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Posts posted by ninetofive

  1. After their bath in the cognac, tarragon and garlic, my chicken livers bathed in milk overnight. This a.m. I pureed them for the terrine. Everything smelled even better today, and I loved the color, sort of a dark pink. I was tempted to take a taste, but raw chicken liver might be too extreme for an offal novice.

    I'm getting nervous about lunch today. This calf liver looks daunting ....

  2. Thanks, Therese. I'm glad you mentioned that, since I ended up finding a couple of little black sacs nestled between the lobes when I was trimming them up.

    Have to say, they smelled yummy in the marinade -- of course, all I could smell was the cognac, tarragon, and garlic. :smile:

  3. Well, my first experiment will be calves liver for lunch tomorrow, which I bought tonight. Will slice it thin, saute in butter as suggested here, and give it a try.

    Then I'm making a chicken liver terrine, which I'll be bringing to a party on Saturday. My friends have informed me they don't like liver, but they're willing to give this a try, especially since the livers get soaked in cognac before cooking. :biggrin:

    Therese, what does a chicken gallbladder look like? :shock:

  4. One of my cooking/eating goals this year is to revisit offal. I'll pretty much eat anything, or at least try something once, but I've not been able get past my childhood memories of liver and tripe. I fear they were not well prepared by mother, who is not an enthusiastic cook, so I'd like to give them another try. I use oxtail a lot for braised stews (not sure if that qualifies as offal), and I've been pleasantly surprised when I've tried a dish, liked it, and later found out there was bits of liver in it.

    My questions. Where should I start? I'd like to try the whole range of "variety meats," but I think starting with something hardcore, like brains, will bring a quick end to my project. Should I bypass the liver I see at the grocery store and visit my butcher for best quality? Any preparation tips for the offal you recommend? Cookbooks that will make my project go easier? (I have The Good Cook book on variety meats, which has lots of helpful pictures and directions.)

  5. Thanks for all these suggestions. I didn't find any Grains prior to last weekend, so I'm placing an order through Kalustyans, but I look forward to checking out all these local places in the coming months.

    Has anyone been to Cooking Matters, the new gourmet shop in downtown Nashua, NH? Looks like they may have some interesting spices (among other things!)

  6. We made a trip up to Ipswich yesterday, and we stopped at the Clam Box for a "snack." We got a box of fried native clams and a box of scallops. I have to say I was disappointed. Although the clams were small and tender, they didn't have a lot of flavor. I guess I'm willing to chew a bit more for stronger clam flavor. My friend agreed, saying that the breading was all she tasted. Perhaps the big bellied clams have more flavor? The scallops, however, were very sweet and flavorful.

  7. I know your weekend visit to Mystic is over, but if you ever go back over the summer, you MUST stop at Sea Swirl on Rt. 1 for fried whole clams. Mmmm.

    My mother is a lifelong Mystic resident. She avoid Abbotts ("too touristy, and the food's not that great.") Instead, she gets her seafood and takeout items at Cove Fish Market, also on Rt 1 heading toward Stonington. Steak Loft is always packed, but I've found the food and service nothing to write home about. For a great weekend breakfast, you can't beat Kitchen Little, basically a small shack between Mystic Seaport and Mystic Village. (Long, long wait!) And when I was in college, the hot place to eat was Noahs on Water Street in Stonington, but I'm not sure if it's still there.

    I forgot all about Flanders Fish Market -- will have to drop by there next time I visit.

  8. I've only know grains of paradise in Sam Adams' summer ale.  I am curious to know what it actually is. 

    Grains of Paradise look a little like peppercorns, maybe smaller, and their taste is more bitter than pepper, but the same characteristics of spicy and warm. I've seen the spice used in Moroccan dishes; I like to use it on roasted eggplant, ground spice -- not whole.

  9. I thought a visit to Kalustyan's in NYC last weekend would curb my spice-buying for awhile ... no such luck. Any recommendations for well-stocked spice shops in the Boston area? Specifically, I'm looking for a place to buy Grains of Paradise for a dish I'm making over the weekend.

  10. I kept looking at this book whenever I went to the bookstore, so I finally ordered it through interlibrary loan last month. I followed her creme brulee recipe, and it came it wonderfully -- in fact, it may have been the best creme brulee I've made yet (and I've made lots). Very creamy and rich, lovely vanilla flavor, and I didn't get any unsightly bubbles on the top, which has happened with prior creme brulees. Recalling her directions from memory, you basically steam the custards by putting foil over the casserole dish containing the ramekins and hot water.

    I enjoyed reading the book, as well, so I do think I'll eventually purchase it for my library.

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