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Everything posted by hwilson41

  1. I'll second that motion. One of the drawbacks of most stocks in the stores is the amount of salt. Make the stock with zero salt, and then you have complete control. It will taste bland when it's finished, but that's OK. Think of it as a blank slate on which you write whatever you want (I think that's FatGuy's description in the eGullet course on stocks, which is excellent).
  2. Apologies for being rather late to the party here, but I might be able to help. I'm in northern VA and found an Amish farmer in southern MD who slaughters hogs during the "cold" months (November through March). I can get all the bellies, hocks, and fatback I can pay for from them by ordering a month in advance. I usually buy fatback 5 lbs at a time, cut it down and freeze in 1 lb or so batches. Don't know where you are, 6ppc, but you might try going out into the country and locating a hog farm if such exists in your area. Fatback (or back fat, if you're in the north) should be available for a buck a pound or less.
  3. Here is a good place to start. I've fiddled (simplified) the recipe somewhat to our tastes, but that is a good starting point.
  4. I am a very messy cook (says my wife), and the taller, straight sides look like they might help me out a bit .
  5. Right now, my go to pan for sauteing, browning (other than for stews), etc., is a 12" cast iron skillet. I love the thing, but for jobs requiring a quick response like browning fish or boned chicken breasts and suchlike, it is very slow to cool once the gas is turned off. I think a saute pan with either aluminum of copper would be better, and I'd probably go with the aluminum because of the cost.
  6. I'm in the market for a saute pan, probably SS with an aluminum core. Amazon is offering this Cuisinart 5-1/2 Quart pan for 47.95, which seems like a good deal to me if the pan is any good. Almost all of the reviews from purchasers are positive, although a few were put off by the size (12") and the weight, but neither of those would be a problem for me. OTOH, Cooks Illustrated recommends the All Clad Stainless at around 4 times the money. They recommend the 3 quart but I would probably opt for the 4 quart. Has anybody had any experience with these two lines? Side-by-side comparisons? Opinions, good or bad? Any and all info much appreciated.
  7. I checked the Lea & Perrins label and couldn't find any mention of refrigerating after opening. OTOH, both Kikkoman and LKK soy sauces say refrigerate after opening...but we don't :^).
  8. Rubashov, if you have acess to a smoker, bluefish cold smoked over Pecan is absolutely delicious. I used to own a hardwood lumber yard, and one day a customer came in and bought a lot of the low-grade Pecan that I couldn't sell to the cabinetmaking trade (at a steep discount, of course ). At first, I didn't know what he was doing with it, but on his second or third trip, he brought me some smoked blues. Sacre bleu! They were just outstanding. Thereafter, I made him an even better deal on the low grade lumber, just so he'd keep bringing me the smoked blues after they were done .
  9. A variation on Albiston's suggestion (from Craig Claiborne) - saute chicken breast halves in clarified butter until barely done, cover with thin sliced fontina and sauteed cremini mushroom slices seasoned with just a hint of nutmeg, or if you can get them, very thin slices of truffle. Slide under the broiler just long enough to melt the cheese and heat through. Serve with buttered spinach and a balsamic vinagrette salad.
  10. I do like someone who gets right to the heart of the matter. Couldn't have said it better myself, Grub . If only we could be so lucky . But I'm not very optimistic .
  11. We are, of course, assuming the author knows what he's talking about .
  12. Mark, not sure whether this is your problem or not, but I had very uneven results trying to use the fat that comes on the meat. Unless you get rid of virtually all of the soft, elastic connective tissue, it will clog up your grinder and begin to smear. My solution was to trim the butts free of almost all fat and go to 100% fatback for the fat. I also have the fatback almost frozen when I grind it. Works like a charm, and I'm also using the KA to grind (but not to stuff). FWIW.
  13. Seems like we're all cranking out the good stuff today. I currently have 13 lbs or so of pork belly, spiced with the pancetta recipe, smoking away over apple. If past experiences hold, it should be out in another two hours or so. I can hardly wait, 'cause this is my first shot at savory bacon . This coming week I'm going to make a new batch of andouille to smoke next weekend. I will get this right, dammit!! New recipe is almost identical to Ron's posted up thread, both based on variations of Folse's. Then we'll try another batch of jambalaya, hopefully with dramatically improved results .
  14. Don't you just hate it when that happens ? My wife was out for a meeting one night a while back, and I decided to experiment with duck stock, shrimp and a few veggies (scallions, maybe some spinach, etc.). I ended up with a delicious soup, and I'll be damned if I can find that recipe now .
  15. Thanks Ron. I was concerned that maybe I'd done something wrong because the amount of liquid was so small, but I followed the cure recipe to the letter, except that I had to make extra because the pork belly weighed almost 13 pounds. I'll report back after the project is finished next weekend. Also need to get going (again ) on the revised andouille recipe. I'm really anxious to produce a jambalaya that isn't so spicy it's overpowering .
  16. I have a question for all the bacon makers on the board. I am now three days into making savory bacon using the pancetta spicing, and flipped the bellies yesterday afternoon. I've made the maple flavored bacon in the past, and quite a bit of liquid has exuded as the spiced bellies cured in the fridge. This time, I am getting much less liquid exuding from the bellies, despite the fact that both recipes have the same amount of salt in them. The only other difference is that this time I bought the whole pork belly from a local Korean market, whereas in the past I got the bellies from an Amish farmer. Is this difference in liquid normal? Anything to be concerned about? I'm puzzled, to say the least .
  17. Why, I have no idea what you're thinking. Could you please elaborate ? [just kidding]
  18. Soft shell crab on good French bread with dollop of tarter sauce and Romaine . . . and nothing else. So good it is foolish to try to improve on it .
  19. Dave, beautiful work, as usual. You seem to have the gift with these dried salames. But what in the world do you do with all the food you're turnout out ? Surely your family isn't that large...is it?
  20. Maybe because it is possible to poison yourself if you're wrong ?
  21. In the US, the distinction between "dinner" and "supper" dates from colonial times. The upper classes (plantation folk or nearly so) would rise early, do whatever they had to do, come back for breakfast around 8:00am or so. Then sometime around 1:00 or 2:00pm, their work day was over. Dinner - the most elaborate meal of the day - was served then. If company was coming (or they were going) for some festivities, it would be then. Much dancing, revelry, and drinking (why was I born so late ?). In the evening, one supped (no, that's not a typo) on the leftovers from dinner. Hence, breakfast, dinner, and supper. This distinction dates at least from the time of Jefferson, and I think I remember from the time of Thomas Lee (born 1690), ancestor of Robert E.
  22. Somewhere below 40F will work. The closer you get it to freezing, the harder it will be to mix, so I'd shoot for 36-38F if you can. Use two bags. I've found that a 5-6 lb belly is about all that will fit comfortably in a 2 gallon ziplock, and having only one in the bag facilitates keeping the entire belly exposed to the liquid cure during the curing process.
  23. hwilson41


    Some time back, I was dining at 2941, an upscale restaurant in Falls Church, VA, and they served foie gras with a rhubarb chutney. I have no idea how to make the chutney, but the effect of the tart chutney against the fatty, unctuous foie gras was just superb.
  24. According to Rogov crawfish are fresh water relatives of Langoustines, which are salt water creatures. This is new information for me, because I thought they were the same thing until now .
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