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Buffalo Beef on Weck

BarBill in East Aurora is good, although out of the way. You can't go wrong with Schwabl's in West Seneca. They take their beef on weck seriously in those parts: the only place I ever had a bad beef on weck was at Apple Granny in Lewiston, conveniently off 190.

Cook Your Vegetables to Death - Bon Appétit

Two hours? The version I make fries the beans over as high heat as my burner produces until black spots appear on them, about 5-10 minutes. I'd be interested in your recipe.

Apr 16, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

Cook Your Vegetables to Death - Bon Appétit

Canned asparagus is vile to begin with, and no amount of fat, however good, can redeem it.

But Bon Appetite has to put something on the pages to sell the ads....

Recipes for pork/pig heart

If you expect to keep getting unusual cuts, search out Calvin Schwabe's Unmentionable Cuisine, which contains a large number of recipes from different cultures for the hard-to-find parts (he says mammalian hearts are interchangeable in the recipes). "Nose to Tail Eating" by Fergus Henderson is also good, but Unmentionable is my go-to.

Where do you live, btw? It sounds like you've found a great butcher.

Apr 16, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

recipes for extra bacon

I thought of this thread when I was out to lunch today and the specials board started with "Bacon tacos, with avocado and cilantro creme fraiche". Then there's the variant on the 1970s California hippie classis, a sandwich with cream cheese, avocado slices, alfalfa sprouts and bacon.

I know you said no beans, but if you ever change your mind, I like a couple of pieces of bacon on an otherwise vegetarian bean burger. (What's so funny? I prefer meat in small dollops rather than large servings.)

Apr 16, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

What's your ??????????

That's one advantage of being old - the young'uns believe me when I say I don't use email!

Apr 14, 2015
tardigrade in Not About Food

remove charred skin from chilies?

I've never been able to remove 100% of the char from roasted peppers, so there will be some flavor left. OTOH, broiling isn't smoking: are you trying to make chipotles? I think those are dried, then smoked.

Apr 14, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

QUICHE! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (April 2015)

Corning changed the material it sells as pyrex in the late 1990s(because it was cheaper: never mind that it had a tendency to shatter). If you're using a 30+ year old dish, it would be the older borosilicate formulation, which is more durable. I don't know how to tell the difference just by looking at them, though.

Apr 14, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

Spreadable Sausage

Boccalone in San Francisco has been making and selling nduja for some years - nice to see the other coast catching up :-). It's spicy, a bit hard to serve as a party food since you either need utensils or have to make up serving portions in advance. IMHO it's a novelty rather than a staple.

Apr 14, 2015
tardigrade in General Topics

Complain or Shut Up?

It depends. If I'm served something other than what I ordered I'll point it out - it's easy for a busy waitperson to make mistakes. If I ordered a dish a specific way - i.e., a rare steak and it's well-done I'll send it back. If I order something I've never had before and don't care for it, then that's my problem. The last time I sent something back it was because it was overly salty: for some reason that place went out of business shortly thereafter.

Road trip up 5 into Oregon

I was pleasantly surprised by the Dunsmuir Brewing Company this past February - especially their broccoli slaw. It's pub food, but mostly made in house and well prepared.

Sacramento has a lot of good places, but north of that it's slim pickings until you get to Ashland (and watch out for speed traps: the speed limit drops from 75 to 55 when you hit the border). You can buy olives by the gallon in Corning, CA, should you want to, though, and if you've never been the Olive Pit is worth a stop to at least taste their olive oils and vinegars.

Apr 13, 2015
tardigrade in California
1

One Dinner in Mendocino

Even though I'm not a vegan, I liked The Ravens, at the Stanford Inn slightly south of town. They have a good beer and wine selection, the food is fresh and creative, and if you go on Wednesdays they have ethnic-themed specials.

Apr 13, 2015
tardigrade in California

Watery marinara sauce w fresh tomatoes

Everything Throckwood said. I usually use diced or crushed canned tomatoes, cook them low and slow until the mixture is thick. When I do use fresh home-grown tomatoes, I roughly cut, cook for a while, then put them through a food mill (an overlooked but very useful tool for removing seeds and skins) and cook some more until the sauce is thick. It takes the better part of an afternoon.

Apr 13, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

Why I love our Asian grocery stores

That's my main problem with 99 Ranch- quantity (and the fact that there isn't one nearby so getting there is a major expedition if I don't have anything else to do in the area): their produce tends to be packaged in larger quantities than a small household can use before it goes off: not much of a savings if half goes into the compost. Plus, the packaging means they can stick lower quality produce in with the rest and the customer has no choice.

OTOH, they do have stuff that's hard to find elsewhere.

Apr 12, 2015
tardigrade in General Topics

Four Spring Artichoke Recipes That Think Outside the Steamer

I found some at 2/$4 on the Peninsula last week, but they've been $3 each most of the winter. Hopefully when the local farmers' market starts up in a few weeks they'll have some of the baby ones at a good price. Of course, there's always a trip to Castroville...

Apr 12, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

QUICHE! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (April 2015)

Anyone ever done a cheese-less quiche? I had a very good mushroom/no cheese variety in Amsterdam last year that I'd like to replicate. It was very fluffy and light.

Apr 12, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

QUICHE! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (April 2015)

I find that 4 eggs/ 1 cup non-fat milk makes the right amount of custard for my pie dish. Otherwise, I add the (whatever's leftover in the fridge) ingredients sprinkled over the crust, pour the custard mixture over, and bake until done.

Apr 12, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

What to do with leftover onions and sauce?

I once had a Buffalo wing soup, which as far as I can determine was leftover wings - with sauce - added to cream of chicken soup, so your soup idea sounds worth trying. Since they were beef ribs to start with, I'd go with a soup based on beef stock or broth, maybe with croutons and cheese a la French onion soup - but from Paris, Texas instead of Paris, France!

Apr 10, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

Your favorite michelada recipe?

In a pinch, Trader Joe's Bloody Mary mix, with a few drops of Tapatio sauce, works for me (but then I'll drink the stuff plain, slightly diluted with water).

Don't forget the limes!

Apr 07, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

polenta - home made

I know those little polenta volcanoes well! I'll have to try the oven method next time.

Apr 05, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

How can I slice crusty bread without making such a mess?

Embrace the crumbs: slice on a clean dry cutting board, sweep up the crumbs into an airtight container, and you have the start of a breadcrumb horde!

Apr 04, 2015
tardigrade in General Topics

Ceviche help! Please!

1. When I make ceviche, I usually let the fish sit in the citrus juice overnight. You want the fish to look opaque, as if it's been cooked: I'd say at least 3 hours, probably more. If you're worried about the fish being mushy, try patting it as dry as you can with paper towels before cutting it and putting it in the marinade.

2. No, I think the marinade has given its all by then. I don't usually use additional citrus in the final dish.

3. I'd wait until just before the final assembly to chop up the other ingredients.

4. Personally, I think parsley and cilantro don't play well together, and would use one or the other. I like cilantro, others find it repulsive.

Apr 04, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

polenta - home made

Also, don't be afraid to be aggressive while stirring it: add the maize slowly into salted water, stirring vigorously until each new addition is incorporated into the mixture. And use a deep pot, since you don't want to inadvertently have any hot semi-solid polenta leap out and land on your hands or arms.

I had a hard time getting the texture firm enough so that I could cut the polenta into pieces and grill it. What I finally discovered was pouring a thin layer into an oiled pan, and letting it sit for at least a day to firm up.

Adding butter and/or cheese I find results in a looser texture. I generally make a double batch: pour out about half to use later for fried polenta, then add the dairy to the remaining for a soft polenta to use immediately.

is it okay to drink fresh orange jouce with skins on?

When I was a kid, a local grocery store sold fresh orange juice as a gimmick: fresh halved oranges went in one side of a giant squeezer, and orange juice came out the other side (and presumably the rinds, pulp and seeds went into the garbage or compost). Commercial orange juice is essentially produced the same way, but on a much, much bigger scale.

Peeling citrus before juicing it (I use a reamer or a reamer style press for large amounts) creates a large sticky mess, as I can attest from personal experience. Orange peels are edible - ever had them candied with dark chocolate? - but many people find the pith tasteless at best, bitter at worst.

Apr 04, 2015
tardigrade in General Topics

What's your favorite vegetarian pasta recipe?

There's always the classic aglio e olio - saute some crushed garlic cloves in a decent olive oil, the mix with the pasta.

If dairy is OK, there's my own favorite, a classic pesto Genovese - basil, garlic, olive oil, grated parmesan cheese, pine nuts - and its variations, that change the herbage or the nuts. Or cacio e pepe - Romano cheese and black pepper. Then there's the classic fettucine Alfredo, with a cheese and butter sauce and too many calories for more than a small serving.

Getting more elaborate, there Pasta a la Norma, with a sauce of tomatoes, eggplant, basil and ricotta. One of the Jeff Smith books has a recipe for pasta with a sour cream and cabbage sauce that is quite tasty.

My make-for-a-crowd go-to is a spinach lasagna: mix finely chopped cooked and drained spinach with ricotta, egg, lemon zest, layer between cooked lasagna noodles and top with a simple sauce made from canned diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, oregano and basil (a good basic sauce for many an evening meal: slow cooking the tomatoes thickens it, and the herbs add interest).

I'm a half-vegetarian: for some reason, though, I almost never make an animal-based sauce for pasta - there are just too many good alternatives.

Apr 03, 2015
tardigrade in Vegetarian & Vegan

Alice in Wonderland theme

Yes! Cucumber and watercress sandwiches - with the bread sliced as thin as you can get it and the crusts cut off, of course. Cucumber and radish sandwiches are also good - slice the radishes paper thin. Keeping with a British theme, I once had a "Ploughman's Sandwich" at a pub in London that was a good English cheese with Branson's pickle and lettuce in a sandwich.

If you want to go the quiche route, I'd suggest mini ones: if you're comfortable with making pastry crusts they're no harder than a full-sized ones, and IMHO are more festive. Cheese and onions is a classic combination. Savory scones (again, cheese/onions/mushrooms) are also a possibility.

(I think the move down/clean plates tea party is a Disney invention, but it's been a long time since I've read the Alice books.)

Apr 03, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

Do either of these sound like good ideas for a potluck?

The canned asparagus was last year. Gak.

As for the rice, does the church have a microwave you can reheat it in?

Apr 02, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

Do either of these sound like good ideas for a potluck?

My mother always said that when she was a girl in a very Catholic neighborhood during Lent (back in the 30s) what she missed was not the sweets but meat. I think the chicken tikka sounds great - I'd bring the rice, already cooked, in a separate dish I could keep warm (although the pork riblets also sound good: maybe you could prepare it ahead of time then sprinkle the papaya on top?).

IMHO, as long as you don't bring canned asparagus wrapped in white bread (yes, someone did, and she was an emirita professor of nutrition no less) you're doing better than most potluckers.

Apr 02, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

How to use a ton of frozen salmon?

I use the trim and bones for fish chowder: while they usually use flour as a thickener you can make a delicious - albeit thinner - fish stew without it.

If it was quick-frozen shortly after it was caught, just frying or sauteeing up some slabs would be my first choice. Then there's ceviche, a pickled fish dish. There are some Nordic dishes that combine fish/potatoes/cream: salmon could stand in for cod or sardines in those. And, of course, salmon tacos - with corn tortillas.

Or you could just send it my way :-)

Apr 02, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking
1

Recipe needed vegan stuffed cabbage

I started making a vegan take on Polish gołąbki many years ago for a traditional Christmas Eve dinner(a time of fast and abstinence from meat). I use a mixture of cooked rice, sauteed onion, minced sauteed mushrooms moistened with some tomato paste, then wrapped in Savoy cabbage leaves, covered with a tomato sauce, and baked.

Yes, cook the grains - all of the filling, for that matter - since if you try to heat the whole dish up so they'll be cooked the cabbage will have been heated into oblivion. Plus, the filling is on the dry side and will not have enough moisture to cook grains.

Apr 01, 2015
tardigrade in Vegetarian & Vegan