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Budget meals stretching ground beef?

I highly recommend the following book:

http://www.amazon.com/From-Ground-Up-...

I've made quite a few recipes in it already (with a little tweaking of course). Good stuff overall.

Aug 21, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

De-"Q'ing" BBQ

First off, let me say that I'm not a smoker :) I wish I was in this case, but I simply don't have the time.

However, I know that if you're using hickory, or mesquite it really permeates that meat. Professional barbequers (think Myron Mixon) often employ fruit woods like peach, apple, and even cherry. But you said you're trying to veer away from this.

In short, I believe you gotta get away from smoking, period if that's what you are aiming for. In this particular case, I'd suggest to take a page out of Rick Bayless (he came from a barbecuing family by the way). I found it odd that he actually BOILS, yes, BOILS his pork shoulder when it comes to making tacos. It's his complex sauces that give it flavor.

Being as I don't have the time to smoke, I can say that I can get FANTASTIC results in a Dutch oven with a pork shoulder if I don't want to go the Rick Bayless route (and I often don't--the notion of boiling a perfectly good pork shoulder irks me).

Good luck in your quest.

Aug 13, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

Hard rolls in Wallingford, Ct area

Cassone's are great. Wish I could get them.

Brownstone House (Hamden) coming to Guilford

I was wondering about this. Thanks for the update.

Hamden lunch recommendations?

All those nice suggestions and you ended up THERE? :( You need some new friends ;)

Review: K.T. Baxter's, Wallingford, CT

Archie Moore's was crowded last night, so my wife and I kept driving, looking for a place. We turned on Colony Road and went by Baxter's, which we had never tried because it usually has a good crowd. "Wanna try Baxter's?" I said. She turned the car around and we went in.

It's an upscale pub type of place--hardwood furniture and booths--classic and comfortable. Our waitress had a really great attitude--she was downright jolly and you can tell that she loved her job. She talked with every customer at every table. She got a nice tip at the end of the night. The other waitress working the adjacent table was also very friendly and also spoke with us as well. Must be our charming personalities. ;)

Since I was craving Buffalo wings that night, my wife and I split an order of wings. They were outstanding--as good as Archies or better--I'd have to taste them side by side.

I also got a rack of baby backs with fries and my wife got a mexican wrap (steak, rice, lettuce, tomato, sour cream) with fries. The fries were very crispy--you can tell that they were properly fried twice. The ribs were fall off the bone, and I've seldom had better ribs out. My wife said her wrap was excellent.

For those of you not in the know, they also feature a raw bar with clams and oysters. I don't particularly like raw shellfish, but for you folks looking for a raw bar, it's there.

To summarize, it's a good local place, and the service matched the quality of their food. The menu can be a little hard to find online, so here's the link:

http://ktbaxters.webstarts.com/menu.html

Their pasta offerings look great as well. I'll be back.

9.5/10

Review: Touro Old Saybrook, CT--PLEASE TRY IT

Wow, a lengthy review and a not a comment.

Review: Touro Old Saybrook, CT--PLEASE TRY IT

1333 Boston Post Rd
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
(860) 339-5731

I know there was another review of Touro some topics back, but I figured another report might deserve its own thread. I went last night with the wife for 7:30pm dinner. It's a quaint little place--if you choose to come to dinner here, you may consider reservations. Very clean. Good wine selection. My wife had a red sangria, which she loved. The menu is intimate, but the offerings on it sounded wonderful. We opted to try the rodizio.

For the uninitiated, the rodizio meals here comprise of three side dishes accompanied by various grilled meats that are brought to your table. They give the table a piece of wood painted red and green on either end. You flip to green when you want more food, you flip to red when you want a pause in your meal. I was worried that my wife and I wouldn't be able to keep up with the bringing of the food, but it seemed to work just fine.

For sides, my wife ordered the black beans, yellow rice, and the mixed vegetables. I must say that the beans were not seasoned at all---which we found weird because everything else was very well seasoned. That being said, my wife would just order a different side instead of the beans next time. I had the collard greens (sauteed with onions, garlic and red pepper and probably a few other seasonings I didn't pick up) fried mashed potato (its really cute--it comes out looking like an egg roll dusted with panko), and my favorite central/south american side, plantains. All my sides were excellent. I must say that it took a while for our sides to come out of the kitchen--more on this later.

Shortly after the sides hit the table, the rodizio started. Up first was a roast chicken leg, very well done, but somewhat not special. Next, I believe was linguica (kind of tastes like kolbasi if you've never had it--very good), a piece of chicken kabob that was marinated in a lime based marinade, roast chicken wrapped in bacon, top sirloin (this was one of the higher points of the meal and I was surprised how well they did it because sirloin can be very tough. This was grilled PERFECTLY). Following that were a few grilled, dry rubbed pork ribs--perfectly cooked--not falling off the bone (I like a little substance to my ribs if they're not smoked and barbecued). Next was lamb---and let me tell you, it was the best lamb I've EVER EATEN. I made a roast lamb for this year's Easter and my family RAVED over it; well, I have to say, Touro's lamb surpasses my own. The marinade (and perhaps a sneaky dry rub too) just permeated the meat--heavy on the rosemary and balsamic vinegar, I think. I might add, this is probably very close to the same recipe I use myself, but again, the flavorings here were just so much stronger. I could have just eaten the lamb and my sides and would have been very happy indeed. Next out of the kitchen came beef tenderloin (a bit stringy, actually but tasty), and grilled pineapple to cap off the meal. I'm sure I missed a dish in there somewhere.

All the food was top notch, and I'd come here again in a heartbeat. I repeat, I will return, and in future visit I'll order the rodizio again.

The downside--the rodizio is expensive, as I reported in another thread, it is 28 dollars per person (we happened to have a coupon). However, for what you get, and IF YOU'RE HUNGRY determines its worth. I may not get the rodizio next time depending on how hungry I am or if I just want to dabble in other parts of the menu--it's nice to have options :) I particularly want to try the feijoada. Look this up if you don't know what it is ;)

I found it awkward (I am a rodizio noob) to ask for more sides--this also comes with the 'terms' of the meal. I was hesitant because of how long they took to come out of the kitchen initially. I would also suggest that when the waiter comes around with a skewer of meat and you want more, don't be shy to ask him right then and there. Trust me, you'll thank me later.

While heavy on the meats, this is also a place where you can eat healthy--dieters, I think you'll do OK.

Another plus, the owner (presumably) came out at the end of the meal to ask us how everything was. He would have liked to take a picture, but we are photo shy and declined. I did tell him that I'd share my culinary findings and thus, my lengthy report. It's well deserved--please give it a try--it's different--it's delicious--it's TOURO and it receives my highest praises.

Substituting Thai Red Chillies

I think Chile de arbol would also be a good substitute.

Jul 24, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

Need your tomatillo recipes!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bo...

A great recipe from Bobby Flay, and EASY.

Jul 24, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

Freezing Pesto with Cheese

Ditto.

Jul 22, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

Grilling Italian Sausage-split or not to split?

Def. low and slow

Jul 12, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #154 - Dog Days of Summer Edition [old]

Are you grilling your tortillas on a flat top or standard grill? Any special treatment?

Jul 12, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #154 - Dog Days of Summer Edition [old]

This might be REALLY good with some lean ground pork :)

Jul 12, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

What dish do you cook that people just rave about?

+ another 1 :)

Jul 12, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

What dish do you cook that people just rave about?

I don't think a Texan would be surprised by anything put in chili. Out of all recipes I've ever encountered, I'm not sure there are more recipes for one dish than chili.

Jul 12, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

What dish do you cook that people just rave about?

How does one serve scallion pancakes?

Jul 12, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

Touro - New Brazilian in Old Saybrook

Called them again, and at least this time I was greeted with an answer. Their Rodizio (sp) is priced at about 28 dollars per person.

Eggplant and tomatoes

Well, you folks certainly gave me some ideas. Thank you all. If you have any more, please don't hesitate. :)

Jul 10, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

Eggplant and tomatoes

These sound wonderful! Thank you!!

Jul 10, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

Eggplant and tomatoes

Heluva post!!!! Thank you so much!!

Jul 09, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

Eggplant and tomatoes

If you want to scale it down, use ramekins. You don't have to make a whole casserole of parm.

Jul 09, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

Fairfield County - 2 Questions

I KNOW it's not fairfield county, but Libby's in New Haven makes the best. They have another store in North Haven as well.

Poutine is a hard find here. It's the cheese curds that make it so difficult.

Meadow Meat (Middletown, CT)

How are their prices on beef?

Eggplant and tomatoes

Lydia Bastianich makes something similar w/o the chx stock--add copious amounts of olive oil, throw in some basil and serve as a salad or sandwich filling (between ciabatta).

Jul 09, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

Eggplant and tomatoes

omg.....:) Do you have any favorites that stick out?

Jul 09, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

Eggplant and tomatoes

Thank you. Keep em' coming.

Jul 08, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

Eggplant and tomatoes

I'm about to be besieged by eggplant and tomatoes from the garden. Can you folks post your best recipe suggestions? Ixnay on eggplant parm--I'm well versed there. Recipes don't have to have both ingredients in them. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE, Chris

Jul 08, 2012
stormshadow in Home Cooking

Touro - New Brazilian in Old Saybrook

thank you! I called and nobody is picking up today. To be closed on 4th of July weekend is not a smart business move.

Touro - New Brazilian in Old Saybrook

In an attempt to look them up on the net, I couldn't find them. I don't suppose anybody has a number and address? :)