s

Stek's Profile

Title Last Reply

Of Cheese and Food Snobbery

Stinky cheese is not for all. I have found it to be an acquired taste, much like that of any strong flavored food or drink (scotch). My first Morbier was from a supermarket in my home town. It was quite nasty, but how long had it been there? The folks at this store were not the exotic cheese type and likely took it of the truck (from the cheapest wholesaler) cut and wrapped it and forgot about it. This is no way to treat a cheese as I have come to learn. Upon tasting a well cared for and ripe Morbier I have found it quite delicious, a rich milk flavor with a hint of the barn yard that you come to enjoy over time. Having worked with this stuff for a long time I have come to enjoy it, but I still come across some cheeses that yell "Run for the hills!" If you don't care for Morbier than steer clear of the Stinking Bishop!

Jul 20, 2007
Stek in Features

Recent Ann Arbor Mastication

Don't forget Amadeus, Zingerman's Roadhouse, Shalimar on Main, Pacific Rim by Kana, Zola's Cafe, Flim Flam (classic diner style)...

Jan 14, 2007
Stek in General Midwest Archive

Looking For Knife Suggestions

Check out knifemerchant.com. Every major player is listed there with photos and introductions to the companies. Also every knife of the line is pictured as well. There is also a lot of good knife care info and accessory info.

There are a lot of pretty knives out there and there are some really good practical workhorses as well. One knife that has served me well over the years is a 5" Wustoff santuko with the classic handle. This is the knife I brought to work with me everyday. The only augmentation I made was a rubber band on the handle to keep it from spinning when I set it down. Great knife.

Jan 14, 2007
Stek in Cookware

What is your most useful/best beloved non-mechanical device in your kitchen?

My knives. Carbon steel Sabatiers, chef & pairing knife. By far the most used tools in the kitchen aside from an old Lodge skillet.

Jan 14, 2007
Stek in Cookware

Red Lentils, buckwheat and poppy seeds

Poppyseed cream sauce, just heavy cream and lots of poppyseeds. pour it over pasta with proscuitto. Garnish with shaved Parmigiano-reggiano.

Maybe use the buckwheat as a thickener in a soup. I had an estranged mix of grains in my pantry that I mixed together and now add to thin soups to give them body. Works great.

Jan 14, 2007
Stek in Home Cooking

knife sharpening

Buy a global specfic sharpener for you home. Knifemerchant.com may have one or check with PCD cutlery online. They also sell guides that attach to the spine of the knife so you can sharpen them at home on a whetstone without worrying about getting the right angle. This is a great tool for people who wish to learn how to sharpen their own knives.

Jan 14, 2007
Stek in Greater Boston Area

Ideas for Jazzing Up Plain Fat Free Yogurt

Curry! Caramelize onions in a touch of olive or canola oil, add steamed potatoes, cauliflower and maybe some chickpeas. Saute this a bit more and stir in the yougurt at a low heat. Add the curry to this (or add it to the yougurt first). Dinner! Firm tofu works well too.

Does honey count as sugar?

Jan 14, 2007
Stek in Home Cooking

Help me get started cooking fish!

I'd suggest that you stick to the small farmed fish, especially for the litte one. Large meaty fish such as tuna, shark, swordfish, and salmon are at the top of the food chain and are noted for high mercury levels, especially wild caught.

I love big flavor in the food that I eat. So when I am in the mood for fish I love to cut into cajun seasoned, pan seared catfish (farmed - no river muckrakers for me). This is big and bold food that is bound to please meat-n-potato folk. If ya don't care for catfish (my wife) then use tilapia or some other firm white fish. Served with corn bread and seared greens is great.

Another straight forward approach is to pan sear the fish of you choice and finish it in the oven. The searing works seals in the moisture and the slow cooking (350) preserves that moisture. when the fish is done serve it with a lemon wedge and cracked pepper, a small salad (or veg) and boiled potatoes topped with butter, salt and pepper. Meat and Potatoes!

Jan 14, 2007
Stek in Home Cooking

Behind the Swinging Doors

None of the cooks are wearing hats! That is against the law in Michigan and any other state that has signed on to the federal recomended health and sanitation procedures.

Great photos! It is not often that you see a good representation of what happens in the BOH. Sharp looking kitchen as well.

Jan 13, 2007
Stek in Features

why cant americans make cheese ?

Folks... the flavor of cheese is such a matter of opinion - three people taste the same cheese with three different results. Now there are definitely some fantastic cheeses being produced in the US, Sweet Grass Dairy in GA, Uplands Cheese in WI, Major Farms in VT to name a few. How do they compare to Euro cheeses? Some do and some do not. I work at a cheese shop in the Midwest and the most intriguing question I get is "Do you have any white cheddar?" The concept that anything other than swiss and provolone are white or that the natural color of all cheese is relatively white is mind bogoling to yor average American. WHen and where I grew up the only good cheese was orange cheese and the first time I encountered a white cheddar it was a powdercoat on my popcorn! Now I work with a multitude of cheeses everyday and find myself having to explain to adults that cheese in not naturally orange, and that it still tastes good if you don't add the coloring. You'd be surprised at the number of people who scoff at me and want nothing to do with all that "wierd" stuff I'm tryin to pass of as cheese. You know , the funniest bit is that I still believe that Velveeta makes the best Mac & Cheez. ramblin' on....

Jan 10, 2007
Stek in Cheese

Best everyday pan?

I use cast iron skillets from Lodge, you can even buy them preseasoned these days.

Jan 04, 2007
Stek in Cookware

why cant americans make cheese ?

Check out Zingerman's Delicatessen in Ann Arbor or on the Web. They get an 18 month Montgomery's Cheddar hand selected by their cheese buyer when he visits Neals Yard Dairy every January. They also have a huge selection of American farmstead and creamery cheese. One particular fav is Toussaint from Sprout Creek Farm in upstate NY.

Jan 04, 2007
Stek in Cheese

BBQ around Ann Arbor?

Corner of Fuller and Wealthy, they've been around for about five years or so.

Jan 04, 2007
Stek in General Midwest Archive

BBQ around Ann Arbor?

Could be spareribs, could be just tips...

Jan 04, 2007
Stek in General Midwest Archive

Ham?? HELP!!

Very true. You could get a cured country ham, say from Sam Edwards, and cook it. You would have to soak it overnite to leech out the salt, then simmer it for about 6 hours in a fresh pot of water, then skin it and trim the fat down to a 1/4 inch and coat it with brown sugar and roast it for 45 minutes. Be sure to deglaze the pan after roasting with a cup of good black coffee to make a traditional Red Eye Sauce to serve with the thinly slice ham.

Jan 04, 2007
Stek in Home Cooking

BBQ around Ann Arbor?

Thanks!
The Grandma bit is related to a rib joint in GR called Sandeman's that was in an old gas station at the time and they had someone's Grandma choppin' away at the shortribs. They have since moved across the street and spiffed things up a bit - still the best ribs in town.

Jan 04, 2007
Stek in General Midwest Archive

why cant americans make cheese ?

Maytag Blue has gone industrial. The original cheesemaker now makes cheese under the cheese label Great Hill Blue in Mass.

Jan 04, 2007
Stek in Cheese

What is your favorite tomato/marinara sauce in a jar?

San Marizano whole peeled tomatos - crush 'em up in your hands and toss 'em into the pan. They make stellar Carolina red rice.

Jan 04, 2007
Stek in General Topics

BBQ around Ann Arbor?

So i recently moved to Ann Arbor from Grand Rapids and I soon realized that there is not one decent BBQ joint anywhere near this town. Any thoughts from my Detroit neighbors on where to get some good BBQ? And I'm talkin the kind of BBQ that is one step removed from the big ole smokers in the church parking lot on summer Sundays served up with beans, slaw, and corn on the cob. I want to see someones Grandma in the back with a giant meat cleaver choppin up shortribs.

Jan 04, 2007
Stek in General Midwest Archive

Ham?? HELP!!

The roastin' a ham biz is a piece of cake. Get yourself a good lookin' bone in (or not) half ham (7-8lbs) - I just cooked up a tasty hickory smoked half bone in ham for New Years Eve - Set your oven to 350 and wrap the ham in foil, place it in a roasting pan, and roast it for about an hour and twenty minutes. That is it. If you want to glaze it just unwrap the foil (keeping the ham face down) after about an hour or so and glaze as you see fit. I used a mix called Hogwash (basically brown sugar and soy) with some toasted and ground Balinese long pepper. The Coke and DrP glaze is easy enough to whip up. Crack open a can of each and mix 'em up in a saucepan and simmer it a bit - your just cooking off some of the water to thicken it up a bit, maybe add some fresh black pepper or a chile. Then just brush it over the roasting ham periodically. And like any roast let it rest a bit after cooking. Don't forget the roasted sweet potatoes mashed with pecans and maple syrup!

Jan 04, 2007
Stek in Home Cooking

Mapping the Mustache

I get fantastic fresh milk delivered to my door once a week in reusable glass half gallon jars from a great local dairy. Calder Dairy.

Jan 03, 2007
Stek in Features