Retired college instructor (Drama)
Long time cook
Mapo tofu recipre is destroyed by Economist ads
If you want to taste test TJ chips, go to the Olive Oil chip; a different beast altogether.
If bacon fat and heavy cream are a problem (as in my family) may I humbly suggest smoked clam (or oysters) to replace the bacon and condensed milk for thecream. It ain't the same, but its damn good.
A thick salmon steak marinated in fish-soy sauce.
Sorry for the misspellings; I'm not a good trypist.
As to mashed potatoes: The Scots (who are potato fanatics) responded to a poll in an Edinburh newspaper several years ago by saying their favorate mashed potatoes were what mght be called "smashed" potaoes, i.e. roughly mashed but still rather lumpy. This form of potato can be baked or fried at a later date and still retain its character. A little butter and flavoring at reheat time adds to the freshness.
My Basgue step-father taught me this: Fry chunks of basque chorizzo (much less fatty than most) in an iron pan, remove; then in the same pan with oil or butter (I use Asian peanut oil) fry cubes of potato until soft, add onion and fry until potato crisps, turn down heat, add chorizzo and cover with beaten eggs to just cover the potato. Cook on stove top until slight crust forms on bottom, sprinkle with paprika (I like hot-sweet mixture) and place under broiler to finish. If you wish, you can make it "americano" by adding cheddar cheese to top before broiling. I have a huge iron skillet and have made 24 egg tortillas this way.
In terms of digestive processes, the well known "In and Out" is fairly nasty, but not as bad as the old Santa Rosa (CA) burger joint "Eat and Run." I had a slogan for them: "Over 50,000 served; over a hundred and fifty digested."
Basque style tongue in tomato sauce is fantastic. Try it at Louis' Basque Corner in Reno.
Spice blend for Oriental Seafood (shrimp or scallops). You'll have to work out your own measurements on this, I never have figured them out. In a small cast iron pan toast a handfull of kosher salt until it turns gray; add peppercorns, cumin seed and brown mustard seed, stir and cover. When popping delines, remove from heat and pour into metal bowl. Be careful, VERY hot. When cool, grind with spice grinder or pestle.