jbsegal: (Default)
So, I wasn't hosting a seder this year, but I was planning on providing soup and charoset at one, one which ended up not happening.

Subsequently, I've had a lot of leftover soup and matzah ball mix, and charoset left over.

Soup: I've noted elsewhere: "I have always started with an initial boil of various lengths (Mom called for 2-3 hours), I've varied over the years from that to ~6) that produces something that's never right to begin with - no matter whose meat/water/veg proportions I use.
It's then strained.

It's worth noting that even when I've precisely followed Cooks Illustrated's recipe precisely, this 1st boil has always completely failed to produce something that is like soup to me. I'm... always sort of perplexed by this. Ok, utterly confused."

This year, being the year of the Instant Pot, I decided to start with iPotted stock, via http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2017/04/pressure-cooker-chicken-stock-recipe.html - modified by adding dill and a parsnip, subtracting the garlic, and taking the celery out after the 1st batch, because it wasn't right.

... and by 1st batch I meant 1st 3 batches. Thanks to [personal profile] kimberlogic and [personal profile] ahf, I had 3 pots to work with, and then did a 2nd run for 6 batches in total, 12Kg chicken, and just about 12q of water. I believe what came out of the 1st boil was something like 12-12.5q of broth, and about 1q of shmaltz. Yes, more stock than water.

... And that stock was... still not right. Tastier than average for my 1st boil, but still not what I want for my end product, or even for a soup I'm ready to eat then. I still don't understand it at all.



As for matzah balls, when I got home from the emergency backup seder I went to on Monday, I boiled up a batch as the seder had been sadly soup-free (but otherwise lovely!) and I wanted some.

They were rocks. They're usually dense, but this was ridiculous. Also, somehow despite all the salt I'd put in, they were nearly salt-free in taste.

Over the next couple of days, I asked everyone with experience for their matzah ball recipe. It seems to be that mom, back when she was giving me the full instructions for her seder experience, halved the amount of fat that goes in to them. I went and added enough extra fat to bring them in line with normal recipes, and more salt.

And then I went and asked if anyone had ever pressure cooked matzah balls. The answer is Of Course They Have, and [personal profile] tamidon pointed me at http://foodsforlonglife.blogspot.com/2017/03/instant-pot-matzo-ball-soup.html and so, mindful of the caution [profile] pookfreak had about not overboiling due to the time bringing cold soup to boil, I brought the soup to low pressure and immediately opened it, then added the mix. 15 min high pressure, quick release... voila, they were _excellent_. Ok, still not enough salt, but other than that...


On to the haroset: 1# of Macintosh (4 small) to .5# of Granny Smith (1 large), 1# walnuts, WAY more nutmeg than I usually add, due to an more-aggressive than I'm used to grater, cassia, and wine... worked excellently! MAYBE a bit less nutmeg, or a bit more cinnamon.


And FINALLY! Allison was feeling driven and stripped off all the chicken meat (cardboard as usual, as its been boiled free of ALL its flavor, fat, etc.) so I contacted old family friends for the chicken croquettes recipe that for years was the standard destination for such chicken meat in my childhood. I got that yesterday and haven't yet had a chance to make it - it's just a thick white sauce, mix in the shredded chicken to the right texture, bread (or matzah meal) and fry. I hope to do this soon.

So yeah, despite not actually serving food to people, I've had good progress this year in making everything better for next year. Yay!

(NOW let's see how this wall of text looks when it's cross-dumped to FB. No cut.)
jbsegal: (Default)
"Soda fountains on the Lower East Side would mix up a batch of Droste's cocoa, egg whites, and real cream, daily. One batch each day. When it was gone, there were no more egg creams that day."
--- from a comment on http://www.wsj.com/articles/why-you-should-order-the-egg-cream-1441313172

I need to find a recipe for this syrup.
jbsegal: (Default)
Is anyone in my Socialverse coming from NYC to Boston or from London to Boston in the time between Christmas and New Years?
Better, would you be willing to purchase and haul about, say, a kilo of (Legal! No, REALLY) stuff for me?

I have an important taste test I'm trying to set up.

Hint: I think I have the Montréal part of this set up already.
jbsegal: (Default)
This is about as far from elegant food as it gets, but it's 1/3 'real' by ingredient count, dirt simple, filling as heck, and is a trip straight back to the good parts of childhood for me.

(As well, I suspect it would take a fair amount of work to convert it to make the other 2/3s of the ingredients 'real', and I appreciate that. ;)

Ingredients:
Chicken parts - bone-in, skin on.
Campbells condensed chicken broth. Uncondensed doesn't work. Full fat is preferable, but low fat (if it exists) will be ok.
Long grain white rice. I feel pretty sure brown rice won't work, either. :)

In a large (I like glass, but other materials seem to work fine) baking dish, lay down rice and chicken broth in a 1:2 ratio. I usually end up with 2 cans of rice and 4 of broth in a large oval dish, and 1 and 2 in an 11x7.

On top of that, fill the dish with hunks of chicken.

Optionally, herbs/spices of your choice can be added.

The short form of cooking it is: Bake until the rice is cooked and the broth is all absorbed.

Recently, my best results for this are obtained with: 350deg for 30m, then cover with foil and go another 30m.

I'll eat the rice by itself happily.

If you use uncondensed broth, the flavor will be weak and uninspired.
jbsegal: (Default)
A a lot of shopping today… More time than I meant to spend, but no one had matzo! Finally found it at the Watertown Shaws.

A quad batch of matzoh balls is in the fridge. The haroset hasn't been started. The brisket has been procured, but I'm still unsure what recipe I'm going to use – yes this is kind of a late decision… That means I'll probably fall back to my traditional one, but maybe with some tomatoes in it this year.

And the soup… I'm trying an experiment this year which I'll discuss in more detail later. I think it's going to work out well but we'll see.

I had a big plate of shrimp for dinner because you know... And I failed to actually have any of the borscht that I bought today. Maybe that's lunch while I'm cooking.

(Oh, and as I just told G+: I expected it enough to search for it but I didn't expect to actually find it… http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/11/fun-with-matzo-balls-stuffed-matzo-balls-deep-fried-matzo-balls.html )
jbsegal: (Default)
Just put the 1st soup on the heat - 18.25# Fowls (McKinnons), 15q water, about 4-6x veg.

I realize I never posted about my pork and Dairy and matzot from two years ago. I got the idea to do bacon cheddar matzoh balls and you know, they really work.
I preferred the bacon, and I mixed in some shredded cheddar into some leftover matzo Ball mix boiled them up and really, Yum!

For the hell of it I also had the idea of steaming a couple of them and I've never seen the 'thing becomes giant when you steam it' thing happened before but this did it. Someplace around I have video of them "breathing" when I pull the lid off of the steamer. It's funky.
jbsegal: (Default)
Having just read [personal profile] coraline's post (on LJ, I keep forgetting the dw syntax for lj users) of her ongoing Spain/France travelogue, I'm reasonably sad that I've never managed such a fabulous writeup of any of my trips (let alone pictures half as good).

I started this sitting in OAK about to board a flight back home after being in SF since the very start of July 4th.

I spent the 1st few days of that square dancing with about 1100 others (including about 18-20 others from Tech Squares) at Weave Your Heart In San Francisco and then the rest of the time touristing with 2 of the Tech Squares folks. (1 has an LJ she almost never uses and I can't remember, and the other, I don't know/doubt if he has one at all.)

I really hope to write more later, but for now, 2 things:
A) Ice Cream
I didn't make it to Humphrey Slocombe. Their hours were always too early for me to get there.

I DID make it to BiRite Creamery twice, and Ici (in Berkeley) once, as well has having Gelatto in the SF equiv. of Little Italy once.

A1) why is ice cream cheaper there than here? We both have cows... and almost all the rest of the food in the region is more expensive than here.

A2) BiRite: Strawberry Balsamic, Orange Cardamom, Roasted Banana, Basil. All were excellent. the OC was amazing. I bought the cookbook.

A3) Ici: Nectarine, Burnt Caramel, Vanilla. All were very good. Nectarine was excellent. BiRite won this contest. The Pink Peppercon/Sour Cherry was too peppery (and a bit too gritty) for me, but the concept was solid.

B) Incanto. As both of my regular traveling companions are vegetarians, I went here with Twitter user=@sunshinemug. It was excellent. Chris was in the restaurant for a while, but I didn't quite feel up to intruding - though he was working the floor for part of it. The men's room stall came equipped with an Encyclopedia Brittanica for your reading pleasure.

Beginnings: Smoked pork tongue, stone fruits, mustard & watercress; Boccalone salumi platter (piglet (small))

Supper: Beef heart, sweetbreads, radish, pea tendrils & bone marrow vinaigrette; Pork belly, salsiccia, plum agrodolce & mizuna.

Ending: Bushberry crostata, Douglas fir & pinenut brittle ice cream

Everything was excellent except the bread & butter (so called) pickles on the salumi plate and some of the greens on one of the plates, which were too bitter for me. (I DID try them 2-3x to be sure.)

The pork belly was the best hunk of same that either of us had ever had. The fat was sort of the ideal essence of fat, not at all greasy or chewy, and not even really unctuous. Just ideally fatty, and the lean was tender and beautifully bathed in said fat.
It was almost a shame that the sausage was on the same plate, as it was a VERY good sausage, but next to that pork belly...

I had a bunch of other good food that I hope to burble about later. In the mean time, I should've been asleep 90m ago at least.
jbsegal: (Default)
A bit of packing.
9AM Bus to NYC.
Hotel in the west village.
Okonomiyaki in the east village. (been jonsing for it since Amsterdam)
Patty LuPone and Mandy Patinkin
Wander around the city Saturday night. MacBar? Rice To Riches? Frites? Even maybe {gasp} some live music?
Sleep.
Wander around the city Sunday morning/early afternoon. No idea what I'll be doing then.
4pm Bus back.

Anyone want to join me for any of it?
jbsegal: (Default)
I know it's Halloween Party Night, but I'm in the mood for a movie.
At the Capitol Theatre in Arlington, tonight at 9:45, The Guard
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1540133/

We're also going to go out to Emma's sometime beforehand, but I'm not going to try to organize anything there, I'm just going to be there around 6pm.

Hope to maybe see a few of you someplace...
jbsegal: (Default)
1st there was the Ramen Problem.

Yesterday I try to order a Gyros at a Greek restaurant. They're _out_ of Gyros meat.
At least they can substitute lamb souvlaki without too much of a change in taste, but still.

Today I go to a convenience store (more or less - LaVerde's in the MIT Student Center) to get a soda. The fountain is down.
So I go upstairs to Subway - both for food and for the soda I didn't get downstairs.

1st they don't have the bread I want - which they almost never do, but then stop advertising it!
Next, after I choose a meat - which they DO have - I discover they're out of _cheese_. A sub shop. Out of CHEESE, Grommit. Amazing.

Finally, I try to get a soda. Their fountain is dead, too.

What am I going to try to eat tomorrow that I'll be denied??
jbsegal: (Default)
We had a thought last night during 2nd seder for this year's implementation of the 'pork-and-dairy on matzah' tradition I have. (I keep pesadik. I don't keep kosher.)

So, the original thought was: matzah balls made with bacon fat instead of with chicken fat, stuffed with cheese, and fried like arancini.

My later thought is to actually stuff them with bacon and cheese.

So, do people think that this might work? I'm a bit dubious because you boil matzah balls to not only cook, but to hydrate them, and unlike with cooked risotto, cooked matzah balls can't really be crumbled and re-formed.

But I really want it to work!

Hm. Maybe make the MB mix light on eggs (or not?), cook, crumble, add _more_ egg, and make the balls, roll in matzah meal (maybe?), and fry?

Opinions?

(I don't believe that MB batter, formed around cooked bacon & cheese, and then boiled (and then maybe pan-fried?) would work. Do yo disagree?
jbsegal: (Default)
We had a thought last night during 2nd seder for this year's implementation of the 'pork-and-dairy on matzah' tradition I have. (I keep pesadik. I don't keep kosher.)

So, the original thought was: matzah balls made with bacon fat instead of with chicken fat, stuffed with cheese, and fried like arancini.

My later thought is to actually stuff them with bacon and cheese.

So, do people think that this might work? I'm a bit dubious because you boil matzah balls to not only cook, but to hydrate them, and unlike with cooked risotto, cooked matzah balls can't really be crumbled and re-formed.

But I really want it to work!

Hm. Maybe make the MB mix light on eggs (or not?), cook, crumble, add _more_ egg, and make the balls, roll in matzah meal (maybe?), and fry?

Opinions?

(I don't believe that MB batter, formed around cooked bacon & cheese, and then boiled (and then maybe pan-fried?) would work. Do yo disagree?
jbsegal: (Default)
21# chicken/17.5q water and then 12#/10.5q
All with more veg added than I usually do. This seems to be a good thing.
Having the 60Q pot to work in to start was a good thing.

5x Matzah ball recipe made.

10#apples/2#walnuts/cassia/cinnamon/found the nutmeg/concord grape all chopped. More wine will be needed. Probably more spices, too.
I don't know why I used Red Del and Braeburn some years ago, but this year I fear it was a bad idea... the RD's were tiny and the peel was inedible. The Brae's were ... not _soft_, and I don't think 'mealy' is the right word... they keep their shape but almost crumble if you look at them funny.
Laurie suggest empires.
Other suggestions also welcome - I want some sweet, and some semi-tart, all with a good firm texture that will hold up to chopping and walnuts and such.

It's nearly 5am. Gahx2.

Good... night...
jbsegal: (Default)
21# chicken/17.5q water and then 12#/10.5q
All with more veg added than I usually do. This seems to be a good thing.
Having the 60Q pot to work in to start was a good thing.

5x Matzah ball recipe made.

10#apples/2#walnuts/cassia/cinnamon/found the nutmeg/concord grape all chopped. More wine will be needed. Probably more spices, too.
I don't know why I used Red Del and Braeburn some years ago, but this year I fear it was a bad idea... the RD's were tiny and the peel was inedible. The Brae's were ... not _soft_, and I don't think 'mealy' is the right word... they keep their shape but almost crumble if you look at them funny.
Laurie suggest empires.
Other suggestions also welcome - I want some sweet, and some semi-tart, all with a good firm texture that will hold up to chopping and walnuts and such.

It's nearly 5am. Gahx2.

Good... night...
jbsegal: (Default)
There are people out there I was talking about this recently... http://languageoffood.blogspot.com/ (On LJ as [livejournal.com profile] language_of_foo) and, more particularly, the current top story on Ceviche and Fish & Chips:
http://languageoffood.blogspot.com/2009/11/ceviche-and-fish-chips.html

Good stuff.
jbsegal: (Default)
There are people out there I was talking about this recently... http://languageoffood.blogspot.com/ (On LJ as [livejournal.com profile] language_of_foo) and, more particularly, the current top story on Ceviche and Fish & Chips:
http://languageoffood.blogspot.com/2009/11/ceviche-and-fish-chips.html

Good stuff.
jbsegal: (Default)
Does anyone want to join me for lunch at St. John, either Smithfield or Spitalfields, in a week?

I'm going to try to make the booking tomorrow or Thursday at the latest.
jbsegal: (Default)
Does anyone want to join me for lunch at St. John, either Smithfield or Spitalfields, in a week?

I'm going to try to make the booking tomorrow or Thursday at the latest.
jbsegal: (Default)
On the bog-standard brought-in working lunch!

.. and sausage pies!

Yum!
jbsegal: (Default)
On the bog-standard brought-in working lunch!

.. and sausage pies!

Yum!
jbsegal: (Default)
16# of chicken to start - whole fowls cut down, but the breast meat removed for later cooking separately. 10q of water. I hope this ends up in the right ballpark. Certainly, there will be much schmaltz (Hi, [livejournal.com profile] boymeat!) for the matzah balls.

3x batch of those planned.

About 13# of apples and 3# walnuts ready for turning in to charoset, starting tomorrow.

Also I'll be doing the eggs tomorrow and putting together (and buying?) the fish for the fishcakes.
jbsegal: (Default)
16# of chicken to start - whole fowls cut down, but the breast meat removed for later cooking separately. 10q of water. I hope this ends up in the right ballpark. Certainly, there will be much schmaltz (Hi, [livejournal.com profile] boymeat!) for the matzah balls.

3x batch of those planned.

About 13# of apples and 3# walnuts ready for turning in to charoset, starting tomorrow.

Also I'll be doing the eggs tomorrow and putting together (and buying?) the fish for the fishcakes.
jbsegal: (Default)
So, anyone want to join me for a bowl of soup someplace tonight?

I'm thinking reasonably early - 6-6:30ish.
jbsegal: (Default)
So, anyone want to join me for a bowl of soup someplace tonight?

I'm thinking reasonably early - 6-6:30ish.
jbsegal: (Default)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] gigglefest, I've been pointed to
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/articles/2008/11/16/hot_soup_pho_sure/

Along with Saigon Noodle, I think there'll be some soup in my future. :)

In case they archive it )
jbsegal: (Default)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] gigglefest, I've been pointed to
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/articles/2008/11/16/hot_soup_pho_sure/

Along with Saigon Noodle, I think there'll be some soup in my future. :)

In case they archive it )
jbsegal: (Default)
In the DC area, there are many of a type of Pho restaurant that I've yet to find around here...

The places I'm thinking of are ONLY Pho places. They are typically cafeteria-ish seating, with a menu composed ONLY of Pho, with some beverages and maybe deserts.
2-3 sizes, around a dozen combinations of meat, and that's IT.

You come in, and the time between when you sit and when you're served is (yes, with ordering in the middle) about 6 minutes.

They serve only Pho and, because of that, the pho they serve is exemplary.

Around here, the pho places have full menus of Vietnamese food and thus they don't have the, well, Zen of pho inherent in them that the DC places do... when you make one dish, you have to make it well (or be serving a market that doesn't care, but I've yet to see that). When you make many, unless you are working at a level well above your typical inexpensive ethnic food place, you're probably not doing any of them as well as you could.

Is there this sort of Pho place here? Please?

(There's a tonkatsu place in NYC I've been meaning to go to, too.)
jbsegal: (Default)
In the DC area, there are many of a type of Pho restaurant that I've yet to find around here...

The places I'm thinking of are ONLY Pho places. They are typically cafeteria-ish seating, with a menu composed ONLY of Pho, with some beverages and maybe deserts.
2-3 sizes, around a dozen combinations of meat, and that's IT.

You come in, and the time between when you sit and when you're served is (yes, with ordering in the middle) about 6 minutes.

They serve only Pho and, because of that, the pho they serve is exemplary.

Around here, the pho places have full menus of Vietnamese food and thus they don't have the, well, Zen of pho inherent in them that the DC places do... when you make one dish, you have to make it well (or be serving a market that doesn't care, but I've yet to see that). When you make many, unless you are working at a level well above your typical inexpensive ethnic food place, you're probably not doing any of them as well as you could.

Is there this sort of Pho place here? Please?

(There's a tonkatsu place in NYC I've been meaning to go to, too.)
jbsegal: (Default)
Because the service is crap.

(I'll name the place later...)

ETA: Nope. It's the "Pho and Thai" place on Mass Ave. between the (ex-White Hen) Pemberton and the Bangladeshi place.

The Pho broth is mediocre, the meat is tough. It and the Goi Cuon took something like 15-20m to arrive.

They seem nice enough, but I smell doom.
jbsegal: (Default)
Because the service is crap.

(I'll name the place later...)

ETA: Nope. It's the "Pho and Thai" place on Mass Ave. between the (ex-White Hen) Pemberton and the Bangladeshi place.

The Pho broth is mediocre, the meat is tough. It and the Goi Cuon took something like 15-20m to arrive.

They seem nice enough, but I smell doom.

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