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Wolf

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  1. Wolf

    Food Funnies

    You mean the man who delivered the best speech in movie history (despite being remebered as a silent-movie actor)? I think the Inception theme, by Zimmer, makes it even better. PS Sorry for the digression.
  2. Wolf

    Horseradish

    In Croatia (and I'd think it would be german cuisine influence) we prepare a hot horseraddish sauce, served mostly with boiled beef... Few tablespoons of freshly grated horseraddish are added to the flour while making a roux (although I've seen a slice of white bread soaked in milk as sauce base), and when flour loses 'the edge', beef broth (or sometimes milk) is added, seasoned with pepper and briefly simmered. It's relatively mild sauce, and I quite liked it when I was a kid. Edited to add that (obvioulsly I forgot the salt to taste), that the sauce is sometimes finished with a dollop of cream.
  3. Wolf

    Making Bacon

    After reading the Charcuterie thread, I'd try to contribute in hopefully meaningful manner- a tip which I don't think was mentioned when people inquired about pork bellies with bones. If you buy pork belly with bones, I'd suggest that the rack of ribs be removed in a single piece (sort of filleted out with minimum meat on the inside) and then cured, smoked or dried same as bacon (over here that means pure salt cure and cold smoking) and used to flavour stews, bean dishes and whole lot of other stuff. Our local butchers often do it that way and sell those smoked ribs at very affordable price (last I saw them at the market they were around $.50-.60/lb). They're very flavourful and because of being quite salty with powerful smoke aroma are quite often cooked separately at first and then added to the dish, lest they overpower the dish (mind you, smoked hock and pieces of ham are also prepared that way). HTH
  4. Sorry for digging up this old thread, but I've been caught off guard by certain events.... Does anyone have the recipe for guanciale from Babbo website stored and would be willing to post it- it's not online anymore, and as many here recommended it, I'd be very much obliged if I could take a peek. The thing is, it's been unusually warm here for a while now, and kolinje (similar to Spanish matanza- season for pig slaughter, most families here raise or purchase their own pig and do a whole ritual of slaughter, butchering, salting, making sausages, &c) has crept upon me. As it turns out, a friend on whom I was hoping to impose to cure me few slabs of slanina- salt cured and cold smoked pork belly, is having his kolinje in around a fortnight. I can source as many pork cheeks as I wish from local butcher at very reasonable price, and was hoping to cure some guanciale as well. I'd like to consult Babbo recipe, but the general outline of my plan was tidying up jowls, washing them in white wine (read about it in FXCuisine's article on guanciale) and applying a dry rub. It would consist of 3.5% of meat's weight in salt, some sugar (probably no more than 10-20% of the weight of salt), and the seasonings would be cracked black pepper, pepperoncino (crushed chile peppers), some dried rosemary and a few juniper berries (I'm still deciding on a hint of sage and garlic).. After curing it in a ziploc bag in the fridge until it absorbs all the cure (I'd venture a guess of 5 days to a week), I'd send it to with my friend to be washed in wine and then air-cured by man in charge of handling their charcutterie. I'd also welcome any comments, suggestions or criticism of my plan, and especially the recipe and the procedure- as I was hoping (since kolinje is once-in-a-year affair) to get at least half a dozen, if not 10 jowls turned into delicious fat rendering delicacy, rather than oversalted, under-cured or otherwise inedible or spoilled meat. Thanks in advance. (PS My biggest adventure so far in charcuterie was making oven-cured beef jerky last weekend- generally liked but I found soy sauce overpowering the meat, yet leaving nice aftertaste... might try biltong next time- dry rub of salt, pepper, pepperoncino and a hint of smoked paprika)
  5. I'm using an enameled dutch oven bought from IKEA (5l Senior casserole), and am very happy with it (not that I've used it for long though- bought it this spring). I couldn't bring myself to shell out the amount of money Le Creuset and Staub cost (even if I had it ). Those new IKEA pots are made in China (I think older ones were made in Sweden), but I have no complaints about it (I wouldn't think IKEA would stany behind inferior product).
  6. Wolf

    Beef tendons

    Oh, I love tendons... When my father lived in our town and had access to greater selection of meats, he'd always put few pieces of tendon in goulash- when cooked, they'd turn translucent and wonderfully succulent. They'd fill one's mouth with sweet, rich beef taste and umami, while practically melting in one's mouth- most wonderful morsels... If bones from properly cooked oxtail are indeed 'beef lollipops', these are definitely 'beef toifees'. My maternal grandmother had a way of preparing them which I've not seen anywhere else- she'd put few extra bones with bits of tendons still attached to the pot when making beef broth. As they wouldn't cook fully, she'd scrape them off the bones, saute medium diced onions, throw them on the onions and season only with salt, pepper and a bit of paprika (on rare occassions she'd throw in some tomato product- but either way it was splendid) and stewed until tender and translucent. Served with either potato puree or lyonnaise potatoes (preferably with extra pepper which paired beautifully with sweetness of tendons and sauteed onions) it was simply delicious. I mean, the dish was butt ugly, but delicious- it took me a while before I could force myself to try it (never knew what was in the dish before I tried it and delighted asked what was in it). So the beef broth started delivering more delicacies besides bone marrow from marrow bone (which I adore a bit oversalted on a piece of white bread). Inspired by this thread, I think I'm going tendon hunting tomorrow around butcher shops (I know a few that might be willing to cater to my lunatic fancies)- wish me luck...
  7. Sorry for 'necroposting', but I've come accross what was told to be old Italian trick- adding salted anchovy to the sauce (apparently, it has sound scientific basis- something to do with glutamates from tomato flavour-wise pairing well with amino acids from anchovy), and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I was making local tomato based dish (sauteed onions, peppers and simmered in tomato sauce) called sataraš, and decided to give that tip a go- finely chopping a small anchovy fillet preserved in oil and adding it with tomatoes. It really did pick up the whole dish and made the flavour more rounded and savoury, with no hint of 'fishy' taste at all. I'd say it's definitly worth a try (I presume the only thing is that the sauce needs to simmer quite a bit for anchovy do dissolve).
  8. My best friend has recently been diagnosed with it, and initially had a very stict diet (no meat, no poultry, no fish, even some vegetables were on the blacklist)... As her organism recovered most of those restrictions were relaxed and she's been only on gluten free diet since. As the prices of GF product are exhorbitant in my country, it's been a great help to her that state-run health care provides celiac disease patients with certain amounts of two types of GF flour on monthly basis. She says those quantities are about sufficient. Hang in there. 👍
  9. Thanks, Smithy. Yep,of course I will; but next time I think I'll toss zucchini a bit on the grill before adding them. I think browned lines will make it look even better and should soften them a bit.
  10. Thanks for the reply Heidih... I'm a big fan of comfort food, so I tried to make it like a hearthy eggplant stew of sorts and did my best to have enough sauce for subsequent reheatings (one can always reduce it when reheating, if desired). I let it get a good rest overnigt (unlike me, who turned and tossed all night long- apparenty, I've come down with a cold) and discovered my phone's camera has "Good food" filter- so I tested it.
  11. I just did my very first ratatouille, and am a bit baffled... Admiteddly, it's delicious, and I almost got it to taste as I imagined it would, but my cooking times were incomparable to what I anticipated. But to get the conversation started, here's the recipe I used for my basis*: 30dag aubergines 30dag courgette (I've reduced it to a single smallish courgette) 30dag green peppers (substituted with 20dag green paeppers, and 20dag red peppers) 30 dag tomatoes (substitutted with a can of San Marzano with juice, and about half a cup of tomato puree**) 2 large onions (substituted with 4 medium ones, and 1 small) 2 garlic cloves (substituded with 4) 2 tbsp sweet paprika 1tbsp Herbes de Provence (I had none, so I omitted it) ¼tbsp Cayenne pepper (or hot paprika) salt & pepper to taste 2 tbsp Vegeta (or vegetable stock cube) 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil 2 Tsp dill (had none, so I omitted it) One sautees finely diced onions until starting to turn golden (and adds finely chopped garlic 5 mins before that). Add the rest of vegetables and spices (hold the dill and half of the basil for adding when cooked). Sautee until tender and add the tomatoes. Simmer for another 20-ish minutes before checking for seasoning and adding the rest of herbs (hald the basil and dill). What stupefied me is that (and I went with moister version- with enough sauce to keep the dish abou stew consistency- gooey, but not runny) and veggies (zucchinis being the main culprit) losing most of the bite was about 2¼ hours on the stove (as opposed to about an hour that the recipe would seem to indicate), before it started to appproach what I'd call perfect 'bite). Admittedly, I did not add all the vegetables in one go as recipe suggested- first I added pepppers some 15-20 mins before aubergines and courgettes (I like my peppers quite soft and having no 'bite' after stewing), but still... I simmered veggies in tomato sauce for over an hour. (I'd post a picture, and I have a few- but the colour balance on my phone's camera seems terribly wrong when taking food pictures, so it'd look much more unappealing than in real life) * it's from an quaint and endearing blog of a connoiseur who enjoyed his food and spared no expense in procuring the recipes he liked... He self-published his cookbook in staggering 20 copies, and allowed his friend to post them online before he passed away few years ago. ** I added it while simmeing, and once I decided the dish had enough tomaoes, I added warm water, lest the tomatoes overwhelm the dish
  12. 👍 Here it goes- each column's header is type of absinthe and the recipe's source. First group of ingredients is IIRC for maceration, 2nd for 2nd distillation and third group are additions after all the distillation is done. Each column is concluded with quantity (usually, 100l) and proof of said absinthe. Hope it helps. Absinthe.pdf
  13. Hehe, the vintage ones were way cooler. I just googled one with detachable handle ti can be put away in... Never imagined they still make potato corers.
  14. I had one potato 'drill' (must have it in my utensils drawer somewhere, I guess ) that saw some heavy use when we were kids and haven't seen one in decades since. It was used to cut out a spiral piece of potato straight through the center. The hole was then filled with ground meat, and stuffed potatos were then baked in the oven, along with spirals that were cut out. Throw in a lettuce on the side and we kids enjoyed it very much... Oh, the simplicities of youth.
  15. The idea of making one's own Absinthe appealed to me for a while (I haven't ruled out the idea of tryng it out someday), and I've compiled a list of ingredients for distilling various types of Absinthe from various old books (mostly late 19th century)- I would think the list contains over 20 recipes for things like absinther ordinaire, demi-fine, fine, extra-fine, Suisse and Creme d'absinthe surfine... If it's not breaking forum rules (I'd think copyright is out of question- the newest book on the list is from 1926), and there is interest for it, I could post a pdf I've assembled for personal use.
  16. OK, here's an unexpected recommendation: Amaama to Inazuma. A warm and funny Japanese anime (12x20min) about high school teacher bonding and healing with his kid daughter after loss of their wife/mother through cooking her favourite food, despite never having cooked proper food... There are a number of other anime centered around food which I can dig out if anyone's interested, but this one really deserves to be nominated alongside best food movies like "Babette's feast".
  17. Sorry for 'necroposting', but my-oh-my how things have changed since this post was made... Internets and Youtubes are full of videos on eating marrowbones*, and marrow spoons and fancy smears and whatnnot. IMHO, one of best things about beef broth was an obligatory piece of marrowbone used in cooking- shake out the marrow while piping hot, eat it on white bread with nothing but copious amount of sea salt sprinkled on top. Simplicity and perfection in one bite. I'm currently preparing for cooking ossobuco and am swinging back-and-forth between three recipies- one from Hassan, and one 'local'. The third one would be 'mine'. I notice that both recipes call fro stewing or sauteeing mirepoix and adding floured shanks. The most recipes I've made call for browning the meat first (I've also seen some ossobuco recipes do it that way) to get the good sear, and the water released from sweating mirepoix does the deglazing. I think I'd prefer the better sear of the latter method (and I'd think fouring the shanks indicates it's quite desireable)- should I tamper with it at the first step??? Another concers is that I will be able to get steer shanks (haven't seen much oxshanks around, while veal shanks are 'reserved' for local speciality called peka* and are considered undersized for proper ossobuco). Bovine meat in my country comes in three grades- veal (age up to 8 months, exceptionally to 12 months), steer (12-24 months of age) and beef (latter being haredest to get of all). Rcipes call from anywhere between 1½ cm to 1½" thickness- I would lean towards 1" cuts to maximize Maillard reaction on main shank surfaces and allow a bit of unrendered fat to keep the slices moist during braising. I'd like a bit of this 'middle section' fat, as well as intermuscular fat to be flavouring agents (I'm not sure if I'm getting this accross- but I feel the beef fat absorbs the flavour of the sauce and intensifies it while eating**), so I'd go for two main surfaces of each piece to get 'Maillarded' (while the rest is more of slow cooking e.g. stewing meat, as opposed to braising effect). I think gellatin effect would overwhelm the Maillard? * peka' is aort of inverted dutch oven- wih meat and veggis being cooked under a dome billt with burning cols around the edge... regardless of the mastery of the cook, this dish replicates wonderful results, regardless if the main ingredient be the beef shank or octopuss- soehow the misture of tatters ans various mirepix vegetables find a perfect ballance with the meat And as for carbohydrate of choice... I0d have to choose beteeen the two- polenta and the rice. Properly made polenta will absurb into the sauce while cooking in the rice would make the rice absorb all of the sauce goodness into itself. I'd say- first run at the table will be polenta, while last will be the rice.... I cannot think of the better way to absorb all the flavours, and all the trouble that went into making that sauce, other than adding a cup of water... and haf a cup of rice to soak it all up. (actually, I'd think of it as third of a cup of rice, but here we go into measuring and standards, and imperial vs. metic all again....and I give up... give to it all the best, and try your best). * the perfect example would be Peposo- copious, and I mean *copious* amounts of pepper in the sauce are somewhat suspendd in the fat (esp. if the short.rib is used), producing heavenly mouthfeel despite what the 'calculus' of the mixture
  18. Incidentally, I would think that in stews and braises tomato and red wine go qiute well together, but local tradition (especially in parts that gravitate towards Italy, in culinary terms) says that tomato based sauces and salsas indeed should be made with dry white. Would it be wrong to say that tomato is welcome in red wine based dish, whereas in tomato based dish white wine is to be chosen?
  19. 750 g beef (relatively small cubes, I'd say 1-1½ cm) 700-750 g onions (very finely diced) 1½ tablespoon tomato puree/concentrate 2-3 teaspoon paprika ¼ teaspoon hot paprika ½ teaspoon Vegeta (or ¼ beef cube)*... this is frowned upon, but great alternative would be to add stock instead of water 1 bay leaf Sautee onions in oil (he uses sunflower oil) until they begin to turn 'mushy' (this amount should take about half an hour, requiring constant stirring towards the end to prevent sticking to the pan). Add beef and sautee until the meat stops giving off liquids (probably 10-20mins, I'd guess). Add the rest of ingredients, add 2-3dl lukewarm water and simmer covered on low heat until the meat gets tender (depends on the cut of meat, but I'd think 1¾ hours would be minimum, tougher cuts requiring upwars of 2½ hours), stirring occassionaly. With tight fitting lid, I don't think one should add liquids, but do if it gets too thick. The resulting dish should be on the thick side. * he uses his own homemade 'condiment' made from ground fresh parsley (both roots and leaves), celery (also root and leaves) and carrots (just roots), drained and adds 20% of the weight of drained puree sea salt. It's then let to drain and packed in mason jars.
  20. If I may interject- not being expert of any kind, I would think that Tafelspitz refers to a very specific cut of meat. The way I understand it, it's a part of chuck (which- I cannot tell... not that I wouldn't if I knew exactly). It comprises of two muscles separated by a sinew running right accross the cut. I woud assume that good dishes (which are those that Austrians call Tafelspitz) exploit the pecularities of this particular cut. In my country (particularly in the region where I come from, which historically has certain culinary Austrian influences) we use that cut of meat in two principal ways- one is for beef broth, and second is for stewing (e.g. goulash, but Austrian style*). The first way produces excellent boiled beef (especially if one adds beef to the brosth when it comes to the boil, as opposed to lesser cuts of meat which are added to the pot before putting it on the stove**). The best way to eat this boiled beef is entirely personal, but in my humble opinion Tafelspitz produces most splendid beef salad, which can be enjoyed both at room temperature (in winter) or refrigerated (in summer). The recipe for this is quite simple- slice boiled beef, hardboiled eggs and onions and dress with salt, pepper, oil & vinegar. But in my humble opinions, stews utilize this meat even better- with stewing and simmering the sinew in this cut (our butchers popularly know it as 'muscle with the line') turns those pieces into small 'umami bombs'. Sinew expands, turns translucent and soft- the mouthfeel is something like a beef flavoured butter. Should anyone be interested, I could post my father's recipe for such goulash which I haven't yet seen bested in terms of flavour and savouriness. * Austrian dish called goulash is much thicker than (original) hungarian dish, but both have in common that the sauce can be thickened only with sauteed onions (as opposed to paprikash and pörkölt, which can be thickened with either cream or flour as well) ** don't let this 'old wives tale' discourage you from trying to get the best of both worlds (great broth and boiled beef) by putting the Tafelspitz in cold water- it will still be boiled to perfection this way. But this 'rule of thumb' says- beef in cold water is for better broth, in boiling broth for better boiled beef (BUUUUT, always cut the onion in half and sear the half that goes into the broth on electric plate before tossing it in)
  21. Thanks, @Smithy. It's made at home (usually with leftover Schnitzel). Just found the alternative version, which also uses Vienna-type Schnitzel where they're simmered in white wine with parsley and garlic. A slightly more sophisticated local dish with Scnitzel are so-callet ptičice (meaning little birds) made with veal Scnitzel beaten and rolled up with a mixture of bacon fried with garlic, thyme and parsley, and diced hardboiled egg is also added to the filling. It's fastened with toothpick and browned. Once browned, they're simmered (with or without added mushrooms) in a red wine and tomato sauce for half an hour. And lest I forget... there is also Dalmatian Schnitzel, which is prepared with non-fried Schnitzel and is cooked similar to brudetto- alternating layers of Schnizzel, sliced tomato, sliced onion, and topped with diced garlic and parsley (repeat untill all the ingredients are used up*). Salt, pepper and olive oil. Cooked on stove-top for an hour or an hour and a half. Just like brudetto- the dish is never stirred while cooking; just grab the pot and shake it (without lifting it off the stove) once in a while. * I think the last layer should be onion or tomato. As an aside to this already lengthy post (I appologize for the lack of brevity)- my so called 'friday special', or properly named false brudetto, is made with sliced potatoes instead of the meat (in that case, layers start and end with potato layers) and one adds a ¾ cup of white wine to the dish.
  22. In my country (Croatia) we have a bit of Scnitzel culture- Naturscnitzel (just the meat, no breading or anything else- as the name implies) is best served with glazed baby carrots (not the sort of baby carrots one gets in supermarkets but very young carrots) and breaded sorts like Vienna-style (dredged in flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs) and Paris-style (dredged in flour, beaten eggs and then agin in flour). What we sometimes do differently is like in case of Lika Scnitzel (Lika is mountain region of my country), is prepare them in Vienniese style and then stick them in an oven layered in marinara-like sauce (alternating layers of Scnitzels with tomato sauce, wine, garlic and parsley*) at 250°C until done and Schnitzels have absorbed most of the cooking fluids. * of course, one can also add a bit of mushrooms (like button mushrooms) to the tomato sauce to make it even more delicious.
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