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Where to Buy Sour Orange Juice/Green Ham for Mojo Pork

I will be making some Cuban Mojo Pork next week. Does anyone know where I can get Sour Orange Juice? I know I can make it by adding lime juice to regular orange juice, but I would like to find real sour orange juice if possible.

Also, where's the best place to order a green ham (fresh ham...not processed or smoked). Would prefer to have with skin and fat on.

I'm inclined to think Vallarta Markets might be the best place for both...but I've been working such long hours lately, I haven't had a chance to get out and take a look.

Thanks!

Jul 05, 2013
rowjo in Los Angeles Area

Preserved Black Truffles...Recipes?

I have a jar of preserved black truffles I received as a birthday present. I have (3) truffles in the jar.

I would like to make my boyfriend something wonderful for our New Year's Day dinner tomorrow night. I know that eggs, pasta and potatoes are winners with truffles, but I have never cooked with them before.

Any suggestions? I think I should save one truffle for eggs on Monday morning...really want to try that. But what about dinner? Any recipes with filet perhaps? Or should I go with something fattier to bring out flavor of truffles?

And since these are preserved truffles, should I use some black truffle oil also in recipe? And at what point do you add the truffles for maximum impact?

Thank you everyone! I appreciate the help!

rowjo

Dec 31, 2011
rowjo in Home Cooking

Ricotta Salata...Who Carries It?

Cooking club dinner this Saturday. The recipe I was assigned calls for "ricotta salata"...apparently this is a hard form of ricotta (recipe calls for cheese to be shaved with vegetable peeler).

Does anyone know where I can buy this cheese? Preferably the San Fernando Valley or maybe Hollywood if at all possible. Artisan Cheese Gallery in Studio City does not have it...they are usually my "go to " spot for cheeses.

Thanks,
rowjo

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Artisan Cheese Gallery
12023 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA

Oct 03, 2011
rowjo in Los Angeles Area

Smoked Trout? Quail Eggs? In the Valley?

Forgot to mention...FRESH quail eggs...not the canned ones.
thanks

Feb 08, 2011
rowjo in Los Angeles Area

Smoked Trout? Quail Eggs? In the Valley?

I need to grab some smoked trout and quail eggs for a recipe for Saturday. Pretty sure I can get them at Surfas, but I'll be working long hours this week and wondered where I might find these ingredients in the SF Valley. Ranch 99 Market perhaps?

Thanks!

Feb 08, 2011
rowjo in Los Angeles Area

Slivovitz for the Uninitiated

I've been doing some reading about Slivovitz lately (spurred by a friend's suggestion) and am interested in trying it. I've read that it is very high proof and often "firery" or "bitter" and a bit overpowering.

For a newbie, which brand of Slivovitz do you Slivovitz drinkers suggest? Are there any brands that are a bit fruiter...or heaven forbid....even a bit sweeter?

Thanks!

Mar 12, 2010
rowjo in Spirits

Jewish Cocktails? [moved from Wine]

Anyone have any suggestions for cocktails to serve at a Jewish dinner party (Jewish food...guests will be varied!)? My cooking club is doing a post-Passover Jewish comfort food dinner in April. We usually like to start with a cocktail at our dinners, and I thought I'd check here to see if anyone had some ideas...or even favorite family recipes. The dinner is not going to be Kosher nor strictly Passover food, so those will not be obstacles.

Not opposed to mixed drinks utilizing Manishewitz...but Slivowitz would probably be more interesting.

Wide open on this one!

Thanks!

Mar 10, 2010
rowjo in Spirits

Thai Cookbook?

I ended up getting "Thai Food" by David Thompson...got a used copy yesterday from Amazon Marketplace (binding needs reglued...but otherwise excellent condition) for $26.99! What a cookbook! Since I live in Los Angeles, chances are I can find most of these ingredients without too much of a problem. I really want to try to make some of these recipes.

I actually have a young Thai chef who lives in my building...I only know him to say "Hi"...but I think I'll have to enlist his help for suggestions!

Thanks for the suggestions!

Mar 03, 2010
rowjo in Home Cooking

Roast Chicken for Valentine's Day...Don't Forget the Giblets...Need Suggestions.

Thanks so much for the suggestions. I ended up making good old fashioned giblet gravy...picked up some extra necks/backs, gizzards, hearts and livers so as to not disappoint my giblet-loving boyfriend. He loved it. He was a happy happy guy.

Feb 18, 2010
rowjo in Home Cooking

Thai Cookbook?

I would like to buy a good Thai cookbook. I'm thinking of hosting a Thai dinner in a couple of months and this is one cuisine I have no cookbooks for. I absolutely love Thai food and would like to start cooking at home. Since I live in L.A., I should have easy access to needed ingredients.

What are your favorite Thai cookbooks? I would like something rather comprehensive so I could try to make all of my favorites. And I know Thai food can traditionally be made to be VERY spicy...I like spice, but am not looking for a book that really focuses on the firey side of Thai.

The one book I saw on Amazon that looks interesting is"Thailand: The Beautiful Cookbook"...pricey, but seems well received.

Thanks for the suggestions! :-)

Feb 12, 2010
rowjo in Home Cooking

Roast Chicken for Valentine's Day...Don't Forget the Giblets...Need Suggestions.

Going to make my boyfriend some nice roast chicken for Valentine's Day. Haven't roasted a chicken for years. Think I'll use the JOY OF COOKING Turned Chicken recipe...side/side/breast up....a little butter, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary probably.

My fella asked me if I ever cooked giblets...said his Mom used to do that and he misses it. What suggestions (EASY...not too much muss and fuss), would you make for using the giblets? I know the heart and gizzard take longer to cook than the liver...but I wanted to do something that used all of the tasty bits. Might even buy some extras fromthe butcher since he likes them.

Should I just use them in a pan gravy? Can I throw them in the bottom of the roasting pan with some carrots/potatoes/onions...scoop out the veggies, and make gravy. OH...maybe I should mention...I'm not a gravy maker either! Tips here would help!

Or are they just good roasted on their own? My aunt said to boil them...but that sounds kind of blah. Searched boards, but didn't find just a simple approach to using the giblets.

Fire away! I want to keep dinner homey and simple...roast chicken...maybe some roasted veggies in pan or roasted baby potatoes...broccoli...warm biscuits. Like I said...simple.

Thanks greatly...
rowjo

Feb 09, 2010
rowjo in Home Cooking

From Square Pan to Mini Muffins...Adjusting Temp/Baking Time?

Thanks so very much! It just sounded so much more elegant...and less mess...to do these appetizers in the mini-muffin tin. That way I don't have to worry so much about uniform size, small pieces crumbling, etc. I think they will look quite nice on a platter also.

Have a great weekend!

Dec 04, 2009
rowjo in Home Cooking

From Square Pan to Mini Muffins...Adjusting Temp/Baking Time?

I'm making a recipe for Chile-Corn Custard Squares from Epicurious.com. It's a cornbread/cheesy/sour cream/creamed corn appetizer that you bake and then cut into tiny squares.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

The recipe calls for baking in an 8x8x2 inch pan at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. One of the reviewers, however, suggested giving it a try in mini-muffin tins...which I think would be perfect for a cocktail party.

Any experienced bakers out there want to venture a guess as to how much I should adjust the oven temperature and baking time due to switching type of pan? The mini-muffin tin I have makes 24 muffins.

Thanks for the help...much appreciated!

rowjo

Dec 04, 2009
rowjo in Home Cooking

Pork Loin & Peach Chipotle Jam

I'm usually a recipe kind of person, but at the Farmer's Mkt. this weekend I had an idea that sounded good to me. I purchase various oils, vinegars, cheeses and jams from a gentleman at our local market regularly. Well yesterday he had a new jam...Peach Chipotle! It is fabulous. I immediately thought of this pork loin I just bought and put in the freezer.

How would you great cooks out there suggest I use the jam with the pork loin? I would love to really get that sweet, spicy flavor married with the pork, but I want to make sure it doesn't burn because of the high sugar content of the jam. Sear in a skillet, roast for a while than add the jam as a glaze? Marinade in the jam and other seasonings overnight and then roast in a bag to help keep moist and burning down?

I really appreciate any suggestions...especially in terms of methods, times, temperatures and seasonings (aside from the jam). And if I could end up with a bit of sauce of some sort to serve with the pork when finished...that would be swell!

Thanks for the help...I'm cooking a lot more with the addition of new boyfriend...and I think he would love this combination!

rowjo

Mar 02, 2009
rowjo in Home Cooking

La Salamandra Dulce de Leche

Neither the Argentine place on Supelveda or the one on Western carry that brand. I ended up ordering online from Straub's grocery in Missouri...it was probably worth the shipping just so I don't have to run to the Westside. Bought some extra because I heard the stuff is so good...wouldn't want to run out of Dulce de Leche!

Jan 08, 2009
rowjo in Los Angeles Area

La Salamandra Dulce de Leche

Hey everyone...

It's cooking club dinner time again, and I am making Dulce de Leche ice cream for our Argentinian dinner. The recipe calls for a pound of Dulce de Leche...preferably La Salamandra from Argentina. Does anyone know where I can pick up this brand in the LA area? I live in Studio City...work in Hollywood...so spots closer to me would be great.

Thanks very much for the info!

Rhonda

Jan 08, 2009
rowjo in Los Angeles Area

Silver Tequila for Margaritas?

Dinner party was Saturday night...it was fabulous! Margaritas I made were very well received...very simple, straight forward and not really sweet. I used:

2 oz. Puerto Vallarta Blanco 100% Agave Tequila (found it for $15.59/750ml at Wine and Liquor Depot in San Fernando Valley--Los Angeles area).

1 oz. Citronge by Patron...made for strong drinks, and everyone seemed to like the flavor. Not too strong on the orange flavor so it didn't overpower the rest of the drink. Most importantly, I got it for $14.99/750ml at Trader Joe's and the least expensive Cointreau I could find was around $36!

1 oz. of fresh squeezed lime juice

Shaken in cocktail shaker with ice, served on the rocks in small rocks glass with salted rim and wedge of lime.

Strong, simple, clean.

This thread just goes to show, with such a simple (3) ingredient recipe, you can come up with limitless number of variations.

Thanks everyone!

Oct 27, 2008
rowjo in Spirits

Silver Tequila for Margaritas?

Thanks for all the detail. I am not allowed to vary from the recipe...hostess picks recipes for dinner and everyone chooses a recipe which we are required to adhere to (lemon juice sounds grand to me, but I am not allowed to be creative!). I will be using fresh squeezed lime juice though.

Damn! I'm looking at spending $80+ just to make margaritas (if I go with the Cointreau)...the rest of the food better be absolutely fabulous! :-)

Oct 17, 2008
rowjo in Spirits

Silver Tequila for Margaritas?

My gourmet cooking group is doing a Bobby Flay dinner next weekend. I am in charge of the "Mesa Grill Margaritas". Recipe is very basic:

2 oz. silver tequila
1 oz. orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Triple Sec
1 oz. fresh lime juice

shaken with ice...served straight up or on the rocks...with or without salt

So...I'm looking for a good silver tequila to use that won't break the bank. We are looking at 15 guests...and I figure 2 margaritas per guest. So basically 1.75 liters of Tequila.

Guy at BevMo suggested 1800 Silver or El Jimador Blanco. I'm more of an Anejo girl, though, and don't really know silver tequilas (silver and blanco are the same category, right?)

What do you think? Suggestions? I don't want to go cheap just to be cheap...but I want to be financially responsible!

I also think I am going with Triple Sec...once again, the economy is interfering with my eating/drinking! What would be a good brand of Triple Sec...Bols perhaps? Or what about Citronge?

Thanks for the help!
rowjo

Oct 16, 2008
rowjo in Spirits

Fresh Squeezed Juices

Is there anywhere that I can get plain fresh squeezed juices to order? I need about a quart of just plain fresh squeezed lemon juice for a party and I don't have my own juicer or the time to sqeeze that much juice by hand.

Anything near Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Burbank would be a big plus.

Thanks very much!

Sep 10, 2008
rowjo in Los Angeles Area

Substitute for fresh lemon juice?

I'm having a big cocktail party coming up and am making somewhere between 30-40 Tom Collins cocktails...calls for LOTS of fresh lemon juice. I don't have the time or energy to squeeze all those lemons! Do you think the Nellie's and Joe's lemon juice would work in the cocktail okay. I'm looking at needing 30-40 oz of juice...that's a lot of squeezing! I'm making the cocktail by the pitcher...so ready to go lemon juice would be a BIG help.

Sep 09, 2008
rowjo in Spirits

Nellie's & Joe's Lemon Juice in L.A.?

I'm hosting a big cocktail party and making several mixed drinks. One drink is the Tom Collins. Planning for a batch of 30-40 drinks. The fresh squeezed lemon juice is going to kill me though! I don't have the time or energy (or a juicer!) to fresh squeeze lemons.

I read on the "Liquor" board that Nellie's & Joe's Famous Key West Lemon Juice may be the best pre-packaged alternative to fresh lemon juice. Party is quickly approaching, so I don't have time to run from store to store.

Anyone know who carrles Nellie's & Joe's in the L.A. area? I live in Studio City...work in Hollywood...so the closer the better!

Thanks for saving me some time!

OR...if anyone knows where you can buy fresh squeezed lemon juice in the L.A. area, that would be terrific also!

Thanks bunches!

:-) rowjo

Sep 09, 2008
rowjo in Los Angeles Area

Galliano-Shelf Life?

I'm hosting a big cocktail party in a couple of weeks. One of the cocktails I plan to serve is the Harvey Wallbanger. It's been years since I bought Galliano...and I'm surprised how pricey it is...especially since I don't need a large amount.

Well guess what? I have about 3/4 of a bottle of Galliano in the back of my liquor shelf in the pantry. However, it may be old enough to be considered an antique. If I had to guess, I'd say it's probably 15 years old!

It's been so long since I've had a Wallbanger, I don't remember what Galliano is supposed to taste like! I took a sip...still very sweet. No crystallization or debris in the bottle...pale yellow color. It's been stored in a dark place this whole time...upper shelf, so it may get a little warm in summer.

What do you think? I can I save myself another $35 and use this Galliano? I don't want to seem like I'm just being cheap...I hate to throw out something that well work just fine.
But budget is a consideration somewhat too...and I really want to serve Wallbangers (I'm doing 2-3 other cocktails and lots of food)!

Thoughts? Thanks!
rowjo

Sep 05, 2008
rowjo in Spirits

Italian Olive Oils

Thanks for the feedback! The way our cooking group works is that the hostess plans an entire menu and then we sign up for recipes that she posts...so I am not at liberty to change the recipe without being subject to a flogging! The honey and mustard are added in very small quantities. If I find the Ligurian oil too light to stand up to the recipe, I might offer that as alternative to the dressing in the recipe with just a bit of balsamic to go with it as you suggested.

Thanks again!
Rhonda

Jul 14, 2008
rowjo in General Topics

Italian Olive Oils

I went to a wine tasting event yesterday that had some other booths related to the wine industry...such as olive oils. I ended up buying two different Italian olive oils:

1. Riviera Ligure DOP from Academia Barilla--supposedly a lighter, delicate oil from northern Italy. I didn't get to taste this one because they had one bottle left...and it was being sold by a very attractive Italian man named Francesco who was very persuasive. $25 for c. 25oz

2. Primo from Olio & Olive--A strongly fruity oil from Sicily. I did try this one and liked it quite a bit. $30 for c. 25 oz. (Sold by a very attractive Italian man named Marco!)

I was wondering if anyone else has tried these oils and what your reactions were.

My cooking group is having an Italian dinner this Saturday night and I am making an Arugula/Endive/Toasted Walnut Salad with a white wine vinaigrette (white wine, lemon juice, mustard, honey, salt, pepper EVOO). Thought I might make 2 batches of the viaigrette...one with each oil...to do a comparison.

Also, what variety of white wine might work best in the vinaigrette? Any suggestions?

Just curious as to what everyone else thought of these oils since I have never used either before.

Thanks!
rowjo

Jul 14, 2008
rowjo in General Topics

Sweetbreads for the Uninitiated

Thanks for all the descriptions...I think I'm going to give them a shot...I'm feeling rather adventurous! The ones at the restaurant are braised...I'll skip the bordelaise though so the sweetbreads aren't overpowered by the sauce.

Thanks again!

Apr 17, 2008
rowjo in General Topics

Sweetbreads for the Uninitiated

My best friend and I are headed to wine country near the Russian River in northern California in a couple of weeks. We have reservations at what appears to be a lovely little French bistro type restaurant one night (Mierpoix in Windsor, CA). The menu looks wonderful...from mussels to foie gras to frites to....sweatbreads.

I read a couple of posts on various travel sites that said Mirepoix makes excellent sweetbreads. They serve them braised with frites and maitre d'butter. For a few dollars more you can add sauce bordelaise. Sounds intriguing. My problem? I've never had sweetbreads.

For some reason I'm really tempted to try this dish. But I would hate to order something I ended up really disliking. I'm not a picky eater. The only thing I don't really like are beets (they taste like dirt to me!). I'm fine with tongue and pates and chicken liver (I've never had beef liver). I've even had turkey "rocky mountain oysters" and thought they were great!

What would I expect with sweetbreads? The texture is very soft, isn't it? What about flavor? Any descriptions that might give me a better idea would be greatly appreciated...from both folks who like them and folks who don't.

I know there's no real way of knowing without trying for myself, but I thought this might be an interesting discussion.

Thanks!
rowjo

Apr 13, 2008
rowjo in General Topics

Santa Rosa Restaurants/Dry Creek Passport Weekend

Hey all!

My best friend and I are treating ourself to the Dry Creek Passport weekend at the end of April for our birthdays. We are staying at one of her favorite spots, The Gables Inn in Santa Rosa. We're flying into Oakland Friday morning and headed up.

Have never been to the passport weekend before...not sure what to expect. Any tips? Any places not to miss who throw a great bash?

We would like to make dinner reservations for Friday night (figure we will be stuffed from eating and drinking all day Saturday and Sunday). Have read about a number of fine restaurants in the area. I think we would like to keep costs somewhat moderate so we have some $$$ leftover to buy wine on Saturday and Sunday...any suggestions?

I am very intrigued by Zazu, but not really sure of the price range...their website is very inviting though. Also, how is Flavor in Santa Rosa? We both love good food and wine...and atmosphere of course! We're a couple of single chicks (okay, maybe we're just a little too old to be called "chicks"!), so a decidely romantic spot might not be as fun for us. And we will probably want to do dinner a little later...maybe 8ish.

Thanks for any suggestions and tips...we are counting the days...that would be 23 from today!

rowjo

Apr 02, 2008
rowjo in San Francisco Bay Area

Las Fuentes - Carne Asada, Al Pastor or Carnitas

My friend is picking up dinner for us tomorrow night as Las Fuentes for our little pre-Christmas get-together. We've had food from there before and it was great! I am, however, trying to be as healthy as possible before I leave for Illinois for the holidays next week and start eating Steak and Shake, Snickerdoodles, Mom's chili and the like.

Thought if I maybe stuck to some simple tacos (with rajas of course) with some of the whole pot beans on the side, that woudn't do too much damage. The truth is, however, I don't really know the difference between carnitas, tacos al pastor and carne asada (first 2 are pork...latter is steak).

Which is the best of these three at Las Fuentes...in your opinion? Also, which would be the leanest (can you believe I am asking this about fabulous Mexican food???)? I'm not really sure how each is prepared, so I thought I would ask.

Thanks for the feedback!

rowjo

p.s. Have a business dinner tonight at Louise's Trattoria...thinking the grilled Tilapia Bruschetta (Pomodoro) will be the best bet for me in trying to stay healthy!

Dec 13, 2007
rowjo in Los Angeles Area

Hawaiian Ingredients???

Just wanted to thank everyone for the help tracking down the ingredients for my la'au. It was a big success. The only problem is that I have been eating leftover kalua pork, rice and mac salad all week. I just can't stop eating it!

Best dishes were the pork, the poke, the roasted Japanese (purple) sweet potatoes with lime butter and the banana-pineapple-macadamia upside down cake. YUMMY!

Right now, fyi, Kona has a limited edition wheat bear with passion fruit out that is quite tasty.

Also, one last question. I have some Ti leaves leftover and thought about making another batch of kalua pork this weekend. I certainly don't need to be eating it every day, however, like I have this week! Can I freeze the pork for later use after I have shredded it? I have a Food Saver, so I was thinking of pre-freezing it in chunks (so it doesn't have too much "loose juice") and then vacuum sealing it to use in the future. Will that work? Anyone done that? I know there probably aren't any leftovers usually, but I thought about making some more just to freeze.

Thoughts?

Thanks again everyone!
rowjo

Aug 24, 2007
rowjo in Los Angeles Area