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Everything posted by Trev

  1. The ranch is perfect for what you're describing. A lot of folks (including myself) use fire bricks to cordon off an area or the charcoal grate for smaller direct grilling or for indirect/smoking, etc. Also, being a weber it has a lifetime guarantee, as you know. It's good to have the space when you need it, but it's easy to use a half or third of this grill when you don't. You can't go wrong with a ranch.
  2. Funniest question I've been asked yet was recently when an obviously flustered host come over to our table and blurted out, "What's going on here... I mean... how is everything here?" Still makes me chuckle when I think of it.
  3. Trev

    Salty Snacks

    I'm fond of shelled pumpkin seeds with a light coating of oil, course sea salt and chili powder, roasted in the oven then given a little squeeze of fresh lime juice.
  4. My order of beans came in the mail last week. I can't wait to get started on this. This Christmas everyone is getting Vanilla extract, pancetta and caramels, all home made. I know it was quite a while ago now, but thank you FG for recommending this supplier, he's great to deal with.
  5. seriously, Nigella is the sexiest woman on tv, regardless of the station.
  6. I disagree on this one. I like Flay, and seeing some of the food he produces on iron chef makes me realize that when he challenges someone on throwdown he's actually bringing a lot of business to that kitchen. He seems almost appologietic when he wins and doesn't strike me as a poor loser when he doesn't win. I know he brings a stocked pantry with him when he goes on a challenge, but it doesn't always help him as the judges are almost always local and can tell the difference between the real thing and what Flay has made. I also get a huge kick out of his two lovely assistants who always roll thier eyes at him. They're just so 'not impressed' by him. They treat him like he's more of a pain in the ass, but they also clearly get along. I admire Flay and think that in a way he's a very smart television personality with at least two shows that celebrate the average home-chef's talents. It endears him to the public a lot more than someone who talks down to, or simply instructs, the audience, or their guests.
  7. I'll miss his unusual style, and the science behind how it goes down in food town. I've sure learned a lot from him too, but I guess he's on to bigger and better things. Good luck, Alton. See you in the kitchen.
  8. The one show that I honestly just cannot watch is Mexican Made Easy with Marcela Valladolid! I think someone may have mentioned how annoying her voice is! Like nails on a chalkboard. Makes me change the channel every time.
  9. I'm not a fan of tabasco, I think it's the fermentaion process that kills it for me. However, I do like an assortment of hot sauces from the mild the the wild; including Franks, Sriracha, Sambal Oelek, Valentina, various El yucateco's (especially the new jalapeno one) and some home made ones of my own design. For me it's not about pure heat, it has to have good flavour too, or what's the sense of it? In the flavour department I think that Sambal Oelek may be the purest tasting but it's also one of the hotter ones; a little goes a long way. My wife fell in love with this kind, so as a gag I bought her a gallon jug of the stuff. Now she's half way through it and show's no signs of slowing down! I don't think that hot sauce dulls taste buds because we eat hot sauce most every day but I think my appreciation for the taste of good food is growing, not waning.
  10. Trev


    I've ground it up and used it with a little maple syrup in the cure for my bacon. I've also dissolved small pieces in my coffee. It's great stuff, I love it.
  11. I expect it would be, too. I'm hardening it off right now, bringing it in at night, and won't be planting delicate plants until June 1st.
  12. Never heard of chaya so I Wiki'd it. Quoting: "The leaves must be cooked before being eaten, as the raw leaves are toxic." Not planning salads, I hope. I think I'll just pass on this one. Nope, not planning on using it in salads, but I did have it a couple of weeks ago in Mexico, fried with some chorizo, and it was just excellent. I even went for seconds. I love to try new stuff and this one is new (to me) for sure.
  13. I found chaya at Humber Nurseries today. Looking forward to growing that 'round here. They didn't have any epazote left, but they had scotch bonnets and lemon verbena, and that made me happy.
  14. Ya, the whole heartburn thing started to get the best of me a few years ago and when I stopped mixing I found that I really liked it.
  15. Personal taste I guess. Also, most mixes give me terrible heartburn. But if it's good enough to stand on it's own merits then ice is enough for me; I want to appreciate it's subtleties, and mixing it can kill that.
  16. I love dark rum and my fave is ElDorado 12yo on the rox. A close runner-up is Havana Club Barrel Proof, also on the rox. I'm not big on mixing good rum but if I had to I'd say a sour mojito is a good way to go with a decent white rum.
  17. Trev

    Worst Candy Ever

    marzipan makes me gag.
  18. Paella. I thought it was some sort of clinical wizardry timing thing. Now I can make it for upwards of 50 people without worrying at all.
  19. It doesn't bother me, either. In fact I'm curious to see how they prepare it.
  20. Are cured lemons supposed to be wet or dry? I'm not making lemon juice, I'm trying to cure the rinds. They are supposed to be wet during the curing process. Once they are fully cured, you can remove everything but the rinds (I leave a little flesh on mine). Here's a recipe from Paula Wolfert: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Preserved-Lemons-231570 As you can see, the lemon juice is important enough that she suggests adding some if the lemons are not covered. Thanks for that, BR, much appreciated. It's getting clearer now, especially with Wolfert's instruction.
  21. I guess that's what I'm unsure of, Chris. If I knew what kind of texture I was going for, or moisture content, then I'd be more confident about what to do next, if anything. In the final notes he says that he scoops out and discards the pith and uses the rind, and that it's tan in colour. What I see is the dryer lemons are tan while the wetter ones are still bright yellow. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say the recipe is wrong, I'm only saying for someone like me who's not a chef it's kind of hard to follow. It's only lemons, though, so if I had to do it over I wouldn't lose any sleep. It's not like I messed up a shoulder of Berkshire or something.
  22. Are cured lemons supposed to be wet or dry? I'm not making lemon juice, I'm trying to cure the rinds.
  23. I do have an issue with the lemon confit recipe, as I've noted in another thread. The lemons do not simply cure. The liquid has to go somewhere and when I changed the salt in my cure I recovered (drained) a tremendous amount of liquid from the salt. There's no mention of changing the salt in the directions he gives and now that I've done that it's clearly a step that needs to be taken. I'm certain I'll need to do it again, too. He calls for only 1kg of salt for 12 lemons. I used 2 kg of salt and 8 lemons and it's still clearly out of whack. I feel that by the time I'm done and the lemons are tan in colour I'll have used upwards of 6kg of salt to achieve desirable a moisture level. On the positive side, they smell fantastic!
  24. I did a search here already but failed to come up with an answer to this question, so here it is. I started some lemon confit about 6-8 weeks ago using the basic recipe from Ruhlman's Charcuterie, which is just lemons and course salt. Today I went to inspect them and maybe rotate them for a more even cure. What I found was quite a bit of liquid in the bottom of the container. This brine seems to be inhibiting the curing process for the lemons that are in the bottom. Is it advisable to drain the excess brine, change the salt or maybe just leave it alone? The lemons in the top 2/3 of the container are taking on a nice tan colour, which I understand is the desired effect. Thanks for any help.
  25. Trev

    Prague Powder

    That's a good explanation, Larry. Explains why long curing items, like dry cured sausage, uses nitrates as well as nitrites.
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