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Grassfed beef taste test

To all you CH purists I offer the word from on high: "Only use the leanest ground beef you can find to make hamburgers". Who said this?

about 1 hour ago
Puffin3 in General Topics

Grassfed beef taste test

We eat only 100% free range raised Highland cattle. Not 'finished' with grain/corn.
IMO the best burgers in the world, and I've tried them, are ground burger with no added pork/beef fat. I gently hand mix in a couple of T's of unsalted clarified butter to a pound of burger. That's all.
Heaven in a burger.

Adding to conversation: 'Feedlot' cattle are NOT fed just hay.
They're fed 'silage' which is hay/grass that's already been partially broken down through fermentation.
The problem is the cattle in the feedlot evolved a number of stomachs to break down vegetation.
Now the extra stomach/s don't have anything to do. The result is the cattle spend basically their entire lives suffering from chronic diarrhea. Go visit a feedlot and watch.
To deal with this terrible ailment the beast must be injected with GOD only knows what just to stay on it's legs, until it's slaughtered, which are two feet deep in other cattle's shit it's entire pathetic life.
Originally cattle were 'ranged' right?
I grew up around cattle and can tell you all who have never come closer to cattle then at Costo these are big animals. They evolved needing a certain amount of physical space around them. They were happy. Now in feedlots they are jammed in literally cheek by jowl. This causes a chronic lactic acid buildup in their digestive system.
The 'vets' all know this so they inject certain hormones into these poor beasts to 'chill them out'.
Pretty GD sad all round for any 'food production' animal. The exact same holds for 'battery' chickens and pigs.

about 2 hours ago
Puffin3 in General Topics

Do you ever dream of food?

I've passed over this thread a few times and not opened it.
I can't recall ever dreaming about food.
Then last night I dreamed about making a cassolute.
Go figure.

about 4 hours ago
Puffin3 in Not About Food

French & Japanese Chefs Meat Cookery Question

Been cooking/frying steaks from beef/elk/moose/deer for decades.
With varying success...........until I started following Heston Blumenthal's method.
Literally the very best method there is IMO for cooking the perfect steak.
I only caveat is if the 'method' must be followed just as he describes.
It's very close to what you've described.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhOV8...

about 7 hours ago
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Meat ideas for beans

Some may remember way back in the seventies on CBC's Marketplace TV show there was an old farmer from near Winnipeg who travelled around the country trying to get his homemade jars of what he called "Chicken In The Bean' into grocery stores.
He was basically laughed at wherever he went.
'Chicken and the bean'? What a dumb idea!
Next week I'm making a big cassoulet subbing best quality free range chicken for the traditional duck.
My, how times have changed.......or have they?

1 day ago
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Need a great gift

If your friend is a friend he/she will obviously understand the things going on in your busy life.
Send them an 'E-Card' and tell him/her you'll catch up with them later.

1 day ago
Puffin3 in Not About Food

Sure fire way to get crispy skin?

I'll not get into the low and slow method here.
Before you put the bird in the oven brush on a light slurry of plain white vinegar and Kosher salt. Heat the salt in the vinegar to dissolve. Brush the slurry on the entire bird. Do not put ANY oil or butter etc on the bird's skin.
When the bird is cooked and has been removed from the oven and rested.....untented! for enough time for the juices to be absorbed back into the protein strands (a good hour depending on the size/sex/age/breed) crank up the oven to screaming hot. When it is screaming hot brush another coating of the vinegar/salt slurry on the bird. Into the oven. You have turned the oven light on so you can watch the skin on the bird turn a deep golden colour.
Remove from oven and carve.
This method will yield a 'broken glass' crispy skin.

1 day ago
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Explain Alton Brown beef instructions?

The OP was inquiring about why AB would say cut with the grain.
I answered the question.
You are not going to get the same texture by cutting against the grain then pounding it.
I'm guessing good old Alton tried both ways and choose the one which worked best.

1 day ago
Puffin3 in Home Cooking
1

Do you have family/friends who don't appreciate good home cooking?

Or........you could slip a little 'something' into the cookies.
"These cookies are DELICIOUS!!!!!!! What's the secret ingredient?"

1 day ago
Puffin3 in Not About Food

Restaurants not having websites only Facebook

In some cases it's the hassle and cost to have to contact the site designer and plead for them to please take a few minutes to make the menu changes by Friday.
It's easier to just get a server to make the changes on Facebook.
I know this to be true of at least a couple of local restros. in my area.

1 day ago
Puffin3 in Not About Food
1

Need new ideas for chuck roast

'BB'. Or
grind it into burger. Add in some clarified butter/dry mustard/S&P and make 'bridies'.

1 day ago
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Explain Alton Brown beef instructions?

It's cut with the grain b/c if it's cut against the grain by the time you have 'needled' it to tenderize it and reduced the thickness down to 1/4 the meat would not hold together had it been cut against the grain. It would be falling apart.
Hope this helps.

1 day ago
Puffin3 in Home Cooking
1

Is my Christmas Eve menu too orange?

Mix a 'warm' primary with a 'cool' primary and you'll get a muddy colour. LOL

1 day ago
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Basmati rice in rice cooker

Yup. That's exactly the same way I cook all types of rice in the rice cooker: Little rinse in cold water drain equal parts of water/rice.
I do prefer Indian basmati lately.

1 day ago
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

My family situation/pink pork

I learned a long time ago to stay out of others' kitchens when it comes to giving any advice. You are always the loser in the long run.
My lovely SIL is no cook. She tries but it isn't her thing.
The one and only time she invited us for a dinner she served T-bone steaks and prawns.
Somehow she got the idea that the steaks needed to rest a temperature of 450 F so she cranked up the oven to 450 F and put the poor steaks in to roast. After a couple of hours she removed the steaks and served them to us. The prawns she added to the oven about a hour before serving.
I said nothing.

Dec 17, 2014
Puffin3 in Not About Food

Rib eye roast - Moist on cutting board dry on plate

Don't wrap the roast in tin foil again. The carryover/ heat retention caused by the foil meant the roast never did get a chance to cool/rest so the protein strands could relax and absorb the moisture back into them.
I never 'tent' any roast/bird.

Dec 17, 2014
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Is my Christmas Eve menu too orange?

You're close.
I'd tell him in advance to bring along something he'll eat. If he doesn't like it he can go 'eff' himself.
(Chances are he'll wolf down a couple of 'Teen burgers' on the way over then sit there like he's being 'persecuted'.
Sorry. Now I'm relating what a 'picky eater' did once before she came (made her usual late GRAND APPEARANCE) to dinner.
We only knew about the 'Teen Burgers' b/c someone saw her eating them in her car in the A&W parking lot. LOL!

Dec 17, 2014
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Is my Christmas Eve menu too orange?

I used to teach 'colour theory' at a VERY prestigious private school.
A member of the 'Royal Family' attended the school.
Anyway.
Yes primary blue and a neutral orange are compliments and finding a primary blue, like a cobalt isn't going to happen in any food I know of but it's (barely) possible to 'push' the blue towards green and push the orange toward red.
Try to get some 'red' into the meal. Like using pomegranate seeds/red peppers in a green salad.
How about serving stuffed roasted red peppers with a filling using something green like sauteed kale with steamed basmati rice or chopped sauteed green beans with steamed basmati rice.
I'd leave out the beet and orange salad.

Dec 17, 2014
Puffin3 in Home Cooking
2

Best fish to be served with a mushroom risotto.

I'd go for the scallops for the group and a few extra later for the 'vegetarian'.

Dec 17, 2014
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

substitute for fleur de sel?

Your local 'Bulk Barn and or health food store is likely to have coarse salt.
Otherwise use Kosher.
I agree it's not going to give the exact same result as FDS but close.

Dec 17, 2014
Puffin3 in General Topics

Input on venison dish please!

Sounds delicious.
135 F is the perfect temp for venison IMO.

Dec 16, 2014
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Help with homemade pizza

The reason my stone is so shiny black is over the years a LOT of pots and pans have been placed on it. Over time the fat/oils were absorbed into the porous stone.
I think a lot of people with new pizza stones sprinkle some sort of corn meal etc on the paddle/stone to stop the pizza from sticking.

Dec 16, 2014
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Veal Pot Pie

The pie as others have posted ought to have the 'sauce'/veg. as part of the pie.
Tip: Add a envelope of unflavored gelatin to the beef and or chicken stock. It adds a nice 'smoothness'.
A few drops of fresh squeezed lemon juice whisked into the finished veloute will lighten the sauce.

Dec 16, 2014
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Suggest a soup (or side) for this menu.

Small bowls, like very small, or 'shooters' of 'Passata Di Pomodoro E Basilico Fresco'

(Chilled tomato and basil soup)

Chop 2.5 Kg of ripe tomatoes or canned.
Three pinches of salt
Add 6 sprigs of basil including stems and 2 fine chopped cloves of garlic.
Into a sieve over a pot. Into fridge for an hour'
Crush tomatoes with your hands every 20 minutes.
Remove basil leaves/stems. Discard the water in the pot.
Stick blend tomatoes to a puree then fine sieve to remove any seeds/skins. Adjust seasoning. ( I add a pinch of fresh grind pepper)
Garnish with fine chopped basil and a couple of drops of best OO.
Serve well chilled.
This recipe is from the cookbook: 'Zuppe' Soups from the kitchen of the American Academy in Rome.

Dec 16, 2014
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Help with homemade pizza

I make the best homemade pizza in the world.
Yes I said it.
I only make it when it's for about ten family/friends.
Yes I use a pizza stone which has lived full time in my oven for about twenty years. It's pearl black in colour. So shiny it no longer needs any corn meal etc.
When I have about a dozen rolled out>rested then rolled out again to about a 1/4 inch thick rounds I slide each one using my homemade brown cardboard paddle (just a circle the size of the pizza) onto the preheated stone. NO more than about 375F. Slowly the side on the bottom bakes till golden. I then flip it and slowly brown the other side then out of the oven. I do this until all of them are nicely browned and crispy but not too crispy. Large bubbles will form. Just take your oven mitt and squish them down. Use a knife or fork to help puncture the bubbles.
Then stack them on the counter. When the guests are ready 'to build' their own pizzas the FIRST thing that MUST be done BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE is to brush on a nice coating of good OO. After that a light covering of mozza. grated cheese then they can put any of two dozen 'toppings' on the pizza they want.
The reason for the OO then cheese first is the dam toppings don't then slide off. The OO then cheese becomes like a glue. Not the other way around.
NOTE! NO tomato sauce as the first topping. First OO then some cheese and you're good to go.
B/c I precook the crusts they are nice and crispy. NEVER soggy.
Frankly I never use tomato sauce on pizzas. It's generally bitter and robs other ingredients of their flavor on your palette.
I learned this method by watching a ma and pa italian restro. in San Remo. Wood fired oven. Built right into the rock. Basically a cave with a view of the Med.
The pizza dough recipe I use is from the JOC under 'pizza dough'. The 'built' pizzas are slide onto the stone and when the topping are bubbling hot the pizza is slide off the stone using my cardboard 'paddle and onto the cutting board to be immediately sliced and served by the 'builder/s.
The key to this is to use moderate heat. Not screaming hot pizza oven temps which are impossible to replicate at home.
You still get a delicious crispy pizza.
Try this method once and you'll be a convert.

Dec 15, 2014
Puffin3 in Home Cooking
1

Chinese cookbook recommendations?

If you just want 'authentic' recipes there's a website that has been mentioned on this forum.
It starts with the word 'Red.................?
I used to have it on bookmarks but I deleted it. It was full of great looking recipes.
Maybe someone here can remember the name of the site.

Dec 15, 2014
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Good Scallops, Bad Scallops

Just think how many scallops/jumbo prawns/lobsters, non-farmed seafood all all types must be harvested from the oceans every day to feed the demand world wide. And we in the 'West' don't begin to eat as much seafood as people in Asia do.
It's actually frightening.
I honestly don't know what's going to happen when the last 'wild' seafood as offloaded.
Here off Van. Island I was one of hundreds of commercial fishing boats catching whatever swam. We did this for years throughout the Gulf Islands catching and keeping live rock cod.
If we didn't catch 300 2-3 pound rock cod a day we weren't making any profit.
We basically destroyed the rock cod fishery......maybe forever.
I think today there is a catch limit of 1 rock cod a day for sports fishermen now around here.
Illegal and over harvesting is happening in every ocean in the world sadly.
And there seems to be no long term solution. Throughout Asia any laws passed to try to save the wild fishery are ignored. We all know that.
End of today's sermon.
One more thing:
I have personal knowledge of a number of boats operated by Vietnamese who moor in the Fraser river. Every night the RCMP and DFO play hide and seek with these boats who come across the Straits and hide in little bays throughout the Gulf Islands during the day and seine for live herring at night. They use the live herring to 'hand-line' for the last of the rock cod who live around the underwater pinnacles. They have live-wells and after a few nights fishing a white cube van meets them somewhere remote. Inside the white cube vans are circulating tanks which keep the rock cod alive. These vans then take the ferry to Vancouver where the live rock cod are sold in the underground Asian restaurant market for enormous profits.
Multiply this daily scenario by maybe a million or more boats worldwide.

Dec 15, 2014
Puffin3 in General Topics

Any good seasoning blends out there without garlic?

Make your own 'Sel Fou' and leave out the garlic powder.

Dec 15, 2014
Puffin3 in General Topics

Dinner with friends - should they show up empty handed?

I don't invite anyone to diner who has not passed the 'Social Antenna' test.
The odd one that sneaks in the door who, in the slightest way get's up my nose is never invited back. Sometimes they haven't made it as far as the diner table.
Unkind/rude/boorish/ignorant/greedy/predatory/thieves/drunks/druggies/abusers/racist/immature people trigger my 'social antenna'. We all can spot these people a mile away.....or ought to be able to.
Let them go eat with each other.

Dec 15, 2014
Puffin3 in Not About Food
1

Cantaloupe exploded sitting on my counter

Yup. The juices inside started to ferment.
Happened to me once on a beach in the summer time. We ate it there. It was delicious.
If you don't care for cantaloupe wine return it.

Dec 15, 2014
Puffin3 in General Topics