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Posts posted by Restorer

  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 stick a remote probe into the biggest garlic clove - usually do a pound of peeled cloves at a time - two liters of oil - doesn't have to be "extra virgin" olive oil - but I prefer one of the "greener" types that has some of the peppery flavor.


    I use a 4-quart "Visions" roaster.


    The temp signal is set for 250°F.  and when it reaches this temp I set the timer for 20 minutes.  At the end of that time I turn the oven off and allow the stuff to cool in the oven.


    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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. gallery_29577_4663_825769.jpg

    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.

  7. The bacteria are found in the soil, the earth (US 'dirt'?).

    Making sure that no trace whatsoever of soil or outer skin gets anywhere near your oil should go a long way to keeping that soil (and soil-contacted garlic), and hence the bacteria, out of your oil.

    The impossibility of ensuring that a commercial operation treats garlic skin as toxic waste (which it isn't quite) probably accounts for blanket prohibitions.

    IMHO, carefully rinsing (and then hygienically air-drying) the carefully peeled cloves before introducing them to cold oil (and storing in the fridge for less than two weeks) should give a product that is as safe as anything else you might do in your kitchen.

    If one rinsed the peeled cloves in a pretty dilute solution of ('pink') curing salt, that should add another "hurdle", though not a conventional one.

    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.

  8. It's a rather tasty pesto-like creation made from continental parsley, pine nuts, salt, olive oil, tomato, and balsamic vinegar. When tasted on its own, believe it or not, it tastes like it contains avocado.

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Try mustard.

    It provides the tang and salt that cheese does, plus its own special self.

    If you also miss the richness of cheese, you can butter the bread.

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. If you need something to chew on, gummi candies will disappear completely just like Jello, as long as you drink enough water and check the ingredients list to make sure they don't contain starches or such.

  14. Changing tack slightly and looking for help.

    I used to, in the 80's, go to Huntsville, Alabama on business quite frequently. The locals would take us to a place out in the country, but not far from Huntsville to a BBQ place called the 'Greenbriar'.

    Their specialty was a WHITE BBQ sauce that was fantastic. I've never seen it anywhere else.

    Does anybody know about this place or even more importantly have a recipe for the sauce?

    I'd be eternally grateful for a recipe.

    White BBQ sauce with a mayonnaise base is a specialty in Alabama. Googling should find you a slew of recipes: here's one I haven't verified: http://www.culinarycafe.com/Barbecue/White_Barbecue.html

  15. There have been studies showing that HFC is metabolized differently than cane sugar. HERE's a link to some recent information.

    Just to clear things up, that study is about the metabolism of straight fructose, not HFCS. Sucrose, good old refined sugar, once broken up by stomach acids and enyzmes, is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. HFCS, as used in sodas, is 45% glucose and 55% fructose - not much of a difference. HFCS used in processed foods has even less fructose, 42% fructose and 58% glucose. The "high fructose" part refers to the relative amount of fructose compared to standard corn syrup, which is almost entirely glucose.

    Yes, there are problems with ingesting too much fructose. But you'll have those problems whether you're drinking soda with HFCS or with real sugar.

  16. When I'm baking, I use coffee filters for weighing ingredients. Works great, and keeps the dishes to a minimum.

    Of course this only works if you use the flat coffeemaker filters, not the conical drip filters. I had a hard time imagining how this worked out when I first read your post. :rolleyes:

  17. My Easter menu is slowly coming together, but I won't know all the details until Saturday. My end is to pick up nice fresh spring vegetables from the local Farmer's Market before heading to my mother's house. My scouting of the market has made me consider:


    Green beans

    Meyer lemons

    Fresh herbs

    Maybe some fennel

    Perhaps radishes

    I intend to wrap the asparagus with pancetta, grill them, then add a meyer lemon citronette, maybe with some fennel. The green beans will probably be sauteed or simply steamed.

    As a main course, we'll be having lamb chops. We'll also have red potatoes in some fashion.

  18. I dug up this thread because I made posole rojo last night. Pork neck bones were on special for 0.99/lb at 99 Ranch, so I bought a couple pounds, and a big smoked pork hock. I browned the pork neck, then braised it with the hock for a couple hours in the oven in a broth with some toasted and ground ancho and California chiles (about 5 and 10 of each respectively).

    Once the meat was falling apart, I pulled it off the bones and shredded it, then returned it all to the pot, added the hominy, and simmered for a while. I served it with chopped red onion, chopped serrano chiles, sliced radishes, a lemon wedge (had no limes on hand), and fresh corn tortillas.

    Tonight I reheated the whole pot and removed all the bones from it, and of course ate more. I have a lot left, which will feed me for another week, even if I try to give some of it away.

  19. Simple? Even simpler than an egg sandwich: I like to fold up a fried egg in a small tortilla with sriracha.

    Heat nonstick frying pan, add a bit of oil at hand.

    Fry egg.

    Char tortilla directly over the other burner, 10 seconds each side twice.

    Flip egg.

    Lay out tortilla, draw a squiggle of sriracha.

    Dump the egg on the tortilla, fold up nad eat like a flat mini-burrito.

    Takes just a couple minutes from start to end.

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