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Old 10-03-2018, 02:17 PM
 
Location: By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
54,145 posts, read 38,225,022 times
Reputation: 26638

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumann Koch View Post
I've had Pasta Carbonara where it was prepared almost like having scrambled eggs with noodles!

You have to make the sauce over a double-boiler BEFORE adding to the pasta so that doesn't happen!

I've had good results mixing the beaten eggs with the grated parmigiano reggiano before adding it to the pasta.
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Old 10-03-2018, 02:49 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,555 posts, read 51,767,813 times
Reputation: 82971
Quote:
Which Ethnic Dish Do You Find Most Often Screwed Up in Restaurants
All of them if you happen to live in the US, because they are not authentic (except of very few places) but Americanized to please the local palate.
Even those who actually try very hard to cook like back home - they just don't have access to the authentic ingredients, and while some could be imported, many couldn't due to US food regulations.
We want "ethnic food" to be authentic, but we are almost never willing to pay for it.

Here is an interesting article about that:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.0fed2962b79a
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...=.b1786e2e8577

Last edited by elnina; 10-03-2018 at 03:03 PM..
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Old 10-03-2018, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
8,144 posts, read 7,466,203 times
Reputation: 17044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumann Koch View Post
Good sauce, or gravy as my Italian friends call it, is THE key to any good Italian dish, and uses fresh, ripe tomatoes, quality olive oil, and fresh herbs.

ANY canned or jarred sauce does not cut it for a restaurant!
Actually, that's incorrect. Any award winning Italian restaurant uses canned DOP San Marzano tomatoes and not fresh.
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Old 10-03-2018, 03:23 PM
 
Location: NoVa
2,039 posts, read 2,779,115 times
Reputation: 2785
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
Even those who actually try very hard to cook like back home - they just don't have access to the authentic ingredients, and while some could be imported, many couldn't due to US food regulations.
So true! I love food from India and South East Asia, and one of my favorites is an Indonesian dish called 'Rendang', which is a meat stew cooked hours on the stove until it's tender and all the spices are soaked into the meat. It's the only dish I know that starts off with boiling, then ends with stir frying when the gravy thickens and dries up.

It's a dish originated from West Sumatra Island - Indonesia, and the authentic recipe calls for water buffalo meat as the main ingredient. Well, where the heck can I find water buffalo meat in the US? So I substituted it with beef. Then another key ingredient I couldn't find in the US was the fresh long red chili. The original one I've tasted in Indonesia was very mild and had a sweet smoky flavor. All the other fresh red chilies in the US (even those I found in ethnic supermarkets) were the Thai super hot chilies that contributed nothing but heat (I hate those hot chilies!). So I substituted this with paprika (to capture the sweet smoky flavor). I've tried making this at home, and ordering this when visiting Indonesian restaurants in the US, but it just never tasted the same.

Even the late Anthony Bourdain, in one of his TV episodes (the one he got stuck in Jordan, I think) lamented the difficulty of re-creating his favorite foreign dishes at home due to lack of access to authentic ingredients.
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:22 PM
 
215 posts, read 73,249 times
Reputation: 804
Summer in Florida (off-season) is the worst time of year to get Asian food. We love Vietnamese food and eat it whenever traveling to a larger town since we live in a restaurant desert. But twice in recent days, at different highly-well-reviewed Vietnamese restaurants our meals have sucked. I think the real chefs are on vacation and the dishwasher is filling in.

Vietnamese dishes are known for use of herbs, especially mint and basil and cilantro. Both times these were missing from my entree. And last night hubs ordered stir fry and it tasted like a Chinese dish, nothing Vietnamese about it.

Thai food is also appealing but a native Thai friend said she dislikes eating it in US because it is made too sweet to suit American palates. Our issue with eating Thai food at a restaurant is what level of heat to order. In Washington DC area "medium" can almost be scorching but in Florida "medium" has no hot pepper taste at all.
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:54 PM
 
5,753 posts, read 3,038,463 times
Reputation: 15092
Authentic Carolina whole hog BBQ. Traditionally chopped or minced. Not this foodie "pulled pork" version that doesn't have the consistency or flavor. Too often the pulled stuff is mushy. Classic chopped is cooked to a more "al dente" texture. Not tough, it's very tender but has a good mouth feel with crunchy bits of bark mixed throughout. And by being chopped together, each bit has the all the flavors of the hog. Served with nothing more than a light vinegar pepper sauce instead of sweet tomato based sauces that hide the flavor.
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Old 10-04-2018, 02:42 AM
 
11,315 posts, read 5,839,816 times
Reputation: 20984
The easiest thing to pick on is the ubiquitous strip mall Chinese restaurant. General Gao's Chicken? Nobody in China eats that. The whole menu is food nobody in China eats.
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Old 10-04-2018, 04:00 AM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
376 posts, read 73,308 times
Reputation: 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueherons View Post
Actually, that's incorrect. Any award winning Italian restaurant uses canned DOP San Marzano tomatoes and not fresh.
You make a good point. I have not been in the kitchen of an Italian restaurant, so I don't know how many use ripened fresh tomatoes vs canned. I use Cento San Marzano for my sauces. Maybe I should have used the adjective 'high quality' vs 'fresh' for the tomato part. But I will stay with 'fresh' for herbs, spices, and pasta.
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Old 10-04-2018, 04:35 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
17,568 posts, read 21,748,544 times
Reputation: 44332
Quote:
Originally Posted by evening sun View Post
I only eat ethnic foods at ethnic restaurants, so far, no problems. I will not order a Thai dish at an American diner.
This is what I do. I frequent mom and pop ethnic restaurants and I am seldom disappointed.

One doesn't need to be raised in an ethnic home to know good food.

However, I think that Thai food is often screwed up in Chinese restaurants who state that they are "Asian" or "Thai and Chinese." To that I say, pick one. The one your people are from, and do it well.

In my part of Ohio there are not many Thai people, and Chinese and Vietnamese cooks often try to make Thai food. It never seems to work.
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Old 10-04-2018, 04:44 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
17,568 posts, read 21,748,544 times
Reputation: 44332
Quote:
Originally Posted by burdell View Post
Pirogi, I have yet to have a commercial version whose dough can hold a candle to grammy's.

And the way we always had them was boiled first, then cooled in the fridge with melted butter keeping them from sticking together. They were then pan-fried in butter with browned onions and served with sour cream and a little sprinkle of Kosher salt. Done really well I'd choose them over Surf & Turf.
Good pirogi over surf and turf? Any day of the week

I find the best place to buy them around here is at Polish and Ukrainian churches. The Ukrainian version is called Varyniky (sp?) but they are usually are just sold as pirogi.
They are always available during the Lenten season, but a couple of churches cook them - and other goodies - all year long.
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