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Fat Guy

TDG: What Would Mom Say?

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Monica tells all.

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Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Monica,

I don't agree with your choices, but free time is precious. Enjoy.


Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"

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I kinda like that minced garlic in the jar, too
Edited by Kim WB (log)

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But hey, if my guests cannot tell the difference, does it really matter?

How can you sleep at night? :blink:

:wink:

:sad:


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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OK...time to bare my soul...Thanks Monica...

Admissions of a Thomas Keller (will never be) wannabe.

At the club I buy my demi-glace from Buckhead Beef...I made the real thing for years of course and hope to get into a more user friendly situation but the first day I worked at the club some lug nut cook threw potatoes into the tilt kettle mistaking my delicately simmering brew for Irish stew. That was the first run-in with the cold water feeling and caused me to reevalaute a few things.

I like dry thyme, a lot. Especially the stuff from Colorado spice.

I use peeled garlic cloves exclusively. Mario B., I'm sorry bro.

Though we made our puff dough at Samovar, and I prefer it to the box o shit, I'm willing to admit that I'm too lazy to fold, chill, fold, chill, ad infinitum.

Any fish I get is already three days old. Often it's better to purchase IQF in the center of the country rather than fresh--unless it's trout, and then we're getting that ugly box from Idaho.

Minor's base =Salt in many applications.

There are more, plenty, but this is all I'm willing to divulge at this point. I'd like to challenge all of our superstars to come forth and let the embarrasments fly. God, I feel better.

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Somehow, the link I provided to the recipe didn't make it to the article, so here it is. Monica's Trifle.

I am so guilty of all the things you write about! egullet shames me into doing more fresh, but I like the convenience short cuts too :biggrin:


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Minor's base =Salt in many applications.

Not Minor's. But I've used LeGout's. And Philadelphia's Chef's Market sells RG brand. All base makers make different levels of stock. The key is to check the ingredient statement. If "chicken" or "beef" comes first, it's their top qualitystock intended for hotel kitchens. While not fresh stock, these top of the line stock bases can be quite acceptable and quite helpful in a pinch.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Somehow, the link I provided to the recipe didn't make it to the article, so here it is.  Monica's Trifle.

It's there -- just click the recipe title.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Minor's base =Salt in many applications.

Not Minor's. But I've used LeGout's. And Philadelphia's Chef's Market sells RG brand. All base makers make different levels of stock. The key is to check the ingredient statement. If "chicken" or "beef" comes first, it's their top qualitystock intended for hotel kitchens. While not fresh stock, these top of the line stock bases can be quite acceptable and quite helpful in a pinch.

Thanks Holly...but I suck, and so does Minor's. It's the Crystal Light of bases.

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Somehow, the link I provided to the recipe didn't make it to the article, so here it is.  Monica's Trifle.

It's there -- just click the recipe title.

Thanks, I missed it first time around. Apologies :smile:


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Bless you, Monica. This is why I never contribute to the 'what did you cook for dinner tonight' thread.

And they do say frozen veg are more nutritious than fresh.

I do personally draw the line at Jello trifle. Just because I've tried it (at a British tea room, no less) and it just wasn't the right textures or something.

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Why not? I regularly use substandard ingredients all the time and I even post about them. In the end, only you know what went into your dinner, and its like no one on eglutton's gonna know about it unless you choose to expose yourself.

Um, Mrs. Dash, EVOO and skinless boneless chicken breasts?

I think people are still getting over that one. :blink:

Soba


Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)

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I may not agree with some of the choices, but these are completely right:

- I buy frozen seafood because it's cheaper

In many cases, it's better anyway. Buying Asian shrimp, it's the only way to go. For fish, if they quickly froze it on the boat, it'll be better than something that took an unknown time to reach your local market. But you can't always be sure; I'd generally pick frozen rather than an unknown 'fresh'.

- I buy canned tomatoes for sauces

This I have VERY strong feelings about, having had a lot of garden tomatoes. Any tomatoes from a local supermarket are not worthy of the name. They may look like tomatoes, but they're merely tomato-shaped bundles of water and cellulose. Doesn't matter if they're hothouse, hydroponic, stems-on so-called tomatoes, they're still beneath contempt. If you don't grow them yourself or get them from a local farmers market in season, you're better off getting the canned ones. DO NOT buy so-called tomatoes from a supermarket; you're only encouraging them to continue practicing massive fraud on the public. [At least where I am; your mileage may vary, but I doubt it very much.]

Edit: Bugger; fix quote. But maybe I'll let you know how I REALLY feel about mass-market tomatoes sometime. :smile:


Edited by Human Bean (log)

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My first post on eGullet and I'm happy its on something I can strongly defend. When I started cooking (I live in Bombay) I went through a spell of being as authentic as possible, but quickly came to the conclusion that (a) life was too short and (b) it didn't make that much difference if the garlic was ground fresh or from a packet and © in fact not infrequently the latter was even better or estimable in its own right (Dabur's Hommade pastes are particularly good, and no, I'm not paid anything by the company).

I'd hazard a guess that Indian cooking tends to be more forgiving of this sort of thing, since a lot of it requires a combination of many spices and ingredients, long slow cooking where everything simmers into a savoury mass and because, despite all the efforts of food stylists, the end with Indian food results, in the words of a top Indian food writer who I interviewed recently, 'brown glop or green glop or yellow glop'. Delicious glop certainly, but glop nonetheless.

Readymade spice mixtures are also quite authentic in some cases. Yes, recipes from some regions, like Kerala, tend to require the spice mixtures to be freshly roasted and ground each time, but there are others like the East Indian recipes from Bombay which use spice mixtures that are made up in batches just once a year. This is what's known as bottle masala (since its usually kept in an old beer bottle) and is made up every year by East Indian aunties who each have their own special combinations.

Just after summer sets in, these hefty peasant women come to the city with their long poles and wooden buckets in which the whole spices, after being selected and dried and roasted (where needed), are then pounded into powder which goes into the beer bottles for the rest of the year. Great stuff, savoury, but not too hot and something that is only ever used readymade. And there are plenty of other spice combinations like that.

And as for jelly and a pretty chemical tasting custard, that's what I lap up after eating Goa sausage at Martin's, the best place for Goan food in this city. After the spice and sourness of the sausage, nothing is better than that sweet blandness,

Vikram

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Welcome Vikram! After reading Monica's article, I went to check my fridge and pantry to see what I've really got in the way of these "convenience" items. I have peeled garlic cloves, garlic puree and minced garlic in jars. I have pudding mixes, and cake mixes. I have *gasp* jello. I have Kraft Dinner (ugh, but my son loves the stuff). I have roast garlic puree. All of my spices are store bought, lined up in alphabetical order in their tupperware containers. I "turn them over" every three months if I haven't used them.

I even have stuffing mixes. Pork chops and stovetop stuffing with gravy. Mmmmm.

I have frozen cookie dough from Costco. I have frozen puff pastry and I have frozen pie shells. I have never ever mastered the art of pastry.

Oh the shame! :blush: But I also have more time to spend with my growing son before he becomes a teenager and wants nothing more to do with his mother in public :biggrin:


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I was right there with you Monica, until you got to the frozen broccoli. Blech.

I don't think of using these products as lazy, just practical. In my life 90% of the time there's no reason for me to use anything other than canned tomatoes for sauce, so I'd rather save my energy for the 10% of the time it matters!

My dirty secret - store bought stir fry sauces. I just can't seem to manage to improvise one that I like, so now I stick with one I know I will.


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Doesn't matter if they're hothouse, hydroponic, stems-on so-called tomatoes, they're still beneath contempt. If you don't grow them yourself or get them from a local farmers market in season, you're better off getting the canned ones. DO NOT buy so-called tomatoes from a supermarket; you're only encouraging them to continue practicing massive fraud on the public.

I was recently tempted by a colourful display of red-and-orange tomatoes stacked next to each other at the local supermarket. I gave in, and bought the orange tomatoes- and guess what they tasted like?

My pantry is filled with tinned tomatoes: my freezer is filled with frozen tomato sauces. I'm not ashamed.

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I use tinned tomatoes. I use tinned beans.

Tinned San Marzano tomatoes are better than anything I can get.

I don't eat and don't like beans so tinned is fine as far as I'm concerned.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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The Trifle itself is priceless. By the time someone has made the jello, done something with instant pudding, cut cake, assembled the lot, waited around for it to set or whatever it's doing in that 20 minutes, the instant cook could have made something edible in half the time.

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I had four emails this morning telling me that the piece should have been titled "What would your Mother-inlaw say"!!!

I do use a lot of instant stuff and a lot of fresh stuff.. the key I guess is knowing when to use what -- for some of the recipes the difference is way to much


Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Canned tomatoes, AND canned tomato soup :shock: . I've even consumed the Campbell's Creamy Tomato Soup in the jar with the "cream" already added.

Uh, nevermind.


Rice pie is nice.

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The only frozen vegetables I buy are peas and okra (the latter for a south indian dish)

Frozen broccoli? Never. It is so cheap anyway. And, sorry, but I would never buy peeled/minced garlic. Never. Actually, if you rarely use ginger, you can store it in the freezer--it actually makes it easier to grate.

I do buy chicken stock--Trader Joes and Whole Foods make good ones. Yes, I do make my own with roasted chicken carcasses... Occasionally, I'll make a lamb stock as well.

We use a mixture of homemade and store-bought spices. Grind our own cumin powder? Dry our own chiles? Nope.

Vikram--Welcome! I look forward to hearing more about Bombay. My boyfriend's family is from Bombay/Banglore.

In any case, do what suits your lifestyle. It's not worth it to get so worked up about it. Get over yourself.

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"In any case, do what suits your lifestyle. It's not worth it to get so worked up about it. Get over yourself."

LOVE IT!! Thanks Nerissa


Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Frozen Brocolli.. yes I knew that would raise a few eyebrows. Well it really depends what you are using it for. I use the tiny frozen ones as garnishes for a mixed nuts pulao (rice dish) that I make. I also use it for a mixed vegetable bake... I would not use it for many other recipes... for instance... you would need fresh broc to make a deepfried spiced broc dish I make.


Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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