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Cookin again

Zardnaar

Legend
Traditional butchers dying out due to supermarkets.


Cheerios basically a small saveloy you only get them here and in Australia apparently.

Traditionally kids get them for free. Childhood memories of a free one of these or an iceblock.

Heading north ANZAC weekend we stopped here for a pie and coffee. Best coffee I found that weekend.


Custard Square's idk if you get them in USA think they're British in origin.

Childhood memories here of Caroline Bay summer carnival with waffle cone icecreams in the 80's.

Kinda famous for potatoes as you can by decent home fries made here ane Heartland Potatoe chips which are a personal favorite.

In the thumbnail you can see the Southern Alps up to 3700 metres tall one hour drive to the skifields from the coast. Where you can get that Irish coffee I posted earlier.

Used to have a great fish and chip shop as well. Worth a stop on a road trip for lunch and eat them in the bay.
 
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prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
A few years ago, I abandoned a project in which I was trying to make my own seasoning mixes. I started for two main reasons:

1) there used to be a KILLER salt-free dill seasoning mix from McCormack Id use on sandwiches all the time. But it went out of production. But a couple years ago, Spice Island releast one that was nearly as good,

2) I am an heir to a relatively important commercial recipe for louisia hot sausage. The original recipe has been lost- at least, to OUR side of the family- and some of the ingredients have been replaced with a pair of commercial spice mixes. It’s really close to the original, so much so that most can’t tell the difference between sausages made by different branches of the family. I would like to take that overall blended mix to a food lab so I can get the ratios for the individual spices used so I don’t have to depend on the availability of commercial mixes AND so I can more easily customize the mix for heat or flavor.

Theres other reasons, but second listed is BY FAR the most important. Every year, I send off 750ml shakers of the stuff to friends & family along with the recipe of how much ground meat and water to make their own sausage instead of shipping multiple pounds of frozen meat cross-country. In fact, the header on the recipe is “Make Ya Own Damn Sausage!”

Which, if I customize the family recipe, could be the foundation for a business. I have other sausage recipes, too, sooooo…
I have a collection of spice rubs I've worked out for myself. There are, I think, seventeen of them. One of the advantages I had when I was making them up was that Penzeys (with a couple of exceptions) tells you what goes into every spice mix they sell. I think Spice House is pretty good about this, as well. I have no information on any of the other webtailers of spices (Spicewalla, Burlap and Barrel, et al.).

That said, I can see why you might prefer an approach based more on scientific measurement, given the importance of the project. I'll say that another thing you could adjust for might be salt content--store-bought mixes are often very salty. (I'm sure you know this, and have considered it.)
 

Today I've decided to try making Dim Sum! I live in San Francisco in the Inner Sunset district (just south of Golden Gate Park). Both the Sunset District and the Richmond District (just north of the park) have a rich history of dim sum restaurants and bakeries. I got some cook books from the library and decided to give it a go!

Today I am making har gow, which are shrimp dumplings. I went to a Chinese market yesterday and bought Wheat Starch, Tapioca Starch, and Chinese Chives (more mild than usual chives).

I'll post updates!
 

Okay, that turned out interesting!

So rolling out the dough was very difficult. I think I need to use a different flour or starch than I used in the dough itself, because all the little dumpling sheets stuck together when I stacked them. I wound up kneading it together and rolling them out one at a time. I think because of that the wrapper is stickier than usual. Some of them stuck to the steamer basket and tore on the way out.

However... They sure do taste like har gow! I put in shrimp and Chinese Chives. The filling also takes a neutral oil (I used grapeseed), toasted sesame oil, salt, chicken powder (basically powdered chicken bouillon), and of course shrimp (I used frozen).

The steamed dumpling was springy, flavorful, and delicious dipped in soy sauce!

I'm going to watch some dumpling videos on YouTube and try it again.
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I have a collection of spice rubs I've worked out for myself. There are, I think, seventeen of them. One of the advantages I had when I was making them up was that Penzeys (with a couple of exceptions) tells you what goes into every spice mix they sell. I think Spice House is pretty good about this, as well. I have no information on any of the other webtailers of spices (Spicewalla, Burlap and Barrel, et al.).

That said, I can see why you might prefer an approach based more on scientific measurement, given the importance of the project. I'll say that another thing you could adjust for might be salt content--store-bought mixes are often very salty. (I'm sure you know this, and have considered it.)
Well, the trick is to get the ratios right to match the recipe I’ve inherited…without stepping on someone ELSE’S secret recipes. Those 2 commercial spice blends are big players in the market, so I wouldn’t want to cheese them off. But the thing is, there’s only about 7 unique ingredients distinguishing between the two of them, and the rest are all present in the main mix anyway.

So I’m going to make the mix by the recipe, then have the lab analyze the final mix.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Okay, that turned out interesting!

So rolling out the dough was very difficult. I think I need to use a different flour or starch than I used in the dough itself, because all the little dumpling sheets stuck together when I stacked them. I wound up kneading it together and rolling them out one at a time. I think because of that the wrapper is stickier than usual. Some of them stuck to the steamer basket and tore on the way out.

However... They sure do taste like har gow! I put in shrimp and Chinese Chives. The filling also takes a neutral oil (I used grapeseed), toasted sesame oil, salt, chicken powder (basically powdered chicken bouillon), and of course shrimp (I used frozen).

The steamed dumpling was springy, flavorful, and delicious dipped in soy sauce!

I'm going to watch some dumpling videos on YouTube and try it again.
Nice!

Despite my love of asian cuisine, I really haven’t experimented with actually cooking anything Asian besides simple stir fries…and those with wildly mixed results.

I really need to look Eastwards more often.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Well, the trick is to get the ratios right to match the recipe I’ve inherited…without stepping on someone ELSE’S secret recipes.
I wouldn't see it as stepping on anyone's toes if it was A) accidental and B) non-commercial. Given that you are pondering this as a business, that eliminates B). The food culture you're working in might tend toward different attitudes, of course.
 


prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
If the recipes are secret they can't sue for copyright?
At least in the US, recipes can't be copyrighted--that's why some are such closely guarded secrets.

As I understand it, what's copyrighted in like a book of recipes is the text around the recipes, and any applicable visual elements of the presentation.
 



Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Soooo, I did a little leftover experiment this week… (Sorry, no pix.)

First, I made a vinaigrette of EVOO, Guilden’s Brown Mustard, and a peach balsamic vinegar I got from my local Farmers’ Market.

Then I took a pita and lightly toasted it.

I took one of my leftover pork chops (seasoned only with garlic pepper), sliced it into little strips smaller than my pinky, and warmed them in a pie pan in the toaster oven for @5 minutes at 425degF.

While that was in process, I julienned some baby spinach leaves. I also rinsed a handful of pecan halves and gave them 30sec in the microwave.

I took 1/3 to 1/2 of the vinaigrette and smeared it on the pita, almost like a pizza sauce. I topped that with the spinach and the pecans. Finally, I topped all of that with the warmed pork chunks and drizzled the remaining vinaigrette on the pork.

I folded it like a giant, thick soft taco or mutant, overstuffed gyro, took a bite, and…

Pretty good for a first try! Good enough to warrant considering another go at it.

In retrospect, I intended to include a little chive or green onion, and/or maybe some tomato, but I forgot. As it was, the sweetness, tanginess, tartness, spices and crunch all married well. The vinaigrette was very close to a honey mustard in flavor, but with a bit stronger fruit notes.

I might have also gotten a bit more flavor out of the pecans if I had warmed them with the pork. And including some smoked or oven roasted mild peppers (like Anaheims or Poblanos) might also elevate this a notch.
 



Zardnaar

Legend
Breakfast.other in law wanted to visit our local.

IMG_20210815_094148.jpg

Open steak sandwich with chimmichurri on top. Steak was perfectly cooked. Had no idea what chimmichurri was.

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Split a local delicacy the humble cheese roll.

Washed down with flat white. May have grabbed an apple danish for lunch later.

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Waitress pretty much knew our orders I'm the only one who tries different things much.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Chimichurri is a South American (Argentinian, in particular, as I recall) condiment composed of a variety of green herbs (typically parsley, cilantro and oregano) plus vinegar and/or lime or lemon juice in olive oil. It’s almost exclusively paired with beef, in my experience, and a good one can be pretty awesome on grilled beef.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Chimichurri is a South American (Argentinian, in particular, as I recall) condiment composed of a variety of green herbs (typically parsley, cilantro and oregano) plus vinegar and/or lime or lemon juice in olive oil. It’s almost exclusively paired with beef, in my experience, and a good one can be pretty awesome on grilled beef.

Yep that's what I ate. It was tasty. Ironically spent last night talking to an Argentinian wanting to migrate here.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Yep that's what I ate. It was tasty. Ironically spent last night talking to an Argentinian wanting to migrate here.
There’s a really good South American fusion place @15-20 minutes drive from me that has mostly Tex-Mex and Argentinian as its core cuisine. When I first discovered them 20 years ago, they were on a different street, and I didn’t even notice the other stuff. I went there on occasion for a couple of years, especially during Lent- they had some great vegetarian options. Then one day, they were gone. I assumed they simply went under.

Then about 2-3 years ago, a friend started talking up the resta that had catered a work function she attended. Recognizing the name, I asked her where they were located. in an odd coincidence, they had relocated into the space formerly occupied by Slattery Rand (an Irish pub that had AMAZING food, but shuttered because the owner hated paying his rent) a year after that place closed.*

I’ve been a few times to the new location: they’re better than ever. I keep meaning to branch out, but the same couple of dishes- especially the chimichurri topped steak- I’ve had there are like sirens…



* Amusingly, you can still see some of the Irish/Celtic themed glass & wood decor.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
The steak was sliced. Probably about half a steak on top. It was kind of refreshing.

We have an Argentinian food truck doing some sort of sausage in bun. Things not going well over therefrom the sounds of it.

It's really not common here. Mylocal is glorified pub. Great beer, coffee, and breakfast but they have random stuff on the menu.

They've taken Madam Croquet and zataar chicken off the menu.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
The steak was sliced. Probably about half a steak on top. It was kind of refreshing.

We have an Argentinian food truck doing some sort of sausage in bun. Things not going well over therefrom the sounds of it.

That sounds a lot like the Argentinian stuff I’ve tried.
 

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