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Everything posted by KarenS

  1. KarenS


    hot and sour soup, pho, or miso is what I go for (or miso soba)
  2. KarenS

    Thanksgiving Sides

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! green beans with brown butter and toasted hazenuts cranberry tangerine sauce mashed butternut squash with lots of ground black pepper brussel sprouts grated and sauteed with leeks, fennel, and butter wild rice and levain stuffing with dried cherries, dried apricots, fresh apple and pear, thyme and sage green salad with lemon parsley vinaigrette (brined and roasted turkey) (pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie, cranberry- raspberry linzer torte) now I'm hungry...
  3. KarenS

    Hard-boiling eggs

    I bring cold water to a boil with a splash of vinegar. I add the egss to the pot and turn the heat down. I let the eggs simmer for 14 minutes, then I remove them and cool them in an ice bath (I crack them in the water while they cool).
  4. KarenS

    Cold Meat

    I do not like cold meat (except turkey sliced and chicken breat sliced- no cold bones or fat). I am not crazy about meat to begin with. The worst to me is cold lamb (yuck). The lamb flavor is too strong. Cold fish or seafood are great I think. I think that it is the texture that is so unpleasant to me about cold chicken. I notice the fat and tendons etc... more. Then again, I don't like fried chicken at all! I pull off the skin and the breading before I eat it. I feel the same about meat loaf (hot or cold)- none for me!
  5. In the west, Best Foods is the mayonaise of choice. Miracle Whip is horrible, like a sweet thousand island dressing
  6. Beef tongue (I can still remember the horror of seeing it on the platter). Tripe, I could smell the menudo coming! The sponge like texture made me cry (same with whole clams in cioppino- I love them now though). Here is a crime, abalone- I grew up in N. CA and both my dad and brother were frequent divers. My cousins and I would throw it in the bushes- we wanted hot dogs. Now I don't eat hot dogs and I beg my brother for abalone!
  7. The onaga is most representative of Alan's style (plus he sells it more then any other dish)-he says that he always has to have it available. The shooters are very unique (and very Hawaiian- clams aren't).
  8. George Morrone- Tuna with foie gras, spinach, and potato Alan Wong- ginger crusted onaga and opihi shooters Claudia Fleming- Buttermilk panna cotta with sauternes gelee and coconut tapioca with passion sorbet and cilantro syrup F. Point was Marjolaine
  9. Hi, about the bread- what you made was not tradional "French" bread. A straight yeasted bread that is proofed will not have much time to develop texture or flavor. A traditional baguette is just flour, water, and salt The starter would be in the form of a "chef"- this is dough from the previous days baking. A biga is a method of making a quick starter. A baguette that is "retarded" takes around 24 hours to make (and this is after having a developed starter). Baking bread is an interesting art!
  10. Favorite herbs: tarragon, thyme, basil, and cilantro favorite spice: vanilla bean (Tahitian or Hawaiian) I love nutmeg too- the smell is wonderful. Cilantro IS corriander (in France it is called that). In Hawaii it is called "Chinese Parsley". The dried seeds from Cilantro (or corriander) are what you find in the markets as corriander seeds.
  11. O.K., right now I'm a little insulted. Where are the experts? Hmm... I have been cooking professionally for over 20 years. I have been a Chef for 10 years. I am a Pastry Chef. We currently go through around 800 eggs a day. I have cracked eggs every working day for the last 20 years. Yes, I have a great concern about salmonella. I used to work in a 22 story hotel. I figured out that I had made enough creme brulee to fill the place! Go to a chicken "factory" farm. The chickens can barely breathe -they are frequently breathing chicken shit. The chickens are so close together that they can barely move. Every aspect of their lives has them enveloped in chicken waste. This is why they are MUCH bigger carriers of salmonella. Duck farms are on such a very small scale compared to chicken farms. Eggs do carry salmonella. The Prof at UC Davis said that you are much more likely to be hit by a car. I am careful with eggs (and all poultry). I eat duck breast med rare; I get upset when it is overcooked and ruined into a chewy rubberry mass. About ground beef. Processing plants are working at the highest speed ever. The cows are slaughtered along a conveyer belt with each person working on a different part. The workers wear boots; they are standing in deep cow slaughter. Very frequently the workers are migrant workers from Mexico and S. America. They are much less likely to complain about abusive conditions. Ground beef is made from all leftover beef. The intestines frequently rupture while being butchered. Fecal matter is all over the plant (and the workers are standing in it). The beef industry has such power in this country. The last recall (they are all ONLY voluntary) was 3 weeks after the beef was known as contaminated. The public schools get dumped most of the worse quality beef ( how is that for caring for the children). Cows are being feed grain ( that their stomachs were not designed to process). Sick and unhealthy cows are being slaughtered, once again they are feed antibiotics. Dairy cows are given bovine growth hormone (very often you can be drinking puss along with your hormones and antibiotics). Sorry to be so graphic. In CA, you will find the milk labeled with who uses BHT and who does not. (this is used to increase milk production). I pay 50 cents more and buy organic milk. I know, I do go on... I feel strongly about this!
  12. Factory raised chicken has a much higher instance of salmonella. The chickens in chicken shit. They are feed grain with antibiotics in it because of the huge exposure to salmonella. Most duck farms are not so crowded- it is a much less consumed meat in the US. You should be much more concerned about ground beef. It is FULL of animal waste (that is why it is standard procedure to cook it to medium). I love seared tuna - I think that cooking it past medium rare is a crime. Well done tuna is like eating sawdust. Tuna is a deep water fish. They are much less likely to have parasites. Wild salmon, I would eat cooked through- it usually has parasites. Raw oysters and shrimp are pretty unsafe these days. Swordfish- no thanks! I have cleaned way too many, it is always full of parasites. Free range chicken is much less likely to have salmonella because of their living conditions. It also won't be shot up with antibiotics (another reason why antibiotics are becoming less effective in the US- people are regularly consuming them). I personally have no interest in eating conagra beef! (read Fast Food Nation).
  13. KarenS

    This weeks menu

    I live in Hawaii, where oxtails are very popular. The stove that I use at work has them braising in the oven every day. I thought that you might enjoy our kitchen name for them, "ass shields". I don't suppose that would sell too many on the menu.
  14. I was hitchhiking with a friend in college. I was drinking a milkshake while we were waiting. I took off the lid and tipped the cup upside down (it was too thick for the straw at that point). The shake fell on my face (nose and mouth). I could not breathe and flung everything towards the street past my friend (exclaiming that I was suffocating). She laughed so hard that she had to lie down on the sidewalk. I broke my front tooth (cap) on a baguette. Two weeks later I was chewing a pistachio and I broke a back filling. My dentist could not believe it- he thought that it was very entertaining. I was making caramel ice cream wearing rubber slippers (thongs). I poured hot caramel on my foot while pouring the caramel in the cream. I managed to put the pan down in the sink before rushing to the hospital.
  15. The farmer's market in Santa Monica is nice. The farmer's market in Northern CA at the Marin Civic Center (Thursday and Sunday's) is the best one that I have been to in the US. This month will be killer (tomatoes, oh so good!). In SF, try the Fifth Floor, Masas, and Redwood Park, plus Fleur du Lys just reopened. The Mexican, El Salvordoran, Guatamalan, Brazilian, Argentinian, is so great. Plus, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese and every type of Chinese (remember, there are more Chinese people in SF then in any place outside of China). Hmmm, Indian, Ethiopian, et........ I grew up there and thought that everyone ate the worlds food all the time! (thank's mom and dad for raising me in Berkeley). Why would anyone go to Disneyland if they were annoyed by "slobs in shorts"?. That is what I would wear there if I was to spend an expensive day there. Fat Guy, you are sounding like an annoying New Yorker (I am sorry, I am being honest). There are many slobs in shorts that have more food knowledge than you. Don't make food elitist; it is much better to share, and teach. I have had MUCH better food on the west coast (freshness and availibility has a lot to do with this).
  16. I love being cooked for by my friends. It is , the thought that counts. I share my knowledge only when I am asked (or if there is danger of an explosion). I have taught many of them how to make chicken stock, and what to save in their freezer. We have roasted chicken and turkeys together. I am happy to answer panicked emergency food disasters. They are all becoming better cooks. etc... Many people want to improve their cooking skills- they are just shy about asking. The nicest present my friend ever gave me, a birthday cake she had made and brought to the restaurant. It was beautiful (and horrible). I am a Pastry chef, and have cooked/ baked professionally for 20 years (I did savory for the first 8). I don't want people to be afraid to cook for me. I want to share my love for food and cooking with them. I would make a roast chicken, stuffed with lemon, taragon, thyme, garlic and onions. A green salad, maybe some baby beets tossed with roasted shallots and evoo. New potatoes, maybe something with corn or tomatoes since they are so good right now. I would make a fruit pie or tart for dessert.
  17. KarenS

    Brown Rice

    Brown rice is a whole grain and it is better for you. Eating white rice is eating empty calories (like eating a bowl of sugar). Most people don't rely on rice for nutritional needs. It is the huge portions that are not healthy. I live in Hawaii where a rice portion seems to be about 5 cups! There is a huge amount of diabetes here- lots of carbs and meat. I have met weight lifters that think eating canned tuna on a huge mound of white rice is good for you. People forget that a portion size is supposed to be half of a cup! Mixing brown and white rice will give you more fiber. Hinode rice is marketing a "hapa" blend calrose here now. It is very popular.
  18. I use crisco and butter in my pie crust recipe. Butter for the flavor and tenderness, crisco for the flakiness. I have found that you can not substitute brands. I was embarassed of my crisco usage until I worked at Chez Pannise. The blue can was there (ONLY for pie dough). When I went to Spago, it was the same thing (though hide the can from W.P or he will throw it out)! My grandmother swore that lard made the best pie crust (I can always tell the ones with lard). I don't care to use lard. She loved my pie dough (and thought that I had finally used lard). Crisco is a big bad no in the new trans fat information. The amount I use in a pie crust is very small though.
  19. KarenS

    Freezing foods

    I would not freeze truffles. They would end up shattering or crumbling when you thawed them. (like any fungus, they are mostly water). Put them in a good quality mild oil. The bonus is that you will have a lovely flavored oil to use too!
  20. KarenS

    Coffee beans

    I got a nice present from my old roomate. He gave me the Capresso coffee maker that brews (and burr grinds the coffee)with a timer. The machine is my alarm clock, I wake up smelling and hearing coffee brew. I really like it-it was more money then I would spend (but he knows that I love coffee- he makes a lot more money too). I really think that Peets coffee is the best that I have had in the US (brewed in a French press was the best cup). I have the coffee sent to me in Hawaii (I know, I am just not a Kona fan). The best cup of coffee that I have had was at a shop in Paris near the Louvre, can't remember the name right now- I have it written down. The coffee was a wood roasted Sumatra. Thanksgiving coffee from near Mendocino is also very good.
  21. KarenS


    Peach salsa is very good. Peaches with grilled or sauteed duck. Peaches grilled and served with foie gras. Chilled peach soup with vin santo, mascarpone mousse and amaretti. Peach chutney with grilled pork chops. Semolina crepes with creme fraiche ice cream and peaches. Peach sherbet with raspberry zinnfandel granita and almond madeleines... I could keep going!
  22. KarenS

    Taro taro taro

    Be very careful with taro. Wear gloves when you peel it and NEVER EAT IT RAW!!! It must be very cooked (even undercooked chips will be remembered). There are fiberglass like crystals in raw taro that will leave you gagging or choking. If you peel it without gloves on , you will have extreme itching/ feeling of ground glass etc.. Taro is good in stew (chicken, fish, etc) Taro cakes are good (make sure that they are well cooked. "Haole" poi is the easiest thing to start with as a poi beginner. This is steamed and then pounded. "haoles" eat it with milk and sugar (like cereal). Hawaiians stir little bits of whatever they are eating into their poi. People have preferences for fresh, day old , or two day old. Do not refigerate poi (it will become firm again). I love taro chips with guacamole. Taro- fish cakes are good too.
  23. I love MFK Fisher, and read her books over and over. Calvin Trillan makes me laugh. I like Edward Behr and John Thorne too.
  24. I prefer sparkling water. My favorite is Badoit for the small bubbles. It is tres cher in Hawaii. I also like Crystal Geyser and Calistoga. Pelligrino and Panna are good too. Perrier bottles are too small. I do drink tap water too (no ice though).
  25. I love to eat, so there are many. mangoes (Hawaiian are much better then Mexican) lychees Black mission figs raspberries blackberries boysenberries blueberries fraise du bois tomatoes sweet corn Frog Hollow peaches white nectarines , plums, apricots pluots galia melon asparagus hass avocados artichokes sugar loaf pineapples blueberries porcini chanterelles
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