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heidih

eG Foodblog: heidih (2011) - A slice of life in the South Bay of Los A

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heidih   

It's been fun reading this. Although I grew up around Westwood, I do teach occasionally as an adjunct instructor in CA at LA Harbor college. One of the things I love about SoCal is that there is always somewhere else to explore and something new to eat :D

Then the taco truck is just down the street from you at PCH and Vermont :biggrin:

Have you been to Carniceria Flores aka Flores meats on Anaheim by the 110? great burritos, very flavorful and in-expensive!

La Epanola just down the way as well. Lots of great food in the area

That is why I called this area an embarrassment of riches - I have not even dipped the edge of my big toe into its wealth.

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heidih   

I thought it would be more informative to review the items in segments rather than just presenting them on a platter.

First up are the salads - potato, sauerkraut and meat

The potato salad was boring. Just a light oil and vinegar with waxy potato and a hint of parsley. It might make a foil for a spicy or rich sausage, but can not stand on its own. I did bring it to just above room temp in the hopes that would help, but no.

The sauerkraut is not zingy at all. Tastes almost cooked.

The meat salad which is made from a variety of their soft charcuterie like mortadella and bologna along with sour pickle relish and a mayo/cream sauce is pure comfort. It is lovely on a slice of the egg bread.

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heidih   

As a note the dried sausage that I showed in the pictures of purchases was not purchased today - it was part of my son's Easter basket from the grandparents. The "wiener" in the package in that same shot is made from veal I think (very light colored and textured) and the casing has an incredible snap. I have frozen it for a future treat- it is a comfort thing for me just barely poached and then dipped in spicy mustard. More often then not the casing pops and splits along its length.

Next up on the plate are the Hungarian headcheese, Bier wurst and Buendnerfleisch. I rarely select head cheese as an option but this was surprisingly good. Thinly sliced the texture was well integrated, the paprika flavor just a flavoring versus a hot spice element, and the gelatinous nature subdued. The Buendnerfleisch is an air dried beef. It was very thinly sliced and a close up sniff gave me a slightly smoky intense yet sweet hit. The Bierwurst does not match the Wiki description. It was a bit garlicky and had more texture than a bologna or mortadella but was quite mild but flavorful. The bread slice is the Farmers Bread which is a rye sourdough.

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heidih   

The last plate was Oldenburger salami and the mushroom liverwurst with the egg bread. I prefer a more sour salami but was seduced by the shape- it is tied such that the slices come out in a modified daisy pattern. The liverwurst is lovely - not too strong, very smooth and the mushroom bits are bold enough to taste but not overpower. It also freezes well. This is one of the few items I could not get a small amount of- 1/2 lb minimum.

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heidih   

I am thankful that I committed to doing something with the tangerines today because when I picked them I saw that they were indeed starting to dry up a bit on the tree. I got about a cup of juice to freeze in cubes and started some peel to dry. I have to find a good cool dry spot for the peel. The pith was a bit thick so I shaved off a good portion of it.

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heidih   

Good morning. Things have cooled off here and it is a pleasant change. The plan today is a trip to the Korean market for pork butt and assorted panchan and kimchi. I'm thinking that pork butt in the Weber kettle would be a treat.

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heidih   

Iced tea update: I found this box of fruit teas in the cupboard. Yesterday was black cherry and today is mixed berry. I find the flavor just this side of too artificial tasting, though it says "natural flavors" on the packet. Well chilled they are refreshing.

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I wanted to show you my kitchen scissors. I love them. The brand is Messermeister and they some apart for easy cleaning. We have discussed the handiness of kitchen scissors . I use them most often to snip herbs into dishes, cut pizza, and of course to get crab and lobster out of the shell.

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heidih   

I just tossed one of the tangerine juice ice cubes from yesterday into my iced tea - excellent. I will be squeezing more juice.

Off to light the fire in the Weber.

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heidih   

What I love in particular about the local Korean market is the shoppers' enthusiasm. I get caught up in the excitement. The shots I took were today, Friday, at 2pm. It was busy but not quite the zoo of the weekends. The sample ladies were already out - I guess they do a three day stint for the weekend.

The market and ads at the entry

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The first impression walking in- the blur is really what it feels like :smile:ntry.JPG

You enter the market and are funneled into the produce section. On weekends it is a shopping cart traffic jam. Baskets are piled to overflowing with unfathomable amounts of vegetables and large boxes of seasonal fruit.

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heidih   

More produce

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Garlic scapes and fresh garlic

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Peeled garlic

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Small abalone in a tank abalone.JPG

Salmon heads for 69 cents a pound

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heidih   

I sampled a selection of dumplings and then some jellies from the sample ladies. I had never had the jellies - she had acorn, mung bean, buckwheat and another I have forgotten. I'd seen photos and thought they would be chewy but they had a pleasant slightly sweet grain taste and the texture was not really gelatinous - hard to describe. Of course anything dipped in the sauce would be good. It was a standard soy sauce, sesame oil, hot pepper paste style dip with lots of toasted sesame seeds floating in it

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I managed to get a shot of part of the kimchi wall before the camera died

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heidih   

Here is what I purchased

I went there planning on pork butt. I have never gone there and not seen pork butt. So if course today.....there was no pork butt. I picked up some pork neck bones just in case before I headed to another local market that often has it.

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In the produce section I picked up some sesame (actually perilla) leaves to wrap the meat in when eating, some Korean radish (thicker around than daikon and shorter), and some ginger

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I did not get a shot of the panchan section. There must be 50 different varieties. I picked up young radish kimchi, seaweed, playcondon, and what they label as seasoned vermicelli but equates to chap jae without beef (but with meaty cloud ears)

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I have a lovely red rice cooker that has been well used and which I dragged with me to my current location despite having no room or need for it. I do not cook or entertain for large groups anymore. So....if I want some rice as I will with the pork today and the Korean sides, I buy this precooked rice.

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heidih   

I then ventured to the chain market which often has pork butt- nope - they only had "cushion" which is much less fatty. It is from under the shoulder. I got a small piece and decided to try some of the pork neck bones and this cushion in the Weber. I also grabbed some pasilla/ancho chiles - I could smell the sweet deep spice through the bag.

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heidih   

I started a fire in the Weber off to the side and made a paste for the meat. Processed lots of garlic (the pre peeled is not that pungent), some fresh oregano from the garden, few T of salt, lots of pepper, and the last 5 kumquats from my little new tree and coated the meat. Now I have to be patient for a few hours.

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heidih   

This is a slightly oddly lit shot of my two favorite snacks that sit on top of the fridge:

Unsalted but well roasted pistachios and Calbee shrimp crackers with wasabi. Anyone else a fan?

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baroness   

This is a slightly oddly lit shot of my two favorite snacks that sit on top of the fridge:

Unsalted but well roasted pistachios and Calbee shrimp crackers with wasabi. Anyone else a fan?

Yes; I also like the Calbee Snapea Crisps.

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heidih   

Life intervened and the coals were done before the meat. The neck bones were almost there and I enjoyed a few. The rest and the larger pork piece were covered with foil and went into a low oven. For dinner I had the chap jae, various panchan, along with some of the perilla leaves and rice. A great mix of flavors. I have been picking bits off the rest as it crisps and gets tender.

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Pierogi   

Heidi, where did you find those Messermeister scissors? I have an el-cheapo pair of Chicago Cutlery ones that I can't remember where I got....maybe Tar-jay several eons ago?? It was a set of 2, and the last pair finally wants to give up the ghost. I noticed the other day the handle has split from one too many trips through the dishwasher. They come apart like yours, and that's what I want to replace them with.

But I can't find anything comparable. And I know both Alton Brown and America's Test Kitchen liked the Messermeister. They seem to be the only current option that pulls apart for cleaning. But no one local to me has them !

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Heidi, I've just checked back into your blog after a week of being mostly offline, and am blown away by the sheer deliciousness of the things you make! I really love your cooking style; it speaks to me.

Esp. because I'm constantly buying food (mostly vegetables) and enjoying THEN thinking of what I can make with them..I hope I haven't mischaracterised your cooking but I really love seeing how the produce around you inspires you to cook!

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heidih   

Good morning. Misty and 60 at 10 am with a cloudy day predicted to peak at 67. I love it.

The Weber has been cleaned. I like having it ready for the next use. I used to be one of those people who just let the crud burn off the next time I used it. The grills and kettle itself did not hold up that well. I also keep this one in the garden shed so it should be with me for life.

A word about sweets. I grew up with incredible baked goods. The common way to socialize with relatives and other people who emigrated from my mom's village was to go visit them for "coffee". The coffee was garden variety percolated brew. The home baked goods were the focus. Usually at least three different items. The baking can best be described as very Austrian in style. They cobbled together Hungarian, Polish, German and Austrian, relying heavily on the booklets put out by Dr. Oetker and the exchange of recipes was a big deal - always with attribution to the woman who refined it.

So basically I am completely spoiled and picky. I recently went on a road trip with a friend who insisted that we had to stop at bakery as their bear claws were swoonworthy. I love almond paste and buttery flaky doughs. I politely had a few bites; swooning - not even close. I have mom's recipe collection and bake from it for holidays, but am not a regular baker and do not generally seek out interesting baked goods. I do, however, love the writing and respect the opinions of Jonathan Gold. Today I plan to visit a Japanese bakery that has a cream puff he put on a recent list of 100 places to eat in Los Angeles before you die.

He is also the writer who prompted me to explore local ethnice markets and restaurants back in the day when he wrote the column "Counter Intelligence" for the Los Angeles Times food section. I hope to make it to a small Vietnamese market today as well.

I have made another round of tangerine ice cubes and plan to hit the road shortly.

Thanks for playing along.

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heidih   

Heidi, where did you find those Messermeister scissors?

Check your PM's - Cookin Stuff in Torrance (a great cookware store) has them on sale today as they are having a Messermeister demo and free knife sharpening! I am packing up my pathetic Forschners to get sharpened if the line is not atrocious.

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Dejah   

Heidi: I am still catching up - on page three! I love all your pictures, especially the visits to the various markets and ethnic stores. I have never grilled neck bones, always used them for soup. Now I have a new use for them. I love picking away at the meat on the neck bones, but I can only imagine how wonderful they will be after grilling! Thanks. :smile:

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heidih   

It has been a looong day.

Thanks to this community I found out that Messermeister was doing free knife sharpening and had a sale going on at a local cookware shop - Cookin Stuff in Torrance -

The lovely ladies doing the free sharpening

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Outside shot of the store

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Some shots of the shelving filled to the brim with things we all need NOW

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A blurry shot of the cookie cutter wall

ccuters\

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heidih   

They sharpened my 3 Forschners for free and tucked them into nice holders.

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And a shot of Pierogi's new scissors on sale for $14.99 today only and 10 % going to the charity :)

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