Profile

NotAmerican

Blissfully married father of two, lecturer at university and author of the most boring books on earth.

  • Location: Cambridge
  • Favorite foods: Pasta with proper cream sauce, a delicious burger done on a griddle, anything from Thailand or Vietnam, most things from Japan, good bread with properly-made hummus or tuna salad.
  • Last bite on earth: A small bit of perfect cheese, on a Carr's biscuit.

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat La Frieda Burgers

I'd pass them along to my father, to grill and share with the neighbours.

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat La Frieda Burgers

Smashed on a griddle, with lots of melty cheese, crisp bacon and mayo, on a soft potato bun. With pickles.

Finals week at college: your power recipes!

Packages of red beans and rice. Add water, bring to a boil, and let simmer for half an hour. Add some chopped smoked sausage if you want to make it a full meal. Foolproof, cheap and a nice mixture of carbs and protein.

Gadgets: The Box Appetit by Black + Blum

A quarter pound of meat in a sandwich? Not in the UK, that's for sure.

Stuffed Burgers at Blitzburgers in North Brunswick, NJ

I used to work at a place that did stuffed burgers. One problem was that it's very hard to get the middle melted without overcooking the burger. A lot of places pop the patty in the micro before grilling. I understand how it's good for things like blue cheese, where being stuffed in the burger keeps it from running off, but I'd rather have my (minimal) toppings as just that: toppings.

Come on in 'The Kitchn'

For fake tuna, I like adding chopped artichoke hearts to the chickpeas. Really adds a nice flavour.

Inexpensive Eating in London?

Try the North Sea Fish Company near Bloomsbury for great fish and chips.

By Portobello Market is a terrific Falafel place. All they do is falafel and mint lemonade.

Borough market could feed anyone for a week or more, but it's kind of a pain to get to if you're not based south of the river.

Lots of restaurants do pretty good deals at lunch or early evening. Malmaison does a great evening deal...two courses plus a half bottle of wine for £20, if you're looking for a smart and dressy meal.

I also really like Belgo, near Covent Garden, which does great Moules and Frites, with a huge selection of Belgian beers. Little known fact: Britain produces some of the finest mussels and oysters in the world. We just don't eat them. Belgium grabs over 90% of some of the catches. So if you like them, you can get them for very little money. Watch where you get them though, obviously.

A lot depends on where in London she'll be. But be warned...most London meals are either expensive or disappointing or both. I have to go into london two or three times a week, and I usually bring sandwiches from home, because eating out is such a hassle.

One surprisingly good option are the cafes in the new St Pancras station. One has a huge range of options and offers take away on coffee, salads, sandwiches, soups and breakfasts.

Again, I do know London fairly well, so if you want to give me information on where they'll be, I'd be more than happy to tailor some suggestions. This is all assuming air travel ever resumes, of course.

Winner of the Chain Burger Tournament: Five Guys

Does this mean an end to the 'Who did the rankings? My personal tastes were not perfectly catered for! Those who disagree with me are heretics in need of a good burning! This internet poll has serious repercussions in my life!' posts?

This Week's Pizza Poll: What Do You Season Your Slice With?

Oregano and parmesan, but only in checked-tablecloth-and-raffia-chianti-bottle places, or from a counter. Black pepper, for it goes on everything.

The Secret Ingredient (Pink Peppercorn): Pink Peppercorn and Parmesan Gougères

I wonder if you could take the profiterole parallel a bit further, and pipe a bit of ricotta or mushroom duxelles into it. Might be worth a try.

Unique, Aged Single Malt Scotch Bottles

This is a UK site, and I don't know if they ship overseas, but it might help you find some labels and pricing points.

http://www.royalmilewhiskies.com/find.asp?find_rm_age=1980's

I've had excellent experiences with their own-label whiskies, and they often get interesting and unusual labels from other companies as well.

London's Cool New Breakfast: Bento

I have tried the sweet bean toasts, and they're quite good. Reminded me a bit of Thai mungbean.

London's Cool New Breakfast: Bento

When I go to Japan, I usually stay at the same business hotel in Nagoya. I love the cold rice patties the have for breakfast, sprinkled with the dried seaweed and seafood flakes. I still can't quite get the hang of vegetable soup for breakfast though. I also passed up the lobster and red snapper breakfast in Tokyo. I can so sushi in the morning, but the less adventurous kind. Tuna or Omelet rolls with QP, please!

Tuesday Tips from Talk

Don't forget, Crock-Pots are great for dessert as well. Rice pudding for 12 hours on the slow setting, with cinnamon sticks and full fat milk, served warm with raspberry coulis and some shaved dark chocolate. Easiest decadent dessert on earth.

Chain Burger Brackets: In-N-Out vs. Fatburger

I'm voting underdogs from here on out. I have White Castle beef, pickles and onions in my blood (actually, I should probably get that looked at). I wish they were still in the running...I used to live a five-minute walk from one of the first 5 Guys on King Street right off 395 in Alexandria. It was great 15 years ago, haven't tried it since. I liked In-N-Out a lot, but I'm voting Fatburger. Go, underdogs, go!

Easter side dish and appetizer

A couscous salad with cucumber, asparagus, roasted pepper, crumbled feta, olive oil, lemon and lots of mint. Goes great with lamb. Make extra; it's great with cold pieces of lamb mixed in for an Easter Monday lunch.

I also like asparagus, tomatoes, prosciutto, peppers, all chopped into smallish bits (an inch or so), mixed with crumbled feta or ricotta and beaten egg, then baked inside a long, thin phyllo case. Chill, then slice. Works great as a cold starter. You can add olives or mushrooms, and add whatever seasoning you like.

Burgers and Nuns at Pete's Cafe and Bar in Los Angeles

I'm no expert, but I'm fairly certain that's not Christ's bride, but rather his mother. It's nice that she's appearing to food, rather than just in it.

Sardines for Breakfast Anyone?

@DrGaellon; kippers were once popular for breakfast, but not so much anymore. You can still find them on breakfast tables, for sure, but it's rare enough to be a surprise.

When taken at breakfast, you're right...just heat them up under a grill or in a micro, peel off the back skin, and mash up on buttered toast. It's nice with lemon curd or marmalade as well.

I like any smoked fish in scrambled eggs, especially with diced peppers and feta cheese. You can also use sardines to make a kedgeree, which is fine for breakfast if you ask me.

Better Black Bean Burger Binding?

I like to use mashed sweet potato, breadcrumbs and egg to make a nice 'glue' for veggie burgers. Works well for spicy bean burgers.

Schoop's in Munster, Indiana: Visit to Local Legend Ruined By Poor Cooking Technique

Wow...I've never had a bad burger at Schoop's, but it has been over a decade. Maybe they've lost the touch. I remember perfectly lacy edges on the burgers, just greasy enough on the bun, and piping hot, super-crispy fries. I'll feel terrible if they've started cutting corners. I'll give them another chance if I'm ever back in Da Region looking for lunch. I still crave a double cheeseburger with extra pickles to this day...

Dinner Tonight: Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy

No sage in the gravy? Sage is essential.

We have sausages and mash once a week around here (very few people actually call them 'bangers' anymore). We get our butcher's special sausages, which are about 80% meat. I cook them in a roasting pan with a bottle of ale, coarsely-chopped onions, garlic and mustard seed. After a long, slow cook I fry them quickly in bacon fat and pop them back in the oven to keep warm. For the gravy, I use pork stock (we get bones from the same butcher's) and the some of the leftover ale from the sausages with lots of sage and black pepper. I caramelise the sweated onion from the sausage pan to put on top of the dish.

For the mash, I like Maris Pipers, with lots of butter and double cream. I also like to add stilton or mature cheddar, which gives the mash more body. And don't forget some mushy peas on the side, with lots of mint and pepper.

A Cheese You Should Be Eating: Beaufort

Bet it would be terrific grilled on a raclette with some nice crusty bread...

American Burgers in Paris at La Panfoulia

One of the best burgers--maybe best meals--I've ever had was in Bordeaux. The patty was offcuts of beef from the butcher's, coarsely ground and tossed on a grill over a fire made from dried grape vines. A slightly crusty fresh roll, covered in salted local butter, and an odd but lovely cheese I was told was 'farm cheese'. Sort of like gouda or edam. And the bacon...it looked like it was ripped from the pig, a huge jagged slab. Not too thick, not too thin, not to crispy, not too soft, not too fatty, not too dry, not too salty, not too smokey. Just perfect. Give the French food, and they will create a masterpiece.

Grilling veggie burgers

Try sliced braised leeks, grated cheddar cheese, finely-chopped mushrooms, and chopped tomatoes, mixed together with egg. Add breadcrumbs until it reaches meatball consistency. Smash it into a plump burger shape and grill. Add chopped chiis and mustard for more flavour (and lots of black pepper). I find it helps to use a well-greased grill, and don't turn it too much or it'll fall apart.

Dear AHT: Differences in Regional Mustard Use on McDonald's Hamburgers

@ Mawich; I've had mustard (bland American-style) on burgers many places in the UK, even at McDonalds. I do like a small smear of Colman's on my burger every now and then, myself.

Restaurants in Minneapolis/ St Paul

My darling wife will be going to the Twin Cities for a few days next month. I know next to nothing about restaurants there, and I would love some advice from those who do. Particularly helpful would be recommendations for cheap, casual places near the centre of Minneapolis, especially for breakfast and dinner. Any other advice about the city(s) will also be gratefully accepted.

Recipe Request: West Indian Recipes for My Son and Me

My son is adopted, and mixed-race...we know his father was from the West Indies, but not much else. As my wife and I are among the palest people on earth, and as he was five when we adopted him, he's cottoned on to the fact that he's not our biological child.

However, I really do want him to learn something about his heritage, and food seems like a great jumping off point. He'll eat anything (I mean it...play-dough and elastic bands aren't safe) but I thought if he and I could learn to cook some West Indian dishes together, it could be just a fun thing for us to do. We've done fried plantains, but I am eager for any recommendations. If you submit something tasty and great, I promise you he'll jump up and down with happiness (and lord it over his little sister).

So any tips on Caribbean or West Indies cooking would be appreciated. Problem is, we don't eat chicken (we keep them as pets). Sorry for that...I know it must complicate matters.

Cook the Book: Mee Goreng

Although they are worlds apart, the hawker centres of Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong have a lot in common with Farmers Market in L.A. They are both vast complexes of stalls selling inexpensive prepared food to people on the go.... More

Blogwatch: Potato Gnocchi

My one time making potato gnocchi wasn't a complete disaster, nor was it a rousing success. Honestly, they just tasted like firmer mashed potatoes and didn't look quite right. I blame my lack of ricer and Italian grandmother. Marcia, of Happy in the Kitchen, puts me to shame with her sautéed potato gnocchi. Sautéed in butter (of course) and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, they are beautifully crisp and everything my gnocchi were not. "Little pillows with a tiny little crunch—pure heaven!"... More

'Culinary Slumming'

What is your guilty pleasure? Crab rangoon, cheap canned beer, quarter pounders—we all have things that don't fit our "foodie" persona. What's yours?... More