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Food Heresy - conventional wisdom says this, you say that.

For all the people who eat well-done steak, put red sauce on their seafood, and eat tomatoes in december... what food "rule" do you break? Mine is simple. Conventional wisdom is that melons taste best at room temperature, but I like them nice and cold. I'm sure people out there have much more flagrant "oh my god, you're not supposed to do that" tastes, so open up!

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  1. I have heard usually no cheese on seafood , but not anything against red sauce.

    19 Replies
    1. re: phantomdoc

      I like parm on linguini with clams. (There, I said it.)

      1. re: pesto

        Red clam sauce or white?
        I like red clam sauce.

        1. re: phantomdoc

          I'm a fan of white, but, I will eat just about anything with pasta!

          I just thought of another food heresy: I love liverwurst on Arnolds white and mayo.

            1. re: phantomdoc

              And the problem with that is?
              It's NASTY!

              1. re: al b. darned

                Please try it! It is delicious....I'm not kidding.

                  1. re: phantomdoc

                    Hellman's has become nasty. Too much sugar.

                    1. re: Candy

                      Too much sugar in Candy? Have they changed the formula for Hellmans? If so when?

                      1. re: phantomdoc

                        I noticed awhile ago that it seemed sweet to me and looked at the container. Sugar was right there. Kraft lists sugar as an ingredient but when listing nutritional sugars are listed as zero. In a side by side taste test DH and I decided Kraft was definitely lemonier and and brighter in flavor. He finished off what we had of the Hellman's (I've discarded the jar, but if I grocery shop this afternoon I'll look again) but that was the last jar.

                        Now having said that, I am wondering if that is a formula designed for the Mid-West. Since moving here from the Northeast I have noticed that there is a lot more sugar in a number of prepared foods. Pasta sauce for example. I avoid the big national brands like the plague and seek out smaller producer Eastern brands

                        1. re: Candy

                          I looked at Hellman's again today. Like Kraft they list sugar in the ingredients but not in the information on nutrition. To be fair I'd have to say do your own side by side comparison. I won't be going back. Kraft tastes a whole lot better to us.

                  1. re: pesto

                    Liverwurst with mayo is a natural combination, Pesto.

                    1. re: pesto

                      Nope, you're definitely NOT the only one. Liverwurst and white bread sammies are absolutely great!

                  2. re: pesto

                    Liverwurst w/ mayo is very, very good! I don't keep white bread around, but the next time I get some liverwurst I will have to get some! And that is NOT heresy!

                    1. re: pesto

                      "I just thought of another food heresy: I love liverwurst on Arnolds white and mayo."
                      I can think of no other way to eat liverwurst except to add iceberg lettuce and crushing raw onion into the meat.

                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                        sal-gal, you got that right! (the real crunchy part of the iceberg, too!).

                        1. re: alkapal

                          My God it is like we were separated at birth!

                  3. re: pesto

                    I'm with you on that. Clams and linguini, white sauce, parmesan. Love it.

                1. I like cold melon, too. My biggest food sin? I like cold red wine.

                  Oh, and ketchup/catsup on my hotdogs.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Jen76

                    mayo on my hot dogs. My Dh's family like freshly squeezed oj at room temperature. The thought of warm oj makes me gag.

                    1. re: Candy

                      In many parts of the world, mayo is absolutely "conventional wisdom" for hot dogs.

                      1. re: Candy

                        I like lightly chilled. Not cold

                      2. re: Jen76

                        I like room temp white wine! And I'll drink a full-bodied red with just about ANY food.

                        1. re: Jen76

                          Same here on the red- and try this: Sherry on the rocks.

                          1. re: Jen76

                            There are a number of red wines that lots of people think taste better at a colder temperature. Beaujolais is a good example!

                          2. There shouldn't be any rules regarding condiments. Ketchup, mustard, mayo, sriracha, etc. are fair game on anything and everything as long as it tastes good to you.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Humbucker

                              I don't agree to some extent. Many people use condiments as a crutch. In our society, mayo and cheese comes automatically with so many things now.

                              Take burgers, for instance. Burgers use to be quite simple, yes, put on your own condiments as you like. Now so many places will slap on things automatically like cheese, mayo, etc. So many folks have become mayo and cheese dependent. I think it's important to try and break the dependency or you'll never truly appreciate the food itself.

                              I use to be a big proponent of ketchup on a lot of things. But if I'm going to buy a fresh made bratwurst, I want to really taste it for what it is.

                              furthermore, I know folks who will go to a GREAT place for fresh steamed corned beef and , without tasting it, order it with mayo. Not only do I find that tto be yucky (personal preference), but the flavor of the corned beef will be masked.

                              It takes some doing, and training, but it's really worth it.

                              1. re: Humbucker

                                Agreed, Humbucker. I suspect that in the Real World, this point of view isn't heresy at all.

                                Food autonomy for all!

                              2. The ruse in Italian restaurants here in Northern New Jersey that tell you the only way to eat bread is with Olive Oil , and when you request butter. they do not offer it.

                                It's understandable why many restaurants started the practice of discontinuing offering butter on the table. The rise in costs associated with dairy and cheeses definitely had something to factor into policy decisions.......however my problem really increases with the places that substitute vegetable oil, instead of giving you the expected olive oil and telling you it is olive oil.

                                so to answer your original question.....I like real butter on my bread over olive oil given a choice.

                                22 Replies
                                1. re: fourunder

                                  Right kind of olive oil makes a big difference. My first experience with olive oil for dipping was in Napa Valley in a high end restaurant that bottled their own oil. it was 1989. It was in my vegetarian days and the chef did not want to give me the whole wheat pasta with vegetables. He told the waiter to say "It doesn't go". He made it for me anyway.

                                  1. re: phantomdoc

                                    There is no such thing as the "right kind of olive oil" if you prefer butter and it really is a pain when restaurants won't provide it.

                                    1. re: MakingSense

                                      When did this olive oil thing start? I can't stand when restaurants put a bowl of "olive oil" on the table with bread. Its almost as if the restaurants think it looks classy (just the opposite). i prefer good butter any day. Heresy, whipped cream in good coffee.

                                      1. re: doughreme

                                        My best recollection is that some high end Italian restaurants started doing it because it was "authentic," and even refused to serve butter. When the Italian trend caught on, the olive oil thing trickled down to lesser places, which also got away with refusing to serve butter, even if the quality of their oil might not have been as top quality. All in the name of Oh-so-Italian!
                                        Let's be honest. It's cheaper.
                                        I prefer butter.

                                        1. re: MakingSense

                                          A good extra virgin olive oil is NOT cheaper than butter, simply a matter of taste. Any good restaurant that serves oil should be using extra virgin.

                                          1. re: shorebilly

                                            Unless it's a boutique brand olive oil coming in a small bottle, wholesale butter will always be more expensive than wholesale extra virgin when it comes to a restaurant's application and or purchase.....but I agree with your last sentence and view.

                                          2. re: MakingSense

                                            Sorry I'm late here. I know you (MakingSense) are probably aware, but the olive oil thing isn't necessarily authentic--my friends and family in Italy say they don't do it there and never have. The exception is if it's an olive oil tasting.

                                          3. re: doughreme

                                            It is done in Italy, the restaurants doing it here are just trying to be authentic (or pretentious, depending on your point of view). What is NOT done in Italy, and drives me crazy when I see it, is the obnoxious practice of serving the oil with other stuff mixed in, be it dried herbs or balsamic vinegar. If the oil doesn't have the flavor to shine on its own, don't serve it at all!

                                            1. re: BobB

                                              If the oil doesn't have the flavor to shine on its own, don't serve it at all!


                                              Bingo....precisely my point about the vegetable oil. I really do not want it whether it includes any extras either.....funny, in what i believe to be an attempt to save money on the restaurants part....the patrons fine ways to add to the oil served. Vinegar, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and Pepperoncini are the usual suspects.....but what about parmigiano reggiano? Even if it's cheapo quality and mixed with cornstarch filler......what are they really saving?

                                              1. re: BobB

                                                In what part of Italy is it done in? In my travels to Rome and Florence I never saw it. I suspected it was an American thing.

                                                1. re: aimeekm

                                                  In 30 years of living in Italy I have never seen a restaurant serve a bowl of oil for dipping bread into except when specifically asked to by American guests. I'm not saying it can't happen otherwise ("never" is rarely safe to say), but I AM saying it is NOT normal practice and is generally regarded as ridiculous. The normal way to eat bread in a restaurant is unadorned. Butter on bread is more of a breakfast thing. Also, high-end places that make their own little precious breads often serve butter and will sometimes offer a bottle of some kind of special extra-virgin olive oil you are supposed to either pour directly on your bread, very sparingly, or pour, just as sparingly on your butter plate. The purpose in this case is to taste a special oil, not lubricate your bread. Likewise if you go to a frantoio and taste a new oil, you will have it on bread but it's unlikely to be poured into a bowl for dipping, more likely to be drizzled over bread cubes or, if you're lucky, a bruschetta. Dipping chunks of soft bread in bowls of oil is regarded as very wasteful of oil, to say nothing of filling, caloric, etc.

                                                  1. re: mbfant

                                                    It must be the high-end places where I've had it then - a lot of my Italian travels have been business trips on expense account. And I agree, it was very much a question of showing off the quality of the oil, not simply giving you oil as something to "lubricate your bread" (great phrase!)

                                                    1. re: BobB

                                                      I don't care if it's authentic or not - I LOVE dipping my good bread into good olive oil!
                                                      I love good butter too - depends on my mood...I think these days I prefer the olive oil.

                                                      1. re: NellyNel

                                                        Exactly, garlic parm and olive oil sometimes, butter another. Depends on my mood. I like them both.

                                                    2. re: mbfant

                                                      Bingo. I hate those "you stupid Americans" types of proclamations, but those of us on this side of the pond seem to have a problem with letting excellent bread stand on its own. When I lived in France, I never saw a piece of bread adorned with anything other than sauce from a plate at any time other than breakfast, and the same goes with my voyages into Italia.

                                                      1. re: dmd_kc

                                                        I make excellent bread. It is good on its own and sometimes I eat it that way, especially a heel that I (committing a baking no-no) snatch when straight from the oven. But I cannot think of a bread that is not enhanced by a smear of butter. I suspect Europeans eat it without butter (and sniff at butter's use on bread) because butter was unaffordable and it simply was not frivilously wasted on bread. A habit.

                                                        After having eaten far too many obnoxious day old dry rolls and having had to coax them down with my coffee (rather than enjoying it sip by sip), I choose to butter, jam, pate smear my bread to my hearts content... sniffers be damned.

                                                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                      What timing. There was some moron at my work the other night asking for the ingredients to make his FAMOUS "Italian butter". He used:

                                                      -Approximately 12 ounces of olive oil (three totally full cruets)
                                                      -Four full ramekins of chopped garlic
                                                      -One ramekin of parmesan cheese
                                                      -One ramekin of crushed red peppers
                                                      -Spalshes of balsamic vinegar

                                                      No one at the table even touched it. He kept insisting he needed more oil, more garlic, etc. What a waste. We should've charged him ten bucks for it.

                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                        I would have thrown him out and told him never to return...

                                                    2. re: BobB

                                                      What if the mixed herb, balsamic and oil tastes good with bread? How is it obnoxious to serve something that is appealing to your customers. Personally, I do not give a rip whether something is authentic in that case.

                                                      Do I eat my spaghetti with a spoonful of sauce and then eat the meatballs later as another course? Nope. It would be more authentic, but I prefer it. My guess is that the majority of other folks out there (in America at least) prefer it that way too.

                                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                        thank you! while most on these boards revere the saying "to each his own taste," that sentiment seems to be trumped for many by the "authenticity" argument. hey, i like it! i'll eat it!

                                                        sniff piff!

                                              1. re: Samalicious

                                                That's not even conventional wisdom anymore (white wine w/ fish I mean).

                                                1. re: John Manzo

                                                  But I grew up with Mosel-Saar-Ruwer rieslings with steak. Mom had to have low-alcohol wines. Finding: Riesling is such a food-friendly wine, it worked.

                                                  1. re: John Manzo

                                                    I enjoy both red and white wine...but usually I much prefer red. However, I honestly can't drink red with fish...
                                                    It seems to bring out a terrible "FISH" taste in my mouth. I mean awful.

                                                    Does this not happen to you?


                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                      Pinot noir with cedar plank salmon is wonderful and classic. Give it a try!

                                                      I don't think I've ever had wine bring out a fishy taste in fish, unless the fish wasn't all that fresh to begin with.

                                                      1. re: cimui

                                                        I don't think I ever eat fish unless it's perfectly fresh!

                                                        When I am drinking red wine and I bite into a hunk of Locatelli cheese, the flavor literally burts in my mouth; the combination is sublime. The same thing happens with fish - except the burst of flavor that emerges is disgusting.
                                                        I have tried it a few times, as I said, because I do prefer red wine.
                                                        Perhaps it is my palatte because I've been at dinner parties where we are all eating the same fish and both red and white wine available - and some guests are still drinking the red. I am wondering to myself if they do not experience what I do. I guess not or else they certainly would pour themselves out some white!

                                                2. I salt steak hours before it hits the hot pan. I don't believe it draws moisture out of the meat. And even if it does a little bit, so what? Isn't that the point of dry aging, to reduce the water and concentrate the flavor? Nobody would dry rub a rack of ribs just before it goes into the smoker, or salt a chicken just before it goes into the oven, so why not pre-salt steak?

                                                  40 Replies
                                                  1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                    Cooks country salts eye round one day ahead. I salted rib steaks (3 lb.) a day ahead last weekend, they grilled up great.

                                                    1. re: phantomdoc

                                                      Phantom, RealMenJulienne and anyone else who wants to chime in: would you salt porterhouse a day in advance, or just tougher cuts?

                                                      1. re: cimui

                                                        nope, jfood does not put salt on a PH before cooking. He ONLY places salt on the steak at the table.

                                                        1. re: cimui

                                                          Cimui, I have never cooked a porterhouse, but the first time I cook one I will definitely salt long in advance.

                                                            1. re: cimui

                                                              I will salt a day ahead if time permits. Please bring meat to room temp before cooking. See posts below for salted 2 day ahead rib steaks. I am proud of the steaks and pics too.

                                                              1. re: cimui

                                                                Not a day in advance, but I salt and pepper it as it sits on my counter warming to be cooked.

                                                            2. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                              Salt does, indeed, draw moisture out of the meat - initially - but the forces determining equilibrium then suck the moisture, which is now seasoned, back into the meat. So it seems you need to salt either immediately before cooking or long before cooking, Salting, say, an hour before cooking apparently will dry out the meat to some degree.

                                                              1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                I recently saw on ATK I think, that salting your steak for at least an hour before grilling/searing/whatever, brings the full flavor of the beef. I haven't tried it yet, but I will.

                                                                Oh, I just saw that phantomdoc saw it on Cook's Country! Maybe that's where I saw it. Do you think the thickness of the steak would factor in? Would it work better on a thick steak rather than a thinner one?

                                                                1. re: danhole

                                                                  on ATK the salting a day ahead was for an eye round roast. For steak it was an hour ahead. I salted a day ahead for 2" thick rib steak. I have some more rib steaks that I salted 2 days ago that I will grill today. I planned to grill yesterday but rain hard enough to cancel US Open golf stopped that idea. I will report back, with pictures.

                                                                  1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                    There's a great explanation of this in Judy Rodgers' Zuni Cafe cookbook.

                                                                    1. re: embee

                                                                      What does it say about pre salting in Zuni?

                                                                      I searched around and found this article about pre salting, including Zuni Chicken.


                                                                      1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                        It's a technique more than a recipe, and good results come from practice. It's certainly easy.

                                                                        In the chicken recipe you link to, I'd do it a bit differently. I'd rub the salt mixture under the skin, leaving just a little bit to rub on the skin, and I'd sprinkle it all around the cavity.

                                                                        The quantities of salt and sugar are relative, and depend on the size of your chicken.You want a light overall coating under the skin and in the cavity and a very light overall coating on the skin.

                                                                        Any other seasonings you use in the mixture (spices herbs, garlic, etc) should be to your taste.

                                                                        Whether the chicken happens to be organic is not germane to the technique, but two other factors are:

                                                                        - You should use an air chilled chicken. The results with water chilled chicken aren't comparable. Air chilled chickens are widely available at Canadian supermarkets and in Europe, but may be much less available in some parts of the US.

                                                                        - You MUST NOT salt a kosher chicken. These are pre-salted and would become too salty to eat. However, you can rub seasonings into a kosher chicken (minus the salt) in advance to good effect, although they might not penetrate the meat as thoroughly.

                                                                        You don't need to leave a chicken for 48 hours, since even a few hours will give you a flavour boost. By 48 hours, you are curing the chicken, so you might want to experiment with various holding times.

                                                                        Beef and lamb are trickier, since the cut of meat and its proportions matter. Different cuts react to salt in different ways. A thin steak with a coarse grain needs much less salt than a thick rib steak or a roast. With, say, a 1" thick steak, a light overall sprinkling of salt and seasonings on both sides would be fine. Then you watch. The surface will become wet and then begin to dry off. You can cook it any time after the surfaces dry. The longer you hold it, the more the seasonings intensify (at least up to a point) and the more "cured" the meat becomes.

                                                                        Be careful if you try salting fish. A typical fish portion will cure through in only a few hours.

                                                                    2. re: phantomdoc

                                                                      Please do, I would like to hear about your results.

                                                                      1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                        Just finished dinner. (burp). The steaks were 2 in thick bone in rib steak. Salted them Wednesday afternoon intending to cook Thursday. I took them out of fridge at 4:30 to warm to room temp. I wipe them dry with paper towels and rub with pure olive oil (not evoo). Hot sear for 3 minutes and then turn 90 degrees for grill marks. Flip after 8-10 minutes after a nice char develops. Then sear other side. I cook until the rib eye hits 118 F. Then I cut off the "deckle" ( The muscle that wraps around the top of the ribeye), to grill separately. Bring the rib up to 125. Rest 10 minutes and dig in.
                                                                        The meat was very tender, juicy and flavorful. Mrs Doc sail it was a touch salty for her. Here are 4 pics. One is 2.05 mb. If it doesnt print I will shrink the file.

                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                alkapal, they did come out great. They were not prime grade beef, but good Choice grade from my local Waldbaums supermarket. They are really happy to custom cut steaks to this Flintstones size. 3 lb. steaks were about $15 each. Sale this week is rib, T-bone and Porterhouse $4.99 lb. until Monday. The one I go to is

                                                                                702 Hicksville Road
                                                                                No. Massapequa, NY 11758

                                                                                When they come out like this I question my going to Peter Luger.

                                                                                1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                  five dollars per pound -- that's a superb price, isn't it? i just paid 9.99/# (but marked down because of the date) for a porterhouse that was very average. i intended to use it to make pad kee mao with beef. it was just o.k. so when i saw your steaks, i sorely missed my grilling days. but you're obviously a pro with steaks!

                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                    Never worked in the food business. To keep it on topic I do not think grills and steaks would ever be considered a bad combination.

                                                                                  2. re: phantomdoc


                                                                                    Those steaks look really good. Geez they were big! A couple follow up questions for you. What kind of salt did you use and how much. I really don't like salty food at all and because of blood pressure we both have to keep an eye on salt intake. Also if I get a smaller, meaning less thick, cut of meat would I salt a day ahead or just a few hours?

                                                                                    Thanks for sharing!


                                                                                    1. re: danhole


                                                                                      I use Diamond Crystal Kosher salt. I did not measure but i would guess about a tablespoon for each steak. Since there are a good two servings from each steak, that decreases the salt per serving. As to the lead time, this is again a guess, but, I think the day ahead seems right to me. Again, ATK said that salting the eye round a day ahead, two teaspoons of table salt, was the trick to making a tender juicy eye round. They say that table salt is more than kosher salt per measure. As to your blood pressure, do you know if it is salt sensitive? Many peoples pressure is not related to salt intake.

                                                                                      1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                        Thanks phantom! I have kosher salt, sea salt, and regular, just couldn't remember which was the one they used. Now that eye round they used - was it a roast? I just remember a big hunk of meat!

                                                                                        As far as the question about being salt sensitive or not with the BP, I can't answer that. But I am not a big salt eater in the first place, so it probably isn't related, but all Dr.'s toss out "don't use salt" when you have high BP.

                                                                                        1. re: danhole

                                                                                          The weight of the salt has more to do than the teaspoon count. The kosher salt has larger crystals than table salt, and sea salt can be anywhere from giant flakes to tiny sand. Enjoy the steaks or roasts. I am not sure where the line of demarcation between a steak and a roast lies. I guess I am pushing the envelope.

                                                                              2. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                Yes no kidding, awesome, perfect temperature. My gosh and they're huge!

                                                                                1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                  Great show Phantomdoc! I have to provide an update to my original post though. We had a cookout on Saturday and three friends brought their own filet steaks to throw on the grill. Well obviously there wasn't time to presalt and sit, so the steaks went on the grill right after salting and peppering. They came out rare, juicy, and not at all underseasoned. I may have to examine my usual approach with a side-by-side test.

                                                                                  1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                    An earlier post about this piqued my interest and i found this article about salting in advance.


                                                                                    1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                      Interesting article. The way it said that other seasoning would piggyback with the salt intrigued me. Have you tried that yet? I wonder what would be best to try.

                                                                                      1. re: danhole

                                                                                        I haven't tried yet. First thing that comes to mind would be garlic. ATK does flank steak with salt first then a paste of oil with garlic and rosemary. Pierce meat with a fork. Rub off marinade before grilling on high 4-8 min/side.
                                                                                        I got some top round "london broil" yesterday, may give this a shot.

                                                                                        1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                          DUH! I can't believe I didn't think of that. My first thought was some thyme, and maybe onion, but garlic all alone would be great. Report back please.

                                                                                          1. re: danhole

                                                                                            Rubbed with salt first. Then a paste of garlic "herbes fines", olive oil. They are sleeping in the fridge.

                                                                                            1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                              Ok Danhole, Here it is.
                                                                                              They slept a while, until yesterday.
                                                                                              I gave them 2 hours out of fridge, still wrapped in plastic.
                                                                                              I wanted to try to combine 2 ATK recipes. Flank steak marinade, salt, oil garlic and herbs. Eye round cooking. Sear then low and slow.
                                                                                              2 hunks of top round about 6.5 lbs. total
                                                                                              I cranked up grill to do initial sear, with the intent to cook low and slow after char. The thinner piece was almost up to temp at the end of the sear, so it did not get too much time on the slow side of the grill (the only burner on after the sear was the rear burner.
                                                                                              The large hunk got extra time before reaching 125 internal temp.
                                                                                              We only dug into the thinner steak and it was juicy tender and flavorful through.
                                                                                              If the point of the experiment was the pre salting, it works very well. It flavors the meat all the way through and brings the garlic and herbs into the center. The meat was not dry. More pics to follow.

                                                                                                    1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                                      I just want to point oit that the corn in the background has a very appropriate smiley face on the tip!!

                                                                                        2. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                          What grill do you use? Those are some pretty pretty steaks. My grill just collapsed in on itself on the Fourth of July. Very timely.

                                                                                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                            Weber Genesis Silver C, with side burner that I never use for cooking, but can put my ear next to to listen if I am out of fuel, Liquid propane. Yeah the corn was happy.

                                                                                2. apple pie a la mode should mean cold pie and chocolate ice cream only

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: laliz

                                                                                    this is one I have never heard....nor have I heard it should be vanilla ice cream either.....just pie and ice cream.

                                                                                    1. re: fourunder

                                                                                      Well, the thread is about food heresy, and that certainly qualifies as heretical!

                                                                                  2. I think that "extra virgin olive oil" is just a hoax perpetrated to be able to charge more for olive oil. Somwhow, I can't see someone in one fo the poorer parts of Italy, struggling to afford just the basics, saying she won't make dinner unless the olive oil is "extra virgin".

                                                                                    And pie "a la mode" Yech! the ice cream on the warm crust, so that you get 1) soggy crust, and 2) melted ice cream. Keep the two apart, please!

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: ekammin

                                                                                      Extra virgin olive oil is derived from the first pressing of the olives and has the most delicate flavor and most antioxidant benefits.

                                                                                      Here's a description of the three different varieties of olive oil:

                                                                                    2. They say food loses its taste in your mouth after a few bites. I say patooey to that. Take counter measures! Ice cream - take a sip of warm drink and procede. Salty food gone dull? Eat a chocolate chip cookie!

                                                                                      Vinaigrette - They say 2 oil to one vinegar. Humbuggary! I make it equal parts and have never felt cheated or puckered. I add fruit juice or honey or marmelade. Also frowned upon I am sure.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                        >>>They say food loses its taste in your mouth after a few bites. I say patooey to that. Take counter measures! Ice cream - take a sip of warm drink and procede. Salty food gone dull? Eat a chocolate chip cookie!<<<

                                                                                        sal gal, you crack me up!

                                                                                      2. I don't soak beans. 15 minutes to boil, 75 in a 250^ oven . . . done.

                                                                                        1. I drink Cappuccinos whenever I want.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: sebetti

                                                                                            I drink fine, expensive, "gung fu" grade oolongs.....with sugar and lemon (okay, tecnically fresh squeezed key lime juice, but by Chinese standards adding anything to fine tea of that grade is tantamount to blasphemy).

                                                                                          2. Okay - I'll admit it.

                                                                                            I LOVE ketchup on steak.

                                                                                            The best sandwich in the whole world is steak, and ketchup in a pita bread.

                                                                                            I wanted to say that on the other board which asked "whats the best thing to put ketchup on"
                                                                                            But I figured I'd get slammed!

                                                                                            1. i LIKE carrabas' olive oil dip with the herbs and garlic!

                                                                                              1. No ketchup on a hot dog. No cheese on an Italian beef.

                                                                                                "Auto Da Fé, what's an Auto Da Fé?"
                                                                                                "It's what you oughtn't to do but you do anyway!"
                                                                                                -Mel Brooks

                                                                                                1. I like to drink white wine with ice-cubes in it.

                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Peg

                                                                                                    You wanna drink red wine at a meal like an authentic paesan? Dilute it with some water. It's been common practice in homes in the old country for a long time, though less common on festive occasions.

                                                                                                    1. re: Peg

                                                                                                      Really - is there any other way - especially when it comes out of a box.

                                                                                                      1. re: juliewong

                                                                                                        To the ancient Greeks, NOT diluting one's wine was barbaric; one of the reasons they had such a low opinion of people like the Romans, who usually drank it straight. According to Greek lore only Baccus himself could safely drink wine undiluted.

                                                                                                        1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                          Yes, but ancient Greek wine was something very much like vinegar. You really wouldn't want to drink it undiluted.

                                                                                                          [Actually, I always thought Romans drank it diluted, too... educate me?]

                                                                                                          1. re: cimui

                                                                                                            it really depended on 1 the wine and 2. your social class. The Roman empire was a lot bigger than the Greek one, even if you count the heyday of the greeks with a corresponding diversity of wines. Some were diluted, some were not. Some recipes could be considered pre diluted since they contained additives during production, like mulsum (a wine made with herbs and seawater added, (Some recreated this wine and its supposed to taste like a slighly nutty sherry) middle level wines were often dilutes because they were often very sour and were drunk by the lower social classes since bad as it tasted, it was still often safer (due to the antibacterial nature of the alcohol) that drinking straight water. (much the same as how in the middle ages small (low alcohol) beer was a standard day to day beverage in preferce to water. On the other hands really premium wines, (the kind you had to be an aristocrat to be allowed to drink) would never ,ever be diluted (as opposed to the greeks where all wine was, fine or not) adding water to Falernian (cosidered the ultimate creme de la creme of Roman wines for much of the Golden Age) would be tantamount to blaspemy. It must not have needed it, since (if records are acurate) some of those Falerinan vitnages stayed pleasurably drinkable for astoning amounts of time (Trimalcio's famous orgy banquet incuded 100-year old Falernian, the the barrel selected by Galen (I think) for the emperor to dissovle the universal anti-poison he took every day as an assaniantion preventative in was something like 300 years old and was reported by Galen to still be "without a trace of bitterness"

                                                                                                            1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                              Very, very interesting, jumpingmonk. Thanks for the history lesson!

                                                                                                    2. Taster's Choice French Roast instant coffee. It is really good!

                                                                                                      No condiments on my hamburger...which is cooked med rare. Just salt and pepper before broiling or grilling.

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: melly

                                                                                                        You mean you actually want to TASTE the burger?!?!?!? No mayo? No cheese? ...What's the phone number of the Spanish Inquisition?

                                                                                                        This reminds me of my favorite joke on Get Smart. Maxwell Smart was in a ballpark, passing a hot dog loaded 'with everything' to a customer in his row. The hot dog got caught in Smart's hand and slipped out of the bun. When the guy bit into it, it was just the bun and all the condiments. He loved it saying this was the best hot dog he ever tasted!

                                                                                                        1. re: melly


                                                                                                          you would enjoy having a burger with my husband - same exact blueprint! And if it wasn't salted and peppered before hand, then he does it himself!


                                                                                                          1. re: melly

                                                                                                            I have two schools of thought on hamburgers: Scenario A is a plain patty with nothing but a little ketchup on the side for occasional dipping. Lots of salt on the beef, please.

                                                                                                            B is the whole works, with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese (Swiss or sharp cheddar usually), dill pickle, ketchup and mustard.

                                                                                                            Totally different foods, but both worth eating.

                                                                                                          2. I love melted cheddar cheese and I think it goes pretty well with just about everything. Especially spaghetti & red sauce. YUM.

                                                                                                            Also, I don't like fresh fettucini pasta (over cooks too easily) and at the one place in Seattle that does outstanding alfredo, I order it with spaghetti noodles.

                                                                                                            1. Well, in the past i did ignore conventional wisdom on steaks. I grew up in a family where you were destine to get some kind of disease if you ate your red meat cooked any way besides well-done. I just grew up eating well-done steak, but one time i was in a restaurant and was mistakenly served steak that was more medium-rare...i can't bring myself to send things back, so i ate it anyway. It was delicious! I couldn't believe what i had been missing. I still don't like my steaks too rare, so i just compromise now on medium. So i guess now i am going more with the conventional wisdom on the steak thing.

                                                                                                              1. When I make miso soup in the evening and have some left over, I'll have some the next day cold from the refrigerator. I don't know if that's heresy or not, but I think miso soup tastes good cold (not super cold, but chilled).

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: comestible

                                                                                                                  Miso has a natural form of msg that contributes to its always good flavor.

                                                                                                                2. I like my burgers done med-well. Steak is Med-rare to medium but burgers, I can't do that way. Too mushy. I like my shrimp, eggs, and chicken well-done too. It all has to do with the "mushy" factor. However, I like sushi rolls...go figure.

                                                                                                                  I hate tomato in my BLT's, so I end up with a BL. I think cold soups are disgusting. Don't care what the foodies say.

                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: amyvc

                                                                                                                    Don't worry, like my burgers a bit pink but not runny or bloody. More medium that is for sure. Chicken, just done, not pink at all, pork medium and juicy, lamb medium rare, shrimp not over done, just tender, eggs, NO runny whites but yolks runny is good. Tomatoes, sorry I love anyways.

                                                                                                                    And cold soups, I have eaten and have made and they are ok, but I just don't enjoy them like I should. Soup is hot, not cold. I still appreciate the flavors but just can't get used to them, but OK I guess.

                                                                                                                    1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                                                                      “Cold soup is a very tricky thing and it is the rare hostess who can carry it off. More often than not the dinner guest is left with the impression that had he only come a little earlier he could have gotten it while it was still hot.”
                                                                                                                      - Fran Lebowitz

                                                                                                                      1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                        It is funny. I made the avacado soup recipe that was floating around on here and it was very good. I liked it. I just would of prefered a hot soup even though it was very very good. I know a few friends would never even try it so I was glad the couple friends I had over did try it. They were polite, but I could tell they were not a fan either.

                                                                                                                        1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                          Interesting. I really like cold soups, but I think one has to make sure that they are properly seasoned, and tasted and seasoned if necessary after being chilled.

                                                                                                                          1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                                                                            Borscht! Vichyssoise! Shchav! And here's my fave avocado soup recipe, somewhat labor intensive but mostly worth it.


                                                                                                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                              I like cold soups too -- well, not on a blustery cold winter day, but gazpacho sounds perfect on a warm, muggy day. However, I find that a lot of people I know don't like cold soups, even if it's prepared well as they think that soups are "supposed" to be served hot. I think it has something to do with expectations -- or it could just be a matter of taste. I generally don't serve cold soups to people unless I know they're into it.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                Soups *are* supposed to be hot (tongue firmly in cheek). Ugh, gazapacho on a muggy day! I live in South Florida and the thought of cold, thick tomatoes and cucumbers to drink...

                                                                                                                                ...I will simply say To each his/her own. :)

                                                                                                                                BobB, love your quote. Roughly translated, "Cold soup is crap." haha...again, my humble opinion :)

                                                                                                                                1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                                                                                  sometimes cold garnishes/additions in hot soups are really great, though, whether you do or don't like cold soups--- your post reminded me that i like cold avocado chopped into certain hot soups. or the ol' sour cream dollop. or an herbal ice cube. or a handful of chopped lettuce.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                    Yes a bit of cold in hot soup - like the sour cream to a black bean - totally ok....

                                                                                                                      2. kind of an "your peanut butter got on my chocolate-- well YOUR chocolate got in my peanut butter" story that happened recently:

                                                                                                                        we were sitting outside sharing a light meal with a group of 8-10 folks, mixed noshes and nibbles, including everything from grilled veggies and sausages to tortilla chips and salsa to fine cheeses and artisan bread. . . whatever people had in their home kitchen to contribute. so someone unwraps an ambient temperature fully ripe, runny brie. . . which proceeds to run all amok everywhere all over the board & threatens to ooze all over the table-- "omg! give me some bread or something to contain this cheese, asap!" and there was a brief scramble-- turns out the bread needed to be cut up, so someone passed ***tortilla chips*** over. . . & without thinking, we all dolloped up the spreading cheese with the chips. . . a few folks popped the morsels into their mouths. . . general outcry of amazement--lowbrow american supermarket tortilla chip+snobby french runny cheese-- it's good! kinda tastes like cheesy popcorn, w/o additives-- i think that's the appeal. strange but true.

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                          Who would have thought that would be a good combo! Thanks for telling us. Of course if I served a runny brie with tortilla chips people would probably think I was crazy, but Ill try it anyway, alongside bread!

                                                                                                                          1. re: danhole

                                                                                                                            i've done it before. it's good! as in "there's a creamy rich cheese on my salty, corn-y, crunchy chip" good. subtle it ain't, but tasty it is.

                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                Brie goes really well inside a relleno, also- it has a much nicer flavor than Jack or Mozzarella etc....

                                                                                                                          2. Chop your vegetables the same size so they cook evenly.
                                                                                                                            Blah, I don't worry about such things. If I'm adding onion to a dish I don't mind if some of it is so small that it disolves into the background while other pieces still have a bit of tooth left in them.

                                                                                                                            Mashed potatoes shouldn't be lumpy.
                                                                                                                            Blah, I like lumps in my mashed potatoes.


                                                                                                                            14 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                              I love that you say "Blah". It made me smile.

                                                                                                                              I am also with you on both accounts. Heresy be damned!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                Blah, I like lumpy mashed potatoes, too. :)

                                                                                                                                1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                  count me in for lumpy mashed potatoes! with lots of good butter, a dose of salt, and a fresh grind of black pepper. give me a plate! oooh, i'll also like those taters with some good gravy made from the meat drippin's.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                    Black Pepper?? Heresey!!! It should be white pepper!!!

                                                                                                                                    LOL, I'm with ya pal.


                                                                                                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                      funny one, davwud!

                                                                                                                                      a pepper "purist" ;-D.

                                                                                                                                      (to be honest, i didn't even think of the white pepper for the potatoes. but it might in fact be superior in flavor...or appearance....or something). hmm, now i'm wondering if pulverized szechuan peppercorns would be too weird on lumpy potatoes? lip-numbing, lumpy, smooth potato-y goodness....

                                                                                                                                      and i guess smoked paprika would be verboten (but, come to think of it, quite tasty...)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                        The idea of the white pepper is that it's the same colour as the potatoes so you don't have these little black flecks in them. While I can understand if you're paying $45/plate with piped mashers on it, when at home, who wants to specially grind white pepper?? Besides, the peppercorn melange tastes better anyway.

                                                                                                                                        Smoked paprika would work if you didn't mix it in right away. A nice dusting over the top would make a beautiful presentation.


                                                                                                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                          my largest grinder is black pepper, and i also have a smaller one for white pepper. but i think you were right that white pepper would be superior (even though i think you were just trying to be funny-in-context, which you were!).

                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                            yet another reason i use a small thai mortar and pestle for all my pepper grinding needs

                                                                                                                                            1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                              thew, it'd definitely be a PITA to have to use my mortar and pestle every time i wanted fresh-ground pepper.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                i respectfully disagree. i find it faster, easier, and i have better control over grind size with it than i have ever had with any grinder, or other method.

                                                                                                                                                the secret is in the thai granite pestles. i hated M&P's until i started using the thai pestles. I have a larger thai mortar i use for spices, pastes and (excuse the redundancy) pestos. i have a smaller, cast iron inside enameled outside one, dedicated to pepper, but i use a thai pestle, instead of the one that came with it.


                                                                                                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                  i have both the thai granite one and a marble one, then a little porcelain one. i wish i had a huge one, but i don't need even more stuff in the kitchen ;-).

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                    try to get a thai pestle to use in the marble one....

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                      thew, how about this 8 pint baby? http://www.fantes.com/images/25050-1m...

                                                                                                                                                      good for just about anything i can think of.....

                                                                                                                                                      maybe a "close-fit" pestle would be good for grinding pepper and some "jumpy" spices....

                                                                                                                              2. Salting eggplant before cooking as it helps reduce bitterness. Honestly, I don't notice a huge difference and like the bitterness as it adds "character." And I believe that the bitterness is good for you. So I don't go through that step. I am aware that salting the eggplant also helps drain out the juices which helps it to not absorb as much oil during cooking. Probably a very anti-Chowhoundish thing to do, but I just steam the eggplant if I'm planning on frying it later. Doesn't really absorb a lot of oil if it's steamed first.

                                                                                                                                1. This is not a particular food thing, but I felt a surge of... triumphalism when I was flipping thru Judy Rodger's Zuni Cafe Cookbook today and I noticed that she cuts and dices her onions the same way I do. I do not adhere to the keep the root on, cut to it and then across. AND
                                                                                                                                  I am tired of people who think they know better than I how to cut an onion for crying out loud. She seems to believe that it was a method devised by a Vietnamese guy she knows. NAY I SAY!

                                                                                                                                  It is basically cutting the onion lengthwise, coring, slicing each half crosswise , pressing it flat like a spiral ham, cutting at an angle until you get into it and then straight on then opposite the beginning slant. Changing the slant corrects for the onions wanting to slip apart at the edges.

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                    I cannot picture in my head how you cut an onion (a video would be super-helpful), but thanks for including the phrase "for crying out loud." Onion-y!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                      What's to core? I can't fathom what you're getting at, either. I stumbled upon the pole-to pole, peel back to the root method on my own, later seeing it on TV. I like holding onto the clump of peel that's still attached to the root, because I've never been comfortable with the professional technique of using knuckles as a backstop for the blade.

                                                                                                                                      As for unconventional wisdom, I generally use jarred minced garlic orgarlic powder rather than fresh. Too often, fresh tastes too strong to me, and it spoils before I use it up, as I grocery shop no more than once every 3 weeks, except during farmers market season. It is claimed that pears and peaches don't get riper after picking, only softer. I don't think that's true. Steve Raichlen - or maybe it was Rick Bayless - says soaked wooden skewers burn as fast as unsoaked. That makes no sense. Try burning wet wood in your fireplace!