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CptBuck

Open Thread: What's Your Most Memorable College Dining Experience?

Oxford University, Formal Hall at any of the colleges, but especially the older ones.

You're sitting in a room (in the case of Christ Church, that room is Hogwarts) surrounded by priceless art, in a building constructed several hundred years before the founding of the United States. You're wearing an academic robe, and, depnding on the occasion, a tuxedo under that. Dinner starts with all the students rising to welcome the High Table, then grace is read in Latin. Wine, food, everything, is served by a waitstaff.

And then, despite that formality, you and your friends have actually snuck in a bottle of port, each, and spend the dinner getting pissed and having small food fights in a setting that's somewhere between a medieval hall (which it is) and an art museum (which, during the day, it might very well be.) In some of the colleges this goes so far as it being completely normal to walk over the table to get out.

Those dinners are not something I'll soon forget.

The Food Lab: How To Make The Ultimate Beef Wellington

I always make beef wellington for our dinner, but I think some of these suggestions here just made my Christmas.

Poll: Do You Shake Garlic on Your Slice?

On a standard pepperoni I'll go oregano on the cheesy pizza part and powedered garlic on the crust. If the slice is week I'll double up with the parmesan all over the place...

Is it Offal etiquette to misrepresent your dish?

I serve Beef Wellington for Christmas dinner. I don't tell the "Chicken Fingers, and Peanut Butter" side of the family that I add pate de foie gras to the duxelles. They think it's just butter, mushrooms, and onions. In fact I'm pretty sure if they knew that it involved mushrooms they would probably freak. Not to mention the Grandmother who doesn't eat butter...

25 Pork Sandwiches in America We Love

Really wish you'd posted this yesterday. Took a trip to memphis and had a mediocre pork sandwich. That one from Payne's looks awesome.

Chelmsford, MA: Hand-Pulled Noodles at Gene's Chinese Flatbread Café

"the tiny, family-run restaurant was like a mirage in a desert"

If you'll forgive me for putting on my mixed metaphor (well, simile) police hat, but I think you mean "oasis in the desert?" Mirage in the desert would work if these noodles were awful, but you say they're superlative.

Either way, I'm going to try these though.

---Guy who spent the weekend at an actual oasis in the desert.

Gift Guide: Kitchen Starter Kit For Recent College Grads

The only thing I would have added is a simple roasting pan. Something big enough to bake a dozen cookies but deep enough to do a small turkey or a chicken.

I found it to be pretty essential for my first thanksgiving away from home. Plus eggplant parm. Mmmmm, eggplant parm.

Behind the Scenes Burger Tour with Pat LaFrieda, Part 3: The Smashed Burger at Bill's Bar and Burger

Whether the author or a commenter has any ideas:

What kind of oil should I use for this type of thin-patty, quick-sear style burger? I feel like whenever I get the pan hot enough the oil is inevitably smoking or burning.

I know Five Guys uses peanut oil, and do something similar, but whenever I use peanut oil I end up with an awful, acrid smoke that really messes up my lungs.

The Best Inexpensive Steak For The Grill Part 4: Flap Meat (Sirloin Tip)

They don't have steak tips outside of New England? I'm actually shocked. I had no idea.

Steak tips are literally the only beef entree at the three pizza places nearest my house. They're easily the most ubiquitous cut of meat that I grew up with and now you're telling me that they don't even exist outside New England?

Mind=Blown.

Latin American Cuisine: Brazilian-style Peel And Eat Shrimp with Fried Garlic (Camarão a Alho)

Should you de-vein these shrimp to eat them?

I once ordered gambas a la plancha in Spain and I think the staff thought I was crazy for slicing out the vein, so I assume the answer is "no" but it's something that sort of creeps me out about "peel and eat."

Also, the recipe link appears to be broken.

The Best Inexpensive Steak for the Grill, Part 2: Skirt Steak

Since I have a gas grill I can never get it hot enough to do skirt steak justice.

Luckily this is one steak that is *fantastic* under the broiler. Practically seems made for it.

Throw me a Thoreau

I was back in England for a week after several months in Egypt (not exactly the food-friendliest place in the world, IMHO) and basically had to consist of all the food I'd missed and would continue to miss when I went back. In other words, the essential food experience. My menu looked like this:

Burgers.
Steak and Eggs.
Steak and Bacon.
Bacon Sandwiches.
Prosciutto.
Stilton.
Cheddar and Jam.
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with a side of bacon.
Pork Chops.
Kielbasa.
Mashed Potatoes.
Kebab Vans.
And too many cocktails to count.

What do you eat with dinner rolls?

Also any pasta with sauce. Yes it's carbs on carbs. No, that's never stopped anyone from eating the rest of the bolognaise with the bread.

Seasoning Salt on Your Burger

I sometimes use Old Bay.

And it makes me feel more than a bit dirty.

Robb Walsh's Indian Pudding

Not sweet? Easy, just serve it with ice cream. Or do as the British do and just pour actual sweetened cream over it.

Almost Every Burger From The 2012 Philadelphia Burger Brawl

What does Bobby Flay have to do with the Cheesecake Factory? Quick google search and wikipedia perusal turned up nothing.

Why You Should Buy Fair Trade Coffee

While I'm all for ensuring safe labor practices, Fair Trade (with its minimum base prices etc) is ultimately a form of subsidy. If the basic problem for coffee growers is that prices are too low, it's perverse to pay more for coffee and thereby encourage *more* people to grow more coffee, thereby continuing to lower the real price even further.

It's just making the problem worse for everyone else, as all subsidies do.

The only real solution is for farmers to find a crop that's profitable. That's the only option that is "sustainable."

Also, if you don't skew prices you free farmers to pursue other more profitable, less labor intensive means of income. Just look at the way the United States (for that matter, all of the western world) has moved from an agrarian to an industrial economy. They didn't do it with Fair Trade. And the most important industrial developments were severely slowed by direct government subsidy, the abolition of which led to greater economic development.

Video: When Backyard Chickens Are Illegal

It should be illegal. I live in a neighborhood zoned for residential non-agrarian housing. Couple years ago my neighbor bought a rooster. It crowed at dawn. And 10 am. And noon. An 2:13. And 5:35. And whenever it damn well pleased.

Obviously hens are different, but keep farm animals on farms, otherwise go see the zoning board.

Blue cheese

You're talking about blue cheese as if it were a single thing. Would you speak the same way about "beer" or "cheeseburgers?" because there's a pretty huge difference between Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Danish blue, and "a small chunk from the deli."

Do you even know what kind of cheese you got from the deli? I liove blue cheese, and even I would probably think your deli blue was gross.

What you want is Stilton. Real Stilton. On a Carrs cracker. And that's it.

Fast Food French Fry Fray: McDonald's vs. Burger King vs. Wendy's

I'm really not sure how you can do this review on a single visit alone. I mean, I realize that's how "normal" restaurant reviews are done; out of the blue, one shot only, to get a view into how the restaurant works on a given day.

But fast food isn't like that. We've all had limp, soggy McD's fries that have been left out all day. We've also all had them when they are the *best-damn-thing-in-the-world.*

I, for one, have had Wendy's fries on an "awesome" day, so It's not that I disagree with your review on this day, so much as I disagree with your method.

Kosher Salt Help

Good old kosher salt is awfully hard to find overseas I'm in the uk and have had no luck.. I realize you found a workaround, but for future reference perhaps try to find a Jewish butcher. They're the ones using the salt (technically its kosher-ing salt, as it's used for making meat kosher.)

Dinner Tonight: Buffalo Chicken Wrap

I come as one who prefers a buffalo chicken *sub* over its lesser wrap form, but I would agree with the other commenters on a few things: 1. Definitely blue cheese sauce, and not blue cheese. 2: skip the tomatoes. 3: more lettuce.

But on my own: the sauce should probably be a 3:1 ratio of blue cheese sauce to franks red hot. Because buffalo chicken isn't enough. It has to be buffalo sauce too.

What to serve with bone marrow?

Whatever you do, do not serve it with anything else fatty or otherwise rich in the same course. I've made that mistake before when ordering at restaurants and been completely overwhelmed. Bone marrow is definitely something that can stand to be contrasted rather than complemented. Think light salads, "zesty" anything, and a fruit spread to go with the toast I would say is a must for when the umami overwhelms. Do another protein (even a rich one) as a second course but definitely have some sort of palate cleanser in between. Maybe like a blue cheese salad followed by Steak au poivre or mint lamb. That sort of thing might work.

I say this as a definite "dude" eater who asks for the fatty carnitas and 60% fat burgers. And i love marrow but it is a defcon 1 richness food, and I always feel like I need something to balance that out (even if I rarely remember to do so.)

England In Less Than A Month - I need some help!

I second St. John. I went to St. John bread and wine. Epic food experience. I keep it awfully near the top of my list when I'm in town.

From high brow to low: under appreciated but delicious (especially post pub) would be a kebab van. The good ones will make you some of the tastiest (if not the most healthy) food in the world. My local van and his "doner chips cheese w/ garlic mayo" is something I aleays miss when I leave England.

Missing out for a lifetime thanks to one innocent mistake.

Coffee. When I was about four or five I was playing by the couch with a cup of orange juice and some tonka trucks or something and reached, without looking, and grabbed a half-filled coffee cup that must have been beside that couch for weeks with no one noticing. Drank some of it.

Haven't had a drop since.

What Food Do You Cook Better Than Anyone Else?

What recipes do you use that you are absolutely convinced are better than anyone else's recipe? Or at the very least what foods do you make that are so much better than every other example of the genre you've ever tried that you doubt they'll be topped?

Please let them be at least semi-original recipes (i.e. Kenji's Spatchcocked Chicken is the best roast chicken I've ever had, but that ain't mine.)

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And yes, I realize this is both subjective and inexorably tied to egotism, and there will be overlap in some of the simpler foods. Let the battle rage. Oh, and please include recipes.

For me I think I'd put my forward my mashed potatoes. I can't give an exact recipe, because I basically taste it to perfection but I give you:

Triple Bypass Bacon Fat Mashed Potatoes

Skillet in the Oven

I'm living in a city away from home for the summer and so don't have the usual cooking materials. I'm basically following this recipe http://www.thespicehouse.com/recipes/puerco-pibil-recipe which I've done before and really like (I'm switching pork for beef, lemon for lime, don't have any annatto etc, but broadly similar concept, marinate 24 hours, cook for 3). But as far as I'm concerned, the biggest substitution I've had to make is that instead of a baking pan, I'll be using a cast iron skillet.

Does anyone have any experience doing this? Does it take longer? Does it take less time? No difference?

My best guess would be that it would take longer because the skillet has to heat up, but any help would be useful.

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