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Posts posted by jmcgrath

  1. I have always wondered – does anyone but the judges get to eat the BBQ at a competition? :rolleyes:

    Yes. In addition to the Judges, there are Table Captains, Contest Representatives and other assistants. Anything not taken by the Judges is put on a leftovers table for them to sample. The general public is not invited to sample at KCBS contests.

    Very often, a gaggle of friends will accompany a cook team. They often get samples in the cooking area.


  2. Although there are no ceviche recipes in it, my "go to" fish book when I first began to cook fish was James Beard's New Fish Cookery, revised 1976. Very comprehensive and useful. I don't know if it's still in print.

    I really like most of Beard's books, but New Fish Cookery and Beard on Bread are among my least favorite. Both seem padded with repetitious techniques


  3. I am thinking that there should be something to nibble on while doing all of the finishing touches you need to do with a meal as big as Thanksgiving's.

    Keep it very, very simple. Perhaps cheese and crackers. Please serve the cheese at room temperature. Shrimp and dip will work, but please avoid those horrid supermarket shrimp platters. You can cook the shrimp a day in advance.

    Whatever you serve, keep the per-person portions small.


  4. I haven't gotten around to the mains yet.

    I have a few boxes of John Cope's corn, so creamed corn is likely.

    I'm leaning toward roasted cauliflower, but I'm not sure how that will go over with the teenage grandchildren. They're not picky eaters and generally inhale food.

    Yeast rolls.

    A green vegetable, probably green beans or Brussels sprouts. Broccoli doesn't hold up well, and if the timing isn't perfect...

    Potatoes of some sort. I'm really bored with mashed or baked. Perhaps a casserole.

    Probably two kinds of stuffing. This is the only sore point between my GF and me.

    Do I really need to do something with squash? It's not that I dislike it, but I've had it for every Thanksgiving for the past 60 years.

    I don't eat deserts and my daughter will probably do them.

    Now, thinking about mains:

    Possibilities are smoked turkey, spiral sliced ham and bone in pork loin.

    Has anyone tried warming a spiral sliced ham in a WSM? It's not an issue of oven space, but I thought it might add an interesting touch. If you ever buy a bone in loin, make sure the butcher removes the chine bone. Carving is a bitch otherwise.


  5. There must surely be as many methods of making potato salads as there are cooks.

    I'm sure every eGulleteer has plenty of recipes.  Please share with me your favorites.

    One of my favorites is Creole Potato Salad from the Dinosaur Bar B Que cookbook.


    A couple of pounds of red potatoes

    4 hard cooked eggs, chopped

    About a half cup of minced red onion

    Perhaps a cup of diced celery

    Two teaspoons of Creole seasoning (I use Tony C's)

    Two teaspoons or so of kosher salt

    About a teaspoon of black pepper

    For the dressing

    A cup of mayonnaise

    A half cup of creole mustard

    And a teaspoon of brown sugar

    You can garnish this with some crumbled bacon


  6. does anyone remember what happened to cuisinart? they made one very simple, very reliable, very perfect appliance. and then once everybody who was going to buy one did, they nearly went broke.

    My DLC7 from 1980 is still working fine. Well... a piece of the safety interlock on the lid snapped off last year and I had to order a replacement bowl and lid. The replacement cost more than the whole original processor.


  7. I've had three different brands of rotatry graters. The all-metal Mouli is a hopeless piece of crap, flimsy and nearly impossible to use, which went fairly quickly into the trash.

    My 30 year old Mouli is still going strong. Perhaps quality has gone down over the years. The fine grate drum has started to dull and I guess I will also need a replacement soon.


  8. I forgot all about this nonsense until a couple of days ago when I drank a bottle of V8.  The experience got me wondering again, this time about the Campbell's company and tomatoes.  Like where are they farmed and how do they use them.  I guess both of these musings are about the inner workings of the industrial food complex (is that what it's called?) 

    Many, many years ago I had a summer job at the Campbell's plant in Camden, NJ. The tomatoes were trucked in from farms all over South Jersey. I don't know if that's still the case.


  9. Small batch producers don't have the economy of scale to do anything but sell locally. At least in Vermont, sap is evaporated to a particular specific gravity and then graded on clarity. The sap run gets progressively darker over the course of the sugaring season.

    To use a viniculture term, there may be some terroir involved but as far as I know, no one has ever documented it.


  10. American cheese is what it is.  You either like it or hate it, but it's true that nothing melts better.

    Cabot sells a nice sharp cheddar, presliced. Judging by how nicely it melts, I would guess that it is process cheese, but without the blandness of basic American.


  11. A comparison based on breed of cattle would also be really interesting.  I don't know what breeds we were eating last night.  The Wells Angus was, well, Angus.  But the others... Hereford?  I don't know.

    I think that CAB is a trademark, rather than a specifier of a particular breed of beef. The trademark means the beef meets certain standards.


  12. I have taken matters into my own hands as I am in the process of building two 4' x8' cold frame greenhouses so I can grow some produce year-round.  However, I am becoming increasingly disillusioned by the commercial supermarkets in my area.  HELP!!  I do realize that what can be grown in the northeast in the winter is very limited but is there anyplace that really takes pride in their quality, organic, at least semi-local produce?

    Thanks in advance, I am off to contemplate dinner :raz: !!

    A cold frame will certainly give you a start on the season, I'd guess four weeks, but perhaps even six. You won't be able to grow produce year round. It will also extend your season in the fall. Placement of the cold frame is important, but so is a thermostatically controlled venting system. You want as much sun as possible, but don't don't want to cook things on an unusually warm, sunny day.

    A surplus French door and some 2" x 6" planks is a good way to start.

    The temperature right now at Hanscom Field is 3F.


  13. Update:

    So, I spoke to the meat guy at the grocery store about the boneless blade roast that was on sale.  He said he could give me something even better for the same price ( chuck tender).  I've never heard of that cut, so I'm hoping its good.  I asked him if he'd cut it up into stew pieces and he agreed. ( less work for me). 

    Chuck tenders are a great cut of meat. They usually have a lot of surface silver skin that I like to trim before cutting up the meat. Hopefully your meat guy will do that.


  14. I have to cook again in less than 2 weeks - Monday February 5.  I could trot a classic back out, like the jambalaya, but I'd like to try something new.  Anyone have any ideas for me?  For a Monday night, I'll need something that I can cook in my two hour window - I'll have to work that day, so don't have the option of starting early.  However, since it's Sunday the day before, I could potentially do something that needed to be marinated or otherwise prepped in advance.

    If you don't have any restrictions about cooking with wine, Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon might be appreciated. I recently made a big batch that I served over egg noodles. You can do all of the prep work and cooking on Sunday, refrigerate overnight, and reheat the next day. Beef Chuck Tenders are going to be the cheapest type of meat. I've seen them in 20 lb. cryovac package, and one should be enough for 40 people.


  15. That being said . . . I am darn curious about using the big LC oval. Yes, I know that the high sides fly in the face of conventional wisdom. But then, I always enjoy flying in the face of Conventional Wisdom, Known Truths, Established Doctrine and several other folk with whom I have made acquaintance. What I am wondering is if the big heat sink and geometry might help getting the thighs cooked a bit faster and therefore even out the cooking times between white and dark meat. Then I get curious about how the thing will brown.

    Examine the way in which heat transfer takes place, conduction, radiation and convection. With conduction, there is direct transfer, e.g. from your stove top burner to a frying pan to a steak. With radiation, infrared energy goes from a heat source e.g. a broiler directly to a steak. Put the steak too far away and the energy will be transferred to air rather than the steak. With convection cooking, e.g. roasting, the oven element transfers energy to the oven air and then to the roast. The more efficiently the air circulation take place, the more efficiently your roast will be heated. A high sided roasting dish will impede air circulation. Adding a fan to your oven and now calling it a convection oven improves air circulation and oven efficiency.

    Baking is a combination of conduction and convection. Hot air transfers energy to the sides and bottom of a baking pan from where energy is conducted to what is being baked. Hot air transfers energy directly to the top. Everything in an oven will eventually reach a steady state temperature. A glass bread pan will just take longer to do so than a metal one.

    I don't think that thick vs. thin makes much difference in roasting. The operant factor here is air circulation. It may be a factor in baking depending on how widely your oven temperature fluctuates. At +- 5F it's probably not going to matter. At +-15F having a big heat sink will probably help.


  16. I wouldn't denigrate anyone's choice for their ideal roasting pan, but in many cases it's a question of esthetic's. Foil pans are a tool of the devil. They are just plain dangerous. Lightweight pans warp and juices collect at one end and burn at the other. Beyond that I don't think there is much difference. Circulating air/convection is the heat transfer method. and the cost of the roasting pan isn't going to make much of a difference.

    If you lust after and can afford a $300 pan, please go for it. Just be aware that a $50 pan will cook just as well.


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