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stuart_s

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    http://fllickr.com/photos/stuart_spivack/
  1. Hard kosher salami

    I've always enjoyed kosher salami, both hard and (?)regular. Recently, I've bought several hard salamis and, as tasty as they are, it's a frustrating experience. How do you get the wrapping off? I spend a long time struggling, I hack up the salami a little bit and when I've had enough, I eat more plastic than I'd care to admit. I think putting it in the refrigerator for a day helps. After I struggled to get enough wrapper off to eat a few slices of one particular salami, I threw the balance in the fridge. The wrapper came off relatively easily the next day. That was a medium hard and my current full-hard salami was difficult to peel even after a day in the fridge. For those who may not be familiar: I'm dealing with a Vienna brand beef salami. Other brands I've seen include Best and Hebrew National. When you buy a whole salami, there's an outer wrapper. Inside that wrapper is a string. You hang the salami. When it's dried out to your tastes, you remove the inner wrapper and enjoy. Would that it were so simple. I've tried to dry them myself, but I don't have enough patience. I cave after just a couple weeks. So, what's the deal? Is there a trick? Or, am I just inept?
  2. Yes, it's exactly a dumpling. It's a lot like a ravioli. According to wikipedia, the kreplach may have been inspired by the stuffed pasta of Venice. I dug a little deeper into the google search results and found some interesting information. Regarding my original question, I found a restaurant that serves them fried with caramelized onions. Harold's New York Deli is interesting in its own right. It's a deli that serves Taylor ham. And Chinese restaurant style bbq pork. So, there's at least someone out there serving kreplach without the soup, but is it some crazy thing he though up or did he learn it from his zayde?
  3. I know that I'm allowed to eat kreplach however I please, but I'm curious about the culture and history. I'm mainly interested in the meat filled version. I understand (thanks Wikipedia!) that other fillings are used for kreplach as part of the Purim celebration, but that's not exactly what I'm looking for. Did our great-grandparents have a dozen different ways to serve kreplach which have since been lost as we've assimilated? Or have kreplach always been tied to soup? Did your family eat them in some other preparation? Is there a contemporary tradition of eating kreplach without soup that I'm oblivious to?
  4. Falafel info overload

    Between here and Chowhound, there's plenty of material for me to read about who has the best falafel in New York. But there are some details I'm interested in that seem to get lost in the volume of the discussions. Are there good falafel neighborhoods in New York? Does one borough stand out above the rest in this particular measurement? Who's got the really good condiments? Salads? Pickles? A rainbow of sauces? I half remember, as though it were a dream, a falafel sandwich of my youth I had on a trip to Israel. Red sauce, green sauce, yellow sauce, spicy, sour... What about cultural differences in condiments? Who has distinctly Iraqi, Israeli or Lebanese sauces? A place called Pita Hot seems to be well regarded on Yelp! but isn't mentioned at all in very lengthy threads on either Chowhound or eGullet. I think I was there once several years ago and I vaguely remember liking it but for whatever reason I'm also a little suspicious of my own memory in this case. Is Pita Hot any good? How does it compare to your Mamoun's, Azuri's, Olympics, etc... Also, apparently Pita Hot makes their own pita. Is that still the case? How common is this among the usual falafel suspects? And they put french fires in the schwarma sandwiches? Which good falafelerias also do this? Thank you
  5. Internet access at the hostel is a little too slow so I haven't uploaded all of my pictures. Since uploading pictures to eGullet is something of a hassle on top of that, I've only uploaded the to flickr. I've got my picturesfrom Blackbird up. When my pictures from Lao Sze Chuan are up they will be in the same place. In case you're interested in the non-officially sanctioned events of my Chicago trip, you can see my pictures from Alinea. Pictures from Hot Doug's, Los Faroles, Army & Lou's and Taqueria Uptown are forthcoming and will be accessible at the same link. It was a pleasure meeting all of you. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to organize it. I'm looking forward to seeing all of your pictures and reading your descriptions. Hopefully, I'll see you all again in '09.
  6. Please add me to the list for the Friday event. Thanks.
  7. Making Soy Sauce At Home

    Thanks for your patience with my slow speed at grasping this. How is the liquid extracted? Is it just spooned out? Filtered? Is that final picture exactly what it looks like when you use it? yes The whole thing sits out in the sun for a number of weeks - as long as it is sunny. They soy sauce is quite light - and has a sharper tang to it. My uncle theorizes that this is because that we don't get enough hot sun here in Vancouver. So the mash does not 'cook out' as long as it should. I think he just pours off the liquid - obviously, the filtration is not 100% - but given the light color and short period in the sun - he did not want to filter off to much of the flavors. The solids left over is the miso. I don't think that you discard anything. The miso has better flavor if you let it evaporate down and not extract the liquid as soy sauce. ←
  8. Making Soy Sauce At Home

    Fascinating. Thanks for starting such a great thread. Are the bean/flour slices added to the brine whole? After they're soaked in brine what steps remain? Your last pictures don't look like soy sauce. How do you separate the soy sauce and the miso? Is anything left over after those are extracted? Is there anything that needs to be discarded? Thank you.
  9. Please include me for the events on Thursday. I'm already another party's +1 for Saturday. Is it possible to tag along to the cocktail event without drinking? If space doesn't permit that then please just include me on the dinner list. Thanks.
  10. Pierre Herme's olive sables

    I finally got around to posting a picture of the sables aux olives noire that I made. I liked them. They were "sandy" as advertised which was fine and they were buttery and the olives were a nice (mild) salty contrast. Thanks for the advice.
  11. Clotilde's Very Chocolate Cookies

    I decided that you can't have too much cocoa and bought some Droste Dutch process cocoa. Is there some reason that Whole Foods wouldn't sell it? Do they consider "Dutching" the chocolate to be unnatural? I used the nibs but I'll definitely try to do something with those beans at some point. Thanks for the suggestions. Anyway, I liked the cookies. Others seemed to like them but who knows whether they're just being nice. They were crunchy? Were they supposed to be crunchy? My oven temperature isn't very reliable and I cooked all of my cookies for longer - sometimes much longer - than was suggested in the recipes.
  12. So, I'm also making Clotilde's Very Chocolate Cookies. Cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, dark chocolate and chocolate extract. I'm excited about using the chocolate extract. But I have a couple questions about some of the other ingredients. First, the cocoa powder. As you can see the recipe calls for Dutch process cocoa powder. Whole Foods didn't have any so I went web surfing and read that you could substitute regular cocoa powder with some baking powder. I was pecking away at my phone in the market so I wasn't inclined to check several different websites but now I'm worried that trusting the first and only website I checked which was chosen purely at random may not be the best strategy. Given this specific recipe, what would the effects be of using cocoa powder with baking powder? What about just plain regular cocoa powder? Should I try to find some dutch process? So, these cocoa nibs? I tried some. Let's just say I don't think they're addictive. Are they going to integrate themselves into a wonderful chocolate harmony or did I buy something weird? They're El Rey roasted nibs and the recipe didn't mention anything about roasting. Will this make my product worse, just different or is this what I was looking for in the first place? Thanks again.
  13. Pierre Herme's olive sables

    So I'm going to make Pierre Herme's sables aux olives noires. I'm still wrapping my head around the idea of olives in cookies but the pictures look too tempting and the description is too mouthwatering. The recipe calls for black olives and olive oil. Fruity olive oil and taggiashe olives. The specific type of olive seems more a suggestion than a requirement. The recipe does specifically call for avoiding Greek olives as they are "too dry." I bought Cobram Estate "premiere," extra virgin... deep breath... first cold pressing, 2006 Harvest olive oil. And I bought olives labelled Cerignola and Coquillos. My question for you is this: Did I come close enough to the ingredients that are required for my recipe? With my limited baking experience this project has enough going against it already without inappropriate ingredients. Does anyone have any experience with this recipe? Thanks everyone and Happy Holiday baking.
  14. And you won't be able to try a Honeygirl donut either. I trekked out there to see if the donuts were as good as I remembered and they were closed. I'm afraid I don't have any donut recommendations to share.
  15. Please let me explain that I was not disrespecting the Asian or seafood offerings here in Cleveland. Appologies if my "picky/snob" comment came off that way. I am an Asian (3rd generation Asian-American actually) who has never been fond of seafood or rice. Therefore, sushi with raw fish is not something I go out of my way to find. That being said, I did visit Siam Cafe late last night as my body was crying out for Asian soup after more than a week of marathon incredible Southern food (my last meal in Nashville having been at the Loveless Cafe with their awsome biscuits). I was in the mood for some simple wonton soup which I did not find. I did have their winter melon soup as winter melon is in season right now. The soup is extremely basic like a simple chicken soup. The winter melon came under-cooked, crunchy actually. I had to send it back for further cooking. The soup itself was quite undersalted as well. With a little addition of salt and white pepper my body was quite grateful of the RX. After a cupful or two, I felt better and ordered the sweet/sour ribmeat which I thought was fabulous. Yes, Cleveland does have some wonderful Asian options which you all are aware of. I may also have some Cambodian beef soup at that Cambodian restaurant near Westside market if I get another soup craving before I leave but I am trying to eat as much of stuff that I can't get in the PNW as possible. Again, thankyou sharing your thoughts and info on where and what to eat. BTW Rockandroller, thanks for your caution re: Sokolowski's. The last thing I need right now is a bad meal. I have been writing down & mapquesting all of your suggested venues just in case I happen to be driving near those places. I am always open to more suggestions... sincerely, wl ← No explanation necessary. I understood what you meant and I'm sorry I didn't make that clear. Phnom Penh intimidates me. I've had good meals there and okay meals there. Whenever I go, I feel like I'm starting with absolutely no knowledge of the cuisine. The menu is so big and so many of the items have such similar descriptions that I can't seem to get a basic understanding of what's going on. Anyway, what's the name of that beef noodle soup as it's labeled on the menu? It sounds interesting. Thanks. I'm afraid you won't be able to get to try the best donut that I've ever had. According to their website Velocity is closed permanently. Cleveland Scene named a place called Spudnut the best donutery in Cleveland in 2006. I'm not sure how much trust to place in those awards but I was happy with the donuts that I ate at the 2005 winner. Honeygirl Donut and Bakery closed shortly after my first visit but reopened in a different location (on North Royalton) which I haven't gotten around to visiting. The old location (Richmond) also is now also a bakery and I believe they have donuts - Marianne's Homestyle. Lucy's Sweet Surrender (Buckeye?) makes donuts from the same dough they use to make their excellent sweet breads. It makes for an interesting donut which I think is worth trying.
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