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Everything posted by GRoston

  1. Lisa - Thanks so much for sharing that video. I wonder why my searches didn't turn it up? Now that I understand what it is, lots of usage ideas come to mind. I am willing to bet that if one dried the onions in a smoker, as opposed to an oven, the resulting power would be even better...
  2. This past weekend, we visited a small spice shop in Dearborn that has a number of Yemeni spice blends and the like. One item I purchased, because it smelled good and sounded interesting, is black onion powder. However, I cannot find any information about this product on-line. Can you please point me to some recipes that use it? Or, did I mishear/misunderstand the sales clerk? Thanks.
  3. I've been to three of the top five (Pupusería y Restaurante Salvadoreño, El Barzon Restaurante, and Taqueria El Rey) and all are excellent, with El Barzon being much fancier than the other two. If you visit any of these, try to save room for desert at Ice Cream La Michuacana (Vernor, three doors west of the Mexicantown Bakery).
  4. Best China, Lilly Rd, Canton, is very good. I have been there three or four times and am usually the only non-Asian in the place.
  5. IMO, the only places to find good quality, reasonably-price, supermarket offerings is in local, ethnic markets. Here in southeast Michigan, we have quite a few. Most have fairly limited offerings, but what they have is usually quite good. For example, Dearborn Fresh (middle Eastern) has several entrees, salads, and baked goods. Their medium taboulli salad, for $5, weighs in at 1.5 lbs. Dos Hermanos Market, in Ypsilanti, has wonderful carnitas, barbacoa, and others (typically on the weekends only) for $5-7 per pound. Greenland Market (Dearborn, Middle Eastern), Honey Bee La Colmena (Detroit, Mexican), and Bozek (Hamtramck, Polish) are others that come to mind right away.
  6. Not sure if my replied will be considered 'fair', but a couple of months ago, we stopped in Nino Salvaggio International Market, see http://www.ninosalvaggio.com/. While there, we found a nine inch store made pot pie, that weighed on the order of two pounds, for around $10. It was really quite excellent - good crust, decent amount of chicken, not too salty, etc. Sadly, the closest store to our house is around 60 miles, so this is not a regular treat... p.s. Given the prices for most everything else in the store, this is a real steal.
  7. This may sound mundane, but we made pizza: Purchase roma tomatoes (none left in the freezer from the garden) and made sauce. Made the dough (we use whole wheat flour and some additional gluten). Slow braised some beef shanks for about 8 hours. The pizza were a riff on a Phili cheese-steak: tomato sauce, the shredded shank, sauted onions and mushrooms, spinach, and topped with white cheddar and parm. Cooked them on a hunk of granite on the out-door grill for just under three minutes, then topped them with some chopped fresh parsley and scallions. We enjoyed! (Especially since I had a Founder;s Breakfast Stout to accompany mine...)
  8. All, I will be visiting my father next month. He truly enjoys halva and I would like to bring him some. Given that we live in southeast Michigan, I figure there have to be some really good ones available here. Can you offer some suggestions? I know that he enjoys plain, chocolate, and pistachio halvas. Thank you.
  9. All, This is the first time I have done something cooking related that was worthy of being posted here! We have been making pizza at home for a while. Until today, every time we have cooked pizza, it was on a baking dish in the oven. Even though we used the freshest of ingredients (like tomatoes, herbs, onions, etc., from our garden), the crust was never 'perfect'. To address this issue, we set out to acquire a piece of granite, such as those used for kitchen counter tops, approximately 16" x 24". Yesterday, in Toledo, we found a granite shop that had a 16" x 25" piece just lying in a 'scrap' heap and they sold it to us for $10. We then splurged and got an IR thermometer from Harbor Freight (on sale for $35) and a 14" pizza pan from Meijer for $5. After cleaning the granite, I put it in my outdoor grill, a BBQ Galore Grand Turbo, a gas fired grill that claims to produce 60,000 BTU of heat. I then fired up the grill, and preheated it until the granite reached 650 F. With some cornmeal in the pizza pan, the pizza easily slid out of the pan onto the granite and with the lid closed, the pizza (about 12" diameter and very thin crust) cooked in under three minutes. And wow! was it good. The curst was as good as any I have ever had.
  10. Darienne, I am one of those people who si simply incapable of following a recipe - I have to experiment. Thanks for pointing out your favorite - I had consdiered adding hot peppers and will now certainly do so (though I will use jalapenos and serranos since our freezer is stocked with them - from last summer's garden).
  11. AlaMoi, Great suggestion, thank you. The pans are the right length (in terms of being able to fit in my oven), but are only ~13" wide. I would have preferred one just a bit wider - will keep looking.
  12. All, Thanks for the replies and my apolgies for beign so slow to thank you (I had forgotten to follow this thread).
  13. I am planning to cook cochinita pibil (Mexican pulled pork). Since I am lazy (and have a big freezer), I will probably cook two shoulders at the same time. I do not currently have a pan large enough to contain the meat, so I am thinking about purchasing a new one. The recipe (http://www.fronterafiesta.com/cook/meat-poultry-pork/266-slow-roasted) calls for a fair amount of highly acidic liquids. This got me to wondering - is an aluminum roasting pan acceptable or must I go the stainless steel route? The largest pan I can fit into my oven is around 20" x 17", and based on my searching, I have found very few stainless ones this size. If stainless really is the way to go, I'll scale back my plans and just cook one shoulder. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
  14. My wife is a huge fan of Kroger's Private Slection Sweet Cinnamon Spice Tea, see http://www.privateselection.com/artisan-products/gourmet-beverages/teas/sweet-cinnamon-spice-tea-caffeine-free/. The label indicates that the tea comprises cinnamon, ginger root, rosehip, organge peel, and peppermint. Would any of you be able to share a more detailed recipe for this blend? Thx.
  15. All, Was at a produce market yesterday and was seduced by the watercress - $0.89 a bunch and it looked good. So, I purchased two bunches with the intent of making Taiwanese ground pork with watercress (which we have had several times at Asian Legend in Ann Arbor). However, I cannot find a recipe! Can anyone help? If not, I'll saute some onions and garlic, add the pork with some five spice, make a quick soy-based sauce, and add the watercress. Thanks!
  16. All, I am in the market for a two-burner, cast iron griddle, such as the Lodge LPG13. There are almost one dozen such products listed on Amazon (to say nothing of those listed elsewhere) and I would like your suggestions for a good one. The Lodge product, overall, has very positive reviews, but there are enough negative ones that I would like this group's wisdom to help guide my buying decision. Thank you.
  17. Maybe living near the largest Middle Eastern community outside of the Middle East has sensitized me a bit, but it always feels a bit odd seasoning pork with zatar - but that doesn't stop me.
  18. The theme of this post has a defintie far-Eastern flavor - any options from the other side of the world? I just ordered a Rec Tec pellet smoker and would like to try cooking with pork belly. It occurred to me that I could prepare one in much the same way as one smokes a pork shoulder - dry rub and low heat. Would this approach yield a meal worth eating? With regard to buying a belly - I strongly suspect that I will have no problems getting them from Detroit's Eastern Market. There are numerous wholesale/retail butchers there who carry just about anythign one can imagine.
  19. All, I would like to better understand the number of calories consumed versus the number of calories reported on the label of canned goods. To determine calories, the food substance in question is put into a bomb calorimeter and is burned. With canned foods, the question is 'What exactly is placed into the calorimeter?' (The following assumesis that the packing liquid is discarded before the contents are consumed.) If the packing liquid is discarded before the contents are added to the calorimeter, then the value reported on the label would be as accurate a representation of the actual calorie count as possible. However, if the entire contents of the can are placed into the calorimeter, the value reported on the label could be quite inaccurate: For items packed in water, e.g., beans, the number of calories consumed would be greater than the value reported on the label as the water adds no calories.For items packed in oil, e.g., stuffed grape leaves, the number of calories consumed would be less than the value reported on the label as the oil adds many calories.So, finally, my question: Could you please tell me which approach is used for determining the calorie count value reported on the label of canned goods. Thank you.
  20. Our zucchini plants are doing well this year. Though probably plebeian for this crowd, one of our favorite preparation is to split a zuke lengthwise, spray the cut side lightly with olive oil and lightly season. They then go on the grill, cut side down for about five minutes. Next, we flip them, sprinkle with shredded cheese (typically mozzarella), scallions, and panko crumbs and let them cook for another five minutes or so. When we miss one and it gets too big for this preparation, we have made fritters. Actually, they were more like pancakes as I did not bother to look up a recipe... But, does anyone have recommendation for dealing with a zuke that was hidden from sight for a few days too many and was harvested at 5+ pounds?
  21. All, Thank you. I recently placed an order for a Vollrath 47747 Intrigue 9 1/2 qt. Saute Pan. I have the 17 qt sauce pot - I like the build quality and the surface finish. I believe that the pot bottom is sufficiently heavy to allow for even heating. We'll find out soon - I hope!
  22. We live in southeast Michigan, all of which is now considered to be suffering from a sever drought. We have not yet gone to our local produce stand that has local corn (local as in the field is across the street from the stand), but the corn fields we have driven past all look to be in really rough shape. Yes, those fields are not sweet corn, but unless the fields are being irrigated, the corn crop will probably be a bust this year.
  23. Penzey's does provide good quality products, but their prices are (IMHO) quite high. We have purchased from Monterey Bay Spice Co and San Francisco Herb Co and have been quite pleased with both the quality and value offered.
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