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rorycberger

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  1. I made some lardo from the book recently, and it was an unevenly shaped piece (thick at one end, thin at the other) the thick end is a bit greenish in the middle when sliced. The thin end is perfectly white. Is it safe to eat the thin end? The thick end? What exactly would I be risking by eating the green parts?
  2. Thanks ricardo, sounds great. I'm assuming you use duck fat?
  3. Thanks. I was making lardo on monday night also so I had some of the basic cure from Charcuterie (2 parts salt, 1 part sugar, 1/8 part pink salt) which I used enough of so that there would be an 1/8th of an ounce salt per pound of meat. I also used some roughly chopped herbs (mostly bay and rosemary) and some crushed juniper berries, cloves, allspice and pepper. Cleaning the hearts was not fun—I wanted to keep them whole, but they each had several blood clots that I wanted to get out. After lots of rinsing, poking my fingers around inside, and selective trimming with kitchen shears I finally got them clean enough that they would only turn water slightly pink when submerged/rinsed. I covered them with the cure, stuffing lots of the herbs and spices inside each heart, and put them open (valve) side down on a bed of parsley so they wouldn't sit in their own blood/juices. I figured I'd give them two days to drain more blood and take on more of the cured flavor. I'll cook them tonight in lard, probably going to go ultra-low heat (180) overnight. Confit lamb's tongues are an interesting idea. When do you peel them? How do you serve them typically? How much salt/cure do you use?
  4. Thanks iriee. I found a recipe for duck gizzard confit in the Zuni cookbook, and it even mentions you can do the hearts the same way, so I will probably use that ratio/method (1/8 ounce of salt per pound). I got 2 hearts yestarday, but won't be able to cure them until monday night to cook tuesday night. I'll post back later in the week with results.
  5. Thanks. I'm not sure either, to be honest. In the past I've only grilled heart using this recipe: http://www.offalgood.com/site/blog/recipes...for-beef-heart/ However, most of the recipes I've seen for heart suggest a long braise (e.g. http://www.recipezaar.com/143249) so I'm guessing it doesn't dry out too badly over longer cooking times. Being covered in fat the whole time can't hurt either. As for why I've settled on this: I keep a list on my computer of ideas for things I'd like to cook, adding ideas when inspiration strikes and revisiting every few weeks whenever I have time for a cooking project. I honestly don't remember putting pork heart confit on the list, but now it's sitting there waiting to be done and mocking me. I realized the other day that I have 2 qts of homemade lard in the back of the fridge looking for a purpose, and I've got free time this weekend. I'm pretty sure I can get a heart from the farmer's market tomorrow (I know a farmer who processed some pigs this week). So it seemed like the perfect time to do it. If no one has any ideas I'll probably just do a standard confit recipe with a medium heat and cooking time, maybe adding some gamier than normal spices like juniper and allspice. I'll definitely report back with results.
  6. Henderson's Beyond Nose to Tail has a recipe for a pig ear terrine (actually i think he calls it pressed pig ears) that looks great and very easy. I don't have the book in front of me, but the recipe is roughly: blanch 14 pig ears and a pig's foot or two, skim/drain/rinse, simmer with aromats for 3-4 hours until tender, put ears into terrine mold, strain cooking liquor, reduce by 1/2, pour over ears to fill terrine mold, weight terrine and refrigerate until set, slice thinly and serve with cornichons. I haven't made it yet but it is definitely on my short list to make soon. Never heard anything about the USDA banning ears, but I have heard before that somehow offal requires separate (or different?) USDA inspection from meat (no idea where they draw the line between the two) and thus some processors don't bother getting the offal inspected (to save money/time?).
  7. Somehow I've got it in my head that I should make pork heart confit. Googling has turned up nothing. I've made duck confit several times, pork belly confit once, and bacon confit a few times before, so I'm not totally clueless, but I have a few questions: -Is this even a good/feasible idea? -How long should I cook it? Would it be better to "fast confit" (say 350 degrees for 2-3 hours) since heart is very lean or "slow confit" (8-10 hours at 200) since it is particularly tough? -Any special curing requirements (e.g. more/less salt, shorter/longer curing time, pink salt?) -Confit whole or in chunks? What size/shape chunks? -Serving suggestions for the finished product? Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
  8. I don't mean to be too negative, but I was in Vegas a few weeks ago, saw the USA today article (any headline with Foie Gras in it gets my attention) and thought it was a great story and particularly noticed that it mentioned the Cafe Bellagio is open 24 hours. Fast forward to three AM when I was hungry and had a strong craving for Foie. I went to great trouble (simple tasks seem to get more difficult as the night goes on in Vegas, weird) to get to the Bellagio, then find the cafe within it. I was greatly dissapointed to find not a scrap of foie on the menu, and when I asked the waitress if they had any in the kitchen she looked at me like I was crazy. I ended up eating a shitty french dip and leaving unfulfilled. The story is great, and I'm glad he turned his life around, but based on my experience the restaurant he runs is nothing more than a prettied up version of Applebees. Any passion he has for food certainly didn't come through in the menu I saw. Actually, I must admit I was shocked all weekend at how dreadful most of the food choices were in Vegas unless you went to a "big name" restaurant.
  9. So if the meals cost different prices then they should be judged differently, right? I'm not saying that lunch shouldn't be good or even great, I'm just saying that I don't think it always makes sense to pick a place to go (or not go) to dinner based on an experience at lunch.
  10. In several places you recommended lunch as a low-risk way to test a new place. However, at many restaurants - especially at the higher end - lunch and dinner have completely different menus, cooked by different cooks, served by different servers, even the atmosphere (lighting, music, noise from the bar, etc.) can be vastly different. Do you really think it's fair to judge a restaurant on lunch alone? I'm thinking particularly of "special occasion" restaurants, where you might be tempted to save some money with a lunch audition, but could walk into a totally different restaurant on the big night.
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