PoppiYYZ's Profile

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Freshest spices in TO

Don't thank me, I'm just passing forward the hard work of other CHers ! seeldee is the one to thank.

More here :
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/888865#8109869

Their crazy good pepper is available through spicetrekkers. BTW, the Madagascar and Malabar are both far superior to the Tellicherry and Tellicherry Bold IMHO. http://spicetrekkers.com/

DON'T get me going on pepper....

Apr 13, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Freshest spices in TO

True. Somethings one must buy, especially good black pepper. For that, I have resorted to Kalustyan’s in NYC and Penzeys in Buffalo when visiting, plus Epices de Cru in Montreal for mail order. All top quality. Kalustyans is a shrine...

I have had good success with drying fennel seed, coriander seed, and chili pepper however.

If the OP has specific spices / mixes of particular interest (like Garam Marsala), there are specialty shops that would be the best option.

Apr 13, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Freshest spices in TO

House of Spice has always seemed a little iffy to me, and some others (eg Spice Trader) seem a little too over the top (and pricey).

The best way to ensure freshness for the majority of herbs & spices is to take matters into your own hands.

Buy and use fresh when in season of course, then buy herbs/spices later in their season to dry yourself. Pretty easy, very satisfying, and your dried herbs/spices will never be more than 6-7 months old !

If you want to go rustic, leave some of your favorites (like oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage) hanging in the kitchen. Easy to access and they make things smell nice too.

If you have a little space, sun, and dirt, you can even grow some yourself.

Keep your old spice bottles to refill.

BTW my little potted bay plant has done great this winter !

Apr 13, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Peterborough, Ontario Good Eats Rec's

Don't see the appeal of Reggies. Been twice and both times were a bust, Apollo burgers beat Reggies hands down IMHO (Apollo has two locations now, George St and out west on Landsdowne). Oh, and don't waste your time and money at The Works.

Pretty well ALL the Ptbo gems are covered here.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/798956#6718855
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4005...

Now something REALLY important : Muddy's Pit BBQ in Keene opened last week. Outstanding Q ! Check his facebook page for which days they are open through the Spring. Get Ye There Now !

Muddy's, Muddy's, Muddy's....

Apr 13, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Proper grilling technique for steaks

I meant twist (or better yet rotate or spin) 60-90 degrees to get a cross hatch grill pattern on the first side (which will be presented).

Seriously, I would rather have a slightly over cooked rested steak with good char over a medium rare "poached" piece of meat. Mmmmm Char....

Apr 10, 2014
PoppiYYZ in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Proper grilling technique for steaks

Get yourself a nicely marbled 1 1/2" thick ribeye or sirloin.

Smash a clove of garlic and place in bowl, add a couple of sprigs fresh thyme, and a good dollop salted butter. Microwave 15-30 seconds to melt. Brush on steaks (no pepper yet).

Full blast heat on BBQ til max heat (maybe 15 minutes), leave on full heat, sear butter side down with lid closed (1-2 minutes), turn 90 degrees and move slightly, and sear again, brush top side with butter, flip, sear again. Rest in 220 F toaster oven for 20 minutes, add fresh cracked pepper.

Super fast, outstandingly seared rare steak, and limited use of gas.

If you got yourself a dry aged steak, be extra careful cause they sear and cook quicker.

Apr 10, 2014
PoppiYYZ in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

What to do with Kielbasa

It's ready, it's READY !!!!

Found some good suggestions here :

http://allrecipes.com/recipes/meat-an...

Tonight :

Fresh made Kielbasa still warm from the smoker, along with boiled potatoes, carrots (both from last years garden), and peas. Mmmm mmmm...

Apr 10, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Home Cooking

What to do with Kielbasa

Bump.

Make your favorite cabbage roll recipe, lay 3-4" long pieces smoked keilbasa in amongst the cabbage rolls in a casserole, and bake together smothered in tomato sauce. Fantastic !!

Got 10 lbs homemade keilbasa in the smoker now and looking for other ideas...
:-P

Apr 10, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Home Cooking

Best corkscrews?

Big Bump.

My weapon of choice is the Laguiole en Aubrac - Juniper. Think of it as a piece of jewelry for your wine.

However, if you want to be the perfectly prepared traveler, or the hero to the rescue when a corked bottle has become a problem, this "Swiss Army Waiter" should always be on your person. This excellent little knife just finished two weeks sailing in the Grenadines and came to the wine rescue repeatedly !!

BTW. I have opened bottles of corked wine without any tools. Remove wrapping to expose the cork, hold bottle by the neck HORIZONTALLY, and tap the bottom firmly, carefully, repeatedly against some solid wood (a tree or heavy fence post works great). The cork will inch its way out. When the cork is almost completely out, you can pull the remainder by hand without wasting a drop. Honest.

Apr 07, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Cookware

Unwaxed produce

No disrespect, because I admire your desire, but do what your Grandma and Grandpa did (if they lived north of 37 degrees latitude).

Preserve what you want, and eat fresh what is in season. If you live near Toronto, you shouldn't be eating a fresh tomato now.

PS counting the days til the first Asparagus !!

Mar 20, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Salad sauerkraut in Toronto

Would love to see recipe.

The fellow doing the workshop was young and Polish. The recipes were from his mother and grandmother ! So simple, and so good.

We've made a lot of fermented products before, but one can learn a few new ingredients, methods, or tricks from every recipe. Love to learn the Latvian technique !

BTW, my first attempt at brewing beer is ready to bottle. How does a meal of homemade sauerkraut, Kielbasa, and beer with home grown potatoes sound !!

Mar 10, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Salad sauerkraut in Toronto

You did say ideas...

Took a fermented vegetable workshop recently and we made fresh fermented sauerkraut and beets (two separate dishes).

Slice cabbage thin, shred some carrot, then mix and pack into a mason jar in layers sprinkling a little sea salt on each layer (maybe a half teaspoon salt total in the jar), pack and weigh down so liquid from the veggies covers cabbage (important to prevent spoilage and one can add a little salt water if needed), cover with cheese cloth and wait a week or so. Taste periodically to decide when it is to your taste, then refrigerate. Super simple.

Tastes vinegary but there is no vinegar added. Fresh, crisp, slightly sweet from the veggies only, and absolutely delicious.

Do it yourself, it is VERY rewarding.

PS Shredded beets made the same way but with a little shredded turnip and fennel seed added. Outstanding.

Mar 07, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Scarborough Gems

My rough Mortar looks like this. Great for grinding stuff, not so good for serving...

Mar 06, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Scarborough Gems

Stone Mortar, STONE MORTAR !!??

I've been looking for a "smooth" stone mortar (molcajete) for YEARS !! I have a rough lava mortar that's sweet, but I really want to find a smooth mortar (likely basalt rock) to serve salsa in - like I remember in Puebla.

Did it, gulp, look something like this....

Mar 06, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Proper martini glasses

Very elegant !

I ended up buying these little beauties :

http://www.amazon.com/Nick-Martini-Gl...

I now keep a pellet gun and a decorated Christmas tree handy year round !

Mar 03, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Spirits

Flat bottomed carbon steel wok.

I just picked up a 16" curved bottom one from Tap Phong. Heavy carbon steel, hollow steel handle stays cool, seasoned beautifully, $24, and the best part is the well at the bottom created by the curve.

Why do you want to go with a flat bottom one ? TP also sells stainless steel base rings for about $2 if stability is the issue.

Mar 02, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Are There ANY Quality Hot Sauce Stores In Toronto?

Yes hi, but no we don't need one.

Hot sauce stores make no meaning when so much good sauce is available everywhere. And on line too.

Read recommendations, order online, or buy at one of the many good locations.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6260...

PS LOVE your posts ! Original and Rock'in.

Feb 27, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Banh Mi in TO

Thanks M,

It is definitely Tung Hing. My typo mistake and I missed the edit window. They are worth getting it right.

Haven't tried the other locations but I'm adding them to my "Food Map" now.

Feb 27, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Banh Mi in TO

Stopped in at Tun Hing Bakery yesterday (1700 Wilson near Jane in the north side Winners Plaza). Still cranking out one fine Banh Mi. Their BBQ Pork bun was also VERY fresh and tasty. Six super fresh banh mi buns, a bbq pork bun, and a generously filled BM for $5.50.

We got a pretty good BM scene going in TO.

Feb 27, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Home Beer Brewing--good or bad idea?

Prost.

Feb 24, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Beer

Home Beer Brewing--good or bad idea?

Thanks all,

I planted my own hops last year, so I for one am ready to go. Lets open up the kimonos and show how really good home brew can be made !

It is understood that it will take trials and determination to reach brewing excellence, but if people who are extremely competent don't share, the rest of us are lost in the dark.

Thanks LStaff, I'm taking your recipe along with my other notes to a self proclaimed local home brew master (if such a thing exists), for a joint brewing session this week. I'm really looking forward to it.

Thanks again for sharing.

BTW, my second rack of apfelwein (hard cider) is done and the prospects taste very good. Long live the Bembel.

Feb 24, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Beer

Home Beer Brewing--good or bad idea?

Thanks JMF,

I always imagined mead to be somewhere between beer and wine (like a cider), but with a dry slightly carbonated subtle honey flavor profile. Dunno since I have never tasted one that didn't have the sweat sock thing going.

Guess I need to try making some.

BTW, the bees are struggling in my part of the world. Most hives are dying off like crazy each winter. Mead may be a difficult thing to make in the future...

Feb 23, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Beer

Toronto's worst dives

Does anyone remember the name of the second floor dive more or less across from Sam the Record Man on Yonge ? Think they closed in the late 90s.

Great dive, especially on a weekday afternoon ! Ice cold Molson Stock ale and my dad's fav Molson Golden.

I'm sorry, I, sniff, I'm, begin to weep...

Feb 22, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Home Beer Brewing--good or bad idea?

Thanks,

I have bees, love honey, a friend makes mead, but I haven't developed a taste for the stuff. His tastes like soaked sweat sock water. Foul nasty stuff, but maybe it is my friends fault...

Been meaning to try making it myself, since the thought of hosting a tankard of mead appeals to me somehow !

BTW, I heard adding a touch of herbs or other flavorings is a good addition to mead.

Feb 22, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Beer

Home Beer Brewing--good or bad idea?

Bump.

After years of successfully making hard cider, and occasional wine making success, I'm a gunna give home brewin' a try !

Here is a pretty good summary of various recipes :

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/...

Anyone care to share your favorite recipe ?

Feb 22, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Beer

BEST BURGERS IN TORONTO!! ??

Marben.

Braised beef stuffed into a charred juicy beef patty, slightly sweet Worcestershire sauce, soft but solid bun. Absolutely delicious. It is a small burger, but extremely satisfying.

Also comes with some of the best "frites" style fries available, and a savory tasty coleslaw. Place is kinda cool too, has excellent service, and a limited but tasty beer selection.

Oh, if you like an Old Fashioned, try the smoky flavored Charred OF there. Different but very good.

Feb 22, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Source for KOSHER DILL pickling spice? (No cloves, please)

I did already. Wondered if Mr T had settled on a favorite blend or had any updates.

The commercial pickling spice works great in my Pickled Herring - Sledzie (vinegar based) which I am making today, but it doesn't work well in the dills.

Feb 08, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Los Angeles Area

Source for KOSHER DILL pickling spice? (No cloves, please)

Bump.

Hey Mr. Taster,

Any luck on a good Pickling Spice recipe for Fermented Dills ?

Tried many store bought mixes but none seem right. I also believe cloves, as well as cinnamon, allspice, mace, and ginger DON'T belong in fermented dills.

For dills, I'm kinda closing in on a mix of fresh dill, whole garlic, whole black pepper, dried red chilies, coriander, and mustard seed with various little additions of fennel, celery seed, bay, and even hint of cardamon. Getting close, but still needs a little work.

Feb 08, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Los Angeles Area

Bar Standards

Respect P, but I seriously do believe there is a new phenomena of "alternate" sources of income (or staff libation) by shorting drinking Customers. May be it is even the result of stricter enforcement; I dunno. I have seen this myself, discussed this with others, and have seen other miffed Customers more and more lately.

Bartenders are adept at dealing with challenging Customers, so if he or she were falsely accused of shorting, I'd think they would handle it professionally, and demonstrate that the Customer is wrong. Onus is on the bartenders.

Owners should be looking into this, Customers should be wary, and people should be calling out bartenders doing it and telling others too.

Feb 06, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Authentic southern BBQ spots in TO?

Don't forget the original Dinosaur Syracuse too ! Lived in Syracuse for a while, barely made it out alive after eating so much Q...

Feb 06, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)