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First time with grass-fed beef steaks

Thanks for these replies so far. To pourmemorewine's specific question: one steak is slightly thicker than the other, but each is a bit north or south of one inch/2.5cm.

about 9 hours ago
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Saffron . What should I make ?

Goes well in bouillabaisse, but that's a pricey dish to do well--and not even mainly from the saffron.

about 21 hours ago
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

First time with grass-fed beef steaks

So I got two frozen ribeye steaks at my supermarket, the steaks produced from Strauss Farms, based in Wisconsin. I'm aware that people say the taste varies from the corn-fed norm (more complex, variable ,sometimes gamey); and I see all over on the web that people call it leaner and that it needs gentler cooking because low-fat, and not beyond medium rare (kind of like Bison, which I have cooked).

What I notice is that these steaks are really quite decently marbled. So I wonder if that changes the usually preferred approach? I'm partial to charcoal/hardwood grilling, generally.

Also, do I thaw them in the cryovac or unpackage them to thaw in the fridge, maybe on a covered rack?

Finally, I've also seen it said that the steaks should be brought to room temp, but that can be counterproductive when one wants some sear without overdoing the interior.

Any tips appreciated!

about 21 hours ago
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

I don't know what meat it is

Looks like deboned lamb leg roast to me. Odd that they didn't tell you. "Here's your prize: meat!"

Jul 01, 2015
Bada Bing in General Topics
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Has anyone heard of the herbs/spices asafetida or epazote?

Indian and Mexican grocers, respectively.

Be warned that asafetida for me is something needs to be double-sealed in plastic and maybe kept in the garage, as it will stink up your pantry like anything this side of Durian, if not more.

Jul 01, 2015
Bada Bing in General Topics

Döner Kebab update

I should correct the pasted-in recipe. I don't think whole-grain flour is likely to be effective.

Jun 29, 2015
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Döner Kebab update

Thanks! That's a new spice mix to me.

Jun 29, 2015
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Döner Kebab update

Disregard my query above--didn't see this response for some reason. You're very kind. I bet I can find pretty much any spice, but your offer to send them is so gracious..

The spices you mention are the first I'd think of. I would add some cayenne, maybe, and while it is not obviously part of the Turkish Berlin scene, maybe, a Za'atar blend.

Jun 28, 2015
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Döner Kebab update

Did you learn about spices, Pata Negra?

Jun 28, 2015
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Döner Kebab update

kosheri is correct indeed. The bread is pide and basically differs from USA conceptions of pita by being more leavened, with more of what bakers call "crumb." They're thicker.

As chance has it, I actually lived in Ankara, Turkey, as a young child. An additional bread I recall is the simit: a seller lady came down our street regularly with a big tray of them on her head. Highpoint of our day.

As for meat, I think German shops generally use a seasoned/spiced ground meat loaf. Next time, I will be trying that.

Jun 28, 2015
Bada Bing in Home Cooking
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Onions in Indian Cooking

I second these remarks. Don't use "sweet" Vidalia-style onions, Basic yellow or Spanish onions are best, and give them plenty of time in cooking-no high heat. They need to soften and brown, not blacken--figure on 20 minutes minimum.

Jun 27, 2015
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

A Dish From Every Mexican State

Sweet post.

Jun 27, 2015
Bada Bing in General Topics

Döner Kebab update

Cool! (Or "Hot!"?)

Jun 23, 2015
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Traveling to Paris and London

I brought two of these cast iron grill pans back from Italy years ago, one to gift. The price stateside is much higher:

http://www.amazon.com/Ilsa-Dietella-9...

Great for grilling veggies and portobello mushrooms when you don't want to be outside. Folds very flat.

Jun 23, 2015
Bada Bing in Cookware
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Traveling to Paris and London

The tea might have been Mariage Frères.

Jun 23, 2015
Bada Bing in Cookware

Döner Kebab update

Seattle has a place with two locations called something like "Berlin Döner Kebab." Amazingly enough, I didn't bother to go even though I was right there near one, because there is a nearby artisinal pasta shop (Il Corvo) that I felt more confident of loving.

I read on Yelp that the Seattle kebab place keeps its meat in chafing dishes rather than shaving it to order from the rotisserie, and I just couldn't face the idea of yet another Döner disappointment. Apart from one place in London, I've never found a proper German-style kebab outside of Germany.

Jun 23, 2015
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Pastas - Different quality?

Thanks for the link. I hadn't caught that. And I'll be surprised if they didn't back off a bit on that anti-gay stance.

They do make a good Farfalle....

Jun 21, 2015
Bada Bing in General Topics

The 3 Grand Cuisines

I don't like to be argumentative, but I have to respond that I regard Chowhound as an international environment.

My response proceeded from a premise that there is no good use for a notion of "our history" (presumptively USA for you, to judge by your posting history) as distinct from that history in any other part of the world, unless the topic is framed as cuisines that have influenced American cuisine. And the topic was "grand cuisines on earth," with Chinese among the initial nominees.

Jun 21, 2015
Bada Bing in General Topics

Döner Kebab update

I have struggled with the sauce, too. It is approximate to what you can buy as Harissa sauce, which is more North African than Turkish, but available and in the ballpark. Depending on the packaging, you might wish to to thin it some with vegetable oil. Sometimes it comes canned and more like tomato paste in consistency, which is not ideal.

The sauce I used here is actually Mexican, and not quite right.

Jun 21, 2015
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Döner Kebab update

Yes, I made the bread. I'll put my recipe below (but I actually neglected to add the sugar, and did not have seeds on hand).

Relative to flour and moisture, this dough has a lot of yeast, so it rises really fast and doesn't acquire the fermented character of long-risen doughs. In the case of a Döner, I think the relative neutrality of the bread is a plus, given how much is going on inside. The dough will rise heartily in 2 hours or so. I use Morton Kosher salt, so cut back if you use table salt.

To gain this shape and size, you let the dough balls have a second rise on a floured counter or parchment. I cover them with inverted mixing bowls or the bottom of my salad spinner. Although the recipe I've got on record calls for dividing the dough into 12 portion, I actually think that 4 portions (as I did) better serves this project. Cooked on a baking stone preheated for an hour at 425F. I only cooked two dough balls and am saving the other two, which should be fine for pizza.

To achieve the flat character, you take the dough after a second rise, mush all of it down a bit, but especially the middle portion, which I pressed almost to thin-pizza thickness. It will rise.

Fladenbrot for Döner

18 oz flour (ideally bread or wholegrain flour)
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. sugar
13 ounces lukewarm water
Nigella (or sesame) seeds, for sprinkling

Mix the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Stir in the water. Mix until it forms a ball, then mix knead well.

Put the dough in an oiled bowl and turn so all the surfaces are well-oiled. Cover with a wet kitchen towel and let rise 1 1/2 hrs. in a warm place. Let rise until doubled, then knead briefly on a lightly floured surface. Form into a long roll and slice into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball and place on a floured baking sheet, cover again with a towel and let rise 30 minutes more, until doubled.

Form each dough ball into a round with a diameter of about 6" and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake 3-4 rounds at a time on a baking sheet in a 430F oven. Bake approx. 3 minutes until brown, then flip loaves and bake 2 minutes more. Eat fresh.

Jun 21, 2015
Bada Bing in Home Cooking
1

Döner Kebab update

Thanks! It would interest me to tweak the spicing. I'd be grateful if you could fill out that picture. I feel I'm getting close.

The bread was awesome and is so important. In the USA, cluelessness prevails concerning German Döners, and one of the more disappointing routines here is to be told that a gyro is all the same and they hand you one rolled in a dry, thin pita bread, not even grilled/heated.

Jun 21, 2015
Bada Bing in Home Cooking
1

Döner Kebab update

Longtimers will know that I go on and on about German (especially Berliner) Döner Kebabs. Technically it's pretty hard at home to replicate a vertical spit rotisserie with probably 10 pounds of meat on it. With some leftover lamb shish kebab, I finally decided to go buy a blow torch as a workaround. The young man here, by the way, is my son, not me.

How to eat fresh tomatoes?

If ripe and tasty, like heirloom tomatoes:

BLT sandwich

Caprese salad with fresh mozz. basil and tomato with the best EVOO and S&P. I do not like balsamic or any other vinegar in this dish, myself.

If you have some quality, slightly staled country bread around, cube it up and make Panzanella salad. E.g.:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

Bruschetta

Pizza margherita (basically Caprese salad on a pizza.

This post is making me rub my hands in anticipation of my garden tomatoes coming in this year.

Jun 20, 2015
Bada Bing in General Topics

I'm BORED with my food

I see this is actually a somewhat dated original post, so it's likely that things have changed gears for the OP, maybe more than once.

I want to add to the discussion that losing pleasure or enthusiasm for favorite activities is one sign of depression (I speak from experience), so people in this circumstance, if it persists for weeks, should consider the idea.

Less speculatively, and more practically, I find myself keeping an eye out for new (to me) cuisines. I'm starting to run out of easily available options, as I've been through aspects at least of Indian, Chinese, Japanese, German, Italian, French, and more. Of course most of those also compartmentalize internally into quite distinct forms.

For example, I've cooked a lot of Chinese, but haven't tackled dumplings. This post inspires me to see if I can maybe make Taiwan/Shanghai-style soup dumplings (xiao long bao). They are never made in restaurants here in midwest America, for some reason.

Jun 20, 2015
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Boneless lamb ideas?

Steaming the veggies first is a great idea I hadn't thought about.

Jun 19, 2015
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Boneless lamb ideas?

I wasn't familiar with Aleppo Pepper. Sounds interesting--I imagine it's something like middle-hot Hungarian paprika?

Anyway, as my thoughts develop, I'm finding the shish-kebab approach increasingly irresistible. Any recipe ideas would be welcome. Oddly, although I cook a huge variety of cuisines and in fact use several grills often, I haven't made shish-kebabs myself before. One of my thoughts is that I would take a strategy of cooking veggies items separately from lamb chunks, as it seems obvious that veggies will for the most part take longer to cook.

Jun 19, 2015
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

Boneless lamb ideas?

I usually prefer bone-in leg of lamb to roast. Found a good price on a cryovac, American, all-natural boneless leg portion about 2.5lbs. Maybe I'll just roast it, but I'd be ready to hear other recipe ideas.

Am thinking maybe a shish-kebab, or even an Indian curry. I have lots of spices from most cuisine cultures, and also fresh mint, several oreganos, thyme, basil, sage and parsley from the garden. Pretty cosmopolitan pantry. Probably need to cook it soon, as it was marked down presumably because the sell-by date was looming.

Favorite lamb ideas?

Jun 18, 2015
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

The 3 Grand Cuisines

The relative paucity of favoring Indian/Pakistani cuisines completely amazes me. Not to mention Thai/Vietnamese. Also middle-European stuff ranging from Poland through Germany and the Czech and Baltic ones. Perhaps 3 just isn't the right number to shoot for.

Jun 18, 2015
Bada Bing in General Topics

Back Back ribs suggestions for novice

I remove the membrane. It is made of some substance that will not cook, does not add flavor, and serves as a abrrier to the rub. Plus it's a snap to remove: just run a table knife along a bone on either end of the slab to raise enough membrane so that you can grab it with a paper towel and just peel the whole length.

I do think this lets salt and the rub work more effectively. Only potential downside is that if you cook the ribs very far, they start to fall apart when picked out of the pan, because the integrity that the membrane provides is missing. Not bad, but not pretty, either.

Jun 18, 2015
Bada Bing in Home Cooking

How to eat Indian dinner at restaurant

Belated thanks for your response, luckyfatima. I am a longtime admirer and beneficiary of your contributions on this site.

Jun 18, 2015
Bada Bing in General Topics
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