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Acidic Citrus Marinades With Pork / Improving The Process

I generally do shoulders as it's convenient for a few days for 2 people and significantly cheaper during the holidays when they're on sale. Not something I do often any more now the kids are out of the nest and my parents gone. That usually merited purchasing a leg years past. I can't justify that now.

My method is on a small rack and get the oven very hot around 450 and cook open on a sheet pan around a half hour and follow by reducing temp to around 325 and foil tenting until nearing desired temp to let the skin brown. 185 is the pull temp and it typically rises over 190 while holding. I baste at half hour intervals with the discarded marinade that has been boiled first.

Fat cap stays up. The texture is more flaky/shredable at 185 and I do it without a rack. I should mention that I do let the meat rest at room temp after after pulling it from the fridge and bag and pat it with paper towel to remove pooled moisture and drain what's left on the rack.

The process is what I learned and I don't try to tamper much with tradition. Yes, in years past we did "bloom" cumin seed, but powdered is more convenient and pretty much as become the de facto substitute. The knife slits are sort of mandatory to get a finger in with the paste...again, the ritual I learned.

But now want to see if I can do better then average. I've never tried injecting, but just recently did buy a stainless one that I've haven't tried yet. Withholding the citrus is one of my first tweaks and it really didn't seem to affect the texture in my half butt test piece. I also didn't mention that when I used to do it the original way with everything combined, the marinade in the bag also contained a large onion finely sliced on a mandolin that I add to the bag and paste.

That makes the basting sauce and later remaining for a side sauce rather then make a classic mojo with onions,sour orange,pepper,and pressed garlic thrown in hot oil. It can make a mess, but worth it. You can easily go through a loaf of Cuban bread with either as a dip.

I guess I should have reserved the falling off the bone rather then shred texture in the literal sense. That's the way my daughter does it in a deep pan. 400 for the first half hour and foil covered, at 180 or so and leaves it overnight and it's ready on return from work. Texture is more like pulled pork done in a crock pot in a lot of fluid. To each his own. Probably nobody does Lechon the same way. I simply follow the tradition that was handed to me. I'm just trying to improve it a bit more.

Aug 20, 2014
DawnT in Home Cooking

Acidic Citrus Marinades With Pork / Improving The Process

I've been doing my Lechon Asado for the past 40+ years pretty much the same way and don't have any complaints with the mojo that I make up from scratch using sour oranges. Same way I've been doing it since I learned as a teen.

What I've been giving some thought to is the mojo as I've been making it causing the pork to become tough. My typical marinade was put up the night before and then cooked about 18-20 hours later. Only thing that's changed since is using a zip lock bag and no longer toast my cumin and use powdered cumin,oregano, and bay leaf. Times have changed as well as availability of spices in different forms since I learned to cook.

I think that using the powdered spices seem to impart greater flavor then using the full leaf products then rubbing or crushing them. I've been trying to find ways to improve the Lechon starting with a brine with essential spices. That didn't really change much or improve the moisture content like chicken or chops as Cooking Illustrated suggested.

I've been giving some thought to seperating the mojo into spice and acid phases to see if a shoulder or leg can cook up with a bit more moisture. Mixing up the garlic,oil,salt,pepper, and spices and rubbing the meat that's been pierced all over and working in the paste in the holes with fine sliced onions in the bag rather then a complete marinade. Allowing that to sit like a rub with the spice paste overnight.

Then adding the sour orange an hour or two before cooking to prevent the acid from toughening the pork.

I'm not going to be doing Lechon for a while, but wonder if any of you have any suggestions doing this more scientifically and optimizing the process rather then sticking to tradition to achieve a better result. Perhaps even using sour orange zest in the rub as a possible addition to the paste to get the citrus oils to infuse rather then the juice to toughen the meat might even be a better tweek initially.

Nobody here does it this way and uses the traditional methods. I do mine at two temps. 165 for sandwiches and slices and take it to about 185 for the more traditional, falling off the bone texture. Not much to do about the last, but the first, lower temp sliced meat

That can probably be improved.

Jul 21, 2014
DawnT in Home Cooking

The Pit BBQ On Tamiami and Chrome. Original Sauce Recipe Before New Ownership

EMac

I'm at least hoping that any regular or passer by would take the time to leave a few lines about what they remembered about the sauce, the food preparation. Anything, as a recollection.

Perhaps something that struck you different about the sauce, something about the flavor. For example, did you taste allspice, cinnamon, changes over the years?

The Pit as we remembered for years is gone. It's amazing how someplace that was celebrated as the best barbeque in Dade could now be so easily forgetten as it once was.

Jun 17, 2013
DawnT in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

The Pit BBQ On Tamiami and Chrome. Original Sauce Recipe Before New Ownership

The new owners apparently are not continuing to serve the original sauce that the Pit was famous for. I've been trying to find a replacement for it either in a bottled sauce or recipe. As one poster a few years ago pointed out, it was being bottled by someone and sold by Cantor's Grocery which is now Jetro in 4, 1 gallon plastic bottles.

What I do remember about the sauce was it was red in color. That's significant, because most typical BBQ sauce additives such as Worsterchire sauce and chili powder even in small amounts will begin to turn a sauce towards brownish. It was sweet, but not noticably corn syrup sweet and distinctively not primarly a catsup base. It had a granular texture like a tomato puree and bits and pieces of tomato skin like stone ground tomatoes. That may possibly point to a commerical tomato product like Escalon's 6 in 1 or maybe like a Heinz Chili Sauce. The sauce had bubble pockets like that latter. There was a hint of Ancho with no heat. It couldn't have been an Ancho puree/reduction made from dried anchos or pasillas which would have turned the sauce brown in any concentration that could be tasted.

Can anyone remember anything significant about that sauce, any ancedotal info from past employees? Does the sauce have an equivlent or is it being still sold as an institutional product under another name?

Whatever is being served nowdays is absolutely NOT the sauce with a heay horseraddish taste, brown color, and sour taste.

Jun 16, 2013
DawnT in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Save My Tasteless Salty Chicken Soup

As an afterthought, you can always put some dried or fresh basil in a coffee filter and tie it up. Float it in the soup to seep and give it a deeper boquet. If you didn't have the salt problem, some commercial roasted chicken base like Minor's can really ramp up the taste. So can some msg, but also increase the sodium and make it taste even saltier.

Sep 17, 2012
DawnT in Home Cooking

Fritas Secret Sauces and Ingredients

Both of these are treated like closely guarded, state secrets in South Florida. As much as folks love the ones from El Rey, El Mago, & Domino, the mystique of the special sauce and formulation of the patties in these places depart radically from traditional source recipes. I probably own every cookbook in Spanish or English printed over the past 30 years. Known enough aquaintances that I've asked over the past 45 years, and scoured the net to try an figure out the taste that I remember as a kid from the old Domino on 8th and 12th in my old barrio to what's morphed into the present day places. The home/classic recipes are sauced with nothing more then catsup, tomato paste, or in a few cases cocktail sauce that I've found mention on the net. Formulations for the patty vary from a sofrito base, beef, chorizio, milk,egg, and bread crumb mixture to everything in between. Yet the Fritas shops often include some form of special sauce on a non-chorizo base. BTW, I've tried Glenn's Special Sauce and have made it many times. It's certainly better then catsup, but otherwise not anything like these sauces that are both added during cooking and later as a condiment.

There appears to be some hints though. The patties have a decidedly high collagen texture as if either ground pork or gelatin are part of the mix although I seriously doubt gelatin and in some case doubt that chorizo isn't use, but that may be a recent development to hold cost down along with the now readily available smoked paprika as a foodservice shelf item. Just a hypothesis.

The sauces are intriguing. Most fritas are made behind closed kitchens with a window. Besides that, I never really paid attention to the texture. I was watching a video and noticed the way the sauce spillover during cooking was folded back onto the patty. Under heat, the coagulating sheeting suggests a protienaceous nature that may give a clue that the sauces are at part composed of a reduction that may have originally been part of pan juices or drippings. I can think of a possible suspect that would be available in copious amounts that would be otherwise discarded in a little corner cafeteria that might be the key.

I was hoping that someone might be able to validate the above observations or perhaps have some anecdotal information.

Sep 17, 2012
DawnT in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Bloody Mary Mix Used In Beef Stew or Pot Roast

Bloody Mary Mix has been my main ingredient in my stews and pot roasts for years. For cooking purposes, I've been using Tabasco's Extra Spicy which so far seems to be the best right off the shelf, but can be a hit or miss trying to find a bottle conveniently when I need it. I haven't tried many others beyond the M&M T's. Peters, and a few other store brands. I'd like to try Zing Zang and Demitri's Mix to see how they work. Pre-made mixes are handy, but they need a bit of tweeking. Maybe something made from scratch would be a better way to go.

What I've been looking for is a home made recipe that optimizes the flavor rather then use a bottled mix designed for a drink. I've tried marinating the meat a bit in a clone recipe of Dale's Seasoning once b4 browning which led to adding a little soy sauce to the mix that made a huge difference. I've tried a little A1 sauce which wasn't well received. Neither was the addition of an envelope of onion soup mix as several published recipes suggest. I've tried a few other things such as raising the heat level with cayenne or hot pepper brine and adding some Old Bay seasoning. They do help, but if I made a mix from scratch, I think I'd drop celery salt and use the old bay and pepper vinegar brine. The recent published recipe on CHOW looks like a good starting point. Dropping the citrus level might be a good idea as well as substtiting V8. I'm really not interested in creating or augumenting a prepared bloody mary mix as much as trying to make a home-made optimized base.

Has anyone used a recipe that makes up a mix from scratch more tailored to a stew or pot roast?

Feb 21, 2012
DawnT in Home Cooking

Help with Tartar Sauce

Luby's is some way similar to the what was called Tartar Sauce down here in South Fl and the Keys back when I was a kid in the 50's and early 60's. It wasn't this sweet pickles/relish, sugar, and mayo stuff that suddenly became Tartar Sauce during the 70's when the chain restaurants started moving down here. If you went to a restaurant or cafeteria back then, what was served as Tartar Sauce was based on very finely shredded and chopped cabbage and a little green pepper and onion almost to the point of an over processed fine pulp mixed with mayo, finely chopped dill pickle or dill pickle relish. That was pretty much the standard base no matter where you went. Some places added combinations of finely chopped parsely, lemon or key lime juice or zest, and/or capers. The mayo was often made fresh in the restaurant then. I can post a basic recipe if you're interested.

Feb 13, 2012
DawnT in Home Cooking

House Of Tsang Classic Stir Fry Sauce Flavor

The soy must be a specialized dark soy or other soy then typical light soy. I can detect a pungent taste similar to Pearl River's dark soy, but not the rest of the taste. Either they're using a less common soy product, or there's something else in the mix. I haven't had much experience with soys beyond typical light and dark, so I'd hope that someone's expertise would shed some light on what they're using. Their website claims it's a traditional Cantonese flavor.

Feb 02, 2012
DawnT in Home Cooking

House Of Tsang Classic Stir Fry Sauce Flavor

I'm not looking for a clone of this sauce as much as I'm trying to figure out the taste signature. Despite the label, I can taste dark soy sauce, ginger, garlic. The label indicates sesame & Cottonseed oil, dried onion, vinegar, and sherry along with thickeners, stabilizers, and flavor enhancers along with the others, but doesn't mention dark soy sauce.

The flavor is not unique to this product. I've tasted a similar flavor used in Asian wraps, subs, & rice bowls and Chef's signature plating sauces as a Teriyaki flavor. Uncle Ben's Frozen Broccoli and Beef Rice had a similar flavor sauce.

I have little experience with Asian cuisine, but in the years of making up soy based stir fry sauces and marinades, I've used most of the above ingredients in many combinations and never had anything approximate or even hint of this flavor.

Has anyone any clue to what makes this taste over the usual combination of Soy sauce, garlic, ginger, Chinese cooking wine, and sesame oil?

Feb 01, 2012
DawnT in Home Cooking

Chipotle Taste Without The Heat In Dressings, Dips, and Sauces

No I haven't despite all the wonderful things that I've heard about their spices and blends. My only experience with chipotle powder has been with Mccormick and Trade East (foodservice) with near identical(hot) results. I only mentioned the particulate effect as being indicative of using powdered spices and differentiating from commercial products that have a uniform pink appearance as if a sauce or extract. It bears no impact on the appearance. In fact, I add a small amount of coarse ground pepper and dried parsely to our dressings not for flavor, but to give a visible herb effect. I use a buttermilk/mayo base with a ranch powder that makes for bland appearance, so a red particulate hardly would matter. It was just mentioned as a possible clue.

I've got a can of san marcos and goya in adobo hopefully arriving in a day or two to see if they're any different. I haven't ordered any dried peppers yet. I'll be checking with my rep on the the availablility of the Minor's

Thanks for the suggestion.

Feb 01, 2012
DawnT in Home Cooking

Chipotle Taste Without The Heat In Dressings, Dips, and Sauces

I may have received a clue via e-mail on how they're getting the flavor without the heat. Apparently foodservice users have access to a product that's sold among the soup base products made by Nestle foods. It's Minor's Chipotle Flavor Concentrate. I was told that it's also used in frozen drinks to impart the chipotle flavor, so it must not be hot. I'm familliar with their soup base products that I use under private label, but don't recall seeing the chipotle flavoring offered. I've found it on the net and it's available for about $11 retail. All their soup base and flavoring products are refrigerated, so I don't know if this is too.

Feb 01, 2012
DawnT in Home Cooking

Chipotle Taste Without The Heat In Dressings, Dips, and Sauces

Thanks all but in the last paragraph, I mentioned that I have tried this with the smokey paprika (pimenton). In the brand that I use, the adobo has relatively little heat compared to the whole pepper with seeds. I do rinse the can and the scrapings with some white vinegar in a small strainer to get the residual adobo off and provide some extra liquid for pureeing into a paste.

My Chipotle Ranch sauce for wraps/dips and salad dressing differ only by sour cream or buttermilk for viscosity and mayo. I use a private label institutional powder mix similar to Hidden Valley's and do add cumin,sugar, and lime juice along with the chipotle puree to make the sauce. To the basic ranch dressing from the mix, I augument with extra, coarse black pepper, garlic powder, and some dried parsely. Adding the smoked paprika in moderate amounts only raises the pink color with perceptably little change to the taste.

I will look into dried peppers and remove the seeds and either reconstitute or grind into a powder. That's not something that's going to be found around here and I'll have to order by mail. Thanks for the idea Matt.

Jan 28, 2012
DawnT in Home Cooking

Chipotle Taste Without The Heat In Dressings, Dips, and Sauces

I have wondered if the brand that I'm using might just be a much hotter version then others. The only brand found around here retail is La Costena in 7 and 12 0z cans. Sysco carries 20, 89,and 102 oz of other institutional brands, but the amounts are beyond anything that I can reasonably use. Here in Miami, Goya is a major brand in the latin markets, but they don't carry Mexican/Southwestern staples like their own Chipotle. We have the San Marcos brand, but only in green chiles for peppers.

Jan 27, 2012
DawnT in Home Cooking

Chipotle Taste Without The Heat In Dressings, Dips, and Sauces

This has been a vexing conundrum over the years. Virtually every recipe that you see for dressings,dips,or sauces calls for so many chipotle peppers with adobo sauce pureed or incorporated in the recipe and blended. The ultimate problem is when you have a sufficent smokey chipotle taste, you have too much heat for most people. I've ran into this problem with BBQ sauce, Chipotle Ranch that we used on our wraps and dipping sauces, and also for a short time when Chipotle Mayo was popular. I've looked at countless recipes both home and foodservice and they pretty much look the same with no clue about raising the taste signature while reducing heat. This isn't my palate alone, but those of others too that have complained about the heat and point out that commercial sauces used in the chains aren't hot. Apparently, dressing and dip manufactuers must have access to some special chipotle flavoring or products, but none list it as an extract or flavoring like they would a paprika oleoresin.

I've tried several dry, ground Chipotle pepper powders. Same heat/taste ratio and noticeable red speckling in the sauces. I've also tried bottle sauces like Cholulu and Tabasco's Chipotle. Those do give the uniform pink color without a particulate in the sauces like commercial products, but the excessive heat is still there. I've also tried carefully slitting a can of peppers in adobo sauce. Scraping out the pith and seeds and rinsing out the can and seed/pith scraping with a little vinegar to recover as much as the adobo and then blending the peppers with a little more vinegar into a paste in a mini blender. It's better, but still too hot and not the same as the commercial preps. I've seen recipes where you see a suspiciously low amount of Chipotle used and then the addition of smokey paprika or ancho powder used presumably to raise the smokey signature. It generally doesn't work and totally forget about liquid smoke.

Any suggestions?

Jan 27, 2012
DawnT in Home Cooking

When cooking shows give bad advice and bad techniques.

The point was the apparent hypocricy.

Jan 20, 2012
DawnT in Food Media & News

When cooking shows give bad advice and bad techniques.

I'm not going to take issue with the rinsing of brine and the addtional seasoning with more salt. That's almost common practice where the brine isn't rinsed away for a saltier (percieved flavorful) taste. There's a double standard, especially in the news media that touts the PC horrors of high fat and sodium in fast food and retail processed foods for headline shock value, yet the entertainment and fine dining segements praise the culinary creations of the trendiest bistro's who's celebrity chef's are serving up cardiovascular and diabetic nightmares by comparison.

The ones that irk me are the behind-the-scenes kitchen interviews with the chefs. Commonly seen are warped commercial aluminum, teflon coated, frying pans tended on high pressure burners by the staff and then the contents plated revealing a teflon pan with a totally bare aluminum center. There's no attempt to use any plastic or wood utensil, just commercial steel or stainless tools on the surface. Every commercial Lincoln or Volrath frying pan I own warns against high heat and using metallic utensils on the surface. Where's that toxic teflon going? Ever watch how a single ladle or ungloved hand makes it way through several 1/9th pans containing prepped ingredients,stock,and sauces by multiple line chefs?

Jan 20, 2012
DawnT in Food Media & News

Old South Fl Cafeteria Yellow Rice

As long as I could remember, just about every cafeteria in the S Fl area offered a strong flavored yellow rice separate from another entrée such as baked chicken or fried chicken. In some cafeterias, it was called "Spanish Rice". The taste was remarkably the same no matter if you had it at Toby's, M&M, Polly Davis, Biscayne, Parke-Lane or any of the latter cafeterias that took over like David's or Cornucopia. From what I remember, Forum in Dadeland, Morrison's, and Picadilly had a different and bland tasting yellow rice that wasn't the same that had much less vegetables in it. None of us could put our finger on what was that taste. It wasn't chili powder, paprika, cumin, or saffron, but there was something in the flavoring that was pretty strong. Visually, there was no diced or chopped tomatoes, but there was a pretty high percentage of onion, red pepper or pimentos, green pepper, definitely garlic then you would find in most other yellow rice recipes. One thing that I did notice in Biscayne cafeteria's once I really started paying attention, was the presence of fried chicken cracklings scattered through the rice. Not much, but it probably came with the oil from the fried chicken instead of them using fat rendered from bacon or from ham hocks like Morrsion's used as their starter or the fond from browned chicken. I've made several cafeteria style recipes from the net like Luby's, and scaled the original recipe from Morrison's found on Phaedrus's website that used Vigo seasoning. That's not it, although the yellow was very intense to suggest a food coloring or Annotto agent like Bijol must have been in there for color.

Has anyone any idea or knowledge of how any of the old local cafeterias made their yellow rice? I remember many years ago, someone posed a similar question on Linda Cicero's or one of the other food writer's column in the Miami Hearld years ago with no immediate answer forthcoming.

Jan 07, 2012
DawnT in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Tuna/Chicken Salad Extenders

While this isn't really Kosher a Kosher topic, it's a topic almost unique to NY style Deli's of old and doesn't seem to fit anywhere else on this board. I spent some years working foodservice for some former open air NY sandwich shop owners that retired down south. While I learned some marvelous tricks of the trade that made NY Deli style salads and sides unique and rarely discussed or ever seen in print in any Deli cookbook, I never had the opportunity to learn how to use extenders such as bread,crumbs, and other extenders that were common in NY and old time Deli's. While I'm privy to many of the secrets that made the salads special, this is one area that we never did, but was made aware of. Can anyone provide any insight to the use of extenders?

Dec 04, 2011
DawnT in Kosher

Restaurant Style Oven Baked Beef Back Ribs

Agreed that you can do great ribs this way. I've smoked batches in my electric smoker (Cookshack clone) and finished them over coals. Those are wonderful,especially if you can get some meaty racks. Rib roasts,even on sale are not a very good way to do this if you don't have the expertiese to trim and the idea of leaving excess meat on the ribs is an abstract to many grocery store butchers and the results are often disappointing.Considering the expense,it's not worth it to pay the money for a rib roast. Furthermore, it's rare that you're going to see ribs larger then 4"-5" on most cryovac roasts destined for retail.

The question remains how the restaurants used to do this with a similar result in a regular kitchen.

Nov 08, 2011
DawnT in Home Cooking

Restaurant Style Oven Baked Beef Back Ribs

These dinosaur bones have become a rarity in these parts recently unless you want to pay through the nose at places like Tony Roma's. All-you-can-eat specials were popular fare in bars,steak houses, and restaurants that didn't specialize in smoked BBQ. I've read that places used to par boiled them in water or beer mixtures,some steamed them over water. Some places were claimed to slow roast them. Whatever the method,they were finished with sauce under a broiler or salamander. I don't recall any of these places finishing on a flame/char broiler unless they were a BBQ joint and finished over fire. Those places would probably have smoked the ribs first. That was uncommon and most BBQ places didn't serve beef ribs, only pork. Buffet or several by the plate was usual. They were meaty, unlike now where virtually every beef rib that you can buy is surface trimmed to the bone. Still,you still can find some decent ribs every so often when a bonless rib eye steaks are on special.

I've tried the boiling and foil cover rack steaming methods which turn out spongy and gnarly ribs. I've also tried slow roasting/basting with poor results too. Finishing any of these methods a few inches from the broiling elements with sauce hardly makes for good ribs. I have tried broiling the ribs directly on a rack about 5 min/side with a few minutes brushed with sauce and surprisingly they turn out much better then any of the other methods. Still,whatever the restaurants were doing either had something to do with the radiant heat from a deck oven sealing the meat or there's something else that approximated smoking that did the same at lower temperatures. I've heard that one secret may have been using gelatin powder mixed in the baste that sort of emulated the smoking sealing process. Whatever the process, these were never fall-off-the-bone soft ribs,but ribs that had a bit of a chew and tug.

I've posted in the chain section about how Victoria Station's ribs used to be made which is sort of what remember. The last,remaining restaurant appears to have adopted flame/char broiling from the descriptions that posters report. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas about how many of the old non BBQ places used to do them.They generally were described as oven baked back then. So far,the closest that I seem to have come is direct broil just under the elements.

Any ideas?

Nov 08, 2011
DawnT in Home Cooking

Victoria Station Beef Ribs

Thanks for the follow up B_O. I guess based on what you reported and ACgold's find that they slow roast and "flame kiss", it sounds like they are slow baking around 275-300 enough to render the fat and finshing them on a flame/char broiler. That's not the way they used to do them years ago. I don't ever remember any charring on theirs down here. The sauce was a rather unremarkable brown institutional KC type sauce back then. Sounds like they have ugraded the ribs. How meaty were the rib tops? It's virtually impossible to buy beef ribs from a meat packing house anymore that haven't been trimmed bald right to the bone to maximize the yield on boneless rib eye steaks or roasts. If they are trimming their own,they must be moving a LOT of prime rib. I think I remember their marketing schtick in the 80's that they moved millions of pounds of prime rib. Locations down here used to be packed. Sure miss them and Beefsteak Charlie's.

Nov 08, 2011
DawnT in Chains

Victoria Station Beef Ribs

Does anyone know how they used to prepare their beef ribs? IIRC, they did not smoke their ribs and finish on a flame broiler. I do remember something about them claiming being baked in a special way or something like that. Since they were well known for their prime rib roasts, I'm going to assume they used to cut their own ribs with a bit extra meat on them. I would tend to doubt they actually baked the ribs unless they par boiled them. They didn't have that spongy texture as I recall. I'm venturing a guess that they were prepared in draw broilers like steaks and turned once and then basted with sauce. Would anyone know how they did them or any of the chains like The Depot back then for that matter. They had to turn them out pretty quickly for the all you can eat. I don't see that happening in a deck oven or a parboil process.

Oct 31, 2011
DawnT in Chains

Do Any Real Sub Shops Still Exist In The Dade/Broward Area That Still Make Old Fashion Subs?

We watched their vid on youtube yesterday. Their meatball sub looks like a winner. Steak too. I'd like to take a run up there on the weekend if we could break away for the day. Thanks for posting.

Oct 10, 2011
DawnT in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Do Any Real Sub Shops Still Exist In The Dade/Broward Area That Still Make Old Fashion Subs?

I've checked out some of these links and did some searches. Frankly, I'[m unimpressed with what I'm seeing as representative of what would have been served up to the late 70's. From what I see, most all of these places are emulating a current Subway type sandwich model with very little meat. When places brag about using only Boar's Head or Dietz & Watson meats, that's pretty poor if you've ever been exposed to old world meat packing house cold cuts and quality cheeses. From the pictures I've seen, the amount of meat & cheese is quite sparse with some rather unortodox toppings by traditional standards. I'm sure there are plenty of folks that would be willing to pay good money for the real deal. If there's plenty of people that are willing to pay $14 for a corned beef or pastrami sandwich prepared and stacked the old way or "goumet" wood fired pizza's in the $30 range, I'm sure there's a market for subs done that old way too.

Oct 07, 2011
DawnT in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Do Any Real Sub Shops Still Exist In The Dade/Broward Area That Still Make Old Fashion Subs?

I'm talking real subs that were made with thick cut prime meats on fresh baked chewey rolls that were finished in egg wash and semolina and weighed pounds, not ounces. Those were served open face in baskets topped with mounds of shredded lettuce,thin sliced onions and their house vinaigrette / sub sauce . Last place I recall still making subs like that was the old George's on SW 8th street and around 40th avenue. That's what used to be called a sub before the Blimpie/Cap'n Jimmy's/Subways re-invented the sub with a few ounces of cheap cold cuts folded over each other on cheap bread-like rolls. A half sub used to be a meal for someone with a big appetite. Other places that I remember having a great sub like that was Jon's Beef & Beer on State Rd. 84 by the airport in an old Arby's building and The Sub Shop in Downtown Miami across from Miami-Dade Jr. college. Those were subs to die for. Italian subs had quality meats with real Capicola, Huge mortadella rounds with pistachios, Genoa or hard salami, quality, fragrant garlic bologna and real cold smoked Provolone that most of those places had deliveries from the north east meat packing houses rather then use meats from local suppliers. Nowadays the best you can do is about 3 oz of cheap meat and the use of the mystery chopped ham loaf and a spongy Cotto salami that's similar to Oscar Myer packaged lunch meat and a few slices of formed ham passing as an Italian Sub. To those of you that are going to point to Casola's, forget it. That's an inexpensive bread roll with the equivalent of Plumrose ham, Publix Genoa and Provolone, and Sysco distributed Colosseum Mortadella topped with salad torn lettuce, a few red onion slices, and loads of dill pickles slices and some chopped tomatoes. Not bad for $8, but hardly a sub of old, and certainly an order of magnitude better then the chains. I'm sure it would cost some bucks to make them the old way, but I sure it would be worth it to pay around double the cost of the chains to get a great sub.

Oct 06, 2011
DawnT in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Best knives?

I think you meant a 10" Chef's that would be practical. A similar sized bread knife is also a basic necessity if I had to limit a set on a budget that can do most anything. An inexpensive sharpening steel from some other brand rather then the original is a must too. I'm surprised how few people will ever touch one included in a set for fear of ruining their knives when the exact opposite is true. Like a fine musical instrument, it's much easier to learn good knife skills with a good quality knife then with cheap or gimmick sets like those sold on TV .

Sep 26, 2011
DawnT in Cookware

Best knives?

My day to day set on the block is mostly all Forshner and nearly 40 years old. Some of my Forshner butchering knives (set of 3 in a canvas roll that my dad gave me) are further marked with Abrecombie & Fitch. The Fillet knife in that set he gave me from a capasized vessel he worked on led me to aquire a set of kitchen knives piecemeal over the years. The most recent addition being a Santuko. Wonderful knives that I've had professionally sharpened and since about 6 years ago use a Chef's Choice sharpener. My 2 steel clearvers and a chef's knife I inherited from my grandparents as Russel b4 Dexter was added to the brand. Wonderful cleavers that I use primarly for stock. My pricipal vegetable knife has been a Kyocera Namiki ceramic for over 5 years that stays sharp and their warranty is solid, having to use it once. I also have a few pieces by Lamson (Chinese Cleaver branded by Forschner) and a Santuko by MAC that I bought with great fanfare from Cook's Illustrated. OK knife, but Forscher's turned out to be much more practical. I also have some Chinese made steel numbered knives below the cleaver that I rarely use. One of my daughter's that's trained as a chef even though she's a social worker favors nothing but F-Dick carbon steel knives for her basic cutlery. She too uses a similar Chef's Choice sharpener rather then outsource to a knife sharpening service. My experience has been pretty poor as most of the places sharpen very aggressively and mar the knives and remove steel excessively. I can get a great and lasting edge with the electric sharpener. I know many that have great results with Mundial as well. If you're willing to forgo forged, full tang snobware and go with knives sold to the commercial/insitutional market, you can get some fantastic stamped knives without the the ridiculous price tag that chef's swear by.

Sep 23, 2011
DawnT in Cookware

Trader Joes Comes to Florida At Last!!

It's hard to imagine any other chain surviving down here unless they have a special niche. High quality might be one that few have explored. There's several high end gourmet AG indies doing very well despite Publix and WD's dominance. Whole Foods seems to be doing well too. No outside general grocery chain has been able to survive since Food Fair/Pantry Pride during the 80's. Every attempt by any of the majors has failed as most recently Albertsons. Even Hyde Park that is a nationwide distributor couldn't pull it off during the 90's. TJ's might have a chance down here. The parent company is testing the market with a few Aldi's in SF that appear to be placed in solid Publix/WD non-economically depressed areas taking them head on hopefully with a much lower price point niche for essentials. Maybe this is part of a test to see if TJ's can can find a niche.

Sep 18, 2011
DawnT in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Visitor looking for Good Chinese Buffet

I haven't been up that way in several years Zook, so it may very well be closed. The Sunny Isle location that came up looks very much the same as I remember the Sunrise location. I don't know if they are related, but the Sunny Isle location lists in the Best Of categories in many polls. If it's no longer in Sunrise, it's a shame.

Sep 17, 2011
DawnT in Miami - Fort Lauderdale