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Camping, Princess Style


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Yesterday I did a last load of laundry for this trip. The laundromat shares a building with an Oriental Gift Shop that I visited years ago. When I could walk away from the laundry, I went into the gift shop, which carries quite a bit of food and cooking implements as well as a boatload of non-culinary items.

 

The window displays are inviting. I love ornamental fans and pottery. These vases are beautiful, I think, and none was over $50. I wasn't tempted: wouldn't fit in the Princessmobile, nor would it go with our house decor. But I could enjoy looking. I could also see woks, rice cookers, skimmers, scoops and so on inside.

 

20210327_162246.jpg

 

Inside, there are scarves and dresses and a wild array of makeup and doodads - false eyelashes, wigs galore, beads - and toys and...well, I could have spent hours, but I only had minutes.

 

Given the inexpensive cost of the vases, and the cavelier way they'd stowed the Zojirushi rice cooker, I thought I might find a real bargain.

 

20210327_162715.jpg

 

Nope. $235. They know what they have.

 

On to the frozen and refrigerated food sections. This is just a very small sample. Can you make out the frozen octopus?

 

20210327_162453.jpg

 

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I'd run out of rice. I stopped here and considered, but left it alone.

 

20210327_162904.jpg

 

There was a fine selection of sauces and oils and spices, and many curiosities for me. If I'd had any idea of its quality, I might have tried this one. But I don't, so I didn't.

 

20210327_165059.jpg

 

Here is the one thing that tempted me.

 

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I have read so much on eGullet about Kewpie mayonnaise, and I've been curious about it. Here was my chance! Then I decided that I wasn't $6.65 curious. Maybe some other time, some other year. Maybe I'll get a chance to try it without buying a whole package.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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There's a made in Japan Kewpie and a made in the USA kewpie.  The USA version is cheaper than the import by a couple bucks consistently.  I love the Deep Roasted Sesame Kewpie dressing also for an all around dipping sauce.   Our local Costcos have started carrying both.  I think CA Costcos have carried Kewpie for a long time.  I don't care much for conventional mayo, I never used it on sandwiches, just mixed with other flavors in potato/egg/macaroni salads.  

 

I like Kewpie a lot.  Mayo is a very polarizing topic it seems.

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I always had the idea that Kewpie was a sweet mayo, and I detest sweetness in mayonnaise. (For that reason, Duke's (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) is one of my favorites.) However, I didn't see any sweetener in the Kewpie, unless I read too fast, and I did see something about spices. That piqued my curiosity.

 

So, those of you who've tried it and liked it, or not, or gotten over it: what's the flavor profile?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Just now, Smithy said:

I always had the idea that Kewpie was a sweet mayo, and I detest sweetness in mayonnaise. (For that reason, Duke's (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) is one of my favorites.) However, I didn't see any sweetener in the Kewpie, unless I read too fast, and I did see something about spices. That piqued my curiosity.

 

So, those of you who've tried it and liked it, or not, or gotten over it: what's the flavor profile?

 

To me, and this is just my opinion of the taste, it's a dashi umami flavor with a tang and sweetness.  I have heard of people saying adding dashi powder to regular mayo to simulate.   I have not tried that since I can get Kewpie around here.  I have a half of a squeeze jar in the fridge right now and another unopened on deck.

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10 minutes ago, Smithy said:

I always had the idea that Kewpie was a sweet mayo, and I detest sweetness in mayonnaise. (For that reason, Duke's (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) is one of my favorites.) However, I didn't see any sweetener in the Kewpie, unless I read too fast, and I did see something about spices. That piqued my curiosity.

 

So, those of you who've tried it and liked it, or not, or gotten over it: what's the flavor profile?

 

I took a screen shot of the Kewpie mayo ingredients list from the AsianGrocery2YourDoor website. It lists "egg yolk" as an ingredient (vs. whole egg).

 

IMO, it's not sweet (not like Miracle Whip at all). IME, comparable to Best Foods / Hellman's mayo. Maybe my palate is not that discerning, though.

 

1154657989_ScreenShot2021-03-27at3_06_43PM.png.90dc524a920809050a13609b1efa428f.png

 

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25 minutes ago, MokaPot said:

Yeah, I wouldn't lose sleep over Kewpie, either.

I would never lose sleep over Kewpie as long as there were some in my fridge. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

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Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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3 hours ago, Smithy said:

I always had the idea that Kewpie was a sweet mayo, and I detest sweetness in mayonnaise. (For that reason, Duke's (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) is one of my favorites.) However, I didn't see any sweetener in the Kewpie, unless I read too fast, and I did see something about spices. That piqued my curiosity.

 

So, those of you who've tried it and liked it, or not, or gotten over it: what's the flavor profile?

 

I'd say Kewpie's flavor profile is umami and eggy in a good way.  I stock both Kewpie and Hellmann's organic.  Hellmann's for coleslaw and tuna salad, Kewpie for Momofuku ranch and Kenji smash burgers.

 

If what you linked was the Japanese Kewpie it was a great price.

 

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Well, maybe I'll have to try the Kewpie. I'm sure this is the Japanese product. It appears I'll have another trip to town before we leave, so I'll have one more chance at temptation.

 

My darling is getting his hash settled! Well, not in the colloquial sense of that phrase, but he's fine-tuning it to the consistency he's been after for years. Dicing potatoes finely has been one of the keys. Not crowding the pan has been another. Many of you have suggested that, and he's finally seeing that you were right.

 

We were short on potatoes and tried supplementing them with Tater Tots. 

 

20210327_220158.jpg

 

They probably should have gone in sooner; they weren't crisp as they should be. The actual potatoes were quite crisp, as he likes them; the onions were still crisp as well. The kielbasa was labeled Polish Kielbasa (not smoked, and not spicy-hot) but now we can't remember which brand he tried. The prep work was done yesterday and the garbage went out today.

 

Anyway, it was good, and the campstove got some use.

 

20210327_220311.jpg

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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4 hours ago, Smithy said:

I always had the idea that Kewpie was a sweet mayo

 

There are two versions of Kewpie. The one with the blue label is sweet. The red label isn't.
 

20200502_113757.jpg

 

That said, I don't like either.

 

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4 hours ago, Smithy said:

I always had the idea that Kewpie was a sweet mayo, and I detest sweetness in mayonnaise. (For that reason, Duke's (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) is one of my favorites.) However, I didn't see any sweetener in the Kewpie, unless I read too fast, and I did see something about spices. That piqued my curiosity.

 

So, those of you who've tried it and liked it, or not, or gotten over it: what's the flavor profile?

I'm a Duke's convert for life. Grew up on Hellman's, moved to CA, switched to Best Foods, finally tasted Duke's and that was that. After hearing so many people on eG and others as well sing the praises of Kewpie I bought the smallest jar I could find. Flavor profile? I'm not sure, since I couldn't keep it in my mouth long enough to think about it. The jar went right into the trash. Maybe umami is part of it; the taste is definitely busy and intense.

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10 hours ago, liuzhou said:

There are two versions of Kewpie. The one with the blue label is sweet. The red label isn't.

Interesting. I don’t believe I have ever seen the blue label here.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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4 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Interesting. I don’t believe I have ever seen the blue label here.

I don't know. It's usually served on fruit salad here! I never eat fruit salad in China unless I make it myself without mayo.

I never buy Kewpie either. I make my own mayo the few times I need/want it.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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23 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 It's usually served on fruit salad here!

 

That's interesting to me since my US-based family's "go-to" fruit salad is fruit (pears, peaches, grapes, cherries, apples, pineapple, mandarin oranges) dressed with fruit juice-diluted Miracle Whip.  Miracle Whip is, of course, sweetened like the blue Kewpie.  This salad has been our most often made fruit salad since at least the 1940's, that I know of.  

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It's getting hot here. The temperature today is predicted to be close to 90F with no wind, which means it will be even hotter in the trailer. Yesterday it was almost as hot outdoors, but with a breeze the Princessmobile was bearable. The high temperatures of course affect our cooking plans. Last night it was superburgers outside on the camp stove. You've seen them. They were good. They were more thoroughly cooked than the previous superburgers, and not as spicy-hot. It lends credence to our idea that the spicy heat drains away with the juices, or else gets tamed by cooking.

 

When I visited my Best Friends in San Diego this winter I was introduced to a new way of roasting chicken that Mr. Best Friend had discovered online. This couple lives a very comfortable but minimalist lifestyle, so I'd been surprised when they'd added a large cast iron skillet to the kitchen arsenal. They did so for this method of roasting chicken. In short, it is:

  • Preheat the oven, with the skillet in it, to 450F.
  • Rinse and pat dry a whole chicken, then oil it. Season with salt and pepper, or as desired.
  • When the oven and pan are at temperature, pull the pan out, place the chicken breast side up in the pan, and return it to the oven. Do not cover the chicken.
  • Turn the temperature down to 350F.
  • Cook until the chicken is done, about 2 hours.

Well let me tell you, this was a delightful roast chicken: crisp dark skin, nothing overcooked (not even the breast meat). I decided I had to try it. We'll be needing sandwich meat soon and cooked chicken lends itself to a wide variety of easy meals. I bought a chicken a couple of days ago for the purpose.

 

First problem: it's too hot to cook in the trailer in the afternoon, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. So this morning, before I got too hot, I fired up the oven and got ready to cook.

 

Second problem: I realized this morning that none of the cast iron skillets aboard the Princessmobile is big enough for the chicken! Enameled cast iron was the closest option, from a heat-retention standpoint. I opted for our enameled cast iron Dutch Oven rather than the shallow Descoware casserole dish. Would the high sides matter? I didn't know. The material is important. Whether the geometry matters I don't know.

 

Here's what it looks like so far. The top two photos are of the chicken before cooking. I trussed it, because that's what you do with chicken even though Mr. BF didn't.

 

The bottom photo in that collage is what I'm looking at right now. I cooked it to an internal breast meat temperature of 150F, at which point all juices were running clear when I poked the chicken. I knew the temperature would coast upward while the chicken was resting, and it did.

 

20210329_101025.jpg

 

So far I'm unimpressed. It's nothing like the results Mr. BF got. Is that because his oven's temperatures are hotter than mine? (They have a convection oven.) Is it because of the high sides of the pot? The skin isn't the lovely crisp golden brown that it should have been. I do think it'll be crackling on the back. You should have heard it sizzling in the pot!

 

I'll take more photos and finish the report after the chicken finishes resting and we cut into it.

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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@Smithy

I would say two things right off the top. You need those shallow sides and trussing it is perhaps not such a good idea. I’ll be watching for comments from others. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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2 hours ago, Anna N said:

@Smithy

I would say two things right off the top. You need those shallow sides and trussing it is perhaps not such a good idea. I’ll be watching for comments from others. 

 

I'm still watching for comments from others, to no avail! Are the shallow sides to allow better circulation around the chicken and promote browning, do you think? And why not the trussing?

 

Here's what I ended up with: tender, perfectly done chicken meat and sorry, flabby skin. You can see in the photo that the bones are falling apart and the meat is falling off the bone. The breast meat is juicy, not dry.

 

20210329_142618.jpg

 

After a bit of judicious sampling I ended up with a container of sliced breast meat, chunks of meat - whatever I could get from around the bones - and almost-intact wings and legs. The plastic bag holds the carcass for broth. The juice is now chilling in the refrigerator.

 

I'm not disappointed with the doneness of the chicken, but I'm not sure this is better than my usual, quicker, high-heat roasting method in a roasting pan. I'll have time to try this again, with the cast iron skillet, after we get home.

 

Thoughts on the technique and my execution of it are still welcome.

20210329_142750.jpg

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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On another note: I haven't said much about the dates I bought in Dateland on our way here last November. The Medjools that I bought have been a disappointment compared to those we usually buy at the Oasis Date Gardens. The Dateland Medjools have been tough and dry. Maybe they'd have been better if I'd steamed them, but I've been too lazy to try. Today I broke into a different package: the Khadrawy. This variety of date is one of my favorites: typically softer than Medjools but still with a nice flavor and chew. 

 

These were soft, juicy as dates go, and a delight. They're a nice addition to the latest batch of fruit salad. They'll also be good for baking, as long as I save some for that purpose.

 

20210329_143935.jpg

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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My 2 cents here, and I'm no expert.  In my opinion, the browning is definitely hampered by the high sides of the dish.  I don't think trussing helps either because the heat can't crisp skin that it can't directly get at.  Also the convection oven heats about 25F hotter than a regular oven so you may want to crank the heat up.  Finally, since the convection oven blows the air around, that would also increase the crisping of the skin.   I have been using convection ovens for a long time and they do make a difference.   But then, you probably thought of all this already.  

 

I love dates.

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41 minutes ago, Smithy said:

Are the shallow sides to allow better circulation around the chicken and promote browning, do you think? And why not the trussing?

Well I was about to answer but it looks like others have offered the same opinion as I would offer so I’ll not repeat. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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56 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

I'm still watching for comments from others, to no avail! Are the shallow sides to allow better circulation around the chicken and promote browning, do you think? And why not the trussing?

 

Here's what I ended up with: tender, perfectly done chicken meat and sorry, flabby skin. You can see in the photo that the bones are falling apart and the meat is falling off the bone. The breast meat is juicy, not dry.

 

20210329_142618.jpg

 

After a bit of judicious sampling I ended up with a container of sliced breast meat, chunks of meat - whatever I could get from around the bones - and almost-intact wings and legs. The plastic bag holds the carcass for broth. The juice is now chilling in the refrigerator.

 

I'm not disappointed with the doneness of the chicken, but I'm not sure this is better than my usual, quicker, high-heat roasting method in a roasting pan. I'll have time to try this again, with the cast iron skillet, after we get home.

 

Thoughts on the technique and my execution of it are still welcome.

20210329_142750.jpg

Sorry!  I had/am having a busy busy day or I would have commented sooner.

 

My oven takes much much longer to get to temperature even though it's a convection one.   I turn mine on a good 2 hours before I am making pizza and at least an hour before doing baked goods to make sure it's good and hot.

 

I agree with Anna, I think no trussing.  Compressing the bird together leaves less places for the skin to get nice and crispy (although yours didn't generally all over and I go back to my first comment on oven temp)  

 

As for the cooking vessel....it does look pretty deep so more of a skillet type pan (cast iron) is what I'd go with.

 

That said, a good juicy chicken can't be beat so I'm glad you have a lot to use for future meals :) 

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Oh, the delight of chicken jelly!

 

20210330_100136.jpg

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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