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James G

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Everything posted by James G

  1. Thanks for the info; it's actually been reliably between 15-16 every time I have checked it.
  2. Realize this is a late post to an old thread, but maybe some of you are still following it. I have been successfully making Spanish-style chorizo, saucissons secs, and the like for years, using a method that I got from Michael Ruhlman that uses an anaerobic fermentation process without needing Bactoferm (you basically leave the "naked" meat mixture out at room temp overnight, then put it in an airless environment in a black bag in a fridge for a month before mixing it with the spices etc and stuffing it the sausage and hanging it). I recently tried to make salami for the first time, using the same method but a few new elements--the casings were much larger collagen-type salami casings, and for the first time I am using a repurposed refrigerator with a temperature and humidity controller that ostensibly keeps the interior at between 15-18C and a humidity of 70%, and a fan in there to keep the air moving. The salamis have been hanging for about a month, maybe a bit less, and have just got to the point where they have lost 30% of their weight. But they are not quite as firm as I would have thought they'd be, and when I cut one as a test it is not truly solid. It smells fine, looks fine, and from the tiny little taste I took it seems to taste fine. Is it safe to eat, and would it benefit at all from being vacuum-sealed to help compress the stuff?
  3. I have begun to brew kombucha in recent months, and have started to wonder about creative ways to use it. I am particularly interested in seeing if there is a way to devise a pleasurable palate cleanser with it to serve to guests between courses at meals. Has anyone run across anything that would be worth trying? None of my research has turned up anything at all.
  4. I have been asked by a book club to organise a Middle Eastern Christmas dinner for their annual holiday party. I am very comfortable with Middle Eastern cooking, but am not very familiar with what would be considered a "Christmas" dinner there. I have turned to my Lebanese friends, who are singularly unhelpful ("we used to eat roast leg of lamb for Christmas", or "we always went to Paris for Christmas"). I suppose I could just do a "festive" Middle Eastern menu, but thought before I make any decisions about what to serve, I'd turn to the eGullet community for some inspiration. What would you serve them?
  5. Thank you so much for posting this. Whenever I am in China I always look for interesting cookbooks (I read Chinese and spent many years there) but have always found that they are not terribly good at presenting the instructions in a coherent way. There is also a terrible lack of comprehensive regional cookbooks for some obscure regions (I'd kill for a Guizhou cookbook, for instance). This book looks like one I'd be interested in; wonder if Taobao sells it since I doubt it'll show up in my local PaperPlus anytime soon.
  6. Help! I am in Queens visiting my elderly mother and tomorrow night (July 11) we are going to have dinner at the apartment of a friend of hers (also an older lady) who would like to have us order in (or bring in) Chinese food, since we used to live in China. I am, however, not going to be happy having as my last meal in the USA some lousy, greasy, "Chinese" food, so I wonder if anyone can recommend a place that will both meet my exacting Chinese standards, but also satisfy my mom and her friend? Of course, we will err on the side of pleasing them over pleasing me, but perhaps we can meet both objectives?
  7. Wow, thank you very much for such a lovely review. We can hardly wait to have you come back next year (if not sooner)! (And clever inclusion of a corner of our Steampunk handbook in the photo of the canapés...)
  8. I also live in New Zealand and received my copy of Jerusalem the other day. It's an amazing book, and has loads of great recipes that have turned out beautifully. And with regard to Merkinz's comments above, yes, herbs can be expensive in NZ in winter (especially) but they are easy to grow yourself, and the only ones you really need to have, like Italian parsley and maybe coriander, grow well in NZ year-round, especially if you have a sunny windowsill or a tunnel house.
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