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    San Fernando Valley, California

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  1. I had a hell of a time the last time I tried to grill oysters. I was grilling large Pacific oysters, and most of them just refused to open. Those that opened even a tiny bit, I pried open and they were fine, but the rest didn't open and just dried up on the grill.
  2. I'm worried that that's not an accurate method. Unless the garlic becomes completely dessicated, there will be parts of it at or below 212ºF. It's more likely that the temperature probe is conducting heat along its body, giving a false reading somewhere between the sub-212 inside the garlic and the 350 of the oven and oil. Unless you're talking about removing the garlic before you turn off the oven. In that case, the oil may be safe, but you'll have to fridge the garlic and use it within 2 or 3 weeks.
  3. My pizzas go into the oven on a pizza screen, on top of the baking stone. Once it's firm enough to move, it comes off the screen and directly onto the stone. I use the screen as a peel to remove the pizza, which sits on the stove for a minute or two, then the pizza goes onto a wooden cutting board to be cut. The crust is only sometimes limp in spots where it's too thin for the amount of topping.
  4. Restorer


    I always find these at Asian markets labeled shishamo, but in smaller letters capelin. I really like them simply grilled with salt - shioyaki.
  5. Chili is my elusive dish too. Two years ago I made some chili that was excellent. Smoky, just the right balance of sweet, tangy, sour, tomatoes to chiles, beans to meat. My mother couldn't stop eating it, despite that it was way too hot for her. I've tried to recreate it, but haven't succeeded since. I remember it had a whole can of chipotles en adobo, and a squirt of barbecue sauce, but I can't remember what other flavorings went into it.
  6. Restorer

    Dinner! 2009

    Tonight, I made chili. Whenever I get serious about making chili, it's a pretty involved process. I made this one using a method similar to bolognese sauce: cook down and caramelize the aromatics, meat, and tomato paste. I found some mild Hatch chiles at the store, and chopped those up with a couple white onions. I rendered some pork chorizo, then removed it from the pan and cooked down the onions and peppers in the chorizo grease. I made a puree from 4 ancho chiles and 4 California chiles, toasted under the toaster oven's broiler, and six cloves of garlic. Then I added that to the dutch oven, along with a small can of tomato paste and the chorizo. I cooked all that, stirring constantly, until it was nicely browned and caramelized. Then I deglazed with the remnants of an oatmeal stout, and added two cups of water, 3 pounds of cubed beef chuck, some dark chili powder, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, black pepper, and 3 whole chiles de arbol. That was all thrown in the 275 degree oven for 2 hours. Once I got the chili out of the oven, I added a masa harina roux to thicken it, and balanced the flavors with lemon juice, sugar, and salt. It was really good. I had to make it milder than usual for my mother, but it still had really good chile flavors. I ended up eating half a sourdough baguette just dipping in the sauce. There's a full recipe and more pictures on my blog.
  7. The last two days I've been making chorizo con huevos. Just a very simple mix of browned chorizo, chili powder, and scrambled eggs. I want to make some migas before I run out of chorizo, but I'm afraid the simplicity of what I've been doing will appeal over all else.
  8. Restorer

    Dinner! 2009

    Saturday night I improvised a Massaman curry. Massaman curry paste from a bag hidden in the back of the pantry, plus a can of light coconut milk, some chicken stock, and a touch of whipping cream. I didn't have any fish sauce, lime juice, or fresh herbs on hand, so I had to find substitutes. It still tasted good - I used enough curry paste to ensure that.
  9. Does that imply that you could be safest if you followed that procedure using garlic you've grown yourself, in sterile potting mix? Also, maybe a dilute bleach solution would be better for rinsing.
  10. That's exactly what we called it growing up. The more concise name that makes the most sense to me is egg in the hole, which is what I'd call it now in most cases.
  11. Restorer

    Dinner! 2009

    I can believe that. Tonight I made this pork roast, and the parsley-shallot sauce tasted like avocado. I think it might be the combination of parsley and olive oil. The pork loin was great. I used a 5 pound boneless loin roast. I've never had lean pork so juicy.
  12. Restorer

    Barbeque Sauce

    Today I made a quick barbecue sauce for grilled chicken. Briefly sauteed garlic in olive oil, ketchup, cider vinegar, worcestershire, yellow mustard, smoked paprika, onion powder, black pepper, and a couple splashes of leftover dark beer.
  13. Restorer

    The Egg Sandwich

    Mustard is good - I use it on other variations of the egg sandwich - but it doesn't replace the cheese. I'm thinking about an Egg McMuffin combination, with American cheese, where the cheese has quite a bit of salty and umami flavors, but minimal tang - as it was originally meant as a portable replacement for the hollandaise of Eggs Benedict. I haven't tried buttering the English muffin yet, but I have thought about it, and I think it would provide the right richness. I just wasn't set up to easily toast bread in my last place, and I haven't made any egg sandwiches since I moved.
  14. Restorer

    The Egg Sandwich

    I always like a fried egg on an English Muffin, McMuffin-style, but these days I can't do cheese, and I have yet to find something to suitably replace it on such a sandwich. Without the cheese, there's something missing that ties the sandwich together.
  15. Restorer

    The Egg Sandwich

    I've enjoyed all kinds of egg sandwiches. The simple ones I make are usually one or two fried broken-yolk eggs on a toasted burger bun (though I need to get some good rolls), with ham or Canadian bacon and mustard, or just egg with Sriracha and mayo. When I was younger, I used to enjoy an egg sandwich at a local Greek-owned burger/breakfast joint. It was scrambled egg with a split grilled Polish sausage, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on toasted sourdough. Somehow the egg, lettuce, mayo, and crunchy bread worked well together, and the sausage was the big kicker.
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