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HillsofBeverly's Profile

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What fish can I use to make Tartare?

I'm aware that it is a marketing term.

How about "sashimi grade" as meaning sold under the representation that it is fresh and sold by people who understand fresh fish, as opposed to using some old fillet from the fish counter that is who knows how old and being sold with the understanding that "everyone" cooks fish (so if it isn't perfectly fresh, no problem)?

That's the only way I'm using, or reading this term - someone's reputation is at stake if a bunch of us buy the "sashimi" fish and end up in the ER.

about 17 hours ago
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

What fish can I use to make Tartare?

I use sashimi grade from Japanese markets that sells sushi, sashimi and also chunks of sashimi-grade fish to cut at home. Not in NYC so I'm not sure where you would go.

Salmon and hamachi are my favorites, tuna is good too though I usually buy the oilier fishes.

about 22 hours ago
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

What's the point of celery in recipes?

I LOVE celery roasted with other veggies too (especially with chicken). It becomes soft molten veg bits and is my new favorite.

Do you wash Brussels sprouts?

OMG - just read this (2+ years after the post) and WE HAVE THE SAME MOTHER. I thought there was only one with an OCD "banana touching before food touching" phobia...

Jan 25, 2015
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Ropa Vieja

This looks great, thank you!

Jan 20, 2015
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

"Impurities" in bone broth

When I've boiled raw bones for 10 minutes (per Pho recipe), emptied water, washed bones and pan and started again, I have gotten minimal to no scum as well.

Jan 20, 2015
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

"Impurities" in bone broth

Oh dear, best wishes to you and your cat (I love our 15 year old Maine Coon excessively and empathize). I've found that when ours has his health flare ups, sardines (he likes Spanish in olive oil) tempt him to eat. Also, have you tried A/D food from the vet? Very rich prescription food, I've diluted it with water (or broth would work) and syringed it into our boy's mouth when he's been to sick to eat, and it gets nutrition into him.

Burnt toast? No, BURNED toast.

I need a hot dog water/ketchup Bloody Mary after that...

Ropa Vieja

I've enjoyed Ropa Vieja (savory Cuban shredded beef dish) in a local Cuban restaurant in the past and just made and enjoyed the Saveur version. The capers, olives and other peppers make a very tasty loose dish (served in our house with mashed cauliflower as one member is off carbs on doctor's orders).

Are there any other versions in cookbooks etc. that I should try? I've heard that there is a version from the Canaries that is different from the Cuban but also quite tasty - anyone familiar with it?

At the least, the Saveur version is a thumbs up for a satisfying cold weather dish. That is eaten in warmer weather in its home country...oh well, good use here anyway.

Jan 19, 2015
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Michigan Spanish purveyors of food

Agreed. "Gourmet stores" (Holiday, Papa Joes - though also Trader Joe's, at its price/quality level) have manchego, iberico, Spanish chorizo, jamon iberico, etc. and one of my faves, the Matiz Gallego sardines in olive oil are at Whole Foods as well. I'm not sure that there is tremendous depth of Spanish merchandise in the area otherwise.

Whole Foods is a contender for this, and oddly enough Trader Joes is as well (they have some Spanish cheese, jamon right now and a respectable 3 meat charcuterie pack with Spanish chorizo, also olives and membrillo).

Jan 19, 2015
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes

Props to Royal Oak (Detroit area) Holiday Market for soup bone service today

Carnival has the little restaurant and salsa bar? I have been there and liked it (kind of salty though) and should go back - they may have better prices on soup bones and oxtails (though I don't want a whole cow's head, really, thank you but no).

H Mart at 16/Dequinder has plenty of packages of frozen soup bones too, but their oxtails are pricy. In fact, I think they've priced themselves more towards the decently paid working immigrant (auto industry?) Korean local population than to cost-conscious blue collar working folks (which seemed to be Carnival's market). I really don't need the Wagyu equivalent of pork belly myself anyway (since every time I try to cook it, it is too tough and not great anyway...).

Jan 15, 2015
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes

Ice Water in Restaurants

"Ice is what separates us from the animals."

Also, scarf tying and Improv. :)

Ice Water in Restaurants

I get you - I prefer lukewarm or room temp water in general, it goes down more easily.

Jan 13, 2015
HillsofBeverly in General Topics

Ice Water in Restaurants

Winter is when the best seasonal ice cream flavors like brandy and peppermint are released. I've gone for a scoop of peppermint on 5 degree nights (and at it indoors, in my down jacket and boots).

Jan 13, 2015
HillsofBeverly in General Topics

Favorite sushi fillings?

From a purely flavor and texture personal perspective:

No mayo (as I have issues with its texture/flavor in all contexts)

fresh but oily/savory fishes - salmon and yellowtail/hamachi (esp with green onions). I like mackerel but it has to be fresh (and even good sushi places and stores have let me down before).

avocado + other veggies such as cucumber and red pepper (but no shredded lettuce! Had that at a cheap sushi place once and it diluted the flavors and added unenjoyable texture)

Add crushed sesame seeds to anything as desired

I'm not Japanese, but came to quickly love the soaked/simmered gourd and dried mushroom strips that are salty/sweet and sometimes use those singly or or with cuke, cuke and avocado, etc.

If you really want to go off the range, a raw vegan Buddhist restaurant that used to be in my area had wonderfully enjoyable raw "sushi" rolls - a leaf (collard?) wrapped around red pepper, cuke, avocado, some shredded carrots, perhaps a bit of red cabbage and - the magic - ripe mango spears. Dressed with crushed sesame seeds and soy sauce. The fresh, soft, sweet mango made the other veggie fillings sing and made a very satisfying vegan dish. Worth a try.

Jan 13, 2015
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

"I Don't Cook"

O:o

Jan 12, 2015
HillsofBeverly in General Topics

Nuts with drinks

My best spiced/candied nuts have been made using the Cooks Illustrated method, which is egg free. This has consistently produced flavored nuts, where the flavor coating sticks but does not err on the goopy/sticky/syrupy/wet end of the spectrum.

Very loosely and from my own notes, for 2 cups of nuts put spices/salt/sugar in one bowl, mix well. In saucepan, mix 1 Tbsp butter, 1Tbsp + 2 tps liquid (recipe started with rum + vanilla extract, I've used and enjoyed bourbon as well, brandy might work too, etc. - water is also an option, or tea, or coffee, or juice) and 1 Tsp brown sugar. Bring butter, sugar, liquid to a boil, turn into a syrup, toss nuts until moisture evaporated - then toss well with bowl of spices/sugar/salt. Spread on cookie sheet/parchment etc. to dry.

I've had the CI method turn out flavored nuts where the flavoring/sugar/salt toss stuck to them well, while Alton Brown's pecans came out too wet and syrupy to me, and another (Saveur?) recipe with rosemary and worstershire sauce too pungent. And the CI method is fast. Just a thought in case you don't find an egg white recipe you like.

Jan 12, 2015
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

"I Don't Cook"

A relative who "cannot cook" (actually, refuses to try) with a family in outer suburbia lives on restaurant food, prepared stuff, reheated stuff, frozen stuff, etc. They have a decent amount of money and seem to always blow through all of it, this is apparently one way.

When I mentioned that I love cooking at home she asked, with wrinkled nose, "eew, isn't fresh produce so expensive?" Compared to what? Water? You just cannot help some people....

Is "bone broth" the new marketing term for stock?

YES! You understand. Once I got that association into my system, I'm done with "that smell" in any context, likely forever. Oh well.

Jan 11, 2015
HillsofBeverly in General Topics

1st attempt at beef Pho from Steamy Kitchen recipe, mostly success

I like pho, don't love the local restaurant options (not in a region with a lot of SE Asian immigrant population and restaurants), looked at the quick Serious Eats version and also the Steamy Kitchen version and decided to cook yesterday (bitterly cold day, good one for simmering indoors). Went with SK because I wanted to practice making stock with beef bones (not something I've mastered).

I'd say - success based on the recipe, but I could have probably done a few things better. I used 5 lbs beef bones, more knuckle than leg, and 1.5 lbs of shank. The shank is still tough after 4 hours simmering - perhaps there is a better meat choice. I could have used a "little" less fish sauce (now I know). I may, next time - or with my leftovers - use the Knox gelatin powder trick to increase mouth feel. I may be too cheap to try the full Serious Eats version with multiple types of meat, oxtails etc.

WOW, this is flavorful stuff. So flavorful I might not want to drink multiple mugs of it (courtesy of fish sauce) but do want to pop some noodles into it. I'd call it a home cooking success.

Jan 11, 2015
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Is "bone broth" the new marketing term for stock?

Fascinating posts. I tend to still lean towards "fad," at least when retail food products are using the term (who knows what is in that box - probably what they used to sell as "stock").

Cooking 24 hour stocks is new to me - does the resulting broth have the opaque look and "bone" smell of things like Japanese pork bone broth used in some soups? I will confess that I had a college job in the natural history museum's zoology area, and anything that smells like bones reminds me of that too much to enjoy (but if the long cooked broth doesn't have that aroma I could try it).

Jan 11, 2015
HillsofBeverly in General Topics

Props to Royal Oak (Detroit area) Holiday Market for soup bone service today

My parents like Nino's (live closer to it) - do you also have to ask for bones from the back room? I don't mind doing this - now I wonder how many other unusual items are available by request.

Some stores (Whole Foods is one) have prepackaged foam trays of chicken backs, and I buy these for stock sometimes - do the full service places have chicken backs in the back too? I'll have to ask!

Jan 11, 2015
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes

Props to Royal Oak (Detroit area) Holiday Market for soup bone service today

I am sure that other markets with a real butcher counter can do this, but I don't necessarily have those around me (Krogers not so much, Papa Joe's in Birmingham doesn't cut their own on site, etc.) and didn't feel like heading to Eastern Market in 5 degree F temps today, but wanted to make beef pho broth (using Steamy Kitchen recipe, next time will do the Serious Eats long time and then 1 hour versions).

I called Royal Oak Holiday Market, where I like the meat counter but have not seen soup bones on display, to ask if they had bones and a very helpful young woman at the meat counter answered and said "yes, just ask at the counter." They did have them for around $2 something per pound, and the young woman who helped me at the counter (I think the same) picked knuckle and leg bones for me per the recipe. They worked very well for the beef broth.

Moral of the story is to call if you need something - stores with full service counters and customer service may well have the ugly (oogly) bits behind the counter, etc. but can help you. Heck, they may have caul fats, suet and other oddities back there too, don't know if you don't ask. Hillers may do this too, I just don't live close enough to one. Also - call before you go and save time and gas.

Jan 10, 2015
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes

Is "bone broth" the new marketing term for stock?

"Is bone broth the new kale? The new cleanse?" EXACTLY what I was thinking.

Jan 10, 2015
HillsofBeverly in General Topics

Is "bone broth" the new marketing term for stock?

One of my 2015 kitchen resolutions is learning to make better chicken and beef stock for many purposes - soup, pho in particular, or as an ingredient. I can make decent chicken stock about half of the time, if I get ahold of a good farmers market stewing hen, or buy enough wings/backs. Never managed a non-watery beef (yet).

In my research I'm finding this term I'm also just now seeing in grocery stores - "bone broth." Is this just a new marketing term? Because I don't recall classical stock recipes that didn't contain bones of some kind, it's not like broth made with bones in it is a new idea...

Jan 10, 2015
HillsofBeverly in General Topics

New England Clam Chowder a la The Black Pearl

I'm marking and keeping this as a clam chowder freak who doesn't have a local restaurant favorite. Thanks for sharing!

Jan 10, 2015
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Cooking Resolutions

Make good chicken and beef stock (good = lots of flavor and body). I want stock flavorful enough to be enjoyable on its own, or in a very simple soup.

Jan 08, 2015
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Homemade dashi seems to mild (wimpy) - is it my tastebuds?

This is what I did - maybe mild/delicate is normal, and our local sushi joints have just given me the false impression that miso soup is strongly umami/salty (maybe it is supposed to be milder). BTW, husband finished the rest of my dashi and mild white miso in a mug and liked it, and he favors milder foods and flavors, so perhaps it was OK? Thank you for your method and confirmation.

Jan 07, 2015
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Homemade dashi seems to mild (wimpy) - is it my tastebuds?

Yes, I've posted twice today - I'm working from home, it is about 7 degrees F and I'm menu planning with part of my brain.

On the cold and at home note, I had kombu and bonito flakes in the pantry and made myself a big mug of miso with home made dashi. And it is, to put it best, "wimpy." I followed a Japanese recipe, soaked the kombu for a few hours, simmered and steeped it, and then steeped again with the fish....

Have my miso soup tastebuds just been ruined by restaurants that use dashi grains and a lot of them + miso for super salty, super flavorful soup? Perhaps this delicate taste is "normal" and thus out of place in a Dorito/Sriracha/fruitbomb world? IDK. I'm not motivated to consistently make this at home from scratch since the delicacy is very nice but not mind blowing (or arguably worth the time).

Jan 07, 2015
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Chioggia Beet Best Treatments

I definitely have to get the mandoline out and do the raw treatment in salad and also baked chips - thank you to both posters.

Jan 07, 2015
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking