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Everything posted by DTBarton

  1. DTBarton

    flavored vinegar

    While I'm not an expert on either persimmons or flavored vinegar, I'd suggest the following. I would reconstitute the dried fruit in some water, squeeze it dry and chop it up to get the most flavor. Also, I've found many flavored vinegars to be only marginally useful as they overwhelm the salad or whatever. So, if you have other things you like to do with your dried persimmons, I'd start with a small batch of vinegar and see how it turns out.
  2. We really like sauteed zuchinni and summer squash with onions, salt, and pepper. Add fresh basil at the end. Second the pesto idea, we do that too in the winter. Roast brussel sprouts with carrots and onions. Cut carrots about the same size as the sprouts. Put all the veggies in a ziploc bag, add olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little balsamic vinegar (Worcestershire sauce works as well) and shake. Put on greased cookie sheet (with foil), 350 for about 40 minutes or until sprouts and carrots are tender.
  3. I've always wanted to go to Naples. This is just another reason why!
  4. My standards for no refrigeration are genoa salami and provolone with mustard or smoked kielbasa and provolone. onions and pickles are good on it too. Another good trick if you like them is canned sardines. Bring a jar of mustard, some rye or pumpernickel. Don't open the can until you're ready to chow.
  5. I agree that homemade is always better, but Rao's and a couple others I've had lately are pretty good in a pinch. I didn't eat any jarred sauces for years (because they were insipid and sweet) until I saw an article recommending Rao's.
  6. I like the Rao's line of jarred pasta sauce. http://www.raos.com/ Simple good ingredients, you can taste nice tomatoes and olive oil, not sweet, I can't stand sweet! Comes in basic marinara and several flavors. I can get it locally (central Maryland) at Whole Foods and Safeway. One of those special items that is a couple bucks less expensive at Whole Foods.
  7. I can vouch for the Davidsonville U-pick strawberries mentioned in Bavila's post above. I go every year and they're very good if it doesn't rain too much. I think they're about done for this year.
  8. DTBarton


    With venison, the backstraps are the round strips of meat adjacent to the spine. This is a fillet mignon in beef. It tends to be very tender as it is not a muscle that is used hard. I hadn't heard the term applied to animals other than deer. http://www.wvtrophyhunters.com/venison_backstrap.htm
  9. I don't write anything down really. If I'm impressed by a place, I usually remember it. If I'm not, down the memory hole it goes!
  10. DTBarton

    Shrimp heads

    Shrimp stock, absolutely. Sprinkle the heads with salt and pepper and saute in a little butter or vegetable oil for a couple minutes until they start to turn orange. Add some onion, celery and bay leaf and enough water to cover the heads. Cover the pan and simmer for about 1/2 hour. Taste for salt and pepper. Strain the heads out and reduce the stock a bit if it's thin. I use it to make shrimp and grits and as a stock for bouillabaisse, it is liquid gold.
  11. I've heard it said that Wilson is the place for Eastern style. I haven't been there myself, however. On my last BBQ tour, we went to Goldsboro. I thought the barbecue at Wilber's was very good.http://hollyeats.com/Wilbers.htm
  12. I'll stick with my Hatteras Island recs in post 21 above. There's a new barbecue place in Coinjock NC on route 168 on the way down. I think it's called Carolina barbecue. It's on the east side of the road (the left as you head down). Had a pretty good meal there. They cook on gas, but it was still tasty. They have a nice selection of sauces to choose from. Another nice lunch spot on the way down is Harpoon Larry's in Hampton, Virginia. A bit of a dive, but not bad. It can get a little smoky at night, but usually OK at lunch time. I really like their fish sandwiches. They have a chalk board listing the kinds of fresh fish they have that day. In season they'll often have interesting local fish like cobia in addition to tuna, dolphin, etc. Get it grilled and tell them to hold the spice mix, just use some olive oil, salt and pepper, and lemon. Get off 64 on Mercury Blvd towards Hampton coliseum. Go about a mile and it's at the intersection of Mercury and Armistead avenue. http://www.virginia.org/site/description.a...ton&Page=1&Dir=
  13. I just whizzed it in a blender, no heating involved. I make several hot sauces each year with garden peppers. I've found thay keep almost indefinitely in the refrigerator in mason jars. I don't can it (i.e. boil the filled jars in a water bath), I just wash the jars real well and seal them up tight. Most hot sauce brews seem to have enough salt and vinegar to preserve themselves and there's no fat to go rancid. We'll see how the non heated Inner beauty concoction keeps, all of the otheres I've done have been cooked. I think I used about a dozen habaneros and 3 or 4 red jalapenos and that provided plenty of heat for about 40 ounces of sauce (I filled up two pint and one half pint mason jars).
  14. Well, I tried out the Schlesinger recipe yesterday and produced a product that is eerily similar to Inner Beauty as I remember it. I used frozen habanero peppers from last year's garden and a tropical fruit juice blend that contained orange, pineapple, and papaya juice, among others. Had most of the other stuff on hand. I had to fiddle with the mix a bit, the first go was too mustardy (it uses a LOT of yellow mustard). I admit I wasn't fussy about measuring quantities, and I didn't know if his weight of peppers was before or after cleaning them. Hit it with more molasses and spices and ended up with a very good tasting thing. Has that Inner Beauty hot/sweet thing going pretty good. Only other difference I noticed was mine is a few notches thinner than I remember Inner Beauty, but not a problem.
  15. I inject pork shoulders with apple juice before and during slow smoking.
  16. The Anne Arundel county farmer's market in Annapolis (corner of Riva Road and Harry S. Truman blvd) is very nice. A little skimpy this early in the year, but it will pick up fast as the growing season progresses. It's very popular, to the point of creating minor traffic jams in high season. I try to go early. It doesn't beat the crowds, it can be packed at 7:00 AM in summer, but some of the vendors sell out of good stuff. Directory of MD farmer's markets: http://www.mda.state.md.us/md_products/far..._market_dir.php
  17. It's hard for people in this forum to comprehend, but most people really don't care all that much about the quality of what they eat. Also, I suspect a lot of these places make more money selling beverages and just want to offer some sort of menu for the least amount of money and effort. Their patrons don't demand anything more than that. One other thing. In many jurisdictions, "bars" are required to serve food at some level as a condition of their liquor license. This can lead to apathetic food service.
  18. Here's an Upperline primer: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5692200 I agree with their egg wash and dip method as opposed to batter, just because that's how I do it. My only other tip is I've had better luck with slightly thicker slices of tomato.
  19. In our local Whole Foods store yesterday I noticed a new product. It was a line of frozen filled pasta products (ravioli and tortellini). The brand name is Severino. Some of the packages had stickers on them that said "Best of Philly 2006". Many varieties of ravioli from the regular to the exotic. I noticed the cheese ravioli was sold out (it was cheaper at $5.49, the more exotic fillings range from about $8 - $11). They also had cheese tortellini for $5.49, so I tried a box. Had some last night and it was excellent. Nice quality pasta, nice cheese filling, ready after about 5 minutes in boiling water. I just put a little olive oil and black pepper on it. Ready to try some more.
  20. I understand your quest as I too was a devotee of Inner Beauty and haven't seen any for years. My favorite sauce in the same vein (but not as stellar) is Half Moon Bay Trading Company's Iguana Gold Habanero Pepper Sauce. http://www.halfmoonbaytrading.com/products/products.cfm
  21. The Minion method rocks with the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. Lasts longer and is ready faster, uses a lot less charcoal. When I charcoal grill chicken (usually pieces or halves), I like to not use the charcoal baskets. I build the fire at one side of the grill and indirect roast the chicken on the other side. As time passes and the fire cools somewhat, I gradually move the chicken closer to the fire. I end up finishing the chicken and browning the skin (with a little sauce) right over the now greatly reduced in heat fire. I find this helps me get a nicely browned finished product. I have also found that I prefer not to add smoke chips when doing chicken, or if I do, just a little bit. Too much smoke overpowers chicken and makes the skin rubbery.
  22. I've gotten fresh garlic at farmer's markets before and found it to be pretty similar to the stuff from the grocery store that has dried somewhat. More pungent if used raw, mellows out as you cook it.
  23. There seems to be no end to the procession of people/groups who think they need to scold everyone about what they eat. I'm sure there are people who are ignorant or apathetic or both about what they're ingesting, but most people know that when you eat in a restaurant, be it fast food or fancy, there's probably a good dose of fat, salt, calories, etc. because that stuff makes food taste good. We are not all a bunch of dumb hicks, thank you very much. If anything, I was surprised that the 9 course menu only had 1230 calories. That works out to a paltry 137 calories per course.
  24. Here's another pizza place to try. Matchbox was reviewed in the Washington Post today, he recommends the baby burgers and the pizza. I haven't been, but sounds good. http://www.matchboxdc.com/ http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?n...ies=Restaurants
  25. I wanted to congratulate Annapolis free lance writer Bridget Avila (known on these boards as Bavila) on joining the rotation of restaurant reviewers for our local newspaper, the Annapolis Capital. Her work has already raised the bar in this area for the Capital and I hope she has a good long run. http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/r...07/04_27-02/ENT
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