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Lamb and tenderness

Best cut is lamb necks but you'll want to cook these 3+ hours to get them super tender and succulent. You can find these at a good butcher. Even Fairways in NYC has them in a package labeled bone in lamb stew. Leaner cubes of boneless lamb stew meat never end up as good.

May 06, 2012
DoctorDaveNY in Home Cooking

Cooking for the Week

Stews, braises, curries are all good choices. No need to freeze. Put leftovers in the fridge and reheat the whole thing in the oven then refrigerate leftovers again. Do this for two weeks or more and as long as you reheat to boiling every 3 or 4 days it will stay toxin and microbe free. Do not reheat in the microwave. Things like short ribs or lamb curry or oxtail will get better every time you reheat. You can cook one big dish a week and have two different dishes in the fridge that way you don't eat the same thing every day.

May 05, 2012
DoctorDaveNY in Home Cooking

Dried Out Vanilla Beans

I ziploc em. Years in the pantry and always plump and fresh as new.

Jun 17, 2011
DoctorDaveNY in Home Cooking

Tajine -- Thoughts?

The Emile Henry is great - u can brown on the stove before transferring to oven. Also nice to serve the dish at the table in this. It doesn't do anything more than a dutch oven though so a bit of a waste of space.

May 21, 2011
DoctorDaveNY in Cookware

Food and Wine Pairing Ideas for Grilled Salmon with Pineapple, Mango Salsa

For the wine pairing question I would go with an Alsace or Oregon pinot gris or a German riesling. Side dish maybe a sweet potato salad?

May 21, 2011
DoctorDaveNY in Home Cooking

What happened to Niman Ranch bacon?

Thanks for the link. Very interesting article. It says a lot when the original founder won't buy the new product.

May 13, 2011
DoctorDaveNY in General Topics

What commercially available foods are so good (though not necessarily better) that it deters you from making the homemade equivalent?

Sabra hummus

May 07, 2011
DoctorDaveNY in General Topics

What happened to Niman Ranch bacon?

Been a loyal buyer of Niman Ranch bacon for years. By far my favorite and better than any artisan bacons I've tried even from local green markets. The uncured applewood smoked and the uncured maple being my favorites. I keep every drop of the fat to enhance various dishes. So complex and smoky and slightly sweet, the whole house smells heavenly after frying this up. Then something changed. The packaging looks the same but the product is not. It's now one dimensional and salty (REALLY SALTY). It tastes like your standard supermarket bacon. It doesn't even look the same. The strips are thinner and flimsy and curl up in the pan like diner bacon. It seems like at some point the product disappeared from shelves where I normally buy (Whole Foods) then after a short period of time reappeared and at that point was when it was no longer the same. Anyone else notice this change?

May 07, 2011
DoctorDaveNY in General Topics

Salads that don't involve lettuce

I'm surprised no one mentioned Caprese salad. Sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, buffalo mozzarella slices all drizzled with olive oil and topped with freshly ground black peppercorns and salt.

Mar 28, 2010
DoctorDaveNY in Home Cooking

Infusing tea for desserts

When steeping into cream the reason you get less extraction is your not reaching as high a temperature as boiling water. I will often scald the cream more than once with the loose tea in it and leave it covered in between each scald for half hour at least. This takes long but I do it while I'm doing other things (heat it, cover it, go shopping, come back, heat it again, you get the idea). I do squeeze every last drop when straining. Don't be afraid to use your good tea - it makes a huge difference. I've used my Takashimaya loose teas this way.

I use the same technique to infuse other flavors into the cream such as saffron, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and even chili peppers. Minced ginger plus jasmine tea leaves steeping in cream can be the start of a wonderful dessert.

I also read somewhere where a recipe called for brewing tea in boiling water then reducing the whole pot of tea over the stove down to a single teaspoon of liquid then adding that liquid to the cream. Sort of like a do it yourself instant tea. I've never tried that method.

Mar 27, 2010
DoctorDaveNY in Home Cooking

Simmering stock and losing most of it... help?

As said above, any drop in volume is pure water. Keep the water level above the bones or you're wasting some of the flavors and collagen. Once you strain the liquid you can always reduce it back down. There's no reason why you can't just keep the stock covered during the entire simmering process so you don't have to bother checking the water level frequently - some say it's harder to maintain a low simmer covered but I don't care about that - I make stock in a pressure cooker anyway.

Jan 18, 2010
DoctorDaveNY in Home Cooking

Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon...so-so

It's all about the beef cut. I don't think the wine choice makes a huge difference here. Choose meat with a high fat and connective tissue to meat ratio. I made the dish with large cubes of boneless beef short rib and it came out amazing.

Dec 25, 2009
DoctorDaveNY in Home Cooking

Puff pastry sheet: What should I make?

For Thanksgiving I made tartlets with soft goat cheese, caramelized red onions and candied pecans. I cut the sheet into 9 and used a cupcake pan. It was a hit. The only part that took some time was candying the nuts.

Dec 05, 2009
DoctorDaveNY in Home Cooking