Tell us what you have cooked lately (that's interesting)


It looks great to me, Nesrie. Leeks are awesome. Could it be the lighting or flash on your pictures instead of the actual color, or did it look grey in person as well?


Since I never ate them growing up, I follow America’s Test Kitchen’s prep advice, soak, drain and slice and for this recipe, both the potatoes and the leeks are cooked in butter after you brown the sausage but before the liquid is added… so maybe.

It always looks greyish in person.I assume it’s the potatoes and maybe because I leave the skins on after I wash them for this specific recipe. I often remove the skin otherwise.


Potatoes always turn grey in soup. It doesn’t matter if you’re super-careful to put them in cold water after slicing/peeling, something about the long cooking time and pulverization afterwards oxidizes the heck out of them. I usually just live with it or throw in some kale or spinach and make it colcannon soup (which is also delicious).


I’m making some spam fried rice tomorrow I think. That picture inspired me.


I made some Thai Drunken Noodles last night. They turned out okay, though I got my chili-and-garlic paste just a touch darker than it needed to be.

Sorry for the blurry-as-fuck photo, I was rushing around like crazy last night. Reasons for which will become clear shortly.

Anyway, the recipe’s not too hard, though it required some grocery shopping. The sauce base uses oyster sauce, Golden Mountain Soy Sauce (a lighter, sweeter sauce; Maggi is a good substitute), fish sauce, sugar, and Thai Black Soy Sauce (a very thick, dark soy sauce enriched with molasses), lending it a salty, slightly sweet, caramel-esque flavor with lots of umami. But before the sauce comes the garlic-and-chili paste–I mashed up two whole Thai chilies, a couple of big cloves of garlic, and a de-seeded red jalapeno(? they weren’t labeled at the grocery store, but basically some larger, not-as-hot red chili) in my mortar and pestle into a thick, chunky paste, then added it to a couple of tablespoons of hot oil in my wok. Threw in some sliced chicken, then sliced carrot, green and yellow bell peppers, diced onions, and snap peas, stirred it all till mostly cooked, then added in the noodles–big wide rice noodles, soaked in boiling water for 8 minutes then drained. Then in goes the sauce, along with some diced green onions and garlic chives. Once it’s all come together, remove from heat and stir in a bunch of Thai basil. Holy basil would be more authentic, but that’s hard to come by–even more than Thai basil!

It’s spicy, salty, a little sweet, with a lovely garlic undertone. I loved it.

But you see, last night, I also made my girlfriend Pad Thai (more or less from scratch, though I did have a head-start with the tamarind juice for the sauce since I got that canned rather than making it from pulp), since she was wary of the spice levels. . .

. . . and then I also made my infamous 7-cheese bacon mac n cheese and two kinds of beer bread (outlined in the beer thread: We have never talked about Beer) for a work potluck that we held today.

All told I didn’t get to bed till 1AM and I’m sore as a motherfucker today, but it was a delicious ~18 hour span :)


The drunken noodles look on point to me, and the ingredients do too.

Those peppers sound like Fresno Peppers.



I think you’re right; that’s what it looks like I bought. They’re just labeled “red chilies” at Harris Teeter around here. But they’re also the only red hot pepper I can consistently buy… The Asian markets sell big bags of Thai chilies, but they are a mixture of red and green, mostly green. It’s kinda maddening, cuz a lot of recipes call for red, I think mostly for color, and I usually can’t manage it. Alas.

Anyhoo, thanks!


Do you have a Whole Foods nearby? They have Thai chilies here, and quite a few others. If you’re just picking up one or two items there to fill out a recipe, it’s not too bad.


Some do, some don’t. The one right next to us does not carry chilies (usually next to the nuts) but the others do. Luckily we have a bunch of mexican markets nearby that sell em super cheap.


That’s kind of crazy if you think about it, but I guess it all falls to whomever is ordering produce for the store. You would think it would be similar though.


Not really. Groceries stock based on what sells in their market. Even if they are part of the same chain. The selection at my closest regular grocery is significantly different than the same (tiny, local) chain store a couple miles further west. We have more Mexican folks living in the area than the neighborhood further west, but they have a strong Jewish contingent so there is a whole kosher aisle and some Israeli imports.


It’s been years since I worked in grocery, but it was a little of what you mentioned, but based on distribution. We ordered from our corporate distro, not directly with, say, local farms. What you’re saying certainly holds true, maybe Armando is the only one that wants Thai peppers in his hood, but perhaps other locations (same store chain) do want them.

Excellent point, sir.


If they’re anything like UK supermarkets, which typically sell generic “red chillies” and then some specific varieties (usually jalapenos, birds eyes and maybe scotch bonnets), they change varieties and even country of origin depending on cost, availability and time of year. They could be jalapenos, serranos, cayenne, anaheim or something else similar.


Back to popcorn…

Our son has started consuming mass quantities of bagged microwave popcorn, so it becomes necessary to try the alternatives.

I was looking at the silicon collapsible bowls, but the $8 Nordic Ware thing is cheaper, and obviously well-loved here.

So I’ve got that, the Flavacol and the coconut oil in my cart - but the thread discussion seems to have left something important out.

Which corn???


That’s easy. You want the kind that pops. It’s called… ummmm…



Your search “explodeycorn” did not match any products.



Great question. It depends on what you like. There are two major types sold: mushroom and butterfly (lets call that regular.) Mushroom is better for sweet and sticky toppings, but it is horrible for the little pieces of kernel that it has at the bottom. Stick to butterfly.

There are also multiple varieties that affect the size and bite. Think of white popcorn as a little smaller, and yellow as a little bigger.

Get a big, yellow, butterfly type.

This one is my go to:
Snappy Yellow Popcorn, 4 lbs.

I almost forgot, popcorn pops based on it’s humidity within the kernel. Keep your popcorn in the container with the lid screwed tight between the times that you use it.



A while back I bought a popcorn sampler that had 6 different varieties of various sizes and textures.

Amazon says it was this:

That being said, I think my favorite popcorn was a crate and barrel “midnight popcorn”.

These days, I usually just buy whatever is in the grocery store though, on account of not having time to experiment.


A pound of unpopped is a staggering amount of popcorn. It’s not like you’ll run out quickly unless you’re a popcorning fiend.