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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Hest88

  1. I don't like raw tomatoes, even the most gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, even in the height of summer. I will gladly eat steak that has been completely burnt to a crisp. Once every few months I will dispatch my husband to our local 7-Eleven to pick up a few Jalapeno Slim Jims. I prefer Sara Lee pound cake to homemade. Staples of my pantry include both Campbell's Chicken and Rice and Homemade Chicken Noodle, as well as Lipton Noodle Soup.
  2. Actually, I sorta do this for Thanksgiving mashed potatoes, except instead of the ice bath I spear the hot potatoes on a fork and peel off the peel with my other hand. For making a large quantity of mashed potatoes I find this much faster than peeling uncooked potatoes.
  3. That's the definition I've always heard (cider=unfiltered; juice=filtered). I wonder if the definitions have just gotten muddled or modified for marketing reasons.
  4. 8-12, but I also assume that anything "overnight" involves a fairly forgiving recipe that just needs enough uninterrupted time to sit, so I've often ended up cooking an "overnight" dish more like 12-24 hours later.
  5. Thanks for the detailed review. I was also intrigued by Flax's review on his blog. Prior to reading that I'd never realized there was much of a difference between the two. Luckily, here in the Bay Area I can find both bars pretty easily but I've never thought to do a side by side taste test. Now I'll just have to opt for Skor from now on.
  6. I've actually starting roasting game hens instead of chicken because a whole chicken is too much for the two of us. I still use the Zuni Cafe recipe and just check it about 15 early.
  7. Hest88

    Confit myth

    Right, that's why this idea confounds me. It's not that I don't think it can't be done if the purpose is just to have something that tastes good, but to completely pooh-pooh cooking in fat is to misunderstand its place in food history.
  8. Tap water. Of course, I live in the Bay Area and we have great tap water. I suspect, though, even if I lived in an area with less great tap water I'd still use it for most cooking. It would be too expensive any other way.
  9. Yes, I've noticed that as well. For instance, although I *can* get littlenecks regularly in a handful of restaurants, I can't get them as widely or as inexpensively as when I'm in NY or Boston.
  10. Whelks are great. It kills me how hard it is to get various kinds of shellfish in the U.S. We gorged on whelks when we were in Paris. I also love periwinkle (both Western style and, mmmm, in black bean sauce) and clams. I need a good balance of chew to soft, generally. I'm not a huge oyster or mussel fan, actually, and not all that fond of scallops or abalone either. I also like both octopus and squid, mainly for the great chew.
  11. I've cooked heritage turkeys for the last four years, and treated them no differently than regular turkeys. They usually sit in a brine (that's not salty enough to necessitate rinsing) for about two days and then, like Florida, I pretty much roast as normal. The only difference is that they will take less time than you expect to roast, no doubt because of the much smaller breast.
  12. You're right. I wrote that too fast. When I think about it it's really not the feeling of objectivity I like; it's rather more about how it sums up the dining experience. In fact, in some ways it's probably the opposite of objectivity that I'm looking for, and more along the lines of the reviewer's final gut conclusion to his experience.
  13. I like reading reviews. And I like seeing stars (or forks or whatever). The rating system gives me a good umbrella sense of the restaurant while the review fleshes out the whys. My preference is for reviews that give different stars to different aspects (food, service, etc.) such as what the SF Chronicle uses over the single rating system of the NY Times which ends up clumping all aspects of the dining experience together. The argument makes it sound like one must either be a refined intellectual, savoring the nuance of the written word, or a coarse illiterate. I would rather have *all* the information I could possibly have, which means both the objectivity of the rating system backed by descriptive prose.
  14. Picture a Twizzler, but one that's just sweet--without that sickly artificial strawberry flavor. Last week I had a discussion with a co-worker who's from the East Coast. He maintains that East Coasters love Twizzlers and hate Red Vines, while West Coasters love Red Vines and hate Twizzlers. Since this California girl's tastes support his theory I couldn't deny it. Is there a difference between Heath bars and Skors taste-wise. I like both, but I don't eat them frequently enough to have done any analysis.
  15. Oh gosh, please no. This is one of the things that really irritates me about most waitstaff. Before I even knew it was "proper" it bothered me to have my dining companion's dish taken before mine; it made me feel like I was holding things up. Then when I got older I realized why the standard had been put in place--and that I wasn't crazy for feeling rushed and uncomfortable when I was the only one with a plate left!
  16. Twix Pepperidge Farm Milanos Lindor truffles
  17. After baking/roasting meat, I'll often avoid cleaning the pan and just leave it in the oven until I have to use it again.
  18. Thirding the suggestion to take your dishware into the store. We did so and were really glad we did and even ended up with a different dishwasher than we'd originally planned to buy.
  19. Hest88

    Microwave Cooking

    Corn Artichokes Bacon Fish Melting chocolate and butter
  20. I live on the Berkeley/Oakland border and there are two butcher shops within 10 min walking distance from my house, and a few more within short drives, so I feel quite lucky. I miss all the really good Chinatown BBQ places. Now there's only one or two places left that make duck wings properly, and they don't even do it consistently.
  21. What's unclear to me, in all of these discussions of how the Web is killing print when it comes to professional publications, is where the content is going to come from. I hear so many people who say they don't subscribe but they access the publication's info online. Yet all that info comes from journalists paid to write for said publication. No writers equals no content equals no real advertisers equals no print OR online publication. Every time a print publication goes, so does the stable of experienced writers. I am waiting to see if Conde Nast is going to re-hire some of the fired Gourmet writers to write for epicurious.com. Sigh, it will be interesting to see how online sites make itself profitable in the next decade. Or not.
  22. When I stir-fry many dark green vegetables I tend to leave them longer in the wok and will even press them against the metal for a bit to get a nice, tasty char.
  23. It's been a few years, but when we stayed in Sooke we were blown away by Sooke Harbour House's tasting menus. They were completely different every night and rivaled anything here in San Francisco. Their regular (non tasting) menus weren't nearly as good. You have to be willing to drive to Sooke, though. As I recall, it was something like 45 min from Victoria?
  24. Savory, totally. Since my parents are Cantonese we grew up eating savory breakfast foods. The only times I crave something sweet for breakfast is when I've waited so long to eat that it's near lunchtime and, I guess, my body wants the quick energy burst of sugar.
  25. Instead of grating cheese for an omelette or scramble, I snip the cheese. Melts just fine when it hits the pan.
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