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KMcGrew's Profile

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Group SLO orders?

I'm actually not so sure that's legal, since I'm not a licensed distributor. Granted, in the case of splitting wine with friends, I'm not so worried about getting caught.

However, in the case of something like Batavia Arrack, I don't know that I have a single friend who is interested in a bottle, let alone five. It would be great if I could post on a message board and find other people to go in on an order together. However, buying booze for strangers is a lot more obviously akin to distributing without a license than picking something up for a friend, and that's what I'm worried about.

Apr 01, 2014
KMcGrew in Philadelphia

Group SLO orders?

I'm not entirely sure if this is the right board for this, as it pertains to liquor but, more specifically, the PLCB. There have been a few times I've been interested in ordering things that are only available by Special Liquor Order in certain quantities. For example, I just used up the last of my Batavia Arrack. But, I don't really need six bottles, just one.

I'm having trouble figuring out a way to do it that doesn't have one person paying for everything, having people him him/her back, and ending up distributing alcohol without a license. I also can't see the PLCB being willing to work with multiple people for a single order. Does anyone know if there's any legal way to have several people combine to meet the minimum for a special order?

Mar 31, 2014
KMcGrew in Philadelphia

Bread pudding layer cake?

The cake is made and assembled, but not yet tasted. I wound up using one and a half times the Tartine bread pudding recipe in three cake pans, and I used just a single batch of the caramel whiskey sauce (though I upped the amount of whiskey). I forgot to butter the pan, but the layers popped out pretty easily. I kept them in the fridge in plastic wrap for a couple of days, then froze them for a couple hours when I wanted to assemble everything.

I used a 1:1 ganache. Despite some fissures where the bread pudding puffed and deflated, it stacked sturdily. Because of the somewhat craggy texture, I gave up early on trying to get it to look even. I just dumped ganache on top, and tried to smooth it a little as it ran down the sides. (To be honest, that's my typical cake decorating strategy. I tell myself that it's okay if it looks amateurish because then it's more obviously homemade.)

I'm looking forward to trying it, and I'll try to post some pictures.

Jan 27, 2014
KMcGrew in Home Cooking

Bread pudding layer cake?

The idea of a layer cake with bread pudding taking the place of cake layers has gotten stuck in my head, but I'm not sure what the best approach to take is.

Would a typical 8 or 9 inch round cake pan be deep enough to allow for crispy and more custardy bits? I'm afraid it might all dry out more than I'd like.

For frosting it, I'm torn between trying to adapt a whiskey sauce and make a buttercream or cream cheese frosting out of it, or using ganache. I think the ganache would be less likely to get absorbed and might help maintain structure a bit better.

Is this a doomed proposition? Any thoughts?

Jan 09, 2014
KMcGrew in Home Cooking

Where to buy Szechuan peppercorns without seeds

It's actually not related to actual peppercorns--I think they're actually related to the Citrus family

Oct 08, 2013
KMcGrew in General Topics

Where to buy Szechuan peppercorns without seeds

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sichuan_...
From personal experience, it may be that I just didn't grind them finely enough, but when I ground them with the seeds, it was unpleasantly gritty.

Oct 08, 2013
KMcGrew in General Topics

Where to buy Szechuan peppercorns without seeds

Does anyone know where I can buy Szechuan peppercorns without the inner black seeds? I've bought some low-quality ones in an Asian supermarket (I'm in the Philadelphia area), but separating the pericarp from the seed is a real chore. I emailed Penzey's to ask about their product, but they said the seeds aren't separated.

Oct 08, 2013
KMcGrew in General Topics

How to cook pig ears for Sichuan-style cold appetizer?

Thanks for the tips. I shaved a few stray bristles (I'd been looking forward to blowtorching them, but there wasn't really enough hair to justify it), simmered them briefly in plain water, then pressure cooked for 40 minutes in water with a bit of soy sauce, mirin, ginger, and star anise. I let them cool to room temp, and they were softer than I would have liked, but they firmed up after I put them in the fridge.

I mixed the sliced ears with cucumber, scallions, and one of the sauces Dunlop suggests for cold chicken--I think it might've been called hot-and-numbing sauce. I wound up having far less chili oil than I should have given the quantity of meat, so while it came out alright, I would've liked a bit more heat.

Oct 07, 2013
KMcGrew in Home Cooking

How to cook pig ears for Sichuan-style cold appetizer?

I bought pig ears that I plan on cooking, slicing thinly, and serving cold with chili oil, Sichuan peppercorns, and scallions (possibly a few additional things--garlic, soy? I'll probably pick a recipe in Fuchsia Dunlop's Land of Plenty and just swap out the protein). But, I'm not really sure how to prepare the ears. I typically cook tough cuts in the pressure cooker, but I want them to retain some chew, and I'm not sure if the pressure cooker might over-tenderize them. Does anyone have any idea how long to cook them either in a pressure cooker or conventionally?

Oct 03, 2013
KMcGrew in Home Cooking

Where can I get lard?

This is about six years late, but I was looking for lard, too, and came across this thread. Halteman's, in Reading Terminal Market, just said they have lard when I called them. I can't vouch for the quality yet, but I'm planning on heading over soon.

Nov 15, 2012
KMcGrew in Pennsylvania

Where to buy razor clams

Does anyone know where I might be able to buy razor clams in the Philly area? I got them once a year or so ago at the Upper Darby H-Mart, but I haven't seen them anywhere else that I can recall. When I asked someone about them at John Yi's in RTM, she hadn't even heard of them, so I don't know if the issue is they're not common, or if there's seasonality involved.

Apr 21, 2012
KMcGrew in Philadelphia

good liquor stores in Philadelphia (for rums)

I realize I'm pretty late to the party but wanted to suggest Shoppers Vineyard, in Clifton NJ (www.shoppersvineyard.com). Unfortunately, it's kind of far. I've been looking for quite a few rums, and Total Wine in DE only had a couple of them. Shoppers Vineyard has almost everything I'm looking for, so I'm planning a trip sometime soon. Their prices seem pretty competitive. There are a couple of things I haven't found there (unfortunately, LH151 is one of them), but they are available through a special liquor order. I am having some trouble meeting the minimum order for the LH 151.

Dec 21, 2010
KMcGrew in Philadelphia

Meeting Special Liquor Order for Lemon Hart 151

I'm looking for either a way around the minimum-order requirement for SLOs through the PLCB or a way to find other people to share an order so I can meet the minimum.

Specifically, I'm looking to get ahold of a bottle of Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4-year Rum and Lemon Hart 151. Both are sold by Southern Wine Spirits PA and have 6-bottle minimum orders. I've read that if the vendor is the same, you can combine the orders to meet the minimum, but that still leaves me with 4 bottles. I have an email out to them to ask if the 6-bottle minimum is correct, as I've read that in some cases what's listed on the PLCB website about SLOs isn't accurate (or maybe they'll take pity on me).

Does anyone have any ideas? I'm pretty sure I can find the Flor de Caña in DE or NJ, but I haven't had any luck finding the LH151. If anyone else is up for helping me meet the minimum order, let me know here and we can try to figure out details.

Dec 20, 2010
KMcGrew in Philadelphia

Looking for NJ liquor store recommendation for Philadelphian

I'm despondently looking at some near-empty bottles of liquor (Pisco, slightly less common brands of rum, etc) that I haven't seen in liquor stores in Philadelphia. Can someone recommend a store with a good selection of liquor in NJ that's just across the bridge from Philly? I've done some searching online but most of the focus has been on wine or beer. I'm mostly looking to get another bottle of Pisco and possibly get allspice dram.

Nov 13, 2010
KMcGrew in Philadelphia

Endless tacos at Distrito representative?

PennMD, have you also tried the endless tacos, restaurant week, or anything similar? I wonder whether my tastes are just different or whether the experience I had was just a fluke.

Nov 01, 2010
KMcGrew in Philadelphia

Endless tacos at Distrito representative?

I went to Distrito for the first time last night for their Monday Night Football special. (Unlimited tacos and enchiladas in the cantina for $25.) I'd intended this to be a wallet-friendly way to test the restaurant to see if I'd want to come back for a full tasting menu, and I was pretty disappointed in this trip. The tortillas weren't warm. The enchiladas were overwhelmed by the salsas. The black beans and rice were over-salted. The crab in the crab enchiladas reminded me of bad supermarket crab cakes where bell pepper overwhelms the sweetness of the crab. (Desserts, which we ordered separately, were good.)

I'm still not entirely ready to give up, though. I don't know whether they just didn't put their best foot forward because they figured we weren't "real" customers, or if the tacos just generally aren't the strongest part of the menu. Has anyone else been to Distrito for a regular meal and this promotion?

Oct 19, 2010
KMcGrew in Philadelphia

Holiday party suggestions?

I'm looking into venues for a holiday party for 200-250 people. Our office is located in Radnor, so something near there would be fine, but Center City is an option as well. The budget per person is approximately $125. I've put out requests for information on private events to the Starr and Garces restaurant groups. Last year we had our party at the Constitution Center. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Aug 12, 2010
KMcGrew in Philadelphia

Bachelor party dinner

Thanks for all the advice! I'm not actually organizing the dinner, but I threw out Eastern Standard, Beacon Street Tavern, and Audobon Circle as my top recommendations to the person who is.

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Audobon Circle Restaurant Bar
838 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02215

Eastern Standard
528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Beacon Street Tavern
1032 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02446

Jun 16, 2010
KMcGrew in Greater Boston Area

Bachelor party dinner

I'm heading to Boston from Philly for a bachelor party on Thurs., July 15th. The aim is to have an early dinner (finish around 6:30) in order to get to a Sox game. I'm afraid that other people don't share my opinion that the dinner should be the highlight of the evening. Can anyone recommend anything that's within reasonable distance of Fenway, would please non-adventurous eaters, would be relatively inexpensive ($20-30/person, and would still feel special? I think there are 14 people going.

Jun 07, 2010
KMcGrew in Greater Boston Area

Kanella whole roast animal

Has anyone tried a whole roasted pig/goat/lamb at Kanella? I read (on Egullet--shhhh, don't tell anyone) that they might also do roasted animal parts (such as just the head). I'm wondering if anything comes with it, like at Amada, how much it costs, if there's a minimum/maximum party size and, mostly, if it's good.

Mar 24, 2010
KMcGrew in Philadelphia

Anyone know where to find red jalapenos?

I want to make the Cooks Illustrated recipe for red curry paste, which calls for fresh red jalapenos. Does anyone know where to find some in Philadelphia or Lower Merion? I haven't seen them at the Upper Darby H Mart, which usually has a fairly varied produce selection. I've seen their packages of jalapenos come with one or two chiles that were red or turning red. I wonder whether nobody intentionally sells red jalapenos.

Jan 26, 2010
KMcGrew in Philadelphia

What should I do with tart Moroccan olives?

I recently decided that it's time to learn to like olives--I've had some that I've liked at Greek/Moroccan restaurants, but in general I haven't been a fan. So, I bought some black oil-cured olives at Whole Foods that looked like the ones I've liked the most, only to discover that they were unpleasantly tart/bitter to eat on their own. A little Google sleuthing leads me to believe they are Moroccan salt-cured black olives (AKA dry-cured or oil-cured), and I've read they're mostly used in cooking. So, does anyone have any suggestions as to how to use them? I've thought about using them in empanadas or some sort of Moroccan chicken dish...recipes or general ideas would be helpful!

Sep 09, 2009
KMcGrew in Home Cooking