Monkey See, Monkey Do | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Monkey See, Monkey Do

On May 7, I posted a blog entitled Ask the Food Critic, in which readers were encouraged to forward questions to me concerning the local food and dining scene. Sample queries were offered, such as: Is it true that Daniel Boulud will be opening a namesake establishment in downtown Miami? (Yes.) What’s the secret to making a great brisket? (Frozen lima beans, shelled -- not Coca-Cola, as some lunatics would have you believe.) My cheap uncle is coming in for a visit. He loves ethnic food. Where should I take him and what should I order? (Puerco asado at El Palacio De Los Jugos). And so forth.

On June 7, the Herald’s food section blared: “Calling all Foodies! Now there’s a place to go with your food and dining questions. Is dinner at Joe’s really worth a two-hour wait? Does chardonnay go with salmon? Can you freeze that leftover lasagna? Ask our experts at our new Q & A Forums.”

I will only point out that answers were provided to my hypothetical questions, while the three “experts” at the other paper (Victoria Pesce Elliot, Fred Tasker, and Kathy Martin) leave readers hanging. Permit me to answer for them:

1. Is dinner at Joe’s really worth a two-hour wait?

If you’re in from out of town and have never had stone crabs, yes. Just take a seat in the lounge, relax, have a drink. Or two. Otherwise arrive early, on a weeknight, and the wait time should be shorter.

2. Does chardonnay go with salmon?

Wonderfully well. Try a California Chardonnay, but ask the salesperson for one with enough acidity to stand up to salmon’s rich, fatty flavor. You might also try poaching your salmon in Chardonnay. Delicious.

3.Can you freeze that leftover lasagna?

Of course. Let it cool, portion it out, and freeze individually in plastic containers with tight fitting lids -- or wrap snugly in aluminum foil. It should last this way for one month. The day before serving, take lasagna from the freezer and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Lasagna may also be baked frozen, but will take double the time to bake.

Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for my email page to light up with your questions about restaurants, recipes, food history, or anything culinarily related. Write "Ask the Food Critic" in your subject line and email your queries to

Lee Klein