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Everything posted by kbjesq

  1. A few years ago I found a recipe online that used baked russet potatoes instead of boiled potatoes and wow they were great. I just wish I could find that recipe again. If I recall correctly it was from some rather famous restaurant in Texas and also included sour cream and other traditional stuffed potato ingredients like butter, chives and possibly cheese or bacon? Gee whiz I wish I could find that recipe again because it was a real hit with my guests and it was really easy to make as I recall. IIRC, you bake the potatoes, let them cool a bit and then scoop out the insides and proceed to mash with the other ingredients. The baking rather than boiling served to intensify the potato flavor. Must use a potato masher and/or ricer not a mixer or you will end up with a gluey mess as was mentioned above!
  2. @rotuts - I remember Almaden wine being in the house when I was a kid in New England. Ipswich clams are A+ but last year we took a trip to Apalachicola and had really good clams there. They are small, not like New England clams but tasty none the less. Have not been there recently as it is near the Panhandle quite far from where I live but I heard the area was devastated by recent storms. Which is a shame because it's a really nice historical fishing village - these have become far and few between as developers purchase waterfront property and turn it into high-priced vacation homes for the wealthy.
  3. Very true @rotuts! A clam without a belly ain't worth eating
  4. PS The Instant Pot is great for making collards! Cuts the cooking time down from many hours to just 45 minutes at high pressure for melt-in-your-mouth Style southern greens. If you like that sort of thing. Served with a side of spicy hot vinegar to be used as a condiment at the table. Haha!
  5. The roundish things are called hush puppies and the other fried squiggly looking things are fried oysters which was a special of the day. On the other plate is a combo special with frog legs, catfish and Gator tail. They had run out of turtle by the time we got there. We've made Swamp Cabbage from scratch and let me tell you, it is a whole lot of work. Although the homemade version is obviously so much better than the canned version that is served in a few places around here! There are several YouTube videos that show the process required to make Swamp Cabbage which starts with cutting down a cabbage palm tree. I also learned yesterday that the Cabbage Palm is the state tree of Florida. And yes you saw collard greens because that is a true staple around here. I'm from New England originally and it's hard for me to adjust to the fact that vegetables here are cooked to within an inch of their life. The collards, for example, are cooked for so long that you hardly have to chew them. But for people that were born and raised here this is how they typically cook their food (often boiled forever and seasoned with bacon fat). The juice that's left over is called potlikker and they drink that too! I have to say that my favorite part of the meal was observing other patrons. I can't remember the last time I sat down in a restaurant with real live Cowboys - boots and spurs and great big, well-worn cowboy hats complete with visible sweat rings around the perimeter. I'm surprised I didn't see a Hitching Post out in front of the establishment. LOL
  6. Griffis Cafe 955 S. Kenansville Rd. Kenansville, Florida 34739 Serving real old style Florida food to mostly cowboys and sheriffs! Frog legs, Turtle, Swamp Cabbage, Fried Green Tomatoes, hush puppies, cheese grits, catfish Etc. Off the beaten path but worth a diversion from I95 or the turnpike heading north or south.
  7. Heading to NO to eat for 5 days next month. Haven't been there since pre-Katrina. Looking for recommendations for breakfast, lunch and dinner at non-touristy spots. Don't care much for fine dining, more interested in authentic local fare even if served on paper plates & picnic tables. If my memory serves, I had some terrific Vietnamese meals last time I was there. Is there still a large Vietnamese community nearby? BTW @gfweb - I stayed at Windsor Court last time and ordered a crab meat omelette from room service and even though it was years ago I remember that being one of the best omelettes of my life. In fact I'm thinking about staying at the Windsor Court again just in the hopes that they still have that same omelet on the room service menu.
  8. I was in Bogota Colombia last week at a restaurant where they served the most delicious potato salad I've ever eaten and the dressing was a beet vinaigrette. Literally cooked and pureed beets together with some nice vinegar and a bit of oil. Just fabulous.
  9. If you live near a Japanese Daiso store, you can get a Japanese pickle press for a couple of dollars. I bought one over 10 years ago and I use it all the time. Is the best tofu press I have ever encountered. Also as far as salt proportions and so forth, I highly recommend the paperback book titled, "Easy Japanese pickles in 5 minutes per day" - here is a link to it on Amazon. It's a great little book. Easy Japanese Pickles in 5 Minutes Per Day
  10. @Ann_T my dear, you should be crowned Queen of the Crumb. I remain ever envious of the beautiful crumb that you consistently achieve!
  11. I've been making about 3-4 loaves of the New York Times no knead bread recipe each week for the past few weeks. I guess you could say I'm on a roll. LOL I'd forgotten how easy and delicious it is. By the way, I tried the "new and improved" version of the original recipe, (the fast rise version with 1 tbs of red wine vinegar), and we did not like it at all. I stick with the original recipe, although I do double it because one small loaf doesn't even last 24 hours around here. For a double batch, I find that baking with the lid on for 42 minutes and then removing the lid and baking for another 10 minutes at the suggested 450 degrees Fahrenheit temperature produces excellent results. The odd thing about this bread - maybe some of you have noticed it as well - is that the flavor seems to improve on the second day.
  12. What is "jail slaw"? And sorry about your beans. I have not yet had any problem using the IP to cook dry beans (no soak) and I hope that I never do. And I do use Rancho Gordo beans but also cheap chickpeas and black beans (Goya) from my local supermarket. With my luck, however, I'll probably have that problem for the first time when I've got company coming over. ETA: I just read the posts about the molasses being acid. I never thought about it so I looked it up and sure enough, molasses is usually around 5.2 - 5.7 pH. Learn something new every day. I have learned from past failures (decades ago) to never add anything but salt to dried beans before they reach the desired level of tenderness. After they reach that point, I often add something acidic in order to prevent the skins from suffering from blow out, assuming that I intend to keep cooking them (e.g., Boston baked beans).
  13. Last holiday season, "prime" standing rib roast (the whole thing) was ~$300USDand that fed 10 meat gluttons and 2 flexitarians. Various snapper, hog fish, flounder grouper, etc that is caught less than 1/4 mi from my house is often well over $30USD/lb buying direct at the dock. And the price of stone crab claws (which is mostly shell, by weight) is never less than $30USD/lb and that's for the small ones. The best ones are bought by restaurants who pay even more. I read somewhere that waiters at Joe's Stone Crab in Miami make well over six figures per year. I only are there once, but I didn't understand what all the fuss is about. Then again, I'm perfectly happy with a bowl of rice and beans. (Preferably Rancho Gordo beans, LOL)
  14. Beautiful photos and even better description and story. Thank you for sharing all these details and the helpful hot links!
  15. Haven't tried that one, but when I want a bit of cornmeal in my bread, it's Anadama Bread time at my house! Which reminds me, I haven't made any in awhile. Maybe that's on my to do list for tomorrow.
  16. I wish that I had such a thoughtful friend. What a great gift. It would definitely "wow" me! PS my birthday is coming up in a few months
  17. Oh my goodness! YES PLEASE! that looks delicious and I wish that it was sitting on my counter
  18. I've made the 50/50 batter with beer for fish and chips and it was amazing. Shatteringly crisp, dry and light as a feather. I'll never use any other recipe for frying seafood (tempura excluded) - and bearing in mind that maintaining proper oil temp at all times is as important as the batter one selects in any frying project
  19. @Wayne while you are doing all that pickling, can you make me a batch of watermelon rind pickles? Not too sweet, please.
  20. @rotuts picked green tomatoes, green beans and picked okra are worth are trying - if you haven't already. I love me some pickles, especially whole sours and beets. Also I make batches of pickled carrots and diakon (the kind served on bahn mi) just for snacking. They're very easy to make and have a great crunch factor.
  21. I'm very impressed by the creativity and miserly (in a good way) chicken stories that I'm reading here. Store-bought rotisserie birds around here are no more than ~3 lbs, which means the spouse eats 1/2 for dinner the 1st night, and then I usually make a second meal for him of either soup, dumplings, chicken-rice casserole or a Divan-type thing for meal #2, using the 2nd half.. But rarely do I get more than 2 meals plus chicken broth made in the slow-cooker overnight with any remaining scraps and aromatics. Oh, and the dogs get a small dinner, too. So arguably that could be meal 3 and 4? I keep trying to convince people here that meat should be more of a condiment than the star of the meal, but my pleas generally fall on deaf ears. Welcome to the South.
  22. kbjesq

    Salt Cod Diary

    A photo of the tiny Brazilian market where I found salt cod (country of origin: Norway). The cod was $10.98/USD per pound. But there were a lot of bones, skin, and fins. In New England, I would buy filets. Much easier to use.
  23. kbjesq


    @rotuts so do tell us, is the Hellmans on the right as we have guessed? My latest trip has been delayed for various reasons, but next time that I get to Aldi's, I'm going to refill the Hellmans jar with the Aldi's brand and see if the spouse notices. I have saved and cleaned an empty jar of Hellmans. I am prepared.
  24. kbjesq

    Slightly smelly cod

    @liuzhou you can have mine! Sometimes when I'm fishing, that's all that I catch. PS some locals told me that it tasted better smoked, so I found a guy with a smoker and tried that, but IMHO it didn't help. I just ended up with smoky, stinky mackerel. Oh, and it's strangely greasy, too. Did I mention that I don't like mackerel? LOL
  25. kbjesq

    Slightly smelly cod

    I'm wondering why fish that I've just caught myself (Spanish mackerel) often has that *fishy* odor? It's one of the reasons why I can't stomach it. As soon as you land it in the boat, it stinks! The only other fish that I've noticed this with is barracuda, but we throw those back anyhow so I never have to think about eating them. But what is it that makes Spanish mackerel so stinky? They stink even when they are still alive. It's very odd. Maybe it's a defense mechanism? If so, it's working well with me.
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