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Posts posted by DTBarton

  1. I use my mother's recipe and people love them.  I think the trick is to not marinate the shrimp for too long. I use steamed shrimp and marinate them them for 4 - 6 hours.  The onions that come out of the bag are almost as good as the shrimp.  I've seen recipes that call for much longer and that makes them toughen.  We have a friend who's mother's recipe marinates them for a WEEK!  Besides the off putting notion of eating week old shrimp, they have the texture of tire rubber.

  2. Our Bojangles chicken hasn't been small, regular sized pieces so far.  We don't have a Popeye's here but in Maryland, our Popeye's was hit or miss.  They didn't change the fry oil often enough.  If the oil was fresh, the bird was good, if not it was very dark and not so good.


    There's a reason Bojangles sign says "Famous Chicken and Biscuits".

    • Like 1
  3. We recently moved to South Carolina and now have access to a local Bojangles.  I have to say, as far as fast food goes, it's very good.  Fried chicken is crispy with a hint of spice.  Biscuits are very good.  And since they're busy all day the chicken  and biscuits are always fresh.  Breakfast biscuits available all day, I'm partial to the chicken (cajun filet) and the country ham and egg.  Sides are OK, but not their strong suit, I mostly stick with the chicken and biscuits.

    • Like 1
  4. So, the wife brought home sample bags of three new Lay's flavors yesterday, biscuit and gravy, gyro, and reuben sandwich.


    We found all three to be pretty vile, no likeable one like the wasabi ginger.  The best of the worst was the reuben which tasted vaguely like a sauerkraut chip.  Both the gyro and the biscuit had a kind of muddied artificial meat thing going that to us was off putting.  Seems to me those are flavors that would be hard to paint on a chip.  But, three people won a million bucks.

  5. We had an electric Maytag Gemini for many years and I liked it very much.




    The top oven is smaller but since we cook for two people most of the time we used it almost all the time.  It heated up to cooking temperature far faster than any other oven I've had and used a lot less electricity.


    One of the large burners has two settings, a low range and a high range, making it very handy for making sauces without a double boiler, the low on the low range was not very hot..


    I think a good product at a reasonable price.

  6. Finally found a bag of the wasabi ginger to try and I kind of like them.  Sure there's an artificial component like there is in most flavored chips, but I don't find it off putting.  Thinking about making an Asian flavored onion dip to go with them.

  7. I don't think the external temperature of the smoker is an issue, just like any grill.  The outdoor temperature as well as wind can be an issue in keeping temperature up. I consider the WSMs to be good weather smokers, chilly and windy takes the heat away.   I have two WSMs, an 18 inch and a 22 inch.  if you like cooking whole racks of spare ribs it's worth it to get the 22 inch.  Long racks end up with the ends curled up against the side of the smoker and about an inch in from the sides is the only hot spot in the WSM, the ends of the racks get overcooked.  All in all It's tough to beat the WSM for its combination of ease of use and reasonable cost.  The prices at Amazon right now are great.


    It's also very helpful to have this web site.  Tells you everything you need to know:  http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/



  8. I have whole pastramis shipped to me from Katz's in New York from time to time.  They tell you to gently steam it for about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes to reheat depending on size. I have done this several times and it came out great.  I think as long as you keep the time reasonable it shouldn't cook any more as you won't bring the internal temperature any higher than it was when it finished cooking.

  9. I like to make crab cakes with jumbo lump crab, some diced green onion, a little mayo and egg for binder and a shot of dry mustard.  A good way to get a little shot of bay seasoning flavor ( I like the Chesapeake Bay seasoning from Penzey http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeyschesapeakebay.html a lot better than Old Bay, not as salty and hot with great flavor) is to coat the crab cakes in panko bread crumbs with a little bay seasoning mixed in.  I never mix the bay seasoning in with the crab.

  10. We did traditional NYD dinner of pork chops, kale, blackeyed peas and cornbread with green onions and pepper jack cheese.

    I can add an idea for the chicken and waffles. We were in Charleston, SC last fall and had brunch at Poogan's Porch http://www.poogansporch.com/

    They served a blueberry jalapeno syrup that really worked and enhanced the sweet/savory of the dish. I ripped it off for a small group last Monday that watched the Navy football team's bowl game.

    I used grade A dark amber maple syrup and added Polaner buleberry all fruit jelly until it had a nice bleberry flavor. Then I diced about a tablespoon of pickled jalapenos as small as I could. Simmerred slowly for a few minutes. The guests loved it.

  11. As an omnivore, it seems to me that Thanksgiving is a great concept to go vegetarian. Lots of boldly flavored vegetable options. I'm also glad to see that you're eschewing fake turkey. It's always puzzled me why some vegetarians seem fixated on veggie dishes made to look like meat (turkey, burgers, hot dogs, etc.)

    If I were doing a vegetarian Thanksgiving, I think I'd make a big lasagna as the centerpiece. Wild mushroom, bechamel sauce, ricotta cheese and a stuffing layer to make it authentic, just use vegetable stock for the stuffing.

    • Like 1
  12. I can think of a few outstanding failures over the years.

    I grew up in northern Delaware and we had outstanding sub shops, so I was a fan of Italian subs. As a teenager, my family was vacationing on Hatteras Island in North Carolina. I ordered an italian sub at a local lunch place. What came out was a spongy roll with lousy cold cuts and plastic cheese. They put mayonaise on the roll, added letuce and tomato, and heated it. All the grease came out of the cheap cold cuts and had saturated the lettuce. Totally disgusting. Later, after living in the south for a while I learned the peril of ordering Italian sandwiches. If they ask you "do you want mayonaise?" or "do you want that hot?", get the burger. The place on Hatteras didn't ask, they just made it that way.

    Got served expensive stone crab claws in Key West that had been frozen and not thoroughly thawed before they served them. Fifty bucks worth of mushy, icy inedible seafood. Moral, don't ever get frozen stone crab claws. They were in season when we were there so never occurred that they would be frozen in January.

    Got served cassoulet at a fancy, well respected Manhattan hotel restaurant that had dry beans that were almost raw. It was like a greasy bowl of gravel.

    • Like 1
  13. I tip at full service restaurants where a bartender or server handles the order. Typically 10%.

    I also tip at carryout places where there is a tip jar and where I am a regular or where the counter person goes out of his/her way. Usuallly a buck, maybe two. I figure it is a long term investment on future orders. I always tip baristas for the same reason.

    I agree with Holly, that's about my philosophy. I'll tip a little extra at places where I'm a regular and routinely get good food/service. I generally believe that folks that work at restaurants probably aren't getting rich and they work hard so a little gratuity from people who can afford to take out dinner seems appropriate.

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