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  1. Frisee aux lardons is my latest paramour. A local restaurant serves this salad with hot lardons (double smoked bacon), local roasted hazelnuts, apple and endive. What makes this classic salad classic? Is it just the inclusion of the frisee and the lardons or does it indeed have an original recipe that inspires riffs on the classic? What say you?
  2. I am having a dinner party for 8 at the end of the month and need a little entree advice. I was thinking of preparing 3 separate (each brined with a different set of herbs and spices) confits to be plated together, with each having their own small accompaniments. The first would be a duck confit raviolo, the second perhaps a simple confit'd whole leg of chicken (over a teensy bit of risotto with braised fennel), and the third could perhaps be more poultry--maybe a pheasant confit springroll? Or has anyone heard of a beef confit? Any creative ideas out there?
  3. I'm trying to find the best Pancetta, Prosciutto, Guanciale, Speck, etc that I can find in NYC. Does anyone know who has the best? Thanks, M
  4. I made a confit of 4 duck legs a few weeks ago and had kept them covered in fat in the fridge. This past weekend my fridge went belly up. I put the pot on a covered poarch but the daytime temps have reached into the 60's F. While I know that confit is a method of preservation, has the time spent over 40F spoiled my product? Any advice here?
  5. tino27

    Freezing Bacon

    I'm catering a friend's party this weekend and some of the dishes require that ingredients be sauteed in "drippings". I was going to use bacon fat since the dishes in question are generally beef/pork dishes anyway. In order to get enough bacon fat for use, I was going to fry up about 2 pounds of good bacon and save the fat in a container in the fridge. The odd thing is that none of the dishes call for crumbled bacon directly in them. I would hate to throw away good cooked bacon that I could use in other dishes a couple weeks from now. So, my questions: 1) Is it possible to freeze the bacon once it's cooked? If so, is there a process other than just throwing them in a freezer bag? Also, how long can I freeze it? 2) Is there an alternative to having to fry up bacon in order to get bacon fat? I've been to a number of the stores in my area and none of them have bacon fat, chicken fat, etc. already prepared. Thanks guys!
  6. Ok, I have a weird, but good desert idea that I want to explore. I can handle the fried egg part of the equation, but have no chocolate experience for the bacon. If you were going to make chocolate into the shape and look of bacon how would you do it? I was thinking you melt dark, reg, and white chocolate and pour out on wax paper. Swirl or streak with a chopstick and then chill. Remove when hardened and cover with a touch of simple syrup foam to look fried. Will that work?
  7. Are there any stores in Chicago that stock Portuguese sausages. Gaspar's or Amarals are the best known brands, but I can't seem to find them. I would appreciate any ideas. Tim
  8. I am trying to make a bacon mousse and am a little concerned with how the texture is going to work out. Is there anyone out there who can help me with this problem? and also I am a rabid garde manger enthusiast and would love to hear any stories or recipes involving garde manger food.
  9. Somehow I've got it in my head that I should make pork heart confit. Googling has turned up nothing. I've made duck confit several times, pork belly confit once, and bacon confit a few times before, so I'm not totally clueless, but I have a few questions: -Is this even a good/feasible idea? -How long should I cook it? Would it be better to "fast confit" (say 350 degrees for 2-3 hours) since heart is very lean or "slow confit" (8-10 hours at 200) since it is particularly tough? -Any special curing requirements (e.g. more/less salt, shorter/longer curing time, pink salt?) -Confit whole or in chunks? What size/shape chunks? -Serving suggestions for the finished product? Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
  10. Would like to know if anyone out there has any ideas on how to make andouille without beef or pork (housemate allergic to such). Not only looking for flavour but also the all-important texture. Anyone have any ideas on how to go about doing this? Sincerely, Dante
  11. I love gumbo. Oh how I love gumbo. My favorite part of gumbo is the andouille. It fills me with such glee If the andouille wasn't so darn expensive I'd eat it every week. In the interest of budget, I've tried swapping kielbasa and that was sorely dissappointing. I was getting andouille from Trader Joes for a reasonable price (can't recall the brand, just that you had to peel it), but they stopped carrying it and now all they have is crappelgate. Whole paycheck has a couple of brands, but at $9+/lb. that's way too rich for my blood. Ideally, I'd like to find andouille for 4 bucks/lb. Not great andouille but okay quality. I know this is a pipe dream, but I thought I'd throw it out there just to see if anyone had a cheap source. Most likely, I'll end up making it myself.
  12. I'm thinking of purchasing a smoker. I have been browsing through catalogues online and the Bradley looks interesting. I can't find any reviews on the product though, does anyone have any feedback on this smoker? Can I use woods of my own selection in it or can I only use the briquettes made by the company? Look forward to hearing your recommendations.
  13. I will be doing alligator sausage for our game v. the fla gators--thinking of a sausage and pepper type thing and will, of course, have other sausage for those who will not eat the gator. I will not need it until the fall but am trying to get things together now. Perhaps the kind folks fr/ Louisiana are my best source but thought I would post here and see what happens. Mail order is fine but if there is some thing around Atlanta even better. I want some thing good but also reasonably priced. Any help is appreciated in finding the stuff as well as any ideas for preparation.
  14. Over in the miraculous, slightly obsessive, and wonderful Charcuterie topic, many eGulleteers have been learning from Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn's Charcuterie. As a result, we've got freezers full of bacon, andouille, hocks, pancetta, and who knows what else. This topic is for cooking with those salted, smoked, and cured products. For example, I'm going to start with a very basic recipe, just a simple few steps that lead to a fantastic plate: the classic bistro frissee salad with lardons. This salad -- frissee lightly dressed with a vinaigrette, tossed with lardons (thickly diced and well-cooked pieces of bacon), and topped with a fried egg -- is a fantastic showcase for the high-quality bacon you'll be producing if you start curing and smoking your own. Being able to add lardons that are both crispy and meaty into your salad is a remarkable joy. What else are people doing with their cured products?
  15. Every now and then since December 2004, a good number of us have been getting together at the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off. Click here for the Cook-Off index. For our seventeenth Cook-Off, we're making sausages. Wait! Come back!! I think sausages get a lousy rap. There are many, many bad sausages around, ones that include animal body parts that even Fergus Henderson won't eat, and as a result a lot of folks here probably don't incorporate them into their diet regularly. But they're perfect for a cook-off, and here's why. Your effort is rewarded amply, because you can make a huge batch of sausages in roughly the same amount of time it takes to make a small batch, and most sausages freeze with ease. You don't really need any fancy equipment; indeed, you can make patties instead of links and "grind" the meat with a chef's knife or cleaver. Of course, there are more kinds of sausages than you can shake a link at. If you look at the list below, you'll see that there's a wide variety of pork-based European (and some Chinese) sausages explored in the eGullet Society forums. However, there are many kinds of sausages that aren't made with pork and that come from other cuisines. For example, I'm looking forward to making a new batch of sai oua, Thai sausage, in the next week or two, and I might take a crack at lobster sausages for a new years eve treat. Finally, sausages are one of the world's great foods. The snap of the casing, the flavor of the meat, the aroma of the seasonings, the lovely coating of fat on your tongue... once you start making your own, you'll begin to realize that there really is not limit to what you can make into sausages. Sausage fans should certainly check out Klink's sausage diary, days one, two, three, four, five, and (no typo) twenty four. There's also a great newer thread devoted mainly to cured European sausages here. There are other threads devoted to fat ratios in sausage, fresh Chinese pork sausages, a boudin making, equipment, sweet Italian sausage recipes, Nullo Modo's sausage-making party, and homemade sausage. There's even a previous sausage cook-off in the China forum. Finally, folks are cooking from eGullet's own Michael Ruhlman's new Charcuterie book here. So, all you sausage-phobes out there, remember that the purpose of a cook-off is to try to make something that you've never made before. As far as I can tell, sausage making is a bit precarious, but all the more fun because of that; I stress out about air pockets, while the gang curing their own get to worry about maggots and botulism. It's all part of what makes a cook-off great, though, imposing your anxieties on willing chums, right? Trust me: if you take a crack at making sausages from scratch, you'll never look back. Of course, we then need to discuss dishes in which to use them, so if you'd rather start on the bunny slope using storebought sausages, have at it! Let's get to grindin' and stuffin', folks!
  16. Woods

    duck confit

    Hello, does anyone know where I can find the nutritional values for some of these supposedly high fat dishes? I ask because Paula Wolfert says, in her newest edition of "The Cooking of Southwest France", that properly made cofit is not as fatty as one would think. Any ideas? Thanks, Woods
  17. [Moderator's note: Welcome to the first "Charcuterie" topic, devoted to Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn's book of the same name. This massive topic ran from Dec 2005 until July 2008, at which point the topic was closed and carefully indexed by host Chris Hennes. Click here for that index, in which you'll find all of the information our members have contributed over the years. We've also started this topic for new discussions of the recipes in Polcyn's and Ruhlman's book. -- Chris Amirault] Thread in FM&N discussing the release of Charcuterie eGullet friendly link to buy the book Alright, everyone should be familiar with these types of threads by now. So here’s what I’ve tried from this fun book so far. Cured salmon. I used half a recipe and did not have any fresh fennel on hand so I did not use it, but I did use the roasted fennel seeds. Here are some pics finished curing Served on a homemade salt and sesame bagel. It really was exceptional with a perfect texture and amazing taste. It was not at all too salty or too sweet and the fennel was a perfect addition to the salmon. I’ve always heard cured salmon is easy to make but this was really easy and I will be making it again. The bagel was smeared with cream cheese and also topped with shallots and capers. Currently I also have a 3 pound beef eye of round curing (1st cure) to make Bresaola. I forgot to take a picture of this one but I will when I add the rest of the cure a couple of days from now and will report on the final product. For Xmas, I am planning on making a couple of different sausages and probably the duck roulade. So, come on. Share your Charcuterie.
  18. A friend made a lentil stew with onions, peppercorns, and smoked belly pork chunks. It was simple and tasty beyond belief. He also spiked it with a German herb, starting with 'S'?? Now, I'd usually go dig around The Book first, but it's been packed as we're moving house later this week. Anyone got any good ideas as to how to accomplish the above?? Thanks in advance.
  19. NOTE: This topic is part of the Eating New Orleans series. We wanted some andouille and tasso to bring home, so Louisiana forum host and site manager Brooks Hamaker (Mayhaw Man) suggested we try "Jacob's in La Place". La Place is pretty much considered to be one of the key centers of Cajun specialty meat production in the state. For an interesting article on andouille and La Place, read this peice by Pableaux Johnson. We looked it up in our GPS, and that yeilded Wayne Jacob's Smokehouse 769 W 5th St # A, La Place, LA 70068. Main Phone: 985-652-9990 Fax: 985-652-0999. We arrived to a somewhat ramshackle-looking building that included a small restaurant, and a small counter and fridge where you can buy Andouille, Smoked Sausage, Tasso, and Beef Jerky. Brooks made the place sound like it was a big operation like Poche's, but it wasn't. As it turns out, after discussing all things Andouille with David, the smokemaster and butcher at Wayne Jacob's, that we came to the "wrong" Jacob's, and he was glad that we did. Wayne Jacob's Smokehouse is the genuine heir to the original Jacob's Andouille recipe, and they've been producing it for many years. The OTHER Jacob's Andouille, also located in La Place, which is much more well known and is a much larger operation, uses preservatives and heavy nitrates in order to make their product shippable and thus has a USDA certification. Wayne Jacob's Smokehouse, on the other hand, only can sell locally, because its goods are highly perishable, even though they are salted and smoked. David encouraged me to compare his product to Jacob's Andouille, and he invited me to watch him make the product to show me how superior it was. I took him up on it. Here is finished andouille, after smoking in one of the 4 smokehouses for 10-12 hours. This is a cross section of a smoked andouille sausage. This is finished tasso. Tasso is kind of like a beef jerky but it is make with pork. Tasso is smoked longer than andouille, for close to 12 hours. This is one of the smokehouses where the prepped meat products are hung to cure and smoke using oak and pecan wood. This is David, the master butcher and smoker at Wayne Jacob's. A side view of some of the smokers. This is pork shoulder --"boston butt" , which has been fully cleaned of all sinews and veins, and has been salted with cayenne, garlic, and black pepper added. This is the starting point for both tasso and andouille -- in the case of tasso, the meat is cut into large slices and brought directly to the smoker for smoking. For andouille, the process continues. The pork butt is then put thru the meat grinder, and it comes out in smaller chunks. The chunks of pork butt are then stuffed into the hopper of an old hand-cranked stuffing machine made of cast iron which is about 80 years old. They have an electric stainless steel unit, but David prefers the older one because its easier to clean and much more simple to use. Beef intestine casings are washed and prepared for stuffing. The beef casings are hooked up to the stuffer, and you crank away! The first two links. Makin' sausage. A whole bunch of andouille, ready for the smoker. While at Wayne Jacob's, you can have a few po boys or some jambalaya or gumbo featuring their meat products. They also have a fully working, functional antique coca cola cooler stocked full of Coke and Barq's in old fashioned glass bottles. I highly encourage you if you are in the La Place area to buy some smoked meat products from Wayne Jacob's. If you have to, go to the nearby Wall Mart, pick up a cheap styrofoam cooler, and then have David fill it with ice to keep your vacuum-packed meat cool while you bring it back to your hotel -- in our case, we had a freezer/refrigerator in our timeshare, and we were able to keep the stuff cold. Then when you are going home, pack the meat in the cooler with frozen gel-packs (you can get them at local shipping supply stores), put the cooler in a cardboard box, and bring your stuff back home. The vacuum-sealed meat packed in that manner was easily able to survive a 6 hour trip back from New Orleans to New Jersey. Now that I have shown you Wayne Jacob's, here is their competitor, Jacob's Andouille: This is Jacob's Andouille, which claims to be the original. Andouille, tasso, and fresh sausage at Jacob's Andouille. The freezer case at Jacob's Andouille. They have a much wider variety of products than Wayne Jacob's, and of course they can ship throughout the US. Its a pretty good product, but its no comparison for something that is artisanally made. We did buy and taste products from both places, and we both agreed Wayne Jacobs has the better andouille. However, if you can't go to Wayne Jacob's Smokehouse in person, this is probably your best bet if you want good Andouille and tasso shipped to you. Here is their website: http://www.cajunsausage.com/
  20. Just tried my hand for the first time last weekend at home sausage making. I made a recipe from Paul Kirk's "Championship Barbecue" book. It's called Beginners Chilli Sausage, and it's basically ground pork shoulder seasoned with chilli powders and other spices. I started with 3.5 lbs of pork shoulder that was quite fatty as I cubed it and ground it. However the resulting sausage after cooking was rather dry. I grilled the sausage no differently than I've ever grilled any purchased sausages so I think I can safely rule out the cooking process as causing the dryness. I know there are a lot of guidelines about the proper fat content for making proper sausage (about one-third), but I've read a number of recipes like Paul Kirk's and others that use just pork butt (as I did) with no additional fat. How do you know if the pork you are using is fatty enough to produce the right moisture and texture? Does the amount of mixing/kneading you do to the meat prior to stuffing it affect the final moisture? Because I donned a pair of rubber gloves and really mixed it well. Thanks for any tips.
  21. Looking to join the Gumbo Ya-Ya gang this weekend, I need to know where to find smoked andouille sausage for my Gumbo. Anyone know a good source here in the seattle area? I can't remember for sure because I wasn't paying attention, but I think most of what I've seen has been fresh rather than smoked, and I'm told smoked andouille is essential to make my Gumbo taste right...
  22. There are limited options when it comes to the humble thanksgiving turkey - one which never comes up is confit. Is it possible to safely confit a turkey? Obviously you would need an almost absurd quantity of poultry fat, but I suspect a few gallons of duck fat wouldn't do the old bird any harm. I'm less concerned with the stupidity of this concept from a culinary standpoint than I am with the potential food safety issues. It would take quite a long time for the bird to reach 140*F and I'm not all that excited about poisoning the people we are sharing our thanksgiving dinner with. Are we safe to attempt this? Is there anything specific we should be worried about with a bird this size?
  23. I’ve been unsure where to put this thread. Does it belong in Italy, which is where it all began? Or New Jersey, since one of my goals is to find a reliable local source of good pancetta? That may ultimately become a separate thread. But my immediate subject is pancetta as an ingredient, so I’m assuming that it belongs here. I’ve been on a haphazard quest to perfect my approach to pasta amatriciana ever since I sampled the dish on a trip to Italy about 10 years ago. This of course involves good pancetta, and that’s where the dilemma begins. At the start of this quest, time and time again, I wound up buying chunks of pancetta that were varying shades of grey, and had a bit of that taste you get when meat begins to turn. I assumed that this was a result of the curing process and didn’t think about it further, though I was never completely happy with the results of using this stuff in my amatriciana dishes. Then, on a subsequent trip to Italy, came the revelation. At our hotel in Verona, a platter of thinly sliced meats was put out for breakfast. I became enamored of a particular batch of circular slices and asked the server what they were, she smiled at my appreciation of the flavor and said, “Pancetta!” I was stunned. Every bite was full of wonderfully fresh cured pork flavor without a hint of gaminess. I inspected the slices closely, they were a glowing shade of dark rose from the center all the way out to the edge, no tinge of grey anywhere. So that’s what pancetta is supposed to be like, I’m now thinking. Am I correct? I ask of those who are wiser in the ways of pancetta than I am. Is that greyness a sign of an unscrupulous butcher who is simply unloading old product? Or is that some sort of aged pancetta and it’s supposed to be that way? Recently, thinly sliced domestic pancetta, vacuum sealed in plastic, has appeared in local deli departments. It has the look & color of good pancetta, but the thin slices don’t really work in an amatriciana dish. I’m after a good chunk of the stuff that I can slice into cubes. I bought a chunk of Boar’s Head pancetta for my most recent amatriciana effort. It was a bit grey around the outer edges but the center still had a decent pink cast. I trimmed off the edges and used only the center portion. It was pretty good but still had a bit of that gamy flavor. I have to believe that there’s better stuff out there, whether it’s domestic or imported doesn’t matter to me nearly as much as the freshness. What’s been your experience with pancetta? Do I simply lack a sufficiently refined palate for the delicacies of aged pancetta? Or have I been sold some real crap over the years by some of the most respected butchers in the tri-state area? All comments & advice are welcome.
  24. I have a fantastic cornbread stuffing recipe of my grandmom's I make every single year, but this year wanna mix things up a bit and add oysters or sausage...I have done a big internet search and it has been difficult to find something that requests very few, if any, spices (boo hiss) or requests those awful herbed croutons which I REFUSE TO EAT! I will be both stuffing a bird and making some in a pan---can I just add a pint of shucked oysters to a regular cornbread stuffing recipe? Better yet, any recipes y'all wanna share? Links?
  25. Any suggestions on where to find interesting, ethnic and/or artisanally-made sausages in Toronto?
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