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Andrew Fenton

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Everything posted by Andrew Fenton

  1. Are you being ironic, Jaymes? Because it doesn't make a lot of sense to use animal behavior to calibrate one's moral compass: "When a male lion takes over a pride, he kills all the cubs of his predecessor to maximize his genetic success. So of course when I remarried, the first thing I did was to kill my stepchildren. Sure, if I eschewed murdering children for moral purposes, that would make me very noble. But I just don't want to make myself more noble than the lions and tigers and other cub-killers. I think that's not fair. So I'm not going to. We'll all remain equally noble." Mind you, I'm not opposed to eating meat. I just think it's very difficult to find an argument that successfully makes meat-eating a moral good. So while the article we're discussing is mostly silly, I do agree that all the blather about "respecting the nobility of the protein" is basically nonsense. It's a mechanism for foodies to justify a decision that is at best morally neutral as a noble stance in favor of the animal.
  2. It doesn't matter whether he invented it or not- he got you to mention him. Dude is a master at free publicity. Win!
  3. IMO, the best soup in Philadelphia (non-Cafe Diem category) is at Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House. None of the soups are naturally hot, I think, but they have plenty of chilis in oil on the table to kick up the heat.
  4. actually, "octopodes". ha! I can be even more pedantic and annoying!
  5. Similarly, Death by Chocolate holds little appeal for me. If I'm going to die, I want to be torn apart by wild bears; but you rarely see "Death by Wild Bears" on a restaurant menu.
  6. A few years ago, a friend requested a smoked apple pie for his birthday party, so that's what I made for him. It was pretty good; it'd have been really good for breakfast, with a slice of sharp cheddar. Whenever I have the smoker going (for a butt or whatever), I toss in some soft vegetables: peppers, eggplant, zucchini. I'll make them into a dip, or put them on sandwiches or a salad, or add them to a soup or, well, just about anything. Next time I'll try smoking some potatoes or sweet potatoes. Bet that'd be good too.
  7. Definitely not just a microwave thing! I have vivid memories of reading one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books in which folks at a cookout put their potatoes into a fire. An unpricked potato explodes, seriously burning a boy's eye. That scene made a big impression on me as a kid, and I've always pricked my potatoes. Plus, it's fun to stab something repeatedly with a fork.
  8. I did bone-in, no syringe. As I remember, there was an under-cured spot, so that was sub-optimal but not a dealbreaker. Probably the thing to do would have been to buy a syringe; instead, this year I poked it with a skewer and am letting it cure for an extra day or two.
  9. It's a stretch, sure. But there are a million similar stretches in the food business, and unlike some of them (e.g. calling anything in a cocktail glass a "martini"), these actually sound good: I'd give it a try.
  10. Out of curiosity, why/how did your hams fail? I've used Polcyn/Ruhlman's holiday ham recipe, and it has worked fine: I'm curing another for this Thanksgiving.
  11. And another option on Tybee is Bowie's Seafood (on the left, just as you enter the commercial area of Tybee.) Very good shrimp (and more convenient than Lazaretto Creek), and a small but decent selection of local (and non-local) fish; we got some yellow grouper that was quite good. They also had a ton of blue crabs, energetically swimming around in their tank or trying to escape from a crate. My one regret from my stay on the island was not getting around to cooking up a mess of crabs, because they really looked great.
  12. Have you looked at this thread? Some useful information, maybe. I'm lazy, and I won't rewrite what I wrote over there. Still, a few points to add. It's easy (and instinctive) to dump on the Lady and Sons, or at least on Paula Deen's outsized fame, but we went last week with friends who wanted to go, and had a great meal. I'll grant you that getting a table is a hassle (you wait in line to get a reservation for later in the day), but the fact that it's so crowded means that the buffet selections are constantly being refilled. And you know what? The food is very good. The fried chicken is crispy and flavorful, the greens, beans and veggies are solid (and long on pork, in the best Southern tradition), and the biscuits and hoecakes are addictive. So I wouldn't rule it out. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Sweet Potatoes is my favorite restaurant in Savannah. Great interpretations of Southern classics, and reasonably priced. Bonna Bella Yacht Club is a place that flies under the foodie radar, but is definitely worth a visit. It's on a dock overlooking the marsh, so you get a gorgeous, almost 360 degree view. And the food is quite good: casual stuff like an excellent crab stew, shrimp and grits and fish tacos. I'm convinced that Wiley's is doing the best barbecue in Savannah right now. They do great brisket (rare in Georgia) and pulled pork, and have a good selection of sides, including killer fried okra and green beans. Their daily specials (smoked meatloaf!) are worth checking out too. If you head out to Tybee, try Tradewinds for ice cream, and (even better) shaved ice. Fanny's has some first-rate onion rings, and their seafood is good as well. I stick by the contention I've made before that, if you're coming from anywhere with a first-rate restaurant scene, it's best to avoid fine dining in Savannah. I've not tried every place, of course, and I won't bother writing about the disappointing meals I've had. I'd also be delighted to be proven wrong, but after ten years of visiting a couple of times a year, I haven't found anyplace that was worthwhile.
  13. Squash blossoms are a very good pizza topping, and can be good with pasta too. I had success with this recipe last summer. Out of curiosity, where are you picking the blossoms? $6/pound is a screaming deal, especially given that they weigh, like, nothing.
  14. Y'all have so much more self control than do I. I love lamb so much that if there were some extra chops in the refrigerator, I'd have long since gnawed them, standing up in front of the fridge in the middle of the night...
  15. I've often smoked a turkey breast for the express purpose of making turkey sandwiches. The smoked breast will work well for just about anything for which you'd use leftover turkey. Smoked turkey soup is great. Smoked turkey chili (with white beans) is even better. You would hardly go wrong with smoked turkey enchiladas. Et cetera. And if you're overwhelmed, I find the meat freezes pretty well, too...
  16. Yeah, I gotta get on that. Maybe this weekend. I do love some lobster...
  17. Oh right, Yann. I only ate there one time, but I remember their lobster bisque as being about the best I've had. Man, I could go for a bowl of lobster bisque right now.
  18. Trader Joe's also sells packages of thin-sliced ribeye. I've used it for other dishes (especially straccetti con rughetta), but it would work fine for cheesesteaks too.
  19. You are in luck; there are about a billion bars with great beer and food in Philadelphia. The problem you'll have will be in narrowing down the list and deciding which neighborhood you want to hit. Just off the top of my head, here are four of the most obviousest candidates: Monk's (Center City. Belgian beer and food.) Standard Tap (Northern Liberties.) Grey Lodge (in the great Northeast. Crazy-go-nuts beer selection.) Tria (two Center City locations. They specialize in all things fermented-- beer, wine, cheese-- and are a good place for trying out lots of little things.)
  20. Also, high infant/child mortality--brings the average down a bit. Just to hammer this home, archaeology shows that average life expectancy and average height declined significantly between the Palaeolithic and Neolithic. I don't think there is any debate among the anthropological community that hunter-gatherers were healthier than their neolithic counterparts, and that nutrition played a role. That said, I'm pretty skeptical about the premises made here, as I always am when I hear people make claims about what God nature our genes "intended us to do". Used bookstores are filled with fad diet books making claims like this (what about the Mediterranean diet, clearly a product of thousands of years of (agri)culture?) I suspect that for a modern human, there are any number of healthy and successful ways of eating, and that most of them are based on boring, straightforward things like encouraging moderation and exercise and discouraging highly processed foods.
  21. I often enjoy ketchup on hot dogs too, and feel no shame about it. I know it's not traditional, but you know what? Tradition can be kind of stupid.
  22. I've done this before. It's definitely useful to have some extra hands, and as not many people are likely to make sausage on their own, it's a little exotic. Make two or three different kinds and send folks home with an assortment. Plus, there is an added benefit in the giggles you get when inviting people to a "sausage party." Hee!
  23. Heat up the schmaltz separately until it stops bubbling to drive out all the moisture, decant into a measuring cup and wait for it to cool down and for the particles to settle out, then pour the top 90% into a bottle and leave the impurities in the cup. Where can I find how to get the schmaltz when making stock ? The schmaltz is just the fat. So when you let the strained stock cool, it will rise to the top, and if it's at refrigerator temperature, will be a nice solid block of fat. There's your schmaltz!
  24. I can confirm that the three cup chicken and dumplings are a hit among the toddler set. You might also try the sweet potato croquettes, which also went over very well with the short people in our group.
  25. There are definitely different kinds of celery out there. In Umbria, for example, there's black celery. I've never tried it, but here's a link to Hathor's blog where she describes it (and the inevitable sagra that celebrates it). Maybe heirloom celery is the next big thing?
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