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Everything posted by Country

  1. I use Colavita "Fruttato" for everyday stuff, and Lucini Premium Select for the good stuff.
  2. Country

    Dinner! 2008

    Great looking oyster stew! On the corn muffins, I use the recipe in the Pro Chef and add some chopped dried apricots, or sometimes dates. Worth giving a try.
  3. Thanks for the report FG. I actually made a roast beef hash last night out of leftover beef from Christmas (a beautiful 4# piece of boneless rib; plus potatoes, carrot (1#), onions, and garlic - all homegrown - and a little worcestershire sauce. By coincidence, I even cooked my hash in the same All-Clad pan you used. Well, not literally. Anyhow, I used all Wusthof's - 10" Chef's, 8" carver, and the little 2 1/2" trimming knife for getting much of the fat trimmed out (all Classics). It went pretty well, and the hash came out good. So my question is, since you mentioned your Wusthof, do you think it would be worthwhile for someone with a limited budget to buy one of those Shun knives? PS. How did you like the handles on those knives?
  4. What's the matter with calling oneself a "cook", even though you may be a professional "cook"? Or maybe it has to do with the prices charged on the menu. A "cook" can charge only so much. A "chef" can charge much more, even though the meal may not be any better.
  5. I want to take one part of Dave the Cook's post above and comment on it. A caring family cook, with experience perhaps handed down over generations, will produce a meal equal to, or exceed, that of any fancy chef any day. It may not be as interesting to the palate, but it will be blissfull. Part of the reason for that is that it was cooked with love for those who would eat the meal. One reason my Danish grandmother was the best cook I've ever known. Her cooking was done with love for those who would eat it, whether family or others - and she knew her ingredients and how to prepare them. It was simple cooking at it's best, and I've rarely tasted (in my limited experience) anything from a so-called chef that provided not just a blissful moment at one part of the meal, but was blissful throughout the entire meal. There is more to eating (and health) than sampling the latest razmataz from Adria and Keller and others.
  6. There has been such increasing interest in cooking over the last decade (which is good) that it has spawned all kinds of interest among the general public; including TV shows, thousands of cookbooks, and eGullet itself. But all this has, as the linked article indicates, resulted in some people believing themselves to be chefs from a few hints picked up from the grand old lady of TV French cooking to Keller - and eGullet itself. But before one can be a chef - one first has to learn to cook, and learn how to cook simply and with simple ingredients. Once learning these simple things, one may no longer desire to achieve the status of "Chef" and be happy with just being a halfway decent cook.
  7. Johnny, You mean the scallops or the cod? Nothing could be done about the Carolina boats coming for the scallops. More on the Newfoundland cod can be found here. I just happened to be listening to CBC radio the day the fishery was closed. It was really a shock. About halfway down the page at the link, you'll see the name of Sam Lee, who was an inshore fisherman that tried to get something done about the decimation of the cod by the big boats, but couldn't. All the local guys were handlining or, like Lee, using traps. You don't stand a chance with those big boats, especially when they start pair trawling. A year or two after the closing a really good radio program was done on it, and Sam Lee was featured. In the end, 25,000 people lost their living because of the closure. I taped the program and some day I'll have to dig it out and listen again. As far as who's to blame? Here's what's written on the page after the opening link.
  8. Going back to the first post. Raw scallops are great... when they've just come over the rail of the boat and shucked out and eaten immediately. Nothing like 'em. PS. What SeanDirty refers to as "dredging" is generally called "dragging" here in Maine. Over the years I've made a few scallop drags, and repaired and rebuilt even more. All the fishermen dragging for scallops like to claim it's better for the bottom. It stirs things up and makes the ground more productive. I'm not so sure about that, but we still seem to have plenty of scallops in the Gulf of Maine. The worst time came ten or fifteen years ago when a really big bed had been found and shrimping was bad in the Carolinas. They re-rigged for scallops, came up here, and wiped things out in short order. Same thing happened to the Newfoundland cod 20-25 years ago. The big boats came and wiped out the cod. The fishery still hasn't recovered.
  9. Check out this YouTube video on peeling and mincing garlic. It's great - and from it, I can now peel and mince garlic better and faster than ever before. It really works! And, it's great fun to watch.
  10. I buy my winter's supply of apples every fall (October) from the same orchard and, this year, tried Honeycrisp for the first time. I really like them, and they are crisp. It could well be that Honeycrisps, and other apples, will vary in quality for a couple of reasons. The first would be the individual orchard itself, with soil quality and climate being important. The second is that apples directly from the orchard will always be better than those that have "traveled". Apples need to be kept cold. The closer to 32F, the better. If apples have spent weeks, or more, in trucks, warehouses, and markets without refrigeration, they won't be so good. So, I bought some Honeycrisps to see how well they'll keep, as well as Macouns - which keep fairly well. But, my favorite apple (many of you can turn up your noses) are Cortlands. The Cortlands from this orchard are, to my mind, the best all around apple, and keep very well. They're still hard into March, and keep into May - though they're getting soft then, they're still good to eat. And, from this orchard, they're the biggest Cortlands, with the nicest color and flavor I know of. Take a drive and check out your local orchards. PS. I paid $1.10/pound for the Honeycrisps.
  11. Country

    Dinner! 2008

    Soba, That's really beautiful - and, I bet, tasty.
  12. Country

    Bare Hands

    Slightly related is this recent article at the BBC.
  13. Country

    Lobster Roe

    Prawn, Don't feel guilty about it. If a lobster like that makes it to market, eat it and the roe, and feel good about it. No point in letting it go to waste. The main thing is, it should have been notched and thrown overboard when it came out of the trap. Never should have been kept and made it to market.
  14. Country

    Lobster Roe

    SnorkelVik is right. I live on the coast of Maine and keeping egg-bearing females will only lead to a decline in the lobster population.
  15. Country

    Dinner! 2008

    All very beautiful. Meat, potato, and beans done perfectly. Again, beautiful. Thanks for the pics. Edited to add: How come most of the potatoes are nice little squares with rounded corners? How'd you do that?
  16. Check out this article in the NYT. Lots of good stuff going on in Hardwick. (I used to live near there.)
  17. I don't know how much pesticide they use but, for years, I've been getting my winter supply of apples from Biscay Orchards on Biscay Road outside Damariscotta. Their Cortlands are large, tasty, and keep very well. Last year I also bought Macouns, which I really liked. And unpasturized cider that I stick in the freezer. I'm just finishing off the last half gallon of cider that was made October 13, last year, and still very tasty. Now that I've posted this, I better get down and get my stuff for this year before they sell out!
  18. I haven't made any sausauge yet, but I have been grinding some meat (lamb and beef) with the new grinding/stuffing attachment for my Viking mixer. The booklet that comes with the attachment recommends cutting meat into 1" strips instead of chunks. I've tried both ways and strips definitely work better. Much better feed and better grind. Before working with the meat, I put in in the freezer and leave it there until it's almost at the point where it would break if bent. Quite cold. Hope this helps.
  19. Country

    Dinner! 2008

    That's some nice looking meat. Beautiful.
  20. johnnyd, It would be interesting to know what happened with Great Eastern. Somehow, it seems strange that they would close so suddenly, with no warning, for the reasons they gave to the press.
  21. I hate to be the one to announce this, but Great Eastern Mussel Company has gone out of business. They were among the first to get into large scale mussel aquaculture on the coast of Maine, and their large tractor-trailer reefer was for years a familiar sight going through Waldoboro headed south on Route 1 on their way out of Tenant's Harbor.
  22. Potato (boiled and mashed) with egg work. But, I make my fishcakes with salt cod so I don't know how well this would work with fresh fish.
  23. I can see I'm vastly outnumbered here, but let me make a couple of clarifications. First - I'm not talking about the ordinary gas grill. I'm talking about a Weber Baby Q - with 4 1/2 stars at Amazon in over 200 reviews. Though I'm not sure how much weight I should give that. Second - I have never had any use for gas grills before this one. My son has a monster of a stainless steel gas grill that must have cost $1500 - at least. I would not trade any charcoal grill I've ever had for it. Including, years ago, a very cheap hibachi. weinoo - Cooking swordfish on charcoal, I'm cooking in the open. No cover. Hence the drying out. I want to taste the swordfish. Not the charcoal flavor. Tuna is different. There I want some smoke and, after turning it over (on charcoal), I add some cherry sawdust to the charcoal, spray it with water so it doesn't catch fire, put a cover on, and finish cooking it. This is especially good if the tuna has been marinated in some tamari and ginger beforehand. But swordfish, like a good cut of beef, I want to taste the meat. Daniel - There is no comparison between cooking on a gas range and the Q. The Q has a heavy cast iron grill rack, heated from below with a gas tube that matches it. And, it has a cover that is easily raised and lowered. The dome shaped cover may be another reason why things cook so good and retain their moisture. Well, I've run on enough. Here's a review I found that seems pretty accurate. (I got the optional hose connection so it can be run off a 20# propane tank when I'm at home. But, it's handy to be able to use the little propane cylinders when going on the raod.)
  24. A note on what was to be my test of grilling swordfish on gas and charcoal. The friend that would have joined me in this taste test was in Provincetown, and the steak was too large for just myself, so I froze half and grilled the other half on the Baby Q. This was my first time grilling swordfish on gas and I have to say it came out great. Great taste, great grill marks and, above all, moist. As I remember, when grilling swordfish on charcoal it came out fairly dry, though good tasting. Anyhow, once again I'm more than happy with the results from the Baby Q, and I can't imagine going back to charcoal.
  25. Is the macaroni clumpy and stuck together before making the salad? If so, add some olive oil to the cooking water. Works with spaghetti too.
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