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John S.

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  1. John S.

    Pequin Peppers

    That's great! Since they're from a garden I guess they're fresh, not dried? These are a bit hard to find. They look like little candies when fresh and red. Mostly they are used as a source of heat. They don't have a ton of original flavor to them, but many people, myself included, love 'em. They are good to spice up soups and stews, but usually too hot to sprinkle in salads, or as a garnish. In a sauce, they would go well with lime juice (or half lime juice, half vinegar), garlic and a touch of sugar. Have fun!John S.
  2. Cosentino's in San Jose on Bascom Gene's Fine Foods on Cox in Saratoga Draeger's in Los Altos Andronico's in Los Altos (they may have other Bay area sites) Those are the ones near me. John S.
  3. There have for a number of years, been capsicum chinense chiles that look, grow and feel like habaneros or Scotch bonnets but have no heat. One is the Trinidad perfume, which I grew successfully last year. It's amazing to look at a chile and just know it's going to kill you, but then you chomp into it and it is sweet. The Trinidad perfume has an Habanero flavor but more "perfumy" as the name implies. There are others that are like this and are great in fresh salsas for those who prefer mild heat. Google "xnipec" and you will get an excellent 4-ingredient recipe for an Habanero salsa, supposedly used by the Aztecs, that is a great dipping salsa. John S.
  4. I'd be interested to see what kind of flavor they have, if any. Has anyone tried this chile pepper? ← I have some growing in my back yard in half-barrels. They are all still green but I have tested them for flavor and heat. The heat right now is like an habanero (I hope that changes) and the flavor is like a Thai chile. The chile goes by various names depending on where it is grown. Some are Naga jolokia, bih jolokia, naga morich, etc. Here's a good wiki page on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naga_jolokia There is a company in GB that sells bags of curry spice made with this chile. It's red, and VERY tasty! It is also very hot for a curry. You'd never see this in a normal Indian restaurant. Each bag makes about 15 servings of curry after you add the chicken or vegetables. The directions come with the product. They are on eBay. John S.
  5. John S.

    Garlic Chili Chicken

    I have had that dish but have never created it, so this is not a recipe. However, if you use a light batter (e.g., tempura) the chicken should come out well, making sure the oil is up to heat always. I know you said it had no sauce, but the one I'm thinking of does have a sauce but it is clear, except for the onions, garlic and chiles. I would make a simple syrup adding vinegar (taste-test). When that is right, and add the diced garlic and onions and heat them up. For the chiles use whole dried chiles japones, heat it with the sauce a little bit and put the sauce on the hot thighs and fold to cover. The ratio of chopped veggies and whole chiles to the sauce should be large and the small amount of liquid won't soften the finished product. Let us know! John S.
  6. Looks like a spot prawn. It was good, right?
  7. The Bayless recipe is good. But whenever I hear "skirt steak" I think of fajitas. It's simple: marinate the meat in lime juice 1/3 C, garlic 2 cloves minced, soy sauce 1/3 C, a little canola oil (2T), 1/3 C red wine and as many chiles that you can stand. That's for 2 pounds of meat. Grill some onions, get out the pico de gallo, sour cream and cheese, and go for it. John S. PS: tortillas, too!
  8. I think your friend's way is THE way. I always roast (blacken) the roma tomatoes and let them cool first. Improves the flavor. Many restaurants make it at your table! John S.
  9. Is it at the main campus in Mountain View?
  10. Hey KarenR65 - Sorry to say you are doing it the best way possible. Guac is one of those things that has to be consumed fresh. Like pico de gallo, it will suffer with time. John S.
  11. John S.

    Yogurt-making @ home

    I make fat free yogurt all the time. I never tasted half-n-half yogurt, but have eaten vitamin-D milk (full fat). Regular milk yogurt tastes way too rich and therefore I'd never try any richer. But maybe that's because I'm not accustomed to it. However believe it or not, my fat free tastes extremely rich when I use NDM powder. I imagine 2% would be great. They all make good cheese. Just my opinion! Good luck, John S.
  12. Here's a good start. My mom always had "eye of the round steaks". They were good but I don't know how she fixed them. http://animalscience.unl.edu/meats/id/ROUND/Eyrost.htm
  13. Quoting Tina Brooks of the C-H list, "Bih Jolokia, the Bhut Jolokia, the Naga Moresh, the raja mirchi and the Nagahari, and you can keep saying it until you are blue in the face, but it's the same pepper, grown in different areas. I have also found it under many more names. " I haven't gotten any seedlings yet (hope to next month) but I have tasted it in a curry spice mix I found on e-bay. It ships from Great Britain and it's the hottest curry I ever ate. However not too hot that you can't eat it. John S.
  14. John S.


    Here is a page I just found. It has a bunch of recipes, many Indian, some African tagine, Thai. http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Herbs-and-Sp...rmeric/Top.aspx The "easy chicken korma" would allow you to use a whole tablespoon of your termeric! Any dish that has a yellow color to it, whether you're using sweet potatoes, yams, golden raisins, red lentils, saffron, would have an intensified color with turmeric's addition. It is also called Curcuma, haldi, haridra, gauri - I see haldi a lot in Indian recipes. Here's one that's very good (just made some) but only uses about 2 teaspoons turmeric. It's a yellow dal and it comes out looking sophisticated with the unpopped black mustard seeds distributed evenly in the final product: http://bawarchi.com/contribution/contrib5380.html
  15. John S.


    Do you enjoy Indian food? You must have been in an Indian market (Punjabi. etc.) ..... Any dish (like curry) that uses tumeric, ginger, mustard seeds and other Indian spices can be fried (the initial step) with fresh as well as ground. Just would recommend doubling the dried volume using fresh. In that way, fresh vs. dried spices conversions map to ethnic cooking. Enjoy! Let us know what you create! Oh, try to use clarified butter (ghee) if you do an Indian dish. John S.
  16. Canned chipotles in puree - you need a Mexican market or order online. Guava paste - don't know really, but I bet online as well. In CA The guavas are usually available from Mexico or Hawaii. Something else good is mango instead of guava in chipotle puree. Yep with chipotles or Jals, one chile is about one tsp. edited to add the conversion
  17. These are all good. I always have a medium-large size of the puree in the fridge because I normally cook them myself and also use a lot of them in recipes. For the occasional user, the fridge is OK. I don't remember any of them going bad. The only prob with freezing would be freezer burn in which case SeanWalberg's solution is great! It's like flash freezing then repackaging in a double bag - those will keep forever since the pH is so low to begin with. Tora, you can use an entire can in a chili recipe, or make a chipotle-cream enchilada sauce, but I sort of cook predominently that kind of cuisine. Let me say that I never tried chipotle/guava in the past, Scoob. Sounds like a great addition to seared pineapple salsa. Also I never throw away the puree left in the can. It takes hours to make this. Chipotles are so pungent that unless I actually need the whole chile, I always use the puree. Or stronger. John S.
  18. Ten years is a long time. But, there is so much vinegar in it that I would definitely open and taste it. I have used it after say six years.
  19. When you say local cuisine, I'm not sure that San Jose has any particular style. But I would admit that we have restaurants that are landmarks. In that vein I fully agree with Octaveman. OJs is great. Try the Original Joe's Special. They have always served it. Ground beef, spinach, I forget what else. Upon looking, I don't see Joe's Special on the menu. 8( Paolo's is another stalwart, not too fancy but a bit more expensive that Joe's. Italian. http://www.paolosrestaurant.com/menu_dinner.html Old place too. Vahl's in Alviso (I thought of that when you mentioned Milpitas) is way old (60 years?) http://www.sanjose.com/underbelly/unbelly/Alviso/vahls.html and http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/12...ining-0149.html My parents used to love it (they're dead and I'm 54). Lastly, the oldest French place is Emile's: http://www.10best.com/San_Jose,CA/Restaura...usinessID=38929 There are other references. Hope that helps!
  20. Hey RonC I'd try ScubaDoo's recipe. It sounds perfect. Right blend of chiles - you always want two or three kinds of black ones in there like pasilla or chile negro, ancho or mulatto, then maybe a red just like he has, a gualillo. You can sub new mexico for guajillo, but guajillo is the var from which New Mexico chiles originated and are more "basic". (a good sauce is guajillo paste mixed with fresh grapefruit juice). Ibarra is good, but it already has almonds , sugar and cinnamon in it. You can use plain unsweetened and increase the aforementioned ingredients as needed. (try Ibarra chocolate - 1.25 giant tabs, in a blender with 24 oz. evap milk and 24 oz. lowfat milk. You don't need whipped cream). One last thing - strain and chinois the heck out of the end result. You don't want any microscopic bits of dried chile skin in the teeth of your guests! Here's another idea - you can order fairly small amounts of the dried chiles unavailable in your area. Any unused will last a long time. The freezer prevents moth propagation. John
  21. Thanks for the review! Hmmm, a mixed one for sure. Hopefully you'll have a better experience next time you go. If I can point out that black mole is super hard to find even here where there are tons of Mexican places. Only the regional (Oaxacan) or upscale ones have it. Reed Hearon opened a restaurant on Chestnut in SF a number of years ago (gone now). They specialized in black mole. One of the hallmarks of black mole is that you burn the chile seeds in the pan then add them to the mole. That causes the bitterness you noticed. So it sounds authentic... But any mole should always be as smooth as silk, unlike a pipian which is textured with chopped nuts ans such. A good source for info on Oaxacan cuisine is Chile Pepper magazine February, 1995.
  22. If Oaxacan food isn't Mexican I don't know what is! The fried grasshoppers sound like Mexico City, where you can also get insect mole (ant to be exact). I think it sounds like a good reason to visit NYC (combined with visiting my daughter of course). I'm also happy that so many people replied to the thread. There are Mexican food fans there after all, albeit frustrated at the dearth of eateries...
  23. That sounds like a great recipe. I'll try it right around Chrtistmas and report back. BTW, would a few dried bird'seye chiles help for those of us who like a lot of spice? Chris thanks for creating this thread! John S.
  24. There are no clickable smiles to convey my amusement at your story. Very funny. I don't know what the bad rep sneakeater was referring to (I'm only a Californian who goes to NYC alot), but it's the only Rosa's we have been to. I would always recommend it to anyone. Even though it's a chain restaurant, they have succeeded in creating menus that look unique. They are flavorful and creative. I especially enjoy their chocolate specials. I forget but I think it's around Valentine's Day. You can get all courses in at least partial chocolate. Supposedly, a DC location will open soon, which is another place I go occasionally. Can't wait to check out the locations I have missed. Also, you never know who you'll be sitting next to in a Manhattan restaurant. I consider those possibilities as a benefit, almost as much as I look forward to a particular restaurant. Thanks for the post! John S. San Jose, CA
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