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Everything posted by deltadoc

  1. The tenderloin strap is found on whole untrimmed tenderloins, roughly starting about the middle of the whole tenderloin and running down to the tail end. If you're lucky, it has a single layer of silverskin under it. Many times you can almost pull the strap off and it usually is very fatty, having lots of little "balls" of fat on it. doc
  2. How many times I've read threads about grinding one's own hamburger and what cuts to use, etc. I've been trying to duplicate the hamburger that used to sell for $0.19/lb for regular and $0.29 for lean when I was a kid in the 1950's. Here's some observations: 1. The meat today isn't the same. They used to pasture feed the cattle, bring'em into the barn when they were about 2-3 years old, finish them off on corn, grain and beets for 2-3 months. Then to the butcher who hung the meat and (what is now called) dry-aged it. 2. Maybe some stores add blood, but where they gettin' the blood? I think it is the fact that most meat today is cryovac'd when it is aged, which means it doesn't dry out, and has a lot of blood in it already. When its ground, you're getting that blood. They don't have to add more. 3. THe closest I've come to hamburger of the old days is 1:1:1 ratio of prime sirloin, choice chuck, and tenderloin strap (sans silverskin). I use my KA mixer grinder with the fine sieve and grind only once. It does help to have the meat slightly cold but not frozen. Grinds better. I've had room temperature meat, especially from meat that had been mechanically tenderized before I bought it turn into Vet's Dog food consistency. Yuck! Fry the burger on one side until it is brown half way up the side of the burger, Turn it over, turn down the heat, add S&P, and slow fry it until done. Works very well every time. ANd try as I might, I've never mastered being able to completely rid the meat of gristly bits, tendon bits, and other objectionable stuff. Ya just never know what's really hidden in those thick fat veins, especially in chuck roasts. That's probably why I like to add the tenderloin strap as it is usually very fatty, and most of the time, the silverskin is easy to remove. However, with that said, there are times when the silverskin seems to just riddle all through the strap. Bummer! ANyway, I trim a lot of suspicious fat from the chuck just to be more certain I don't get chewy crunchy bits in my hamburger. The fat from the tenderloin makes up for that, and the sirloin adds a meaty flavor that "beefs" up the taste. No pun intended. doc
  3. deltadoc

    Rice Salad

    My favorite rice salad isn't really made with rice, its made with grass seed. I figured this out from Jean Claude Tindillier, Le Petit Chef in Wayzata, MN. Now retired to France. I ate it so often I figured out how to make it myself purely out of desperation. Wild Rice Salad Boil Wild Rice in slightly salted water until it "blossoms" (bursts open). Rinse, drain and cool. Add: Halved Sliced Black Olives Whole brined Green Peppercorns (drained) Golden Raisins Sliced Almonds Chopped Fresh Tarragon 1-2 TBSP Dijon Mustard S&P Chopped fresh tomato Red Wine Vinaigrette Proportions are to individual taste and appearance. Careful on the green peppercorns, they're supposed to be like little island surprises of spicy taste sensations. I'm tellin' ya, this stuff is addictive! doc
  4. Because of the varying thickness of a whole tenderloin, your's is not an easy question to answer. I tend to cut off the end pieces and let them rest in the open and cool off faster because they're usually more done. The centercut, going by temperature probe, gets set on a dish with a pot cover over it. Usually comes out just about the rare side of medium rare, which is perfect. My wife likes her meat more done, so it works out in the end. Anything I think is overcooked is just perfect for her. Anything I think is perfect, and she's liable to stick it in the microware for 30 seconds! Whew.... doc
  5. Like I said, I was just curious. Tenderloin, being one of the most tender, combined with Fat Guy's response about slicing 1/4" thick for "sinking your teeth in" made me wonder about cutting technique. For instance, flank steak, sirloin, roasts, many of the "tougher" cuts of meat, are recommended specifically to be cut against the grain, which I take as a form of mechanical tenderizing. By reverse logic, I wondered about possible instances where the technique is to cut "with" the grain, being that since there were specific instances where it was recommended to "cut against" the grain, i.e. by supposition, somewhere someone for some reason must be cutting "with" the grain. I cut against the grain, because the muscle fibers aren't always neatly "stacked" when looking at the grain. So it isn't as easy to cut "with" the grain because of this, if I even ever wanted to. But, I hardly would ever think of slicing than against the grain too. doc
  6. Just curious. Do you cut with or against the grain when you slice your tenderloins? tx, doc
  7. When I make fresh pizza dough, I usually make one right away that gets put on a corn meal dusted pizza peel and directly onto the hot pizza stone in the oven. The dough is enough to make 3 pizzas total. I put the other two dough crusts onto round pizza pans. I paint them with olive oil to keep them from getting mushy. I proceed to make the pizza the same way as the fresh one. When the time comes to take one out of the freezer, I simply remove it (easily) from the pizza pan, and put it on a pizza peel and then into the oven. I usually let the oven and pizza stone heat up after I take the frozen pizza out of the freezer. I shake the pizza peel occasionally to keep it from sticking. It usually partially defrosts while the oven is heating up to the mandatory 550F. Sometimes it takes 12-14 minutes instead of the usual 9-11minutes for a completely fresh pizza, but I can barely tell the difference between them. Sometimes I actually think the partially defrosted pizza has a tendency to be a bit crisper crust (they're always thin crust anyways) than the fresh ones. So, it is very convenient for me to make 3 at a time, and freeze 2. doc
  8. More important than almost anything else is replacement air capability. Your vent can't remove greasy air if there is no air coming into the house to replace what is being exhaused. Close to importance, is to make sure that there is a fire barrier and a surge of flame cannot start an attic fire. I have a 4-fan (total 1200 CFM) Vent-a-hood with fireproof baffles. Not much fun to take apart and clean but they do fit in the dishwasher. We open a door and a couple of windows (even in winter) to allow the exhaust to work. Otherwise, the grease just collects inside the baffles, and we've found it dripping down into our food, especially if we're boiling water or steaming something! Our motors are right in the hood, and the noise has never been a problem. Had it over 17 years now, and never a maintenance problem or part failure. doc
  9. Ever since the 1950's, it's always been Carnation Malted Milk Powder. We still have a jar in the cupboard, been awhile since I made it. However, a new ice cream shop opened nearby recently, and everyone was raving how good their malts were. Went there to find that they spoon out Carnation Malted Milk Powder to make their malts. They taste to me like the best I ever had since 50 years ago. I dunno... doc
  10. Two ideas come to mind: 1) Jerusalem Salad: Alternately peel cucumbers so they have stripes, cut lengthwise, use spoon to dig out the seeds, then slice however thick you want them. Throw in a bowl with coarsely sliced onion (Vadalias work nice), sweet bell peppers sliced similarly in size to your onion slices, and seeded, chunked fresh tomato. Make a dressing of: (You'll have to figure the proportions you need based on this basic recipe) 1/2 C Roasted Sesame Tahini Juice of 2-3 lemons 1/4 C EVOO 1 clove of garlic S&P to taste All into the processor and whirl away. Add cold water until you get the consistency you want. Usually doesn't take too much. For color add some chopped fresh flat leaf parsley. A dash of cumin and/or a dash of cayenne will add some zip. Doesn't need too much as the lemon juice makes this dressing go great with the fresh salad ingredients. 2) Wild Rice Salad: Boil a 1lb of (real) wild rice (minnesota). It should just be starting to puff out. Don't want it to look too much like dark rice. Drain and cool. Add EVOO, red wine vinegar, chopped black olives, whole green peppercorns, diced green onions or shallots, coarsely chopped tomato, S&P to taste, chopped tarragon, dijon mustard, golden raisins, and slivered almonds. Experiment with the proportions. It all goes well together. Easy does it on the green peppercorns! doc
  11. deltadoc


    Couple of celery sticks, a bay leaf, a garlic clove, and onion sliced, and into the water of a large pot. Then the steamer insert, then the groomed artichokes. I used to steam them with all the leaves on. Now, I cut off the top 1/3, dig out the choke with a rounded small spoon, pull off all the leave, cut off the stem, so I end up with what is officially called the "artichoke bottom medallion". These I steam until just fork tender. Shock in ice water to stop the cooking after draining them. Then I whip up some white wine, red wine vinegar, tarragon, chervil, S&P, and chopped red onion or shallots or scallions. Cook down until almost no liquid. Whip up an appropriate amount of egg yolks, dump in the reduction, whip like crazy over low heat until the mixture begins to thicken (no double boilers for me....too slow). THen I add clarified non-salted butter, until I get the consistency and taste I'm looking for. A sprinkle of more tarragon and a smidgeon of cayenne. Microwave the artichoke medallions, and ladle on lots of bearnaise sauce. Yum! Just ate 4 medallions like this a few days ago. AND....if I can get really fresh crab meat, I will pulverize it in the food processor, put it in a clean dish towel, squeeze out the moisture (important tip...took me years before I figured out how important this step was), and then incorporate into the bearnaise sauce. EVEN more YUM than without the crab meat. doc
  12. Just so everyone gets this completely straight: You cannot use a pressure cooker to do what a pressure canner can do. Got this straight from Presto in Wisconsin. Largest manufacturers of pressure cookers, pressure canners and pressure cookers/canners. We've been canning all sorts of things for over 35 years. Only thing to watch out for is loss of vacuum usually due to a small chip on the sealing surface. You must check carefully for these, because sometimes the process of opening a canned canning jar can chip the sealing edge. Also, if the color changes or it smells bad, throw it out. On the other hand botulism leaves no smell or taste. That makes it a sneaky bugger to watch out for. doc
  13. Approximately every two weeks, I lay out 12 pre-sliced regular English muffins opened on my cutting block. They just fit. Then I lay a 1/4" slice of sharp pre-sliced good quality cheddar (the meat man slices them for me off a large block of cheddar). I then take 3 boxes of frozen regular Hormel sausage links and cut them into 3's, put them on a preheated griddle. While they're cooking, we take 12 eggs, one at a time into a measuring cup, add a pinch of sea salt and a LOT of freshly ground black pepper. Into the egg rings they go (I have 4 rings that just fit on the griddle along with the sausages). As the sausages get nicely browned on both sides, I scoop them up and place them on the cheese thats lying on the open bottom of each English muffin. As the eggs cook, I slip off the ring and turn them over. They're scrambled when I added the S&P, and I plop them on top of the 3 sausages per sandwich. Top of the muffin goes on, and I slide them into individual sandwich bags and all but one goes into the freezer. Night before I go to work, I take one out of the freezer and its just right to take to work the next day. I heat it on an open paper plate for 55 seconds at work, and immediately turn it over, so the underneath side doesn't stay moist and chewy. I've been doing this for years. In fact, looking forward to my sandwich and a Coke when I first get to work is what keeps me going to work. Haven't missed a day since I started in May of 2005! doc
  14. Actually, the lycopene from cooked tomatoes is more easily absorbed by the body, but it is still present in tomato paste to the tune of ~6.5 mg/100grams of paste as compared to 3.1mg/100 grams of tomatoes. Average consumption is still being worked out, but ~6.5 mg per day is considered beneficial and safe. doc
  15. I long have understood wanting to have a quick meal without a lot of fuss. Overtime, I found that taking the time to make a really big batch of sauce and then taking the time to pressure can it was more than worth the effort. Some basic rules I generally go by (remembering that rules are meant to be broken from time to time): 1. Oregano is a pizza sauce ingredient. 2. Basic pasta sauces work well with canned tomatoes because they're picked at the peak of ripeness, and canned within a short time capturing their flavor and nutrition. 3. Two basic sauce spice combinations: Basil, garlic, onion or rosemary, thyme and a bit of sage. Lots of variations on these basics, but they really are different but very tasty too. 4. I butter the pasta from time to time, never used it in the sauce. I kind of like the healthiness of long term use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil as the main source of fat in my diet. Butter may be lots better than margarine (despite years of hearing just the opposite), but the case for monounsaturated fat is pretty much bullet proof. I use butter in extreme moderation. 5. A great flowery EVOO is worth the price. And since I only use cold pressed, and strive for 1st cold pressing, I believe that the nutrition contained therein far surpasses just regular cold pressed OO, and forbid that I ever use "Light" OO, which is almost always solvent extracted from the olive mash. 6. Lilia Bastinavich (sp?) likes to put some tomato paste in the pan's "hot spot" to carmelize it. I've heard many disparaging remarks about using tomato paste, but you can't argue that it has a tremendous amount of healthy stuff in paste as compared to cooking down fresh tomatoes or even canned tomatos. I forget for the moment what that stuff is that makes tomato paste so good for you. I'll have to google it later. doc
  16. deltadoc

    The Perfect Burger

    I always grind my own hamburger. You don't know what you're really getting from the supermarket, and thats one reason they finely grind it. I use the fine grind attachment on my professional Kitchen Aid, but I never double grind. Since I trimmed the meat, I make sure that gristle, tendons, etc. are not in the meat so mechanically tenderizing it doesn't require extra grinds. Yes, water in the meat is common. Cyrovac wet aging is part of where the excess moisture is coming. When I trim my chuck, sirloin, tenderloin strap, I let the chunks sit in a bowl for a while. You'd be surprised how much bloody water collects in the bottom of the bowl. I drain it, and then grind. My grind is drier. The moisture in cooking comes from the fat content. I like a 75-25 to 80-20 ratio, but its hard to be sure unless you separate all the fat from the meat and weigh each separately, and frankly, I don't know how one would actually do that with the marbling and all. After doing for years, you just sort of get an idea what you're going to end up with. Also, I sear the hamburger on one side first, and then turn down the griddle, and let it slow cook on the other side. I salt and pepper the top immediately after the first flip. And then much later, when I see that the other side is getting to color, I salt & pepper that side too. FOr a change of pace, sometimes I will mix the S&P and some worcestershire sauce into the meat, make the patties and cook them. They usually fall apart much easier, and sometimes are a hassle to eat. BUt tasty! doc
  17. deltadoc

    aging beef

    Meat is muscle cells. Freezing causes the cells to expand and break the cell walls. You defrost frozen meat, you've already lost something in the process versus never frozen meat. However, to try dry aging previously frozen defrosted meat, those broken muscle cells are going to lose their "internal" moisture faster. Unfrozen beef doesn't have broken cells, so the moisture within those cells has to diffuse out through the cell wall. A much slower process. I wouldn't think trying to dry-age previously frozen beef would be worth the effort. doc (previously from Iowa where I've seen the whole process from calf birth, sterilization (castration), pasturing, age of the chosen steers to "finish" off for 2-3 months in the barn, to the butchering process, to the hanging, the dry aging, the mold, the cutting off of the mold, to the final end product)
  18. I only have whole spices which I use one or the other of two small coffee bean grinders that I have to grind them on demand. I go through A LOT of black whole pepper this way. Whole mustard seed, like whole allspice, et al, is sometimes hard to judge how much powdered mustard you will wind up and after using the required amount in a dish calling for mustard powder I keep little 1 oz bottles for leftover ground spices. I use them up fairly quickly. On the other hand, whole mustard seed is great to coarse grind it and make your own mustard, like German style coarse ground mustard. But like anything else, even whole spices give up the "ghost" after a time, so I limit how much I buy to a year's worth. Only recently stocked up on whole nutmeg because I read that the nutmeg trees have suffered a world-wide blight and they will be in short supply for many years to come. Don't know how much credence to give to this, but I did have an original small bottle of whole nutmeg from the late 1970's, and they were still great right up to the end when I used up the last one a couple years ago. Therefore I didn't spend much time thinking on it and bought up several of the last bottles i could find in several markets (many of which were already out of stock!) doc
  19. Quality is down. I just asked for a refund on a 10-lb bag of ground pork that I made into Italian Sausage. It had so many unchewable bits and rubbery pieces it was just plain unpalatable. I then passed on getting that 30-lb box of Niman bacon bits and pieces. I also passed on getting their bulk ground beef. Guess I my experience wasn't just me! doc
  20. I am amazed at some of the posts in this thread. It's kind of like "My Ferrari is better than your Maserati!" I have a 1964 Vita mix. No glass bowls. All stainless steel. A reverse switch which is awesome. A spigot. I don't have to saute carrots, onions, et al, and then put them in the Vita mix to smooth them out. I put them in raw and it cooks them and they come out hot and smooth. So, lets see, 2009 - 1964 = 45 years old and works like new. Grind whole wheat berries, add water to cool off the "wheat berry flour", add yeast, honey, EVOO, salt and knead it all in the same stainless steel blender. Roll it out and let it rise. The only thing my Vita Mix doesn't do is bake the bread! All I've heard many times over the last 5-10 years is that the new Vita Mixers are not as robust as the old ones like mine. I dread if it ever "dies"! doc
  21. A few months ago, we got a high end stainless steel LG. You can heat the water, has a sterilization cycle, run just the upper or lower rack or both. You can select the rigorousness of he washing cycle. Its so quiet the only reason we know its running is the lights on it! doc
  22. Speaking of freezers, we haven't gotten the 30-lb bacon delivery yet, but found 10 lbs of sliced bacon packages. So I cut them up, and rendered them. Got two full quart jars and 52 oz of cooked bacon bits. So I vacuum packed about 5 oz per package (representing 1 lb of cooked bacon), and those 10 little packages take up a whole lot less room than the original 10 lbs of uncooked! So, me thinks that 30 lbs will probably give me about 6 quarts of fat, and about 9-10 lbs of cooked bacon. Is there a lot of grisly parts in bacon ends? I found just a few in the slices that just weren't edible. doc
  23. That's exactly what I'm worried about. What I was intending to do was render the bacon fat and save it for cooking. My wife's farm family did this when they were growing up and the fat stayed in the basement and lasted the whole year. The resultant crispy pieces I intended to portion out in vaccum sealed Foodsaver bags and freeze for use as needed. We've done this with regular bacon strips which we cut up first into smaller pieces and rendered, drained the fat, and fryed the rest slowly until perfectly crispy. They shrivel up and it works great for adding into recipes that call for chopped crisp bacon. Someone supplied me a web site for Niman Ranch so I decided to ask them what to expect. Thanks for your replies! doc
  24. I have a chance to buy a 30-lb box of Niman Ranch Applewood Bacon Ends and Pieces at on $1.99/lb. This is originally destined for a professional kitchen. What can I reasonably expect to get? Do I surmise that these are the trimmings off of bacon slabs that get packaged up as bacon strips and therefore are grisly and mostly fat? Don't want to get something that can only be used in limited circumstances. Bacon is chancy as it is sometimes when the ends are grisly and you can't chew them. On the other hand Niman Ranch is supposed to be a top brand. Any feedback is appreciated! doc
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