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  1. So I want to do a Dr Pepper brine on some gorgeous pork belly I was lucky enough to find today. I'm thinking garlic, chilies, thyme and Dr Pepper syrup, but I'm worried that with a 3-4 day brine, the phosphoric acid in the syrup is going to mangle the meat. Any ideas? Should I just do a standard brine, and the a short dry cure with the syrup? I'm sort of at a loss on this one.
  2. An Armenian, Turkish, Russian cured cut of meat. Usually made from beef, it's cured, dried and coated with a highly spiced mixture called Chemen. This is a piece I bought at Bedo's in Burj Hammoud (a neighborhood with a large Armenian community). While in Beirut this past summer, I got a basturma recipe straight from an Armenian grandmother. I was even told where to buy the ingredients in Burj Hammoud. The stuff in the can is a red food coloring. While most recipes call for the fillet, I decided to go with an eye of round. This was about 4lbs and I sliced it in half to end up with 2 thinner pieces. I laid the pieces on a bed of kosher salt and covered them with more. I placed them in the fridge for 4 days. The pan was drained every day, I'd say the meat lost about 3 pints of liquid. This is what they look like on the last day. As per the instructions, the meat was rinsed and soaked in water for 1 hour. The slabs were dried and wrapped with cheese cloth and pressed between two cutting boards in the fridge for 2 days. To my surprise there was no liquid released after the pressing. In fact the cheese cloth was barely damp. The meat was pretty firm. I had skipped the step in which I was supposed to insert a twine through the narrow (thin) end of the meat to hang them with. Here my wife had a clever idea. She used a crochet needle to poke through and retrieve the twine. I wasn't about to hang these outside so I took them to work and hung them in a keg cooler. Directly in the air flow from the evaporator. They hung for 15 days. Next: Making the Chemen and coating the meat.
  3. by some coincidence i have had the opportunity recently to have several different bacons by several local purveyors--both those who make it, and those who sell it--so i figured i'd start a thread on who's making what, and how we found it. i don't suspect this thread will be very long, but hey, i'll babble for a while. so, let's start with the non-local stuff: 1. dibruno's is carrying double-smoked speck. but what i bought was made from pork belly, not the much leaner thigh version they have on their website. actually at the time i was looking for french-style bacon, the unsmoked cured stuff you make lardons from. but since they didn't have that (i shoulda used pancetta, but whatever), i decided what the hell, and got this. it's about $10 a pound. you can get it sliced thick. it's great stuff. double smoked, but not unpleasantly smoky, with a really noticeable pork flavor. not as sweet as a lot of american bacon. perfect for an inauthentic salade lyonnaise--i know smoked bacon isn't traditional in that salad, but it sure doesn't hurt it in my mind. dibruno's also carries neuske's applewood bacon and pepper bacon and whatnot, but it's ungodly expensive, approaching $16 or so a pound, and i just can't bring myself to pay for it, esp. considering the prices of the following, so if one of you gets some and would like to report, feel free. otherwise i'm sure i'll end up one night saying screw it and dropping $8 or so for half a pound of nueske's in some kind of emergency bacon situation. you know how they can crop up. ok so anyway, locals next: 2. haltemann's. this is my go-to bacon, that i always have in the freezer. i usually buy the bacon ends rather than the regular strips. this has a couple of advantages: first, you often get big chunks of solid meat, and big chunks of fat. the former are good for soups and greens and whatnot; the latter for keeping a good amount of bacon fat around. second, they're cheaper, at about $2.19 a pound (compared to about $4 for regular). the disadvantage is that you don't get nice strips (edited to say: actually you DO usually get SOME strips when you buy the ends. just not the real uniform ones). haltemann's bacon is pretty salty, and hickory smoked, so it's got a relatively assertive smoked flavor. however, (like all of these, and unlike supermarket bacon), it's not that sweet, and is not full of briney liquid that leaks out when you cook it. i mean, i guess that's a given when you're not buying oscar meyer, but it's worth noting, i think. 3. martin's. we bought this last week because i was walking by, and because we were having end-of-season BLTs, which of course means with fried green tomatoes instead of fresh ones. martin's is hickory smoked also, runs $3.89 a pound, i think, and is cut relatively thick, between 1/8 and 1/4 inch. they also have slab bacon if you want it whole or cut some other way. it's very similar to haltemann's, above. 4. harry och's. OK this one i had never seen before, but i was walking by that afternoon and saw it up there by the stuffed flank steak and whatnot: our own applewood smoked bacon. also about $4 a pound. fruitwoods in general provide a much lighter, smoother smoke flavor than either hickory or oak, and this one is no exception. it's pre-sliced, and i didn't see it in slabs, but the mellowness of the flavor made me think you wouldn't want to use this in any other way than just cooked slices. it allows the flavor of the pork and the cure to come through more than the asskicking hickory does. so anyway, we cooked up martin's and och's for our BLT sandwiches that night, and while we all agreed that the och's was a great bacon, it didn't stand up to the fried green tomato BLTs as well as the martin's did. i like it more on its own though; it's a more nuanced flavor is more interesting. anyway, the difference is really remarkable when you have them side by side--while in general, really, they're all bacon and whatnot, it's interesting noticing the differences when you have them one after another. as an aside, i've had stoltzfus (dutch country meats) bacon and didn't like it as much as haltemann's, but i can't remember why, because i haven't had it that recently. i do know that my 'everyday' bacon choice between haltemann's and stoltzfus was conscious, in the same way that i prefer the ham from stoltzfus over the ham from haltemann's. OK that's all i got for now. hope y'all find it of interest.
  4. Over a week ago I cooked up some bacon and saved the fat to make ginger cookies with bacon. I haven't made the cookies yet, and I find myself wondering how long the bacon fat will stay fresh enough to use. Anyone have an idea?
  5. Hi, I've done a search through several useful threads about sausage making but I haven't been able to find much information about sausage stuffers. I'd like to purchase one but I'm really not sure what to look for. What makes a good one? What kinds of features/attributes should it have? Is there a particular material or construction method which makes for a superior machine? I'm sure there are dozens of other nuances of which I'm not even remotely aware -- but I'd like to be. Can any of you well-seasoned sausage makers walk me through this? I'd appreciate the benefit of any experience you can share. Thanks, =R=
  6. Does anyone have a recipe for piragi? My "step-grandfather" is Latvian and gets them every Christmas from a Latvian bakery in Toronto. I have never made them, but have had a craving and do not know of any Latvian bakeries in my neck of the woods. Besides, I'm always looking for a new "cooking project" (I can picture my partner rolling his eyes). A quick internet search has turned up a few recipes, which sound straightforward enough, but I know that if there is a wealth of information to be found about any food-topic, I should look here first.
  7. I've been going to Hamilton NJ for homemade Italian sausages and they are real good. Can anyone tell me where to get them in Philly. I'm looking for both hot and sweet but without fennel. I seem to remember Katie talking about an Italian deli in Philly that had the best stuff but I forgot where it is located. Also, are there any standouts at RTM? I tried a search here and it came up with all non-related topics so sorry if I am repeating topics covered already.
  8. Hi guys an gals, Can anyone give me a few helpful hints on smoking meat and fish at home. Thanks
  9. [Moderator note: The original Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" topic became too large for our servers to handle efficiently, so we've divided it up; the preceding part of this discussion is here: Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" (Part 1)] That is a Great Outdoors brand Smokey Mountain Cooker which is actually propane-powered. In many cases, that gas power is great because it makes maintaining temperature fairly easy. It's basically built for efficient hot smoking. A cast iron box sits in a frame above the heat source and the wood chunks burn pretty evenly over time. I think the manufacturer recommends using chips but I've found that chunks burn longer and produce a better smoke. Because I was too lazy yesterday to rig my dryer vent-aided cold smoker (a weekend project, it seems), I decided to try something new with the SMC. I only used the gas flame until the cherry wood chunks started to burn. Once they did, I shut down the gas entirely and loaded up the water pan with ice. From there, via the use of damper control, I was able to keep those chunks smoking for about 4 hours. It worked out great because the temperature stayed low and it was largely controllable. During those 4 hours, I dumped the melted ice from the water pan and refilled it with fresh ice 2 times. Also, one time near the end, I placed a single ice cube in the fire box to cool things down a bit. I'll be curious to see how it turned out because if it did work well, I think there's some cold-smoked salmon in my very near future. At this point, I don't foresee any reason why it may have failed. But, until you taste the final product, you never know for sure. *fingers crossed* =R=
  10. [Moderator note: The original Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" topic became too large for our servers to handle efficiently, so we've divided it up; the preceding part of this discussion is here: Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" (Part 3)] Damned you Ruhman! I just ordered Kinsella, Grigson, and Bertolli's books. (all your fault) It's not bad enough that after finishing Reach I had to go out and buy replacement copies of Making and Soul (loaned out and never returned) and now you tell me I'm going to have to buy ANOTHER copy of Charcuterie too! Sheesh!
  11. Lardo di Colannata(o), to me....6-12 month Cured pork fat back w/ herbs. Apparently a profound, ethereal culinary experience. After reading Bill Bufords book "Heat" ( a great book about many things...Mario Batali included) I am facinated to know more about this product. Experiences, recipes and musings wanted. I MUST learn how to make this incredible, venticle stiffining fat of the Gods. I'm also in search of the "perfect" pig...if there is one, to provide his backside, so I might persue my curing delights. (i.e. a mail order heritage or heirloom pig site who can provide me the fat back needed in the USA)
  12. Hi there I am doing some research into a new menu and have been unable to find any information on Copa Salami, well other than its Itailian. Can any one fill me on with more information, on taste, orgins, uses?
  13. Kent Wang

    Jowl bacon

    I just picked up some jowl bacon from the farmers market. To me, the meat tastes a bit sweeter, there's a lot more fat and the rendered fat is more gelatinous (higher collagen content?). What are you thoughts on jowl bacon? Are my impressions accurate? Do you prefer it to belly bacon?
  14. Over in the Charcuterie thread, many of us have been makin' bacon. I've been sticking mainly with the standards -- bacon and eggs; frissee salad with lardons -- and I'm wantin' to branch out. What's your favorite recipe or dish for showcasing really good bacon?
  15. So who went to this Mario cookfest/book signing today? Fiance and I head over for the 4:00 slot with a couple of friends. The cramped quarters of Salumi didn't exactly work for how they had it set up -- which was a standing room only grazing arrangement -- but the food was darn good. Highlights included bruchetta with goat cheese, basil, and salumi; turkey meatballs in ragu; this fava bean and chicory side dish that was both light and savory; a very flavorful sausage and broccoli rabe dish; and finally, this moist anise biscotti-like cookie that was both light and decadent at the same time. All washed down with some lovely Masi. I wish we'd brought the camera, because this food was beautiful. As part of the event everyone received Mario's new cookbook autographed, which he was willing to personalize for anyone interested. I chatted with him for a few minutes about the question I asked him when he did his online chat on egullet a few months back about where besides Salumi he likes to eat when he visits his family in Seattle. He looked wiped out -- book tours and cooking nonstop must take their toll -- but he was very gracious and friendly and willing to chat about his food. All in all it was a wonderful event even given the cramped quarters, well worth the price of admission. For the two friends that went with us it was their first visit to Salumi, and they'll definitely be back. Did anyone else go? What did you think?
  16. <img align="left" src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1124243374/gallery_29805_1195_3626.jpg">by Margaret McArthur I’m old enough that the words “open bar” shouldn’t sing that siren song. I should be smart enough not to strap on three-inch heels, but I’m not. And I shouldn’t have danced that crazy tango with my sister, but, well, I did. I teetered at the podium, a tousled, tipsy toastmistress. For a woman who hadn’t delivered an important address since her high school valedelictory, I was damned confident. I beheld my audience, a beaming roomful of pilgrims who’d gathered at the Ottawa Westin on September 23, 2000, to celebrate fifty years of perfect romantic married love: half-century of wedded -- no other word for it -- bliss. My parents’ golden anniversary. I’m not waxing poetic, gilding the lily, or slopping the truffle oil. Despite a breadbasket brimming with health problems, frequent relocations, and four children whose combined escapades present the best possible case for free universal vasectomy, my parents’ marriage has that fairytale ending: they live happily ever after. A cousin held her girlfriend’s hand and sighed. “Gee, it’s tough being around Auntie and Uncle, knowing that no matter how hard you try, your relationship is never going to be as good as theirs.” Another cousin looked grim despite our frequent meetings at the bar. It’s hard not to be wistful at the shores of the sea of love when your marital lifeboat is about to ram the iceberg and sink without a trace. And I’d held the hair of an old family friend as she knelt on the marble floor of the ladies' room barfing beaujolais, and wondering, “Why can’t I feel married the way they feel married?” My parents’ passionate paradigm intimidates us lesser lovers, who can’t see the billets-doux for the bills. By the time I tinkled my glass with a fork still sticky with raspberry coulis, the room was mellow. The trio was on a between-set break, and all eyes were fixed on the septuagenarian lovers -- not, thank God, on the splat of sauce that accessorized the bodice of the frivolous purple frock I’d snatched from the sale rack at Banana Republic. They’re a handsome couple: a tall blonde in a Marlene Dietrich-style black evening suit and a fuchsia silk blouse and scarf she’d picked up at Holt Renfrew the same weekend I bought my second fridge. (The blouse rang up at six bucks more than the Kenmore, and it didn’t feature an icemaker.) If Harrison Ford is lucky, he’ll resemble Daddy when he’s seventy-three. But no matter how often Harrison struts the red carpet, he’ll never wear a tux with the insouciance of Ian McArthur. A series of preprandial Glenfiddiches guaranteed I wouldn’t remember much of the speech I’d composed on my pillow the night before while digesting the feast my mother had provided for the welcome of the Oldest Child, and metabolizing Daddy’s killer Old Fashioneds. I’m sure I was fulsome, sentimental and over-the-top -- no snide daughterly jabs or Viagra jokes. I recounted their first date, engineered by my Aunt Char who thought her brother might take a shine to her leggy classmate. (That game at Mimico High was also the last time either of my parents has willingly sat through four quarters of basketball.) The courtship followed, featuring shameless necking in the stands of Varsity Stadium. I wended my way down Lover’s Lane, hitting all the romantic highlights: the wedding (my only quip: I noted that it was dry, to the general hilarity and disbelief of the audience), the honeymoon in Montreal, the move to Trois-Rivieres, the eager embrace of all the things that French-speaking people do better than we do. Summer holidays in the Pontiac station wagon, the trips to Europe, the time my nine-year-old-daughter caught them in flagrante delicto . . . I was rolling, peeps, more flowery than the chintz curtains in the guest bedroom or the Ontario ice wine in my glass. Like the silly endearments lovers whisper, nothing I said could sound sappy, because it was all true. I quoted The Rubaiyat, which my father had memorized to recite to his bride. I hit Sonnet Twenty-Nine, the mere mention of which makes their eyes well. I didn’t neglect to recite the wedding vows, explaining how my parents understand and honor them at a level most of us never approach. Daddy brushed away a tear with the knuckle of his right forefinger, and his wasn’t the only leaky eye in the room. It was time to ask the company to stand, and raise a glass. “To Marilyn and Ian, a couple that can swap spit with the big time: Antony and Cleopatra, Fred and Ginger, Pepe and Petunia . . .” “Bacon and eggs!” No one has better timing than my mother. To her, Romeo and Juliet were just a couple of rich teenagers who’d have eventually moved on to Tomasso, Ricardo or Lola. Bacon and eggs, now -- they’ll sizzle until the end of time. Unlike many of my girlfriends, I abandoned the struggle early and acknowledged that eternal truth: my mother is always right. Sure, we have differences about minor matters like religion, politics and football (Mummy loves it), but she is infallible on everything worth knowing, like why bacon and eggs belong in the pantheon of passion. I could wake up every morning with a plate of bacon and eggs. And toast. Let me explain what I’m describing here. “Bacon and eggs” means eggs sunny side up, fried in bacon fat. Scrambled eggs, poached eggs, eggs fried in butter -- even the delightfully smutty-sounding eggs over easy -- are pretenders on the plate. Bacon means streaky bacon, although we could work up a threesome if good back bacon is present, eager and willing. But lean Canadian bacon doesn’t sweat the sizzling puddle of hot grease required for cooking the eggs, so my guy on the side is American. The toast? A long thick slice of day old artisan boule makes the best toast on earth, but in a pinch I’ve substituted English Muffins, Wonder Bread and a two week old, soft-as-the-day-I-bought-it hamburger bun (after checking for blue fuzz). Rye bread, crumpets, bagels seven-grain loaf from the bread machine -- choose your carb -- anything that slides into the toaster slot. But know this: toast is essential. The saddest thing about the Atkins Diet is its cruel eagerness to let bacon and eggs lie naked and slippery on the plate. They need their crusty chaise longue. My parents eat B and E for lunch, their reward for the Puritan yogurt and shredded wheat with which they break their fast. I yearn for a bacon and eggs dinner at least once a week, but I’ve never broken sentimental tradition and given in to mere ease, economy and pleasure. I know, I know -- the matins of lapsed Episcopalians who observe the secular Sunday ritual of the New York Times must play out in a few hundred thousand kitchens every Sunday. But I won’t bother with self-examination, the meaning of ritual or spiritual sublimation. Week after week, year after year, I count on Sunday-morning bacon and eggs as the most reliably happy twenty minutes of the previous seven days. And much of the charm is that it’s the only day I luxuriate in breakfast. Winnie the Pooh had it right: <blockquote>'When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,' said Piglet at last, 'what's the first thing you say to yourself?' 'What's for breakfast?' said Pooh. 'What do you say, Piglet?' 'I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?' said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. 'It's the same thing,' he said. (A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner)</blockquote>And it is exciting to wake up on a Sunday and know you have eight ounces of bacon and an egg or two -- and seven pounds of newsprint lolling on the driveway. The stagger downstairs to turn on the coffee is less tortuous on Sunday. Still, retrieving the paper requires clothing, so I beat a retreat to the bathroom for a quick encounter with the toothbrush, soap and water, and whatever emollient has most recently suckered me into believing that it reduces the visible signs of aging. Besides, clothing isn’t optional when dealing with splattering bacon grease. (Gentlemen, don’t preen at the stove in your sixteen-year-old son’s drawstring pajama pants: graying chest hair is a brush fire waiting to happen. Ladies, the weekly cleaning bill for a splattered Victoria’s Secret teddy, prorated over twelve months, could better be spent on pedicures, a Le Creuset casserole or an orgy with a garden catalogue.) Sure, sweats are adequate, but admit it: you aren’t about to fish out a pair of pantyhose, tell him which tie to wear, then whistle up the kids for church. Would it kill you to pull on a pair of jeans and a shirt? Start with the bacon. A perfect world would provide a cast-iron skillet with a diameter that accommodates six strips of bacon, but even my twelve-inch Lodge flunks the test; half the strips are forced into nervous smiles, and their apprehension prevents them from cooking evenly. My alternative lets the bacon stretch out straight, and requires less attention. It also ensures that splattering is contained to my self-cleaning oven, and I don’t have to spend five minutes with a scrubbie and a bottle of 409, swabbing the walls, the stovetop and the back of the coffee grinder. Pull out your most disreputable sheet pan and deal those strips of bacon like the flop in a hand of Texas Hold ’Em. Put it in a cold oven, crank the heat up to 450, then fan the Sunday paper out on the table. Wait for the beep, which indicates the oven is up to temperature. This is very suspect science, but zero to 450 takes seventeen minutes in my gas oven: I have time to wish to that I could write like Maureen Dowd and memorize the salient portions of Sunday Styles before I tear myself away from the Vows story and heed the chime of the oven. I might have to turn a slice or three, but the bacon is usually flat, crispy and two minutes from incineration: -porky perfection. I drain it on three layers of paper towel -- on those rare Sundays it isn’t upstairs with the Windex it the bathroom -- otherwise, the business section does the job. The kitchen’s heating up. Pour the fat from the sheet pan into an eight-inch cast iron skillet, and fire up the flame -- make that fat sizzle! You have time to pull out a plate: a dinner plate. For years I squeezed and shimmied this feast onto a salad plate, a Calvinist crime; this spread needs to loll and languish, and the dishwasher doesn’t care what size the mattress is. Check for soft butter, and a spreader. Slice the bread, pop it into the toaster, and nudge the fridge door open with the left knee. Fumble for an egg. A kind foodie friend from cyberspace once shipped me two dozen eggs warm from her henhouse. In the hissing fat, the yolks stood up stiff, hard and perky as a starlet’s silicone, and they ran the orange of a Cadbury Crème Egg. The flavor was so intense and eggy that I moaned at the breakfast table. But I can’t hold to that ovoid standard every week. The egg from the Styrofoam carton is probably a week from its sell-by date, but the titty analogy wouldn’t be stretched to mention the considerable charms of a natural breast bestowed with the character that a few years rack up. Dude. It’s still sexy. Pick up a tablespoon and dip it into the fat. Baste the egg, with special attention to the white, so you firm what my brother called the “egg snot.” Ten passes with the spoon will firm the albumen and veil the yolk, as tenderly as tulle over the face of a dewy bride. God, the toast! It’s easy to forget when you’re trying to coax perfection from an egg sunny side up. Although cooking the egg is a matter of seconds, you must remember the raft, the couch, the mattress. Pull the toast from its slot, butter it, and spread it like a book on the plate. Plunk the egg on one page, the bacon on the other. Dust the egg with salt -- I love the crunch of fleur de sel -- and rub out three grinds of your Peugeot’s coarsest. Dip the knife into the yolk and watch it spurt, half onto the plate, half lapping the bread. Cut a cube of toast, dip it into the golden mess on the plate, and spear an inch of bacon. Close your eyes and savor the crisp and the soft, the salt and the suave. It’s not transubstantiation, conversion or orgasm: it’s yin and yang on your tongue. It’s holding hands across the real estate section, it’s kissing while you do the dishes. It’s hearing him whistle I’m in the Mood for Love through the window of your Florentine hotel room when he returns from the farmacia with your corn plasters in his pocket. It’s sustaining, it’s easy, it’s slippery and luscious and crunchy, as ageless and reliable as lazy love on a Sunday morning. Long ago I bowed to the likelihood that few will ever know more than a few moments of the sweet shared bliss that my parents seem to conjure every moment of the day. But a newspaper, a lover, and a plate of bacon and eggs? I might settle for that. It’s certainly worth a toast. <i>Margaret McArthur, aka maggiethecat, is host and Dark Lady of the Daily Gullet Competition Forum. She writes, cooks and tends her garden near Chicago. Art by Dave Scantland, aka Dave the Cook.</i>
  17. Just spotted a leg of duck confit in the butcher's display case in Meinhardt's. Seven to nine dollars each. (Attractively packaged in individual vacuum-sealed plastic bags.) Last week I saw that Oyama had duck leg confit for about four bucks each. (Not individually packaged and kept in a bowl in the display case.) Anyone tried either of them? Any other places to get good store-bought duck confit? Many Thanks for your help.
  18. The Ultimate Bacon Sandwich I like bacon as well as the next man, but ugh...
  19. Hey I had my first Tomahawk breakfast and it came with the most incredible bacon - at it was some thing that I had not seen before. I was round and smokey - thin and crispy. I thought that it was a kind of Pancetta - but when I asked the waitress she said it was a type of back bacon that they get whole and sliced very thinly on site. "If you want more - you need to come back". It did not look like back bacon to me - it seemed too fatty to be back bacon. All I needed was some maple syrup to dip them in and you could have shot me dead right then and there. Has anyone had their bacon and is it simply back bacon cut super thin? It is very very good.
  20. All of my previous forays into duck confit have ended in cassoulet. But now it's almost spring, too late for cassoulet, and I just finished making a bunch of confit yesterday. Well, actually, I finished it this morning, owing to having forgotten it in the oven overnight. So now I can report that if you make culinarybear's recipe from the confit thread, you can leave it in a 200 degree oven for 22 hours and get a very respectable product. Fortunately, I was already planning to pick it all off the bone, because it was certainly falling off, to the extent that a nice presentation of a whole leg would have been impossible. But for shredding, it was primo. So now, what shall I do with it? I've been considering ducklava, or a blini canape, or a salad, but would love to get some new and exciting ideas.
  21. Hi all.... I've been tasked with creating some new sasuage varities.... I need weird or wonderful suggestions.... i'm stuck with in an asian theme.... salmon, wasabi & pickled ginger duck, soy, ginger & spring onion chicken, cocunut, lime leaf and lemongrass. any other combinations?
  22. So what other Confits can you use a Crock-pot for. Lets hear the ideas.
  23. I'm interested in making either of these, but can't find any hints on salt/cure ratios and seasonings. I'm guessing the lardo is very easy to make, and I have 6 fresh pork kidneys that could go into a salumi if the partner doesn't get to them first. I thought nduja would be a good candidate, but I can't find a recipe. Anyone? thanks, trillium
  24. Hello, it's been a while. Since we've been promised snow in this week's forecast, I've traded in my food bus for a sleigh. This blog doesn't actually get started until tomorrow, but I wanted to get y'all thinking some. See here's the deal. In my first foodblog, many of you came and visited with me as guests in my home. Well, now you're all more like family. So this time, you have to help me. Welcome to the interactive foodblog. I decided that if I was going to do another blog, I had to branch out. I couldn't just do the same thing I did last time and more importantly, I didn't want to replicate any of the dishes I did last time around. This I realized was going to require me to step outside my foodbox somewhat though. So I'm going to do some experimenting. I'm going to make some things I've never made before. Now I know, from reading the various threads on these forums that there's a wealth of information and advice to be had, and that's exactly what I need from y'all. I'll be doing stuff that you're going to think "how can she not know how to do that?!". Well I haven't and I don't. But, I'm willing to put my ingnorance on the line in the interests of higher learning. I'm putting myself out there folks. Don't let me fall. Not only that, but other than our big Christmas dinner, which will actually be Boxing Day (the day after Christmas for all you non Canadian and English people), I don't think there's a speck of beef on the menu. Oh the withdrawal! Note the Southern drawl? A lot of what I'll be doing are Southern dishes. I figure by the time I'm done, not only will my drawl have improved, but I'll be a card carrying Southern Mama. So sit back and relax. But don't get too comfortable. Y'all need to work with me on this one.
  25. Any home sausage makers out there? I have a question regarding the Italian sausage one typically sees in butcher shops. Usually, the sausage is offered in the thick ropes (both hot and sweet) and then in thinner coils, which are often made with cheese and parsley. If I want to make the standard thick kind, I suppose I would use hog casings. But what about the thinner kind? Is there a special casing I should be looking for to make those? TIA J
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