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Posts posted by lcdm

  1. I've got a team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I'll be meeting my team (two Kansas city boys, I went to Culinary school with) in Reno in less than two weeks!!!! Damn I'm excited, and nervous! wheeeeeeeee....

    still no dice on the brisket.... but thighs are good, and butt.

    Thats great to hear. Maybe you should experiment (if you haven't already) with some less common things (meatloaf, fish, cheese, veggies, dessert).

    I'm very excited for you, good luck!

  2. I agree, get rid of the rack of lamb and do another cut. The rissotto would do well with it a leg or shoulder.

    Lose the onion soup unless it's required and serve a salad as a first with mesclun and some nice fresh vegetable garnish. I would keep it light this time of year.

    Perhaps a sorbet with fresh berries for dessert.

    If you plate the lamb w/rissotto I would add some colorful roasted (or grilled) veggies to offset. Fancy name : A melange of season fresh vegtables ?

  3. That cut of lamb here (NJ) will run 15.99 a lb. For your budget I don't think the portions would be enough for a small appy. Could go with shanks or the leg. Maybe you could do a Greek theme - grilled leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary, grilled eggplant, roasted potatoes - maybe some kind of shrimp or fish appy. I think epicurious recently had Mediterranean meal ideas. If you are looking for fancy on a budget you'll have to really focus on presentation.

    When is the party, what's it for, where is it being held?

  4. Made a tomato salad over the weekend using cherry tomatoes.

    Cherry tomatoes cut in quarters, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, oregano salt and pepper- let sit until it breaks down a little and serve with crusty Italian Bread for dipping in all the lovely juice.

    For lunch toady I'm having a tomato sandwich (think slices of tomato on white bread w/mayo).

    The tomatoes were from our garden.

    Also forgot to mention that Rutgers Tomato Tasting is scheduled for 8/30.

    Has anyone ever attended, how is it?


  5. Sorry to hear about your brisket troubles, wish I could help but I have trouble making brisket the low and slow way. Did make some really great chicken, used thighs and wings, smoked for a couple hours using apple and cherry wood (no water pan, temps were around 325-350) finished off last half hour with a chipolte raspberry glaze.

    I have never seen this show so I googeled around, in one episode they made the participants make their own grills out of cinder blocks.

  6. Tomatoes - cherries are ready - regular are just starting to turn

    Eggplant - just starting to get big enough to pick

    Corn - only 1 ear matured, but the plants do look nice

    Cucumbers - have had lots of cucumbers, but the plants are starting to wilt and the cucumbers are yellow, I think we have some sort of bug or fungus

    Watermelon - just picked 1 nice watermelon with more on the way

    Carrots - growing nicely, don't know how they will turn out

    Peppers - green bell - picked a few / red pimento - waited too long to pick and they were mushy on one side.

  7. These recipes sound good We have an abundance of cucumbers this year. Could you use regular cucumbers from the garden or are there special pickle cucumbers?

  8. My daughter is 10 and is taking a cooking class during the month of July. There are 4th - 6th graders in the class. Their first take home assignment was to go over things they 1. could do alone 2. do with supervision 3. only an adult could do.

    Included various things - use knives, turn on the stove, use pot holders to take things from the oven, use a strainer, use the microwave...... and I had to check the boxes next each and sign on the bottom.

    So far she has made lemon ice, learned to decorate a plate w/squeeze bottle sauces, made pizza dough & pizza and cheddar cheese biscuits.

    Even though these aren't really "healthy" foods it's gotten her excited about cooking. She asks me questions when I'm in the garden or I'm cooking. She is also learing to measure, read a recipe and food sanitation while she is making these "fun" things.

    Today she saved a biscuit for me and nearly knocked me down when I came home, "look what I made today, you have to try it, I saved you some, Mom can we make them tommorrow?" She was beaming :)

  9. Paris Brest

    Paris-Brest is a ring-shaped pastry, filled with cream and sprinkled with almonds and powdered sugar. It was created in 1891 by a Parisian pastry cook whose pâtisserie was situated along the route of the bicycle race from Paris to Brest. His idea was to bake his éclairs in the shape of bicycle wheels in honor of all the cyclists. Great marketing idea! This race was a precursor to the Tour de France which was started in 1903.

    more info: http://frenchfood.about.com/library/weekly/aa070402a.htm

    I know this is standard but I love it, my SIL makes it every year and it's the first plate to be emptied at the desert table.

  10. I didn't brine because when I read up on it on line it said not to brine if you have a self-basting turkey (packed in a sodium solution).  Mine says that it is a self-basting breast with 3% sodium solution, so I didn't brine.

    Good catch! Absolutely right ... don't brine a self-basting bird. (Does anyone know why not? Is this just a case of guilding the lily or is there a more scientific reason?)

    The whole bird technique lcdm mentioned ^ is awesome! There's a thread in this forum somewhere where a number of us used it ... not gonna search right now. World Cup's on. :raz:


    Self basting (like a Butterball) is basically pre-brined. Some pork products are doing the same thing they usually say enhanced on the label.

  11. Hello all,

    I have a new smoker and so I've been smoking everything I can find.  So far I've done a pork butt for pulled pork, pork and beef ribs, jerky, etc.  Now I want to do a huge turkey breast tomorrow.

    As I've been looking around on line I've noticed that people seem to be smoking their turkey at different temperatures than pork butt or ribs.  What I was going to do was shoot for a temperature between 200-225 F and smoke the breast for three hours and then wrap it.  My smoker is a water smoker, so the breast shouldn't dry out in the first three hours.  Then I was going to smoke it until the internal hit about 195 F.

    Am I going to run into some unforseen trouble here?  I'm seeing temps for turkey running at 260 F and instructions to pull the bird once it hits 165F.  It doesn't seem to me that this would make it very tender...

    Isn't low and slow to a higher temperature better?  Is there something I'm missing? 

    Thanks for tips.


    When I did a whole Turkey for Thanksgiving I smoked at 325-350F to 160F in the breast, approximately 3 hours. I used cherry and apple wood chunks. Cover loosely with foil and let rest 30 minutes before carving. I did not brine because I used a Butterball turkey. If your turkey breast is not "enhanced" I would brine it.

    For the more smoking tips visit: http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/

  12. Thanks for the advice all. I really appreciate it. I agree, if I am to get serious about this, I do need to get a good smoker. Unfortunately, for this weekend, the menu is set and I have to live with the limitation of using an oven.

    Is it safe to assume that my butts in the oven will go through a similar cooking process (without the smoke ring, of course) as if it was done on a smoker ... i.e., the pause at 160-170, done at 190-195 (or when the bone wiggles out of the meat easily), wrap in foil and let it rest for 30-45 minutes before pulling, etc.?

    Also, I plan on brining the butts for 12-16 hours before putting them in the oven. Would it be better to do a dry spice rub or do them naked and then use the cider/maple syrup/bourbon spray that I saw earlier? I didn't know if oven-based butts lent themselves towards one flavor methodology or the other.

    Again, thanks all for the tips -- this thread has been IMMENSELY helpful in teaching a pork butt newbie.

    When I don't have time to smoke a butt (or shoulder), I use the oven method found here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/re...6_27406,00.html

    Not as good as smoked but a nice substitute.

  13. My husband and I registered (17 years ago). We received all our china and flatware (already had silver from my great grandmother), we also received many practical items on the list (coffee maker, food processor, toaster......).

    I don't know if we would have purchased the china ourselves if we didn't receive them as gifts (there always seems something more practical that the money could be used for).

    I am glad we registered, and will happily buy items for people from a gift registry. Why not get people items they want?

  14. It's a rare thing when I hear a food term for the first time at this point in my life.  What is a "sport pepper"?

    Here is a picture of the pepper (about half way down) http://www.tomatogrowers.com/hot5.htm

    This Capsicum annum type of pepper is popular for its use as a pickled pepper to go on hot dogs and other sandwiches. It is especially well known as an essential condiment in a Chicago-style hot dog. Peppers resemble Tabasco peppers, but the Sport pepper is larger, about 1-1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. They are medium-hot and produced in great abundance on sturdy plants; 75 days.

  15. I planted a mixed container which included; a habenero pepper, a few basil, some lettuces and a few annuals. It looked very pretty and did well.

    Those sites do indeed look very helpful. I've never planted basil in a mixed container because we use so much of it. Always needed at least one nice big pot with nothing else, and sometimes two. Although I have mixed various types of basil. It's just something we love and we go through it by the handsful.

    Exactly, you have to know what works for you. I don't use that much basil, so it was OK, same with the habanero. This year I'm fortunate to be able to plant a larger garden and have several types of our favorite; cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and on a lark carrots and corn (carrots and corn never really grew very well for my Dad because we have heavy clay soil, but my kids wanted to see). We have also planted some parsley, basil and sunflowers. Hopefully we'll have some luck and get at least some "stuff" off of some of these plants.

  16. A few things I've learned. Don't use regular soil in a container, it hardens to a brick like consistancy. Use potting soil or some kind of growing mix. Some of the mixes have water storing polymers designed to reduce plant waterings (or you can buy them seperatly and mix them in yourself).

    I planted a mixed container which included; a habenero pepper, a few basil, some lettuces and a few annuals. It looked very pretty and did well.

    Here is a site that has a lot of info about container gardening:


    and balcony gardening:


  17. Most liquor stores will have kegs in stock (mostly Bud, Coors, Coors LT, MGD) but to be on the safe side or if you want something special call in advance so they can tag a keg for you and set aside a tap. If it's a real busy weekend and you don't reserve something you might be out of luck.

  18. You could also try San Carlo in Lyndhurst.

    Instead of having a cash bar you could limit it to beer wine and soda.

    There is a place in Belleville all the way down Washington ave - The Branch Brook Manor - I've been to a few communions and anniversary parties or there is Bella Casa in Belleville.

    Although I have not been I have heard good things about Via Brera in Nutley.

    Good Luck

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