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Everything posted by shellfishfiend

  1. shellfishfiend


    The BLT, regardless of its origins, is the most perfect sandwich in existence. I realize it goes against convention, but I have always enjoyed my BLTs with either no dressing of any sort (just s&p) or with mustard (usually French's.) I have always loved the double whammy of an acidic tomato and the vinegar taste of the mustard.
  2. shellfishfiend

    garlic bread

    I also always wrap mine in foil, but leave the top exposed. You want the bread to take on a bit of crispiness. The crunchy parts are my favorite. I'm in the dried garlic camp. For some reason, I think it provides a much stronger garlic flavor than fresh garlic. i always add a little fresh cracked black pepper.
  3. If you are an oyster snob then I must declare myself one as well. Anywhere I dine, if oysters on the half shell are on the menu, that is what I order for an appetizer if not for an entree. I despise oysters that are full of bits of shell or look as though the restuarant has had an employee pre-chew my oyster. I recently purchased oyster knives and have set about teaching myself how to shuck. No, I am not fast. I would starve if I had to feed myself from oysters I have shucked. However, there was not a single piece of shell in the first batch I attempted and that was delightful. A good tip from James Peterson's Fish & Shellfish cookbook: After removing the top shell, but before cutting the oyster from the bottom shell, run the oyster under lightly running cold water to wash out grit and shell. The oyster, since it is still partially attached, will then refill the shell with salty, liquid goodness.
  4. Hathor, i am loving your blog. The rooftop view, the artichokes with loooong, slender stalks, the adorable cats basking in the sun....... Do you find that your style of cooking changes a great deal from New York to Italy? If so, is it due to the surroundings (faster pace vs. slower pace) or is due to the availiablity of different foods?
  5. JasonZ, I love the idea of an in-depth montly look at different regions of Japan and its cuisine. I think broadening the scope beyond just one recipe is an excellent way to learn about a cuisine and the people who cook it. You learn not just the "what" but the "why" of food. The idea has my vote.
  6. I believe Japanese cuisine is worth learning. Any cuisine that places such a strong emphasis on quality ingredients and seasonal foods is worth learning. Japanese cuisine features balanced meals and IMO-a good understanding of portion size. I still get excited everytime I come home from the Asian market with a new ingredient to experiment with. I think that is part of the appeal for me, the fact that I have to go to a little extra trouble to source Japanese food items.
  7. In 2000, we moved to from a small town to a city that actually had a few Japanese restaurants-mainly sushi and hibachi. I fell in love with the food-the simple, clean dishes left me feeling satisfied after meals, not stuffed and miserable. I bought a Janeses cookbook and began researching the cuisine. I love the fact that Janeses recipes often only call for 3 or 4 ingredients-so they must be of the best quality possible. Last night, my husband and I went out for sushi. The restaruant is a combination hibachi grill/sushi place. The grills are the more popular option here, although I dislike them. I asked my husband if he thought hibachi grills were present in Japan, or was it a Western invention. I know grilled food is popular in Japan, but the show aspects (breaking eggs with cleavers and tossing shrimp shells) don't strick me as typical of the Japanese who seem to respect their food more. So, am I right or wrong about this? I know I have much more to learn about Japanese cuisine, and egullet has been an amazing tutor. My dream is to save up enough money for a trip to Japan. until then, I will continue to learn and cook new dishes. Is the food misunderstood by most Americans? Yes, I think so. But, hopefully not by this Amercian.
  8. I also use kitchen shears to cut up pizza. They are also great for cutting green onions and snipping up whole canned tomatoes. Not food related, but I have used my pizza cutter to cut through the layers of paint on old windows that have been painted shut.
  9. Open face tacos are always popular. Buy tostados, prepped produce, good salsa and shredded cheese. All you need to do is cook up taco meat (chicken, beef or pork) and keep it warm in a crock pot. Guests can build their own tacos.
  10. So glad to hear that you made boudin. I myself have never attempted this. I would have to see a pic of the boudin to understand how "mushy-textured" it is. However, boudin is not a firm sausage. It has a soft, almost crumbly texture when cooked. You probably nailed the recipe and, with nothing to compare it to, just didn't realize it.
  11. We eat lots of shrimp. When we lived in central Arkanasas, I had to settle for frozen shrimp imported from overseas. It was certainly affordable, but not that tasty. Also, I usually eat my shrimp boiled, and these imported shrimp deemed to disintergrate into mush as I peeled them. Now that we are in Louisiana, I can get the delightful gulf shrimp I remember from my youth. At my local Brookshire's, I pay $7.99 lb. for 25-35 count. Very resonable. Now, when peeling my shrimp, I am left with a beautiful, firm pink piece of seafood perfection instead of mush.
  12. I grew up in southwest Arkansas and catered events usually featured either fried chicken or bbg (pulled pork). The sides were either mashed potatos or potato salad, macaroni and cheese, slaw and beans. There was the ever popular white dinner roll and cobbler for dessert. Any salad served consisted of iceberg lettuce, a tiny bit of red cardboard (aka store bought tomatoe) and commercial ranch dressing.
  13. Go to the grocery store and buy a spiral cut ham, some bags of decent dinner rolls and several types of mustards. After warming and glazing the ham, the slices almost fall off the bone. Pile the ham on a platter and let people make their own mini sandwhiches with their mustard of choice. Tasty and inexpensive.
  14. There is not much I won't eat—I figure someone's eaten it before and lived to tell the tale so it must be okay. e I do, however, refuse to eat english peas. I know people say there is a huge difference between fresh and canned, and there is, but I dislike both types. Growing up, my mother, convinced that she could trick me in to liking them if she hid them under my food, quickly discovered that I have a nose for the things and could sniff them out before she sat the plate down in front of me. As luck would have it, or maybe it was fate, I married a man who also hates english peas (and it is just about the only thing he wonn't eat.) We are a pea free family
  15. Just got back form a trip to California and was suprised by the number of people I saw pulling liquids out of their bags once on board. I did see a few people have their drinks confiscated at the gate, but the "no liquid" rule did not appear to be strictly enforced. As for me, I always carry fruit and either french bread or pita chips. Onigiri, if I could buy it, would be my number one choice.
  16. He brings back uncooked boudin from Herbert's in Maurice, LA. They also have wonderful andouille and boneless, stuffed chickens. http://www.hebertsmeats.com/
  17. When my husband drives down to south Louisian, he often stocks up on boudin. I just cut the links into strings of three or four, put them in a freezer bag and pop them in the freezer. Never had any problems. I usually steam them in a skillet in beer, water or chicken broth and then finish them in the oven or on the grill. I never pierce them before cooking and rarely(if I'm gentle) have any problems with tears in the casing.
  18. Carolyn, As we were planning our recent vacation to San Francisco, I found your posts to be very helpful. We just got back from our vacation to San Francisco and I must tell you how lucky you are to live in a city with such great food. I read all of the threads about food in the area before we left and found some really great suggestions. My "find" for the week was Sakana on Post St. Now, you must keep in mind that where I live, there is not a lot of competition when it comes to sushi restaurants. However, I found the service and the food at Sakana to be outstanding and I ate there on more than one occasion during the trip. Sanraku, where we ate the first night in town, had good food but I found the atmosphere to be less relaxing than what I typically expect from a sushi restaurant. We loved San Francisco and are already planning to return in a year or two.
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