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  1. dls

    Gas Station Food

    A couple years ago I stopped at a gas station in Dallas known as Fuel City to top off a rental car before returning it to Love Field. After filling up, I went inside to get a snack of some nature only to discover a taco stand. I went with the barbacoa, which some of the locals in line recommended, and it was some of the best I've ever had. If I recall correctly, it was $1.40.
  2. Blanco is perfect with salmon. Pipian is also a good choice.
  3. MelissaH - I don't think you need to be concerned. I've been to the Caymans a number of times (all 3 islands), and don't recall a predominance of bananas, if any at all. If anything, as Panaderia Canadiense said, you may encounter plantains. If you're dining buffet style, they may be offered at breakfast as a courtesy to guests from North America. What you will find in abundance are avocados (called pears), mango, papaya, citrus fruits, and ackee. Don't worry, and enjoy your trip.
  4. At least as a published recipe, Dorie Greenspan beat him to it. Around My French Table, Potato Chip Tortilla, p. 141. Going back even a little further, Jose Andres had a recipe for a potato chip torilla in his Tapas book, ~2005 I think! The first time I had the potato chip omelet was at the recommendation of a friend when we had lunch at Fast Good, the mini chain Adria had in Madrid with NH Hotels. Though initially skeptical, I found the dish to be quite good. I've since made it many times using the Andres recipe as a base. It's quick, simple, inexpensive, and has lots of room for improvisation and additions - roasted garlic, caramelized onions, diced chorizo, grated cheese, etc. If I recall correctly, Andres credits Adria as his inspiration for the dish from the days he worked at El Bulli. As far as a published recipe for the dish is concerned, you have to go back further yet to an earlier book from Adria - Cocinar en Casa (2003).
  5. dls

    Smoked pulled pork

    Most of the time when I smoke a pork butt I prefer the mix of the different tastes and textures of the outside and inside meat. That said, on those occasions when I, or my guests, are looking for deeper smoke penetration I simply bone the butt (or buy a boneless one), open it up, and spread it out a bit. Kind of like butterflying it. Your end result will be a fully smoked butt with a lot more bark. It may end up a little drier than normal but you can correct that by adding something like a apple juice based finishing sauce after you've pulled the meat. Note - Watch your clock and thermometer. The smoking time will drop substantially using this method.
  6. I'll second this recommendation. I've had this machine for 5-6 years, and think it's ideal for anyone who occasionally makes small batches of sausage.
  7. There's definitely a connection between The Spice House and Penzey's. A family one. Tom and Patty Erd are the owners of The Spice House. Patty's parents were the founders of Penzey's. Here's the story.
  8. Glad it worked out well for you, Darienne. For a comparison, try it sometime using yogurt.
  9. Zatar is an spice and herb blend common to Middle Eastern countries. Though the basics remain pretty much the same there are countless versions that vary by country, and the regions within each country. Here's a simple Syrian version. You can find many more recipes via Google. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand, or they're readily available. Many of the recipes call for the use of whole spices such as cumin seeds, sesame seeds, etc. When I add zatar to the cheese, I lightly toast and grind all whole spices beforehand.
  10. Darienne I've done this numerous times using either sour cream or yogurt, and the process I follow is the same as you describe. Some advocate leaving the bowl at room temperature for 12-24 hours then into the refrigerator for another 2 days or so. Not understanding the rationale behind that method, I've never done it. Just straight to the refrigerator. I typically add a mix of herbs and/or spices. One of my favorites is to simply add some zatar. Good luck. Let us know how it comes out.
  11. ABTs are always a hit as a party appetizer, and simple to make - split/de-seeded jalapeno + softened cream cheese + bacon. I always have a stash caramelized onions and roasted garlic in EVOO on hand in the refrigerator. I mince some of each, and add to the cream cheese. I usually have a supply of leftover smoked pulled pork or brisket in the freezer. I thaw some, mince, and also add to the cheese. Sometimes, I'll add a little honey to the cream cheese. I find thin cut bacon works best, and I partially cook it by poaching or in the microwave. I smoke the ABTs at 225F for 1.5-2 hours. When they're done, I brush 1/2 of the batch with a favorite BBQ sauce, and finish them on a gas grill for a few minutes to set a glaze. The ABTs always go fast, and it always seems like I never make enough.
  12. My procedure with ribs, using a dedicated smoker, is similar to the one posted by BadRabbit: • The rib racks are cut in half, and the rub is applied just prior to starting the smoke. I mix equal amounts of red wine vinegar and canola oil with the rub to form a paste and “paint” the ribs with it. I occasionally substitute yellow mustard for the vinegar and oil. I then place the ribs in the smoker meat side up. • Smoke ribs @ 200F for 1 hour. • Increase smoker temperature to 250F and smoke ribs smoke ribs for 2 hours. • I then remove the ribs from the smoker and place them meat side down on sheets of foil. Using a bottle of Parkay squeeze margarine, I apply 3-4 thin lines of it on each rib. I then distribute a mixture made up of brown sugar, syrup, apricot preserves, hot sauce, pimenton, and garlic powder to each rib. I then close the foil and place ribs in the smoker meat side down, still @ 250F, for 1 hour. • I remove the ribs from the smoker, apply a light coating of my favorite sauce, then place the ribs, meat side up and uncovered, in an oven pre-heated to 300F for 15 minutes. Done. The times given are what I go by for spares. Obviously, a little less time is needed for back ribs. In either case, the times are only guidelines. Other factors come into play such as the quality and size (weight) of the rib racks, the ability of your smoker or other cooker to maintain a consistent temperature, etc. Bottom line is that you need to monitor the process, especially towards the end. Trying to get an accurate read of the meat temperature cooking multiple racks is pointless, even with a Thermapen. Just do the toothpick test. You’ll probably find that some racks need to be removed before others. Just hold them until all are done, and finish in the oven as described. If I have my timing right, I foil, towel, and cooler the ribs for 1 hour, then serve. As others have said, falling off the bone is overcooked.
  13. I was an early buyer of Charcuterie, and have enjoyed it immensely. It's probably the only cook book that I have actually read cover to cover. A wealth of knowledge and insight, especially for those with little or limited knowledge about the subject. As others, I have found several flaws, the most significant of which is the recommended of curing salts. In the not to distant past I sent inquiry to Michael regarding the subject, and he did respond. My inquiry to Michael follows: "The corned beef recipe in Charcuterie was the one of first ones I tried when I purchased the book a few years ago. I've since repeated the process many times, occasionally with a few tweaks of my own, but with one exception, nothing major. I've corned the beef to cook and serve on its own, or as a step en route to pastrami. The final results have been nothing less than excellent. That said, I do have one issue with the recipe - The amount of pink salt called for. I buy most of my curing supplies from Butcher Packer which, if I recall correctly, is recommended as a source in the book. Their web site and the packaging clearly state that 4 ounces of the pink salt will cure 100 pounds of meat. The recipe calls for 1 ounce (5 teaspoons), or enough to cure 25 pounds of meat. My adjustment for a 5 pound brisket is to use 1 teaspoon, and have never had a problem with the finished product." Michaels response follows: "We're reevaluating pink salt levels for the new book so can't answer specifically. That's Brian's recipe. The Govt recommended level of nitrite in a product is 200 parts per million, so if you're good at math, figure out 200 ppm for the weight of the brine and meat combined. Don't forget also that it's simmered, which leaches out salt. Also, nitrite converts to nitrous oxide so I'm not sure how much nitrite you're getting in final product. Trying to research this now!" While it was kind of him to respond, I know no more than I did before the inquiry. I guess we'll have to wait for the new book to see if there are any revisions or corrections. In the meantime, I'll stick with my ratio.
  14. Turn the base over and look at your serial number. It should start with an "R" denoting refurbished. The format of my unit's number reads as RTBBTD followed by a dash and 5 numbers. I take this as an internal code to abbreviate Refurbished Total Blender Black Tom Dickson. Should your unit ever need service, the the 10 year warranty will tie to the SN.
  15. Interesting. did you order a specific color? Black. When I received the email regarding color choice, I had trouble responding so I called the customer service department. The rep told me that black was the default color, but that the other 3 colors were readily available. That's when I began wondering whether or not all of the units sold were truly refurbished, or if new ones were being added to fulfill all of the orders.
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