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Bombay Saphire "Star of Bombay" Gin

Sounds delicious, but a cursory search seems to indicate this is only a UK offering for now. Anyone know of US availability?

May 11, 2015
carnicero in Spirits

Help! How many jiggers in an ounce, or vice versa?

Some rums are certainly much better than others, and there are a few I'll drink if offered but I rarely ever pick rum out for myself. I think I'm just not a cane spirit fan, as cachaca does even less for me than rum does. I'd rather have bourbon or rye.

When I do drink rum, it tends to be in a cocktail. I'm not averse to a good diaquiri or mai tai. The jungle bird is a great one, too, and I think the campari and lime really balance out the molasses in the rum.

May 06, 2015
carnicero in Spirits

I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so! . . . at least with my Knives.

I started with a Tojiro DP 240mm gyuto and loved it. Still love it. I ended up getting the Tojiro DP 165mm nakiri, as well as a 180mm santoku for my wife. I've considered trying some of their shirogami knives, but not investing in more blades at the moment. I am really pleased with the sharpness, balance, and durability of the Tojiro DP line in VG10 steel.

May 04, 2015
carnicero in Cookware
1

Should I get a half or quarter beef?

It might come down to finding the right vendor for your bulk meat purchases. We have a butcher's market we like that does bulk orders on beef, pork and lamb.
I bought half a hog recently and had my choice of fresh or cured for most items.
Shoulder: fresh or cured, whole or cut into butt and 2 picnic roasts
Ham: fresh or cured, whole or cut into shank and butt ends and/or center slices
Belly: fresh or bacon
Trim: plain ground or seasoned as sausage, available bulk or stuffed
Loin: 2 end-cut roasts and the rest center cut chops to my specified thickness
and so on and so forth. Great pork, too. Not too lean. My only gripe is that the wet cure for their ham leaves it a bit... squishy... for my tastes. I prefer country ham over city ham, but I think I'm in the minority. For these city ham steaks, I have to press them under a weighted sheet pan to remove excess brine. The larger ham roasts come out just fine being baked or braised.

May 04, 2015
carnicero in General Topics

unique Gin recs?

Bluecoat
Bluecoat Barrel rested (limited release, only in PA as far as I'm aware, sorry if you're elsewhere)
Bombay Sapphire East
Tanqueray Marlacca
Death's Door
Aviation
Half Moon Orchard
There are many more quality and interesting gins out there now, but these are a few that spring immediately to mind.

May 04, 2015
carnicero in Spirits

Philly style steaks

You can in fact get paper thin shaved ribeye from H-Mart and likely also Assi. They have various thicknesses available marked as beef for bulgogi, beef for shabu-shabu, etc. Also, how thin the steak is can be a matter of style. Some shops go paper thin and chopped on the grill, some shops (like Steve's Prince of Steaks) use slightly thicker steak, cooked flat on the grill, not chopped to pieces. Not to mention, though top round will do in a pinch for a "steak sandwich," it's really a poor substitute for ribeye. A better substitute would be sirloin.

Help! How many jiggers in an ounce, or vice versa?

I'm more or less the opposite. I love whiskey, tolerate tequila and can rarely stand rum.

Apr 15, 2015
carnicero in Spirits

Help! How many jiggers in an ounce, or vice versa?

It's 2:1 (4 whiskey:2 vermouth)

Apr 15, 2015
carnicero in Spirits
1

Help! How many jiggers in an ounce, or vice versa?

Except you just took the ratio from 2:1 to 2.5:1.5.

If the OP wants to make this drink with the equipment on hand, the easiest way is this:
To make 1 (slightly larger) drink:
4 parts (two pours of large side, 3oz ) rye
1 part (one pour from small side .75oz) sweet vermouth
1 part (one pour from small side .75oz) dry vermouth
heavy dash Angostura bitters
Stir well with plenty of ice, then strain into coupe or cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.

Apr 15, 2015
carnicero in Spirits

What Is Your Opinion Of This Manhattan Cocktail Variation?

Glad you enjoyed the drink, but it sounds unbearably sweet to me.

The Manhattan traditionally calls for rye whiskey, not bourbon. Rye tends to be drier and spicier where bourbon tends to be sweeter. Eagle Rare is a bourbon and one that contains a pretty low amount of rye grain in the mash. It's a good whiskey, but lacks the dry spicy character that plays so well off of sweet vermouth to make a Manhattan.

As for adding Frangelico, unless it was the barest dash of liquer it would overpower the whole drink with sugar and hazelnuts. I don't think of hazelnut or sugar as complementing the sweet vermouth/dry whiskey balance, or the bitter/spicy balance of traditional aromatic bitters which should be added.

I "batch" my own house bitters by blending commercially available brands with differing spices and bittering agents, but that mess of "ango/anise/coffee/chocolate/pecan" sounds like a muddy mess of flavors.

For a twist on a Manhattan, consider this drink; Chinese 5-spice Manhattan. First, make a tincture of 5-spice macerated in grain alcohol or high-proof vodka. Then use in this recipe:
2 oz. Rittenhouse Rye 100pf
1 oz. Cocchi vermouth di Torino
1 bar-spoon of 5-spice tincture
Stir well with plenty of ice, strain and serve in chilled coupe
garnish with high-quality preserved cherry

Apr 09, 2015
carnicero in Spirits

Chicken stock isn't gelatintous?

I have had some luck, but not much, getting a rich, gelatinous stock from a carcass that was already roasted. Great flavor, but stays liquid when chilled and does not gel. If I am using raw bones, then I can make a gelatinous stock that turns solid in the fridge.

The main thing is using enough bones for the amount of water. A carcass is good or whole chicken is good, but if you fortify it with wings, necks, backbones and/or feet you'll likely get a better gelatin yield. The other concern is time and temperature: you need an extended period of time held at 180-190*F to break down the collagen in the chicken into gelatin. I like to let chicken stock slowly poach at a bare simmer for 6+ hours when I have the time. Again, this isn't necessary for a delicious soup broth, but if you want rich, sticky stock it's going to take some time and patience.

Mar 10, 2015
carnicero in Home Cooking

Jim beam rye?

The price for Old Ovrerholt varies widely, but in my home state of PA it runs about $22. I'd much rather have Rittenhouse 100, even at its new $25 price. This is especially true when considering that in neighboring states, Rittenhouse runs $22-25 and Overholt runs $12-15.

Mar 09, 2015
carnicero in Spirits

Common Korean Ingredients

I'm no big fan of soju; I prefer beer with Korean food for the most part, but I made green tea soju at home mixing 1/2 iced green tea with Jinro Chamisul Soju that we really enjoyed with galbi gui.

Mar 04, 2015
carnicero in Home Cooking

Common Korean Ingredients

+1 for tteokbokki!

Mar 04, 2015
carnicero in Home Cooking

Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken opening in Chinatown...

While yes, they are a franchise and follow the protocol, I do think the chicken can get better with time. It's possible that due to their opening delays and staffing issues, their fry cooks may not have the recipe totally nailed yet. Some of that comes with time and practice managing their order volume and training. The guy I talked to (Manager? Franchisee?) told me that they order the sauce from Korea, so that won't change. However, the cook times and crispness of the chicken are in the hands of the kitchen crew and that can certainly change.

I agree with you that their ordering policy and wait time don't exemplify customer service, but the attitudes of the staff go a long way to make up for it. I've had quick but surly service at other places and been less happy with the resulting meal. Had the staff at Bonchon not been polite and friendly, I wouldn't be likely to go back after the inconvenience of not being able to call in my order and then having to wait extra time for it. Since they were so nice and made me feel like they valued my business, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for opening hiccups.

Mar 03, 2015
carnicero in Philadelphia
1

Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken opening in Chinatown...

Even though my excitement had waned in all of the opening delays and false starts, I had a craving last night and tried Bonchon after work. They are not doing take-out orders over the phone yet, they say to control high demand, and are only doing eat-in or walk-in take-out orders.

I was greeted by friendly staff at the door and they gave me a menu and took my order. They said 30 minutes for pickup, and I could wait or they would call my cell phone when it was ready. I opted for the phone call and walked around the corner for BarLy for a late happy hour beer. After about 35 minutes with no call, I walked back to Bonchon. The hostess recognized me and apologized for my food not being ready, then went back in the kitchen to check on it. I ended up waiting 10-15 more minutes, but having a friendly talk with a guy at the counter who I believe was a manager or maybe one of the franchise owners. So, my total wait was 50 minutes rather than 30, but the staff was very gracious and I didn't much mind the delay.

After getting home, we dug into half-and-half wings, the seasoned fries, kimchi, kimchi coleslaw, and pickled radishes. The wings were very good, but maybe not quite as crispy as wings I've enjoyed from Cafe Soho. The spicy sauce was excellent, but the soy garlic was just ok. Sides were all really good. So all in all, I can't say whether or not it lived up to the hype, as I think they are still going through growing pains from opening. The food and service were really good, though, and I'll definitely try them again.

Mar 03, 2015
carnicero in Philadelphia

Costco Food Finds - 1st Quarter 2015

I usually buy regular Shin Ramyun, not the Black. I get it at H-Mart (Korean grocery chain). Costco's deal on the Shin Black is pretty amazing, as it has bigger cups, more in a pack, and a lower cost than H-Mart, which was pretty good to begin with.

Feb 14, 2015
carnicero in Chains

Moscovado Sugar in Philadelphia?

I've gotten something labeled as "black muscovado sugar" from H-Mart (Korean grocery) over the bridge in Cherry Hill. The Upper Darby and Cheltenham stores probably carry it as well. It's a very dark, fairly moist unrefined sugar, with a bit of a smoky undertaste. I don't know how it compares to standard muscovado that your recipe might call for, but I really enjoy it.

Feb 14, 2015
carnicero in Philadelphia

Fresh octopus?

I've also read-- and there are so many myths and legends about cooking octopus, who knows if it's true or not-- that frozen octopus is more tender than fresh because of cell damage caused by ice crystals during freezing and thawing.

Jan 29, 2015
carnicero in Philadelphia

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

Nongshim Shin Ramyun is the best!

Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken opening in Chinatown...

I understand how awful city offices can be to deal with- I just think maybe the franchise owner has jumped the gun on his publicity a few too many times. Don't get me wrong, I'm still excited to try it and looking forward to having more convenient chicken. I'm just much less excited about it than I was when I first heard they were coming to town, then heard opening soon, then heard delayed, then heard opening soon... and so on.

Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp Salad

quick pickle those carrots and some julienned daikon in a brine of salt, sugar, rice vinegar and water and you've got a winner.

Jan 26, 2015
carnicero in Recipes

Kensington Quarters

I'm not sure if this is what cwdonald meant, but I do have a problem with the location: parking. I used to live in Fishtown and still frequent the neighborhood. There are a ton of great spots now on Frankford and Girard Avenues, as well as back in the side streets, but there is often absolutely nowhere to park. Street parking is super limited, and the only lot off the top of my head is a tiny PPA lot on Frankford that's usually full.

Jan 26, 2015
carnicero in Philadelphia
1

Fried rice always sticks

refined coconut oil has a high smoke point. unrefined is fairly low. Sesame oil has a lower smoke point than refined coconut oil. but I'm not sure how it compares to unrefined.

Jan 20, 2015
carnicero in Home Cooking

Very best sausage for cassolette?

I just made my first cassoulet this week, as well as my first batch of sausage. It came out way better than my expectations, which was a nice surprise. This is a small batch, just over 1 1/4 lbs, scaled down from a 5 lb recipe. I'd have to dig through my notes to be sure of exact quantities, but here's what I recall using:

600 grams coarsely ground pork
11 grams kosher salt
very heavy pinch of coarse black pepper
3 cloves garlic, grated on fine microplane
1 oz cognac, armagnac, or other good brandy

combine ingredients in stainless mixing bowl and mix with clean hands or silicone spatula until well-integrated and sticky in texture, chill in refrigerator at least 30 minutes. Then use stuffing apparatus of choice to pack into natural hog casings. Pinch and twist the rope sausage into links about 4" long. Chill until ready for cooking.

Jan 17, 2015
carnicero in Home Cooking

Hot Diggity Closes

I was sad to read this today. I also couldn't be considered a regular, but I grabbed a dog there whenever I was nearby.

Jan 17, 2015
carnicero in Philadelphia

Sancho Pistola's Girard Ave

I was there once- not worth going back, for me or my party. There are so many good taquerias, both traditional and nuevo/creative/gringo, that it's not worth the trouble. They do have a strong beer list, but their cocktails were awful.

If you want damn good tacos not far from there, try Taco Riendo (BYOB) at 5th & Thompson. Cantina Dos Segundos on N. 2nd is also solid, plus great beer and the best margaritas. And for the nuevo/hipster demographic that I think Sancho's is trying to hit, I think you'd have better luck at Loco Pez on Norris St. Just stay clear of there for Tuesday happy hour. They do $1 tacos and the place is too packed to get inside.

Jan 16, 2015
carnicero in Philadelphia
1

White Bean soup ideas? (no ham, bacon)

came here to say the same thing

Jan 03, 2015
carnicero in Home Cooking

Your explaining brewing tea wrong..."Your doing it wrong"

To expand a bit further on your point: yes, oxygen and other gases can be dissolved in water. Cold water has a greater capacity for gas in solution, and boiling causes these dissolved gases to escape along with the water vapor. I think the OP is unaware of dissolved oxygen and thinks that whoever she is addressing claims that boiling water causes lysis of the water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen atoms, which clearly is not the case.

Dec 01, 2014
carnicero in Home Cooking
1

What are the cuisines that you know little about but want to try?

There's a great Portuguese restaurant in a Riverside, NJ. I think it's called Pavilion Barbecue. It's not fine dining, more rustic or homey than Koo Zee Do, but delicious and fresh.

Nov 27, 2014
carnicero in General Topics