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Hog Jowl

Thanks to all! I'm not certain how it was cured & no longer have the label, but judging from what you're saying it likely was cured country-style. We'll try soaking it and seeing what that does. imwalkin, I'd thought of using it in sauces and just cutting out the salt; we'll see how that goes!

Are your plates to big?

we almost never use our full-sized plates. only when there are guests. We usually use the smaller ones (I can never remember what they're for...) for daily eating. my big complaint with the big ones is they make food cold faster. if you're using the oven, you can throw them in at the last minute to warm them.

2 days in New York

I'm partial to Frannie's in Brooklyn (flatbush avenue). This would then put you in walking distance to Prospect Park (designed by the same people as Central Park, but later, and Olmstead supposedly once said it was an effort to correct the mistakes of central park--although i'm not sure what those were), the brooklyn museum, and the brooklyn academy of music (bam has great shows). It also puts you in walking distance of smith street, which has tons of small and very good restaurants.

Others may disagree, but I've always found the area around rockefeller center to be a bad place for restaurants and bars. you're too close to the theater district and what you have is a bunch of disappointing Italian restaurants. You might be better off walking (its a bit far, but hey) over to Chelsea; much closer is korea town...

NYC Food/Drinking Events

nytimes food section also does a list in the food section... which came out today (wednesday)!

Uses for leftover stale bread (or bread bricks)

I don't even bother freezing, I just keep 'em in a paper bag. Then every once in a while a bread pudding (use a bit extra liquid if the recipe calls for day-old bread). I also like to use them for a central european dumpling the austrians call Servietten Knoedel--napkin dumplings. Basically, you use them, along with butter, onions, parsley, soak in some milk, and then wrap it up tightly in a napkin (I use a dishtowel) in a tube form, tie or rubber band shut, and boil. Its a great starch for winter braises, and even better the following morning when you fry slices of it in butter.... mmm.

Okay, pet peeve: whatever happened to day-old bread?? I asked not too long ago at an upscale bakery and was greeted with an indignant "ALL of our bread is baked each day! Harrumph!" When I tried to explain, the response was a dismissive "yeah, whatever you say... next customer please!"

Chiang Mai Chicken

@DrGaellon: try Kalustyans, they'd probably have the turmeric. I save coriander roots when i buy cilantro, and then freeze them.
That said--nobody in thailand makes their own paste!!!!
Anybody got suggestions on past substitutes? green? red? yellow?

Cook the Book: 'Bangkok Street Food'

tamales from the dude with the shopping cart at the 168th st 1 station.

DIY Elderflower Cordial

I love this stuff and have been making it with fresh elderflowers now for several years. I'd add a couple of points: If it's recently rained, wait to pick the next batch of flowers--hot sunny days make them most fragrant. Don't pick them too early--you really want them when they're peaking, which is right before they yellow. Remove as much of the green stems as possible. It'll make for sticky scissors, but it really is worth it. Put the flowers in after the syrup has fully cooled.
I've always been pretty casual about the brewing and the storage side of it, and I keep this stuff for way longer than the recipe above indicates. Also, for some reason every time I make this, it starts to ferment before it goes into the fridge. For me, this is a big bonus of making it at home. It gets a yeasty fresh sharpness that puts the store bought stuff to shame.
It also means that as much as I would love to store this stuff in glass, plastic is a better option. It doesn't shatter when it explodes (hasn't happened to me yet, but those empty soda bottles can get pretty swollen!)
Also, I've always ended up with way more than I expect. Its a bit like having zucchini in your garden, except that your friends are actually happy when you force them to take a bottle or two!

DIY Sour Mix

would this be freezable? for the lazy among us?

Cook the Book: 'Rustic Italian Food'

In south tyrol: schuttelbrot, a sort of rock hard giant pita cracker, a hard cheese I don't know the name of, speck and red wine after a morning's hike. (going down would have been easier save the wine....)

Knead the Book: 'The Italian Baker'

farfalle with broccoli and anchovies, garlic and lots of olive oil...

Coolio gave me a stomach ache

I'm going with Satyr. Everything tastes better with Duck Fat.

Cook the Book: 'Poulet'

roasted, with herbs and butter shoved in between the skin and the meat.


No leg pulled!!!! Really. The moniker is old, the muskrat I hope not, and honestly I'm not ready to call myself a muskrat-lover.... I know that you're supposed to remove the "musk," but seeing as I bought them I hope that's already been done. (btw, lexington market also sells racoon in season and alligator meat.)
@les ah: thanks for writing that out! I'm thinking maybe a little boil and then finish up in a broiler!

Uses for Sumac? Know a good recipe?

with a little hot pepper and a dash of lemon juice, it makes a really nice garnish for lentil soup. In Turkey you often see set out on restaurant tables in dishes--people throw it on a lot of different things.

Cook the Book: 'The Occasional Vegetarian'

soba noodles with wilted spinach, some soy and sesame oil and sprinkled with roasted black sesame seeds.... mmm!

Cook the Book: Molto Batali

by 11-month old little boy who grimaces at new flavors and then burbles for more...

Cook the Book: 'Home Made'

favorite is hard to say, but the one that i thought was most awesome was clarifying chicken stock with eggwhite. like chemstry class!

Cook the Book: 'Salad as a Meal'

I gotta go for it: an old-school taco salad... in the edible, deep fried, pseudo-taco shell bowl.

Drink the Book: 'Jelly Shot Test Kitchen'

i tried making them once and all I ended up with was an uncongealed syrup of everclear and kool-aid. ah, college! for this i have to pay off my student loans?

Cook the Book: 'Cooking in the Moment'

asparagus, really anyway possible. as much as possible.