Re: Stuff

1

Everything includes meat. It's one of those universal laws, like "if you walk down the street long enough, you'll find a two-hundred dollar bill" or "give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite typewriters they'll hit you with them" or "If Sifu Tweety posts the first comment it's guaranteed to be a lame, off-topic joke".

Hey, I don't make 'em.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 8:18 PM
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Vegetarians don't eat weenies, which is ironic, because they are weenies.

Ha. Funny.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 8:20 PM
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Can I make an even less funny comment than the first two? Turns out, Yes!
Who's next?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 8:32 PM
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What the hell do you put in chilles rellenos if *not* meat?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 8:32 PM
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4: extra 'l's.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 8:33 PM
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4: Potatoes and cheese. At least, that's how it's normally done around Gringo Here.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 8:35 PM
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6: potatoes? Okay, that's damned weird.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 8:41 PM
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6: potatoes? wha? Mixing genres with papas rellenas?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 8:41 PM
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I thought it was stuffed with cheese. In some sort of egg batter thingy. Yummy. I think I would remember meat, but then again I have learned not to ask.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 8:42 PM
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Oh, potatoes, yes, that makes sense.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 8:55 PM
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I think I've only seen cheese-filled, but meat's hardly surprising.

Also, I don't entirely understand the bracketed part of the OP. But that's life.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:10 PM
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I will henceforth exercise caution when ordering chiles rellenos.

I now exercise caution when ordering hot and sour soup, which I'd only ever had made with tofu. Turns out it sometimes (often?) has pork or beef. Very fatty pork or beef. Duh.

Visiting Puerto Rico, we had the option at some place of empanadillas de pescado. Empanadillas are gooood. With beer. But, in our piss-poor Spanish we kept asking: Que tipo de pescado? Que tipo?

Well, shit. The answer was "Pescado. Pescado." We must have been having a failure of communication. We had them; they were good, whatever tipo de pescado they were.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:11 PM
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exercise caution when ordering hot and sour soup

Oh yes. Even egg-drop soup often has chicken broth, so I'm careful. Shit makes my tummy hurt.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:16 PM
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Piquillo peppers should be stuffed with brandade of salt cod. That's the way I had them recently, at least, and they were so fantastically delicious I think it would be wrong to do them any other way.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:18 PM
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Potatoes: non-weird. Chorizo y papas is a totally standard filling. But Mexico is a big place, and even bigger culinarily, so there's really no canon. You can track down the original (Mole Poblano) but it inevitably spawns variations (Mole Verde, that weird pumpkin mole). Thus the picadillo can be swapped out for chorizo y papas in pretty much anything.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:18 PM
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Potatoes: non-weird. Chorizo y papas is a totally standard filling. But Mexico is a big place, and even bigger culinarily, so there's really no canon. You can track down the original (Mole Poblano) but it inevitably spawns variations (Mole Verde, that weird pumpkin mole). Thus the picadillo can be swapped out for chorizo y papas in pretty much anything.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:18 PM
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I swear this doesn't usually happen to me.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:20 PM
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The best chile relleno I ever had was a huge one stuffed with quinoa, pepitas, cheese, and some shredded vegetables. Magnificent.

I've only ever stuffed them with cheese when I've made them, but there are a lot of delicious vegetable versions. Chicken is common around here.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:22 PM
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when I've made them

How do you fry them?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:25 PM
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Oh yes. Even egg-drop soup often has chicken broth, so I'm careful. Shit makes my tummy hurt.

Huh. I'm not a die-hard vegetarian (will eat healthily prepared chicken or fish when out, though don't cook flesh-like things at home), but I've read so many damn recipes calling for chicken broth that I finally laid in some organic low-salt yadda yadda chicken broth for a rainy day.

I finally used it not long ago for a soup I normally make just with the natural broth-of-the-bean plus broth-of-vegetables, but I was short of ingredients and time, and it was a blustery evening. But oh. The chicken broth as a partial replacement? Was doing very weird things. What was with that consistency, and color, and it TASTES REALLY WEIRD, and I didn't like it. Kind of gross. What a bummer. I finally decided it was the fat, chicken fat. Bummer.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:36 PM
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"weird" pumpkin mole??


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:38 PM
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20: what's that?

Chicken fat!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:41 PM
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Guess who?

Frank Purdue!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:43 PM
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Guess what?

Chicken butt!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:44 PM
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Guess why?

Chicken thigh!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:45 PM
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Guess when?
Post-hen!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:47 PM
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I bought this shirt for eekbeat recently.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:47 PM
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What now?

Chicken Dow!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:49 PM
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19: Shallow pan-fry, like fried chicken. The batter is one egg white, beaten to soft peaks, folded together with an egg yolk, beaten to fluffiness. Then, they're coated in delicious sauce. I like a dark mole.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:51 PM
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What now?

Chicken Dow!


Nuh uh.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:51 PM
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20: Parsi, this vegetable soup base is miraculous. It's about the consistency of miso, like paste, and you make it about the same as miso, but it's all carroty and yummy. Highly recommended!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:53 PM
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30: what "cow"? Chicken pow!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:53 PM
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I like a dark mole.

This is no time to bring up that Manchurian-candidate Hussein Obama feller. I'm offended.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:53 PM
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20: Shit. this vegetable soup base


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:53 PM
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Chicken fat!

I have some in my fridge! Yum yum!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:54 PM
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Also, by the way, it's true what they say about LA and yogurt. Fuckin' philistines.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:55 PM
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36: that... LA is... made of... yogurt... as... god's... punishment?

No, that can't be it.

What do they say, Ben?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:55 PM
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The difference between the two is that the latter has an active culture.

Surely you've heard this before.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:57 PM
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I submit that meat broth is replaceable by fat and salt, in my case salted butter and a bit more salt.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:57 PM
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I prefer to make my own vegetable broths (I think there are good details in the "winter soup primer" up on the food wiki), but sometimes, you don't have time. The Penzey's stuff is yummy. I make rice with it, too.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 9:58 PM
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Chicken pow?

Nah.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 10:00 PM
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Supposedly when my grandparents came to America all they had was a tub of chicken fat. My grandmother couldn't stand to leave it behind -- they had almost starved in Europe. But it went rancid in the heat on the docks. My mother remembers everyone else moving away from the stench. She once told me that was the moment she consciously promised herself she would never, ever, be poor as an adult.

Sort of an immigrant Jewish "Gone With the Wind" type moment.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 10:00 PM
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General Gao?

Chicken Mao!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 10:02 PM
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33: Heh.

38: Hey!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 10:02 PM
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42 is a little schmaltzy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 10:02 PM
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34: vegetable soup base

Ah, I just saw this. Noted - thanks.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 10:27 PM
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and I didn't like it. Kind of gross. What a bummer. I finally decided it was the fat, chicken fat. Bummer.

Maybe not. Store bought stock is pretty much universally bad, and some of it is just horrible. Good call on the lower salt but still.

FWIW, loads of things call for chicken stock not because they particularly want it, but because they don't want beef stock. Good veggie stock is usually (but not universally) just fine. Plus, if you compare veggie stock you made (45 minutes, dead easy) to store bought chicken stock, you usually win big. There are exceptions where they're actually looking for chicken stock. That doesn't help you much with the stock-that-sucks problem.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 10:38 PM
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45: Schmaltzy is a skill. Populuxe exhibited it as well in some other thread, to do with his mother's strawberry-rhubarb pie. Excellent.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 10:38 PM
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Oh, AWB's pointer is good too --- don't always have frozen stock handy or time to make it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 10:41 PM
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47: Gah. I know, soup, I know. I just thought maybe there was something in the chicken stock that all these people kept calling for that was irreplaceably missing from my veggie stock soups ... and maybe in some certain receipts it's really important, but I think that in what I cook, it's not.

So whether or not the stock (broth) I bought was problematic, I see no reason to try the experiment again. My own veggie stock, or a mix like the one AWB recommended, will do me fine.

I figure one should check the ruts one might be in every once in a while. Some people tell me I don't use enough salt either.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 10:46 PM
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Confidential to parsi in 48: do you know the original meaning of the word schmaltz? Or am I standpipe-blogging unnecessarily?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 10:47 PM
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51: where have you gone, standpipe bridgeplate's blog/a lonely comment turns its eyes to you, woo ooh ooh.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 10:50 PM
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51: Honey, I don't. I suspected there was something else going on there.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 10:51 PM
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Schmaltz is yiddish for chicken fat.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 10:52 PM
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Visiting Puerto Rico, we had the option at some place of empanadillas de pescado. Empanadillas are gooood. With beer. But, in our piss-poor Spanish we kept asking: Que tipo de pescado? Que tipo?

Well, shit. The answer was "Pescado. Pescado." We must have been having a failure of communication. We had them; they were good, whatever tipo de pescado they were.

Possibly the best fish we've ever had was on a river boat on the Li River in Guilin, China. They actually catch them from the boats going up the river - I have a photo somewhere of them tossing the fish from one boat to the next - steam them in the galley and serve them to the tourists for lunch. Fantastic.

When we inquired (through our guide) what kind of fish it was, the answer was simple: Li River Fish.

Sort of like "mystery meat," but this, I guess, was one of the divine mysteries I've read about.


Posted by: dr ngo | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 10:59 PM
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Gah. I know, soup, I know.

I missed on the tone, there ... I was trying to be reassuring that usually, in fact, they don't care much. Chicken stock is just what people are used to, and beef stock would ruin it....


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:03 PM
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I'll make a side note that if you're going to order from Penzeys or buy from one of their stores, you should buy everything they have. Their spices are insanely fresh and rather cheap, since they buy directly from the growers and keep a lot of overhead down. I refuse to buy spices anywhere else, and have a massive collection of theirs. Their dried chiles, cocoa powders, freeze-dried herbs, and baking spices are a good place to start. (The Vietnamese Extra Fancy Cinnamon is life-altering.)

Plus, they (used to?) run a magazine in which they asked families for their stories and recipes along various themes, and published the stories without editing them to be more "American." One issue was all about adoptive parents, and included a gay couple, and they stood by the story despite losing a lot of subscribers. Another issue was all about families who had a member in the prison system, etc., and wasn't all uplifting happy shit, either. They're just a "regular" white, straight, upper-midwestern Christian family who just happens not to hate foreigners, gays, non-whites, or poor people, and I really like them.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:07 PM
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54: Got it. I might explain the "honey."

Back when, I lived after college with my boyfriend, with his band. We travelled about on occasion, and stayed with the guitar player's parents sometimes when they played in Boston. Family's name was Flood. His mother's name was Honey. Honey Flood (really). She was a sweetheart, putting up with us.

So, when his dad came home, he'd call out to his wife "Hi Honey!" and we all began to do this. Back home in the band house it had become a habit: "Hi Honey!" no matter who was coming in or what the circumstances were. Sometimes when I'm comfortable in my surroundings I still do this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:08 PM
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Hey, 56 is soup on soup!

Neat!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:10 PM
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59: What, he spilled?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:12 PM
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60: oh, sure, pour it on.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:14 PM
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58: Aw, I just thought you liked me.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:16 PM
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AWB's right in 57, especially about the cinammon (also, turkish bay leaf. californian just isn't that good). I'm partial to The Spice House, but I seem to recall it's the same family or something.

It's easy to forget that stale spices suck. Ordering from some place like that is way cheaper than buying the typical mediocre stuff in grocers, to, and vastly better. About as fresh as you'll get unless you're very lucky in location. What's not to like?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:17 PM
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I'll have to do biscuits some time, sifu....


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:17 PM
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56: I was trying to be reassuring

You were. And it's okay if I call you soup, right? Plus I'll be checking your recommendation for tofu marinade that I think you put on AWB's food wiki at some point, or maybe it was here somewhere.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:19 PM
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The sex thread is next door, soup.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:20 PM
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66: funny, my mind immediately went to drugs. Diff'r'n't strokes!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:21 PM
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62: Plausible deniability, babe.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:21 PM
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62: yeah, don't blow her cover, sugar tits.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:22 PM
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And it's okay if I call you soup, right?

of course. i think i did put some marinade up on AWB's wiki. I wonder if I should put more stuff there, but have nor real sense if people were finding it useful.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:22 PM
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69: That's "zuckertitzen" to you, Mr. Gibson.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:25 PM
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I love it when you add things to the food wiki. It makes my day, really, and I use the recipes, too. (I just put up my pot of beans recipe with apples, onions, and beer.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:28 PM
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I'm having a delicious dish made with beer right now! I call it "beer".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:34 PM
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Speaking of cooking, though, this site I'd never seen before is pretty damned awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:35 PM
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57: I've only used Penzey's for sichuan peppercorns. It stands to reason that they would be awesome in other regards as well.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:41 PM
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I'm pretty okay with getting my spices from the local health food store, which is pretty extensive. I actually haven't ever ordered any food online, though I might begin to do so for something like the veggie stock mix that AWB mentioned. I get my produce from my CSA. There's not much else I feel in need of, food-wise.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:50 PM
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76: Yeah, it's better to go to their stores, anyway, because they have little smelling jars for all the spices. I noticed there isn't a Penzeys in your area, Parsimon, when I checked the map. But the veggie soup base is worth it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-14-08 11:53 PM
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77: Yeah, I'll get some of the veggie base. The 3 or 4 kinds I've tried in the past have been okay but meh -- a real stopgap. And as I say, I'm pretty happy with the spices at the health food store. (I've been on a campaign to get it others' radar -- fed some roasted soy nuts to a friend recently who was all like, Hey these are really good, where do you get these? Well. Let me tell you.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 12:03 AM
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[After checking cookbooks and rereading thread for third time, plus many confused looks.]

Apparently, and this is according to Wikipedia, the canonical version of a chile relleno includes meat.

or pasilla chili pepper stuffed with a melting cheese, such as queso Chihuahua or queso Oaxaca (traditionally), and/or picadillo meat made up of diced pork, raisins, and nuts, seasoned with canella meat, covered in an egg batter, and fried.
So they're saying an original version (or as original as one might get) might contain picadillo. That said, I checked my cookbooks and found a chile relleno with tuna, and one with shrimp, and various versions with cheese.

Obviously that would be a problem if you were expecting that any chile relleno would contain only cheese, and the cure would be to specify chiles rellenos con queso or chiles rellenos de queso, although both of those would be minor violations of the vegetarian honor code. I also came across chiles rellenos con guacamole. There really is no canonical version, merely the common ones.

max
['Strange!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 2:52 AM
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when I was little my mom and dad made "picadillo" with ground beef, onions and tomatoes, apples, raisins, cinnamon and slivered almonds. we always ate it with fresh white rice and frozen peas. it was delicious and colorful. one of the many character flaws my stepfather had was liking great northern beans too much, so that when we were broke and eating beans and rice it was sometimes just a big white plate of whitish mush. depressing. when you consider what all else he got up to this really isn't so bad as a flaw, but I still hold it against him. fucker and his fucking white beans.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 5:30 AM
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we always ate it with fresh white rice and frozen peas.

I've got a (kinda sorta) similar recipe for spicy cajun chicken over rice and peas. Good stuff.

fucker and his fucking white beans.

Yes to red kidneys with Mexican food, but white kidneys are good too!

max
['Better than candy corn.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 5:44 AM
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Ben - the schmaltz in your fridge, is it rendered, or what? Is it a bit thinner than bacon fat?

I figure one should check the ruts one might be in every once in a while. Some people tell me I don't use enough salt either.

That's really good advice. Specifically on salt, I literally err on the side of under-salting, but I also find plenty of food over-salted, so I don't think I systematically under-salt, just get it wrong sometimes.

Specifically on chicken/veggie/non broth, my take is as follows: for a brothy dish, you need homemade broth of whatever type, but the veg broth needs to be better-than-typical (ie, my usual, 75 minute veg stock isn't good enough to stand alone with just a few vegetables and rice in it); most dishes that call for broth as a component of a sauce are basically looking for flavored water - Ezra quoted some asshole chef* saying that salted water is preferable, but I think that's stupid - and so chix or veg broth are both fine; Cook's Illustrated doesn't recommend using any store-bought chicken broth other than Swanson's 99% fat-free, low-sodium, which suggests to me that the active ingredient isn't fat (or even salt, really), but rather umami; umami more or less == glutamates, the prime vegetarian sources of which are kombu, soy sauce, and Accent (ie, MSG). If I were making a dish that called for a cup of broth, and I had nothing handy and was cooking vegetarian, I would seriously consider adding a teaspoon of soy to a cup of water and going from there - a small amount won't add identifiable soy flavor, but it will give it some depth of flavor that mere salt won't, without distracting fat.

* the asshole part didn't come from his opinion, but rather from the terms in which he expressed it


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 7:03 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 7:28 AM
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JRoth: that soy trick works well (esp. with tamari soy). Also, mirin or miso are often better.

I've found my typical veggie broths hold up pretty well, but depending on the dish if more depth is needed often a few dried porcinis or shitake (always good to have) do the trick and that's dead easy.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 7:43 AM
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the active ingredient isn't fat (or even salt, really), but rather umami

This explains the tip I often see of putting in parmesan rinds when you're making stock.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 7:47 AM
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||

Off topic, but I had a cute nurse practitioner stick her finger up my butt yesterday. Further tests need to be done.

I'm sure that there's a lot written about the etiquette of medical examinations. This was friendly and relaxed at the beginning, but became more formal during the fingering part.

What's the etiquette if I happen to meet her socially? She's wearing her wedding rings, so that's not the issue. She struck me as one of the relatively fun people in these here parts. (No, Wobegon is not one of the world's centers of interesting conversation and fun social events).

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 8:12 AM
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My guess is that she's not in the least embarrassed about the rectal exam, so any possible social interaction can go forward exactly as it would if she'd just looked down your throat at your tonsils.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 8:15 AM
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86: What's the etiquette if I happen to meet her socially?

Sniff her fingers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 8:15 AM
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She's wearing her wedding rings

I hope she used a different finger on you.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 8:25 AM
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Stock shouldn't be salted! What if you had a beautiful stock but wanted to reduce it further? Then you'd have an oversalted mess!

I love love love PGD's chicken fat immigration story. Especially the part where other people scuttle away from the rancid stench: it's that kind of detail that brings it home.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 8:28 AM
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84: right! Mushrooms! AB hates them, so I hardly get to use them anymore. But yes, great source of umami

You know, it had never occurred to me to use a thin miso broth as a substitute for canned chicken broth, but that's brilliant - I usually have some in the fridge, but often end up throwing away a good chunk of it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 8:30 AM
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She commented that her finger is a little short for prostate exams. She can't reach the front of it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 8:39 AM
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Ben - the schmaltz in your fridge, is it rendered, or what? Is it a bit thinner than bacon fat?

Of course it's rendered! You think I just toss some skin and chunks of fat in a jar?!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 9:39 AM
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Of course it's rendered! You think I just toss some skin and chunks of fat in a jar?!

Well, I assume not, but I have no idea what to do with schmaltz. It doesn't seem to create the desirable stick-resistance that's one of the main functions of fat.

Are you just jarring what you skim off of stock, or are you oven-rendering?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 9:45 AM
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Why would I put skin and fat in the stock?

I take the skin and fat off the chicken before making stock and save it in the freezer until I have a respectable amount, and cook it on the stovetop, then eat the gribenes and pour the fat into a jar. Oven-rendering, sheesh.

It has a flavor, that's why you do it. Good for, for instance, roasting potatoes.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 9:49 AM
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86: Almost certainly it will only be strange if you make it so.


This explains the tip I often see of putting in parmesan rinds when you're making stock.

This works excellent well, especially with good parmesan.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 9:50 AM
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Why would I put skin and fat in the stock?

Because getting every scrap of skin and fat off of chicken backs and wings is a drag? Sheesh.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 10:37 AM
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It has a flavor, that's why you do it. Good for, for instance, roasting potatoes.

This reminds me, I still have 3 jars of duck & goose fat left from last January. Must use....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 10:38 AM
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Oh, I don't bother getting the skin off the wings; that is a drag. But it's pretty easy to get it off the legs and body proper.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 10:44 AM
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This reminds me, I still have 3 jars of duck & goose fat left from last January

Give them to me!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 10:44 AM
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Is there a limit to how long goose fat will stay good in the fridge? I, shamefully, got nervous about the remains of our Christmas goose fat in late spring last year, and threw it out. I'm pretty sure that was wrong, but I didn't know where to check (or how to tell if there was anything wrong with it by inspection).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 10:47 AM
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Can much grow in rendered fat? Most of the water should be gone, no?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 10:52 AM
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Pretty much all of it. But fat can get rancid on its own, no?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 10:54 AM
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Oh, right. Good point. Wouldn't it smell?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 10:56 AM
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Actually, can it? I have no idea.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 10:56 AM
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This reminds me, I still have 3 jars of duck & goose fat left from last January. Must use....

Make confit. You can store it for months and it just gets better and better, until you enjoy it some snowy afternoon with oceans of red wine.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 11:00 AM
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Actually, can it? I have no idea.

Fats and oils do go rancid by themselves. The rate varies obviously with temperature etc, but also with the internal makeup. Something about the balance of omega fatty acids, if I recall correctly. This is why e.g. some nuts last better than others.

You should be able to smell it is off a bit, yes.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 11:12 AM
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82: If I were making a dish that called for a cup of broth, and I had nothing handy and was cooking vegetarian, I would seriously consider adding a teaspoon of soy to a cup of water and going from there - a small amount won't add identifiable soy flavor, but it will give it some depth of flavor that mere salt won't, without distracting fat.

Ah, this is good -- the whole of 82. Thanks. Not so much tamari, maybe, but the miso or kombu tip, also the mushroom reminder somewhere later (I have an absurdly large bag of dried shiitakes in the cabinet) ... good. This is for when I don't have a decent veggie stock available.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 11:33 AM
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I'm a New Mexican born and raised, and at least here (and NM is where the definitive Hatch green chile is grown), that bit about meat in chiles rellenos is definitely UNtrue. They are filled with cheese only, then batter dipped, deep-fried, and slathered in either green or red chile sauce. No meat.


Posted by: LauraJMixon | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 1:00 PM
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Make confit.

That's what got me into this mess. It's crazy expensive to buy duck legs alone, so I bought 2 whole ducks so I could confit 4 legs for cassoulet. Then, when I roasted the remainder of the ducks, I ended up with a ton of fat. If I make more confit, I will end up with a fridge containing nothing but duck fat.

I've heard that the best possible french fries are made with goose fat.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 1:15 PM
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Roast potatoes. Potatoes roasted in duck fat are magical wonder potatoes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 1:29 PM
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I've heard that the best possible french fries are made with goose fat.

There's a newish restaurant here in town renowned for its new takes! on old favorites! including an absurdly unhealthy version of french fries made with duck fat.

This place has gotten rave reviews, but after perusing their menu, I had to pass. Duck fat french fries, I just can't do it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 1:36 PM
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I like duck jelly and chicken jelly. Mmm.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 2:11 PM
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Why would I put skin and fat in the stock?

The stock tastes better. It's easier to render that way. It doesn't get browned. If you're really frugal you can turn the skin into cracklings after you've boiled the chicken.

Pretty much all of it. But fat can get rancid on its own, no?

Yeah, but if you've cleaned it up when you rendered it, it can take a good long time. (Months.) If you get worried about it you can pull it out of the fridge, scrape the crunky stuff off the bottom and heat it up again. Then stick it back in the fridge to cool, and then... freeze it!

Roast potatoes. Potatoes roasted in duck fat are magical wonder potatoes.

Casserole-roasted duck with turnip. Great stuff.

max
['They suck up lots of excess duck fat.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 2:49 PM
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including an absurdly unhealthy version of french fries made with duck fat.

Why unhealthy? They shouldn't be any fattier than fries made with canola oil, and possibly less so because the duck fat is denser, and doesn't soak into the fries the same way as a lighter oil.

I could see thinking that any french fries were unhealthy, but I don't think there's any special unhealthiness about duck fat. Just magical deliciousness. (Now, if they sound nasty to you, that's a good reason not to order them. But I bet they aren't nasty.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 3:11 PM
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It doesn't get browned. If you're really frugal you can turn the skin into cracklings after you've boiled the chicken.

As mentioned I turned the skin into cracklings when I rendered it. Gribenes. Don't buy them from your mohel. Too chewy.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 3:16 PM
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115: Oh. Well, I have french fries maybe once or twice a year (they give me zits, man, no kidding), so if the duck fat doesn't soak in and so on, maybe that would be okay.

No, it doesn't sound like they taste nasty, pace my recent sad experience with the chicken stock; I just assumed they would be zits times 3. I figure if I get zits within 48 hours, my body is telling me something about what I've ingested.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 3:20 PM
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Deepfrying is one of those counterintuitive things, if I understand it correctly; the lighter the fat, the more readily it soaks into stuff. When you deepfry in lard or duck fat or something, it's almost like a dry roasting: there's a fatty crust on the outside (mmm, fatty crust), but the inside is just cooked by the heat of the fat, without absorbing much fat itself. In a lighter oil, the whole of whatever you're frying gets sodden.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 3:26 PM
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Bleg for the food thread: I have to make a prune cake for my wife's birthday this afternoon, and I've never made one. I'm thinking of doing something like this, but modified to a more American style with chopped prunes (why don't I cook them a bit in Port beforehand—an excellent idea!), a bit of spice, and buttermilk. Anyone with prune cake experience have advice? I'll check in after I pick up the girls from school. My gratitude in advance—and if anyone wants to come over and make the thing, my love.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 3:48 PM
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I wouldn't mess with that recipe. If I'm reading it right, it's going to be almost a clafouti -- a custardy/flanlike kind of 'cake', with mouthfuls of prune interrupting the delicately bland sweetness at intervals. Chopped prunes and spices would, I think, turn it into a mess; I'd make it as written or find another recipe. I bet any kind of spice or fruitcake could take a whole lot of chopped prunes just fine.

It's got to be prune cake specifically?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 3:53 PM
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119: You should make a plum cake and then dry it out.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 3:59 PM
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118: I'll attempt to absorb your words about this. Yeah. Counterintuitive.

God knows I love tempura.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:01 PM
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I don't see why spices in the custard would turn it into a mess.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:08 PM
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When you deepfry in lard or duck fat or something, it's almost like a dry roasting: there's a fatty crust on the outside (mmm, fatty crust), but the inside is just cooked by the heat of the fat, without absorbing much fat itself. In a lighter oil, the whole of whatever you're frying gets sodden.

AIUI, all deep-frying operates on the same principle: the oil heats the water in whatever you're frying, which cooks it from the inside out. The reason deep-fried things get sodden is that people don't drain them properly when they come out of the oil (or because they didn't dry them sufficiently before they battered them, leaving more water trapped inside the batter), not because of the particular kind of oil used.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:11 PM
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Messy tasting? I figure someone saying 'spices' in a cake context, if they're not specifying, means cinnamon/cloves/ginger/allspice -- what Americans think of as baking spices. And I mentally flavor a custard like that, and I involuntarily wrinkle my face up in disgust. It just seems wrong.

And chopping the prunes, again? Wrong texture.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:11 PM
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AIUI, all deep-frying operates on the same principle: the oil heats the water in whatever you're frying, which cooks it from the inside out. The reason deep-fried things get sodden is that people don't drain them properly when they come out of the oil (or because they didn't dry them sufficiently before they battered them, leaving more water trapped inside the batter), not because of the particular kind of oil used.

You know, it is possible that all that extremely hot oil around the surface will perpetrate some illicit cooking action, and might be absorbed, too.

Your understanding completely fails to explain crispiness.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:13 PM
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I am not seeing how it cooks from the inside out. (Microwaves don't cook from the inside out either.)

max
['Any water cooked off is going to be displaced by oil.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:15 PM
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I figure someone saying 'spices' in a cake context, if they're not specifying, means cinnamon/cloves/ginger/allspice -- what Americans think of as baking spices.

Some cinnamon in there might not be taken amiss, actually.

Or a shot of plum eau de vie or rum, or some vanilla.

The far breton recipe in The Country Cooking of France calls for the prunes ot be soaked in boiling water, so maybe a bit of reconstitution in port would also work. OTOH it might be a little too much.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:16 PM
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Microwaves don't cook from the inside out either.

They do too. Don't toy with my emotions like that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:18 PM
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128: French cuisine spits upon your cinnamon. Seriously, don't I remember reading somewhere that the French don't use cinnamon at all hardly? And a cinnamony custard seems wrong to me. Ginger, maybe.

Soaking in sherry might work too, or brandy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:20 PM
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Also, buttermilk? Nothing wrong with it flavor-wise, but IME you use buttermilk when you need an acidic dairy product. Substituting for milk seems to me like it would screw up the chemistry; it might work, but you might end up with something all weird.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:23 PM
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Oh, sure, about the buttermilk I agree.

French cuisine spits upon your cinnamon. Seriously, don't I remember reading somewhere that the French don't use cinnamon at all hardly? And a cinnamony custard seems wrong to me. Ginger, maybe.

It may not be French with cinnamon, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be good. Another good addition to subtle custardy desserts (and also pancakes): cayenne pepper, in moderation.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:26 PM
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Thanks! I think you might be right about the chopping, LB. I'll see what I can figure out. Off to the kitchen.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:28 PM
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the French for "custard" is "creme anglaise", so I say go for it.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:29 PM
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I'd bet that vanilla and allspice would be awfully good in a pruny custard.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:29 PM
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Vanilla I endorse. I'm still not feeling the cinnamon or allspice love.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:31 PM
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They do too. Don't toy with my emotions like that.

No, Heebie! I am sad to be the one to inform you, but the eleventy billion microwave Santa Clauses do not charge into the potato and leave millions of tiny HOT presents starting from the inside!

max
['But it's ok, there are elves!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:32 PM
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The French are way conservative with their spices. They believe that anything with spices is underneath rotten.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:34 PM
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||

"There's no question Western Pennsylvania is a racist area." -- Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)

Thanks, John. This is like the best possible time for you to be pointing that out. Idiot.

|>


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:37 PM
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137: Um, they don't? My understanding of how microwaves work is that the microwave radiation imparts energy to water molecules throughout the food, including the inside of the food. I suppose I could be confused, but I'm not clear on what you're saying.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:46 PM
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118: In my admittedly muddy memory of it, the real key to sodden or not is the temperature. That, and don't use oil that isn't clean enough. Different oils have different behavior at high temperatures; some oils just aren't very good for deep frying.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:51 PM
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141: Certainly, the temperature's a biggie too.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 4:55 PM
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I'm sleepy, so I'm not going to watch that debate. Watch the fucking crawler, people, and look out for:

1) the Notch Of Death, when someone starts speaking and it notches down
2) gradual climb upward during Obama's bit
3) big notches down when anyone talks about the war
4) the exact position of the "neutral" flatline; whether the neutral level is slightly above or slightly below the zero line.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 5:01 PM
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What time is the debate?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 5:07 PM
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9pm Eastern.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 5:08 PM
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The Dow plunged 500 points when it heard that Cheney will probably recover.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 5:09 PM
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I'll have to get good and drunk in a hurry then. And I have no liquor! What is this beer bong I keep hearing about? Please forgive me, I lack a college education.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 5:11 PM
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I actually wish it was now. Non-political family I haven't seen for awhile will be coming by by then, including beloved grandnephew #2 who is named after me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 5:13 PM
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You know, it is possible that all that extremely hot oil around the surface will perpetrate some illicit cooking action, and might be absorbed, too.

Your understanding completely fails to explain crispiness.

I never thought deep-frying would be the subject that would cut you to the quick, w-lfs-n.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 5:16 PM
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My understanding of how microwaves work is that the microwave radiation imparts energy to water molecules throughout the food, including the inside of the food.

Penetrates more deeply. If you've got a big chunk of meat, the energy of microwaves will be completely absorbed before they hit the deep interior. If you've got a thin piece of meat not all of the microwaves will be absorbed, so some will pass through, meaning most of the water bits have been heated up a little bit during any given pass. But the inside doesn't cook first, with the outside cooking afterwards.

I suppose I could be confused, but I'm not clear on what you're saying.

A common misconception is that microwave ovens cook food from the "inside out". In reality, microwaves are absorbed in the outer layers of food in a manner somewhat similar to heat from other methods. The misconception arises because microwaves penetrate dry non-conductive substances at the surfaces of many common foods, and thus often induce initial heat more deeply than other methods. Depending on water content, the depth of initial heat deposition may be several centimetres or more with microwave ovens, in contrast to broiling (infrared) or convection heating, which deposit heat thinly at the food surface. Penetration depth of microwaves is dependent on food composition and the frequency, with lower microwave frequencies (longer wavelengths) penetrating better.

max
[''s just like any other form of radiation.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 5:16 PM
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150: Huh. I hadn't thought of "from the inside out" as implying inside first, although I suppose it does -- I was thinking of it as meaning "not from the outside in, like other forms of cooking, but rather all through simultaneously." Which still looks pretty accurate -- how often do you microwave something that's more than 'several centimeters' thick?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 5:26 PM
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151: Yeah, your meaning is pretty much mine as well.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 5:34 PM
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"There's no question Western Pennsylvania is a racist area." -- Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)

What did that honkie fool say this time?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 9:53 PM
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['Any water cooked off is going to be displaced by oil.']

Sorry, max, but this is completely wrong. The water inside the food turns to steam and busts its way out of the food, preventing oil from penetrating. This is why hot oil is critical - cool oil won't create steam, and you're effectively braising in oil. Yuck.

Evidence: if you do it right, you can fry an entire chicken in a quart of Crisco, and at the end you have all but 1 tablespoon of Crisco left - only incidental amounts are absorbed by the breading (or, more likely, cling to the chicken and drain onto the plate/paper). Any greasiness that you may encounter in properly fried chicken comes from the chicken itself - just as roast chicken is plenty greasy.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 10:03 PM
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you're effectively braising in oil. Yuck.

Yeah, confit is disgusting.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 10:06 PM
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So, prune cake. The recipe I linked in 119 is sound, though I had to fuss with it in the process, because we were short an egg and our hand mixer is crap and my daughters were distracting me by being especially wretched. Anyway, I doubled the prunes, stewed them a bit in Port and quartered them. I'm pretty sure I could have chopped them more finely and not sacrificed the texture. I also added vanilla and (not enough) ginger; nutmeg would have been good, and I think it could even have withstood cinnamon and/or allspice. Anyway, recipe recommended, and thanks for the assists.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 10:13 PM
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155: point well taken, although I'm guessing you don't flour your duck legs before putting them into the fat.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 10:16 PM
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your duck legs

You know, ben's been hitting the gym and really working on those calves. It's just mean to tease him about those.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 10:20 PM
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Don't flour my duck legs, Argentina!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-08 10:51 PM
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I was thinking of it as meaning "not from the outside in, like other forms of cooking, but rather all through simultaneously."

Well, when I used to hear it a lot (in the 80's?), people really seemed to think it cooked inside first, outside last.

The only thing that cooks from the inside out is Richard II. [*]

Which still looks pretty accurate -- how often do you microwave something that's more than 'several centimeters' thick?

When you're in a hurry and you need to defrost a big pork should or something, and the outside edges wind up hard as rubber, just inside from that is kinda soggy, and the core is still an icebrick? But it is still helpful to do because otherwise you'd have to cut the thing up with a sawzall.

Sorry, max, but this is completely wrong.

Not completely.

The water inside the food turns to steam and busts its way out of the food,

...as the inside is cooked by conduction...

preventing oil from penetrating.

Any piece of food will shrink as it cooks.

This is why hot oil is critical - cool oil won't create steam, and you're effectively braising in oil. Yuck.

Yes. But if you cook it at high heat as you're supposed to, but you leave one french fry behind (because you missed it) it will continue shrinking and cooking until it is hard as rock and black/brown and all the water is gone. If you crack it open afterwards, oil will drip out.

So yes, if you cook it the right way, it minimizes the oil < - > water exchange, while still heating up the interior. But the area volume near the surface will still swap water for oil, otherwise it wouldn't absorb any oil at all, and it wouldn't even feel oily. (Actually, the amount of oil in the cooker might increase slightly, minus evaporation.)

max
['Oily.']

[*] Tacky. Yes. Awful. Yes.


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-16-08 6:49 AM
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Duck feet. Mmmmmm.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-16-08 7:16 AM
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