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Everything posted by stagis

  1. Red vs. green jalapenos is basically the same as red vs. green bells. And I'm also one who will bypass green jalapenos for reds every time. If I'm in the supermarket and they've got a pile of jalapenos sitting there, if the greens are starting to change to red, I'll buy 'em and wait for the ripening to finish on the shelf......it's worth the wait :)
  2. Not the worst meal - but definitely the worst smell: In Navy boot camp circa 1978. North Chicago, Illinois. During the January blizzard and after. C'mon - it's like 10 below out, we're smashed nut-to-butt (boot-camp instructor term) to keep warm, the wind's blowing 25mph.....how did they get THAT smell to stick around? It was enough to take the edge off.......every morning.
  3. When I'm at a store, I'll nab a bag of Salt & Vinegars. When making my own, I'll make sweet potato with salt and lime.....
  4. stagis

    Jerky: The Topic

    There's many jerky sites on the web. (I've never used the 'jerky shooter'. Anyone else? That's the hamburger equivalent of the cookie gun) My jerky varies with how I feel and the contents of my fridge/spice cabinet, but in general: Soy Sauce liquid smoke wee bit of oil sugar or not garlic powder onion powder hot pepper sauce Worcestershire Sauce or not I use a dehydrator. I'm honestly not too happy with this one. I don't remember the brand, but it's got both a heating element and a fan, and it dries stuff RIGHT NOW, and the edges get crumbly while the centers stay a little moist. I prefer the natural-convection/heating element kind. Meat type? What Dave said.
  5. Did it with Scotch :). Travelling on business, I was staying at the Mountain View Inn in Latrobe, PA. The restaurant menu was terrible. Well, actually the menu was good looking - but the food was terrible. Lotsa steam-table and pre-chilled, etc... Anyway - their appetizer menu was good, as was the food. I'd head for the bar. Ken the bartender and I both loved motorcycles and hated sports, so we'd talk bikes. I'd order 2 appetizers, and then, starting at the left of their topshelf Scotch line, have 2 a night. Never did find one I liked, though Knockando was worth returning to. Bourbon rules.
  6. Devilled egg agreement - at least to the point that they'll all disappear....... We should probably test this assumption at somebody else's picnic and bring like a gazillion deviled eggs. I haven't see the limit reached yet.
  7. *grin* The Big E - Eastern States' Exposition in Springield, MA. It's not until September, though. Let's see: Those gigantic square donuts - size of a dinner plate. Sausage and Peppers on a Hard Roll. Slather on the hot sauce. After breakfast: A couple bags of salt water taffy to tide you over whilst meandering over to the state buildings. Each New England state provides a building to showcase the state's features - and food. So - in to Maine for a stuffed baked potato. On to Rhode Island for clam cakes or chowder, then just a little maple-sugar candy in Vermont before dessert - apple cobbler in Connecticut. Now for lunch we head to the Greek Orthodox trailer for a gyro sandwich as an appetizer, then walk it off as we head back to the Congregational Church for a chicken dinner. Over to Storrowton Village (little make-believe New England village with a green) to listen to a fife and drum corps while washing down lunch with a beer (or Black Russian). About that time I'm comatose so there's no reason to eat anything but candy :) OK - maybe some thin-sliced onion rings just to keep your strength up...... A bag of popcorn while watching the horse-show ring, then try to wheel me out to the car.....unless I get side-tracked by some fried dough.
  8. Ting ting jahe rules! My challenge is to find snacks that my 3 teens (and the basically live-in boyfriend of my daughter while they're home from college) won't eat. Wasabi peas are better than croutons in a green salad. Mexican snack from Barbara Kennedy (?): Raw peanuts and garlic cloves fried in oil with chile powder and salt. Watch to ensure the chile powder doesn't burn. Excellent to build a thirst. Hot stuff story: Went to a drinking-in-the-afternoon party several years ago. I was running a grill next to a woman who was drunker than me (stranger things have happened). Anyway - I had brought along a selection of my favorites, and they were brutal. I had taken the precaution of marking the bottles with skulls and crossbones..... So, of course, the really drunk guy says he can take anything..... Luckily, the really drunk female grillcook kept the really-drunk-and-now-pissed-off-at-the-guy-who-brought-those-sauces from beating up the drunk male grillcook..... Saved! Hallelujah!
  9. stagis


    Corn is to be purchased from a farmstand. The aforesaid farmstand must have its parking lot hacked out of a cornfield. At minimum, you should be able to see the corn from the stand. Farmington, CT. The cornstand (excuse me: the farmstand) of choice is the one on the Farmington Flats at the Y intersection. Period. Failing that, Krell Farms up on Unionville Avenue - they buy their corn from the stand down on the flats. Corn should be boiled. 6 minutes after putting into boiling water, take it out. Serve with salt. If it needs milk or butter to taste good, don't invite me. Grilled corn has its merits. When I've done that, I soak it in water for a while, peel back the husks, strip out the silk, salt and butter 'em (ignore the previous paragraph - grilled corn is an aberration), put the husks back on, maybe tied with a piece of husk and cook. When I've grilled corn with the Scouts, none of the above means anything. Toss the unmodified cobs directly onto coals. Turn several times and eat. The silk will burn out. When corn's in season, I buy it 2-3 times a week, 2 dozen at a time. Whatever's not eaten gets cut off the cob and frozen.
  10. On the road with Rob: A little Christmas shopping resulted in me sitting in my hotel room with the remote.....and no snacks. But wait! I bought some XXX pretzels at the mall to wrap for myself for Christmas! I'll just eat those..... 15 minutes later..... Crap!!!!! I'm in a hotel room!!!!! No ice cream. No bananas. This hurts! I know - water is bad for you. But I've gotta do it! The airplane trip home was bad. No handhold in the bathrooms and everybody can hear you cry. Or - those habanero lollipops? Lick *cough* Must've been something in my throat. Lick *cough* Huh.....I wonder if that is repeatable..... Lick *cough* "Hey, honey! Try one of these!" *run for the hills*
  11. Inner Beauty is excellent. It went off the market for a while several years ago and I was just crushed. It does seem to change a little now, though, on a batch-to-batch basis.
  12. I thought this was so the house wouldn't be burned down accidentally.. A minor inconvenience as long as you have a blendor and a place to plug it in.
  13. My V-slicer is an object of death and dismemberment (see the 'injuries' thread) but invaluable for scalloped potatos, my world-famous grilled hot/sweet onions, etc. I smirk every time I reach for my dough scraper - the simple one made out of stainless with a rolled handle. I feel like a kitchen god. I miss my pineapple corer/slicer - lop the top off a whole pineapple and start screwing. Peeled and sliced whole pineapples are the same price as a whole one now. Gigantic chopsticks. And I'm still searching for a "chef's pot" - looks like a slow cooker but HOT.
  14. Conspicuously absent: ....well, sort of. If we're talking about 'cooking environments' rather than the kitchen as a room, then I'd add an outdoor kitchen as traditional homes have 'way down South. I guess the original idea was to get the wood stove outside during the summer months. I'm sort of designing this as we speak, since I'm going to add a deck My needs aren't relaly for entertaining, nor are they commercial. I simply like to make messes. Deck with a roof and screens. 220-volt power for a stove. Running water, though it has to be drainable - I'm in Connecticut. My grills - I use gas more, but prefer charcoal. My hammock so I can admire my food as it cooks.
  15. How's about Saybrook Fish House right down at the intersection of I-95 and Route 9? Is the Chart House still in Chester? Solid, above-average American food....with leather chairs by the fire :) Mexican in Middletown itself...though I forget the name. There's only tourist traps in the Clinton area unless something new has opened up.
  16. Actually, a favorite: Toast a pita, stuff with cottage cheese mixed with horseradish. This is as opposed to cheddar dipped in BBQ sauce.
  17. stagis

    The Baked Potato

    Cook's Magazine did 'The Perfect Baked Potato' a few years ago. I think it was 375 for 1 hr. 15 minutes with a priced skin. Oil it for crispiness, I think. Anyway - in the recent mashed potatos thread here, nobody mentioned what I do: For 'company' mashed potatos, I bake them - in my opinion, it allows the spud to absorb more cream and butter.
  18. stagis

    Raw Sauce

    I'm with Xanthippe - PESTO!!! On just about anything ;).
  19. picklepizza IS one word. But eat it? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
  20. Definition: All I'm doing is making pizza dough. flour/water/salt/yeast/oil. I'm going to roll it out, then do something with it. There will be 4-5 adults and 3-4 teens. I will NOT commit to topping the pizzas and having someone complain. They're going to build their own and then live with it. I have no preferences except for an aversion to blandness. I'll avoid a sauce/cheese pizza like the plague. I don't care what anybody else wants. (Or I won't by the time the blender drinks are gone). If you had a blob of dough sitting there ready to be rolled out and topped/stuffed/adorned, what would you do with it? The only side dish is going to be blenderdrinks...OK - the kids will have soda. Maybe a tossed salad if one of the wives feels dietarily virtuous.
  21. NOW we're on a favorite topic! My dad ran a lawn service for years - couldn't cook anything but popcorn. THEN he married the manager of our local (Central Connecticut) Sears and Roebuck Luncheonette. 'Member those? Anyway - she talked him into opening a diner, so he bought "Johnny's Deluxe Luncheonette" in Plainville (my town). We renovated it (*shiver* it was disgusting...Johnny had run it for 27 years) and, honestly, it lost a lot of its charm in the translation. We pulled out the permanent booths to install orange vinyl portable booths. The bookie's phone booth was removed. The 10-foot long magazine rack was removed. But the food was superb and I learned a LOT about economies, planning, etc., etc. Also - I have no idea how many pounds (50-pound bags) of potatos I peeled for homefries. But it was worth it. Now defunct. Nobody's mentioned the Olympia Diner on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington, Connecticut! Huge menu, open 24 hours - it's got it all. I take exception to those trendy new diner-wannabe restaurants that call themselves "New York-style". They've all got lots of tile, lots of windows, expensive deli-style menus... there's one in Westchester, NY near the Westchester County Civic Center. I go in there only once a year, attending a radio-control model show across the street. If it's got a bar, it ain't a diner. If doesn't have booths, it ain't a diner. No fry-grill? No diner. If a steak is more than half an inch thick - it ain't a diner. Homefries not on the menu? NO DINER!!! No 'breakfast special'? NO DINER!!! There's two still in Plainville (which is next to New Britain, CT). The Plainville Diner is downtown and serves a decent breakfast - but DON'T eat there after lunch.....it'll curl your toes. And *sigh of prandial lust* Howie's. When I was in high school, it was Howie and Jim's, and while you could get breakfast, it was primarily a fried-food and burger place for lunch and supper. One of the guys I graduated from high school with bought it (his name is Tony) and he renamed it simply Howie's. He's a breakfast-cooking god, a short-order artiste I hadn't been in years - it's tiny and nothing will attract you to it. My dad dragged me in there one Saturday morning and we had breakfast. Dad ain't a lightweight - he's 6'3" and probably 270 pounds or so. He orders 1 (that's ONE) pancake. I rolled my eyes...sheesh. I had the 'special' with bacon. omigod. Dad's single pancake was 3/8" or more thick and completely covered his plate. My eggs were perfectly done, no browned bits, shimmery perfection quivering on my plate. The bacon? (This was a $2.50 meal) I think I had 6-7 slices of thick-cut foot-long slices, cooked jsut prior to getting crispy. Thick rye toast..... and of course, those little containers of jelly... :) Perfection.
  22. 'Food' in Lantana, FL. The Hygienic Cafe in Berlin, CT....and another one on Water St. in New London, CT
  23. stagis

    Searing tuna

    My blackened catfish story (very loosely related to seared tuna). Put the pan on high heat. Look around to find your spices. Find the fish. Spice the fish. Spit in the pan...yep - pretty hot. Start a beer. The recipe (Paul Prudhomme's? I forget) said that it would smoke 'a lot'. Huh... Unbelievable billows of smoke. All the smoke alarms in the house went off. I stuck it out the required time, eyess burning, nose running, then flipped it and watched the billows renew themselves...was that a neighbor's smoke alarm? the kids thought it was a great adventure, making up excuses to go in the kitchen - they had to go on hands and knees. "Stay low! Stop, drop and roll!" The fish was excellent. Next time, though, it'll be outside - where we ate while the house cleared.
  24. I know, I know - it's probably more sterile and probably neater, too...but it just doesn't seem right.
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