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Everything posted by jmcgrath

  1. jmcgrath

    Eating Panther

    Savenor's in Cambridge used to sell lion steaks. I'm not sure they still do since they moved to Boston. Jim
  2. jmcgrath

    The Perfect Burger

    I had my first lamb burger at the rather quirky A1 Diner in Gardiner, ME. The meat was mixed with a bit of fresh cilantro, and it was stuffed with Boursin. It was truly to die for. I've tried to duplicate it many times with varying success. My version is still a work in progress, but good enough that I make it often. Jim
  3. Having a scale does not preclude the need to sift. ← Most sources I've googled indicate that it is unnecessary to sift flour if it has been weighed. There may be exceptions of which I'm not aware. It appears that the purpose of sifting is to get a more accurate weight/volume measurement without weighing. The 4 oz = 1 C measurement I mentioned came from King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook. Whatever works for you... I consider weight or volume measurements to be just be a good starting point. Jim
  4. Since I got an electronic scale, I have given up on sifting entirely. 4 oz. (by weight) = 1 C (by volume). For anyone who does serious baking, a scale with a tare function is much more useful than a sifter. Jim
  5. Umm, I think that you or your guests will be disappointed with the final color if they are expecting "traditional". ← In New England, especially in the Boston area, gray corned beef is more traditional. Both red and gray versions are available in most supermarkets, but gray is much more common. Perhaps "gray" is an Irish tradition. Jim
  6. jmcgrath

    About roux

    Could it be that you have pantry pests in your flour? Jim
  7. I can only say good things about the integrity of this company. I recently ordered from them and there was a shipping error. We exchanged emails and resolved the issue as noted. Hi, YES, it's a mistake. This knives is named NOGENT. The blade is also forged by hand. Today, we send to you the ordered knife by Fedex. You will receive Tracking Reference from them. Very sorry for this mistake. You can keep the 1st knife for our apologize. Best Regards, Philippe
  8. Uncooked beet greens work well as part of a greens salad. Wash the greens and tear the leaves off the stems. Depending on leaf size, tear up a bit more. Jim
  9. My saffron came in a very sturdy circular metal container with a tight fitting slide-on metal top. I don't know how to explain the difference in our packaging experience. Jim
  10. jmcgrath

    Seafood Noob

    The dark belly meat has a particularly strong taste. I always trim that off before cooking. The rest of the fish still has enough flavor to stand up to anything you throw at it. Blue fish are close to the top of the ocean going food chain, and older fish pick up an undesirable level of PCBs. I always shop for smaller fillets or steaks. Jim
  11. I buy saffron here. The current price quoted on their website is $68.95/oz. It is also available in 1/2 oz. and 5 gram quantities. Mark Bittman recommended this company in a column a number of years ago, and I have been very happy with them. The web site is very informative. In case it may bother you, the saffron is imported from Iran. Jim
  12. jmcgrath

    Seafood Noob

    One of the Legal Seafoods cookbooks has a recipe that I greatly enjoy. It involves coating the flesh side of the fillet with a mixture of Dijon mustard and mayonnaise and then running under the broiler to cook. I've never done it, but you could try a quick fry, skin side down, in a very hot skillet to crisp the skin and then finish under the broiler to lightly brown the topping and finish the fish. Jim
  13. jmcgrath

    Seafood Noob

    Coquille St. Jacques, or for a variation, seafood St. Jacques. If you use seafood instead of scallops, I'd suggest scallop sized chunks of a firm white fish. Jim
  14. I can't speak for frozen lobster tails, but fresh lobster picks up some pink coloration (not discoloration) along the edges when it is cooked. The pink is just on the surface. It may be bleeding from the shell pigmentation, but that's only a guess. Jim
  15. This brought back some fond memories. See 9th Semi-Annual Concord BBQ/Hotluck in the Photo Gallery. It's been a few years, so perhaps it's time for another hotluck. I think I have an unopened bottle of Inner Beauty floating around. We could do a taste comparison with homemade versions. I also have a bottle of the original (made in Belize) Melinda's. We could do a comparison with the Costa Rican version. Jim
  16. Goat peppers definitely are C. Chinense, but the ones I've had are significantly milder than habaneros. I'm speaking from personal experience, not quoting an official source. I'd describe them as mildly spicy but with all the fruity aroma associated with habaneros. I think they are native to Barbados. Jim
  17. I just checked out pepper pollination in one of my Seed Saver's Exchange books. The word from them is that peppers will self-pollinate, but that insects can and do cause cause considerable crossing. They suggest wire frames, completely covered with Remay fabric. The fabric is thin enough to allow rain and sunlight through, but will keep insects out. An other alternative they suggest is separating each variety by 1/8 mile, but this probably won't work for most home gardeners. Jim
  18. Peppers cross-pollinate quite easily and you can't grow more than one variety in a home garden if you want to collect seeds that will breed true. I also collected seeds in Trinidad, but even the next generation didn't breed true. If peppers are being grown for consumption rather than seed, as I believe these peppers were, it is simpler to grow different varieties together and not worry about cross-pollinization. The cross doesn't show up until the next generation. Well dried seeds will keep up to five years in a glass jar stored in the refrigerator, in case you come across a large batch of seeds. If you can find a variety labeled goat peppers, I think you will find them similar to those you seek. Jim
  19. Cabot has two specialty butters and they are only available at the creamery in Cabot, VT. One is "Old Fashioned Farmstead Butter", a whey cream butter that is a byproduct of the cheese making process. It is by far, my taste favorite. The other is "82", described as "European Style High Fat Unsalted Butter". I believe the 82 is for 82% butterfat. I have a friend who makes more or less monthly trips past the Creamery on the way to visit her grandchildren, and I'm kept in good supply. If you live near Concord, MA, I could ask her to pick up some extra on her next trip. Email or PM me if interested. Jim
  20. In a restaurant business there are trade offs. Four or six hours on a steam table does far more damage to quality than a ten minute reheat on a grill. Jim
  21. The way I've seen it done is that the ribs are cooked overnight and then stored in trays in the walk-in. They are then heated to order on a grill. No attempt is made to hold the ribs at serving temperature. Since the ribs are finished to order, there are no leftovers. Jim
  22. I had lunch at Farfalle Italian Market today. It is a very nice little place, but seating is quite limited with just five small tables. For food service, it is much more geared to take out. It is a great place to have lunch with a friend, but not with a group of friends. On the market side of things, there is a good selection of Italian specialty items. The wine section seemed extensive, but was mostly Italian selections with which I am not familiar. I had a paninni, which had been preassembled and was then grilled to order. It was excellent. My friend had a crostini and a huge bowl of mushroom soup. She though the soup broth was slightly lacking in depth, but quite good otherwise.. I will certainly be returning, but because of the limited menu selections, probably not very often. I hope that Farfelle has not chosen to small of a niche to survive. Jim
  23. I think you have the hardness thing backwards. Cheap knives are made with hard stainless so that they will keep their factory edge as long as possible. After that, they are a pain to resharpen. Better knives with higher carbon content are softer, don't keep their edge as long, but sharpen much easier. At least that's what I've been led to believe. Jim
  24. Cross-pollination is generally not a problem unless you are saving seeds for next year. Corn is a different story. You are eating the seeds (corn kernels) in the year in which they are grown, and cross-pollinated corn is usually a disaster. You can avoid this problem by planting early maturing and a late maturing varieties. Just don't plant two or more varieties that mature at around the same time. Asparagus crowns are a much better choice than seed for most gardens. You can get a small crop the second year, and a good crop the third year. Do some research on this. The crowns need to be planted in trenches with lots of compost. Jim
  25. There's not much you can do to shorten cooking time. You can cheat by cooking the butt hot and smoky in the bullet for a few hours to create a nice bark and then finish in a 200 to 225F oven until done. Put it in the oven before you go to bed and start checking for doneness when you get up the next morning. Jim
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