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Cittafarina's Profile

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Cheesesteak's in Bucks County

Steve's Prince of Steaks in Langhorne

Feb 14, 2014
Cittafarina in Philadelphia
2

Amazing meal at Mica

Niiiiiice!

Feb 13, 2014
Cittafarina in Philadelphia

Where can I find an Original 'Old School' Italian Hoagies?

Try Zaccardi's or Cifelli's in Bridgeport

Feb 12, 2014
Cittafarina in Philadelphia
1

Foray into homemade pasta

There are a ton of videos on youtube...good luck

Feb 09, 2014
Cittafarina in Home Cooking

Spring Mill Cafe in Conshohocken

Thanks for the report...we always forget about SMC

Feb 09, 2014
Cittafarina in Philadelphia
1

Anthony Bourdain's "Les Halles Cookbook"

I've owned the book since it first came out and one of my favorite recipes in the book is the beef tartare...it comes out perfectly

Feb 03, 2014
Cittafarina in Home Cooking

Best time for Pizzeria Vetri?

I want to visit Pizzeria Vetri. Has anyone been? Is there a time of day that's better to go in terms of how busy it is?

Jan 29, 2014
Cittafarina in Philadelphia

Farm & Fisherman-Just Plain Superb

This is a top object of desire.

Jan 19, 2014
Cittafarina in Philadelphia

Individual dips

Sun dried tomato puree
Pesto
Ricotta cheese

Jan 13, 2014
Cittafarina in Home Cooking
2

Store Bought Pizza Crust

http://www.corropolesebakery.com/

They make decent pizza shells

Jan 13, 2014
Cittafarina in General Topics

Black Bean Soup?

Beans by themselves are not that flavorful but draw flavor in black bean soup from sauteed bacon and the addition of chicken stock. That being said you could make a flavorful vegan version by sauteing a mirepoix (2 parts onion, 1 part carrot, 1 part celery) in olive oil along with seeded chiles (serrano or jalepeno) and adding vegetable stock (Knorr makes a good one) and 2/3's of your beans. Let everything heat through and buzz it smooth with an immersion blender and add the other 1/3 of your beans. Add toasted cumin seed if you have it along with seasoning with salt and pepper.

When I make BB soup I use 6 cans of Goya black beans undrained.

Good luck

Jan 10, 2014
Cittafarina in Home Cooking

Cool stock before covering ... why?

Some of this is just food safety common sense. If you cover a hot pot it will cool more slowly and the "souring" effect is that organisms are growing in the pot. I work in a commercial kitchen and everyone who handles food is required to get ServSafe training. I've written this before on other posts but here it is again...You need to be cooling things like meat stocks down as quickly as possible to avoid growth of micro-organisms. Food safety rules dictate that you cool items from 135 degrees to 70 degrees in 2 hours or less and from 70 degrees to 41 degrees in less than an additional 4 hours. Not doing this may not kill you but can cause you to become ill. Organisms produce toxins and it's the toxins that make you sick. You can kill the organisms by heating but you do not remove the toxins they leave behind.

In the vichyssoise example, potatoes are one of the foods particularly susceptible to growth of anaerobic bacteria.

Jan 10, 2014
Cittafarina in Home Cooking
1

When will Blue Bell Inn reopen?

It was right there when I last called up the website. It's probably on their facebook page too.

Jan 08, 2014
Cittafarina in Philadelphia

When will Blue Bell Inn reopen?

Their website says early February

Jan 08, 2014
Cittafarina in Philadelphia

Wedding Catering for 150 people

Many venues have catering operations as part of the facility so you'll want to check with places that you're interested in before you select a caterer separately. You can find all kinds of stats on the web for average catering costs as it all depends on the food you want. Do you want butlered hors d'oeuvres, open bar, chicken vs lobster, etc. etc.

For catering alone without liquor for the "wedding of the century" you need to figure at least $60 per person.

Jan 01, 2014
Cittafarina in Philadelphia

Experienced pasta makers - I need your advice

I am a professional pasta maker by trade and have been making pasta for about the last 15 years.

For a good book to learn I would suggest Making Artisan Pasta by Aliza Green. In addition, there are numerous pasta making videos on youtube.

It is possible for virtually anyone to make reasonably good pasta. The first thing to consider is flour. In general, flours range in protein level from around 7% to 13%. Cake and pastry flours are at the lower level with bread and pizza flours being at the top of the range. The higher the protein level will essentially result in the development of greater gluten bonds and hence, more of a "tooth" to the finished product. Many artisanal bakers and pasta makers create their own flour blends to achieve desired textures. You can make acceptable pasta dough from all purpose flour which usually has a protein level of around 10.5%. As you make more pasta you'll want to experiment with different flours like harder wheat semolina at around 12% or softer flours like pastry at around 8%.

I think one of the reasons a lot of people stop making pasta shortly after beginning is the crank pasta machine. Replacing the crank with a motor or using a stand mixer attachment makes the process a lot less cumbersome. As far as making the pasta the most important initial step is making sure that your flour is fully hydrated as you add it. We make all of our dough in a large stand mixer and flour is added slowly so that each increment is fully hydrated before more is added.

The notion of making fresh pasta whenever you plan on eating it is a nice thought but impractical. If you take that approach, you're likely to not make very much pasta. Making pasta has ethereal and enjoyable tactile qualities that as you experience them will make your pasta making better. Set aside time and make a bunch of pasta and freeze it. The freezing will not result in any discernible change in the texture of the pasta.

If you're looking for any more information just reply in your thread and I'll try to answer.

Dec 31, 2013
Cittafarina in Home Cooking
3

Butternut squash stuffed shells?

Any filling like that will work in stuffed shells. I don't know whether it calls for it but make sure you add egg to the filling. That way it will keep it from running out of the shells when cooked.

Dec 29, 2013
Cittafarina in Home Cooking
1

Turkey carcass safety

The danger zone for time and temperature sensitive food is 41 to 135 degrees. ServSafe rules dictate that foods are supposed to be cooled from 135 to 70 in 2 hours and from 70 to 41 in 4 more hours. Also remember that bacteria produce toxins. You can kill bacteria with heat but you do not remove toxins.

I would suggest you are probably safe if you're not too far outside the rules and small amounts of toxins will likely not hurt you.

Dec 28, 2013
Cittafarina in Home Cooking

Challah Dough-Egg Noodles?

In a word, no.

Pasta dough has no leavening and bread does.

Dec 27, 2013
Cittafarina in Home Cooking
1

Sauce ideas, and/or accoutrements for squid ink pasta

I would leave out the cheese and garlic as those flavors will overpower your seafood. Simple is better.

Dec 22, 2013
Cittafarina in Home Cooking

Quick Canning Question

The answer to your question is simple. Frozen then thawed is much more perishable than canned then shipped. there's really no comparison. The danger zone for food is essentially 135 degrees down to 41 degrees. If your sauce contains the right ingredients and sits for 6 hours in the danger zone there are toxins that the bacteria produce that will not be removed with heating. You can kill bacteria with heat but you cant remove the toxins. They may not kill you but you could be sickened.

Dec 20, 2013
Cittafarina in Home Cooking

Do you have a tried and true recipe for beef or other jerky?

We make jerky during the winter and have always used HI Mountain jerky cures out of Wyoming. I'm not sure about the sugar content but you could check the website. We use top round beef trimmed of fat and sliced to a thickness of about 1/4". It is then mixed with the cure and left to sit in the fridge for 24 hours. We then lay it out on dehydrator trays and "cook" it for about 10 hours or so at about 155 to 160 degrees. It should be pliable without cracking.

Dec 04, 2013
Cittafarina in Home Cooking

Left chicken noodle soup out for 3 hours

the keys for cooling are keeping foods out of the danger zone. You have basically 6 hours to do that in 2 stages. the 1st stage is getting things from 135 to 70 in 2 hours and from 70 to 41 in 4 more hours. If you follow that you're good. You should then be able to keep it for about 6-7 days in the fridge or frozen for a good period of time.

Nov 26, 2013
Cittafarina in Home Cooking

What can I put my turkey in to briine?

Anything that's food safe is ok.

Nov 26, 2013
Cittafarina in Home Cooking

Cook's Ilustrated website renewal cost!!!

I don't subscribe to CI but on other subscriptions I have called and gotten a better deal. You may try doing that.

Nov 26, 2013
Cittafarina in Food Media & News

mshrooms

Jannie has the basic scheme right but if you are doing a lot of mushrooms don't hesitate to drain off the water and throw them back in the pan. In the restaurant we cook 10 lbs at a time in a roaster in 2 steps. In the initial one they're cooked to get the moisture out then drained. Step two is putting them back in a screaming hot pan with clarified butter to brown.

Nov 20, 2013
Cittafarina in Home Cooking

Barren Hill Tavern

Didn't know it had reopened and will have to give it a try.

Nov 19, 2013
Cittafarina in Philadelphia

Sola

Have been to Sola in Bryn Mawr twice recently. I also think the food is very good and I like the fact that it's byo.

Nov 19, 2013
Cittafarina in Philadelphia

Pan searing Foie Gras, a few questions...

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/820819

Check out this foie thread with additional info you're looking for.

Nov 15, 2013
Cittafarina in Home Cooking

Pan searing Foie Gras, a few questions...

I think the pre sliced foie may already be cleaned. Lobes of foie aren't too difficult to devein. There are a number of videos on the subject for you to learn from on youtube.

Nov 15, 2013
Cittafarina in Home Cooking