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Posts posted by JohnnyH

  1. For some reason, preparing seafood at home has always seemed a daunting, if not terrifying task to me.  I can cook a piece of fish, but anything beyond that? I'm scared i'll either poison my boyfriend or feed him a repugnant f-up of a concoction. That being said,  I've never made anything at home involving oysters. I am going to attempt a recipe for fried oysters with some type of "topping" (I'm still perusing recipes - variants of creme fraiche, caviar, keep appearing).

      However, I really can't wrap my head around the cooking process. The language in the coupla recipes I've seen vary. One says steam them, then "shuck" them open, then fry them, one says shuck them and fry them. Does anyone have an easy to explain method on fried oysters? Additionally, when buying oysters, is there need to buy extra in preparation for the fact that not all will be usable, (such as with mussels)?

    If anyone has a good link or any advice, I (and my boyfriend) will be quite grateful.

    I think the recommendation to steam before shucking is intended to make the shucking process itself easier, since the shells will open from the steam. If you can shuck an oyster otherwise, I'd forgo that step entirely. Note, though, that oysters are harder to open than clams b/c their shells are not regular -- if you don't know what you're doing, you are very likely to end up with shell shrapnel in your product. Make sure you hold the victim in a folded tea towel too -- you don't want to send your knife through your hand.

  2. I throw a massive barbecue every summer for about 100 guests. All the pork -- about 40 pounds of pulled shoulder and 16-20 racks of ribs -- comes from Costco. Consistently excellent.

    ETA: I, too, would love to know what the problem is with buying fresh turkey. Then again, considering how much of it I eat, maybe I don't.

  3. I'd hardly call sausage and saurkraut an adventerous meal!!

    They loved the chicken parm/pasta meal I prepared. They didnt complain about that.


    Why do you keep cooking for them when according to you, all they do is complain...except when they don't as per your chicken parm?  Frankly, you're beginning to come off as a whiner.  People on this forum give you props and suggestions all of the time.  You take the props and then zero back to how ungrateful the oldsters are.  Quit if the job is so unsatisfying.

    Harsh, but perhaps hard to argue with.

  4. I agree with Arey.  I've been reading this thread from the beginning and it is quite obvious that these clients are not adventerous eaters.  They want hearty food prepared simply.

    If it were me, I would prepare the same five to seven meals:  Protein, starch, veg and LOTS of gravy and hot breads.  Pie, cake and ice creams for dessert.

    I have a cookbook from the forties that would be perfect for them.  It has seasonal menus that rely on the above formula.

    Count me in on this opinion too. I've read the entire thread, and I really think at this point you're asking for it if you don't just give them the drivel they're asking for.

  5. I live in Bloomfield, which borders on Montclair. There is no question in the world that the barbecue capitol of northern NJ is my backyard, in which resides a double-barreled wood-burning smoker that I built myself five years ago out of two 55-gallon drums and a stove conversion kit. We use it year-round for hams, pork, chicken and turkey, but all that is really just preparation for the massive party we have each summer. Last year, we did 40 lbs of pulled pork shoulder, 12 racks of spare ribs, six chickens and four strings of sausage, all washed down with a keg of Sierra Nevada pale ale. Phenomenal.

  6. Wow -- thanks for that recipe. Looks fantastic. I have a question though -- is the ten-day cure necessary? I'm up for it if it is, but have you done one without it going so long? How would a 24-48 hour brine work, along with the injections?

  7. For the holidays this year, I'd like to do something a little different than the turkeys and prime ribs of years past. Don't get me wrong, both are great, but I think it's time to mix things up a bit.

    I have a double-barrel wood burning smoker that I built out of 55 gal drums a few years back, and that I regularly use for pork butt, chicken, ribs, brisket, all the usual barbecue suspects. For whatever reason, I've got it in my head now to do a fresh (uncured) ham for the holidays this year. Never done one before; I'm curious to hear thoughts from anyone who has.

    Good idea? Bad idea? Recommended brines or rubs?

    As always, much appreciated.

  8. The dude in the store says the slope is to get you better browning.

    Albert Ellis was definitely out of his mind -- maybe that's why he thought everybody else was . . . The time I spent in his presence was some of the weirdest time I've ever spent.

    I'd trade my pan for yours.

    Hysterical about Ellis; personally, I just love the quote.

  9. I bought an All-Clad roasting pan last night and now I'm trying to figure out if that was a good thing -- it's carried exclusively through Williams Sonoma and has sloped sides . . .

    Did I do good or bad?  I don't know anything about roasting pans -- I'm upgrading from the aluminum buckets they sell at the grocery store . . .

    All Clad Roaster

    I have the all clad roti pan and the sloped sides you describe are a source of real trouble when trying to do things like make gravy -- the liquids tend to run off to the sides, and whatever material is in the center of the pan has a tendency to burn. I do not know why the sides are sloped as they are, nor has anyone ever been able to tell me.

    ETA: I just clicked on the link you provided; we're not talking about the same pan.

  10. Foraging in a crate of lobsters at the wholesale market this morning, I found a very lively one packed with roe.  The rest seemed a bit dopey so I thought why not and bought that one.  It did occur to me at the time though that I've never come across lobster roe before:


    So, question is what do I do with it and how edible is it?  I've scraped off most of it (you should have seen her struggle!), rinsed and salted it like caviar.  I tried a little, it was bland but I'm hoping the flavour will improve by the time I get home from work in approx 9hrs. Can I cook with it or should I just use it as a garnish?  Does anyone know whether the flesh of female lobsters are adversly affected by having roe?

    That's a female lobster (looks like an H. americanus or H. gammarus) with a healthy amount of fertilized eggs. In Canada it's illegal to harvest a mother-to-be like that one in order to keep the wild population up. Lobster fishermen will only keep females when the eggs are still inside (i.e. not visible).

    The females carry thousands of tiny black eggs inside for a year and then outside for another year tucked under the swimmerets on the tail's underside. Those eggs above look pretty big and may have been ready for release as larvae.

    When a lobster is cooked, most thing turn pink including the eggs. I find just about everything inside a lobster to be delicious.

    Lobsters here are currently being sold with a recommendation not to eat the eggs or the green tomalley because of the possible exposure to PST (paralytic shellfish toxin). Health Canada says there's been no reports of sickness this year but they leave the warning in place just to be safe. I think you have to eat like a dozen a day for a month to get sick. By that point PST wouldn't be my biggest concern because I'd be so fat and broke.

    AFIC you'd be dishonouring that lobster's family by not eating all those yummy eggs.

    I was under the impression that it's illegal in the United States to boat lobsters that come up "berried" -- their tales are supposed to be notched and then they're to be thrown back as breeding stock. Am I wrong?

    ETA: Nevermind.

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