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Everything posted by Musable

  1. Musable


    I can chime in on the taste bud issue, Toliver, from personal experience: taste does come back for almost everyone, so he shouldn't worry too much about that. There may be random things that don't quite taste like they used to, but trust me, getting anything back is better than nothing. My biggest problem right now, beyond the physical act of eating, is that I'm a chilehead, and even the mildest chiles set my mouth on fire due to continual healing. Bummer. On the plus side, the early recovery issues with food tasting...muted (for lack of a better word) are getting better, although they are by no means gone. This is one of the reasons why the nutrition/dietician folks highly recommend using a variety of ingredients to spice things up a little. Lemon and other tart things are good not just for taste factor, for instance, but for the spit factor, since radiation to the mouth/neck area does a number on the salivary glands. And anything that gets recovering patients to eat is a good thing.
  2. Musable


    Wish I could help other than to say good luck to anyone who has to go through the treatment rounds, but since I fed through a tube for nine months or so as I couldn't eat by mouth at all when I was going through my own, taste wasn't really all that big an issue for me. I will say that overly strong food smells would make me ill in a violent way that the antinausea drugs couldn't touch, so be aware that your loved one might react poorly to things like that (and that ventilation is a good thing indeed).
  3. Thanks, Mike. Believe me, I've been hearing all about my butt from friends and family alike. Their snickers are offset by the sounds they make when they eat, so it balances out nicely. Marlene is absolutely correct: these were boneless, as most are these days, and in order to retain their uniformity and make them easier to deal with, I tied them. I trimmed off some of the fat (not a lot, as they were nicely trimmed) and opened them up to remove any little nasty bits that might have remained after the butchers got finished with them. There weren't too many of those to remove, either. Very nice butts. I've another round of ribs coming up by request (and then again to cater a party for July 4), so the next butt round will be who knows when.
  4. Finally got to smoking a couple of butts on Saturday. Two butts, a total of just over 15 pounds, brined, rubbed, and rested. Seven hours in, ready for a turn (and of course, this being Florida, the rains had come about three hours in, which made the temperature maintenance an adventure). A little over ten hours later, and rested for about 30 minutes. Naturally, we had to pull a few chunks for visual and taste testing. Quality control, you know. And then, there was the pulling. Served up with some corn on the cob and homemade baked beans. There's nothing like it. I told my mom I'll have to find a mate who thinks that the smoky smell of someone who has been working a grill/smoker all day is sexy indeed.
  5. Musable

    Deep fat fryer

    Crisco now makes a shortening with zero trans fats - good news for those of us who like to fry up chicken in shortening the way our grandmothers used to.
  6. Musable

    Onion Confit

    Bringing this around again. Since I have a couple of filets I'm going to prepare for some people (with lump crab and a bearnaise), and since I have been experimenting with bread, I had a sudden thought that caramelized onions with some gorgonzola on a nicely toasted slice of french bread might be just the thing to feed them before the main course. Of course I popped over here, and what do I find but this thread. I started with four gigantic white onions quartered and sliced fairly thickly, 3/4 stick of butter and about 1/4 cup of olive oil (maybe a little less, the bottle was almost empty and I'm out now). About 30 minutes in, I added a tablespoon of dark brown sugar. This is what it looked like after a bit of cooking: Eighteen and a half hours later: The obligatory closeup: My taste testers were very pleased. The full crock reduced to two pints, which are not going to last long, so for the next confit-fest, I'm going to refill the crock as things reduce, at least for the first hour or two, in order to get more at the end. Since I have a pressure cooker which I can use for canning, I'll be able to put some away if it doesn't get eaten very quickly (although based on the fact I had to shoo someone away from the crock at the 14 hour mark, I'm not certain there will be a need for the canning process). Smelled great once the rawness started to go away. I had to turn on some fans and open the windows off the kitchen to be able to stand it since I was a little under the weather.
  7. After reading this thread and playing with the new smoker, I (of course) had to order the book. I cannot wait to try some sausages, but I am especially looking forward to some bacon after looking at some of these photos.
  8. Thanks, guys. If you really want to see the detail-details, have a look at the entries from yesterday in my blog (link in sig) - pictures galore, since I'm trying to learn more about my camera and the new flash I got last week. The hardware is a Smokin' Pro with a side firebox from CharGriller. It's quite large, and temperature control is still an issue, since I've only smoked on it twice now. It was also colder yesterday (60-ish and windy) than it was when I did the turkey (80-ish and no wind), so I wound up doing three more chimeys yesterday throughout the smoking time along with the replenished wood, and this naturally had something to do with it. Last time, I just had to chuck some charcoal directly on the fire without firing it first. Next up on the smoking front is cold-smoked bacon, which should be interesting, since keeping the fire banked won't be as huge an issue. I figure I'll break in the grill side with some trout or snapper or something. It's a nice little rig, and I'm quite pleased with it thus far except for the peeling paint just about the lid on the firebox. It's the steam, of course, but I figured since we seasoned it so well, we'd have avoided that for awhile. Now I need to get some paint and take care of that on a day we're not actually using it. For this, we had considered mesquite, but to me, there's always a sot of oiliness associated with mesquite that I'm not particularly fond of - or maybe I've just had bad mesquite experiences in the past. Either way, I stuck with hickory. Maybe when I can eat again, I'll do a test run with some mesquite and then one with hickory so we can compare them side by side.
  9. Last time it was the first time smoking a turkey, this time it's the first time smoking ribs. We picked up some spareribs yesterday, and today they went into a simple brine (salt, water, tabasco) for about an hour. Once out, one slab received a coarse-ground prepared mustard massage before all three slabs got the rub - made up of salt, brown sugar, paprika, onion powder, cayenne, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, black pepper, mustard powder. Then it was on to the smoker. These guys spent about 4.5 hours in the hickory smoke. They came off looking pretty darned nice, and the family enjoyed them with some homemade sauce.
  10. Exactly. A lot of people just aren't willing to go outside their burgers and fries (mmm...double cheeseburger) and some people have woefully underdeveloped vocabularies where the most they can say about anything - food, movies, books, what have you - is "I liked it" or "I didn't/don't like this". I've noticed on ICA, you either get those people who are part of that group or you get pretentious gits who try to sound sophisticated but come off as amusing instead. Unfortunate, really.
  11. No kidding. She mentions it on her site: "1.13.2006 JEWEL ON IRON CHEF Jewel's guest appearance as one of the celebrity judges on Iron Chef America will air on the Food Network starting on Sunday, January 15th. The episode, Flay vs. Burke, will air several times though out the week. Check your local Food Network listings for broadcast times." I'm not a huge fan of lamb and I think I would have done a better job than that panel.
  12. I'd add the Brick to that list (Avondale) as well as The Aqua Grill (Ponte Vedra). Pastiche and Crush are still on my list to visit. The Bonefish Grill in Mandarin I would not recommend at all. For sushi, my favorite is Yoshi's Japanese in Baymeadows - traditional sushi, real crab, and a tatami room. For fun, Tijuana Flats in Baymeadows right around the corner from Yoshi's. Good blackened chicken burritos, fresh salsa, and a wall of hot sauce.
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