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Everything posted by ChefCrash

  1. This may have been covered already, other than specialty equipment and utensils, what should we bring?
  2. My wife and I would like to attend Friday night's dinner as well as Saturday's activities. However our experience is limited to Lebanese peasant foods and pastries. If there is anything we could prepare that would compliment Saturday's menu, we open to requests. Otherwise we can offer wine and beer for dinner. Tammy, please PM me with Paypal info. Thanks
  3. What do you mean I'm almost there?! For sure I thought I was there. In fact I'm there..er here right now. -You say no water or milk, will I need more butter then? Either way do I still do the oven drying step before the milling? -Is Semolina: Firkha فرخه or Smeedeh سميده. What color is it? -Is cream of wheat: Firkha or Smeedeh. What color is it? I'm afraid the people at the bulk food store may have them mislabeled. -What is the difference between the two? -I have read bout melting the cheese in a double boiler and then pouring over the dough. Just couldn't imagine the Akawi becoming soft enough to pour. I really don't think this part is critical. The Akawi melted beautifully in the warm oven without exuding any fat. Maybe our Akawi is different?
  4. I think we're there. The problems we had with previous attempts were mostly with texture and appearance along with minor flavor issues. Same recipe as above, butter is clarified and increased to 200g, the rose water is omitted, and a major difference in technique. After mixing the ingredients the pastry resembles soft cookie dough. It's then spread in a deep 9" pan and dried in a 300* oven for 20 minutes, the dough was mixed (fluffed) every 5 minutes. This is what it looks like as it was mixed for the last time. After it thoroughly cooled (all the butter solidified), the dough was milled in batches and run through a strainer. What was left behind was milled again. The stuff, now resembling soft Panko was poured into a buttered pan and pressed evenly. The tray baked in a 400* oven for 12 minutes or until the edges turned golden brown. After baking, Akawi cheese (which had been soaked in water) and some mozzarella covered the whole cake. The tray was returned to the now off oven until the cheese melted. The tray was turned over onto a half sheet pan and.... .....voila! The best looking Kenafe B'Jiben I had ever made. Cooled simple syrup was poured over it. The difference is evident
  5. What's in the brine? I corned a piece of beef 9" in diameter in 10 days.
  6. Hi Nikkib I'm really enjoying this thread. I'm happy that you're having a good time, although Beirut is experiencing an especially warm summer and an exceptionally busy tourist season which is reeking havoc with an already congested area. The tag on the shrimp you bought says 49,500.LL/Kilo (forty nine thousand five hundred). Either divide that number by 1500 or regard the price as 49.5LL and divide by 1.5 to get ~ $33 US/Kilo ~ $15 US/lb. Which is comparable to US prices for jumbo shrimp. The dessert you had at the winery is called "Raha". Gelatinized simple syrup, flavored with blossom or rose water and Mastic, sometimes with pistachios or other nuts incorporated, then covered with powdered sugar. Raha is the quintessential peasant dessert, often offered with the cracker you show in your photo, the Lebanese refer to as BISCOT. A piece of Raha is placed between two Biscotis and squished to form a sandwich. If you enjoyed Chili's, I think you'd love Sctroumpf restaurant. The one in Achrafieh. Has indoor and outdoor seating overlooking St. Malek Ave. I think Thursdays they offer all you can eat chicken wings and all the beer you can drink for twenty five thousand LL, yeah.. $15 US. When you've had enough Shawarma, wait! You haven't mentioned Shawarma! You're not a seafood-only-eating-vegetarian are you? No problem, you'd love "La Tabkha" in Jemmayze. Across the street from "Comsi Cosaj" which btw means: So so saj. Eh! We didn't go there. La Tabkha is not really a vegetarian restaurant, but they serve so little meat you won't even notice:). A non meat buffet The other side My brother in law helped himself to this Then this While my wife had this gourmet Mujaddara (top right). It was strained and lightly flavored with basil. By the way, every thing you see in the middle, the olives, rocca, radishes, peanuts and the pitta bread, came with the beers. I could have ordered off the menu. Nowhere did it say hamburgers. I ate the mazza and drank a few Almaza's. On to Burj Hammoud.
  7. We grilled chicken two ways. One was seasoned with lots of salt, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, black pepper and marinated in equal parts vinegar and water for an hour (our traditional go-to recipe). The other was seasoned with salt only. Both we grilled entirely over indirect heat. The marinated chicken was drizzled often with the marinade. For the other one I made the "Jade Red" glaze as done at Chino Bandido's and can be seen made in this segment of Tripple D, (forward to t=2:12). The glaze (as I gathered from the video): Simmer together: 1 tsp sesame oil 2 T chili oil 1 clove garlic clove minced 1/4 c catsup 2 T powdered sugar Green onions The Jade red glaze is fantastic. I have tried the mustard apricot glaze ( mentioned earlier in the thread) on a chicken which had been seasoned with Cajun seasoning. It was not to my liking (very bland). The glaze was two parts apricot preserves to one part Dijon mustard. If anyone has a better recipe please chime in.
  8. I plan on grilling a spatchcocked chicken over indirect heat, then brown and glaze with a mustard Apricot glaze. Do you think the addition of Hickory would clash with the Apricot?
  9. I'm loving this blog. Kerry, what recipe did you use for the Halva. The color and texture look perfect. I really miss the eG food blogs.
  10. Mike, your tri-tip looks so buttery. Local guys haven't heard of this cut . I had to travel 20 minutes to Merindorf's to find tri-tip. Upon their recommendation I used some "Ultimate Steak and Roast Rub by Excalibur" to season along with kosher salt. I smoked it on the Weber. The relatively flat roast reached temperature quicker than anticipated. I removed it from the smoker while we finished grilling a trout. The tri tip was reheated briefly on the coals. The final temperature may have gotten away a little. Still was delicious. The seasoning was a nice change from my usual rosemary/thyme etc. which is a little Holiday-ish for a hot summer day. Made great tacos
  11. ChefCrash

    Onion Rings

    I had a hankering for the fried mushrooms we used to get many years ago at Kerrytown farmers market in Ann Arbor. We ended up frying mushrooms as well as onion rings two ways. Some were dipped in a tempura batter only and some in tempura then coated with Panko crumbs. Batter: 1/2 C AP flour 1/4 C Corn starch 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper Beer The tempura onion rings were light and crunchy, the onions were tender and flavorful. The tempura/Panko rings were crunchier, but the onions' texture and flavor were lost.
  12. ChefCrash

    Offal Appetizers

    mmm... brains? This is a preparation we had last year at the Al Mazar restaurant in Beirut. Sauteed in clarified butter and roasted. In the background, raw lamb liver and tail fat. Brain close-up How do we know it was an appetizer? This was the main course . Same summer Lungs, liver, spleen and sweetbreads kit:
  13. As good as peasant food gets. Simmer in: Water Salt Pepper corns Cinnamon stick 2 Bay leaves 3 Cloves (optional) 1 quartered onion When tender, drain, cool, chop into smaller pieces or pick the meat. Make a sauce with: 1/4 C lemon juice 1/4 C olive oil 1 garlic clove smashed or finely minced Salt Mix well Pour over meat and enjoy with Pita bread.
  14. We needed something similar, this was our solution. Maybe this would give you some ideas.
  15. ChefCrash

    Fresh fava beans

    The whole pod, beans in the pod, the same way you'd treat green beans:).
  16. The chop looks fantastic David G. The second photo is beautifully done. Hi docdix, the ribs we cooked today are spareribs, a tougher part of the pig. The smoker temperature hovered between 200*F and 250*F. They usually take about six hours. While baby backs are good I don't cook them. They are cut from the pork loin and don't need to be cooked very long. If you'd describe your method of cooking/smoking, maybe someone here can advise you better.
  17. Down right sexy P.C. We just ate and now I want chicken. Like a scene from the Flintstones. You should tackle some spare ribs next. How are you guys getting those large photos on here? Help?
  18. Thanks Oliver, my smoker is large and consumes 15# of charcoal in six hours (not efficient). I always smoke something extra like a turkey breast or a pork butt which will be pulled apart, portioned and frozen. Thanks Dakki, this is the first time I try the salt. It didn't work. After 3.5 hours of intense Hickory smoke, there is no hint of Hickory via smell or taste. In fact there is a slight hint of Zankha, from the pork and the fish. Maybe someone can chime in about this. I'll try to smell and taste it tomorrow after I get all the smoke out of my head:). About 4:30pm the fire started to die, the butt came off and went in the oven Smoked beans Finished ribs at about 5:30pm One huge smoke ring
  19. I've been itching to fire up the smoker. Today was predicted to be a great day and it was. Started at 10:30am with two slabs of ribs, and a 5# butt. At 1 pm I added a whole trout and some cheese filled and bacon wrapped Jalapenos and corn on the cob. Oh and a tray of kosher salt. Three beers later @ 3pm The salt The ribs will need another hour and a half, buy then the coals will be dead and the butt will go in the oven @250*F til done.
  20. ChefCrash

    Roasting a Chicken

    This looks fantastic. Great job. What is "soffritto made from lardo"? And what is the ginger brine?
  21. Hi Dakki You have a good camera. The lack of vivid color and the washed out look is partially caused by low light and its low angle of incidence and over exposure. But the largest cause is from the overall softness of all the elements of the photo i.e. all the peppers, stems and the cutting board. Auto exposure is not always correct exposure. In the case of this photo the camera's light meter saw a large area of dark green and decided to go with a lower shutter speed or a larger aperture rendering the photo over exposed. You can remedy this. If when you press the shutter half way and hear the camera lock in, you see that the peppers on the screen appear to look lighter than real life and/or the colors are washed out, then release the shutter button, move the composition to include more of the a lighter area (the cutting board), press the shutter again halfway and see if the color of the primary object is better and recompose while holding that setting and snap the photo. According to your photo properties the shot was taken at the highest (widest) aperture and a slow shutter speed of 1/60 sec and a high ISO of 680, indicating that indeed the light was low. Another thing listed in the photo properties was: Digital zoom = 1. I'm not sure if that means you used digital zoom to get close up, or that the camera is equipped with one. Either way, you should never use digital zoom for anything:). Do use the close-up Function or setting. The high ISO automatically reduces detail. The wide aperture reduces depth of field making it hard to focus on all photo elements. Finally, the slow shutter speed may have recorded tiny hand shake further reducing sharpness. Another cause for out of focus close-ups is if you move your camera after it has locked in on the object. That is, you compose, press the button halfway, the camera focuses and locks in, then you decide you want to move in a little closer. It's easy to do. To prove what I said. Here is your original untouched: Here is the same photo after I've applied edge-sharpening once and overall-sharpening once and nothing else in Photoshop: As you can see, there is better contrast and the peppers and the colors stand out. Here I added contrast and saturation but no sharpness: Still kinda blah. So your photo needed more sharpness and detail. You need better focusing effort, more light and/or use a tripod.
  22. Good idea. We went with a counter depth fridge when the best spot for it was on a wall where the depth made no sense. The inside space is the same, you just pay for having the thing assembled differently. Is the space inside a counter depth fridge the same? Some friends have one, it seems much shallower to me. They are shallower. Our KitchenAid is 21" deep.
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