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majkeli

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  1. Pork butt and back fat are easy to come by, but would I be able to get a veal shoulder? The best butcher around here went out of business, and the only one left within 30 miles is run out of the butcher's house and his selection is quite limited. I suppose he could order a veal cut for me. If not I may be shopping for this at Costco, is there some common cut I could substitute for veal neck or shoulder? Thanks for the help!
  2. I'm ready to grind up some meat for homemade bratwurst, but I'm not sure which cuts of veal and pork would be most appropriate. Could someone help me out? Thanks!
  3. I've been loving my tagine. I cook in it at least once a week. One of my co-workers is Morrocan and he thinks the dishes I've been making (most from Paula) are exactly like the ones he grew up with, but maybe he's just being nice for the free lunch. Thanks you to everyone in this thread for turning me on to tagine cooking. If only I'd seen this thread earlier I could have saved a fortune on Le Creuset, All-Clad, and Falk Culinair purchases and just bought one tagine.
  4. Woohoo! I've received my replacement rifi tagine and tried the Chicken Tagine and Beef with Prunes dishes mentioned on another thread here. Both were fabulous, but they each took around 5 hours to cook! Much longer (like 3 hours longer) than the recipes suggest. The instructions with the tagine say to cook at medium low heat on the stove top or 350 degrees in the oven, but I'm wondering how hot is too hot on the stove? Medium low could be completely different depending on your equipment, and I'd sure hate to crack my new tagine by overheating it. I'm using a Simmer Mat as Paula recommended and when I turn my stove to medium low my probe thermometer touching the little bump in the mat reads 324 degrees. But at that setting it takes an hour to come back up to a simmer after adding ingredients. Is it safe to turn it up to medium to bring the dish back up to temp? Medium raises the heat to around 380 degrees. Maybe I should be taking the temperature from inside the tagine? I'm just full of questions!
  5. Yes, unfortunately my tagine is cracked through on the bottom piece, definitely not a natural crack in the clay but a stress crack from shipping. My remarks stem from several attempts to contact them by phone, and an email that claimed they'd get back to me the next day about a replacement and then no other correspondence, even after 2 additional emails from me asking for a response. I'm waiting patiently but I wish they would be more scrupulous about returning messages and clearing out their voicemail.
  6. Tagines.com must be side project for the owner, their voicemail is frequently full and they don't answer email consistantly. I received a cracked rifi tagine from them (this thread inspired me to order one) and dealing with them has been requiring a little too much faith. I hope they don't let me down! I've got lemons pickling and I can hardly wait to try some recipes out.
  7. I make a point of cooking at least one goose and one duck every 6 months to keep me in fat. I keep it in tupperware in the freezer and just chip off a piece when I need it. Either work nicely for my favorite sauerkraut recipe: Saute 1/4 cup diced pancetta in goose (or duck) fat until browned, remove and reserve. Add 1/2 medium onion diced fine, saute until soft. Add 1/2 granny smith apple sliced thin, pancetta, about 2 cups of sauerkraut (you made this yourself in a harsch crock right? you should!), 1/4 cup reisling, about a 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper (up to 1/2 tsp. if you like it, I do), some water if your kraut isn't real juicy. It should be about half covered in liquid. Optional is a pinch of caraway seed (I always use it) and fennel seed (sometimes I use it). Simmer low for 35 to 45 min. Kraut should be nice and tender. Eat with assorted wurst and boiled potatoes with caraway. Wurst is best boiled slow then browned in a touch of the goose (duck) fat.
  8. Slit them and bake at about 350 for up to a half hour. My wife lives off of these. In her home country (Albania) they have chestnut stands like we have hotdog stands. Food network had a great recipe a while back for a bacon/chestnut ravioli sauteed in sage butter. It was outstanding. I'll probably try it again this year.
  9. majkeli

    Curing olives

    The centuries (millenia?) old technique in Albania is to slit them twice on the side (longways) and brine them until the water is clear and they're not bitter, changing the water each day. There's a town in central Albania called Berat that's famous for their giant olives. I used to get them as gifts from the local villlagers. They were the most amazing olives.
  10. I was introduced to goat while I was in the Peace Corps as well. I was in Albania though, and I'm sure the preparation wasn't the same as the African one. The Albanians stuffed it with olives and roast it like a pig over apple wood. One of my "lucky" friends was there for the slaughtering and was honored by being offered the raw spleen which he held his breath and chomped down on. Kinda vile to the westerner but a delicacy to the Albanians who also enjoy the eyeballs quite a bit. Another preparation was to boil the goat. I'm not sure if this was for select cuts to make them more tender or just another fun way to enjoy your goat. Both dishes were quite tasty, but the roast goat stuffed with olives was really special.
  11. majkeli

    Dinner! 2004

    Pork medallions with maple glaze. Acorn squash halves with butter and maple syrup. Green beans.
  12. A couple of mine were made in China. They're the Amazon "try me" specials, the little fry and sauce pans. They're still nice pans, but there are subtle differences from the ones marked as made in Pennsylvania. The boxes are all clearly marked as to their origin. It's a shame they're moving some of their manufacturing overseas though. It doesn't bode well for their reputation if you ask me.
  13. It was outstanding. I did go out and get some wild mushrooms and they really added to the dish, thank you for the tip. The smoked turkey stock worked great, it's definately something I'll try again. Risotto is going to be a standard around here for now on. The truffle oil sounds like a nice addition too. I'll try that next time.
  14. I'm attempting my first risotto tonight. I'm not sure why it's taken me this long to get around to it. Too many other great things to try I guess. I'm thinking to make it with shallots, some Bolla chardonnay, smoked turkey stock from my Christmas bird, and parmesan cheese. I'll serve it with smoked pork chops, a veg, and the rest of the wine. Does that sound like a good combo? Is there anything that could make this menu better? Thanks.
  15. I got a couple of the Shun knives for christmas and couldn't be happier with them. If you do use a paring knife you'll love the shun version, the shape and balance are just right.
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