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Favorite 'rustic' cookbook?

I'm flipping through Christopher Kimball's "Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook" and wondering if anyone has favorite rustic-style cookbooks, which to me means simple, homey recipes without garnishes.

By the way, this is a pretty good book. I'm not a huge Cook's Illustrated fan, either.

Jun 26, 2010
posh in Home Cooking

Fresser's hot pastrami truck is going away

I skimmed over David Sax's "Save the Deli" and I remember him saying that Langer's gets the same pastrami from the same distributor as everyone else. The difference is that they steam theirs for longer, and that's it--which explains why when people exalt the glory of langer's they typically refer to its supreme tenderness rather than flavor.

Did Fresser's make their own pastrami? (Pastrami is comparatively expensive because of time, labor, and space issues. The meat has to be cured or brined, smoked, and steamed, which is generally outside the boundaries of most delis.)

Jun 08, 2010
posh in Los Angeles Area

Meat lockers in L.A.

Used freezers are pretty cheap on craigslist. I was looking for a farm to get a half pig, but couldn't find many nearby. What's the name of the one in Santa Barbara?

Jan 08, 2010
posh in Los Angeles Area

Cold cut quantity for a party

Party planning advice needed.

I'm making cold cuts for a friend's baby shower in a few weeks an I'm having trouble figuring out how much I need to buy. What's appropriate for 30 people? I think I'm going to make a meat platter with slices of lox, smoked turkey, mortadella, and roast beef. Does 10 pounds sound about right? Or should it be closer to 15? (We'll have salads and cheeses too.)

Thanks!

Jan 02, 2010
posh in Home Cooking

Heritage or farm-raised turkey nearish Cincinnati

Just thought I'd revive this as a future reference for anyone looking for birds.

It was a tough choice, but I ended up going to Tewes farm. I was in Cincinnati for a few weeks, and while I was there I bought a lot of stuff from Eaton farm at Findlay Market on Saturday mornings. I highly, highly recommend their pork and poultry. It was some of the best I've had, and the pork was especially well priced.

I bought the thanksgiving turkey from Tewes because I decided on a turducken, which probably would have been a waste for a prime heritage turkey (Eaton had them at only $4 though). Tewes was much cheaper, but I think the product and farming practices are much better at Eaton. Both, by the way, were ridiculously nice and had incomparably superior product to supermarket slop.

Dec 21, 2009
posh in Great Lakes

Best place to buy a whole brisket?

Snake river farms has great brisket. It's very fatty.

Dec 19, 2009
posh in Los Angeles Area

FRESH SEAFOOD MARKET IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY - SPECIFICALLY CRABS!!!!

Yesterday the fish guy at the hollywood market had a very large bucket with live crabs. I would be surprised if the ones at 99 ranch are as good.

Sep 28, 2009
posh in Los Angeles Area

FRESH SEAFOOD MARKET IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY - SPECIFICALLY CRABS!!!!

When he's there, the seafood guy at the Hollywood farmer's market always has crabs caught in Santa Barbara for $4lb. His fish is fantastic too.

Sep 24, 2009
posh in Los Angeles Area

Heritage or farm-raised turkey nearish Cincinnati

Thanks for the recommendations. Haven't heard back from Tewes. Bowman Landes will likely be the backup place. I'm sure their turkeys are great (Voinavich even says so), but I'm holding out for a heritage bird from a smaller operation. Eaton farm might be perfect. I'll keep everyone posted with anything I find.

Sep 24, 2009
posh in Great Lakes

Heritage or farm-raised turkey nearish Cincinnati

I've checked the eatwild and local harvest websites, but I'd prefer to get a recommendation for a farm near Cincinnati to get a top quality turkey. Maybe someone at Findlay market? I want to get it from the person who raised it, not a middleman. I don't mind doing a bit of driving to pick it up.

Thanks

Sep 22, 2009
posh in Great Lakes

Purveyors of great vinegar

Don't go to surfas, bay cities, or m. marcel unless you don't need money. Wait until the next public sale at Epicure. 1 gallon jugs of Sparrow Lane are under $20. I saw 6oz bottles of the stuff at santa monica seafood for like $10!

Sparrow lane vinegar is really, really good. And it made me realize how much of a sucker I had been.

If nothing else, the vinegar alone keeps me going back to epicure.

Sep 18, 2009
posh in Los Angeles Area

Where can I buy unprocessed, whole livestock (lamb, pork, goat, etc)?

Oh yeah, and please post your results.

Sep 01, 2009
posh in Los Angeles Area

Where can I buy unprocessed, whole livestock (lamb, pork, goat, etc)?

It might be easier, and probably cheaper, to buy directly from a farm. But that might also depend on how large an animal you want. An entire 800 pound cow isn't as common as a suckling pig.

www.eatwild.org has a directory.

Sep 01, 2009
posh in Los Angeles Area

Looks like a Kogi truck, but it's not...

Remember those forlorn days when every trash can was bursting with Pinkberry cartons? And the stories in the paper about the fanatics willing to wait for an hour in line? And every corner missing a Pinkberry had a place called __(color)__ + __(fruit)__?

Ah yesterday!

Jul 16, 2009
posh in Los Angeles Area

Sussina Bakery?

Don't believe the haters. Susina is the best place for sweets in town.

Eat:
Polenta scones
Chocolate croissants
Tiny cookies
Molten chocolate cakes
Fruit tarts
Pies (cherry or apple)
Cheesecakes
Cakes (particularly the chocolate varieties, but carrot and berry are good too)
Unusually strong peppermint tea

Stay away from:
Soups and sandwiches
Almond tarts
Smoothies
The cute things on the walls

Like at any bakery, ask how fresh the cake is before they cut it. I've had a few pieces that weren't as moist as they should be, but they always point to the fresher stuff when I remember to ask.

If you're buying whole cakes, $50 won't last long.

Grouch that I am, those sweets makes me smile every time I go.

Jul 16, 2009
posh in Los Angeles Area

Pig Roast Catering L.A. area

We can start a support group
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/626805

Jun 12, 2009
posh in Los Angeles Area

Hog SOS

Thanks so much for the help. Let me see if I've got this straight:
-Beer. Check.
-Spine clips. Check.
-Burn wood down to coals. Is that like burning charcoal before grilling? How do I do that without burning the wood entirely? Do I need some heavy logs for that?
-Keep pig about a foot from the heat. Check.
-6x as much wood! S#*t! I could build a house with that much wood.
-I'm definitely nervous about the hog fitting on the spit. We asked for a longer one, but this is what we got. The head might not make it. I don't know if he's made one before. I'll attach a photo of it in process.

I bought Chris Lilly's new bbq book. It has three recipes for whole hogs.

Jun 12, 2009
posh in Home Cooking

Hog SOS

I'm cooking a whole 100lb hog at a party in a few weeks. I've never done it before. Now my former braggadocio is quickly materializing as an ulcer. If anyone is willing to take the time to help, I'd be much obliged.

I've ordered the pig. I've bought wood. I've got a spit coming. I've planned a menu. I've got a general sense of how its supposed to work. Yet a few things are keeping me up at night:

-I ordered the hog thinking that it would feed a ravenous horde. Now I'm not so sure. There are 50-65 people coming. That will supply plenty of food, right?

-The cooking equipment is being made by a relative: an elevated 4x3 iron box with a sloping bottom for the wood and an adjustable mechanized spit attached to rails in the middle, which means the heat will be direct but distant. He was thinking about attaching a hinged lid (which would make it about 5ft tall), as well as making it more of a smoker by giving it a side firebox and chimney. Does this present anything that I should be concerned about? Do the glories of spit-roasting over an open fire conflict with the zen of smoking in a closed box?

-I haven't cooked over wood too many times. When I do the wood seems to burn a lot faster than I expect. I bought a 4x4x2 box of cherry wood about the size of my arm--that is, a few inches thick and a few feet long. How much will I need? Should I supplement it with charcoal or thicker logs?

-I know that the pig will be about 3 feet over the wood. Everything else about the heating logistics eludes me: the fire should be of a decent size to hold its temperature, but not so big that it oversmokes the pig; it should be hot enough to actually cook the meat, but not so hot that it overcooks; it should be low enough to cook evenly for optimal tenderness and flavor, but not so low that it dries out. How do I know the appropriate size and temperature of the fire?

-Then once it's going, I'll have to throw in some new logs at a steady pace to keep the fire at the optimal temperature. How do I evenly regulate the temperature of the fire? Or even measure it?

-I'm not so worried about the food taking too long because we can always play cards and serve more drinks. If it cooks too quickly, though, we not only lose the spectacle and the shared carnal experience of hanging out in front of a slowly burning animal, but we're also stuck with the problem of holding the meat at the right temperature until we eat. We plan to start cooking for the late afternoon party sometime the night before. Is that necessary? Given all of the variables, how can I estimate the cooking time?

Thanks to anyone who waded through this, and even more for advice/therapy from anyone with experience in these matters.

Jun 10, 2009
posh in Home Cooking

Dried Chile Connection

I'm going to need 5-10 pounds of various dried chilies for pig roast. At the local latino market they are about $6lb in the bulk bin. There's plenty of turnover, but the chilies are more supermarket than farmer's market (yes, I'm a snob). Fancier online retailers sell what I presume to be better quality, perhaps less industrial, for $15lb--they better be anyway, for that much more markup.

Any recommendations for online sources for chilies somewhere in between?

Jun 10, 2009
posh in Home Cooking

Knife Sharpening Where Should I Go?

I just looked more closely at the knives I took in, though I still haven't had a chance to really use them. They don't look so good. Ross does a much better job.

May 25, 2009
posh in Los Angeles Area

Knife Sharpening Where Should I Go?

I just got my knives back from thee cutlery in Manhattan beach. The guy there was pretty amiable and did a good job for a good price.

May 22, 2009
posh in Los Angeles Area

Knife Sharpening Where Should I Go?

Ross is the place to go. Don't go anywhere else. They charge something like $1 an inch and an extra $1 per knife for same day service.

May 15, 2009
posh in Los Angeles Area

Getting heritage pork in LA?

This might be too late, but the local slow food group will be buying some pork from Clark Summit at the end of June. Their stock is duroc and hampshire. Unless a couple more people sign up, you'd probably have to buy 1/2 pig.

The meat sharing website is: http://scmeat.ning.com/

May 15, 2009
posh in Los Angeles Area

Favorite public place to grill

Thanks for the recommendations. I'll look into them. My biggest concern is about restrictions on hours. We're going to have to start at the crack of dawn and go for a long while after that.

May 04, 2009
posh in Los Angeles Area

Favorite public place to grill

Anyone have a favorite place for a long barbecue? I'm looking for a nice spot somewhere to set up for an all day spit roast. I'd love to find a park somewhere where we can set up.

May 03, 2009
posh in Los Angeles Area

Clark Summit Meat--How Good?

Apparently there isn't much to say about Clark Summit. What about Prather Ranch?

May 02, 2009
posh in San Francisco Bay Area

Clark Summit Meat--How Good?

I'm going to be buying some pork from Clark Summit and I'm considering getting some beef to go with it. I haven't tasted either, though. Any thoughts on their meat's tastiness quotient?

May 01, 2009
posh in San Francisco Bay Area

I found a really good bottled ketchup

For 60 cents an oz you're better off making your own. It's just sweetened, reduced tomato sauce. I think last week I made enough for the year from two cans of tomatoes. And it is easier to tweak to your taste.

May 01, 2009
posh in General Topics

Flesh-Eating Bacon

Mar 12, 2009
posh in Food Media & News

Rocky Canyon Meat

Any opinions about their beef or pork? Does it compare favorably with other grass-fed beef you've had? Any particularly good (or bad) experiences?

I might buy some of their meat in bulk and I'm curious to hear if anyone has thoughts about their goods.

[They sell at a few farmer's markets around town. The stand has two big coolers labeled "Farmer to you Beef/Pork" next to some miscellaneous produce.]

Mar 04, 2009
posh in Los Angeles Area