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Everything posted by gulfporter

  1. Sorry, this is not a new book, but an oldie and a goodie, IMO. When I got Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen cookbook back in the mid-1980s I cooked almost every recipe in it within a year, and I still pull it out a few times a year. He taught me simple things like how to make a dark roux and the best way to cook rice (his dirty rice is baked). Back in the day, it wasn't easy to find tasso, rabbit and other ingredients, so it may not be as much of a challenge for you. Even though Cajun cooking is not so much in style these days, the recipes in this book are quite detailed, many are time-consuming and complex; the end result is heads above what is being served as Cajun in most eateries. I know he went on to become quite the pitchman for his branded prepared spice mixes, but this book doesn't use those jarred spice blends, you make every one from scratch for every recipe The book is full of classics. Ahhhh...I see a night of Chicken Tchoupitoulas in my future.
  2. Croutons for salads and/or soups. This time of year I'm drawn to panzanella salad, but not sure if the crusts-only would be suitable for everyone. I always run old bread through processor for bread crumbs which I keep in freezer. Maybe a savor bread pudding would also work.
  3. We moved 3 times in the past 12 years since we retired. So I'll gauge my best investments as what I actually lugged around from DC-Metro to Arizona to Central Mexico to Coastal Florida. KitchenAid stand mixer Cuisinart Food Processor Immersion Blender Madeleine molds (some from France trip in 1980s) Heavy gauge removable bottom tart pans (at least 25 years old) Zyliss garlic press (at least 30 years old) We sold both the AZ and MX homes fully furnished, including kitchenwares/dinnerware, so the few items listed above really mean a lot to me.
  4. Here's a link about frying eggs on parchment: http://sfglobe.com/2015/01/05/home-chef-uses-parchment-paper-as-a-substitute-for-a-non-stick-pan/ This link is from a seller (and manufacturer??) of parchment paper. If you click on the FAQs about mid-page, it talks about frying on parchment paper. http://www.paperchef.com/en/pages/parchment101
  5. No, it's being used as a non-stick surface when I sear duck breasts in an old cheap cake tin. I'm using the cake pan because the propane from the side burner of the gas grill that I cook on, blackens the bottom of pans. The first time I tried it, the duck skin stuck a bit to the cake pan, so the next time, I put a piece of parchment in the bottom of the cake pan before adding the duck breast. It's been working fine!
  6. It doesn't when I sear duck breasts, maybe because the fat in the pan is keeping the paper lubricated???
  7. Here's what I discovered by accident. I hate splatter clean-up, but seared duck breast is something we eat once a week (with various seasonings, sauces and sides...the combinations are endless). My outdoor grill has a good side burner. And I have a ton of old cake pans. Sooooooo.....I took an old cake pan, cut a piece of parchment paper to fit it and sear the duck breasts outside. No stick, no splatter that I have to clean (the splatters land on some sort of hearty landscape plant next to the grill). So for those struggling with SS pans and sticky proteins, maybe this is an alternative??
  8. I cook outdoors year-round. It started in the summer of 2003 when we retired to a mountain cabin in Arizona; our stove was a 1927 Garland gas range with no insulation. So a gas grill on our patio became our main cooking element and I developed grilling recipes that pleased us, usually grilled salmon, veggies, chicken and pork. Then onto pizzas, stuffed squid and pretty much everything on the menu. As winter cold and snows approached (we were at 5600 feet altitude), I continued to grill outdoors, even if it meant wearing a knit hat. The flavor from a well-seasoned gas grill is something we enjoy very much. Now we live in Central Florida and I continue to grill outdoors; this gas grill has a powerful side burner. Seared duck breast is one of our go-to meals; using the side burner then finishing it in the pre-heated grill makes for a great duck and no kitchen splatter to clean up. Win win. It's hot and humid here now, for sure. I mostly grill 'quick' summer food that need little tending (pork tenderloin, boneless chicken, lamb racks)....I put them on the grill, set a timer, go back outside to turn them once, bring them indoors to enjoy. I also improve the flavor of delivery pizza by carefully reheating on the grill...it imparts a smoky flavor to it.
  9. I make 'sun' ice tea year-round. This may not work in winter in colder climates, but certainly will work this time of year. 'Family size' tea bags are available at our local Dollar Stores and often on sale at grocery stores. If you can't find the family sized tea bags, just use more of the 'regular' tea bags, any brand or flavor you like. Put the tea bags in the water in a clear pitcher, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place outside in the sun for an hour or two (depending on how sunny it is); it'll 'brew' with or without the sun, though the stronger the sun, the clearer the tea, IMO.
  10. Amen!! I can't remember the last time either my husband or I ordered a main course. We either go to tapas/small plate places or we order appetizers to share at other eateries. We like strong intense flavors and we like a good variety of tastes; tapas are great for that experience. Neither of us are that fond of large servings of protein, coupled with an obligatory starch (yes I know we can substitute another veggie, but it's the 'one big plate' concept we don't care for). We eat out almost every weeknight, and small plates are also a better way for us to keep those hidden restaurant calories at bay. We stay away from fried appetizers for this reason as well. There's also the matter of cost; instead of 2 entrees at $20-25 each, the two of us usually share 3 tapas/appys at $7-10 each.
  11. When I lived in Bisbee, AZ, I was lucky to have a large old quince tree in my yard. It was a great producer! I made jars of chutney (many for gifts), as well as a pie filling that I'd partially cook stove-top, then freeze in individual baggies that I'd pull out and bake as free form tarts all winter. When I lived in Mexico we had a lime tree so I made preserved limes (like Indian preserved lemons). That condiment was a treat as there were no Indian foods available nearby. We moved to FL last year and the Meyer Lemon tree at this house isn't much of a producer so I haven't put up anything here. There's an excellent farmer's market here (Gulfport) and in St. Pete, so I could go grab a bushel of various produce, but I guess I'm getting lazy in my old age.
  12. Thx for all the suggestions. I grilled it (s&p only) and it was very good. And yes, it did cook a bit faster than a regular steak. We are not regular beef eaters, but decided we wanted to try an aged steak. It had a nice gamey flavor, but don't think we'd buy it again. We'll stick with duck which we find tastier (and less expensive!). Duck also lends itself to more eclectic sauces and side dishes, IMO.
  13. Before I retired, I often worked 12 hour days (longer counting the awful DC-Metro commute). My lunch times (when I was able to leave the office) were used to run errands, to the dry cleaners or drug store or hardware store or food store (for non-perishables). So, yes, I'd often order something from our office building's deli, pick it up on the way to the garage and eat in the car while doing errands. My husband ate lunch in his work truck (he owned his own contracting business), while driving between job sites. I think this eating pattern was common among our work peers; there simply wasn't enough time in the day to have a proper lunch. Since we retired, we haven't eaten any meals in our vehicles. However, I keep a bag of 'car snacks' on hand for when we get delayed when running errands, or when we're on long driving trips and don't stop for a mid-day meal. Our car snacks are 100 calorie packs of both sweet and savory varieties.
  14. It was aged as a large piece (what you're calling primal, I presume??). They cut off a steak for me this morning. It is prime.
  15. Splurged on a 30-day dry-aged strip steak at a local meat market today. I will grill it. Should I expect the grilling time to be the same as for a 'regular' steak of the same thickness, size, etc.? I normally apply a home-made rub (spicy/salty and a tad of brown sugar, too). Should I use the rub on this dry-aged steak, or do I risk detracting from its flavor (especially since we've never had it before, not at home nor at a restaurant)? Any suggestions appreciated!
  16. For pizza: Geno's East with Charred Pepperoni
  17. gulfporter


    Here's an article from Cornell University about growing one's own. Tener cuidado. https://blog.mycology.cornell.edu/2007/11/13/huitlacoche/
  18. gulfporter


    Fresh huitlacoche IS indeed marvelous. Canned....eeeewwww. We lived in MX for 5 years and when we returned to the US, I bought the canned version and it is such unlike the real deal. Like canned mushrooms are to fresh mushrooms. I have never seen fresh huitlacoche in the US and even in MX it could be elusive. In San Miguel and Guanajuato is was almost always available. In Chapala (where we lived), it wasn't as common in the markets or restaurants.
  19. We eat hotdogs rarely. When we do, I buy Oscar Mayer Cheese Dogs. I grill till blackened. Top with hot brown mustard and lots of tabasco sauce. And minced white onion.
  20. I cook 90% of my meals outdoors on my gas grill (I only cook one meal a day at home on average). In summers, turning on the oven and/or stove-top generates heat indoors and means more energy for a/c....we live in Central Florida so a/c is a fact of life, but we use it sparingly as we can, have ceiling fans in every room, including the kitchen.
  21. I, too, almost died from e-coli, contracted from a too rare hamburger in Mexico (on vacation, but it didn't stop me from buying a house and moving there). My husband contracted shigella (3rd world dysentery) at a high-end cafe in Fairfax VA (one of the richest counties in the US). The Health Dept. found the shigella in the salad greens. Did I stop eating hamburgers in MX, no (though I learned to eat them cooked tres-quatro); did we stop eating salads at restaurants, no. Did we stop eating greens, no. Do I bleach or UV my kitchen surfaces, no. I do run utensils and cutting boards (plastic) through the dishwasher which we run on high heat. If I work with raw meat/poultry/fish, I throw my kitchen towel in the washer immediately afterward. If I was a bit sloppy working with raw protein, I'll spray some all-purpose cleaner on the counter near the cutting board.
  22. My beer-based recipes are a tad more pedestrian: Beer-can chicken on the grill. Shrimp boil with beer.
  23. Success! I brined the quail for 2 hours. Dried off, then rubbed with olive oil, s&p. I spatchcocked them. Grilled 4 minutes skin-side down. Then about 90 seconds after a flip; let rest 8 minutes. They were very tender and quite good; served with a chipotle-cherry dipping sauce and a mango salsa on the side. Thanks to all for the advice!
  24. I bought some cut-up bone-in quail. Never cooked it before. My go-to method for most protein is grilling. Normally I put a rub on poultry before grilling, rather than marinate. Any suggestions on which method better suits quail. Also, should I brine it? I've eaten quail in restaurants and have sometimes found it too dry, probably from overcooking is my guess as it's not very fleshy (and generally I find many restaurants overcook poultry for my taste). I have googled and found rough estimates of cooking times by quail parts, but will check meat as I grill for doneness. If anyone has hands-on experience grilling quail, I'm all ears. TIA.
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