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Recoil Rob

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Posts posted by Recoil Rob

  1. I use a hand crank Atlas, have for 20 years, it's made more pasta than I care to think about. I have 4 different cutters for it, some make two shapes , others only one but I have stranded pasta covered from angel hair to papperdelle. Mine is too old to adapt directly to a motor but they sell an adapter kit I may try.

    As far as extruded pasta machines, there's only one I want... Bigoli Press

  2. I live nearby JA Henckells US headquarters and every year around Xmas they have a warehouseeverything at least 50% off. They must be the importers for Staub because this year there were racks of the stuff there. I found a Staub "Chicken Roaster" in red which I gave to my girlfriend for Valentines Day. It has the small "computer designed" spikes on the underside of the lid for basting. That weekend we used it to braise a pheasant in the oven at about 250˚. I pulled the cover off it a few time while braising to check on it, at no time was there any condensed liquid on the lid. I suspect that in the oven the lid heats up to the same temperature as the rest of the pot keeping liquid from condensing.

    We're going to try it again this weekend but this time will use the stoveto.

  3. I have gotten dozens of cast iron pans, dutch ovens, gem pans, griddles etc, over the years at tag sales. I clean them and give the as gifts if I don't already have them, someof the rarer pieces get sold on Ebay. My local library has a rummage sale every year and there are tables of cookware and kitchen items.

    But my best score was a barely used 1960's era Kitchenaid mixer, lovely creme color, with an extra bowl, a glass bowl, a grain mill and a meat grinder for $10.

  4. I use the recipe in the Zuni cookbook, they seem to last forever. I have a jar from last summer in the fridge that taste as good as the day I made them.

    So, I've been making quick-pickled red onions for immediate use, sliced into strips and marinated in a vinegar brine just until they change color.

    Can I keep these for longer than a couple of days? Is there another, similar red onion pickle recipe that lasts a little longer? It'd be nice to have a jar of crunchy, tart, pungent onions to put on sandwiches or what-have-you.

  5. Thanks so much Rob! That's what I was hoping to pay for it, and that was one place I never thought to call. I still wish I could find goose fat -- maybe some day -- but I'm going to call and order the duck fat next week.


    Good for you! Make sure to call and ask for the 5# pail, it's not listed on the website.

    While you're at it (and as long as you're already paying the shipping) order a magret breast and make duck prosciutto, very easy and delicious.


  6. I get mine from the Hudson Valley Fois Gras Farm. http://www.hudsonvalleyfoiegras.com/.

    Call and ask for the five pound pail of duck fat, it's about a gallon and runs about $35 including shipping by UPS ground which is fine for the NY area, it comes in one day. Just don't order on Friday or it will be at UPS over the weekend.

    the hard part is finding goose or duck fat in NYC -- or anywhere -- for less that a dollar an ounce. On the extremely rare occasions when you can find duck fat, it costs like $10 for a seven ounce container. Goose fat does not exist.

    Any assistance for NY/NJ would be greatly appreciated. I have no problem rendering it myself -- in fact i would prefer to -- but again it's the same problem.

  7. Perhaps some would be interested in an update. I took my girlfriend to Tarry Lodge last night for her birthday, reservations were made in advance, online through Open Table and I was asked if there were any special considerations I would like. I noted it was to be a birthday dinner.

    We arrived last night, a Thursday around 7:20pm, about 1/2 hour before our reservation and sat at the bar for a few minutes before they had a table. Unlike Babbo or any of Danny Meyer's restaurants, I was never asked about the birthday, if I wanted something special done, no mention was made at all.

    We were shown to a table for two at the junction of the bar/kitchen entrance/kitchen exit. The restaurant was crowded at 7:30, a few large parties waiting and the bar was full. It was my mistake to accept the table I should have asked for another right away. I didn't and it was the loudest dining experience I've had in 10 years. They really need to "86" table 43, if you go be sure to tell them "anywhere but table 43".

    They have a message at the bottom of the menu that asks diners to bear with them while they work on their 'Noise attenuation". I guess they know it's loud and don't know what to do yet.

    We were given a tray of olives and two pieces of stale focaccia which was surprising because the Parmesan bread sticks at the bar were quite good.

    We ordered and appetizers were brought about 10 minutes later. I ordered the Baccala Montecato. I love salted cod in all forms , I make brandade several times a year. The montecato was served with a spoon in a ramekin, ice cold, very bland. Perhaps room temperature would have served it better, it actually needed salt.

    My girlfriend had been anticipating the Guanciale/black truffle/sunnyside egg pizza for the weeks leading up to our dinner, it was featured on the cover of a local magazine and mentioned in a few reviews. It was passable, the crust was underdone, really nothing special. I suspect the 6-8 small pieces of guanciale and truffle weren't enough flavor component to stand up to the mozerella on a 12" pie.

    After about another ten minutes my girlfriends branzino arrived. I must say I was impressed, a perfectly grilled fish was placed in front of her, crisp skin, golden brown. It was then whisked away to a side board without consulting us. It sat on the side board for 5 minutes before a woman, whom I assume was the maitre'd, came over and started working on it. Meanwhile my entree, the beef braised in barolo was brought out. I patiently waited for the branzino to be brought back which finally made it reappearance at the table about 12 minutes from the time it was initially brought out. It arrived taken off the bone, no crispy skin, completely cold, not even on a heated plate. To top it off, it still had bones in it.

    My braised beef was good, very tender, perhaps a touch dry, and could have used more than the teaspoon of sauce that came on the polenta. I never tasted any of the advertised horseradish. Our side order of Tarry greens was escarole that was under cooked and tough.

    After the entrees were cleared we were treated to the floor show of a waiter dragging a full size plastic garbage pail, full of garbage, out from behind the bar, down the aisle between our table and the next, and into the kitchen area. Now there's something you don't see in Babbo or Esca....

    We ordered some biscotti, which we thought were no better than the Nonni's you see wrapped in plastic at the 7-11, more like tiny shortcakes, and got tepid espressos.

    The bill was brought with the coffee, it was not asked for. There were empty tables at the time.

    Taste and quality of the food, the kitchen's execution of the chefs menu, is a judgement call, my judgement is I wasn't impressed.

    I will say that they staff was very nice and did their best, I feel the mistakes made were more in the area of management style and the restaurant concept rather than execution.

    Don't bother to ask me if I have a special request if you're going to ignore it.

    If I order a whole fish I would expect to be asked if I wanted it deboned, I prefer to wrestle with my own. If you are going to take it upon yourself to debone a customers fish, it should be done tableside and kept warm.

    Apparently it's acceptable to drag the garbage past the diners because a floor manager was right there while it happened.

    If I'm sitting too long and you need the table, then explain that to me otherwise don't bring me the bill until I ask for it.

    Portions are larger and prices are smaller than B&B's NYC restaurants but that doesn't entitle them to dumb down the service. I would have been happy to pay NYC prices for the same care we receive at Babbo.

    I would have liked to send this direct to the management of Bastianich & Batali but none of there websites have an email address to send such issues. I suppose snail mail will have to do.

  8. I generally usually use 2#'s of raw meat to 2#s dry black beans but again, it's not crucial.

    I found the "chili primer" I wrote up for a friend in 1996, wrote it by hand so I'm not going to transcribe it here and I don't have a scanner but if you pm me a fax# I'd be glad to send it to you.

  9. First off, those loins, much better off searing them whole, finish in the oven no more than med. rare and saucing after they're cut into slices 1/2 - 3/4" . I like taking some olive oil and heating in a small sauce pan with fresh herbs and red pepper and then drizzling over the meat, Florentine style!

    For year I've made a venison black bean chili that get high praise from all. It's fairly free form but basics are I trim the meat and cut into a small dice rather than grind it. I brown the cubes and then add some chopped onion and fresh anchos, garlic, bay leaf, spices, etc. When all that is cooked up I add my chili powder. I make my own from ground roasted chili's, and let it cook in the fat from the meat, then I add some canned tomatoes. I add liquid which usually contains some black coffee (decaf) at least one bottle of dark beer, and the pre-soaked black beans, this all simmers for at least 4 hours. Then I add one cup of cider vinegar, stir it in and let it sit overnight.

    I know this is rather free form but chili should be. The end result is quite refined, the black beans smooth it out.

    OK....I have been given a bunch of venison, some loin roasts and other roasts (not sure of the kind).  Have found some recipes for loin medalions and wild mushrooms, which sound good.  However, I would like to make a great chili with cut up or ground venison.  I haven't found a specific thread on venison chili so thought I could post my question here.  Any recipes for a really delicious chili made with venison?????  The Super Bowl is coming up, you know!!!!

  10. Rob, did you cook your octopus? How did it turn out?

    I did, I followed the Babbo recipe exactly, cork & all. I braised it a day before and the right before serving I heated it up on the grill and gave it a slight char.

    Perfectly tender but still had that chewy texture, the tangerine dressing was a great accent. We all loved it and would make it again.


  11. Now it's sit and wait for a week. If they throw off some liquid brine am I supposed to drain it off?

    No: let them continue to brine in it. You may be better off putting them in ziploc-type bags so that more of the brine is in contact with the meat.

    Are you planning on rinsing them before you hang them? I think the Ruhlman recipe calls for that; I don't know about the others. I did, anyway, and I think it was a good idea.

    Rinsed, dried and hanging in 43% RH & 55˚!

  12. The times I've worked with octopus at the restaurants I've been at we braised it, chilled it down, and then grilled it to order to re-heat/char.

    While I'm sure this was an oversight in the Babbo cookbook, I can't imagine that it is done any different.

    I mean, wouldn't that just be the logical conclusion?

    Seems like it to me, thanks.

  13. Nice job! I wish I had the space to let them age properly (and the low temps).

    Do you have a picture of the apparatus you use to hang it from the back end? I usually use the gambrel method, like a big coat hanger but I'm curious as to how you are holding that deer, what is the chain hooking on to?

  14. While looking for good octopus recipe for Christmas Eve I came across the one in the Babbo Cookbook (2002) p.66, Barbecued Octopus with Yukon Golds

    I read it through 3 times and I see where the octopus is initially cooked in oil and then braised for a couple of hours but there's no mention of it ever being grilled as suggested by the accompanying photo.

    Am I missing something? Has anyone tried this recipe?

    Thanks, Rob

  15. Well, I'm curing.

    I ended up trimming out all the salivary glands, even the ones that were the same color as the meat. It wasn't that much, a few tablespoons each and some fat came off with it but from what I read it seemed like a good idea.

    For my cure I used a combination of the three recipes (Poli's, Babbo's and the pancetta cure from CHARCUTERIE (1st Edition) which the book stated was the same one to use for guanciale).

    1/2c Morton's Kosher salt

    1/2c light brown sugar

    1/2tsp. Instacure #2 (this was a compromise, one recipe said to use 1-1/2tsp. #2, one said #1 and the other had none)

    Garlic, sage, peppercorns, thyme, rosemary & juniper

    In the photo they look like fried cutlets but that's the brown sugar. I had some granite slabs that I will put on top while they cure to even them out. There are also two chunks that were thicker than the rest so I cut them off and they are curing also, but probably for less time.

    Now it's sit and wait for a week. If they throw off some liquid brine am I supposed to drain it off?

    Thanks, Rob


  16. Andrew, my CHARCUTERIE is the first edition and p.47 has drawings of pancetta, no guanciale recipe. If you have a copy you could email or fax me I would love to see it.

    Whoops, my bad!

    Anyway, I was able to read that .pdf file (but only with Adobe Reader, not the software I usually use.) The first direction is to remove the salivary glands, which sound like the bubbles or nodes you noticed. So it sounds like you did the right thing.

    Good luck with the guanciale! I haven't made it yet-- it'll have to wait until I get a curing chamber set up in January or February-- but I'm looking forward to giving it a go myself. Be sure to report on your results!

    I've actually noticed two different types of little nodes. There the brownish ones I removed but here are also areas of tiny pink bubbles, the same color as the meat. Any idea if these should be removed also?

  17. Thanks for the Babbo recipe, that should work.

    Andrew, my CHARCUTERIE is the first edition and p.47 has drawings of pancetta, no guanciale recipe. If you have a copy you could email or fax me I would love to see it.

    HKDave, thanks but that file wouldn't open for me, perhaps it's corrupted.

    Does anyone know if the meat should be wrapped in cheesecloth while drying or left naked?

    Also, here are some pics of the jowls I got, they're pretty big, over 10" long and about 2" at the thickest point. I have trimmed out several small pea sized nodes that were a brown color. I read in CHARCUTERIE that one should be careful to trim out all the glands, is this what was meant?

    It looks to me as though the pieces I have are bigger than the drawings in the book, they have a large covering of fat. Can I use the whole pieces as they are or should I trim them to a more uniform shape?



  18. Can someone point me to the basic guanciale recipe? I thought it was in CHARCUTERIE but it's not, perhaps it's in a Batali book?

    I tried our search engine but couldn't get specific enough.

    My neighbor just slaughtered two pigs and I have two cheeks waiting for a cure.

    thanks, Rob

  19. It's been almost 2 weeks now and several emails have gone unanswered. I finally called and spoke with a very helpful gentleman named Jamal who made arrangements to have our blender replaced with an improved one. Will report back when it arrives.

  20. Another question.  I have a lot of little bits for grinding for burgers (have grinder).  Should I be mixing this ground venison with something, or grinding it with something else that has more fat?  (not talking sausages)

    If you're going to freeze the ground meat, freeze it as is, you can always add fat to it when ready to use.

    I'm not a big fan of burgers anyway, not big on ground meat except when making pate's terrines and such. I take all the little bits and odd pieces and freeze them in 1 or 2 lb bags. I use it for stews and chilies. I make a venison/black bean chile that all my family and friends love. I trim the fat and gristle off those small pieces and cut them as uniformly as possible into 1/4 - 3/8" chunks. I feel it adds more to the chile than it would ground up.

    If you want to use it for burgers you can add beef fat.

    I do add pork fat when making fresh sausage meat.

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