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    Zagreb, Croatia

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  1. Wolf

    Lunch 2019

    Last night I did a hen stew (local name, tingul od kokoši)- I bought a 7lb hen on impulse, and had to portion it and wing up a recipe for a dish I never ate or have cooked. Even more foolishly, I left the house during the cooking for a few beers with friends, and a miscommunication resulted in the stew simmering for 7 instead of 3 hours. I winged it even on wine selection, which was a touch too sweet- not surprisingly, tingul turned a bit too sweet too, so I touched it up with a glug of port, pinch of pepperoncino and a teaspoon or two of mustard and few grinds of pepper. The result was nevertheless finger-lickingly delicious. And
  2. Rotuts, sorry for the delay, but here's one of those... Store nearby had 20% off on enamelled cookware (and as luck would have it, today was my payday), so I couldn't help myself but to snatch a 9½" one...
  3. Wolf

    Chicken Parmesan

    Foodwishes has 4 recipies- two for classic version and two for casserole (cheater version, sort of). If I was making it at home, I'd probably opt for the latter. Link to all 4 HTH.
  4. Wolf

    Question about dried bean varieties

    Kayb and Heidih- you are both correct. I appologize for confusion- these are older symbols which I remember seeing in cookbooks when I was young, so I still use them in my notes (from which I copy-pasted the recipe before translating it to english). Edited to add- Kayb, maybe disolving a small piece of boullion cube in the reserved cooking water before adding it to the dish would be OK substitute.
  5. Wolf

    Question about dried bean varieties

    Since this thread attracts quite a few bean afficionados, I thought I wouldn't be wrong in sharing a recipe for what is considered a Macedonian staple dish- gravče na tavče (literally translated 'beans in a pan')- a very spicy baked beans that go well from side dish with BBQ or simple sunny side up eggs to stand-alone dish... I haven't seen anything of the sort on this site, so I thought you might enjoy trying something from 'lesser known' cuisines (which is IMHO quite delicious... I always eat it as a stand-alone dish). Gravče na tavče 400 grams white beans (original variety is called 'tetovac'*, probably best substituted with cassoulet beans) 1.5 deciliter oil 250 grams onions 1-2 heaping tsp paprika 1 heaping Tsp tomato puree 2-3 cloves garlic 1 Tsp flour 2 hot peppers (chilles or pepperons), dried or preserved 2-3 fresh tomatoes 1 green pepper 1 bay leaf parsley 1 Tsp Vegeta (Croatian all-purpose condiment, containing a number of root veggies, salt & MSG**) salt, pepper to taste, mint to taste Soak the beans overnight, discarding the water and cook in salted water until almost done (shouldn't in no circumstances be overcooked). Drain and reserve some of the cooking liquid. Lightly brown/sautee thinly sliced onions, add paprika, tomato paste, finely diced garlic and flour. Stir well and sautee a bit (keeping in mind that burning paprika will impart an unwanted bitter taste to the dish). Add beans with reserved liquid, Vegeta, bay leaf and diced hot chilles. Add salt and pepper to taste and boil shortly. Transfer to an earthenware, or similar ovenproof dish, cover with tomato slices and (deseeded and de-membraned) squares of fresh pepper, sprinkle with parsley (and mint should you choose to use it) and oil. Bake in preheated 220°C oven for 20-30 minutes. This dish should be very hot and is excellent BBQ side-dish, but can be served with eggs or as stand-alone dish. (E. Buljina) * the name means 'from Tetovo' (a Macedonian city) ** in my family we use a homemade condiment made with one bunch of parsley (roots and leaves), one bunch carrot, one bunch parsley and celery leaves each. All ingreadients (with stems removed) are run through meat grinder, drained of water, 20% of dried weight of salt is added, drained again and jarred. We usually substitute 1Tbsp of our condiment for 1tsp Vegeta. Added- a 'bunch' is a unit used in our marketsČ the way I understand/guesstimate it is that bunch of e.g. parsley is 1kg, whereas 1 bunch of parsley or celeriac leaves is the amount of leaves with stems one would get when buying a bunch of said vegetable and cutting off the roots. I should conclude this post as chef John from FoodWishes with "I hope you try this soon and, as always- eeenjoy".
  6. I could offer $30 (and would be willing to) for that one, and it would barely cover shipping to my neck of woods.... You guys have it so lucky with such cookware. OTOH in my neck of woods we're happy with excellent quality sheet steel pots from neighbouring country (Slovenia)-can't go wrong with those for sauteeing, stewing dishes in those EMO Eterna dishes...
  7. I guess this is the wrong thread to post how I made my guanciale (it's basically done, but I'll leave it on my balcony for a day or two before I decide what to do with it... beside carbonara and Amatriciana)... ETA it has survived quite adverse conditions with regard to humidity, which rarely dropped below 85% over three weeks it's been hung...
  8. Wolf

    Dinner 2019

    I'll probably skip dinner tonight... I sort of get full from aroma when I cook- and tonight I have a date with 5lb of oxtails I intend to make into oxtail ragu (I had to splurge... cost me $9.50 the lot). Yesterday I prepared 5lb of tomato sauce, portioned off some to the freezer, and I'm about to start with ragu- wish me luck (I'm starting rather late).
  9. Wolf

    Stir Frying in Stainless Steel

    I think the reason is that stainless steel is poor conductor of heat (most of the heat going into pure stainless steel pan will try to warp it), and as aside bonus carbon steel can get 'non-stick' patina. I've done patina (by applying horseraddish and ketchup, of all things) on one of my carbon steel knives which prevent it from rusting, but does not prevent it from imparting 'metallic' taste to food being cut. I like to keep things as 'traditional' as possible, hence me trying to figure out a way to make (what I percieve to be a quintessential) wok work in an environment (heating element) not very suited to it. I'm more of a braising and simmering (european style) type of guy, but this experiment of mine is making me want to try stir-frying on electric stove (any my stove has 3 gas burners ) just as a proof of concept.
  10. Wolf

    Stir Frying in Stainless Steel

    Pardon me from butting in on this topic, but I have a related inquiry... I'm trying to set up a friend with a wok, but she has only (conventional) electric stove. Would regular round carbon steel wok work with induction plate (I have one lying around, and don't mind lending it to her- because I think it would be more responsive to adjustments)? My idea is to make (or have it made) a solid steel 'adapter' which would be placed on induction plate. It would protect the plate top, to some degree steady the wok and hold it in place, while distributing more heat to the bottom of the wok, and woul additionally prevent induction plate from shutting off when lifting wok to toss the food in it... So, my quiestion is- would it work? Is it worth the trouble?
  11. Wolf

    Lunch! What'd ya have? (2018)

    Chef John from Foodwishes,com (link) - it was delicious. I only added a pinch of thyme and oregano (and a salted anchovy fillet) to his recipe and it was very savoury, enough spicy and the warm aftertaste lingered for quite a while.... 👍
  12. Wolf

    Lunch! What'd ya have? (2018)

    Today for lunch (with a bunch of leftovers ) were chicken riggies, recipe from Foodwishes...
  13. I live in EU and FWIW I think I'm allowed to distill up to 60 litres (roughly translating to 15 gal) per year for personal consumption (mind you, curing meat and sausages. without nitrates. is sort of national passtime, so distilling should come rather naturally). Unfortunately, I've not done, as of yet any distilling or brewing projects- but have researched (insufficiently) and collected quite a few recipes for fee verte (Green fairy aka Absinthe). I think I could harvest most of the ingredients from 'the wild' in late spring/early summer should I try to do it... Are there any good reference books on the subject of production of brewed and distilled drinks? Leslie- I think I've read that British royal court imported juniper berries for gin production from my neck of woods (Zadar hinterland), as well as quantities of Maraschino. So, I could possibly (for a price, hehehe ) hook You up with some quality berries. Lately, some gins from my country have been getting some 'traditional gin' awards (as well as some 'funky' products emerging- like first ever gin that turns colour from blue to pink with addition of the lemon, thanks to deep infusion of some southern asian petals/flowers) so there might be a smigdeon of the truth to this rumour.
  14. Le Caisne's method seems a bit 'one-directional' for my liking- just like Jo, I haven't mastered braising, but in his method seems liked meat is steamed, and its juices leaching out into the braising liquid. The way I see it, in La Caisne method should produce less flavourful meat (water in - flavourful juices out), with few spoonfuls of exquisite sauce. IMHO, I'd be willing to settle for more ballance of conventional 'half submerged meat' method wherein meat and liquid interchange flavours (and more liquid, which can be reduced in the final stages*)... I've always fancied luting (sealing) the lid with dough, as Le Caisne suggests, but am not entirely sure it's worth the trouble with 'modern' pots, if one uses reasonably decent one- I've braised oxtails on stove top for hours in IKEA enamelled dutch oven (which one would be hard pressed to call 'state of the art' or 'top of the line') with no perceptible loss of liquid with just the lid on the pot. * actually, I leave my braising liquid quite thin, to facilitate reheating, and reduce to desired consistency only when the meat is reheatred properly/thoroughly
  15. I changed the 'recipe' a bit (after 2nd wash in wine, jowls were rubbed with crushed garlic, pepper and pepperoncino- all of which were then ommited from dry rub). After 8 days in ziploc bags in fridge, one stiffened up considerably, other one not so much, so both were additionally rubbed with salt-sugar mixture during their stay in fridge. Here's a photo of both pieces before I put them in a makeshift curing chamber- a cardboard box on my balcony, with holes for ventilation (later today, I'm going to put a tray with super saturated brine in there.