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viva

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Everything posted by viva

  1. Thought the same thing last night while watching the Travel Channel's "Hamburger Paradise", wherein they showed an establishment in the northeast with steamed cheeseburgers. Steamed gray hamburger meat? No way. Sounds like the stuff of high school cafeterias.
  2. I went last year, and while a fun experience it wasn't worth it for the barbecue alone, and I don't think the festival fairly represents the quality of the barbecue that can be had in Lexington. You are better off going to Lexington on a non-festival weekend to directly hit the barbecue joints, and then taking a jaunt over to East NC for their version of 'cue. I stayed for a year in Raleigh and went barbecue hunting on several weekends (as well as to the festival) - my write up is here, using this site's recommendations as well as Holly's: Here.
  3. Made the Lots of Ways Banana Cake yesterday, "my way" being sour cream instead of coconut milk, raisins instead of coconut, a few walnuts, and the rum glaze with coconut rum. YUM. Coconut rum glaze on banana cake is heaven.
  4. Barbecue sauce. Chili mix. Maple syrup.
  5. Thanks Abra - you're right, the menu is looking pretty rich. My family eats *a lot*, so I tend to lean towards going a bit overboard. My dad has always wanted a traditional cassoulet - keeps ordering it in restaurants here in the US and being dissatisfied with it. It seemed as the Toulouse cassoulet was the closest to what he would consider to be traditional cassoulet? Is it traditional to serve any side dishes along with a cassoulet, like green beans or leeks or another vegetable? Dessert wise, I've ditched the idea of the cherry clafoutis - too far out of season for cherries here in Houston, but pears looked lovely, so I picked those up and was thinking of doing a poached pear dish or a pear tart for dessert. Although I could just eat those myself and go with a citrus dessert as you recommend... I may make up my mind at the last minute on the salad - the mussel salad looks really good, but the mache is easier and lighter.
  6. I am baking from TCoSWF for my dad's birthday. Would appreciate any input on the menu from you more experienced folk with this cookbook! To start: Rabbit Compote with Prunes. Looks like this is even better made a week in advance. Was going to serve in a terrine with warm crusty bread, dijon and cornichons. Salad: Hot Mussel Salad with Endive & Cream. This looks like it can be made quickly as long as I make sure the mussels are clean in advance, no? Has anyone made this? Hopefully it is not too heavy for a middle course. Or maybe I should keep it simple and go with the Mache Salad with Moutarde Violette. Main: Cassoulet from Toulouse. I've never made cassoulet but I have the Clay Coyote pot that is just *dying* to be used for something other than holding apples on the kitchen table . I am going to start the duck confit and sausage confit now (am not going to make my own sausage, though - going to check out the local Polish market). I have done duck confit before - and will likely make extra to have in the refrigerator as a cook's bonus!! For dessert I was thinking either the Cherry Clafoutis or the Apples Baked in Cabbage Leaves. The apple dish sounds really interesting, but it's only gotten one comment in this thread, and it wasn't favorable!! Has anyone tried it? Maybe I should make both in case the Apple isn't received well. One of 'em has got to have candles on it! Thanks for any advice...
  7. Agreed - the technique is very similar to the one I use for quick brined cucumber pickles. I added a little more brine to cover my lemons - all appears to be well!
  8. Even though it is still in the mid-80's here in Houston, I was craving a beefy stew dish. Plus, short ribs were on sale for $1.99/lb at the Super H-Mart, and they looked beautiful. I've never cooked short ribs before, so I turned to Molly and made the Short Ribs with Porcini and Rosemary. I picked this one because I had some rosemary stalks on hand, and had also recently picked up an enormous jar of dried porcini for what seemed like a very reasonable price (1 lb for $30). Wow. As suggested upthread, I roasted the ribs in the oven at 450 for about 40 minutes or so. I didn't bother turning them while they were roasting, as they seemed to have browned evenly on all sides - should I have? Would that give more caramel-y bits? My ribs, of course, fell completely off the bone, and I noticed others here tie them. Does it really matter to the flavor, or is it an aesthetic thing? In any event, I loved this dish. Served very simply in a bowl with crusty bread and a green vinaigrette salad. Can't wait to try the other short rib recipes, including Marlene's. Definitely my favorite from this book so far. Edited to ask - what do other folks do with the beefy fat you skim off the braise at the end? It's soooo flavorful - I'm wondering if I can keep it on hand for sauteeing. Or use it in a pie crust for beef pot pie.
  9. The Porcini Rosemary Short Ribs are in the oven now. I can hardly keep myself from tearing it out of the oven, the smell permeating my condo is so good. Can't wait to try some of the other short rib recipes in this one, like the Maple Syrup one! And Marlene's short ribs from the braising thread. I need to braise and stew more.
  10. This is very timely - hunky beef short ribs were just on sale at the Korean supermart, so I bought 4 lbs and am craving a good stew (why not, the weather is lovely here in Houston post-Ike). I was also checking out the Daube thread and the SW France daube recipe, but it looked a little daunting. Then I found the Red Wine Glazed Short Ribs with Porcini and Rosemary in All About Braising, and it seemed like SW France Daube-lite. I need to check out the braising thread to see what others thought of it, but it might be an idea for you as well.
  11. I am making my first batch, and they are bubbly too. I followed the recipe from Slow Mediterranean Cooking, but the lemons didn't give off enough lemon juice to cover after a few days, so I am adding some more and giving it a bit more salt to compensate. Hopefully this works! Edit: I should add that the bubbly isn't that bubbly - more like an effervesence.
  12. I'm glad you posted this, because I thought I was crazy and dreamt the whole thing up, like it was straight out of Oryx and Crake or some other dystopian novel. (e.g. "Try our ChickieNobs: genetically engineered, modified to be nothing but breasts or drumsticks! 12 to a chicken! Chemically it is exactly the same as a regular chicken! Only better!")
  13. viva

    Venison

    Thanks very much for the help! I think I will avoid the shanks as I cannot see having the patience for all those tendons. My last note of confusion... it looks like the terms backstrap = loin = tenderloin = fillet are all the same cut of meat, the pieces that run down the back of the deer?
  14. viva

    Venison

    Definitely interested in a roast. Are you referring to the rump/haunch and shoulder cuts? And avoiding the shins/shank? Or is "hind quarter" something a deer processor would understand? Alternatively, could you use the shanks for Osso Bucco? Sorry if these are silly questions - never done this before!! Trying to read these meat charts online is frustrating - everyone seems to refer to cuts of meat using different terms.
  15. viva

    Venison

    This thread is incredibly helpful!! Family has asked if I want to "go in on a deer", and if so, what cuts I want. Uh... okay... so... Here's my list from what I've gleaned from eG threads and cookbooks - all please feel free to audit for additional suggestions or complete craziness: - fillet (to use in La Cucina di Lidia's recipe for fillet of venison in a red wine sauce) - leg (to roast using Fifi's method above with pork skin and fat - maybe stuffed with mushrooms/leeks/rosemary? Can you stuff a deer leg?) ETA: and which leg are we talking about here? Front? Back? I've been looking at this primal cuts chart and have been getting confused: Venison Primal Cuts - stew meat (for venison pot pie and venison stew in wine) - ground (for a shepherd's pie concoction plus burgers) - backstrap (to make Mayhaw Man's backstrap recipe from the Braising Bambi thread) - from the chart linked above, backstrap = loin, yes? - sausage - a few pounds of scraps and bones to add to stew/braising liquids Thoughts?
  16. Gosh, that's terrible to hear! I definitely had a standard cookie dough batter that was easy to roll into balls between my hands and shape into thumbprints. I did not mess with the proportions at all, except for the suggested substitution of ground almonds for ground hazelnuts. On a separate note - have you tried making jam with Splenda? They don't keep as well (in my experience), so I make smaller batches, but that's one way to get jam with less sugar. Good luck!
  17. You should definitely try them - not only is it a good cookie, but the cookie holds up well when made a little larger, so you have a nice big thumbprint to put lots of jam in. I did make the jam myself - it's a variation from one of the Mes Confitures recipes "White Peach with Rose de Chine Tea" - except I used yellow peaches and hibiscus tea instead. Hibiscus tea is very tart and a lovely ruby color, and worked well in the jam. I like jam cookies too, and think I will fool around with another recipe soon!
  18. I made the Thumbprints for Big Guys yesterday and they disappeared quickly. I substituted almonds for the hazelnuts and peach-hibiscus jam for the raspberry. Definitely a winner and very easy.
  19. viva

    Pierson & Co BBQ

    I had Pierson's today for lunch - those ribs were some of the best I've had in Houston - fall-off-the-bone tender. Also sampled the chopped brisket sandwich which while tasty, I still prefer Burns' brisket, and the link sausage which was excellent. Peach cobbler rocked as well.
  20. I keep two 750 ml wine bottles filled with the beans and alcohol. After 6 months or so, I poured off the two bottles into an empty third (the contents fit due to the displacement from the beans). Then more alcohol into the first two, where it will sit until the third is empty, and the process repeats! I think the most valuable lesson I learned was using the simple syrup or or adding it to eggs first to keep the alcohol from curdling a cream or milk. (The curdling might not happen for everyone, but it seems to with my batch.) Otherwise, I use it straight from the bottle. I love this stuff.
  21. viva

    Pigs' Head

    Cool pics!! With the rest of the head meat, you could make jitrnice (is that spelled correctly? we always call it "eat-yer-knees-ah" in my family), the Czech head sausage with barley. Sooooo yummy. I've always wanted to learn how to make it, but until then I get it from Junior's outside of Houston.
  22. And today I made the Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters, with the added suggestion of chopped peanuts and raisins. Kind of like a kitchen sink cookie, and a great way to clean out random amounts of things in the cupboard! This is a great cookie. I could see cooking my way through this book fairly quickly... maybe I should follow Tuesdays with Dorie too...
  23. I made the French Pear Tart today, using the Sweet Nut Tart Crust variation, and also poaching the pears in syrup in advance. I also added some sweet dessert wine to the poaching liquid, which added a nice flavor. Would have added Poire William if I had some. Yummy!
  24. The flip side of this question: "Defendant Trades Murder Plea for KFC, Pizza" It sure as hell ain't KFC or Pizza Hut for me.
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