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Need quality beef brisket for smoking and for chili

I need to pick up 30lbs+ of good quality beef brisket for a cookout in the next few weeks and I'm reaching out to my fellow NYC CHers for their opinions and recommendations.

Costco has very good prices on brisket, WF sells it for at least 2-3X as much per lb. I have heard Stew Leonards has some of the best quality beef for a relatively good price (although I did find an article to the contrary here on CH). I guess the first thing is, when smoking brisket low and slow for so long and putting it in chili, I'm guessing the difference between Costco vs a high end cut costing 2-5X as much won't make too much of a difference. Where would you CHers recommend I try to get this amount of brisket without breaking the bank?

Thanks!

May 03, 2012
classacts in Manhattan

Where to get this conditment squeeze bottle? In Manhattan maybe?

Looks like it! I will try to order a few from one of the distributors. Surprising how hard it was to actually find the (hopefully) exact same bottle! Their constructions looks to be so much better than the cheapo bottles you normally find in food stores.

Thanks BoardSMITH!

Sep 15, 2011
classacts in Cookware

Where to get this conditment squeeze bottle? In Manhattan maybe?

Was at momofuku Ssam Bar and really want this particular squeeze bottle - http://forkknifespoon.wordpress.com/2...

I tried looking on Amazon but couldn't find it. Sur La Table and The Container Store both don't seem to have it either.

I plan on using it for my custom hot sauce and for simple syrup. I think 4-8oz bottles should work nicely.

Thanks in advance!

Sep 14, 2011
classacts in Cookware

Crab cakes at East Village Cheese

Well I have to admit that I'm a HUGE crab cake fan and while out shopping for ingredients to make my own signature crab cakes, I noticed EVC selling decent size little buggers for $2.45. Always trying to compare with other fabrications, I decided to put my batch on hold and try out the EVC variety.

I started with 2 tbsp of lard from East Village Meat Market and fried them up in a ripping hot cast iron pan and boy did they turn out great! Deep crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.

Now a question for you other CHers: anyone know where these cakes are from? I would imagine they are sourced locally just as a lot of their other fresh products are (read: not commercial packaged).

I'm thinking at that price, why bother making my own? They taste almost as good as the ones I make and provided they are using decent quality crab meat, I can just buy them fresh when I want them without having to make huge batches and freeze them.

Thoughts?

-----
East Village Meat Market
139 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

East Village Cheese
40 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Jun 18, 2011
classacts in Manhattan

Can the Vitamix knead/mix dough? If not, a good entry-level mixer for pizza dough?

Sorry for jumping in here, but it just occurred to me (and don't laugh!) that I might be able to knead pizza dough myself?

I'm looking at the recipe here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/newyorksty...

I'm thrown off as these pizza dough recipes call for kneading the dough for a long time, "Allow mixer to knead the dough for a full 15 minutes at which time it should pass a windowpane test." I imagine the mixer does a more thorough job of kneading than hands and I guess I'm seeing this as translating 15 mins of mixer action into 30-45+ mins of hand action... or am I missing something??

Dec 18, 2010
classacts in Cookware

Can the Vitamix knead/mix dough? If not, a good entry-level mixer for pizza dough?

Just wondering if anyone knows if the Vitamix 5200 can actually knead dough? I'm looking to make pizza dough in small quantities (enough for a 14" pie) in the next week and I'm hoping to not have to splurge another few hundred on a stand mixer if I don't have to. I have not made too many doughs before so I'm not sure what to expect from the Vitamix. Perhaps other chowhounders can comment?

I tried searching youtube and on Google and there are a surprisingly little amount of discussions on using blenders for kneading dough - maybe because it doesn't make sense??

Anyway, if I'm advised against even trying, perhaps someone can recommend what mixer to get? So far I have only found: http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-K45S... ($144) and KitchenAid KV25GOXMC Professional 5 Plus 5-Quart Stand Mixer, Metallic Chrome ($319).

To add some more background as to what doughs I'd like to make:

Chapatti, naan, pizza dough, no-knead bread (just kidding), maybe once in ever few years brownies or something similar...

Thanks in advance for your help!

Dec 18, 2010
classacts in Cookware

Balcony charcoal grill in Manhattan?

That's very encouraging! I'm definitely down with my super and considering the current tenant has a massive propane bbq on the balcony I'm sure I'll be fine.

Still worried about all the smoke generated and if neighbors complain, etc... I guess I can give it a shot. Thanks

May 27, 2010
classacts in Manhattan

Balcony charcoal grill in Manhattan?

I'm moving into my new apartment in the Union Square area and it's a 2nd floor apartment with a 10' x 8' rooftop patio. The current lessee has a propane barbecue on the patio right against the sliding patio doors and I was thinking of buying a Weber One-Touch charcoal grill for the summer when I move in.

I have read the fire code at http://www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/saf... which says that propane tanks are illegal in Manhattan but charcoal grills can be used on balconies as long as there is 10' of clearance from anything flammable.

I have also read that many people have grills in Manhattan and use them regardless. Anyone here have any experience with grills in Manhattan?

I suppose a lot of smoke is generated from charcoal grills compared to gas grills, and I'm worried the smoke will billow off the rooftop and others will see - not to mention the people above.

Really hope to get some good grilling going this summer. I appreciate your thoughts!

May 27, 2010
classacts in Manhattan

Whole Foods meat vs. butcher shop?

Hey all, I have been buying my meats generally from my supermarket - Gristedes. I was making goulash and I needed to buy beef chuck cut into 1" cubes. Instead of paying the usual $3.99/lb at Gristedes, I bought a lb from Whole Foods at $5.99/lb. Whole Foods said it was organic, not treated with any hormones or anti-biotics, etc..

I made the goulash last week with the WF chuck and it was amazing tasting. It was maybe the best beef I've had in a long time! It was so tender and almost disintegrated in my mouth. Kind of reminded me of kobe beef actually.

In the interest of supporting my local businesses, I paid my first visit in my lifetime to a butcher shop near me called East Village Meat Market in the polish district of Manhattan. I asked the guy that barely spoke english for a lb of beef chuck. He astutely asked me what it was for and I replied that it was for goulash. He knew exactly what I meant and took a slab of meat and sliced up 1" cubes of it for me. I have to admit I was pretty impressed and really liked the experience.

I just finished cooking it using the exact same recipe (except I mistakenly forgot to add the caraway seeds!!) and the meat was tough, felt more "dry" and lacked that same texture and flavor the WF's beef seemed to impart. Only supporting fact I can think of is that beef chuck at the butcher might have had slightly less marbling.

Cost isn't really an issue, I am trying to eat wholesome foods preferably (but not required) not treated with chemicals, drugs, etc.. I also prefer to support my local businesses so I would prefer to shop at a local butcher even if the quality/cost is marginally unfavorable.

Any thoughts or ideas are greatly appreciated. Any advice on where to shop or how to find a good butcher is of course welcome as well.

Thanks!

Jan 16, 2010
classacts in General Topics

What to do with Maseca (masa harina)?

Amazing idea! I don't have a rolling pin and I have been using wine bottles to roll chapatis and no matter what I do I cannot get my chapati to "bubble up". I think it's because the thickness isn't consistent when I roll it. I will try to press it with my CI skillet!

Dec 14, 2009
classacts in Home Cooking

Cast iron help, please!

Man, I wish I knew that. I mean, I've seen pictures of the old CI skillets and you can tell the quality of the casting is that much better.

I suppose I will have to order some Griswolds off ebay then. I love cooking in CI so much I don't care about spending extra money. I don't care about collectors items, I just want something with character and that cooks well.

My lodge is 10 1/4", is that a #8? I like the size as it not too big and I can cook a steak or 2 pork chops on it at the same time. I suppose for my purposes, I need a CI DO, 2 10 1/4"s, a smaller one for corn bread (I'm single) and a ribbed skillet for putting lines on meat and a griddle (flat that spreads over 2 burners).

Does griswold have all those? For the DO, I cook a lot of things with tomatoes (chili, stuffed cabbage, etc..) so I probably be best getting LC.

Dec 04, 2009
classacts in Cookware

Cast iron help, please!

Well I seasoned it as @ThreeGigs outlined 5 times in a row yesterday. It seems to be a bit more smooth.. maybe like 100 grit sandpaper now. I'm using macadamia oil. How many times do you think it will take to be ice-rink smooth? I fried eggs on it today with oil and butter but they still stuck.

Any other suggestions to help season it faster?

Dec 03, 2009
classacts in Cookware

Best Homemade Hot Chocolate?

Which chocolate do you recommend I try from TJs? I've never been a big fan of chocolate that much and especially not dark chocolate.

Dec 01, 2009
classacts in Home Cooking

Cast iron help, please!

Thanks ThreeGigs and chuff for your insight. I bought a half dozen eggs for the first time in years and I guess I won't be able to cook them like all the youtube videos I've seen. I'll opt for a lot of butter when cooking them instead.

I will try to wipe off as much of the oil as possible when seasoning it next time... I just don't understand how a microfilm of oil will really do anything at all... I don't mind seasoning it all day until it's smooth but I just want to make sure I'm doing it right and not wasting energy and oil.

I will try to put a very small amount of oil on the inside, wipe it down until it's barely there anymore then I'll bake it at 250 for 30 minutes then bump it to 400 for 30 minutes. What should I do after that?

If I can get a tried and true method down, I'll rinse and repeat for weeks if needed.. Just hope someday my gritty CI pan will resemble my grandma's Griswold.

Speaking of old school pans, are these hard to come by and are they expensive? Where can I find one (I'm in Manhattan) and does it matter who I buy it from? I suppose a second hand pan should be fine since I would be able to re-season it.

Thanks again!

Dec 01, 2009
classacts in Cookware

Best Homemade Hot Chocolate?

Well, winter is around the corner! Looking for some good hot chocolate recipes. What do you all recommend? Any good powdered cocoa products? I have been melting 3 squares of Hersheys chocolate (regular not dark or anything) in 2% milk mixed with half and half and find it to be okay. But I remember even Swiss Miss tasting better.

Any thoughts on making good hot chocolate? Maybe one that tastes rich like Starbucks'? Not interested in fancy chocolates from Switzerland or anything, just looking for something reasonable that can be had everyday.

Nov 30, 2009
classacts in Home Cooking

Hot Chocolate heaven!!!!!

Where's the recipe?

Nov 30, 2009
classacts in Home Cooking

What is the most unusual, but tasty, sandwich you make or have made?

Hummus and lots of Sriracha!!! Heaven!!

Nov 30, 2009
classacts in Home Cooking

Cast iron help, please!

Thank you for your post! I just bought my first Lodge CI skillet (10 1/4") and I absolutely love it. It came pre-seasoned but kinda felt like 50-grit sandpaper honestly.

I'm treating this thing like my baby and have cooked on it everyday since I purchased it last week: steak, pork chops and chicken (with skin). I'm not a huge fan of bacon so I haven't tried that yet.

I don't know how "smooth" or "non-stick" its supposed to be after being well-seasoned, but I have heard people talk about "ice rinks" and "oil slicks". I can't really imagine that since mine is very coarse and gritty. I would imagine a fair bit would have to cake itself on there until it could reach that point. Even then, won't it be gummy? Or should it be hard like a rock?

So far what I've done to try to season it is: cook whatever on it (so far just pork, chicken and steak) and let it cool down when done, our salt on it, scrub it till the gunk gets off, rinse it in warm water, dry it with paper towels. At this point it looks like when I first bought it - except for a slight darker discoloration. I then put it on the stove on max until it's bone dry then wipe some olive oil on it and spread it around with a paper towl then stow it away.

I have also tried to wipe some olive oil on the inside and stick it in the oven at 200F for an hour hoping to accelerate the seasoning process, but it just seems that the olive oil has heated up.

I don't have many oils or Crisco for that matter. I did find some macadamia nut oil though. @ThreeGigs, do you recommend I try your method with olive oil or macadamia nut oil? I don't mind doing this all day, I really want a seasoned pan!

Nov 30, 2009
classacts in Cookware

What to eat with cottage cheese?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Frank's but I think with cottage cheese it might be a little too bit vinegary. Mind you, I put A LOT of hotsauce on my food, and with cottage I think Sriracha is a good one.. on 1 slice of toast, I probably put 3 tablespoons of cottage cheese and 2 tablespoons of sriracha.

Oct 31, 2009
classacts in General Topics

No-knead bread as general bread replacement?

Thank you all for your replies. I learned a lot, and although I haven't made it yet I will be making it in the next week or so once my D.O. arrives.

I'm thinking I can make a loaf once a week, cut it in 4, freeze 2 pieces and leave 2 pieces out for immediate consumption.

Oct 31, 2009
classacts in Home Cooking

No-knead bread as general bread replacement?

Wow, I think I am dyslexic. Been noticing mistakes like this lately..

I'll wait until I get the dutch oven and try it out.. too bad the shelf-like is so short.. I was expecting at least 4-5 days.

Oct 27, 2009
classacts in Home Cooking

What to eat with cottage cheese?

Saw the Frank's and couldn't resist -

I definitely have a cottage cheese eating disorder.. took me 4 years to FINALLY start liking it, now I can't eat enough..... I could easily eat 4lbs a day... but I limit myself to 1/4 -1/2lb a day..

My latest craze has been cottage cheese on toast with Sriracha - the Thai hot sauce on it.

I don't have Frank's but I bet it tastes great!

Oct 27, 2009
classacts in General Topics

No-knead bread as general bread replacement?

Hello,

I read a few posts about "No-knead bread" and it looks interesting. I'm very unhappy with bread prices here in Manhattan - $3.50 for a loaf of whole wheat bread is ridiculous in my opinion. I haven't tried KNB but it looks good from the pics I have seen. Can anyone here comment on using KNB for basic deli sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, etc?? Also, is it possible to make smaller loaves to act as rolls, hoagies, paninis? What sort of dish would be required to make something like that?

Also, could KNB be made to be healthy as a store-bought bread substitute? I see it's basically composed of flour, salt and water. Maybe I can incorporate multigrain and whole wheat flour and basically just cook up one of these every so often instead of buying supermarket bread? What's the shelf life of this KNB?

Thanks in advance!

Oct 27, 2009
classacts in Home Cooking

Bare Cast Iron Dutch Oven - For Chili and other Tomato-based dishes

Sorry for posting yet ANOTHER topic on dutch ovens, but I need a straight answer:

I am placing an order at Amazon for cast iron skillets and I want a dutch oven to cook chili on the stove and cooking stuffed cabbage (lots of tomato sauce) in the oven.

All the references to tomato and cast iron issues point to here but there doesn't seem to be a consensus.

I prefer to not go the enamel route if I don't have to, but if someone can attest that cooking tomato based products in a bare cast iron dutch oven will impart a metallic taste or other issues, then I'd like to know.

I'm not sure what else I will use it for, but I'm thinking the bare cast iron DO should be more versatile. Actually, come to think of it, I would be interested in knowing if I can use it for boiling pasta and making chicken soup... My kitchen is new and I only have a 2.5qt pot right now which I have been using for the above to date.

I currently have the 5 qt. Lodge Dutch Oven in my cart and will leave it there until I get a few responses back.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Oct 27, 2009
classacts in Cookware

Where to buy cheap cuts of meat?

Thanks all, no idea how I missed that one as I regularly go there... Any stores in particular?

Oct 16, 2009
classacts in Manhattan

Where to buy cheap cuts of meat?

Hello, I'm new to the area - I live in Gramercy and I'm looking to stock up on meat for the winter. Meat prices at my local supermarkets are outrageous: $2.99/lb for ground pork, $4.49/lb for ground beef, $3.29/lb for whole chickens, etc..

Can anyone recommend a butcher or store somewhere in Manhattan that has reasonable prices for meat that I would feel good about buying from to stock up?

Oct 15, 2009
classacts in Manhattan

Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage - Long Lost?

And above all, it just tastes better and better the longer it's in the fridge. I also freeze it cooked in meal-size portions and it tastes great as well!

Oct 13, 2009
classacts in Home Cooking

NYC - Century 21 Dept Store vs. Costco for Cookware - I'm looking to buy cookware!

I like how you mentioned my cajun hero Paul Prudhomme. It is unfortunate this apartment doesn't come with good ventilation, and from what you're describing I don't even think bringing muffins to my neighbors would do the smoke from my cooking any justice.

I'm single and cook for myself, but may cook 2 steaks at once, would you recommend the 10 1/4" or 12" for me? It seems the 10 1/4" is more popular from what I've seen in the boards and on amazon.com.

Oct 13, 2009
classacts in Cookware

Where to buy cheap paper coffee cups and lids?

Wondering if anyone knows of an online discount retailer where I can buy large counts 100-250+ paper cups with lids similar to the ones you get a Tim Hortons or Starbucks, etc.. 10-14 Oz. is fine.

Does have to be fancy, just economical and obviously leak-proof with a safe lid (I don't have a laywer like Jackie Childs from Seinfel).

Thanks!

Oct 12, 2009
classacts in Cookware

NYC - Century 21 Dept Store vs. Costco for Cookware - I'm looking to buy cookware!

I'll get both the square grill pan and a 10 1/4" or 12" pan and try them both out!

Thanks!

Oct 12, 2009
classacts in Cookware