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AJSoprano's Profile

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Mushu wrapper

Trying to prepare mushu pork at home and was unclear what I should be using as the wrap. Are the Chinese " pancakes" available frozen? I refuse to use tortillas! Any suggestions would be appreciated. Headed to Flushing for supplies today.

Jan 28, 2014
AJSoprano in Home Cooking

Cyprus Advice

Will have the pleasure of visiting Cyprus this month. Any insider info on not-to-miss tavernas, street food, markets, seafood? Prefer honest, humble, rustic, local.

Feb 03, 2013
AJSoprano in Europe

Raw (Green) Peanuts

Raw Peanuts
Dried Ancho Chile
Dried Arbol Chile

Slow boil for 3 hours

Best. Drinking Snack. Ever!

Feb 04, 2012
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

Raw (Green) Peanuts

Mission accomplished!

Nuts to You: $1.89/lb

Time to boil these goobers!

Feb 04, 2012
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

Raw (Green) Peanuts

Just came back from South Carolina and discovered the joy of boiled peanuts!

Anyone have any leads on where to find raw peanuts? Would prefer not to order them online.

Feb 03, 2012
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

Fresh Figs

$4 for a small basket at Anastacio's Produce on 9th and Christian

Jul 02, 2011
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

Fresh Figs

Are these in season? I have not seen fresh figs anywhere in Philly!

May 08, 2011
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

squash blossoms?

Yeah I was specifically looking for the fresh flowers. Would love to know which Mexican markets or farmers markets stock these.

Apr 19, 2011
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

squash blossoms?

Any new leads on where to purchase squash blossoms (flor de calabaza)?

Apr 16, 2011
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

Madrid in two weeks, three 20 something females

Taberna Maceiras is a great, affordable Galician place very close to the Prado. Had the pulpo and beberechos along with some Albarino. All were outstanding!

Chocoloteria San Gines is mandatory for churros con chocolate.

Mar 24, 2011
AJSoprano in Spain/Portugal

ISO Malted Barley Flour

Anyone know where I can find this? It contains enzymes that aid in yeast fermentation for breadmaking. I dont think this is the same as "barley flour."

Dec 03, 2010
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

Help me recreate Philadelphia Roast Pork Sandwich

DISCLAIMER: I'm posting on the Philly board because I want input from the people who understand and appreciate the true sandwich that represents our city.

I have a good idea of the basic ingredients I want to use, but just wanted to pass it by you guys to see if I could get any more pointers. Although it goes by a common name, I feel like the roast pork sandwich has many iterations that arise from the diversity of both cooking technique and ingredients. This is my self-concocted recipe going by the flavors and textures I get from a roast pork sandwich.

Cut of meat: pork shoulder (bone in), skin removed leaving fat around the periphery

Marinate overnight: salt, black pepper, onion, olive oil, rosemary (fennel seed? celery? carrot?)

Cooking: slow oven roast inside dutch oven (lid on) above a roasting rack placed inside
(not sure if this is a dry roast or a braise +chicken broth?). From the accounts of others I have heard that the pork shoulder should release enough liquid on its own. The Tony Luke's recipe I found online mentioned specifically that the meat never cooks inside it's own juice. Not sure if this contradicts George's or DiNic's. A dry roast pork would be the worst thing possible. Once cooked thoroughly meat should hopefully be fork tender and I will break down the meat into slices/chunks. Based on what I heard, DiNic's soaks the meat in the roasting broth overnight and then it's ready to serve the following day.

Bread: Amoroso's

As for condiments, I'm going for a roasted hot pepper, provolone as my personal preference. Rabe would be ideal, but I'll save it for another day.

Oct 27, 2010
AJSoprano in Home Cooking

ISO mint, rosemary plants

Just found some healthy looking mint plants at SuperFresh (10th and South) of all places! Paid $3.50.

Oct 17, 2010
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

ISO mint, rosemary plants

I am planning on raising these in pots indoors, but they cleared out all the herbs at my local nursery. Has anyone seen mint or rosemary plants in stock?

Sep 28, 2010
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

Focaccia help

Thanks everyone for your input!

Sep 20, 2010
AJSoprano in Home Cooking

Focaccia help

So far I have achieved a respectable loaf that perfectly resembles the recipe I have been following. Flavorwise I am happy, letting the olive oil and sea salt shine. Now I am trying to take it to another level. I am trying to recreate a focaccia I had in Milan that I remember for it's lightness. What would you recommend to achieve a less dense focaccia loaf? Some ideas that have run through my mind are a longer second proofing, second proofing in a warmer environment, using baking powder (?). Thanks.

Sep 19, 2010
AJSoprano in Home Cooking

Italian Salami/Dried Sausage Maker in Philadelphia?

Claudio's has a house brand pancetta, but not 100% sure if it's made in house.

Sep 13, 2010
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

wine stores?

Yeah the PLBC is miserable. You walk into stores with half empty shelves and with a very limited selection of overpriced bottles. You are far better off schlepping across state lines to NJ or DE. I make bimonthly trips to Joe Canal's in NJ and Total Wine & Spirits just across the border in Wilmington,DE is a destination. Both have an impressive domestic and international selection of FAIRLY priced wines AND beer. What a concept... beer and wine and hard liquor sold in one store!

In terms of draft beers, Philadelphia is paradise. Aside from Portland, OR we are second to none! I really enjoy Tria for a glass of wine.

Aug 10, 2010
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

Heirloom Tomatoes

I had my first heirloom tomato today served au naturale with sea salt and Spanish olive oil (piqual). AMAZING! I thought the heirloom was a marketing gimmick, but the difference in brevity, texture (reminded me of sashimi) along with the delicate skin was clearly appreciated. Probably the best thing that I have ever purchased from ACME! Any tips on heirloom tomato sources? I have driven by a number of tomato stands in the Mount Laurel, NJ area that piqued my interest. Price and quality are both considerations.

Jul 29, 2010
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

Urban Farm/Garden

I have seen a number of empty lots around Center City converted into neighborhood gardens. I am interested in raising my own veg and herbs. Does anyone know how one goes about acquiring a plot? Does this require a fee? Thanks.

Jul 17, 2010
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

Where to find ground bison meat?

I know I could go straight to Whole Foods, but I would appeciate any tips on where to find bison meat at the best price. Thanks..

Jul 03, 2010
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

Puerto Rican

Can anyone recommend a place for arroz con pollo and mofongo? There must be something in the neighborhood on N. 5th Street. Thanks.

Feb 27, 2010
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

Northeast Philly

Any hidden culinary treasures to discover in NE Philly? Please share.

Feb 20, 2010
AJSoprano in Philadelphia

Jamon Iberico/Jamon Serrano in Philly

Looking to purchase for home consumption. Aside from DiBruno Bros, where can I find this in Philly?

Oct 31, 2009
AJSoprano in Pennsylvania

Wild Sockeye Salmon

Just purchased a beautiful fillet of wild sockeye salmon. My go-to preparation is baked/poached w/ white wine, lemon, dill. I've also tried the ginger/soy/honey combo searing it on a cast iron griddle, which was great. I'm looking to try something new. Any other ideas?

Jul 05, 2009
AJSoprano in Home Cooking

Great Churros

Went to the churros con chocolate temple of San Gines off of Plaza Mayor in Madrid. It did not disappoint.

Mar 30, 2009
AJSoprano in Spain/Portugal

Madrid: Navajas a la plancha

Saw them last week advertised as a special at Cervezeria Cruz in La Latina on Sunday lunchtime for 9euros. Also an opportunity to check out el Rastro sunday market.

Mar 30, 2009
AJSoprano in Spain/Portugal

sparkalina; spanish menu translation help

Hate to jump on the bandwagon, but I will be makiing my first trip to Espana in 2 weeks. Por favor!

Mar 06, 2009
AJSoprano in Spain/Portugal


I am planning a trip to Spain Mar 21-28 including Barcelona. I am very interested in partaking in a calcotada. I know this is a seasonal event and am not sure if late March is the time for calcots. Also, is this something I can arrange on my own or should I go through a tour group? Any suggestions or recs or experiences would be greatly appreciated. Gracias!

Feb 28, 2009
AJSoprano in Spain/Portugal

sweet and smoked paprikas

I bought some at Milano's on St. Laurent in Little Italy next to Marche Jean Talon. They had the La Vera brand, which is considered by many to be the best. They offer 3 varieties of Spanish smoked paprika: sweet, bitterseet, hot. I think they were priced at 3.99 each.