flavor and reminded me of the taste of frijoles I ate as a child.

So no, I don't toss the soaking water--that's all flavor! As long as everyone has some of the beans, then no one has to worry about the gas.

Sep 11, 2009
KenWritez in Features

Fresno: Where to find the best...?

There is no wrong time of day for fresh raw oysters on the half shell!

Aug 18, 2009
KenWritez in California

Admit it... There's Some Dishes at Chain Restaurants You Like

I fear your conclusions are flawed, EWSF. No doubt you've been misinformed.

The Taco Bell gene has been found in X chromosomes (Limeswiller and Rhoadkyll, 2006) so it can hardly be sex-linked.

Relaxing after eating a Crucnhwrap Supreme cannot be genetically-based behavior. Otherwise, people who appreciate waterfalls would have to have a special gene for that.

Lack of a normal gene doesn't confer normalcy on any organism. Given that the Taco Bell gene has been linked to the genes for trombone-playing, piloting aircraft and developing anti-cancer drugs (Pushme, Pullyou 1997) and those genetic sports that lack this gene develop into tabloid reporters, tv psychics and members of Congress, the evidence speaks for itself.

Aug 16, 2009
KenWritez in Chains

Fresno: Where to find the best...?

I'm happy to volunteer my place. It's comfortable, easy to find and we have a large back yard with an 8 person table and a gas grill, and we have plenty of shade.

My oyster preference is for smaller, more strongly flavored cold water oysters like Blue Points or Washington Kumomotos.

Aug 16, 2009
KenWritez in California

The Basics: How to Make Gazpacho

Tomato juice is easier and faster and best when tomatoes are out of season. If I can get them, I prefer the taste of summer tomatoes pureed and strained as a substitute for commercial tomato juice.

I find adding a bit of tomato paste really punches up the tomato flavor if it's lacking.

French Foodie is right; gazpacho should be served chilled, in a chilled bowl. I suggest a minimum of 5-6 hrs or overnight.

Aug 13, 2009
KenWritez in Features

PHO in FresNO

My wife's BIL really likes Mai's restaurant for pho. I've only had it at Pho 75 on McKinley, and it was darn good.

Aug 07, 2009
KenWritez in California

Fresno: Where to find the best...?

I've never heard of a ramen house. I'm guessing the title is self-explanatory. Would Imperial Garden or perhaps Hunan have what you need, or is ramen strictly a Japanese thing?

Aug 07, 2009
KenWritez in California