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pmelvoin's Profile

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Best Kept Secrets on the Eastside

Won Ton City closed.
Was worth the trip.
Boo hoo!

Jun 14, 2014
pmelvoin in Greater Seattle

Braised Belgian Endive

Dear God,
You are right!

Jan 17, 2014
pmelvoin in Recipes

Mussel recipe with no alcolhol

Hey, just drink the broth!

Nov 24, 2013
pmelvoin in Home Cooking

Peking duck along the I-5.

Who has the best in Olympia, WA or close by?

Oct 31, 2013
pmelvoin in Pacific Northwest

Family foods I thought was normal

Recipes galore on this one.
Google: recipe: sheep"s (or goat's) head.

Dec 28, 2011
pmelvoin in General Topics

Family foods I thought was normal

A French fellow who I knew in the states invited me for a visit to his family's places on the outskirts of Paris and in a small town in the Loire Valley.
He usually prepared a simple salad, generally a butter lettuce or similar, lightly tossed with a mixture of just olive oil, vinegar, wine, Dijon mustard mustard, sugar, salt and pepper.
I was told that salad should come last.
I have followed that of late, and find that having a large salad on top of a modest meal otherwise works well for me

Dec 28, 2011
pmelvoin in General Topics

Slow-Roasted Prime Rib au Jus

Golly, I've been cooking roasts the high heat sear, medium heat cook by minutes per pound method and never had any problems.

But, if I were do a roast, my changes would be to specify a choice grade, large end, 3 ribs minimum, dusted with black pepper (no salt!--don't want it dessicated!) and garlic powder, 3 preferably 4 hours to come to room temp, fat side up on a rack, sear at 500, cook at 350 -- 19 minutes per pound to an interior temperature of a minimum 140/145--(120? the meat is sunburned not cooked!)

Allow to rest untented (which tends to steam the meat: feh!) 30-40 minutes for the juices to coagulate in the tissues.

Slice on carving board and serve.

Save juices and pan fats for gravy according to any method desired.

Save bones for a stock along with beef trimmings from parts of the roast not suitable for table service.

Slow roasting would just need room temperature meat, and a interior temperature high enough to kill any possible parasites, total cooking time would be well in excess of 6 hrs.

Oh yeah, take the wine and drink it alone with a smile.

Dec 24, 2011
pmelvoin in Recipes

Peter Cipra Died

Where a potato was treated with the same reverence as a lobster.

Dec 23, 2011
pmelvoin in Greater Seattle

Good taco trucks on the eastside?

What can you say?
Beef cheeks on the menu, tongue, al pastor, etc.
This truck is authentic IMO.
They laughed when I inquired about moronga, tripas, and seso fillings.
Did drop a suggestion to prepare papas locas--one can only hope.

Dec 17, 2011
pmelvoin in Greater Seattle

Sichuan in Seattle

Have had several items all appropriately hot and spicy.
Lamb: exquisite; eggplant in garlic sauce: just succulent; noodles (hand shaved as I remember) top notch.
Owners/servers are more than happy to help you with the Chinese fresh sheet menu.

Only place I have had Chairman Mao's braised pork with vegetables.
Pork belly in a rich red sauce.
They list both Hunan and Sichuan specialties.
My very first choice in Bellevue.
Try to get there before noon--Microsofties have found it out.

Oct 09, 2011
pmelvoin in Greater Seattle

Shortcut of the week-Swad coriander chutney

Better late than never.
Happened upon this chutney while wandering the aisles of an unusually well stocked Albertsons on Mercer Island in Washington State.
Have used it straight and as a blend with olive oil, or mayonnaise.
Your imagination may go wild with this chutney.
Salads, fish, ragouts, stews, you name it, it goes well.

Oct 09, 2011
pmelvoin in General Topics

Family foods I thought was normal

Bacon fat was not in my home as I grew up.

But my mother would use all of the others.
Being of peasant stock and frugal, pretty much dictated this.

*Every* other sort of freshly (and some ancient) rendered fat was present in a jar, or cup, sometimes uncovered in the back of the refrigerator.

Most particularly, that which was rendered from a chicken.

Chicken fat, mislabeled, "schmalz," was a standard in Jewish households as both as an oil for light saute's and as a butter substitute on bread.
It is also an essential ingredient in matzoh meal dumplings.

Strange portions of veal fat, beef fat, left-overs from roasts long gone, all camped until being used straight-up on bread, for panbraising, etc.

Only as a secular adult did it dawn on me that most families did not render or reuse fat.

It's hard to describe the transition to using pork fat in its variety.
Bacon fat, as the Professor said, is wonderful for all sorts of flavorings, and yes, straight up on crackers, bread and toast.

Rubbed on items which should crisp up in an oven is another use.

All fats are now a part of my diet, along with butterfat in all of its many incarnations.

Jul 30, 2011
pmelvoin in General Topics

Mazatlan's Best Restaurants??

Los Osuna.
If you have not tried this, and you like reposado or anejo tequila, you will be astounded.
This is my choice for a "distillado de agave azul."
Not permitted by law from calling itself a "tequila," it stands head and shoulders above most of the ordinary tequilas from Jalisco.
Meant to be sipped, not mixed.

Jul 07, 2011
pmelvoin in Mexico

Family foods I thought was normal

My Russian immigrant mother who grew up during the Great Depression combined peasant flavors with frugal wisdom.
Everything which could make a stock was saved and duly turned into a sauce, gravy, soup, whether jelled, cold, tepid or hot.
With grains and beans all things were possible.
One person mentioned brains: my mother duly cooked them both sauteed as well as cold, cubes in a salad.
Never found it odd to eat something that soft and delicate.

She would offer us raw eggs on the way back from the country-side where purchasing eggs without a coupon, during WWII rationing, was possible.
A hat pin, always a feature of her coiffure, would be used to poke a small hole in each end of the egg and we were abjured to suck the white and yolk out .

I have not had a chance to talk about this for many, many years.

Her favorite afternoon snack: a hand carved slice of Schvartzebrod smeared with sweet cream butter, topped with a slab of cured herring, and a cold boiled potato on the side with a blob of sour creme.

Jul 06, 2011
pmelvoin in General Topics

"Different, but not strange" - what's on your breakfast plate?

Local Asian markets have duck and goose eggs.
Have not tried them.
Now I want to.

Jul 06, 2011
pmelvoin in General Topics

Foods You Enjoy for Breakfast that are non-typical

Ah, but now's the time to let go of the family secret:


Well not exactly the BBurns variety, but something I find quite close:
steel-cut oat meal cooked slowly until there is barely any water left--gloppy/soupy--into which is added ANY savory leftover from the night, or week, before.

Meat, fowl, seafood, lumpy gravy, veggies, Asian, whatever you have on hand, coarsely chopped into bite-sized pieces stirred in, till warmed through.
A tablespoon or two of congealed fat from a roast, even bacon, gives added flavor.
If you want to get fancy, add a gently poached egg to the top of each serving.

This is my idea of a great breakfast.

Serve with salt, pepper, and low sodium soy sauce.

Jul 03, 2011
pmelvoin in General Topics

fried catfish

In Mazatlan last year I sampled a local specialty only found at the Santa Maria lake resorts 50 km out of town in the mountains.
They called it, "Chicarones de pescado."
A basket of slightly greasy, deep brown pieces of very, very chewy fish.
A bonded breading-batter containing a 1 by 2 inch strip of a local fish, most probably channel cat, deep fried in vegetable oil until thoroughly cooked.
This was not an ordinary fish and chips--of course, it was highly spiced.
Washed down with Pacifico.
Lovely wasted afternnon.

Apr 21, 2009
pmelvoin in Austin