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John S.

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Everything posted by John S.

  1. I find this a little odd. I as well as others from the "Steak at home" thread, like to sear steaks on pretty high heat. Do you, All Clad users, have to change your style of cooking? Do you stir fry on low to medium heat? Any of you use All Clad on electric stove tops? What is the highest setting do you subject your frying pans to? I already read Sam Slinky's lecture. Great study but does not address this subject. ← Glad you asked, it reminds me of an incident a couple years back. I was melting chocolate in an All-Clad double boiler insert placed in my All-Clad Master Chef stockpot. Only problem was I forgot to put water in the stock pot. It was awful. I had just bought the stock pot for >100.00. It cooked for a long time. Melted the chocolate, but it turned the metal a very dark shade of black and blue and I was so sure I ruined it that I threw it away. A few days later I bought another one and the sales person sold me Berkeeper's Friend to keep it clean. Later that day I retrieved the stockpot from the trash and cleaned it with BKF until it looked new. It took lots of scrubbing but it was worth it. No warping or anything. The metal is fine. I am glad trash day came after I figured that out. To answer your question this was on an electric burner. It was on medium high but the pot must have thought it was high. I use high many times and as long as there is liquid, I've had no problem. I agree with slkinsey that the disclaimer is for cosmetic rather than functional reasons. Stockpot, frying pan, no difference. Use whatever setting the recipe calls for.
  2. John S.

    Chicken liver hummus

    All this is great but does not go to Chappie's query whether anyone has seen a hummus with livers instead of garbanzo beans... Livers, tahini, lemon juice and garlic. I never have seen it. I'm trying to imagine the flavor... Ok now I'm trying to imagine something else... ← doesn't "sounds like a liver mousse to me" count? ← Of course it does. Sorry for the oversight. Maybe I was thinking "liver mousse truffle pate" which I see at the deli. It just doesn't remind me of what The Chap's talking about. But yeah, you could call it that!
  3. John S.

    Chicken liver hummus

    All this is great but does not go to Chappie's query whether anyone has seen a hummus with livers instead of garbanzo beans... Livers, tahini, lemon juice and garlic. I never have seen it. I'm trying to imagine the flavor... Ok now I'm trying to imagine something else...
  4. Pupusas are Salvadorean. Platanos sounds great. I'll have to check it out. Good papusas are hard to find!
  5. I saw a recipe/cooking technique (an exchange mostly between Grub and Wazaa) here for pork vindaloo. I tried it and it came out great. In this, star anise is used as one of a set of spices for the Indian "vindaloo".
  6. Pas Robles (roe-bulls to the non-hispanic locals) has always been a hidden treasure. We go there for the wine and food, but only as a gateway to Cambria usually. Paso Robles is the best place to access the coast highway northbound to drive the Big Sur coast. Once on highway 1, not much great food until Big Sur itself (Ventana Inn, Post Ranch Inn). A nice lunch and spectacular view is to be had at Cafe Kevah at Nepenthe.
  7. No shit? I have to change my tactics.
  8. Inexpensive fresh squeezed juices like tangerine and they have a great steawberry lemonade. Ak-Mak crackers are 1.19 per box (in SJ, CA), mini pizzas, paneer for Indian cooking, a lot of prepared stuff but fresh and mostly healthy. I'll be visiting next time I'm there.
  9. Carrot Top, since you encouraged, I feel the need to share. I have been holding back for a long time on this one, but thanks for your offer of a blue ribbon! I probably won't place, but: A friend and I attended the memorial service of a mutual friend who died from skin cancer. After the service, we were speaking just outside the church on the steps. He said, "John, what are you doing after?". I told him that I had nothing planned. He reminded me of something we both had previously decided we should do (lukewarmly) and said that he thought that now might be the time! He was speaking of the 911 Challenge, at Cluck You Chicken, on the Alameda in Santa Clara, CA. Real close to the University, in fact it was and still is a student hangout. Lots of fried and baked chicken, Buffalo style, sandwiches, plates, tenders only, whatever. And they had hot sauce. Ten kinds. They ranged from "mild" to "nuclear", "thermonuclear" and globalthermonuclear". But the 911 Challenge involved an undocumented level of hot sauce. It was one step above "globalthermonuclear". Smothering a plateful of drummettes, there were only a couple rules. You were given no napkins, no drinks, and you had to lick you fingers clean after finishing. To add insult to injury, the participant had to wait five minutes before retreating to the bathroom. They promised the finishers a t-shirt, a gift certificate and polaroid picture would be on the wall as a winner of the 911 Challenge. We did it. Later, my friend Ed said he was going to buy a bottle of Pepto Bismol at Safeway next-door and down it before eating, but he never did. That night, he saved my agonizing voicemail for many months just for laughs berfore deleting it. I'll never compete in the 911 Challenge again. Eventually, we got our t-shirts. I still wear mine and eat a lot of hot chiles. They didn't have any film for the camera. And I never felt like going back to use the gift certificate. The following year, I had kidney stones and it felt a lot like the night after the 911 Challenge. However, I prefer the kidney stones.
  10. John S.


    Mottmott: I prefer getting the pulp from the whole fruit (maybe the beans you refer to, usually found in bulk or in packets at the Mexican food section), available in Mexican markets. Get 'em when they're soft rather than brittle. The taste is fresher than packaged, frozen or not. You just have to peel the tan colored skin from the fruits and under running water, push the pulp out into a collander. Then pick out the seeds. The pulp is used for all the things the others have mentioned, plus agua fresca de tamarindo. In Mexican joints, it's served from a lemonade cooler machine, but ask whether it's fresh or made with a concentrate. It's good with chipotle as a sauce and many other Mexican/ Southwestern recipes. Mark Miller is a proponent and has good recipes.
  11. If you and Chappie can get together for lunch or dinner sometime, I'm in.
  12. Please don't eat the TSP
  13. http://www.flavornotes.com/revudupi.html Udupi Palace
  14. John S.

    Dried Chili recipes

    I think you want to find recipes for those chiles that you have, right? Here are three uncommon ones for the guajillo. You could also use additional ajis, habs or piripiri to make these warmer! Guajillo Shrimp Salad with Mango Salsa http://www.flyingvbarandgrill.com/shrimpsalad.htm Mussels with Saffron, Guajillo Chiles, and Beer http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/re...6_13102,00.html A Medley of Squash, Mushroom, Leek, and Guajillo Chile http://fooddownunder.com/cgi-bin/recipe.cgi?r=833
  15. John S.

    Dried Chili recipes

    That is a wide variety for different purposes and recipes. Briefly, aji limon, habanero, and piri piri impart a lot of heat and normally are a background flavor rather than the main ingredient. Chile lovers however would argue that they also have much flavor and can be a used liberally in dishes. For instance, you can stuff the hab with a cheese mixture, bread and deep-fry for poppers. Most people feel that hot chiles overpower the flavor of the dish. I am not one of them and prefer heat and chile flavor to compliment other flavors. Guajillo can be used, when washed, dehydrated and reconstituted, to be the main flavor in a broth used in pozole (garbanzo bean, pork and chili stew). Chicken can be the base too, as can a vegetarian one. Ajis, habaneros and piripiris are great as main ingredients in sauces or salsas. Ring of Fire to my knowledge, is not a chile but a commercial hot sauce with the trademark, "So Hot it Burns You Twice!" on the bottle. Chipotle chiles are mecos, moritas or pasillas de Oaxaca that have been cold-smoked in a particular Mexican style. They are wonderfully smoky and moderately hot. My favorite thing is to cook them in a adobo sauce (see the Mark Miller recipe in the Great Chile Book) and puree it or not, to add to mayo, hummus, ketchup, BBQ sauce or whatever you can think of. You can add some half-n-half and make an excellent enchilada sauce out of the chipotles en adobo. They are also used in recipes to add a smoky heat. Twilight - you got me, unless it is a Numex ornamental, like the sunrise and sunset. See Daves chile pages at fiery-foods.com for recipes or use Google. Have fun. John S.
  16. I was born in San Jose and grew up in Santa Clara. Therefore, and especially because of cutting school a lot, I know the whole peninsula well. The coastline from Pacifica down to Santa Cruz is exeptional. Maybe not as special as Point Lobos just south of Carmel (don't miss seeing that) but rugged and beautiful. I will say that the beach across the street (Highway 1) from the town of Davenport is well worth a visit. You can't see it from the road but you park on the ocean side and follow a descending path to it across the railroad tracks. Awesome place. Try to walk-on to an elephant seal guided tour at Ano Nuevo beach on the south San Mateo County coast (a 2.5 hour nature walk) if you have time. Tickets are sold out now (2.50 or so each) , but you can get a walk-on pretty easily. There are many places that are turn-offs on Highway 1 which actually take you to beaches. The weather may be blustery but that is the attraction there. Gray whales will be migrating south during the time you will be here. The coast north of Big Sur is good whale watching. Bring your binocs. Some of the above would fit your 3-day requirement. Highway 1 is the best place to spend that time IMHO. The fastest and least picturesque way from SF to Santa Clara is US 101. Get on southbound 101 at Lawrence Expressway. One time though, you should take 280 just because it's a beautiful freeway passing through Stanford property and Crystal Springs reservoir. It will be very green. For a day at Union Square and Pier 39, they are not that close. Pier 39 parking is expensive, as dfunghi said. 20.00 won't cover a day. Park close to Union square to see that place. It is close to Chinatown (good food). Oh, on the wharf, the tourist boats fill up days ahead of time. Call the Red and White Fleet and consult citysearch.com for other companies to get tickets. Alcatraz is very popular, but Angel Island and Sausalito are great too. Wow, I sound lime a frustrated tour guide.
  17. Santa Clara is about a 50-minute drive from SF. There is a recent thread you might find helpful here: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...=entry1079803 Dusita is a great Thai restaurant in Santa Clara with many vegetarian chioces. My favorite however is Bangkok West in Soquel, almost midway between Monterey and San Francisco on Highway 1. But it probably won't be open on Christmas for lunch. It's the only Thai restaurant I know that has a lunch buffet during the week One of the best Indian is Sarovar in Milpitas (about 15 miles from Santa Clara). Or in Santana Row in San Jose, Amber India is good but more expensive and more in the not-to-be-missed category. As Jerry said in his report referenced above, the El Camino Real, which runs from San Francisco to San Jose is a string of suburbs with strings of ethnic restaurants, many of which are great. Look at Palo Alto, Mountain View and Santa Clara using citysearch.com. Good luck, John S.
  18. I did that using one as the bottom half of a bouble boiler. It was black inside and out. Looked wrecked (All Clad MC2). I eventually scubbed with Barkeeper's Friend (which is the factory-recommended way to clean it) and it came out like new. Good Luck!
  19. Great synopsis of your trip. I hope you get out here to work AND to enjoy the options again. I grew up right behind the Wienerschnitzel on the El Camino between San Tomas and Benton St., and live in West San Jose now. So I get over there frequently. As kids we used to hop the fence to get a dog at Wienerschnitzel. Things have changed a lot since then, especially the density of Korean, Chinese and Indian restaurants there. It is a miracle mile of food, that's for sure. Actually, many miracle miles strung together - Santa Clara from the university right throught until Menlo Park. Glad you visited Manresa. It's named for a local beach in Santa Cruz County, about 30 minutes over the hill from Los Gatos. Most of my friends find the food is just as good as FL but for much less money. After having tried all of the local Thai places I find Dusita one of my two favorites. Good choice, Jerry. The other is behind the Fish Market you mentioned, in the little shopping/eating center. In that little shopping center there are three great eateries. You can get excellent pizza (Pizz'a Chicago), great Indian (and fresh parathas) at Rangoli (they specialize in sweets and shut down during Diwali just to make and deliver them), and Thai Chili Cuisine, my other favorite. Thanks for the pictures - great post. John S.
  20. I've used a few different cuts of pork. Waaza's original recipe just calls for "stewing pork," which I did use once, but I ended up not adding enough water so there wasn't enough sauce, and making a few other mistakes, so the end result wasn't quite as good. But the meat was fine, so I'm sure regular "stewing pork" is a good way to go. The first time, I used some kind of sirloin (if that is the right word for it when talking about pork -- not the tenderloin part, but the bigger, not quite as tender part), and that time, everything just came together perfectly. So that'd be a good one also. Then there's pork shoulder, which I thought would be perfect for such a slow-cooked dish, but that's quite a bit of work, cutting that thing up into stewing meat... Also, it has a lot of fat, which I tried to remove most of -- but not enough, because the end result was a lot of small, unappatizing pieces of fat floating around (which I painstakingly picked out -- adding even more work and time to an already time-consuming dish). I'm completely mystified why it didn't render out, with such a long cooking time. Perhaps they were pieces of sinew or something. So I guess regular "stew pork" or some kind of sirloin-type cut is good, but not a shoulder cut or anything with too much fat and sinew tissue. Tenderloin, I haven't tried. I suppose it would be okay -- it is tender, but should probably hold up better than fowl. If you do try this, I'd certainly like to hear how it worked out. The chillies I use were bought in an Indian store, brand-name "Hanif's International Foods Ltd." from BC, Canada. The label name is "Chilli Whole Long" or "Chilli Entier." It's a big old 7 oz "Last you a lifetime" $1.49 bag. 10-12 of these makes for a fiery Vindaloo that I and a few others like, but as you say, I want others to eat it too, hehehe. They are basically just dried, red Thai chilies -- and there's some writing on the bag that I THINK is Thai, although I'm not familiar with that script. I have no idea how Habaneros would affect the dish, but if you try it, I'd love hearing how it might affect the taste. Since the chillies I've got are working out just fine, I probably won't experiment with any other types. Very cool to hear from anyone who tries this dish -- thanks! And good luck. ← Thanks Grub! I will get back to you after I try any of the vartiations, but I think you and Wazaa have it down. Let me give you some info that I probably will use for myself. There is a cut of pork called cushion meat. It's not generally available at grocery stores. It's a "restaurant cut". But at the higher end stores, it can be ordered ahead. It is only less than two bucks per pound. It's low in fat, but tender. It comes from the shoulder area but it's not a picnic or butt. It comes in about 2 pound chunks, and my store has to order a 5-chunk bag at a time. He uses it in his home-made sausages. Anyway, I use it for chile verde. I think I'll try it for vindaloo. Until later, John S.
  21. Hey, thanks for reporting back on that one -- it's really nice to hear about stuff like that... Mind ya, I must admit I cringed a bit when I saw the word chicken. How come people only want to do this dish with other meats like chicken or duck -- anything but pork? Will you quit hating on the pork already?!~ But seriously, I'm sure the dish is fine with chicken or duck -- just as long as you put the meat in later, because it just won't hold up as well as pork, structurally. Twice the amount of dried chilies?! Whoa, now that's ... man, that's nuts. This dish is hot as hell with the recommended amount. I guess it makes sense that the heat would decline as leftovers. In fact, I suspect that the best part of this dish, is as a leftover. My only problem is, the only time I truly nailed the recipe was the first time, and it was all eaten -- no leftovers... The lack of gravy, I have experienced also. During the last bhuna stage, you are supposed to add enough water to completely cover the ingredients, but one time I somehow spazed out and just added a couple of cups instead, and the result was a very dry Vindaloo. I don't know if you did anything similar to this, but that's the best I can think of. I guess that the best thing you can do, is to stop the last (or penultimate, depending on how you count it) bhuna stage before too much liquid is evaporated -- I mean, that is your gravy after all. And if you're using chicken, that meat should be plenty tender by that time. Bhuna means cooking it dry, but perhaps the last stage shouldn't leave it completely dry... The cooking time itself probably depends on the stovetop's capacity, as well as the amount of food that you're cooking. I've ended up spending anything between two and four hours on this dish in total -- prep and all. There's some magical middle-ground between cooking it low and slow enough to make everything blend just so -- and taking it too far and drying it up and making the meat fall apart. ← All of your comments are right on. I'll use pork next time. Sturdier. I forget the cut you used... tenderloin? I like hot chiles but the Thais added a bit too much flavor. I can back off of those with the added benefit being that others can eat it too! What a novel idea, right? Another thing for me to experiment with is using dried habaneros. I'd get the heat but not the volume. On the dryness issue, I must have bhuna'd off too much water. Next time I'll leave some extra. Again, thanks for the great photos. Couldn't do it without them! John S.
  22. I have been looking at this thread for two months, off and on. Always wanted to cook my favorite Indian dishes. So using your great post Grub, I did it. I used chicken. I like things really hot so I used twice the amount of dried chiles and at first they were overbearing, but after a couple days in the fridge, it was just hot and delicious upon reheating. This kind of dish definitely does not suffer from being a "leftover". My question to you and Wazaa is this. The end product came out with not much liquid for a gravy. I would like more of the gravy with the finished product. How do I adjust the recipe and techniques for that? The second question is: I had to do the last two bhunas much longer than I anticipated. This overcooked the chicken and made it fall apart in strings, as would stew meat in a beef stew cooked a long time. The dish didn't suffer in flavor, but why do you surmise I had to cook it all so long? Thanks for a great thread, you all. John S.
  23. However: I can't find anything on the site pertaining to Worcestershire sauce. Is his version of the legend available online? Or did I just not drill down far enough? ← No, you drilled down far enough. No mention of Lea and Perrins on the Justin Wilson website. Where'd you get that, Mayhew?
  24. They don't have to. We have a large Satsuma crop here and early to market. They are .80 per pound at Safeway, cheaper if you get them in their growing area: Newcastle, Penryn, etc. John S.
  25. Unflockingbelievable post. I admire your writing skills not to mention your obvious eating ability. Can I publish your experience word-for-word? John S.
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