Coatings For Fried Fish.
~ Food FAQs

Coatings For Fried Fish.

Best Coatings For Fried Seafood? Sambo asks: What was the most common coating for fried fish at the great casual seafood joints like Bruning’s, Bozo’s, and Sam’s Place? Was it flour, corn flour, cornmeal, or some combination? Tom sez: A more universal question would be what were the most common coatings in fried seafood specialists. I’m sure everybody did it a little differently. Bruning’s was a flour-coater. Casamento’s does corn meal. Many restaurants use a variety. I personally think cornmeal is best for oysters and catfish, flour for trout and…

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FAQ: Flaming Champagne.

Flames Among The Bubbles? I have an odd question. I’m curious about the flash point of Champagne. I have googled it many different ways but haven’t come across a solid answer. I make specialty flavored brittles and candies using the beer, and would like to try making some with Champagne. I would assume the alcohol pretty much boils out like with the beer, but I just want to be sure that I wouldn’t have a flash point issue with the Champagne once I get past the boiling point. My ingredients…

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Blender Hollandaise
~ Food FAQs

Blender Hollandaise

Q. I’ve heard that you can make hollandaise sauce in a blender, and that it comes out just as well as making in the traditional way, and maybe even better. Is this right? How is it done? Click for the answer. . . .“>

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The Secret Price Of Restaurant Specials.

FoodFAQs on’t you think it would be nice if all restaurants would let their staff announce the prices of their specials as they read them off? They do so on the menu visually, so why not when they tell you verbally? We have felt (and more than just felt, it’s actually happened) that we have been ripped off by not knowing the price of verbal specials and when we get the bill, the charge is a lot higher than most or all of the fare on their printed menu. We should start a movement to encourage restaurants to do this. If you disagree, please tell me why.

Full article>/h6>

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Cleaning And Sharpening Knives

FoodFAQs I recently acquired an authentic Chinese cleaver. I love how it gets big cutting jobs done quickly, especially when I’m working with bones. But it’s pure steel and rusts every time I wash it. Do you have any suggestions on how to prevent this? Also, where can I get my knives sharpened professionally? Click for the answer. . . .

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Large Restaurant Tables

FoodFAQs Q. I am from a large family, and I have a large family of my own now, all grown up but still very close. When all of us want to go out to dinner together, when we add in the significant others, we usually wind up with about a dozen people. Sometimes, like around the holidays in particular, we wind up with as many as sixteen. We have found that the restaurants do not really want our business. They often won’t give us a reservation for a table of twelve, no matter how far in advance we call, or for what time. If we call separately and ask for three tables of four each, they are happy to accommodate all of us. How is it that they have the room for three times four, but not twelve? It doesn’t make sense. Click for the answer. . . .

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Thanksgiving Wine For Non-Oenophiles

FoodFAQs Q. Nobody in my house drinks wine. When we go to other people’s homes on Thanksgiving, there’s always wine. This year, the dinner is at my house, and I have no idea what wine to buy or how much. What do you think? Click for the answer. . . .

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Brining Your Turkey

FoodFAQs [dropcap1]Q. [/dropcap1] I hear Tom talking about the importance of brining his Thanksgiving turkey, but I never paid much attention, because I never had to roast my own turkey. Until this year. Now I can’t remember just how it does. One more time? Click for the answer. . . .

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Fresh And Dried

FoodFAQs Q. Can you tell me the difference in quantity between fresh and dried herbs? I usually have fresh herbs growing indoors or out, but sometimes I may have to substitute. What’s the story? Click for the answer. . . .

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Whither Tira Mi Su?

FoodFAQs I never know what I’m getting when I order tiramisu in a restaurant. Sometimes it comes out like a slice of cake. Sometimes they scoop it like pudding. I heard you say that some restaurant has a tiramisu in the shape of a Yule log. What’s the authentic one? More to come. . .

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Better Butter

FoodFAQs Q. What brands of butter do the upper-end restaurants use? It seems to me that it tastes a lot better than the butter I buy at the store. Click for the answer. . . .

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How To Complain About Restaurant Problems.

FoodFAQs Q. I had lunch with a friend last week, and she treated. We got a lunch plate of fried shrimp, hush puppies, cole slaw, and some boiled potatoes. Everything was fine until I cut into one of the potatoes and saw that it was bad on the inside. The waitress never did come over and ask how everything was, and I was too embarrassed to tell my friend about it, so I didn’t say anything. How can you fix a problem like this without making your host feel you’re not enjoying the treat? Click for the answer. . . .

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Private Party Pricing.

Q. My company had a great year this year, and I thought I pay back my customers and employees by throwing a Christmas party in an upscale place. I called one of your favorite restaurants and told them we’d like to take advantage of their famous lunch special for a seated lunch for fifty people. I was very surprised to be told that they would not allow us to get the lunch special, and that we had to go along with their banquet menus. The food sounded good enough, but the price was about twice that of the lunch special. I thought this was a ripoff and told them so. Why would a restaurant turn away business like that? Click for the answer. . . .

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Brisket In Crab Boil

Q. I heard you talking on the radio about your dislike of lobsters boiled with crab boil. I agree with you that it just doesn’t work. But a few years ago I tried adding some crab boil to beef brisket and found that it made an interesting version of boiled beef. It also worked well with pre-boiling beef for a Texas-style BBQ whole brisket that is finished on the grill with sauce. Do I have your approval? Click for the answer. . . .

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Basil In Winter

Q. I grow basil in my garden, and it’s starting to look a little raggedy. How I can pick the best leaves off and freeze them or otherwise preserve them? Especially before the really cold weather comes?
Click for the answer. . . .

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Where Are The Oyster Bars?
* NOMenu.com

Where Are The Oyster Bars?

Q. Can you supply a list of New Orleans restaurants with actual oyster bars? I seem to be running into more restaurants all the time that have raw oysters, but they don’t shuck them in front of you. Any explanation for that, since I’m here? Click for the answer. . . .

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The Future Of Pork Belly.
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The Future Of Pork Belly.

Q. About ten years ago I saw braised pork belly on the menu at Herbsaint. The waiter seemed to be really excited about it, so I tried it. What I got was a piece of gelatinous fat with a little bit of lean through it. I can’t say it was bad, but there were too many things going on that I found unappetizing that I never ordered it again. It seemed like just a big block of fat. Now I see it on menus everywhere I go. What is it, exactly, and why should I like it? And one more thing. I remember seeing a column of quotations in the newspaper financial pages and for “pork belly futures.” What is the future of pork bellies? Click for the answer. . . .

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Olive Oil
~ Food FAQs

Olive Oil

[dropcap1]Q. [/dropcap1]Some Italian restaurants serve olive oil on the bread plate in lieu of butter. I find it quite good, and I wanted to know what brand might be used. It seems to have a different taste than what I can get in markets. Where can I find some of these brands? Click for the answer. . . .

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Why Can’t I Get My Favorite Table?
~ Food FAQs

Why Can’t I Get My Favorite Table?

Q. Whenever I call a certain restaurant for a reservation, I ask for my favorite table. They tell me that they can’t promise it to me. I am a regular customer. We eat there three or four times a year. Sometimes I get the table, but I usually don’t. I’ve tried calling a long time in advance, but nothing seems to work. What’s the trick? Click for the answer. . . .

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Peeling Wax Off Cheese
~ Food FAQs

Peeling Wax Off Cheese

I like to buy the interesting cheeses I see at the supermarket and really enjoy eating them as a late-night snack. But I have a problem. A lot of cheeses have a wax coating. Some other kinds have other coatings or mold–I’m not sure what that stuff is, actually. I know you’re not supposed to eat it. But when I try to cut it off, I feel like I’m cutting off a lot of edible cheese, too. And at some of the prices you pay for these cheeses. . . well, you know. Is there a trick? keep reading. . . .

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Food Show Music
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Food Show Music

Q. [/dropcap1]What is the music you play at the beginning of every hour on your radio show? Click for the answer. . . .

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Where Has The “Real” Caesar Salad Gone?
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Where Has The “Real” Caesar Salad Gone?

Q. Are there any restaurants in New Orleans that make Caesar salad at the table? I’m talking about the presentation in which the waiter doesn’t just toss the greens with a ready-made dressing, but makes the dressing in the bowl from basic ingredients. I haven’t found that in a long time. Click for the answer. . . .

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Hot Tamales Post-K
* NOMenu.com

Hot Tamales Post-K

The best I’ve found of this kind of tamale are made and sold at Guillory’s, a small Old Metairie grocery store that evolved into a café. Its specialty is homemade hot tamales, along the lines of the what Manuel’s used to do–but significantly better, I think. Guillory’s is at 3708 Derbigny, a side street two blocks from and parallel to Airline Highway, between Cleary and Severn. Click for the answer. . . .“> Read more. . .

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Where’s The Turtle Meat?
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Where’s The Turtle Meat?

Q. I have your recipe for turtle soup and you make it sound delicious. But I’m having a problem finding turtle meat. Who has it? Click for the answer. . . .

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What’s My Coffee?
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What’s My Coffee?

Q. About once every three weeks, someone calls my radio show or sends an email to ask this question: “I’ve heard you say many times which is your favorite kind of coffee at home. But I can’t remember. Tell me again, please. While you’re at it, would you tell me if there’s a decaf version of it? Click for the answer. . . .

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Which Chair?
* NOMenu.com

Which Chair?

My sweetie and I are out to eat on a date. We are seated at a square table with four chairs. My companion sits down first, of course. Where do I sit? Click for the answer. . . .

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Multiplying And Dividing Recipes
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Multiplying And Dividing Recipes

Q. I have a large quantity recipe for creamed spinach that I would like to reduce to a more family-friendly size. Do you know of a website or formula that will scale down the ingredients to a smaller yield? Click for the answer. . . .“> Read answer. . .

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Buying A Set Of Knives. . . Or Not
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Buying A Set Of Knives. . . Or Not

My wife has been asking me to buy her a good set of kitchen knives. Something that will last, at a reasonable price. Can you also give me a location where to purchase the knives. (You like some restaurant supply house that I’ve heard you talk about on the radio.) Click for the answer. . . .

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Freezing Beef
* NOMenu.com

Freezing Beef

When there is a sale on roasts such as prime rib, is it okay to freeze it if you plan to eat it in a week or so? Does freezing affect the taste or juiciness of the roast? How long can you safely freeze it? Is it best to defrost in the fridge or in a baggie in cold water? Click for the answer. . . .

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Dried Mushrooms. Any Good?
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Dried Mushrooms. Any Good?

Q. I bought a package of mixed, dried mushrooms at the store, thinking I could use them almost like fresh. I didn’t like the results. What exactly can these be used for? Click for the answer. . . .

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Shrimp Creole, Etouffee, And Stew: What’s The Diff?
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Shrimp Creole, Etouffee, And Stew: What’s The Diff?

When I order shrimp etouffee in a restaurant I never know what I’m going to get. Sometimes it has tomatoes in it like shrimp Creole. Sometimes it’s brown like crawfish bisque. And I have no idea what the distinction is between an etouffee and a stew. Do you? Or is this one of those stupid questions that everyone knows the answer to except me? Let’s start with what they have in common. They’re all shrimp dishes that contain so much sauce that the shrimp practically float in sauce. The point…

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Cooling Before Freezing
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Cooling Before Freezing

After you cook red beans, gumbo or other dishes that come by the large potful, should you let the leftovers cool to room temperature before putting them in the refrigerator? And is there any difference as to how you care for different gumbos when eating them as leftovers? The main reason you let large amounts of food cool before putting them in the refrigerator is to prevent the refrigerator from warming up, which might cause problems for everything else in there. However, most modern refrigerators cool things so quickly that…

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The Rise Of Focaccia
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The Rise Of Focaccia

A lot of restaurants serve focaccia bread, but when they do they make it seem as if it’s something special. It reminds me of garlic, bread, but to tell you the truth I’d rather eat regular garlic bread. What is it, anyway? Click for the answer. . . .

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Is It 23%? ;-)
* NOMenu.com

Is It 23%? ;-)

The Future Of Waiting Tables.

The profession will remain indefinitely. However, a number of enhancements to the server’s body will make much of the job more pleasant.

Click here for the cartoon.

Read more. . .

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Green Onions, Shallots, Scallions, Chives, Etc.
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Green Onions, Shallots, Scallions, Chives, Etc.

Some of the recipes in your cookbook call for green onions and some for shallots. I thought they were the same. Green onions are also called scallions, right? But are shallots something else? And what about chives? Where do they fit in? The word “shallot” was indeed used for a long time in New Orleans for green onions. When I worked in a grocery store as a teenager, we ordered green onions from the wholesaler as “shallots.” But that usage has faded since true shallots have become widely available in…

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