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Pulled Pork: Slow cook and then grill or vice versa?

Some (or many) may disagree with this sentiment, but I believe that "pulled pork" is pork that's cooked slowly, in a dry environment (e.g. not a slow cooker), with smoke, at a low temperature. Pulled pork has three elements - low temperature and long cook time until the pork reaches a high temperature (190 - 200 F), smoke, and bark. Pork (or beef or chicken) cooked in a slow cooker and then shredded is just that, shredded meat. Similarly, I wouldn't call chicken roasted in an oven and then served with BBQ sauce barbeque chicken.

Again, I'm sure many will disagree. Dishes with specific names have specific methods and ingredients. Calling pork cooked in a crock pot pulled pork starts to dilute what true pulled pork is, until the term loses its meaning.

Aug 28, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

ISO Middle Eastern Meatball Recipies

Claudia Roden has some great Middle Eastern meatball recipes that I've had good luck with.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

http://saffronandlemons.blogspot.com/...

http://mycustardpie.com/2011/01/24/tu...

Breakfast

Suzie's Kitchen in Rosemount is pretty solid.

Porchetteria

Not sure they'll be hefting porchetta sandwiches in the winter, my impression is that it was seasonal. Maybe not.

Broders has a good quality empire. The wait for the Pasta Bar can be a brute, and I'm not about a wait, but they have great pasta. Personally, I prefer making a reservation at Bar La Grassa, the pasta is as good if not better. But we've gone to Broders Pasta Bar, with little wait, and have had very good meals. Timing and patience dictates there.

That said, Cucina is underrated. That's our main take-out pizza, coming from the other side of Lake Nokomis. Solide salads. Excellent sandwiches. Fantastic stop for a lunch if you're in the neighborhood, even if I was in the 50th and France hood, I'd consider lunch at Broders Cucina, though a travel.

I just realized I need a pressure cooker for canning tomatoes

Excellent, thank you very much for the info. I'm now looking into a pressure canner, if not this year then for next. Thanks again!

Aug 19, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Update to Italian restaurants in Twin Cities

Al Vento in South Minneapolis has solid food, excellent pasta dishes. It's a very nice atmosphere inside, what it sounds you are looking for. I haven't been to Luci or Luci Ancora the ChanchesR mentioned for a few years because I thought their quality was going down.

Pazzaluna is good food, but a little bigger and louder inside, not a cozy atmosphere.

I Nonni is top notch - excellent Northern Italian, service is fantastic. Also, Butcher Block in NE MPLS is a smaller, cozy space, excellent food, it flies under the radar IMO.

Bar La Grassa is geat (best pasta dishes in the area), but it is more of a party atmosphere, and it can be difficult to be heard. The opposite of intimate.

Broders Pasta Bar is also very good, but I haven't eaten there in a while. A new addition is Broder's owned Terzo Wine Bar. I haven't eaten there (though I did have their porchetta sandwiches from their window, which were excellent). The menu doesn't scream "classic Italian", but, like Broder's itself, looks to be inventive and well thought out. Everything that Broders does is well executed, so if something "non-classic" might inspire you, and you enjoy wine, Terzo might be a good match.

Porchetteria

Wife, daughter, and I had the (wife) Rapini, (daughter) Truffle Mushroom, and (I) Calabrian. We all sampled each others. The Calabrian was excellent - great spice and heat, not too hot (could have been spicier for me, but minor quibble), well balanced with the sweetness of currants (though they looked and tasted more like craisens...these items were much, much sweeter than currants typically are, were larger, and kinda wrinkled...hmmmm). The rapini (the few bites I had) was solid - classic pork/rapini combination, the bitterness and bite of the rapini was perfect for the fat of the pork. The Truffled Mushroom was somewhat of a revelation - I usually don't like "truffled" anything, either because it's artificial flavoring, or it just doesn't work. This was fantastic. When my wife asked which was my favorite, I couldn't answer, I'd order any of those three and be very happy.

The pork - great combination of various parts - looked like loin, shoulder, maybe belly. You could see the leaner pieces, the fattier, deeper flavored chunks, and some with nice crisp. Great balance on the pork, with both crisp and tender.

The bread - fantastic. Not sure where they get their buns (I need to call the manager to ask), but these were square-ish, nicely crisp on the exterior, bready in the interior, and held the juicy sandwiches very well, keeping the exterior crispness all the way to the end. Maybe one of the best sandwich breads I've had that can hold up to such as juicy filling, and actually add both flavor and texture to the whole product.

We also had the chips, which I thought were great. Thick cut, good salt, not greasy at all. I'd eat these all day, though they might not be for everyone. I wouldn't say a classic chip, but great potato flavor, thick, firm, well cooked.

Only negative is that the sandwiches are served out of their parking lot. It's really meant for takeout. When we went, it was pretty hot, and while we waited it was baking on the black lot. We ate around the corner on benches in front of Terzo and the bookstore, but there are only 3 benches. Depending on how long your take-out journey is, the buns might start to soak thru, which would be too bad. The lot kinda faces the south, so during their serving hours it's likely full sun. Some shading would enhance the experience. Again, minor quibble, if it's cool and you can eat the great sandwiches as soon as you get them.

Overall, excellent sandwiches, great addition to MSP, easily in my top 5 now.

Your Favorite Bakery

For doughnuts, Mel-O-Glaze or Mojo Monkey
For pastries, Patisserie 46
For bread, Rustica or Patrick's, though Turtle Bread on Chicago has some very good breads
For croissants, Patrick's or Trung Nam

Turtle Bread also has very good other odds and ends, such as an excellent Mexican brownie, very good cookies, and very good pie.

Lastly, I've also had some very good products at Chez Arnaud on Grand Ave in STP, their pain au chocolate was excellent.

I just realized I need a pressure cooker for canning tomatoes

The Cuisinart EPC 1200PC, which I believe is actually the same as the CPC 600 - different model # sold in different stores, but same product. At least that's what I understand.

Minneapolis = 830 ft (264 m).

I'm all for more information, even if it's going down a dangerous road, I'm looking at it as gaining knowledge! Thanks!

Aug 12, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

I just realized I need a pressure cooker for canning tomatoes

And through this discussion, I just realized that I can't use my new Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker to can green beans. Bummer.

Question - I did a test batch of 2 pints of green beans in the electric pressure cooker, they've been on the counter-top since. My guess is that most/all folks here would say to not take the risk and pitch them?

Aug 12, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

olive oil packed tuna

Cossetta's market, Buon Giorno in Lilydale, Surdyk's are three off the bat that have great quality Italian jarred tuna.

What are your favorite uses for fennel pollen?

For the last few years I've been marking porchetta using fennel pollen instead of fennel seeds. Big difference - not as strong a fennel flavor, but much more nuanced, complex, longer lasting.

Aug 07, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Best way to enjoy a great bar of chocolate?

Eaten slowly, small bites, let it melt in your mouth. I like to enjoy small bits of high quality chocolate by following each nibble with a sip of home-brewed espresso.

Does anyone own a vacuum sealer?

We have the foodsaver. It does work really well for individually freezing steaks, vegetables, etc., they won't get freezer burn. The freezer bags themselves get expensive, though.

Aug 05, 2014
foreverhungry in Cookware

How long will homemade vinaigrette stay good for?

Mine is olive oil, some type of vinegar, and mustard, with some salt and black pepper. I make a jar, keep it on the shelf at room temperature until it's done. Time ranges from several days to a few weeks.

If opened bottles of vinegar and oil are shelf stable at room temperature for many weeks, and mustard nearly so, then why not a vinaigrette containing those three ingredients?

Aug 05, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

St. Paul Farmers' Market considers move as parking, attendance drop

I stopped going to the SPFM a few years ago because it was too much of a PITA. Parking was/is a beast, and getting there past 9AM meant, as SIS pointed out, jockeying with folks pushing strollers on a tourist expedition. To each their own. I usually go to a FM to buy foodstuffs - goal oriented, not process oriented. If I have the time, then it's a nice opportunity to stroll and enjoy the atmosphere, talk with vendors, etc. I personally don't find that the SPFM allows that, and for me, it's not relaxing, and can get the same quality produce at other FMs that aren't as crowded. Of course, most others don't have the same breadth of selection as the SPFM does, especially in meat products. But then again, the meats aren't "fresh off the farm" anyway, most of it is frozen, so that's not really an issue, and as SIS pointed out, the SPFM is among the most expensive places to buy meat in the Twin Cities.

Dried Mushrooms, OMG!!

I've ground them to add to ramen broths. I also ground dried shitakes and added them to bolognese and stews (I can feel the daggers thrown at me by the Hazan-bolognese purists :)). Dried mushrooms add a depth to many dishes.

Jul 29, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Best Ground Sausage in Minneapolis?

Buon Giorno market in Lilydale has very good Italian sausage, though I haven't gotten it there in a while as I've been making my own. Also, +1 on shoo bee doo's Seward Coop suggestion, they have excellent sausage products.

Lastly, while I haven't it tried it, you might want to check out Cossetta's on W. 7th. While I was skeptical at first, they have very good products. Overpriced, in my opinion, but very good.

Had a potato au gratin failure...need some pointers to fix it!

Potato au gratin dishes take many forms. The posters that are making a cheese sauce, combining with potatoes, and then baking are essentially making a baked mac and cheese, except substituting potatoes for the pasta.

That said, it's very easy to make your own "processed cheese" (Velveeta type product) to use in either a mac and cheese or potato au gratin, using the Modernist Cuisine's recipe, which uses sodium citrate, and whatever cheeses you want, to make a pourable, stable, cheese.

To the OP's potato dish, the long soak was likely the culprit. The potatoes may have taken up too much water, and thus your total volume that has to bake increases. The long bake time breaks the cheese, and the water gets released from the potatoes turning it into soup. At least that's my guess.

You could do a simple experiment where you take a potato, mandolin it to 1/8 slices, weigh them, soak them for 12 hours, then drain, gently blot, and weigh them again, and see what the change in weight is. I'd bet the potatoes absorb water. Russet's are especially prone to taking up water because of the more open texture than other spuds.

Jul 22, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Creative gelatin dessert flavors

Unflavored gelatin, prosecco, and peaches or apricots.

I'd like to try it with a rose and berries. Maybe macerate the berries in something like cognac.

Jul 17, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Porketta. Or Porchetta. What cut of pork?

Huh. Yet another choice! May I ask, rjbh20, why do you use a leg? Family tradition? Geographic tradition? I'm assuming it's deboned? Looks like skin on? What's the weight? Baked? Thanks for the deets.

Jul 10, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Porketta. Or Porchetta. What cut of pork?

What cut of pork do you use to make porch(k)etta? We're not talking about spicings, recipes, or cooking techniques (though I'd be interested in that too).

My tradition is to use a pork loin. But here in Minnesota, the tradition is to use shoulder. From what I understand, the traditional way is to use a whole hog. Short of that, the loin wrapped within the belly - belly being the midsection with the ribs removed, but leaving the rib meat behind (I think this is the more European method of butchering a hog; More American is to take the ribs for ribs, leaving more meat on ribs and less on the belly; I might be wrong on that though).

How do you make porch(k)etta? Are there regional differences?

Jul 10, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Chicken Skin Uses

Make a forcemeat and stuff it into chicken skin, tie or sew up, then poach for something like a gallantine, or use the chicken skin like wonton wrappers, and put a tablespoon of a forcemeat into it, pull the corners up like a purse, and tie with kitchen twine, then fry.

Jul 10, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Lasagna for Cow Milk Allergy

Halloumi doesn't melt, which is why you can take a slab of halloumi and throw it on your barbeque and grill it. It'll burn before it melts.

By melting, I'm considering cheeses like mozzarella, fontina, emmentaler, jack, etc. which melt so you can pour them. Halloumi will never reach that point.

Lasagna for Cow Milk Allergy

Try a lasagna bolognese. There's no mozzarella or ricotta. Instead of the ricotta you use a bechamel. Since I've started making it, I've never gone back to the more traditional Italian-American ricotta/mozzarella version.

For the bechamel, you can substitute rice milk for regular. Though I've never tried it, I've heard it's a good substitute. The taste can be different, but given the rich taste of a well made bolognese, I don't think the taste difference will be noticeable. Finish it with a pecorino romano, a sheep's milk cheese.

Jul 08, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking
1

Big Bowl Rest./@Galleria Edina: WHAT A RIP OFF!!!!

I'm looking at the Big Bowl menu online. I've never been there, so can only go by the menu. It looks like the stir fry bar charges $13.99 for tofu. An additional $2.50 brings you to $16.50. I can understand your disappointment at not getting a reduction in price seeing as how you wanted no rice or noodles, but that's to be expected. If I go to Chipotle and ask for a burrito with no rice bu extra meat, I'll be charged for the extra meat, but wouldn't expect a reduction in price for no rice. The rice/noodles is the inexpensive filler that most places make $$$ on. If everyone ordered dishes that normally consist of rice, vegetables, and meat with no rice, I'd expect their profit margins will go down. Imagine the pasta bar at Buon Giorno if you said you wanted the vegetables, sauce, and meatballs, but no pasta and knock a few bucks off.

Overall, looking at their prices, it seems pretty expensive for the stir fry bar.

Porchetteria

I am very excited to try it. That said, and this might just be the way that Heavy Table wrote the review, I'm a little skeptical when they said that the forth porketta option is vegetarian. Uh, what?

What's your best French baguette recipe ?

It's not perfect, but it works pretty well. I like it because it requires a minimum of effort. It's an 18 - 24 hour rise, with a little work scattered in. Then you pop the dough into a heavy dutch oven (I use a Creuset) and into an oven preheated at 450 for about 45 - 60 mins (remove the lid after 30 mins). Here's the recipe: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/din...

It's not like a boule you'd get in France, but then again, I don't have to get up at 3 AM and I don't have a steam injected oven. So for my purposes, it works great.

Find a long, skinny heavy pot (cast iron, ceramic, pyrex, etc.), and you'd get your baguette shape.

I also like it because I've been able to adjust the recipe to include whole wheat flour, and still get a decent rise and crumb, which can be hard to do with wheat breads.

Jul 01, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

What's your best French baguette recipe ?

Which is why the Lahey 24 hour no-knead bread recipe works pretty well - it's a high hydration dough that gets dumped into a preheated heavy pot., and the heavy lid goes on immediately, forming a pretty good seal. You end up with a small enclosed space, high heat, and lots of released water, and that results in a similar (though far from perfect) crust as you'd get on a baguette baked in a steamer oven. Halfway through the lid comes off to crisp the crust.

Jul 01, 2014
foreverhungry in Home Cooking

Valley Natural Foods

Does anyone have experience with Valley Natural Foods in Burnsville? My wife and I stopped in after driving by yesterday, and were pretty impressed by the selection and prices. We don't tend to be co-op shoppers because parking is either rough, or they seem to be pretty expensive. We live in S. Mpls, and while Burnsville is out of the way, we're sometimes in that area, and I'd rather deal with that drive than with parking at the Wedge. Mississippi Market on W. 7th is convenient, but their prices seem high.

For those familiar with Valley Natural, how does it stack up against place like the Wedge, Seward, Linden Hills, and Mississippi Market?