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Pigs trotters & cheeks

I have 4 trotters and 4 cheeks. Any suggestions for a recipe?

Jun 14, 2012
mikehunt69 in Home Cooking

I Hate My Gas Grill, and Use It All the Time

uh, you don't need gloves to light a charcoal grill. MTFU

Jun 13, 2012
mikehunt69 in Features

Added egg white to my egg yolks - oops

What's the best way to fix this?

I separated six eggs and put six yolks into a bowl for creme anglaise. On the seventh I switched it round and the egg white went in the yolks instead of the yolk.

Can I compensate?

Jun 06, 2012
mikehunt69 in Home Cooking

Which rice for asparagus risotto

Yeah I used carnaroli. I don't know if it was not enough liquid. For 600 grams I had maybe 1 litre?

Used what turned out to be pigeon stock from the freezer.

May 14, 2012
mikehunt69 in Home Cooking

Which rice for asparagus risotto

UK Perfectly legal.

May 14, 2012
mikehunt69 in Home Cooking

Which rice for asparagus risotto

Well the risotto was not great, unfortunately. I didn't particularly care for the mint/lemon recipe tbh, but the texture was not right. I don't know if I added stock too slowly, or what the problem was, but it wasn't really good....

May 14, 2012
mikehunt69 in Home Cooking

Which rice for asparagus risotto

So do I cook with Noilly Prat or Pinot Grigio?

May 14, 2012
mikehunt69 in Home Cooking

Which rice for asparagus risotto

Well I hope I do it justice.

I am not really an expert on risotto, ths recipe calls for celery and onion: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/ri... for the soffritto, I quite like leek, but I don't know if it makes a difference.

Have some super gelatinous chicken stock in the freezer, guess I should use that.

Just checked my full haul, bought:

Pecorino Sardo Galluradoro
Asiago Pressato (no idea what this is
)Fior Di Gorgonzola (looks like Gorgonzola Dolce)
Piave Vecchio
Parmagiano Reggiano

Salame Veneto con aglio (eating this now, it's very nice)
Sopressa Classica Affettata
Salamino Piccante * 2
a Kaminwurz

A pound of salamella polesana sausages

A kilo of asparagus

250g pastine
250g Maccheroncini al pettine
500g Reginette Napoletane

1kg arborio
1kg carnaroli
1kg vialone nano

May 14, 2012
mikehunt69 in Home Cooking

Which rice for asparagus risotto

I just came back from Italy and brought back Pecorino, salami, proscuitto, Parmesan, arborio rice, vialone nano rice, fresh asparagus, and carnaroli rice.

I need to cook the asparagus, while it's still fresh, just wondering which rice to use?

May 14, 2012
mikehunt69 in Home Cooking

Murano, Venice - Sunday Lunch recommendations please

Just reading through some of the positive reviews for this place on Tripadvisor.

"My husband's shrimp pasta arrived and we actually broke out laughing. These were no ordinary shrimp!! They were HUGE whole cooked prawns on an amazing bed of pasta and sauce. "
Which is then accompanied by a photo of the same very small langoustines, like the ones they sell in my local supermarket in England (you have to go to the expensive fishmonger to get the large ones) http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Location...

Just shows how perceptions can differ. The spaghetti WAS tasty, but those are not huge prawns!!!

Also I should mention the grilled sea bass came with grilled (white) polenta. It was pretty bland, I don't eat a lot of polenta, but the yellow polenta we had the previous night in some random place was way better/

May 13, 2012
mikehunt69 in Italy

London/Edinburgh Next Week.

If you want curry, I like Rasa Sayang, in Chinatown. It's Malaysian. Lontong/sayur lodeh, roti canai, and sambal petai are my favourites.

http://www.rasasayangfood.com/

I eat there quite regularly.

It helps if you are familiar with Malay/Indonesian food, they are quite uncompromising in terms of dumbing down for Westerners, the service is brusque, but it's cheap and quick enough that you can try it and move on, no harm done.

May 13, 2012
mikehunt69 in U.K./Ireland

Murano, Venice - Sunday Lunch recommendations please

We went to Busa Alle Torre Da Lele today.

I was not impressed.

Basically the place is a monument to the arrogance of Lele, the giant owner. He strutted about the place, greeting some of the guests (ignored us however). After a while a woman came in clutching a bass, he held it by the gills and walked around the restaurant, then it slipped outof his hand and it fell on the floor. Then he went out in his rain coat, and we didn't see him again.

The walls of the place are COVERED in dozens of portraits of him.

Evidently a lot of people find him charming, but I am afraid I find the suggestion that this is the sort of place local folks might come from a relaxed meal a bit laughable. It was infested with foreign tourists, three tables of English, and an American in earshot. Menu in German (always a warning sign in my experience, unless of course you are in Germany) as well as English, Italian and French.

They brought bread, for some reason it seemed a little soggy like it had got wet, also a little bruised in places. Rather disconcerting.
I ordered spider crab, beef carpaccio, langoustine spaghetti, I asked which grilled fish and was told 'the sea bass is very fresh', so had that, and fish ravioli. Also grilled vegetables.

They didn't seem to care about serving in any particular order, although what we had was an antipasto, two primo and two secondo (for four diners). It just arrived, we ate, ok, fine.

Also had vino della cassa (Carbenet Franc), it was €10.

Spider crab was a cold, dressed crab, I assume this is the standard preparation in Venice. More expensive than I'd pay for a dressed crab in England, but it was nice. Shame the lettuce leaves it was served on were still dirty.

Carpaccio beef was pleasant, albit the dressing showed no finesse. Spaghetti was tasty, but the langoustines were small ones (i.e. cheap) and had almost no meat in them.For the price, not really up to scratch. Fish ravioli was nice.

The sea bass was absolutely diabolically bad, I would have sent it back in England, but this is Italy, I don't feel confident, and I had already eaten a spider crab and bits of my daughter's spaghetti. I am not sure if they had not gutted it properly, but it was absolutely awful. The grilled vegetables were cold, really not good enough.

They igored us, as waiters tend to do in restaurants in Italy, which is fine, they aren't expecting a tip, and they aren't going to get one either, eventually we flagged one down for dessert.

The desserts we had were tiramisu, sticky chocolate cake, Venetian biscuits, and a chocolate pear cake. The chocolate cake was the best, the biscuits a trifle perfunctory, and the tiramisu just reasonable.

Asked for the bill, it was hand written and came to €120.50 to which they'd added €9.50, which I believe was 'service' but it wasn't explained. However I'd overheard another table say 'that must be service' when they were paying theirs. This was monumental arrogance to just tack this on the bill (as well as the cover charge), and I might have objected but I had drank most of the bottle of vino della cassa (my wife is not a big drinker) and was probably excessively mellow.

€130 for what we got was a big waste of good euros. You can eat WAY better for the money. The place is basically a monument to the arrogance and self-importance of the strutting owner, who feels very pleased with himself, his restaurant cited in numerous guidebooks.

I suggest you give it a miss, and eat lunch somewhere else, probably not on Murano, because while it was pleasantly quieter than Venice itself, Murano is nothing more than a tourist trap, just nothing but glass shops.

Of course you could have a great time, if you both enjoy, and are subject to, the showmanship. One table was treated to a two minute discussion of the risotto on its way to someone else's table. Just a shame the person who ordered it was kept waiting.

Just understand that the prices are 30% too high for what you get - it's a simple cramped place, with nothing to distinguish its decor, and poor service (not really any different from usual for Venice, but they were not making you feel special) and we were continually jostled by passing waiters.

I enjoyed my €25 dinner much more (and yes the cost helped) - 3 pizzas eaten while we waited for the alilaguna back to the airport. No regrets about that one..... The €130 lunch? Not something I'd repeat. We could have eaten outstanding food for just a few euros more, so why waste so much money on what we had? Yes some of it was nice, but the overall standard of ingredients was simply not there for the price, even though there were hits among the misses.

May 13, 2012
mikehunt69 in Italy

Venice

for my 4-year-old daughter.

Probably should have avoided the tourist menu though.

May 13, 2012
mikehunt69 in Italy

Venice

Ok, so I've just figured out having read a recommendation for it elsewhere, that the 'tourist trap' is the restaurant Vini Da Pinto. Recommended in some places, but as I said I'd certainly take my own cooking over theirs. The seafood pizza was good, the spaghetti alla pescatore lacking flavour, the accompanying fried squid unseasoned, the ravioli tasty enough but cheap (I ordered spaghetti bolognese though?), and it came with a sort of schnitzel that was underseasoned.

Just confirms some suggestions that you really need to bring €€€ to Venice, or don't bother....

May 12, 2012
mikehunt69 in Italy

London/Edinburgh Next Week.

J Sheekey is not greasy at all.

If you really want to be frugal near the theatre district I would go to Wong Kei, in Chinatown. You can get greasy there, and it's CHEAP and cheerful. It's nothing special, truly, it's probably a lunch place, but the value for money is right. J Sheekey is nice but really not cheap, it's fish after all.

I would be vary wary of Indian restaurants outside Southall tbh, I think you might be pushing your luck in the West End. You can find curry of course, but what you really want is tandoori lamb chops fresh off the grill, seekh kebabs, and naan breads fresh out of the tandoor, and you will only find that in places with a large Pakistani population.

You might consider St John Hotel for breakfast, rather than Bread & Wine, depending on which location suits http://www.stjohnhotellondon.com/rest... Also you could eat there instead of J Sheekey, it's in the same area.

May 12, 2012
mikehunt69 in U.K./Ireland

Venice

We are in Venice currently.

First day made the mistake of eating lunch randomly, in a tourist trap sort of place with a set menu, opposite the Rialto Mercato Pesce. Not expensive but not good either. Next day went back to Pronto Pesce (connected to Alle Testiere?), which is next to the market, for lunch.

We sat inside, and had a bottle of Prosecco (16 euros), some squid salad (sold by weight, it was €7.80), the mixed fish (€10), 2 * mussel on a sort of tasting spoon with some unidentified green mush and a red currant (maybe €2.50 each?), and 2* langoustine on the same green mush (about the same price?), a slice of cuttlefish risotto (€?), the fish risotto (8 euros), 4 oysters, 6 raw langoustines and a slice of bread with salami (€2?).

Prices are a little high, but the staff don't seem to care about collecting the money. When i went to pay, about 40 minutes after starting to eat, the bill was for €46, but then I said we had 6 langoustines and 4 oysters from outside (the guy said to pay inside). As far as I know, this was supposed to cost €2.50 each, so €25, but they charged us €22 instead. They must have forgotten something else to reach €46, but I don't know what it was.

I am not the world's greatest oyster fan, I tend to have mine with Tabasco and onion, but these seemed very good, unadorned, albeit that unadorned oysters did not tempt me to buy any more. The raw langoustines were also delicious, so we bought more of these. The fish risotto tasted strongly of fish stock and had bits of langoustine in it, quite simple, and we liked it very much. When it was cooked, around 1pm, they just came out and placed disposable plates of it on the counter and people seemed to ust take it (albeit that we asked for a plate).

Other thna that the green mush was not great, cold mussels are never a good idea, and while the raw langoustines were very good, the citrus oil they were resting it in showed no culinary accomplishment.

The fact that the place is essentially a deli is a little off-putting - the squid salad went in the microwave, as did the mixed fish and the cuttlefish risotto. The squid salad was quite pleasant, but not really worth the price, while both green mush items were lss than pleasant. The cuttlefish risotto was tasty also but again the microwave was a little offputting given the price. I would stick to the raw (sold outside) and the fresh risotto if it arrives when you are there and ignore the deli items under the counter, as there were too many misses among the hits.

We ate last night at Trattoria La Favorita. It's in a quiet residential area, about 15 minutes walk from the main strip in Venice Lido (where we are staying). It's an occasion restaurant, not a simple place, people dress up, the water is served in fancy coloured glasses (sorry don't know what these are called), and the couple on the next table were glaring at us for bringing our two children (4 and 9)

We started with the 'Venetian favourites' and 'Selection of raw fish'. Venetian favourites turned out to be fish too.

The raw fish were nice, there were little peeled red prawns, canoce, langoustines and a thinly sliced fish that reminded me of sea bream sashimi. I did feel the langoustines were better at Pronto Pesce, but otherwise this was a nice dish.

I don't remember all the other items, but there was the white horseradish-like stuff that I've seen elsewhere, sardines in sor, and a few others.

My children both had pasta, my son lobster ravioli, which was pretty medicore, and my daughter tagliolini with prawns, which was a large portion and benefited from good stock, and was €13, quite reasonable for the class of restaurant.

My wife and I had the mixed grilled fish for two, this was €50 for two and came with grilled courgette (zucchini) and peperoni. This arrived on a silver platter and was expertly fileted table side by the head waiter using spoon and fork. There was a flat fish, round fish (sorry don't know what this was), langoustine and eel. The fish had a fantastic grilled flavour, perceptibly grilled, but subtle not overpowering like a bbq, perfectly seasoned, however they should have warmed the plates and the result was that the fish was cold before we finished eating. The grilled vegetables were nothing special.

We arrived at the restaurant just about 10pm, and by the time we had finished the fish it was 11pm, and the waiter asked if we wanted coffee, I asked for the dessert menu and he seemed unhappy, so we decided not to try dessert, I think they wanted to go home... The desserts sounded pretty good, there was some sort of souffle on there as well as the inevitable tiramisu. The bill was €155 including 4 * €4 cover charge, 2 antipasto, 2 pasta, the €50 fish for two, €12 for two tiny bottles of juice and the bottle of still water, and €20 for the cheapest prosecco. It said service not included on the bill, haha, we paid €155 by credit card and not a penny more.... Seems like a good place for dinner, and largely immune from tourist crowds due to its location.

Were going to go for dinner tonight at Trattoria Andri, at the bottom of the main side road in Lido, Via Lepanto, but they were full. Wandered back a little, and just down an alley from a sports bar/arcade on the corner we ate. Just a neighbourhood place, had a bowl of clams (simple and tasty), sardines sor with polenta (both nice), langoustine tagliolini (lots of oil quite tasty), clam spaghetti (basically the same as the bowl of clams with added spaghetti), grilled prawns (not great), and a cuttlefish stew in ink (a bit strong for my taste, but not bad) with polenta. Servers were not interested. €65 with bottle of fizzy water and no wine.

Had ice cream at the Gelateria Paolin today, on the north of the Campo Santo Stefano (north of Accademia, in San Marco district), we sat down for ice cream, which had very inflated prices, €11 for a sundae, €3.60 for a cappuccino, €12 for a litre of beer. The ice cream was very much superior, and we spent a relaxed hour sitting there watching the kids playing in the large square. If you just want to try the ice cream, go inside and get take-out - €2 for a double (no singles). One group tried to do this and then sit at the table, which resulted in a very angry confrontation. Sitting down, I think a double was €5.50, if you want to sit at the table, this will give you a better value than the pages of expensive sundaes, and also you can choose your favourite flavours - my wife chose a pear sundae, but this (poached pears) came with vanilla ice cream, which I thought a little dull.

We have an 11:40pm flight home tomorrow (Sunday), so we can fit in lunch and an early dinner. Probably not going to eat fish tomorrow, as there's no fish market. Maybe meat in a bar, not sure where though? Or pizza?

Would like to take some cheese and ham home, but the proscuitto I bought in the supermarket today was very mediocre, and haven't really seen an inspiring cheese shop.

The kids not impressed by culture, so we have not bothered with St Mark's, or the Doge's Palace.

Hideously expensive here really, €110 for water taxi from the airport, €5 for a small plastic cup of beer on the beach. Next time would try and find an apartment near the Rialto Market and buy our own fish and vegetables there and cook it ourselves.

May 12, 2012
mikehunt69 in Italy

Foie gras, poulet de bresse, what to do?

I have a poulet de bresse, 2kg, and 500g of fresh foie gras.

Any suggestions to how to cook them?

Bear in mind that the poulet de bresse cost me £32 ($50), and the foie gras £22.50 ($36), I want to treat them nicely....

They don't necessarily have to be in the same dish.

I can cook the poulet de bresse on its own (with something else, obviously), and then get some more meat to go with the foie gras (pigeon?)?

Feb 08, 2012
mikehunt69 in Home Cooking

The Dark Side of Backyard Chickens

It doesn't seem very dark to me.

If you don't want to eat the old chickens, it's kind of dumb to keep them in the back garden. Of course chicken keeping may attract a certain kind of militant vegetarian, the kind that sets up chicken shelters for these dumbest of critters, but that's their problem.

As for Ms. Clouse, $300 to keep a chicken? And $2.12/egg, based on an article where someone paid $3000 for a fence to keep them in?

Here's a newsflash, poor people all over the world keep chickens, and apart from a few dollars (note, not hundreds, or thousands) for chicken feed (there's a reason 'chicken feed' is slang for cheap, by the way), it costs virtually nothing.

Feb 07, 2012
mikehunt69 in Features
2

What European products are hard to find in the US

The cheesemonger in the whole foods supermarket I went to in Knoxville quoted this law at me, saying they didn't have any. They had a few soft cheeses, including a pasteurised French cheese there but they weren't very appealing.

I bought some 'proscuitto' but it was Canadian, I'm guessing there are import bans on the genuine stuff also. Not bad though.

Otherwise I was surprised to see a few things more expensive than in England, like fresh herbs, and a smaller selection of meats also. But maybe this varies regionally across the US. The carrots and sweet potatoes are a lot tastier than what you get in England.

The whole foods store had some imported British products like cans of Heinz soup from England at about $4/can, and English cheese, but I couldn't find any English-style sausage.

We also went to Walmart, the yogurt aisle there was weird compared to England, pretty much all of them had artificial sweeteners in, and seemed to marketed as some kind of diet food, the only one that didn't was something called 'Baby Organic'. The cheese selection there was grim, and the great majority of the store space was given over to non-food products.

I noticed labelling differences, there seems to be bigger notices about things containing artificial flavours here, but OTOH in England you'd get percentage meat content listed on the sausage packet by law.

Tastes here in Tennessee seem to be for blander, sweeter food than you'd get in England, which my wife (Asian) already finds to be too sweet for her tastes.

I couldn't really fathom the pricing in the liquor store, in England basically you have Spanish sparkling wine (cava) about 4 pounds, then Australian or Californian at double that, and French at double again.

Here the French stuff was about $65, but the Australian was a small fraction of that and there seemed to be a lot of stuff presumably made specially for the local US market with only 9.5% alcohol, not sure if there is a licensing reason for that.

We don't really have Egg nog in England, so that was a nice thing to buy, although you'd get fat pretty quick drinking much of that. Edit: just bought some more, having drunk the 'Organic Valley' version. The new one is not organic and contains HFCS, artificial flavors, etc., and is pretty nasty. Yuck. Also contains more calories.

Dec 23, 2009
mikehunt69 in General Topics

What European products are hard to find in the US

I like American food, it's just that as we're going over Christmas, and for a couple of days of Christmas, I like to have the nicest things that I like - for me Christmas day, at least, is not about trying new things, so I would like to know that if we go to an upmarket grocery store in Atlanta or wherever, they'll have these things. I read some stuff about having to get import licences to take ham to the US and restrictions on bringing in soft cheese, so I thought it might be like those brunch buffets you get in the US where they serve 'champagne' that is actually sparkling wine.

Dec 12, 2009
mikehunt69 in General Topics

Need Help! Christmas Present, something that is exclusive to US.

Masa harina?

Dec 12, 2009
mikehunt69 in General Topics

what to do with shellfish stock?

Well I softened a couple of leeks, carrots, onions in olive oil, then simmered it with all the stock, a good splash of brandy and some white whine, some butter, and some double cream, liquidised it all, and the flavour was outstanding - you would not know there was not a pound of lobster meat in there (rather than just a few shells).

Dec 12, 2009
mikehunt69 in Home Cooking

What European products are hard to find in the US

We're going to the US on Tuesday, and I'm paranoid that there won't be any Serrano ham, Scottish smoked salmon, good strong French Camembert or German paprika salami.

Are my fears justified?

Dec 12, 2009
mikehunt69 in General Topics

what to do with shellfish stock?

I made some shellfish stock out of langoustines (small lobsters), white wine, celery leaves, carrots and prarsley. It looks very tasty, but now I need to turn it into some kind of soup. I have about 3.5 pints of good stock.

Any suggestions?

Dec 08, 2009
mikehunt69 in Home Cooking

Left Lasagna Out All Night. Can I eat it?

My wife is Indonesian, and grew up with out a refrigerator. She routinely leaves food out over night, I do nag her not to, but she still does it.

Never a problem.

Nov 30, 2009
mikehunt69 in Not About Food

Christmas Turkey (TN)

Really? I've had high-grade turkey, fresh, and low-grade turkey, frozen, but I had assumed the freezing was a major impairment to a good turkey.

You think a good frozen bird would beat a fresh one from Walmart or Kroger

Nov 29, 2009
mikehunt69 in Kentucky & Tennessee

What the heck is Jamie Oliver's red chili?

Yes, it's quite simple:

'peppers' are members of the capsicum family that are not spicy. Typically what you might call 'bell peppers', but something like this: http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/tesco-... would also qualify.
'chilis' are the spicy members of the capsicum family.
'pepper' refers to (ground) (black) peppercorns

Nov 29, 2009
mikehunt69 in General Topics

Elements Of Americanization?

It's true that you might find a good, modestly priced, pub in rural Norfolk or some such, but for the most part you'll either be paying £££ or eating junk if you walk into a random pub in England.

Nov 26, 2009
mikehunt69 in General Topics

Elements Of Americanization?

UK pub food is generally pretty terrible, lots of mass-produced re-heated meals. There are gastropubs of course, but these are for those with a bigger budget. Any conception that there is some sort of good working-class food available in the UK is almost completely misplaced. The exception would be ethnic (South Asian usually, African in some areas) communities, where in the place of the convenience stores selling canned food and chocolate bars, you instead find ethnic vegetables, a butcher's counter selling offal and tougher grades of meat, and spices.

Nov 25, 2009
mikehunt69 in General Topics

Mail-order Christmas turkey

We're spending Christmas in Gatlinburg, and it seems it might be tough to get a nice fresh turkey in that area. Could someone recommend a national company that would deliver a fresh bird to us?

Nov 25, 2009
mikehunt69 in General Topics