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Dave Weinstein

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  1. Dave Weinstein

    Goat's Milk

    I make chevre on a regular basis (well, not in the summer -- too hot), using the cultures from New England Cheesemaking.
  2. There is letting them know politely that there are people waiting, sure. But what if the response to that is not leaving?
  3. What do you do when people stay (and stay, and stay) at a table, and just won't go? What if the table is one that can't be substituted (i.e. the chef's table, or a table with a specific view) and that people specifically make reservations for?
  4. I'll definitely try the vinegar. My current plan is to tie one end of the hank shut, and then "inflate" it with water to stretch the casings, and then stuff it normally.
  5. Has anyone else had the problem with natural casings where the casings ended up being so tough that you cannot bite or chew through them? If so, did you find a way to mitigate it, or is it just One Tough Pig?
  6. So, I have a botched batch of sausage. I don't know if it broke or has too little fat, but the mouth feel is wrong (mealy). The main part though, is that the casings are too thick and chewy. Is this a known variation in pigs (I picked up a bag of casings from my local butcher, where I usually buy them), and if so is there something I can do with the rest of the bag? For this batch, we're going to squeeze all 5 pounds from the casings, look at reseasoning and repaddling, and try to salvage it as patties.
  7. This weekend we're going to be making a fair bit of sausage (especially since my new Grizzly arrived this week), but I had some meat that was moving rapidly into the "now or never" category, plus some scraps in the freezer. So, I got up early, cut up the chicken thighs, some very fatty pork, and the fat trimmings from some prosciutto that I had in the freezer, added fresh garlic and a lot of fresh rosemary, and made a (mostly) chicken sausage this morning. Then I formed it into balls, rolled them in panko, flatted them out, made sure they had a nice coat of panko, and layed them out on wax paper to freeze (with the exception of the one I held out for lunch). It worked really nicely, and I plan on making a lot more. And for those looking at making the jump to fresh sausage, the patties are easier than making links (especially with the KA stuffer).
  8. For those in the Seattle area (or who could be, for the right incentive), Porcella is doing a sausage (fresh and dried) making class on July 9th, limited to 10 spots, at $40 for the class.
  9. Got my spot! (And lunch, and some guanciale, and a really nice prosciutto...)
  10. Getting liver is no problem here (and I even have some very high grade put aside for making some pate in the next week or so), but this weekend I decided to make some more sausage. Fresh spring garlic, fresh sage, fresh onion, pork roast (what I could find), and high grade back fat, and a nice merlot. It worked wonderfully... In fact, we took the remnants from the stuffer attachment, fried them into patties, and had them with a nice local sheep cheese on muffins. I'm off for the store to see if I can snag more pork roast at a good price.
  11. I also found this chart when checking the pH of some items: US FDA/CFSAN pH Chart
  12. Congrats! Let me know if you're looking at anything on the East Side of the Seattle Area...
  13. Also, if you live on the East Side, you can pick up the raw goat's milk at the Family Grocer in Duvall. --Dave
  14. You can do wonderful bacon in the oven. In fact, although I do have a smoker, that's how I do all of mine.
  15. Well, I live at ~50 ft above sea level...
  16. Has there been any movement towards consumer-grade baths? I'm uncomfortable using recycled lab equipment when I don't know what it was doing before, and I'm unwilling to spend the amounts required for a new circulator.
  17. Remember that we see a tiny subset of the discussions. --Dave
  18. I had some leftover ingredients from dinner (some chicken trimmings, a bit of leek, a bit of oyster mushrooms), so I sauteed those with some fresh thyme (had to trim the thyme anyway, it was starting to flower), and made a couple of omelets using that and some home made raw milk truffled chevre. We had that with a nice black raspberry tea, some toasted bread (from the Farmer's Market earlier in the week), and a few pieces of home cured orange bacon. And, since the weather was spectacular this morning, we were able to eat out on the deck, overlooking the valley. All in all, a very nice start to the day. Now, decisions. Parade, or Farmer's Market. --Dave
  19. So far, I'm having trouble making the wine stay inside the gelled wine, so I suspect you are right. Just means more practice! --Dave
  20. After digging through this thread, I decided to give it a try. For simple work, I already had the necessary tools, a FoodSaver machine I had picked up a few years ago (for general purpose freezing), and an electronic thermometer with probe (purchased originally for high temperature roasting). The plan: Truffled chicken breasts cooked sous vide, served with salad and a saffron risotto (an easy microwave dish, thanks to Barbara Kafka). Ingredients: Two chicken breasts, pounded flat FInely sliced fresh leek Oyster mushrooms One tablespoon butter One tablespoon White Truffle Oil One teaspoon Hawaiian Salt Notes: Managing the temperature was more work than expected, but I was able to keep it (roughly) at 142 F (although it kept trying to go lower, and occasionally higher). The momentum involved in shifting the temperature was tricky. The salt had me worried, until I realized that I wasn't seeing pink meat, but rather the coloration from the salts. Results: The truffle oil did not leave significant flavor (certainly not enough for the amount used), and next time I'd leave it out (and save it for other dishes). The leaks imparted a lovely flavor, as did the butter and the mushrooms, and the texture of the chicken was fantastic. Final thoughts: I want a circulator. However, I'm not comfortable with recycled lab equipment when I don't know what was in it previously, and the costs of new circulators are too high. So I suspect I'll limit myself to chicken and fish, where I can monitor the temperature myself without going mad.
  21. I have my ingredients (thanks again Will!), and if not tonight, I will certainly be trying things out this weekend. The Cherry season has just started, and I've been toying with an idea. I thought I'd toss it out and see if there is anything I'm missing that would be problematic. Pit cherries (ideally Rainier, but they aren't in season yet). Stuff the cherries with chocolate (or Nutella, or fudge). Make a dessert wine/alginate mix. Put the cherry in a large hemispherical spoon. Add the wine/alginate mix, and make an inverse cherry cordial. Am I missing anything, or should that work? Thanks, --Dave
  22. So, are there any suggestions for what to make with Leaf Lard? --Dave
  23. The fruit was actually a "soft dried" fruit I happened to have on hand, so I didn't need to soak it myself. The sausage has a little too much of the harsher bite of the Calvados to my mind. For dinner tonight, we're going to sautee some sweet onion and apple, and make sandwiches with the sausage, and some melted Parano cheese. I suspect that the cheese and the apple and onion will tame the overtones nicely. Some of this may be taste; my wife doesn't think the sausage is as strongly flavored as I do (or alternatively, appreciates the Calvados more). I guess the easiest way to describe it would be that it has the same "feel" as a Marsala sauce with too much wine in it. --Dave
  24. Neo China in Cary has an excellent weekend Dim Sum.
  25. More adventures in sausage making for Memorial day. Chicken breast meat, softened dried fruit, pork backfat, and kosher salt. The liquid for the sausage was Calvados (which, I think, in retrospect, should have been cut 50/50 with apple cider, the flavor is very pronounced in the final sausage), with a bay leaf in it. The bay leaf imparted no noticeable flavor, I wouldn't use it again. The sausage after the grind. I'm very pleased with the way the dried fruit ground in with the meat. However, after the bind, when I tasted the sausage I thought it was a bit too harsh, so I added a half teaspoon of dried orange peel, and a tablespoon of good honey. They had a modest impact, and I think in the future I'd add more honey, and mix the honey in with the liquid. Also note that I make sausage in half batches, so this is based on 2.5lbs of meat. And done...
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