Food

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lunchstealer
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Re: Food

Post by lunchstealer » 16 Oct 2019, 14:28

I fear recipes that use cream of mushroom soup but mrs lunch is very much of the space between the mountain ranges in that regard, so I end up making them every once in a while. I really should look into a from-scratch soup because they really are salt bombs and I don't need that shit in my life. I'm actually pretty good with low salt cooking, and only add salt when I'm not using any prepared foods in a dish. I'd rather get my salt from soy sauce or worcestershire sauce if I'm doing anything sauce-adjacent.

I feel you on green chiles. I really wish I had the patience for that more often because the difference between canned Hatch vs freshly roasted poblanos/anaheims/etc is the difference between panda express and panda, but the level of investment in time and frustration is large. But there is nothing better than a burger with a slice of good cheese and some chopped roasted chiles that were in a fresh green berry an hour before.
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JasonL
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL » 16 Oct 2019, 14:39

I mean part of it is I'm not a casserole guy and that's a canned soup heavy variety of recipes. There is no time when I'd prefer green bean casserole to sauteed green beans with shallots and maybe bacon or pancetta.

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lunchstealer
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Re: Food

Post by lunchstealer » 16 Oct 2019, 15:46

JasonL wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 14:39
I mean part of it is I'm not a casserole guy and that's a canned soup heavy variety of recipes. There is no time when I'd prefer green bean casserole to sauteed green beans with shallots and maybe bacon or pancetta.
I've been moving mrs lunch in that direction, but it's an evolution.
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Jadagul
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Re: Food

Post by Jadagul » 16 Oct 2019, 16:09

JasonL wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 13:58
Yeah we are different animals in this regard as well as all the others we already know about. I run in terror from recipes suggesting canned cream soups as ingredients. My thing is to learn as deeply as I can about the best version of from scratch, then make only the compromises I want to make to condense time. Boxed chicken stock is an example of a tremendous time saver over fully scratch stocks even though the latter are undeniably better. My recent testing with pressure cooking has been to see if I can get real stocks to a manageable enough process I don't feel like I have to use boxed all the time.
Move out here and we'll trade. I always wind up with more stock as an accidental side product than I know what to do with.

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Warren
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Re: Food

Post by Warren » 16 Oct 2019, 16:40

lunchstealer wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 15:46
JasonL wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 14:39
I mean part of it is I'm not a casserole guy and that's a canned soup heavy variety of recipes. There is no time when I'd prefer green bean casserole to sauteed green beans with shallots and maybe bacon or pancetta.
I've been moving mrs lunch in that direction, but it's an evolution.
Going on ten years I've been doing the cooking and I haven't been able to budge Mary an inch culinarilly. She's got a super weird palate though.
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Jennifer
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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer » 16 Oct 2019, 17:42

JasonL wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 13:58
Yeah we are different animals in this regard as well as all the others we already know about. I run in terror from recipes suggesting canned cream soups as ingredients. My thing is to learn as deeply as I can about the best version of from scratch, then make only the compromises I want to make to condense time. Boxed chicken stock is an example of a tremendous time saver over fully scratch stocks even though the latter are undeniably better. My recent testing with pressure cooking has been to see if I can get real stocks to a manageable enough process I don't feel like I have to use boxed all the time.
I go both ways, depending on numerous variables ranging from "how much time do I have for cooking" to "how motivated am I to cook, anyway?" But ever since moving to Atlanta I've had to make some significant changes to my cooking (and thus eating) habits, just as I've made significant changes to my everyday mode of dress (at least during the hot months). It's not just things like "No-oven season lasts a LOT longer down here" and "oh shit, turns out there's a 'no boiling large amounts of water' season too, when the AC's running non-stop already"; it's also things like, I rarely make recipes with fresh potatoes anymore because I can NOT keep potatoes here more than two days without them either sprouting, going mushy or attracting fruit flies. (For that potato and pork thing I made in the crock pot yesterday, I bought the potatoes that day.) That especially sucks because "a potato baked in the microwave, with a little salt and butter added" used to be one of my go-to lazy meals, when I lived in climates where storing potatoes for more than a couple days was an actual option.

But even when I'm in super-motivated moods, I still like to keep a number of canned or frozen convenience ingredients on hand, for times when I don't want to bother making a trip to the grocery store just for that one super-perishable ingredient, or when I haven't done any actual "meal planning" but want to be able to put something together from what I have on hand.
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: Food

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 16 Oct 2019, 20:48

I tried a few Anthony Bourdain recipes, specifically meatloaf and beef burgundy, in recent months, both with B/B+ results. I would probably cook more scratch recipes more often if I didn't run into my typical problem of never seeming to be able to assemble all required ingredients after a single shopping run and/or having to buy some specific ingredient in a larger quantity than I'm likely to need afterwards before it goes bad.

There was a time when I was quite young, my mother having died when I was 14, when I did a fair amount of cooking, but I'm usually not a very adventurous eater and have settled in over the years on the same couple dozen dishes. I never really managed to pull off good meatloaf or good beef stew until I tried the Bourdain recipes and, even then, didn't allow myself or the dishes as much time as they ended up requiring, the result being a disconcertingly late dinner on both occasions.

Tonight I taught my daughter how to fry chicken. That's something I know how to do well.

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JasonL
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL » 16 Oct 2019, 21:23

It’s a skill as well as a tolerance. If you can get a mirepoix together in under 5 minutes, that part isn’t a time hog any more. If you get used to the system of mise en place with prep bowls all ready in sequence for recurring dishes the actual and perceived active cooking time compresses. But still yes many of these things have some amount of worry and fussing with them.

Cooking with a good thermometer not a timer is a thing too. Use the timer as a guideline only after you do it once with a thermometer.

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Highway
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Re: Food

Post by Highway » 16 Oct 2019, 21:31

There was an article I remember from like 10 years ago in Slate, about how the times that they come up with to put on recipes are, at best, scientific wild-ass guesses and usually are just wild-ass guesses. They're never based on how long it would take some novice cook to do it. They're never based on how long it would take someone who doesn't have amazing knife skills to do it. They're just kinda "eh, I think it'd take about this long."

ETA: and the "Can't buy the right amount of an ingredient for how much you want to make", especially when you want to make enough for 2 people, is why we now buy meal kits from Hello Fresh.
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JasonL
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL » 16 Oct 2019, 21:34

Yes that’s right. The late dinner thing is variance in prep skill.

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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: Food

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 16 Oct 2019, 22:03

JasonL wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 21:34
Yes that’s right. The late dinner thing is variance in prep skill.
Partially. We have a somewhat cool oven, and that's been an occasional problem. In the case of the beef bourguignon, that was the principal culprit; the beef just took forever to tenderize properly.

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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer » 17 Oct 2019, 01:29

So I was out for an exercise walk and saw that in the little strip mall next door a new business opened up: a take-out fried seafood place. And I realized I hadn't had fried clam strips in a loooong time, so I thought I'd order some if it didn't cost too much: turns out the menu has multiple forms of fried shrimp, lobster tail (not your usual restaurant-in-the-'hood fare), and a couple types of fish I don't recall... but no fried clams. No clams at all, in fact. A fried-seafood joint with no clams on the menu. I didn't know things like that existed in America. At least not anywhere on the east coast.
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Warren
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Re: Food

Post by Warren » 17 Oct 2019, 09:28

Jennifer wrote:
17 Oct 2019, 01:29
Turns out the menu has multiple forms of fried shrimp, lobster tail not your usual restaurant-in-the-'hood fare), and a couple types of fish I don't recall.
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JasonL
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL » 17 Oct 2019, 10:01

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 22:03
JasonL wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 21:34
Yes that’s right. The late dinner thing is variance in prep skill.
Partially. We have a somewhat cool oven, and that's been an occasional problem. In the case of the beef bourguignon, that was the principal culprit; the beef just took forever to tenderize properly.
I'm at a mid temp 325-350 for beef stew, and I think it's typically about 1.5-2 hours for flatiron or shortribs to be tender once it's all in the bath. It might be longer for some cuts like chuck, but I don't think temp would be a difference maker.

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Eric the .5b
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Re: Food

Post by Eric the .5b » 17 Oct 2019, 12:51

I don't think I've ever had fried clams, or seen them in seafood places.
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Jennifer
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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer » 17 Oct 2019, 13:05

Eric the .5b wrote:
17 Oct 2019, 12:51
I don't think I've ever had fried clams, or seen them in seafood places.
That's why I specified "on the east coast." Even with modern food-storage and -transport options, I'd expect seafood joints (especially cheap 'hood joints) to have some regional variations; I don't know if "clam digging" is something you can do on a saltwater beach in Texas anyway. But in East Coast places where the nearest saltwater is the Atlantic, fried clams were de rigueur -- ESPECIALLY in a place that also sells lobster tails.
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JD
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Re: Food

Post by JD » 17 Oct 2019, 13:17

Jennifer wrote:
17 Oct 2019, 13:05
Eric the .5b wrote:
17 Oct 2019, 12:51
I don't think I've ever had fried clams, or seen them in seafood places.
That's why I specified "on the east coast." Even with modern food-storage and -transport options, I'd expect seafood joints (especially cheap 'hood joints) to have some regional variations; I don't know if "clam digging" is something you can do on a saltwater beach in Texas anyway. But in East Coast places where the nearest saltwater is the Atlantic, fried clams were de rigueur -- ESPECIALLY in a place that also sells lobster tails.
Yeah, I think they're very much an East Coast (and New England in particular) thing. I see them a lot up in Rhode Island, and they definitely exist as far south as Jersey, but the rest of the country seems to think they're weird.
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Highway
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Re: Food

Post by Highway » 17 Oct 2019, 13:21

I'm pretty sure that almost no matter where you are, any fried clams you could buy at a restaurant are gonna be frozen anyway. That's why so many places have them on the menu, cause they don't go bad, and don't take up a lot of space in the freezer. Maybe there are a couple places in New England where they're breading them by hand on demand, but not anywhere else.
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Jennifer
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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer » 17 Oct 2019, 13:22

JD wrote:
17 Oct 2019, 13:17
Jennifer wrote:
17 Oct 2019, 13:05
Eric the .5b wrote:
17 Oct 2019, 12:51
I don't think I've ever had fried clams, or seen them in seafood places.
That's why I specified "on the east coast." Even with modern food-storage and -transport options, I'd expect seafood joints (especially cheap 'hood joints) to have some regional variations; I don't know if "clam digging" is something you can do on a saltwater beach in Texas anyway. But in East Coast places where the nearest saltwater is the Atlantic, fried clams were de rigueur -- ESPECIALLY in a place that also sells lobster tails.
Yeah, I think they're very much an East Coast (and New England in particular) thing. I see them a lot up in Rhode Island, and they definitely exist as far south as Jersey, but the rest of the country seems to think they're weird.
FWIW, when I grew up in southeastern Virginia -- not the DC suburbs where I lived a couple of years ago, but the saltwater parts where the North Carolina line was MUCH closer than the city of Richmond, let alone the state's northern boundary -- fried clams were commonplace at cheap AND expensive seafood shacks alike.
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Jennifer
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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer » 17 Oct 2019, 15:28

I re-inspected the clamless menu of the take-out seafood place: in addition to the things I already mentioned, they mainly sell varieties of seafood-infused macaroni and cheese, or seafood-stuffed baked potatoes. Both of which are things I definitely would've wanted to try at any point until a couple of years ago, before I made a conscious effort to reduce my consumption of carbs and starches. [Actually I still want to try them; it's just that I know I'm better off not doing so, especially if they turn out to taste good, because I'm better off NOT knowing there's a tasty and super-cheap but not-really-healthy takeout food option in super-easy walking distance of my home.]

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Jennifer
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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer » 17 Oct 2019, 15:38

Eric the .5b wrote:
17 Oct 2019, 12:51
I don't think I've ever had fried clams, or seen them in seafood places.
FWIW, if you're really consumed with curiosity about what fried clam strips taste like, but can't be bothered to travel all the way to the Atlantic, apparently Captain D's, Long John Silver's and Red Lobster have locations throughout Texas, and all have clam strips on the menu. (At least in the eastern time zone, but I'm pretty sure those chains have identical menus throughout the country.)

I personally love them, and did even as a picky-eater little kid. Though I just realized, after last night's misadventure of building up an appetite for fried clams that do not exist: I think the last time I personally had any was at the Friendly's restaurant when Jeff and I revisited New England. Which would be ... sometime in late 2012 or early 2013? Yikes.
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Highway
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Re: Food

Post by Highway » 06 Nov 2019, 18:36

First time doing pan-frying (shallow frying) and it worked out really well. We were making a tempura-battered tilapia (from Hello Fresh) and we did great with the timing, temperature, and batter consistency. I love fried fish, and this ended up pretty darn good.

The salad that it came with was trash, tho. If you use Hello Fresh, I'd say don't get this recipe (Flaky Tempura Tilapia with Sesame-Lime Mixed Greens and Ginger Rice) because the sesame-lime mixed greens were awful. Most of the salad things with Hello Fresh are surprisingly good (I don't really care for salads much, honestly), but this one was just not.
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Jasper
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Re: Food

Post by Jasper » 07 Nov 2019, 15:28

Yeah, I think fresh fried clams aren't that common from maybe the Chesepeake Bay down south. Mainly becasue the hard-shell clams used for them (quahog family) don't grow down south. They're cold-water clams. What you get instead are oysters, scallops, and of course all kinds of shellfish. Fried oysters are good if you liked the "whole belly" clams from New England.

ETA: I'm dating myself, but my love of fried clam strips started with Howard Johnson's.
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lunchstealer
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Re: Food

Post by lunchstealer » 07 Nov 2019, 15:39

I used to love HoJo sundaes.

Fried clams were kind of a thing in SC. Not ubiquitous, but definitely available some places. probably not anymore just because of fashion/fad/trends in seafood consumption.
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Jennifer
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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer » 15 Nov 2019, 16:14

A few days ago I got hooked on a certain cold-brew coffee, and discovered that when I drink it, I need FAR less sugar than when I drink an equivalent amount of hot coffee (which, I've read, is to be expected because heat enhances bitter flavors). Problem is, I found that coffee in the "manager's special" section of the grocery store for IIRC $3.23 for a bottle of cold brew concentrate good for "8 to 12 cups." Which is considerably more expensive than the per-cup cost of my usual home-brewed store-brand hot coffee, but I figured it would be worth it for the overall health benefits (plus maybe I can use that to train myself away from sweetened coffee altogether) ... but, come to find out, the normal, non-manager's-special price for that particular bottle is over 11 bucks. (Given the "sale" price, I figured the regular would be in the five-to six-dollar range, which I could have justified as a regular splurge purchase. But "my regular at-home morning coffee costs more than a dollar a cup" is not.)

I remember a couple years ago having some success making my own cold-brew at home, except it was really messy: the online recipes I'd found made no mention of this, but when I'd make a pitcher of cold brew, the bottom three or four inches were filled with this incredibly dense coffee sediment which looks exactly like really dark, nasty, extra-sludgy shit, the sort indicating "Either your diet, your health or both are REALLY fucked up right now, if the shit coming out of you looks like THAT." Which I was able to handle, but it reminded Jeff of his unpleasant time doing nursemaid duties for his trainwreck of a brother, so I stopped making it.

I'm wondering if maybe something like a French press would offer a solution for making cold brew without all that sludge? Except I don't see how; regardless of whether you use a regular pitcher or specialized "equipment," the coffee solids have to go somewhere, and of course when I did my cold-brew experiments I had nothing equivalent to the "cup with disposable paper filter" you find in drip viewers. And, I vaguely recall, paper filters did NOT work for cold brewing.
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