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John S.

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Posts posted by John S.

  1. I have a dream for my birthday: good old fashioned pie. Like Duarantes, except I'm very pregnanat and I'm not allowed to go that far away from my hospital (Duarntes is in Pescadero).

    Real pie= homemade flakey crust, fresh fruit, and none of that yucky thick corn syrup goo binding.

    I live in palo alto, so anything 30-45 minutes north or south is fine (or I can send an intrepid explorer further, if it's really great pie!)


    In the Autumn, I've been getting pies at Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville since the kids used to go there on school field trips to watch their apple pressing facility. I know it's a bit far, but you (your courrier) could go via Hecker pass rather than highway 17. Their apple pies are the huge kind, and their berry and pumpkin pies are just as you described. They have (or did have) tayberries (raspberry/ollalieberry hybrid) as well. Their recipe for apple juice is delicious and its unpasteurized so no lost flavor. Thanks for the post - I need to get down there. They have apple butter cooking weekend soon, and they close on December 31 every year. Sorry you can't enjoy it this year, but congrats on the pregnancy!

    About Duarantes: good pies?

    John S.

  2. My question is: Is this something you could do?

    I wouldn't even entertain eating blood.

    Why not? I'm just curious.

    Can't put my finger on it. Same reason I wouldn't drink pee, I guess. I know their both sterile and all. It's just a bit revolting. Now when I eat meat it must have _some_ blood in there, so maybe it's an ill-founded emotion-based preference. Would you drink a small cup of blood? That's what's happening if you eat dinuguan or a civet sauce.

  3. My question is: Is this something you could do?

    I wouldn't even entertain eating blood. I went to a Phillipine fast-food place once. Some items looked good, some did not. I mentioned to the owner that I enjoyed Mexican food. She had pork dinuguan in one of the chafers and when I asked her what it was, she said "mole". Ha ha.

  4. I will be heading south from the airport and wonder where to catch a nice lunch.

    Any ideas?? Thanks.

    The direct route would be highway 280 south to 85 south to 101 south unless you're taking the coast route (a longer drive). If you are into Mexican, Fiesta del Mar is good, but it's on 101, not 280. Estrellita on San Antonio off El Camino is close to 280 and the food is more unique. They always have 4 or 5 specials, regional (Chiapas). Pibil chicken, mole poblano, chiles en nogada, green pipian, etc., are daily occurances. Now, in October, they have dia de los muertos food, specializing in various moist tamales. It's my fav Mex place in the mid-to-south bay area.

    Sue's on Castro in Mountain View is great Indian, and there are many good ethnic places on that street.

    Have fun!

    John S.

  5. What I sent her IS chipotles en adobo, the canned version.  Here's a delicious recipe Rick Bayless' Chipotle Shrimp  and you'll be able to get all the ingredients in Malaysia with no problem.  I like to add a little cilantro garnish, and a drizzle of Mexican crema, which is just like creme fraiche, but they're excellent as they are and will give you a feel for how they work.  And you'll still have 7/8 of the can left after making that recipe.  I'm telling ya, it's a lifetime supply!

    Abra - she didn't say that. If you're her supplier, maybe you could direct her to some of the many hundreds of recipes available. She seems to be in the dark on what they are for!


  6. I wonder if chipotles are as hot as cili padi (i'm not sure what they're called in english!), I guess I'll try some later.

    I know it's annoying when someone can't just google 'chipotles' but i didn't want to waste my one can of chipotle with wonky recipes

    I still don't have an idea as to your heat-tolerance. But if you want to make GOOD use of those wonderful chiles, make chipotles en adobo. This medium-hot sauce is exceptional. It can be added to recipes to taste. Good in barbecue sauces because of the natural smokiness. This homemade sauce is much fresher than any canned sauce. The best part is that because of the vinegar content, it will keep in the refridge for many months. The following recipe is from Mark Miller's The Great Chile Book with John Harrison, Ten Speed Press, 1991. I never asked: do you have the dark red/purple (chiles morita) or the tan chipotles (chiles meco)? The mecos are better IMHO and are easier to seed and stem. The moritas seem hard. The result is darker with the moritas, but they can be used interchangeably. Another chipotle is called chiles pasilla de Oaxaca. Larger than the others, they are my favorite. Hard to get but not impossible. They are about 60-80 dollars per pound! The following recipe can use any of them. The resultant sauce can be pureed to a smooth consistency (and put through a seive) or the chiles can be left in there as is, for a more natural stew texture which can be added to breads, sauces, salad dressings and pastas.

    Chipotles en Adobo Sauce

    Yield: 1 Cup

    7-10 medium chipotles, stemmed and slit lengthwise

    1/3 cup onion, cut into 1/2 inch slices

    5 TBS cider vinegar

    2 clove garlic, sliced

    4 TBS ketchup

    1/4 tsp salt

    3 cups water

    Combine all ingredients in a pan, cover and cook over very low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the chiles are very soft and the liquid is reduced to 1 cup.

    I always make double or triple, and the recipe multiplies well. Good luck!


  7. I'm wondering if anyone here knows what to do with them?

    scoville is right - chipotles are hot, and many don't like hot food. However there are many recipes calling for only one or two chiles in them. I found lots of recipes by Googling "recipe chipotle".


  8. Thank you very much, folks!  Those are great ideas, and suddenly I wonder whether I have enough peppers after all!  That pasta sauce will have to happen sometime in the next week, I think.

    Marco Polo, your descriptions are wonderful and evocative.  I do have a technical question about canning the roasted peppers with the oil and garlic.  Is it all heated in the pot, then cold-packed into the sterile jars? If so, heated for how long and to what temperature? Or are the jars processed in a hot-water bath?  Or is this one of those cases where nothing would grow anyway?  I'm thinking there isn't any acid in that mix you describe, so I'm wondering how long it would keep without refrigeration or freezing.

    (Hoists a glass of Rioja) Here's to you all, with your fine ideas.

    Marco is right about the hot water bath. A pressure canner would be even better. Peppers have much too high a pH. If you don't add vinegar or lime juice, (there are some good recipes for salsas with enough of these to keep the final product safe without heating) then they need to be frozen.

    Marco, those peppers you found on your trip sound great. This is the perfect time of year.

    For those interested here are links to the four sections of a great book about what to do with all of your peppers at harvest time. Some very good ideas in here. It's written about chiles, but bells can be treated the same (without any heat of course).





    John S.

  9. I got food from this gem of a place twice last week and I was impressed both times. 

    I looked it up and there are many bad reviews by people saying it's too expensive for what you get... My sources are menupages.com, nymetro.com, and wcities.com. newyork.citysearch.com has nothing bad to say (impartial ???), but it sounds expensive and not very friendly.

    I'd like to see more member reviews, as I'm going out there Nov. 3.

    John S.

  10. I would suggest a very fresh sauce (or two) for pasta or eggplant. Roast, seed and peel peppers. Put in blender with some tomatoes (proportion to taste - I like the peppers). Add roasted garlic, chopped yellow onion, a touch of balsamic vinegar, pinch of salt and black pepper, a little sugar to offset acid, chile flakes to taste. All into the blender and process. Then simmer this with more tomatoes, sugar and chile flakes for a few minutes. If you want to add herbs now is the time to do it (parsley, basil, cilantro) and only simmer for a second or two. Put over pasta.

    There are a couple other good uses in Ornish's first cookbook (where this came from) for red bells.

    Good luck. John S.

  11. ...

    also,  assuming wegman's doesn't have it or won't get it, where can i get them, or what can be substituted?


    As others mentioned, they are also commonly just called, "thai chiles". If you can't find them, I think the next best easily obtainable substitute would be serranos (which are less hot).

    All Thai chiles are of the species annuum, so serrano (also c. annuum) would be a good substitute. In dried form, I prefer chile de arbol, tabasco or chile japones. Serranos just aren't the same heat level.

    John S.

  12. :rolleyes: Might this be what he meant?
    A fine blend of Birds Eye chile infused olive oil and Birds Eye Chile Extract, may be used in all types of food where a pungent or hot sensation is desired. This is too hot for direct consumption. The flavour must only be evaluated in dilution. Comes in it's own dropper bottle for ease of use.
    the source of the quote

    Yes, same chile, but I've never seen its extract per se! Every time I hear the word "extract" in the same sentence as "chile" I think of capsaicin extract, which is crystalline. When reconstituted it is sometimes added to bottled hot sauces to give them the "burn ass" or "killer" heat levels. Unfortunately it also changes the flavor. Oil with infused chiles can be a great condiment, but since capsaicin is the sole source of any chile's heat, its extract would be the same regardless of the source chile.

    John S.

  13. in a number of recipies, the cafe paradisio cookbook calls for a "birds' eye" chili.


    The above has photos of some Thai staples, and the chile shown is the Thai (or birdseye) chile. Nice 'n hot, they ripen to red. Incedentally, last year I dried my last 70-100 of those left on the plants (red by then). They partially dried on the plant, then I roasted them in the oven. They sat for a few months more in the kitchen and I ran them through a spice mill and the flavor of the powder is excellent, darker than usual due to the roasting.

    John S.

  14. My husband has a birthday this weekend and has requested ribs for dinner.  I'm looking for a restaurant in Northern California with great BBQ ribs.  They must also have decent side dishes.  I love my husband but not beans and coleslaw.  I may have to kill myself if I'm served shriveled corn on the cob that was cooked hours before.  Please save me from having to make a special dinner with a 3 year old hanging from my hip.

    We're in Sonoma County and will drive over to Napa and down to Oakland or into the city.

    Would you drive all the way down to Mountain View? If so,

    Uncle Frank's BBQ Restaurant and Catering (inside of Francesca's bar)

    2135 Old Middlefield Way

    Mountain View, CA 650.964.4476

    unfinished web site: http://www.http://unclefranksbbq.com/

    He recently moved from East Palo Alto and as of this writing still has no signage outside. Just go into the bar and walk to the back. He was featured in last year's Sunset Magazine as one of the few (4 or 5) best BBQ places in the magazine's territory. Don't worry you'll be happy.





    Beef links



    Chicken wings


    Baked Beans

    Collard Greens

    Potato Salad

    Cole Slaw

    Black-Eyed Peas

    French Fries

    Seasoned Fries

    Corn Bread


    Peach Cobbler

    Sweet Potato Pie

    Have fun!

    John S.

  15. Inspired by the excellent mentions here I visited Uncle Frank’s about 5:30PM yesterday.  The place was not yet fully open for business (construction was still underway).  Seeing no obvious direct entrance (an "Uncle Frank’s" sign was visible on the ground, at the rear, piled with some supplies) I wandered into the dark bar, where someone saw my confused look and said with a routine tone, "The Barbecue is that way, to the rear."  There I found Uncle Frank and personnel, busy amid dining tables strewn with construction supplies and paperwork.  Though obviously busy, they were very welcoming and the kitchen was sort of operating.  When I mentioned knowing of the place via Internet, Uncle Frank's younger associate was eager to take down the site name.  I spelled out E-G-U-L-L-E-T-dot-O-R-G, California forum. 

    Uncle Frank told me of his experience, first cooking barbecue in the South when he was young, then opening locally and cooking breakfasts which was a lot of work for low checks, then discovering the lively market for barbecue in the area and abandoning the breakfast business.  Amid banter about Special Accommodations for Internet Customers, $20 and change set me up with a semi-infinite take-out supply of assorted hot smoked meats (with a sampler while I waited).  These came with a thick, raisiny sauce and smoked fresh corn on the cob (potato salad as alternative).  Rich, wood smoke flavor in both the meats (which were indeed tender) and corn.  Very cordial and accommodating folks, obviously fired up with their new business location.  Uncle F opined that final work should be finished next week if all goes as planned.

    Max H. :

    Thanks for the post. I'm glad there are some south bay members who like BBQ. I never followed up my original post, and I'm sorry this is late. You are right, he still is in the back of Francesca's bar with no sign of his own. Since then, I brought twelve friends there for a "party" of thirteen, as Frank would say. I knew him from EPA and he asked me: "how do you want me to do it: individual or just bring it out?" I said that peoiple would want to have different things. so maybe separate checks would be appropriate. He readily agreed. Then, after talking to my friends, they wanted "it all". So I told Frank, just bring it out!. Plate after plate kept coming.

    He brought out all four meats by the platter, plus five or six sides. He kept it coming until we were full. We had to buy the drinks because he still has no license there for alcohol, and has no drinks. Children will be welcomed soon, after he wins his disagreement with a neighbor. Awesome experience.

    For the record, as of 8/29, he still has some work to do. His "Grand Opening" is in 5 or 6 weeks. The evening entertainment will start about then (I could care less). His signage should be ready by then too. Let me know by e-mail if you want to join me for linch or dinner there. Groups are great.

    John S.

  16. Uncle Frank's is at 2135 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View.

    Quickest way to get there is get off 101 on Rengstorff, head west, 2 lights later on Old Middlefield, turn right.

    I have heard wonderful things about Uncle Frank's too. Heading there this weekend :-9

    Hey alycemoy, hope to see you and the previous post there. He's great.

    John S.

  17. I've heard very good things about Uncle Frank, and have been awaiting for it to reopen to finally give it a try.  Thanks for the update.  The other BBQ place in the Peninsula on my list of restaurants to try is Jimmy's Rib Shack in San Bruno.  In the past, I've gone to Everett & Jones in the East Bay for BBQ, and I really enjoyed it (I've only been to the Berkeley location).

    Thanks for the info. Always a BBQ enthusiast, I will try Jimmy's. I never heard of E & J's, so will do that one too. I just have to compare!

    John S.

  18. Wow, sounds tasty. Looking forward to giving it a try. Where in Mountain View is he located?

    I am so sorry I never followed up on replies. He is at 2135 Old Middlefield Way. From 101, turn south on Rengstorrf, then west (right) on Old Middlefield, ywo lights away. He is a block down on the left.

    He has some reporters coming tomorrow (8/30) then in a few weeks he will have a grand opening. I will try to scan and post his new menu tomorrow. It includes many sides (blackeyed peas, collard greens, potato salad, baked beans, cole slaw, french fries, seasoned fries and corn bread). Also sometimes candied yams. His meat is ribs, chicken, brisket, beef sausages ("Louisina style links"). He makes desert (peach cobbler, sweet potato pie), great sauce (mild and "spicy" [i bring my own chile to add to it....]), catfish, prawns and chicken wings.

    He was featured in Sunset Magazine (The West's Best BBQ" ) (June 2004 I think).

    John S.

  19. Would love  to make Papa Huancaina (Peruvian boiled potatos with cheese sauce) to eat while I am drinking my Pisco Sours.  It seems so simple but there is something elusive about the stuff.  Any input is most appreciated. Thanks

    The recipe at the web site wattacetti mentioned looks very authentic. I had the dish in Peru many years ago. Huancayo is a very interesting town - via el ferrocarril central, high in the mountains. Getting there was half the fun. We also had trucha frita (don't know if that's what they called it) - delicious. I agree with annieb that it is a delicate dish and that less is more. I always wondered what the lure of peruvian cooking was, but I was always a "more hotter, more better" type eater. I have seen aji panca in prepackaged plastic bags in latin stores around the SF Bay Area, but the owners were South American. Of course you can mail-order.

    One more thing is that I have no idea where to find huacatay. It is a black mint used in peru, perhaps approximated by one of the mexican herbs like hoja santa, etc. You can get that online, too. If possible, don't use the aji amarillo in jars, try to get it fresh (dried... ha ha).

  20. Uncle Frank's barbecue, formerly of East Palo Alto, CA, relocated to the back of a bar in Mountain View, CA on January 1, 2005. The city hit him with so many unexpected requirements that he is opening only now.

    Some things were his choice like making an outdoor eating place, making the place open to minors (previously it wasn't because to get into it customers had to go throught the bar). He also had to modify his smoker. He does not compromise, and I do not yet understand what he did to build a new smoker to satisfy the city, but he did it. He still uses his old smoker in East Palo Alto to do catering.

    Uncle Frank's (he learned BBQ in Louisiana) was one of five BBQ restaurants mentioned in the June 2005 issue of Sunset magazine. That's how I found him. But unbeknownst to me, he had already been doing business in EPA for 30 years. So I went there about ten times between June last year to December last year. His brisket has a wide smoke ring. The chicken breasts are extremely juicy. And the ribs are great. I was born and grew up in San Jose. I know all the BBQ joints. His is best.

    He is open today 8/01/2005 for testing only. (Hmmmm, I think I will show up). Then tomorrow for business as usual. Listen to his message: 650. 964.4476.

  21. Whichever you decide, do check out this vendor.  I have purchased several items from them besides my DLX and they have the best deals I have found.  They include several "extras" with the DLX which are added costs with other vendors. 

    Pleasant Hill Grain

    DLX mixer


    I received the Electrolux and have used it four times. I really like it - very powerful. I'm limited by the size of the stainless bowl to about 5 pounds of dough, but for family use that's plenty. I make 4 loaves of whole wheat, fridge it or give friends some. Its a fun machine. Thanks for the link to Pleasant Hill Grains. They shipped the next day.

    John S.

  22. need some advice for upcoming dinner party.

    I have a very good crab cake recipe, but am wondering how best to serve them. 

    any ideas on presentation?  with aioli?  mixed greens?  something else?

    any advice from crabcake afficionados would be greatly appreciated.

    Hey G,

    I always plate them out on top of a sauce or aioli according to the ingredients of the crabcake. For instance one of my favorites has chipotle sauce (adobo) in them, so I would normally squirt or coat the plate with something with chipotle in it, like chipotle mayonaisse or something more complex like a chipotle hummus.

    If there is a strong flavor in the cakes, then use a milder green like you said arrugula or italian parsley. My pick if using smoked jalapenos in the cakes would be cilantro.

    \John S.

  23. when I was 'investigating' chiles for the Mole Poblano cook-off, I learned a very interesting thing: the chile peppers that are sold all over Holland as 'spanish peppers' are actually botanically known as Dutch red and Dutch green. Apparently these are professionally cultivated from Indonesian cayenne's to create a sweeter, less pungent, more marketable product.

    You are right, Holland has successfully bred hybrids or rDNA varieties for color only (bells). I wouldn't be surprised if anyone would do the same for traditionally hot chiles. Best bet is to find a supplier (or grow your own) for consistent results. Too bad, for you guys have an Indonesian influence (i.e. sambals) and I would hope that your industry would market hot fresh chiles. Especially so since my wife is Friesian and we will be visiting soon. I have plans to seek out the heat there.

    John S.

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