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Nancy Silverton Ground Beef At Huntington Meats

Yup, best suited to the grill. I've used this a number of times, and it's really a wonderful mix. Highly recommended -- but wait until you can grill it.

Dec 15, 2007
bdumes in Los Angeles Area

Roast Chicken on Bed of Potatoes (I saw Ina do it) - Help!

Tried this tonight with fingerlings, leeks, carrots and red onion fresh this morning from the Hollywood Farmer's Market and a nice organic chicken from Trader Joe's -- 425 for 70 minutes and let it sit for another 20 minutes and it was just perfect. The leeks had turned into caramelized lusciousness. Everywhere was chicken fat goodness. I put a head of garlic sliced in half and a lemon sliced in half inside and did the butter rub on the skin. Just wonderful. My wife and kids said it was the best ever. Until the next one! :-)

Dec 09, 2007
bdumes in Home Cooking

Roast Chicken on Bed of Potatoes (I saw Ina do it) - Help!

Personally, for roasting I find red onions to be the best. When I roast a chicken whole, I usually throw some red onion, thyme and/or rosemary and lemon inside. We have a rosemary bush next to my place that grows all year long (I live in Los Angeles). I employ the same idea when I roast cut up chicken with veggies.

Dec 07, 2007
bdumes in Home Cooking

What are you making for Rosh Hashanah?

I've seen frozen unbaked Challah at the Ralph's on the corner of Beverly and Doheny. There's a small Kosher-ish frozen section in the aisle.

Sep 05, 2007
bdumes in Home Cooking

AOC Review 02/07 - with pictures

Thanks! I guess I could manage that once in a while. I assume you felt it was worth it?

Mar 07, 2007
bdumes in Los Angeles Area

AOC Review 02/07 - with pictures

I guess this is why I mostly cook at home. :-) My wife and I eat out once a month (at most) at our favorite sushi place where we get the omakase which usually ends up being $70 or $80 for both of us. No wine, but an amazing meal.

It does look lovely, though...

Mar 06, 2007
bdumes in Los Angeles Area

AOC Review 02/07 - with pictures

I'm walking distance to AOC but I've never gone because I'm terrified by the potential cost. What does a meal like that set you back?

Mar 06, 2007
bdumes in Los Angeles Area

Farmer's Market LA (Fairfax & 3rd) - What to eat?

Good question.

As chowmominLA says, perhaps one of the reasons I was disappointed is that the Magee's corned beef was fatty and it was also not sliced in a Jewish deli style which is what I grew up with and what I think of when I think "Corned beef". So compared to Jewish deli's in Boston, New York, etc, I'd have to give it a 6 out of 10. If someone gave me a Magee's corned beef, I would go ahead and eat it, but I'm not intending to go back.

Mar 01, 2007
bdumes in Los Angeles Area

Farmer's Market LA (Fairfax & 3rd) - What to eat?

After all the recommendations for corned beef I went to Magees or whatever it is and sorry to say was greatly disappointed. But I should add that I am habitually disappointed in corned beef recommendations. This may seem wacky, but the best corned beef in the entire world (in my experience) is a deli in (believe it or not) Indianapolis Indiana called Shapiro's. http://www.shapiros.com/

For a couple of dollars more (and a plane ticket to Indianapolis) you can get THE perfect corned beef sandwich. The bread is twice is big and you get three times as much corned beef -- and WHAT corned beef! Lean and thinly sliced and beautiful. It is amazing....

Feb 28, 2007
bdumes in Los Angeles Area

Farmer's Market LA (Fairfax & 3rd) - What to eat?

Glad to hear these other recommendations. I live walking distance to Farmer's Market and I find myself (and my wife) always going back to Moishe's every time we're there. It's just too insanely good. I can't remember the name of it, but there's this amazing pomegranate-walnut stuff that you *must* try (unless you have a nut allergy...). The couscous is fabulous. All of the meats are wonderful, especially the lamb.

Some people complain about the "attitude" of the workers there. Give them a break, this can't be a fun job. They've been standing in that tiny little booth for years dishing out food and they can't help but be a bit jaded. I don't go there for the witty repartee, I go for the food.

Feb 28, 2007
bdumes in Los Angeles Area

Ukranian borscht recipe from old Saveur?

Actually my Romanian grandmother used to make something she called Spinach Borscht which didn't have beets. I never tried it as a kid because it looked too weird, but I would love to know how to make it now. My Mom doesn't remember how her mother made it, but she loved it. I've googled some recipes, but none of them look right, though I admit I'm trying to re-create a 40 year old memory...

Feb 23, 2007
bdumes in Home Cooking

Best Marcella Hazan cookbook?

I seem to be in a minority around here, but my two favorites are "Cucina" and "Says". Some complain that the recipes are warmed over from her earlier books, but I personally feel that her instructions became more clear with each book. I also love "Italian Kitchen" and use it frequently too. The first two books, to me, were to teach America basic Italian cooking and the recipes are glorious in their simplicity. In the later books, she calls for some items that were probably very difficult for American cooks to get in the 70's or 80's, but are quite common even in supermarkets in large cities today. I can get pancetta at any supermarket in Los Angeles. It's not the best Pancetta, but it's not bad.

At any rate, if you are new to Marcella, my personal recommendation would be "Says" or "Cucina". But trust me, you'll want them all. :-) I bought the first two books and "Italian Kitchen" on Ebay and they were quite reasonable.

Good luck!

Jan 28, 2007
bdumes in Home Cooking

Marcella Hazan's pasta making method -- I need help!

Thanks to everyone. I guess it's off to Amazon!

Jan 15, 2007
bdumes in Home Cooking

Marcella Hazan's pasta making method -- I need help!

I'm sure you're right, though it seems kind of sad. I think there must be a great pleasure out of getting it to work totally by hand. But I sure was exhausted after, and having some inedible mess as a result didn't help either.

I don't mind paying a bit more for a machine if it makes a real difference. Can anyone recommend a pasta machine? There seems to be a real hand-crank vs electric pasta machine argument as well. Any comments?

Jan 15, 2007
bdumes in Home Cooking

Marcella Hazan's pasta making method -- I need help!

I'm a huge fan of Marcella, but have never made fresh pasta, so I figured I'd go with whatever Marcella tells me to do, which usually comes out perfect.

I read the instructions in the "Classic", "More Classic" and Cucina. They are pretty close to the same method with different ways of trying to explain it.

Where I'm getting stuck is rolling it out thin enough. I just can't get it to keep thinning. I made a rolling pin as she described, a 1.5" by 32" dowel. That whole "hand waving" over the rolling pin thing that she describes is just not working for me.

Can anyone offer any help on her method or alternate methods?

thanks!

Jan 15, 2007
bdumes in Home Cooking

Marcella's Chicken w/ Lemons - Any Consensus on What to Roast It in?

If you follow Marcella's instructions exactly, the chicken won't stick. Do make sure the chicken is VERY dry.

I made this a few days ago and used an old 1940's enamel baking pan that I got at a yard sale and had no problems.

Jan 14, 2007
bdumes in Home Cooking

Marcella's Chicken -- will it work with a larger bird?

I'm confused by this, actually. My copy of "more Classic Italian Cooking" calls for a 2.5 lb. bird. Is this one of the things that changed when it was merged into "essentials". I always thought 2.5 was absurd to claim it'd feed 4 people anyway.

Bruce

Jan 14, 2007
bdumes in Home Cooking

Matzo Ball Soup Challenge

I find the Matzo Ball Soup at Jerry's Deli disgusting, to be honest. Usually if something is greasy, at least it tastes good, but in this case, it's the worst of both worlds.

But to be honest, I've never had any Matzo Ball soup that comes close to homemade, so that's what I do, so I guess I'm not much help! :-)

I haven't tried it at Langers, so I guess I ought to...

Jan 14, 2007
bdumes in Los Angeles Area

freezing pancetta?

I keep some of the plastic sealed pancetta from Whole Foods around for emergencies. It's pretty decent pancetta, not as nice as the freshly sliced, but very servicable.

Jan 04, 2007
bdumes in Home Cooking

Best LA Butcher?

Being a local, I know about this other lot, but I prefer to walk.

I didn't know the history of the meat markets, but that is interesting. I like them both for different things. The Huntington usually has a nicer variety, though Marconda's has a better selection of pork. I love those pork steaks for $2.49/lb (used to always be $1.99). They are a great bargain and taste wonderful. Off topic, but here's what I do with them:

pre-heat the oven to 450. salt the top of the pork steak and cover with onion thinly sliced. Cover and back 1/2 hour. Remove from oven, turn down to 350, add a mixture of 1.5 cups water, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 3 tbsp ketchup, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp sesame seeds, garlic, pepper, korean hot pepper flakes and whatever else strikes my fancy at the time. Cover again and bake another couple of hours. During the last hour, I throw in some potato and carrots, cut into medium pieces. Sop up the juices with crusty bread. Very good on these cold winter LA evenings where it gets down to the high 40's! :-)

Jan 03, 2007
bdumes in Los Angeles Area

Best LA Butcher?

I agree with the above posts that both meat markets in the 3rd and Fairfax Farmer's Market are great (Marconda’s Meats and Huntington Meats & Sausage).

I am very fortunate that I can walk there in five minutes, so they are my neighborhood butcher shop and I don't have to deal with parking. These people are knowledgable and can suggest recipies and cooking methods. Though the guy at Huntington looked at me rather oddly when I told him that I use pancetta in my burritos. Trust me, ANYTHING is better with pancetta. :-)

Jan 03, 2007
bdumes in Los Angeles Area

Marcella Hazan Focaccia

This afternoon I decided to try one of Marcella's Focaccia recipes. I haven't done a lot of breads, but everything I've ever made from Marcella's books has come out perfect, so I decided to have a bash.

Her recipe for Focaccia with onion topping (More Classic Italian Cooking, p. 53 in my edition) calls for 3 cups of flour and 1 package of yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup lukewarm water. I followed this exactly, since Marcella insists that you do what she says :-), but the flour was extremely difficult to work with. My wife, who has done some breadmaking, says that she would normally expect 3 cups of flour to use 1 cup of water. Marcella's other bread recipes, in fact, do follow the proportions my wife indicated.

I'm still waiting to see if the thing is going to rise, so I'll let you all know what happens, but my question is this: Is 1/2 cup wrong, or does the texture of Focaccia require this unusual proportion? If 1/2 cup is correct, then I'd say that kneading Focaccia is definitely NOT for beginners.

Many thanks, fellow Chowhounds.

Bruce

Jan 01, 2007
bdumes in Home Cooking

More on Marcella Hazan - Marcella's Italian Kitchen

I wonder if part if it is habit. I was a late-comer to the ways of Marcella and the first book of hers I got was Says and shortly after that Cucina. I cooked out of them 5 days a week for months before I picked up all the other books.

There are probably a half-dozen recipes out of each of them that I cook regularly without even remembering where they came from now, but when I'm looking for inspiration, I always go back to Says and Cucina first.

Dec 19, 2006
bdumes in Home Cooking

Marcella Cucina - Really Cheap on Amazon - Buy?

Just goes to show you how different opinions can be. My two favorite Marcella books are "Marcella Cucina" and "Marcella Says". To call "Marcella Cucina" "dumbed down Marcella" is beyond my imagination.

I have all of Marcella's books, I couldn't live without any of them. But "Cucina" is special.

Here are some of my very favorite recipes from this book, and so wonderful:

1) Scallops with Tomato, Garlic, and Rosemary
2) Squid Braised in Olive Oil and White Wine with Spinach, Fresh Tomato, and Chili Pepper
3) Broccoli and Potato Soup
4) Stewed Shoulder of Veal with White Wine, Artichokes, and Cream

They all have Marcella's simple elegance.

I can't promise that you will find this book as inspiring as I do, but for $5, I'd say it's worth a chance!

Dec 04, 2006
bdumes in Home Cooking

Batali vs. Le Creuset

I've had mine for about four months, and it is my hands down favorite kitchen item. I use it at least twice a week. It cooks great, it cleans up great. I've never had the bucks to by the LC stuff, so I can't compare, but I can't see how I could like it any better. This thing just does everything I ask of it so wonderfully. By the way, it's often on sale at Amazon. I bought mine for $80 and I saw it go as low as $60.

Dec 04, 2006
bdumes in Cookware

Marcella Hazan recipe--mystery phrase

Marcella uses this description several times, and it's one of those things that once you see happen, you realize it's the only way to describe it.

With Marcella, as many have found, when first trying any of her recipes, I trust her implicitly and do exactly what she says. She's never steered me wrong yet!

Nov 26, 2006
bdumes in Home Cooking

Goose me for Thanksgiving

Nice to know about the Latke hint this close to Hannukah! :-)

I use a couple of tablespoons of duck fat over veggies for roasting. It is less transparent than olive oil, but what it adds is something pretty special.

I imagine, since we're trading Jewish recipes :-), that it would also be excellent for potato kugel, which uses a controversial amount of fats anyway.

Nov 14, 2006
bdumes in Home Cooking

Goose me for Thanksgiving

I wasn't aware of the farm/wild distinction. I live in Los Angeles; I imagine I can get a wild goose here. Hmmm, I may be carrying my goose joke too far. :-)

I may call ahead to my local butcher (over at Farmer's Market) and find out if it's something I should pre-order.

Nov 14, 2006
bdumes in Home Cooking

Goose me for Thanksgiving

Well, it turns out that Thanksgiving this year will be a very low key event, just my lovely wife and myself. I was thinking I'd make a duck, which never fails to satisfy. But I've been looking for a good excuse to try cooking a goose. I realize that a goose is really way too much for just the two of us for dinner. So is a duck, but we LOVE the things I can do with the leftovers, especially making a soup from the carcass.

Anyway, so this will be my first experience with a duck. I'm looking for roasting suggestions as well as leftovers suggestions. I've heard that goose fat is just wonderful for roasting anything, so I'm planning on saving that. Are there "stuff/no stuff" factions with geese like with turkeys?

I'm really intrigued by some recipes I've seen online calling for a port. Any excuse to throw alcohol into my food is always fun. :-)

Thanks in advance.

Nov 14, 2006
bdumes in Home Cooking

Review---Cooks Illustrated Pot Roast

I must have missed that issue of CI. Can you give some more details?

Oct 30, 2006
bdumes in Home Cooking