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Best places for adventurous eaters in Philidelphia?

I've had some very good crispy pig intestines at E Mei as well. Very clean tasting, crispy coating, somewhat reminding me of cantonese style salt "baked"(aka salt and pepper) squid/pork/shrimp, but with intestines. It had minimal "funk" that you get from poorly cleaned intestines. Also, their shredded beef with long hots, while not unusual, is one of my favorite dishes in philly, let alone Chinatown.

And on the topic of Chinatown, Tasty place is a pretty interesting place to check out. It's underground in a mini-plaza. It's roughly inserted into the Asia Supermarket. However, despite its lack of ambiance, they have very well executed Cantonese fare. Their dry fried beef chow fun, salt and pepper wings are stellar, especially for the price. I don't think it's open very late, so maybe worthy of an early dinner/quick app, but if you are at all interested in lunch, it's a great option.

Jun 26, 2014
medjool in Philadelphia

Homemade Sausages

I just checked out the weston, seems solid.

The things that will fail the first/make stuffing difficult are the gears(which should be metal like yours) and the ease that pressure is released. The gears, to me, are the most important part as metal will wear more slowly than plastic. Then, the pressure valve, which should be easy to clean(some hug the cap so tightly that it makes it a PIA to clean) and let pressure out at a reasonable rate. Other than that, it's all an issue of practicality, such as, a solid base for you to clamp your stuffer down with ease or multiple stuffing tubes for you to be able to load your casings on(which come in a rather large variety of sizes.) I would check what mm diameters of the casings you usually get and compare them to the tubes. Nothing worse than a casing too small and no tube to accommodate it.

Another pro for some stuffers, like yours, is dual speed, so you can stuff slowly, preserving your gears, then releasing pressure quickly so you can pop the top and stuff the canister faster.

I've only made sausage in restaurant settings, never in a dedicated facility, so keep that in mind, but the stuffer your kids got you seems like a solid bet. Sure, it looks more "polished" and aesthetically pleasing, letting them charge a little more for it, but in terms of functionality, it looks good as well. To me, there's no sense in scrounging around so you can save $20 for a more bare bones stuffer when this seems like a solid bet.

Perhaps someone else can shine some light on the best model in this price range, however.

BTW, if you plan on grinding lots of meat, as in, 20# or more batches, you will want to upgrade from your KA. I never do more than 10 # at a time as I don't like taxing the mixer, especially one so expensive and useful. No brand suggestions here from me, either. I've been lucky enough to always have old school, lare Hobart mixers with grinder attachments on hand.

Jun 08, 2014
medjool in Home Cooking

Baja Version of Joel Robuchon's Potato Puree

I used to make this at work all the time. We baked the potatoes, which dried them out. Working quickly to keep them warm, we then put them through a food mill, then, mounted as much butter and cream as possible(yes, cream, not butter.) Finally, it was pressed through a fine-mesh chinois and as well as a tamis. It would make a ridiculously silky puree, although, I hesitate to call it a potato puree.

Butter, "liquid butter", potatoes, salt. It's almost like a butter emulsion, with potatoes as a binding agent.

Jan 26, 2014
medjool in Home Cooking
1

Homemade Sausages

Great information, man. Though, I somewhat disagree with the cold part, especially with someone's first few farces. There is absolutely nothing worse than a broken farce. Keeping things cold helps prevent this.

As for linking, I like the skip every other one method. It's awkward to describe but I'm sure there are videos out there.

As odd as it sounds... with vertical stuffers, I like to pump it out fast. I tend to have more consistent pressure and thus consistent sausages. However, if you're not careful, this leads to air bubbles which can pop your sausage later. So, I like to prick it with the thinnest needle I can get. You can coerce the big bubbles out if you'd like, but the others will work themselves out as the sausage cures in the fridge and the casing shrinks to size.

I should note, I water poach most of my sausages at really low temperatures, that way, when I want one, all I have to do is slap it on the grill/pan and sear it off.

A great reference site for technique and the science of sausage making is Len Poli's. Can't speak to the recipes, though, as I haven't really tried any.

Now, that all being said, porker, please post that recipe, I've always wanted to make cotechino.

Also, my apologies for adding to your wall of text.

Jan 23, 2014
medjool in Home Cooking

Pork shoulder w/ crackle

I personally wouldn't rub the skin, especially if there's sugar in there. What I usually do is "butterfly" the roast and basically treat it like porchetta. Butterfly, season w/ rub on the inside, roll up and tie, rest for a day in the fridge to set-up and you're good to go. This way, you get rub flavor dispersed evenly throughout the roast plus crispy skin. Poor-man's mini porchetta.

If you go this route, I would also score it, perhaps in lines instead of cross hatches. That way you have pre-portioned slices without having to chop through skin.

Jan 16, 2014
medjool in Home Cooking

Pork shoulder w/ crackle

This will be a good read for ya.
http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/12/th...

If you're going to use this method I'm thinking you should dry the skin before placing it in the oven to facilitate moisture evaporation. And due to the high heat later in the process, you may want to keep the rub off the skin so it doesn't burn.

Jan 16, 2014
medjool in Home Cooking
1

Which Flour to Use for Chocolate Chip Cookies

You don't mention it, but also consider the sugar. Your dark brown:white sugar ratio is going to affect texture considerably as well. In fact, I prefer 100% DBS. I also find the creaming step to be one of the most crucial parts of the process, something I gathered from the momofuku milk bar book. Proper, lengthy creaming results in a very airy-crispy cookie. Combined with the high DBS content, you get a crispy chewy cookie more often than not.

Oh, and I use AP flour, just being careful to not overmix the flour to activate too much gluten.

Dec 14, 2013
medjool in Home Cooking
1

Maine shrimp season cancelled.

Damn, what a shame. Can't say I'm too surprised, though. Gotta feel bad for the shrimpers too.

Dec 03, 2013
medjool in Greater Boston Area

Great Sushi Chef Documentary Coming to Kendall

Hmm... I just checked the website and it says the Coolidge Corner Theater is playing it on April 13th. I can't wait; the director actually came to my university for a pre release screening/discussion and I completely missed it so that date is a must see for me.

Mar 19, 2012
medjool in Greater Boston Area

Best supermarket ricotta?

Oops, make that one cup of vinegar. It's worked for me, no vinegar aftertaste. However, have you had success with smaller amounts? And that buttermilk idea sounds cool, might have to try that sometime.

Feb 25, 2012
medjool in Cheese

Best supermarket ricotta?

I second this. The first time I made it I was surprised at how easy it was. I've looked around and my go to recipe is a gallon of whole milk, maybe 1/2-1 cup of cream(I find it makes it, uh, creamier), 1 1/2 cups plain ol white vinegar, and salt to taste. Bring the milk/cream to 160-165, add salt and vinegar, stir it just to get everything distributed, and you should see it curdle immediately. Take it off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes to finish curdling then drain to the texture you want and use. Drain with cheesecloth or a fine-mesh chinois if you have one. Heck, I've made it rather inebriated and I've gotten great results so it's quite quick and easy.

If you are going to purchase it though, just drain it first, in my experience most ricottas are really waterlogged.

Feb 25, 2012
medjool in Cheese

Pork belly

H-Mart does sell whole pork bellies. All you have to do is ask one of the workers near the meat area for a whole belly. However, I think whether or not it is rind-on/rind-off depends on what they get in. It seems that most larger Asian markets that sell pork belly, including those in Chinatown, get in whole bellies and slice on premise so just try asking next time and see if they'll give you a whole one.

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H-Mart
3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

Dec 30, 2011
medjool in Greater Boston Area