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Derek J

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  1. I much preferred Fatburger to In-N-Out Burger when I was in Vegas a couple years ago.
  2. I stayed at Aria and dined at Gordon Ramsay Steak a couple years ago. GR Steak was a big disappointment. I hope I just caught them on a bad night. I got the American Wagyu beef and it was spectacular. Unfortunately, it was also basically unseasoned. I should have sent it back, but didn't want to make a fuss, so shame on me, but shame on them for not even salting the thing. I also tried the bone marrow (didn't care for it, but that's probably a personal taste issue) and the foie gras (very disappointing after having first tried a MUCH better rendition of it at Alinea the year before). My wife is a hyper-picky eater (think 3 year old on a bad day) and stuck to some side dishes that didn't sound too scary. I think she got a potato dish and mac & cheese. I tried both and neither was very good. I would consider going back to give them another chance. I may have just had bad luck. However, with so many interesting places to eat in Vegas, it will probably be years before I rotate back through. We're planning our second trip to Vegas early next year and will probably try out Ramsay's gastropub instead. As for Aria, we loved our room, but it was a little inconveniently located. Getting to the strip is a long hike through another casino. It takes a good 15 minutes of power-walking to hit the strip. I highly recommend Border Grill. The chips and salsa were the best things we ate when we were in Vegas and that isn't a criticism of the other food. The chips and salsa were just wonderful. I would really love to eat my way through their menu. Bouchon was also a highlight.
  3. I'm sorry. I wasn't clear. I know to cook until the turkey is done per a thermometer. I'm trying to figure out a ballpark cooking time so I know what time to put the bird in the oven do that it will be ready by dinner time.
  4. I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year and my wife invited a bunch more people than I expected, so I'm working with a bigger bird this year. I'm using Alton Brown's brined turkey recipe which yielded good results a couple years ago. The recipe calls for a 14 to 16 pound bird with an estimated cooking time 2-2.5 hours. I'll be using a 20 pound bird this year. How much extra cooking time should I budget for the larger bird? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
  5. As a starting point, how long have you whipped your cream before giving up? What is "lots of whipping" to you? It may turn out you are not patient enough or there may be something else going on.
  6. I've found Pamela Anderson's How to Cook Without a Book invaluable as a starting point for my cooking. Among other great stuff, it covers how to sauté a chicken breast, make a pan sauce, and make a basic pasta sauce. The recipes aren't complicated and emphasize techniques. It's much less intimidating than dumping a best recipes collection from Cook's Illustrated in someone's lap. Anyway, I'd suggest showing him how to make some of the simple things in the book, then show him the book. Once he figures out he already knows how to make something from the book, it shouldn't be too scary to branch out with the other recipes.
  7. I've got a friend going to St. Louis in the next week. She's looking for something in the $30-$40 per person range. She didn't specify any particular cuisine. Any recommendations? I haven't been to St. Louis in years, so I'm out of date.
  8. Derek J

    "The Taste"

    I had high hopes for this show, but it is a snooze-fest. The tiresome banter between Malarky and the French guy is not entertaining. Bourdain is a shadow of his formerly edgy self. This show is fantastic on paper, but the execution is booooooring.
  9. Derek J, when I am faced with this situation I put a little of the mixture in a ramekin, and nuke it in the microwave to cook it. Then I taste it. The microwaved version will not taste exactly like the final dish, but it gets me in the ballpark for seasoning and other adjustments. Also, when seasoning eggs, my rule of thumb is one pinch of salt per raw egg. That is some damn useful advice. Thanks!
  10. It was Stonewall Kitchen EVOO.
  11. Sadly, there are no Trader Joe's in my area, nor are there any Whole Foods stores. Just another aspect of life in flyover states.
  12. I'll try to remember to check when I get home from work tonight and will post the brand later.
  13. Yes. It's normal for any good EVOO to have that olive flavor. EVOO is supposed to be from the first pressing of olive oil and if it didn't have that olive flavor I would stay away from it/don't buy it. It also should have a different hue (EVOO's tend to look more green) than regular olive oil. Thanks for this and all of the other replies! When I think of how awful and non-olive-tasting the supermarket options are, I'm pretty annoyed. You'd think they would have at least one decent oil there, but I've tried a bunch of them with consistently mediocre to bad results.
  14. I've been trying to work some more veggies into my diet and started making salads this week. I've been trying homemade vinegarettes (hope I spelled that right) and have been trying to find a decent extra-virgin olive oil. The stuff I found at my friendly neighborhood grocery store was pretty awful, so I went to the specialty kitchen store at the mall and picked up a slightly more expensive brand that they stock. It was much better than what I got at the supermarket (my salads no longer smelled like feet), but the taste was surprising. It tasted like olives. I've never noticed an olive flavor with EVOO before. Is that normal for a decent EVOO?
  15. That's awesome. I loved the original show, but can't stand the US version anymore. I would be thrilled to see some of those old ones again. I still snicker over the Oto faction (or whatever the group that wanted to destroy Morimoto was called).
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