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Everything posted by wesza

  1. It's a funny thing but in Hawaii the majority of Papio or Ulua are not predominant at retailers. Most fish are caught and consumed by the fisherman family and friends. When available they sell fast but it's mostly by price at the market that day. The majority are exported after auction to locations all over the world. Many locally caught varieties of fish are sold for export by supply and demand unless you pre-order willing to pay a premium as a Restaurant or Retailer. The fish generally caught in the Hawaiian market are considerably more expensive then those being caught commercially elsewhere where they are bled and flash frozen on the boats. Locally it's all fresh catch. The Papio (young Fish) are more available and sized better for home cooking or restaurants. In many parts of the world they were considered to oily and were sometimes used for bait and chum not to many years ago. When I was growing up in New York during the summer we often caught small Jacks and were told they did not taste good, but save them for bait to catch Fluke. Times change a good example is "Slime Head" for years thrown back when caught or used for fish meal, not very popular based on appearance or feel (yuck) but after we began marketing it as "Orange Roughy" it become very popular. I always have been successful with under utilized species by paying attention to items ethnic groups eat or simply being willing to try different things. I have always found them very tasty, with some species like Pomfret and Pompano excellent in almost every recipe. Helen have you found Trevally in Japan using sources I mentioned previously? Irwin
  2. It's a funny thing but in Hawaii the majority of Papio or Ulua are not predominant at retailers. Most fish are caught and consumed by the fisherman family and friends. When available they sell fast but it's mostly by price at the market that day. The majority are exported after auction to locations all over the world. Many locally caught varieties of fish are sold for export by supply and demand unless you pre-order willing to pay a premium as a Restaurant or Retailer. The fish generally caught in the Hawaiian market are considerably more expensive then those being caught commercially elsewhere where they are bled and flash frozen on the boats. Locally it's all fresh catch. The Papio (young Fish) are more available and sized better for home cooking or restaurants. In many parts of the world they were considered to oily and were sometimes used for bait and chum not to many years ago. When I was growing up in New York during the summer we often caught small Jacks and were told they did not taste good, but save them for bait to catch Fluke. Times change a good example is "Slime Head" for years thrown back when caught or used for fish meal, not very popular based on appearance or feel (yuck) but after we began marketing it as "Orange Roughy" it become very popular. I always have been successful with under utilized species by paying attention to items ethnic groups eat or simply being willing to try different things. I have always found them very tasty, with some species like Pomfret and Pompano excellent in almost every recipe. Helen have you found Trevally in Japan using sources I mentioned previously? Irwin
  3. I understand now why San Francisco Restaurants feel they are right about adding a surcharge. It again a case of big government taking undue advantage of small business. It is unfair to employers and employees to make business pay healthcare costs to employees working more then 10 hours. Most of this type of part timers are teens or seniors that often have their own coverage. These are the workers who will not longer be employed, losing the little extra earned the suits their needs. Most posters seem oblivious to the fact that many countries all over the world are required to add to all sales a "VAT" (VALUE ADDED TAX) that is used for exactly the same things such a Healthcare or whatever is government mandated. Traditionally, especially in the USA Restaurant implores and workers are singled out to be victimized by IRS because it is easy to go after these people since they are individuals more vulnerable then bigger business. What other business are required by mandate to keep track of gratuities or miscellaneous earnings to benefit taxation without compensation for the time and effort spent doing the governments work. Often employees who many be at a location where tips average 10% are forced to argue their case with a IRS employee to little or no avail. Gratuities or Tips are added to sales, but included in gross and charged at a percentage to employers of gross sales. These, "TIPS" are paid to workers at end of their daily shift in cash, requiring employers to absorb the credit cards charges as government forced overhead. Does this happen in any other business ? Even when a restaurant only accepts cash, with no credit cards the IRS will sometimes request that they charge employees a percentage of gross sales against their salary that can sometimes leave the worker in a negative position. It seems that only "GASOLINE or OIL" sellers are permitted to take advantage of buyers with impunity, maybe we need politicians connected to the restaurant business unstead of Oil? Irwin
  4. There are variations in many state laws. As a example Hawaii may still require that Health Insurance be provided for all employees working in excess of 20 hours per week. Other states may not require heath insurance, many employers often offer it, but the amount employees pay varies. I understand there are states that permit the costs being paid by a individual to be deducted from state tax, it possible that fees generated by a service charge being applied to employee benefits may not be a regular taxable item. In most Union contracts with Hotels, Restaurants and Caterers there is a agreed division of service charges. Often 20% of total service charges are divided with Captains, Headwaiters and Matri Di's with the balance divided to servers according to number of covers served. This income is all reported to the IRS and added to the paychecks. Cash Gratuities are divided by the staff involved with hosting, organizing and running the affairs such as hosts, Captains and Matri Di in charge of each affair. In Europe you are regularly charged a service charge, VAT (value added tax) and others that are permissible with service staff generally anticipating a additional gratuity from pleased patrons. This 20% share of pooled tips is something agreed upon by all employees in many operations especially those family operated that goes to non-service employees such as cooks, dishwashers, bakers etc. All over the world customs vary. For example in most of Asia suppliers are expected to tip the employees who put their merchandise away. The employees in return are expected to rotate the goods, keep them in excellent shape, being sure to exchange them with the supplier if they are not up to standards. When they obtain the position this is what makes it work economically for buyers and sellers. It's been going on forever, but it takes quite a while for foreign operators to learn to do business this way. Especially since the workers are expected to tip the chef for allowing them the privilege of working. Irwin
  5. Helen: Trevally that your familiar with is generally known as the "Big Eye Travelly" it is part of a indigenous family of fishes called the "Jacks" sometimes, "Scads". In Hawaii there are many species of this type of fish. Ulua (Hawaiian name) is the same fish popular in Australia and New Zealand known as the Big Eye or Giant Travelly they may exceed 125 pounds. One of the most popular sport fish in both countries. Omil'n (Hawaiian Name) ,Black Ulua are also popular in Hawaii the Pacific/Indian Oceans. African Pompano is another species that are smaller, and even more delicious. Hawaiian name is Kagami Ulua. Pomfret, Silver, Black or Gold and very popular in Asian Restaurants as the are more suitable for service as a whole fish prepared to order from a live tank. The younger "Trevally" under 10 pounds are called "Papio" in Hawaii. They are very popular as the can be caught sometimes from the shore by fishermen. In certain area even the Giant Trevally are caught from shore in very Rocky areas. with great skill and special tackle. There are types of fish in the Jack family that are available on both coasts of the United States all the way from New England to the Gulf of Mexico on the east. Most famous of these Jacks are the "Pompano" always available for a premium price because it is in my estimation the best tasting of all the species. A favorite was of serving it in New Orleans is "En Papillote". The most reasonable priced is "Pomfret" available in most Asian Markets in America, also popular imported into Japan from India and China. Some of the Japanese names at the wholesale markets are: Hiramasa, Ronin-Aji or Hiraaji. I hope this information will make it easier to find in Japan. I have seen at at many of the larger department store with food departments. I am aware of many ways of preparation it makes tasty cerviche and the Chiu Chow version of slicing diagonally the red frying is very easy and fun to eat. Irwin
  6. wesza

    Feijoada: Cook-Off 38

    Alex: There are 2 major thoughts in Brazil about origins of Feijoada. (1) claims it evolved from slaves (2) claims it was adapted from the Portuguese dish, "Calderida". (Lisboa won dish of the year awards for it's version) There are also very similar versions historically prepared in several regions of Portugal where different kinds of beans are preferred. In my post I separated the traditional must used ever since it has become Brazil's national dish and offered suggestions as options that are acceptable to make this dish better suited for your own tastes. Almost every Brazilian recipe uses Dried Beef, many use varietals other then exclusively pork if you go to various areas or restaurants in Brazil it often has its own taste. Even in Portugal it is now served with Turtle Beans in the Brazilian manner. Search Google and you will find that my posting is not out of place since almost every recipe is adaptable to the eaters preference. I have many cookbooks in Portuguese some from Brazil, other from the Azores and Portugal with most having different recipes. I enjoy your zeal and enthusiasm about things Brazilian and am proud to have introduced many dishes to the USA for the first time at, "La Fonda del Sol" when it opened in NYC Time/Life Building in the 1960's. I'm sure that I would enjoy your preperation of Feijoada in the classical manner. Irwin
  7. It's always important to consider when Roasting, Braising or cooking in any manner how the product was frozen. With Poultry it's sometimes frozen with additional fluid being injected. (check your labels) With meats if the item was factory frozen it may also contain excess fluids that would have been drained by being kept under refrigeration longer, like meat being delivered chilled to retailers. Products frozen are done quickly by producers to enhance the weight. Flash Freezing, Cryovac Freezing or simply bagged and wrapped at home all result in different effects with cooking. Have you ever tried cooking a steak on a griddle or pan and wondered where all the fluid or juices were coming from ? Sometimes even under high heat the meats look grey, until the serum is cooked of and they start to brown. The Meat may have been shipped at a lower temperture causing it to become frozen, then thawed in the retailers refrigerator before being butchered. Often so called fresh poultry in retailers cases is semi-frozen to the touch even when locally produced. Sometime when this occurs I start heating another pan to transfer the meat into after it begins browning. I then glaze the original pan reducing the liquid and reserving it to enhance the meats when finished. Sometimes when you try Roasting a Frozen product you end up with a real puddle. Thats why I always raise the meats above the bottom of the pan so they can have air circulation while roasting without steaming. Irwin
  8. wesza

    Feijoada: Cook-Off 38

    "Lisboa Restaurant" in Honolulu served a Feijoada that was based upon old traditional recipes from Portugal with several of the Brazilian adaptions. The items consistent to all recipes seems to be "Black Beans" and "Air Cured Dry Beef" of which the best available comes from Switzerland. Linquica Sausage aged with Bay Leaf, Morcella Sausage, Smoked Pork Butt or Ham Hocks plus Pork Tongues either cured or fresh together with every other Pork you choose to include only make it taste better. Plenty of Onions, Garlic, with Yucca and Corn Kernels popular in Brazil but rarely added in Portugal, Kale, Leaf Parsley and Sometimes Potatoes are included. Seared Peeled Peppers either hot or sweet may be included with the dish according to your taste.. I prefer cooking the black beans in a rich pork stock together with the smoked ham hocks, onions, garlic and diced celery that almost dissolves when the beans are ready. Take the meat off the bones of the hock and hand shred for the Feijoada. We like putting everything together in a Paella Pan with some Olive Oil then cutting the Sausages and Meats into pieces large enough not to fall apart, sometimes we even add some braised chicken pieces as well. Petite Peas tossed in before service add a nice color. Wine and a paprika seasoning also adds character to the dish. The presentation after being finished in the oven looks great and served to your guests is colorful and delicious. Every steaming spoonfuls aroma enhances the flavors. The left overs are my favorite the next day. Irwin
  9. The way I learned about cooking roasts frozen was by watching it done on a regular basis by a restaurant in Honolulu, Hi. that often served as many as 60/100 whole prime ribs at their buffet daily. They placed frozen whole rib roasts into large roasting pans on top of a metal open grate raised insert lifting the roast about 2 inches from the bottom of the pan that was covered with cut onions, celery, carrots, leaf parsley, garlic and immersed in water about a 1/2 inch from the meat. The pans each held as many as 3 roasts. This was done after closing the Restaurant and the meat was covered with a dusting of Coarse Kosher Salt over the Fat Topping the Roast. The ovens were set at 225 degrees and after a all night Roast the meat was checked in the morning with a probe to verify it's temperature. Generally it was about 90/95 degrees Fahrenheit. At that time the meat was Roasted at 425 for about 20/30 minutes, then turned around bone side up and roasted at 425 for 20/30 minutes. This gave the Roasts a appearance of being seared and Allowed most of the fat to being breaking down. The Roasts were then divided between anticipated Lunch and Dinner crowds. The Roasts intended for lunch service from 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM were placed into several ovens with 275 degree, 300 degree and 325 degree temperatures with the higher degree Roast being served earliest with heat being adjusted based upon the volume. The evening Roasts were allowed to keep Roasting at a lower temperature of a little under 200 degrees where the temperatures were adjusted based upon dinner service starting at 3:00 PM until about 10:00 PM. The ideal temperature was 140/145 for letting the Roast stand for about 30/45 minutes before serving. Temperature only rise about 5/8 degrees for slow cooked Roasts while setting. All the vegetable left in liquid under the roasts with additional water added as required were put into a large steam kettle to simmer for at least 2 hours with addition of red wine then strained and brought to room temperature, placed under refrigeration with fat removed from the top where it had solidified to be utilized for the next days "Au Jus". They almost never received any complaints about their Prime Rib. (well done was simply provided to patrons after being placed into a simmering pot of au jus until the meat lost its color or served as a end piece. This works with any meat Pork, Lamb, Beef or even Frozen Turkeys especially at homes with a electric probe in their ovens. Low and Slow break down the collagen naturally tenderizing while keeping it juicy. By the way they used New Zealand or Australian Beef or American Grass Fed Beef which was no problem with the Rib Roasts since there was enough natural fat. Kept their prices reasonable with the place always being busy. Irwin
  10. Traditional American Rye Breads were of 2 types originally from the east coast. "Jewish Rye Bread", and one very rarely baked currently, but more delicious, long lasting and tasty, "CORN BREAD". Corn Bread was baked in 1 pound rounds or 5/6 pound rounds where pieces were cut off at the bakery and sold by weight. Both Breads were made with or without seeds. Both breads contained very little rye flour. There also evolved from these 2 breads, "PUMPERNICKEL", with or without seeds. I believe the largest "Jewish Rye Bread" ever baked was 8 feet long about 20 + pounds sent via air freight from Kasanoff's Bakery in Boston to Lindy's in Hong Kong. Photos were shown in NY, Boston papers and magazines. Irwin
  11. I'm with Chris on your comment. I have lots of fun buying good ingredients and preparing them with care and skill, and I still use MSG. This ingredient is not meant to replace quality, care, and skill; it is meant to enhance flavor. ← How about a legitimate response to your "Mother" ? I'm sure she wasn't aware that one of the largest suppliers of the elements of "MSG" to the human population in general is by it being a natural ingredient of all Nursing Mothers Milk. It's a Amino Acid without any proved or known allergies to our species beyond simply using more then needed or mixing it with items that are not compatible taste wise. It's almost impossible to avoid since it's natural to many edible food products that almost everyone who thinks they are sensitive or allergies to MSG consume regularly with no effects. I haven't posted since October 15, 2007 but couldn't resist this topic.
  12. In many operations I have been involved in the last 10 years it's prudent business practice to "INSIST" every customer during peak meal times order a entree. We always state this clearly on our menu's and on some occasions customers will leave after reading the menu. It really a matter of economics considering amount of seats, turnover, criteria of check averages needed to meet operating expenses. Many restaurants can not afford to balance or average customer sales during the few hours of optimum meal seatings since overhead is so expensive. Rentals are often based upon a minimum of sales against a percentage of gross that can exceed 10%, adding on utilities, insurance, including liquor liability, accounting, legal, licensing and additional payroll expenses exceeding 25% of payroll costs it becomes a matter of survival. 100 seat restaurant with customers ordering at will equals $1300.00 sales 100 seat restaurant with minimum entree $16.95 equals $1650.00 sales. If only 60 customers order entrees it can mean a bankrupt restaurant. Places that operate on the small plate concept are generally calculating sales thru impulse eating to exceed individual entree prices, since there are not that many yet operating this has been a industry norm. It is effective for Asian restaurants since tables order multiple entrees, appetizers and soups, even when ordering considering taking home foods not consumed during the meal. In the western/european style places the small plates portion sizes encourage customers to try more dishes then they are able to finish plus are regularly enjoyed with a higher percentage of alcoholic beverages. Many operators choose to waive this requirement for regular or repeat patrons they realize becomes a important part of your business stability. When your located in a tourist, walk in or similar type of location it allows you to be more selective of you customer base. Almost every place I set this type of business example for developed a very solid repeat customer base, with many eating as often as 1 to 2 times weekly, year round for lunch or dinner. I'm curious how many eGulleters are aware of how high rents per square foot have become in many metropolitan locations. Recent NYC rents are well in excess of $20,000.00 per month for places seating about 100 customers add, common area charges, refuse and all the other miscellaneous expenses plus about a 10% minimum based upon the rent requires sales over $250,000.00 gross monthly or $8,333.33 daily for 30 days average per month. If tenant does exceed the minimum gross figure they will rarely be issued a new lease. If the serve 200 meals a day every customers served cost almost $42.00 each just sitting down. Take into consideration the cost of food, payroll, depreciation, amortization, advertising, and other expenses incurred how would you resolve the customers who want to graze or only eat appetizers or salads or just come in for desserts. Every restaurant expects to make a profit. It's true that rents aren't always applicable, I'm aware of places that pay less then a $1,000.00 per month and still charge high prices because of popularity or being well established. Every operator must make decisions that sometimes aren't always the best. Look at Fast Food or Chain operations who are willing to close locations that aren't profitable very quickly absorbing the costs into their overhead. This is not applicable to the entrepreneur who is putting everything they have into their business. Irwin
  13. wesza

    DiFara Pizza

    This seems to be your main point: DiFara deserves special treatment. I love DiFara, but I've noticed that the place is very dirty (the walls, the floor, etc.) and I've seen roaches in the dining area. As a matter of fact, the first time I ate there, I had to smash a roach before it got into the food. Do you think Dom's artisanality (is that a word?) should also give him a free pass on regulations on dirt and vermin? ← Pan: When were you last at DFara's? If it was allowed to open in April none of those things were applicable. He was closed apparently due to mouse signs, flies and touching food with his hands. What buildings adjacent to the EL Subway stations are rodent, roach free? When you were in Asia how many places was there no Roaches (none because they many species fly), flies are everywhere in Asia, NYC in the early summer, doors open , widows open, and flies visit. Consider it was not likely been able to deteriorate to the extent reported by inspectors in the time frame. In reality the wearing of gloves when touching food may not be applicable in the code, since it has never been properly enforced because it would not be practical to monitor every place serving food. I doubt that it is being complied with anyplace but fast food operations and some Restaurant chains. When they featured "Rocco" the restaurant on television the use of gloves was at best superficial. That was a NYC Restaurant permitted by the Health Department to show the world about dining in NYC. (DUH) If "Rocco" or any of the food TV shows are given special treatment, why doesn't a very unique circumstances deserve being treated equally. Why not allow DFara to place up a sign: All FOODS HANDMADE. We choose not to wear gloves or hats while cooking or during preparation. This or something similar would solve the problem. If they at least make a attempt to trace the origins of rodent, insect infestation as is done in some other municipalities plus after a warning require the establishment to maintain a contract with a approved pest control service that provides sign off and inspections as required for fire control systems it would again resolve situations. As I said 75 + years ago things were very different. AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO FEELS IT CAN BE RESOLVED ? WHY after so many years of operating his way, passing inspections is he suddenly being treated this way. All this has taken place in just a few months. AGAIN it's very unusual to see something like this happen suddenly, why not 5/10/15/20/25/30/35 years ago ? Don't we all want him to be around as long as he is willing to work as hard as he does at his age, doing what he does better then anyone else/ Irwin
  14. wesza

    DiFara Pizza

    Many posters are missing the point! Sometimes it's not a matter of "GIVING IN" because you can't fight city hall. That's "BS" !!!! DiFara deserves to be treated as a special unique situation, being a artisan, Craftsman, Cheesemaker, Herb Grower and after so many years has exemplary record of no customers acquiring food poisoning etc. Tradition is established, plus he is the quintessential Pizza maker in the world in my opinion. Lets stop pretending the real worlds standard for Pizza is NYC, New Haven and Phoenix Arizona in 2007 not Naples or anywhere else. Nobody eats more pizza then Americans for well over 50 years, adopting the best of everything. I never enjoyed Pizza in Rome, Sicily or Naples better made then at home in the USA. Wearing Gloves is a good example. Any place slicing or carving meats generally has carvers holding the knife in a hand without a glove, the other hand almost never wears a plastic glove, most often it will be a cotton or mesh glove for safety and it doesn't melt. Bakers rarely wear gloves during production, fortunately their hours of work don't meet civil servants criteria. Bartenders would start spilling, dropping and breaking things wearing gloves. Butchers wear specially made gloves for safety, and preventing slippage including USDA Inspectors. None of these hand covering are acceptable to NYC Health Department. Remember when all waitress were required to wear hairnets. How often do you see workers at Food Carts or Barbecue places wearing gloves ? Try cooking with a wok wearing gloves or omelet, egg chefs with multiple fry pans going at one time wearing gloves.? Grill or Broiler Cooks at any volume business can't keep moving fast or safely wearing gloves. The list goes on but if they tried tossing a pizza or making strudel with gloves on it would become a mess. Again why always put the blame on the establishments, in rental properties this is generally under statue the landlords responsibility in most instances in NYC. Again consider how crazy high mosts rents are in 2007. Many properties all over NYC are well over 100 + years old, poorly maintained, just milked like cash cows. I'm aware of buildings where the monthly rental income far exceeds the original full purchase price of the property. It won't be long before all menu's will need to be sanitized since they may be the dirtiest items provided customers. It's become ridiculous that most United States Health Department criteria are based on regulations started over 75 years ago by 2 major Health Departments. NYC and LA with only minor changes mostly copied everywhere else. Posters also seem to be pretending, or ignoring the blatant corruption going on for years internally and externally with almost every type of inspector in many cities. Alter Egos, Gloating and power trips are results of inspectors with minimal training, experience feeling power they become to feel they are entitled. I wish someone in NYC would find out how many places received as many inspections in as few months as DFara. It's suspicious that the rodents managed to become established so quickly almost overnight between such frequent inspections. I'm amazed that this situation has continued without any reporting being investigating the Health Departments methodology. A perfect example is the Ecoli found in beef, generally hamburgers. This is totally the fault of the State and Federal Meat Inspectors who are generally being paid by fees charged Slaughterhouses they inspect. Ecoli can only come from a animal who is covered in any place with feces after being slaughtered during processing. Every step of this processing must be inspected by certified inspectors before this meat is allowed to be processed it must be first stamped, quartered, graded in separate steps under supervision. Every inspector stamps his number on every carcass. They are responsible for making absolutely sure that every animal has no signs of contamination for all our protection. If and when they are doing their jobs there would never be problems. Yet every time they screw up and someone gets Ecoli the blame shifts to the Restaurant or Market that sold the product. How can they know that the USDA Inspected certified meats is dangerous ? Wonder how many inspectors were arrested, fired or convicted ? I haven't learned about anything being done, have you? We all live in Cities where they are 2nd generation dope dealers working the same spots forever with minor inconvenience, yet our enforcement authorities are moaning about how they are losing the war on drugs. If more eaters defended their rights to eat at a place that choose not to comply with supposedly well meaning regulations by putting up a sign informing the customers that they could be at risk eating there, how much would that effect business. I bet the lines would still be long a "Cheesesteak Joints or "Grilled Italian Sausage Stands" as well as DiFara's. At least the authorities would not be liable, but then when it's the suppliers fault, together with the USDA it seems that the Restaurants have to pay. Remember what happened with "Jack in the Box" after the first Ecoli scare. Anyone else have any ideas before giving in to City Hall?
  15. wesza

    DiFara Pizza

    I haven't posted on eGullet for months but this situation required me putting in my opinion. I have been involved consulting about so called "Health Department" corruption, inspections and ridiculous interpretations of enforcement criteria. Almost everywhere we observed food service workers utilizing plastic gloves by generally wearing one pair for a full shift, including toilet stops. Many employers complain if they are charged frequently. Majority of competent, experienced chefs still use their fingers to test for done, (gloves melt), prepare mixtures for preparation, and are often needed when doing anything so-called artesian. Imagine wearing gloves while throwing and shaping a pizza or even putting cheese that sliced or topping effectively with gloves, snipping basil, filleting or boning fish, close trimming anything. It would make some sense for do gooders to insist that any place actually touching the foods served, have this posted on the menu's or where it is visible to customers. Anything obvious is the this place was deliberately singled out for harassment. Just look at the number of inspection visits. Generally most inspectors are only able to visit places in their area several times a year, monthly spells corruption. (not unusual in NYC) or go after that place. There are very few business in NYC of any type without rodent infestation. Why not get after Landlords since almost 100 % of business are rental units in multi-unit buildings. How many freestanding places are located in NYC? Pest control with seasonal changes occurs everywhere in the properties, with nearby construction prevalent increases the conditions. How about Parks, Subways and public areas everywhere in NYC being held to the same standards. Subway toilets are a good example. (UCK) I'm aware of Federal, City and State Buildings with major problems. It would be realistic to provide some room for business to keep traditions that have been effective for years without any incidents occurring. Chinese Restaurants need to use fans for drying and handing items to effectively prepare them to customers satisfaction as done for more years then I can count. In 2007 it must be done insidiously. The reality is most problems start at Inspections where government inspectors are actually paid for my the provisioner's. Most of the demands and violations are generally a accumulation of small, minor offenses that are very short time in nature, due to the time frame in prepping and serving customers. Almost every place pre-opening or upon closing is in compliance. Tempertures of products, how they are being heated, covered, insects? Have you ever been someplace when termites are hatching ? I agree that certain things are very wrong, but find nothing that would require closing a place like DeFara Pizza for the reasons cited. Could be that the health department intends to require that restaurants pay to have a inspector on the premises during business hours to increase employment and expenses to customers. At least many Kosher operations have a Rabbi supervisor. Irwin
  16. Traditionally the type of "Peanut Oil" used in Hong Kong is not nearly as refined as any domestic (USA) peanut oil. The effect of Hong Kong Peanut Oil provides much better "Wok Hui", with it's lower smoke point. Most people put some garlic cloves and ginger into the hot oil before cooking to remove the Peanut Taste it's always removed before cooking. In 2006 Vegetable Oils are more popular as they are less expensive then the Chinese or locally produced Peanut Oils, but the better Restaurants still prefer using the Peanut Oils. The first pressing of the Peanuts utilized for Oils is the major source of Fish Food at all the local ponds or brackish, salt water farms. It is effective in raising the fish fatter and better tasting. Brands like "Planters" are not acceptable as they have no taste from peanuts. Irwin
  17. wesza

    Toysan Foods

    Here is one: Minced Beef Over Rice in Clay Pot (窩蛋免冶牛肉煲仔飯) There is no braising liquid or master sauce involved. Simply, it is cooking white rice with some marinated meat (beef, pork, chicken, etc.) on top using a clay pot (sand pot). Cooking rice in a clay pot was a traditional way to cook rice before National popularized their electric cookers. The key is in the meat marination and timing. You cannot cook too much meat in one setting (or too little). Usually you start cooking the rice first. When the rice grains start absorbing the water (before the grains turn dry), you lay the marinated meat on top and let it cook for 5 to 10 more minutes. When the rice is done, so is the ingredient on the top. Examples of rice clay pot dishes: - Salted fish with minced pork - Chicken with black mushrooms and Lily buds - Ground beef patty mixed with chopped water chestnuts - Laap Cheung (Chinese sausage) with chicken or pork slices ← The "Salt Air Cured Pressed Duck", available in the Autumn and Winter months in Hong Kong, almost always cooked in Clay Pots over Long Grained Rice, often together with Laap Cheung or Translucent Duck Fat Sausage were definitely from Toysan. Stalls and Restaurants advertised by signs the Toysan village that the Duck originated, with prices based upon reputation. This combination Pot was very popular at Restaurants that featured this dish, and the resultant rice, enhanced by the oils and flavors was delicious. When we worked late we brought our Clay Pot to the Restaurant, requesting it be ready when we picked it up on our way home. Somehow it always tasted better that way. Irwin
  18. Just returned from a 2 month hiatus from posting on eGullet, longest since 2003 and am pleased to contribute to this topic. "Pot au Feu" classically is a dish the requires very long slow simmering, long enough to effectively break down the collagen's in the beef being used. It may be consolidated with Chicken if preferred. The classical cut of beef generally used in Europe and the United States. certainly in France, Germany, Austria was popularly called when sold retail in New York City as. "Flanken Style Shortribs" from the Chuck. Butchered from the 1st five ribs of the ribcage always cut across the bones. I enjoyed this dish at places like Luchows, Manny Wolf's, all Kosher Restaurants and everywhere else it was on the menu. It was mostly served with egg noodles, 1/2 chicken, carrots, celery, onions, parsnips and soup greens with cracked pepper and horseradish served in a large bowl, and dished into a soup plate. As a home dish it may be prepared with any cut of beef, cooked your way but I feel that traditionally it's served as I posted. Irwin
  19. Nick:(ExtraMSG) Based on the appearance of your Pastrami it is properly cured, I'm sure the spicing and finish are complimentary. However the fatty parts still needed more time at a slow smoke to break down the collagen. Ideally the fat should almost be translucent after the meat is taken out of the smoker. When the finished Pastrami is allowed to steam this increases the tenderness and flavor during the steaming. The Pastrami's featured at better NYC Deli's actually only require enough time in the steamer to bring it to a internal temperature of about 115/125 degrees Fahrenheit. I'm looking forward to visiting Portland to enjoy the results. When is it available. Irwin
  20. Vancouver: I found "Kaplan's" to be very similar to a neighborhood NYC Deli and much better then anyplace in Seattle. Not as good as several Montreal places or those more well known NYC Deli's. It could be that the volume isn't comparable as thats part of a Deli's charisma. I wonder if the "Brisket" your mentioning is what's served as "Brisket", everywhere in NYC. Corned Beef is cured from the Brisket and is alway Pinkish. It's a given in NYC that all Corned beef is made from Briskets. Deli's or Restaurants that offer "Brisket Sandwich's" are serving either a "Boiled", or "Braised Beef Brisket" that is sometimes Steamed and sliced like Corned Beef but in a natural brownish, beige color since its the color of slowly cooked or braised beef without curing. Pastrami in almost always first cured then smoked from the Navel Plate, but now sometimes is made from Briskets mostly using only the Flat part of the Brisket as it's more often ordered lean. The Navel Plate has much more character, flavor and tenderness in my opinion. It's the only type sold at "Katz's". Irwin
  21. Ah Leung: Your version seems delicious especially with the beans. The type of Winter Melon Soup I'm most familiar with was served during the cooler months but without any beans. At Restaurants the featured this soup it was generally served in a decorated 1/2 or whole Winter Melon. It included Ginkgo Nuts, Chrysanthemum Buds, Yunnan Ham or Serrano Ham, Dates, Ginger, Dried Scallops and Oysters in a Supreme Chicken Broth, Boneless Chicken added before serving just cooked until opaque. It was presented to the table then the melon was scraped from the skin with a special long porcelain spoon into individual bowls served left in the center of the table with a ladle for refills. It may have been called "Dong Gua" but was very popular as soon as the weather changed featured at several Restaurants in Wanchai and Causeway Bay that were also famous for their Yunnan Hams. Irwin
  22. The only thing new about "Flatiron Steaks" is the name. There has always (until recently) been 3 specific cuts of Beef acknowledged as so called "Butcher Cuts". (1) Triangle Tip was first judged as a Barbecue Specialty in August 2003 at the Northwest Barbecue Contest officially after becoming popular in retail stores. It was first introduced in the USDA Boxed Beef Guide in 1965. (2) Hanger Steak has always been very popular in Europe and especially in Chinese Restaurants in the States. (3) Flatiron Steak cut from the top blade of boneless chuck. This cut we used to import from Argentine, Australia and New Zealand starting in the 1970's when Flank became more popular as a alternative beef choice at Chinese Restaurants. In Hong Kong it became very popular used for Satay and all Chinese dishes being merchandised as Tender Imported Beef. We next began special ordering from Australia and New Zealand for the American Market beginning in Honolulu full containers where it was merchandised as "Thick Flank" since it was comparable in price to Boneless Beef (used for Ground Beef) it was very good value and welcomed at most Chinese Restaurants since there was always a shortage of "Hanger Steak" and Flank at reasonable prices. It may still be imported and sold to that market. Another cut utilized was the "Chuck Tender" now being sold at many meat departments. It interesting that previously under utilized cuts are becoming so popular to the publics benefit. We are learning that flavor and character are more important then tenderness in enjoying beef. My favorite Steak is still the Diaphragm called the "Romanian Tenderloin" in NYC for years until it became popular in Fajita's with a major increase in price. Irwin
  23. My Aunt Francis ! She hosted a family gathering (Cousins Club) where she served her special. Hot Dog Casserole. Canned Beans in Tomato Sauce Canned Green Peas Canned Corn Canned Potato Canned Vienna Sausages mixture of 2 parts Ketchup/1 part yellow Mustard swirled into the Casserole Covered with Kraft American Cheese Slices with plops of Mustard and Ketchup to decorate the Cheese. Her husband my Uncle Joe arrived. Took one look and said he would be right back with a "SNACK" and Beverages. Wait until he returned before starting. Returned with a Large Deli Loaf of Rye Sliced and several pounds of Hot Pastrami, Corned Beef, Chopped Liver, Potato Knishes, Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Soft Drinks, Beer and a whole Apple Strudel. The only one who actually ate any of the Casserole was my Aunt Francis after making sure that she had quickly made several Sandwiches for herself. He was good maturely teased for years about the so called Casserole. His standard reply was he needed to do something since Vienna Sausages weren't Kosher. Guess the Cheese don't count. Irwin
  24. Are you serious??? I bought this can for US$5.00. And I thought it was high... ← Ah Leung: Since I became interested in under utilized species it's apparent how wide spread it's become adapted: King Topshell and Abalone Type Shellfish are not ABALONE. Irwin ← Thanks for confirming my thoughts, Irwin. Can't read Chinese but when I saw the shape of the whole "abalone", I didn't think it was abalone...There is a smaller type which I think my mom calls ocean clams that we have used as "ga ba yu" - fake abalone. I have never tasted fresh abalone, but canned, I'd rather eat the mushrooms and the lettuce soaked in oyster sauce. ← Dejah: Fresh Abalone is in a category all by itself. If correctly sliced, pounded carefully by touch and feel until tender, dipped in flour and a egg wash then browned in clarified sweet butter, with white wine, white pepper and fresh lemon it is a memorable special experience. When I lived in Mendocino, California I enjoyed preparing and sharing a Abalone meal with my diver instructor friend who had introduced a well known neighbor into diving and they had their limit of live Abalone that they requested I prepare to share with them. Since it was a Sunday off season our Restaurant was closed but we opened up just for our private party. Who could refuse Abalone ? The neighbor was a regular customer and friend who had been learning about diving on the Mendocino Coast, "Jerry Garcia" of the Grateful Dead my son was included as he was operating the air pumps while they were diving. This became a regular occurrence during the Abalone season often including live Sea Urchin's, Octopus and once a speared Wolf Fish and Carbazon with everyone learning how to pound, slice and sauté the Abalone. Jerry Garcia eventually began designing decorative Dive Suits with his art work. The original one was fitted for my daughter. I still have several of his designed silk ties that have become collectors items. I'm waiting for the occasion when I will wear a tie. {Hah) Irwin Irwin
  25. Are you serious??? I bought this can for US$5.00. And I thought it was high... ← Ah Leung: Since I became interested in under utilized species it's apparent how wide spread it's become adapted: King Topshell and Abalone Type Shellfish are not ABALONE. They are from a Gastropoda popularly known as "Wavy Turban Snail" (Astraea Undosa} A type of Sea Snail indigenous to the Pacific Ocean. Most types imported from Mexico sell from $4.95 to $13.95 per can. The canned taste is very similar to Abalone. Dried Abalone are very special and expensive. Canned "Abalone" also available imported from Mexico retails from $40.00 to $60.00 per can, price varies by size of Abalone most common 3/4 pieces per can. It comes in 2 types: Blue Abalone (Haliotis Fulgens) Yellow Abalone (Haliotis Coprrugata) I personally feel that your method of Braising together with treating the Dried Scallops with respect tastes as good or even better then most attempts at preparing Abalone due to your skill in marrying flavors together. This week I was fortunate enough to get some fresh live Abalone from Alaska that even though it smaller them most west coast types it was excellent after being sliced thin,pounded and sautéed in Butter and White Wine. Some dried Abalone preferred In Hong Kong for Braising can cost several hundred dollars per pound. Whole Large Dried Scallops cost over $175.00 per pound. It's popular as a Traditional Wedding Dish, especially Braised with Duck Feet boned. Irwin
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