j

jscout's Profile

Title Last Reply

Can You Make a Great Gyro Sandwich at Home?

The secret to a great gyro sandwich at home? Use pork, not lamb. That's it.

Sep 06, 2013
jscout in Features

St. Louis vs. baby back ribs

As a Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS) judge and competitor, I know a thing or two about all ribs. Spare ribs come from the breast next to the belly. St. Louis ribs are the spare ribs with the tips and chine bone cut off. The cut is made right down the cartilage. Babyback ribs come from the loin area, next to the pork loin. There is less fat in this area and these ribs cook faster. Spare ribs are more meaty and babybacks are less.

Some producers will trim babybacks for more meat. But most concentrate on maximizing the loin so the babybacks are a by-product of the process. Those imported Danish babybacks are a by-product of the Danish ham industry. They are THE worst kind of pork ribs you can by, because there is virtually no meat on these. Restaurants like Chili's boasts their ribs as imported to make it sound better than it really is. The truth is they just got a good deal.

Spare ribs have more fat and do take longer to cook. When BBQing low and slow, it's about an hour longer for spares. When grilling hot and fast, babybacks make a better choice on the grill. When using spares on the grill, it's ideal to at least let some of the cooking time be indirect or over a low heat. This will help it be more tender.

May 24, 2013
jscout in General Topics

Seasoning molcajete, question re grit

Probably to late for you, but for someone else. I bought the same one, $15! I only ran through twice. The first with course salt. It pulverized that after a minute. So I move on to extra dry basmati rice. That took much more work. After about 20 minutes, some sweat, and rice like cornmeal. I stopped. That was it for seasoning. Made Guac for Cinco de Mayo there wasn't grit to be found anywhere.

May 07, 2013
jscout in Cookware

Shabu-shabu/hot pot… teach me!

If you don't have an extra set of chopsticks handy, it's ok to turn the chopsticks around use the back end for the communal pot.

The biggest pet peeve of mine is impatience. The pot comes out and before the soup even comes to a boil everybody is dumping stuff into it, especially the frozen stuff. As a result, it takes even longer to reach a boil and start cooking and hence, eating. Just be patient and wait until the soup comes to a rolling boil. At that point everything cooks faster and you actually eat sooner. The pot will also recover faster when putting in frozen or really cold things like fish balls, tofu, or even dumplings.

Feb 08, 2013
jscout in General Topics

Gluten free gravy

In addition the the pureed veggie suggestion, a method I also employ often for creamless creamed soups, I also use Xanthan Gum as a thickener. A little goes a very long way, where a tablespoon is equivalent to about 1 cup of flour. Xanthan Gum is a natural product made from veggies. It is also low carb, so that's an added bonus for those also counting carbs.

Nov 30, 2012
jscout in Special Diets

Air chilled chicken vs. regular

I liken it to dry-aged vs wet-aged beef. Straight from the market, the meat is firmer, denser and the taste is more "natural." But, just because it's air-chilled, doesn't mean it wasn't injected, which is a different process. I've made simple stock with some air-chilled chicken and there was a savoriness that can only be attributed to injecting. Along those lines, any benefits of air-chilled, perceived or otherwise, are mitigated by brining. Like many, I always brine my chicken before I roast them. In that case, air-chilled doesn't really make a difference. What does make a difference is whether or not the chicken was free-range.

Cost-wise, air-chilled can be the same or only slightly higher, especially if it's on sale. Whole Foods, for example, will periodically have a sale where air-chilled is anywhere from $.99 to $1.29 a pound. Compare that with Costco's everyday price of $.99 per pound for a twin-pack of conventionally chilled chicken, which is a good deal no matter where you go.

Oct 26, 2012
jscout in General Topics

Pizza Stone ... Which one?

I keep my stone in the bottom rack of my oven all the time to ensure even heat throughout the oven and speed recovery from opening the door. But for pizza, I move the stone to either of the top two rack positions. That's because my oven, like many, vent out from the bottom, making the top of the oven the hottest part. Hope this answers your question.

Sep 14, 2012
jscout in Cookware

Pizza Stone ... Which one?

I use a large 18" square soapstone tile as my baking stone. Soapstone is non porous, dense and has a great ability to retain heat. It does take a little longer for the oven to preheat, but there's very little drop in temp when the oven is open. Recovery is extremely quick. I preheat to 500 degrees (the max for my oven without going over to broiler mode) for pizza and calzones. I get great crusts.

When I redid my kitchen recently, I put in soapstone counters. I asked if they would "throw in" a single large soapstone tile and they did. So I didn't have to pay for it. My tile was fully intact, but I did see that they sold chipped tiles for significantly less, maybe under under $20. So check with stone fabricators. Keep in mind that soapstone is one of the few natural stones adequate for a baking stone. Marble and Granite are prone to cracking under high heat and should be avoided. I believe over time, slate is also prone to separating and flaking, so it may not be a good choice either.

Before the remodel, I used one of those round Pampered Chef pizza stones that I received as a gift. It did a good job for about ten years and I still use it in my smaller oven. I think it might cost about $30-$40.

Sep 14, 2012
jscout in Cookware
1

The Secret to Effortless Pulled Pork

The stand mixer is a terrible way to pull pork. Where you save in pulling you lose in set up and clean up. The texture is also terrible and dries out the meat as mentioned. Nothing beats hand pulling for taste and texture. Here's a better tip that anyone can do. Use a pair of dish washing gloves reserved for handling food. It'll allow you to hand pull hot pork right in the serving vessel. To wash, just keep them on and wash them like you wash your hands or put them in the dishwasher.

May 24, 2012
jscout in Features

How to eat carpaccio

Ok, I found a picture of carpaccio as I remembered it. Here:
http://www.luxeat.com/my_weblog/2010/...

Now you tell me, does that dish need any explanation on how to eat it?

May 06, 2011
jscout in General Topics

How to eat carpaccio

Exactly! At Harry's Bar, I was just served a plate of carpaccio with a lattice of their special "white" sauce/aioli. And that was it. No capers, no lemon, nothing. Fork, knife, cut, eat. Arrigo Cipriani stopped by himself, as he does with every guest, to see how we liked it. Never so much as raised an eyebrow. He was very warm and gracious, in fact.

So technically, the dish presented to the OP was not authentic. If any eyebrows should be raised it should be at the restaurant not the diner. That was my point about saying to eat whatever is presented any way you like. Unless you eat something at the establishment that originated the dish, everything else is a rendition. To that end, it is every establishments responsibility to explain their rendition if necessary.

May 06, 2011
jscout in General Topics

How to eat carpaccio

Having eaten at Harry's Bar in Venice, where Carpaccio was invented, I can assure you that there is only one way to eat it. Your way! That's right. There is nothing to it. You do as you please with what is set down before you. Interestingly, as expensive and "dressy" as Harry's Bar was. The food and service was anything but pretentious. So don't worry about what you're supposed to do. Worry about how fresh it is and how good it tastes. Mangia!

May 06, 2011
jscout in General Topics

Hot, fresh dim sum at Hei Lei Moon over the weekend

Try China Pearl in Quincy. When they first opened, everything was just, eh. But I've been there twice since they got rid of the carts and made most things available on order. Everything now arrives hot and fresh and tastes much better.

-----
China Pearl
237 Quincy Ave, Quincy, MA

Apr 28, 2011
jscout in Greater Boston Area

Best Dishes in Chinatown

Some of mine have already been mentioned, but this one has not.

Salt n Pepper Chicken Wings at Jade Garden. Eff yeah. After decades of eating salt n pepper everything under the sun, I can't believe I never had chicken wings that way until only a few months ago.

Apr 28, 2011
jscout in Greater Boston Area

Three Shwarmas and a Gyro walk into a bar...

For the record, I hate this thread! I will now worry about the day the prices go up and the quality goes down at Sabb's. No thanks for sharing.

BTW, Sabb's is a middle eastern market first and foremost. It has to be one of the cleanest and neatest markets I've ever been to. I swear the owner is OCD.

Apr 14, 2011
jscout in Greater Boston Area

Shwarma- Best Of, and Jerusalem, Garlic 'n Lemons, Falafel King, etc., plus Lamb Kabobs

Sabb's is legit! Both chicken and lamb right off the spit. I have to say, I'm not a fan of lamb. But here it's good enough to be palatable for me so I'll have it every now and then. Maybe it's because they blend in slices of beef to mellow the lamb. After all, they are also a halal meat market so they need to use some of that extra "aged" beef. Since their shawarma doesn't go flying off the spit, it can be dry on occasion. Their pickled condiments really help make the sandwich.

Apr 07, 2011
jscout in Greater Boston Area

Duck chin?

Dunno, but I know his brother Donald Chin. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Apr 01, 2011
jscout in General Topics

Hashing Out Corned Beef Leftovers

I like to do a low-carb version with turnips instead of potatoes. Delish! I've also been known to make a boiled dinner during the week for the sole purpose of making hash over the weekend.

Mar 18, 2011
jscout in Features

Roasted Duck Heads

Making soup/stock.

Mar 18, 2011
jscout in Features