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Cuban Sandwiches

Thank you for making the mayonnaise optional. As a rule, in Miami the mayo is a no-no. (In NJ or Tampa's Cuban communities they include it. I, personally, find the texture of hot mayonnaise monumentally unappealing.)

If Cuban bread is unavailable (VERY likely the case) a variation would be to make the sandwich with an egg-bread, which then become's the Cuban sandwich's alter-ego "The Medianoche" (i.e. Midnight sandwich) which is equally delicious. All those crusty, rustic loaves are the wrong texture.

Oddly enough, the Philly cheesesteak roll is VERY close to Cuban bread, so if you can get that, try it.

Jul 23, 2012
jokeiii in Recipes

Chinablue sauces?

Whatever happened to this company?

Jun 13, 2012
jokeiii in General Topics

Best pasta sauce in a jar?

Home made is best, natch. Now, having said that there are some jarred sauces I enjoy.

Victoria Marinara - It has that classic Italian-American flavor down pretty well.
Citarella Lobster Fra Diavolo
Pomi Marinara - Much fresher, more Italian, less Italian-American when you want that sort of thing...the aseptic carton keeps it fresher than a jar.
Coppola Amatriciana
Mid's Meat Sauce - I use to make a fast lasagna al forno.

Not crazy about Sockarooni. Alessi is nice, too.

Oct 24, 2011
jokeiii in General Topics

Mexican Coke Vs American Coke

Setting aside all the controversy over HFCS, Coca-Cola sweetened with sugar tastes, to me, 10000000000% better. Mexican Coke is not all that available here in Miami, but Kosher For Passover is plentiful "in season" and, well, we're all about having things in season.

Oct 02, 2011
jokeiii in Food Media & News

Faux Gras: Surprise on a Cracker

The "cruel" thing on the label draws an immediate and reflexive eyeroll and does not induce me to leap to sample this product. Sadly, it fairly screams to me "marketing concept developed in an echo chamber."

Sep 29, 2011
jokeiii in Features

DIY sous vide controller - HOW??

Thanks. I'll futz around with different pots and see what I get with what.

Sep 07, 2011
jokeiii in Cookware

DIY sous vide controller - HOW??

If memory serves, Ziplock-brand bags are OK up to 170F.

Sep 07, 2011
jokeiii in Cookware

DIY sous vide controller - HOW??

Let me be more specific.

On Monday, having nothing better to do, I put my Dutch oven (enameled cast iron, 8qt) on the stove, filled with room temp. (75F) tap water set on low. About 45 minutes later, the water temperature had reached 145F. 4 hours later, the water was still 145F. I would have kept it up longer but I got bored and lost interest in checking every 20 min.

My thinking was to insulate the water vessel, that some of the heat coming from the burner is insulated, but you may be right that this would be a benefit-free complication.

Sep 07, 2011
jokeiii in Cookware

DIY sous vide controller - HOW??

My problem (thus far) w. my stovetop is that at its lowest setting, which is"1", goes to (and stays locked in at) 145F. Spectacular for anything I want to cook at 145F. But I want to cook some things lower than that. (I'm thinking down to 125F)

I MIGHT set a smaller pot inside a larger one also filled with water to see how that, er, pans out. Also curious as to what temperature my slow cooker registers on "warm."

Thanks for setting me straight on the matter of volume...will try with my stock pot, too.

Sep 07, 2011
jokeiii in Cookware

DIY sous vide controller - HOW??

I might try the oven method. On my stovetop, my enameled cast iron Dutch oven wouldn't go any lower than 145F. Meanwhile, my oven can go as low as 150F, and that can be lowered by leaving the door ajar. Thanks!

Sep 06, 2011
jokeiii in Cookware

DIY sous vide controller - HOW??

I'm trying to gather infor to build my own slow-cooker sous vide rig, but I am running into a wall when I seek HOW to put together the controller. Keep in mind, I am woefully out of my league in terms of electronics. So the questions really are:

1- Have any of you done this?
2- What specific items do I need to purchase?
3- How do I assemble/connect them?

Some of what I have seen online -- again with only the most cursory of explanations -- looks like a next of wires. So that my wife doesn't freak out, I'd like to have a neat installation.

TIA!

Sep 05, 2011
jokeiii in Cookware

More Miami restaurant closings

Les Halles' owner is apparently "reorganizing" and the Les Halles site lists the FL location as "temporarily closed."

We'll see.

-----
Les Halles
2415 Ponce De Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134

Aug 31, 2010
jokeiii in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Les Halles in Coral Gables--Closed

I have always enjoyed myself there. While I hope this is just a temporary situation, the fact they are closed on Bastille Day, which has been traditionally a Very Big Deal for them gives me pause.

Jul 14, 2010
jokeiii in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Argentine Grilled Tri-Tip

For anyone who lives where tri-tip is a rarity but can get to a Latin butcher shop, the name for this cut in Spanish is "colita de cuadril" and here in Miami it's the only way I can find it. (PS, As regards grassfed beef I REALLY recommend Tallgrass Beef.)

Jun 19, 2010
jokeiii in Recipes

WTF? No Orange Curacao in all of PA! Mai Tais Ruined? Please help!

I just want to chime in to underscore my support for Patrón Citronge. Really excellent stuff, half the price of Cointreau. It is my go-to choice in anything calling for Curacao, Triple-sec, etc. Also, the main difference between "my" Mai-Tai and others is putting the spent lime shell in the shaker...I like the extra little something the essential oils in the peel give the drink.

Jun 07, 2010
jokeiii in Spirits

Results - Eye of Round Roast from Cook's Illustrated Recipe

My thinking was to use the smoker to add a smoky taste, not to smoke it as you would a brisket. That is, I'd use it to "smoke roast" it at 225F until medium-rare.

Apr 06, 2009
jokeiii in Home Cooking

smoked beef brisket

For some reason the link was mangled. It's http://www.virtualweberbullet.com and it has more details on smoking a brisket than you'd think possible.

Apr 06, 2009
jokeiii in Home Cooking

Separated Gumbo - Help Please!

Also, it helps if the stock is at room temperature instead of boiling hot. I strongly advocate the "oven roux" method, too. I take Poppy Tooker's advice and never let the roux go past milk chocolate color, as it continues to brown when you add the onions, peppers and celery.

Apr 06, 2009
jokeiii in Home Cooking

Best steakhouse in Miami/Miami Beach?

If your definition of a "steakhouse" goes beyond the American variant, then I'd second the suggestion for Graziano's. Keep in mind some of those cuts of beef have no similarity to what we have here. (For a future Argentine cheap date with your Hubby, consider La Porteña off Galloway and 8th...really, really delicious and because of the strip-mall location, a reverse sticker shock.)

If you're feeling a bit Francophilic, there's always Les Halles.

I'm not so crazy, myself, about the chain steakhouses. As a rule the only thing which distinguishes them, to my mind, are the outrageous portions and prices. If you want an old-school American steakhouse, my fave is Christy's in the Gables.

I'm kind of surprised nobody has mentioned Shula's.

Kind of.

Apr 06, 2009
jokeiii in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

One night in Miami

You can also try LeBon (721 Lincoln Rd) for awesome Belgian (!) food...excellent moules, frites, carbonnade and the longest Belgian beer list I have ever seen. The fries are worth the trip alone.

Right next door is a great little Italian place called TiramesU (no, that's not a typo) that serves really good casual Italian food filling the gap between a neighborhood joint and serious white-linen Italianness. You will likely be in the minority of non-Italians eating there.

If you feel flush and tired, stay in and dine at Gotham Steak. If you feel flush, I concur with Talula.

If you're feeling carnivorous and not that flush, try Liberty Parrillada (aka "Parrilla Liberty") at 609 Washington. Keep in mind the portions are VERY generous. (You could easily share almost every main course and not quite finish it all.)

Hope that helps!

Apr 05, 2009
jokeiii in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

smoked beef brisket

An excellent resource is http://www.virtualweberbullet.com...t... folks are WILDLY knowledgeable and exceedingly helpful. Try it!

Apr 05, 2009
jokeiii in Home Cooking

Results - Eye of Round Roast from Cook's Illustrated Recipe

I want to second this. The only changes I made were:

1- After salting the required hours, I rubbed it with a salt-free version of Adam's Steak Rub (a little hack on my part with which I am particularly pleased) and let it come up to room temperature.
2- Than, after the sear, I let it rest a little bit to let the temperatures come down a bit.

I might try to roast it next time at 200F, to see if that makes any difference. It may be worth trying in a smoker, also.

Apr 05, 2009
jokeiii in Home Cooking

Reverse engineering?

Todao,

That sounds really good...but it's not the W-S rub I need "hacked."

(My dad's blood pressure means he can't have salt at all.) But thanks!

All I really know about the Williams Sonoma rub is that it has " New Mexican chilies, California cilantro, Turkish cumin, paprika and more – plus sea salt and tart lime."

Thanks again,

Apr 04, 2009
jokeiii in Home Cooking

Reverse engineering?

I'm trying to replicate -- minus the salt -- Williams-Sonoma's Chili[sic] Lime Rub and Spicy Chipotle Rub...has anyone any ideas?

Thanks!

Mar 29, 2009
jokeiii in Home Cooking

Boca Raton--Anything interesting or "chowish"

Cucina d'Angelo. It's in a shopping complex just off The Boca Town Center. The address is 5050 Town Center Circle # 247 and the # is 561-750-2344. For lunch, walking-in is OK, but at night you may need to make a reservation, especially on weekends.

-J.

Mar 30, 2007
jokeiii in Florida

100 Pounds of Leftovers

An excellent recipe for anticuchos is in the first Schlesinger & Willoughby "grill" book (<i>The Thrill of the Grill</i>, I think) and with that you'd be all set.

As for grassfed beef, you'd do well to look into Argentine cookbooks as all the beef raised on the pampas is grassfed.

-J.

Mar 30, 2007
jokeiii in Features