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Piada's is belly up - Milford, CT

Looks like in the last 2 months or so Piada's (Italian sandwich joint?) on the Boston Post Road in Milford directly across from Lao Sze Tuan ,went out of business after about 1 year in the former Village Bagel's space.

Is this a cursed location or just bad food. I thought of dropping in, but never made it.

Has anybody been there?

Mar 11, 2014
algct in Southern New England

Homemade grain-free dog treats?

We have 3 beagles - the only things they don't eat is catnip!

But for treats, cooked chicken necks & gizzards (cheap & useful for making chicken stock). You can break up the necks to whatever size you need. Turkey necks are good too, as is chicken backs - don't use thighs, drumsticks or wings - the bones shatter into needle shaped shards.

For the occasional treat just to get their attention - popcorn! One kernel is enough to get their attention.

A chickpea can be used instead of the popcorn if you feel guilty about empty calories....

And - there is always Cheetos.

PS Dogs don't need high protein - cats need more than dogs. I've had to cook for a beagle with digestive troubles for years & the chicken necks (or chicken/fish/beef/whatever flesh), carrots, rice, peas, greens & some leftovers (no onions, garlic or grapes) kept him in good stead till it was time to go to the fire hydrant in the sky.

Nov 05, 2013
algct in Not About Food

Matzo Meal Substitute For Matzo Balls?

It is possible to ship a box to Japan from the US.
Shipping would probably be about $15 for 1st class package.

Have you a relative that can do the deed???

Compared to Japanese prices, a 50-cent knaidlah would be a bargain!

Jun 26, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

cooking ribeye

I just use a plain old cast iron pan - maybe there is a difference in the conduction of heat; flat vs ridges.

No sear marks though. I just close my eyes & don't look too closely (heh, heh).

Jun 26, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

How about a summer soup?

There is Rhode Island style too:
Manhattan minus the veggies
or
New England minus the cream!

Very light - clam broth, (chopped onions,celery with a little bacon/salt pork or olive oil (if you are Kosher), chopped clams & potatoes.

RI style exists east of New Haven CT through Rhode Island & maybe to Fall River Mass all on the coast.

Jun 26, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

Food for a pet's death?

I meant to say dimension.

Sorry for the confusion.

No dogs were harmed in the making of the above image.

Jun 26, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

Food for a pet's death?

Old image - Naugy is on the left & is still being a "hoover".
The other two - Brick & Yauser have left their mark on this dimention.

Jun 25, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

A Call for the difficult, the labor intensive, and the cheapest recipes

Another thought are Indian pickles. Very cheap ingredients depending on the pickle somewhat labour intensive and definitely need time to cure.

Also preserved lemons (middle-Eastern) are relatively inexpensive, take time to prepare, and definitely need time to develop. Once done - lots of uses!

A dessert item is a fruit compote.
Take various dried fruits, add water almost cover, add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom seeds (1 clove to 3 cardamom to a small cinnamon stick - more or less),
a little lemon peel, simmer until the fruits have plumped up somewhat. Cool & place in the fridge for a day or so.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if you like.
The chilling and waiting creates a natural syrup.

Main ingredients (for my taste) are (dried) prunes, apricots, pineapple, cherries, pears, apples, mangoes (in moderation), cranberries if you like tart, coconut is OK, but I won't cook it - just add it into the mix afterward.

Whilst on the fruit subject -
Try poached pears in wine sauce. A fair amount of prep work peeling and coring the pears. About 40 min of cooking, thence some chilling involved.

Jun 25, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

A Call for the difficult, the labor intensive, and the cheapest recipes

Done Kimchee - need large containers, wouldn't recommend plastic if you are using ANY oils - such as dried fish/shrimp as some recipes call for. Ceramics, glass are just fine.

Cool, cellar storage is a good idea when things are to be fermented.

Jun 25, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

Food for a pet's death?

Sashimi works just fine.

Jun 25, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

Dr. says, "No SALT ALLOWED" now what?

Stay away from baked goods! There is a lot of salt in those suckers.

Read the labels - you will not be eating too much processed (industrial) food.

But, get either fresh or dried spices (Indo-Pak stores have a lot) to flavor up things.

The other item is hot pepper (chile, siracha) to liven things up. Just a drop or 2 is all you need.

Fresh basil - available at most supermarkets in a pot - you can put on a windowsill, snip a leaf or two & it will last for a few weeks is cheap enough.

Jun 25, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

cooking ribeye

Hot as you can get cast iron pan or grill. If indoors - make sure you have a hood & exhaust fan to the outside.

When the pan is really, really, really hot (a drop of water will form a ball, dance & go POOF faster than you can read this), plop a well seasoned rib-eye (beforehand pat the steak dry with paper towels & liberally apply kosher or coarse sea salt with some ground pepper - let rest for about 3 minutes - the salt starts to draw moisture out of the steak - before cooking).

Cook for about 3 min or until the side is nicely seared.

Now for the hard part - medium rare.
Take your left hand (if you are right handed otherwise reverse) & place the thumb next to the index finger. Feel the pad just below the thumb & then poke the steak with the same finger - that is RARE! Medium rare is the feeling the pad below the index finger feels like.

Pull the steak at this point, put it on a plate (warmed or not, really doesn't matter & let it rest 5 minutes. Then serve. Personally, I'd pull it at the rare stage if the steak is under an inch thick since the latent heat will tend to cook the steak a bit more than a 1" thick steak.

Jun 25, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

Matzo Meal Substitute For Matzo Balls?

I'd go with almost no-salt crackers or very plain biscuits crushed.

If you can get naan or pita bread, leave it out until you can hammer nails with it & crush it. Almost the same as matzoh.

Jun 25, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

How about a summer soup?

Sorrel soup (shav). Quick to prepare, tasty & served cold!

Jun 25, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

Food for a pet's death?

My sympathies.

For a cat, what better than sushi???

My 17 year old orange tabby is inching closer to the beyond, but he still can wolf down two+ hot dogs at a clip and the dogs won't get between him & his meal!

I don't give him fish, he'd leave me with only a scale or two....

Then again - read "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert Heinlein. Interesting notions on death & commemorations.

Jun 25, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

A Call for the difficult, the labor intensive, and the cheapest recipes

Time consuming & cheap: Cholent (takes about a day to cook + bean soaking time), really cheap cuts of beef & potatoes, chickpeas or other beans.

Time consuming & can be cheap: Cassoulet - can use pork instead of duck I'm sure.

Manhattan clam chowder: Buy clams & shuck them yourself - cheap & time consuming. The veggies in a precise dice - time consuming, otherwise cheap.

I remember reading a Jacques Pepin recipe for cooling a stuffed deboned chicken (the book was on cooking techniques). Deboning a chicken, but keeping it intact is a timeconsuming skill. The stuffing & chicken is cheap enough.

Cheap & skillful - BBQ your own pork shoulder over coals on a hand-turned spit.

The Kimchee Cookbook by Kim Man Jo et al, has many recipes calling for knife skills, cheap ingredients & time.

Jun 25, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

Do you put Ketchup on your Hot Dogs or Hamburgers?

Yes - and no.

When I go into Costco - pile it on! Katsup, deli mustard, onions, relish & kraut!. Sort of Chicago on the Hudson.

Otherwise - FEH! Deli Mustard & kraut.

Ask for ketchup at Katz's (have your running shoes on).

Jun 25, 2013
algct in General Topics

PAWTUCKET

I heard there is a Chinese restaurant there with 3 menus.
English
English-Chinese
and
Chinese only.

A friend says it is good, but I don't know the name.

Can't be too many places in Pawtucket.

Feb 05, 2013
algct in Southern New England

Green vegetable for Shabbos lunch - need suggestions

My French aunt used to serve braised leeks, artichoke hearts with a vinagrette. Served at room temperature.

Warming it up a bit could be problematic if your stove does not have a pilot light.
Perhaps in a sunny window & covered with plastic wrap will heat it up a bit.
On top of a heat register or radiator would work in the winter.

Oct 24, 2012
algct in Kosher

Best cut of beef for Chinese food?

This reminds me of a Chinese technique called "velveting". Can be found in the 1000 Recipe Chinese Cookbook.

Essentially it is taking the sliced meat & tossing it with egg white & corn starch. Then immersing it in 300 degree oil quickly to set the coating (you can use boiling water too, but that works better with fish & other treyf from the sea).

Drain the meat & use it as you would normally, but cook it a little less since it would be already partially cooked. The texture really changes for the better, but there is another step involved in the process. Your choice.

Oct 24, 2012
algct in Kosher

Senator McCarthy cake.....

Excellent!

Oct 24, 2012
algct in Home Cooking

Huge can of tomato paste

There's always room in the freezer - get some sealable smaller plastic bags, put a cup or so in each & stuff it where they will fit. The unfrozen paste will conform to the space.

If you got the canning equipment, you can re-can the paste into smaller portions. Should be acidic enough to can.

Oct 24, 2012
algct in Home Cooking

What are you serving election night?

Humble Pie

If Romney wins - treacle (read Oliver Twist)
- 2nd course chicken (big bird, of course!)
If Lyndon LaRouche wins - hemlock
If Obama wins - fatback
If Mrs Obama wins - garden salad

If Harold Stassen wins - cotton candy

Oct 24, 2012
algct in Home Cooking

Thomaston CT update Acopulco-Madrid & Rozzi's

This weekend, our gang normally haunts the Black Rock Tavern, but due to our larger than normal party, the BR was not able to accommodate us. The Italian joint up the street was packed & Crabby Al's was gearing up for the Karaoke session, so that was out.

We decided to head up to Acapulco-Madrid on Watertown Road since it had a separate room apart from the bar/dining area. We went with reservations after a few months ago service disaster.

Well - it is no more! It is a no-name place (American Food?) playing country or western (live) in the bar/dining area & the other room was closed. BTW it is open for breakfast, lunch & dinner - serving "American" food.

We beat feet PDQ.

Sheesh!

That place, for some reason is cursed as a restaurant, no matter what configuration it is in.

On that note, we repaired to Rozzi's down the street. It was almost 8PM, the Goose & Gander next door to the former Acapulco-Madrid was already closed, so Rozzi's it was.

Pleasant surprise. They were open and accommodating to our really motley crew. The food was fresh & pleasantly priced. The only issue was the veggies were from frozen & not too well "reconstituted" - hard & mushy at the same time. Other than that we left satisfied - without dessert.

Oct 21, 2012
algct in Southern New England

Envious of diner-style cooking, is a stovetop griddle worth it?

Cast iron griddles are cheap - under $30 try to get quality pots for that price. Wal-mart of all places carries them. I think they are still made in the USofA so you don't have to worry about quality control issues.

The 2-burner size I have has a flat surface on one side and a ridged surface on the other - so one side can make pancakes, flatbreads (think Indian, Middle-Eastern), pizza, grilled polenta, etc.

The flip side can grill veggies, steak, entire fish.

Once seasoned, cleanup is a snap. You can just sponge it off, heat it up to dry it off & put it away. Or you can use an old diner method on the flat side; heat up the griddle a bit, add coarse salt (kosher or coarser) and a little bit of white vinegar & with a wadded up paper towel rub the crud off. Rinse, apply a little oil & heat to dry off.
[The original technique used a pumice block. That works for a commercial griddle since the next morning you are cooking bacon so the griddle is reseasoned, but for home use, this may be overkill.]
The smell of hot vinegar & fat is one that you will notice when you step into old-time diners. When I detect it - I KNOW they didn't go to the CIA!

Oct 21, 2012
algct in Cookware

Soups and Stews - an unofficial contest

Pea soup.

Lots of variance in this, so quantities are approximate & can be changed according to taste.

6 qts water
3 bay leaves
3 cloves
2-3lbs smoked turkey wings or ham hocks or smoked pork necks (you get the idea)
1/2 lb chopped onions - rather coarsely - to taste - I'll do a big Bermuda/Spanish onion

Heat the above in a pot big enough to hold them.

Add in 1/2 lb carrots cut in half-rounds (or more, much more) when the water comes to a boil.

Simmer until the meat falls off the bone.

Pull out the meat & bay leaves - you can leave the cloves in if you like or can't find them. (If you make it in a spaghetti cooker, put the meat in the pasta sieve & you can just pull out the meat in 1 fell swoop! That works for chicken soup too.

At this point, add in 1 lb of split green peas or split yellow peas or go half and half.

Cook till the peas are done, make sure you stir them occasionally to prevent sticking & scorching.

While this is going on, strip the meat from the bones & shred or dice. If you want extra meat add in some diced ham towards the end, but if you used enough meat at the start, you should be OK. You can leave out the turkey skin if you care to since the gelatin has been extracted into the soup.

When the peas are done, add the meat back in, salt to taste at this point. Add pepper.

Adjust the viscosity if needed by adding some more water. You may need to do that tomorrow after the soup sets up in the fridge.

Youze done! Serve with croutons or whatever.

Oct 09, 2012
algct in Home Cooking

ASIAN SOUP WITH HOT BROTH POURED OVER INGREDIENTS

Real easy to make.

The soup base for Japanese is hondashi - powdered dashi (or dashi if you make it yourself);
for Chinese is usually is chicken stock (sometimes pork stock);
for Vietnamese it is beef broth.

For the veggies - whatever floats your boat. Pre-cook the carrots, daikon, brocolli, & other longer cooking veg either in the broth or in water.

Get your stock hot, add in the noodles of your choice (Japanese - ramen, udon; Chinese - egg or wheat or Shanghai; Vietnamese - rice noodles (soaked 1st))(or cook them in boiling water.

Transfer noodles to plate - add the cooked veggies, add in spinach, bean sprouts, tofu, scallion, uncooked egg, pea pods , choice of meat/fish already cooked & sliced into bitesized pieces.

Add broth & off you go.

If you are lazy like me, just use 1 pot & assemble the stuff in it in the proper order (especially if you want a poached egg) & transfer it to a bowl. Get yourself a set of chopsticks (& spoon if you'd like otherwise slurping the broth from the bowl works too).

Works great for leftovers.

BTW, the frozen udon noodles (from Japan or Korea) found in Asian groceries have a little better texture than the ones in the refrigerated section. You can also make them from dried - cheaper but takes longer.

Oct 08, 2012
algct in Home Cooking

Below-the-Radar Local and Small Regional Chains That Are Worth Knowing About

You left out the original(?) on the Boston Post Road in Bridgeport opposite CTMVD.
You don't know if you are getting a car wash or a hot dog.

Oct 07, 2012
algct in Chains

Michael Gennaros Steakhouse - Fairfield, CT

Maybe a little off - but the Knickerbocker Grill on University Place in NYC is also worth the drive for their T-bone. I don't know if it is prime or not, but they understand Black & Blue! Tender too.

Joseph's in Bridgeport acceptable when you consider driving into NYC as an alternative.
Acceptable in my book is in the medium to high praise category.
If you like driving 90 minutes or so on I-95, the endorphins manufactured by a prime steak dinner has to be massive enough so that the glow lasts when you toss off your shoes at home!

Oct 07, 2012
algct in Southern New England

Below-the-Radar Local and Small Regional Chains That Are Worth Knowing About

That figures on the hot dog.

The drier turkey burger I had was on Rt 1 & Racebrook Road in Orange, btw. The fries were a little too crispy too.

Oct 06, 2012
algct in Chains