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Corona Virus Cooking


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3 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

This Year Of Quarantine Cooking, with its new availability of restaurant-quality ingredients to home chefs, has me reflecting that the old saw that chefs are only as good as their ingredients has it exactly backwards.  An excellent cook can make good food from even indifferent ingredients.  But any old schlumpf can make something pretty great out of excellent ingredients.

Sweetie, you are preaching to the choir.    My exact proposition in a recent thread where it was denigrated.  

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Our last meal from someone other than me was this...     pizza from Scarr's.  Their pizza has actually gotten better, in my opinion, as they've worked the crust to near perfection for this style

Chicken in vin jaune, morels, asparagus, coucous

I finally made really good fries at home. so exciting.

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Hmmph...you qualify for the Virginia Slims trophy for your pandemic awakening. 
But while we’re addressing imponderables, what do you think of using (frozen) schmaltz in savory pastry, like crust for chicken pie?

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4 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

What's interesting to me about that (EXCELLENT) trout is that the fillets they sell at my neighborhood fishmonger seem to be nicer than the ones the fishery sells directly at the Greenmarket.  Is it just the packaging?  I wonder.

The woman who runs the local fish store we like to go gave us a tip that it's better to buy at the store than at their farmer's market stands, because their prices are higher at the markets.

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If I'm reading you right this may be different, though, as here it isn't the store's Greenmarket stand, but the purveyor's.  (I don't think stores -- as opposed to purveyors -- are even allowed to have stands at official NYC Greenmarkets.)

I'm pretty sure that it's cheaper to buy directly from the purveyor at the Greenmarket than at the unrelated retail fishmonger -- the problem is that the product isn't as good as what you get through the middleman.

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Essentially @Orik's cure. Hudson Valley Fisheris's steelhead trout filet.

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Smoked in the gin donabe.

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And QC-ed. Quite good.  

Once again, because it's fairly impossible to get a nice, low temperature in the donabe for smoking, cooking this filet takes only 15 - 20 minutes, in order to keep it somewhat moist.  Enough time to pick up some smoke, but not necessarily as smoky as I like.

Wondering if I should try something like baby backs, which I can probably keep in for 45 minutes to an hour without totally destroying them.

 

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9 hours ago, Orik said:

Your fishmonger does cold smoking? That's impressive. 

Now that you mention it, it has to be hot-smoked (which explains why it doesn't look anything like the cold-smoked the purveyor sells directly).

The depth of my ignorance is truly impressive.

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20 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

If I'm reading you right this may be different, though, as here it isn't the store's Greenmarket stand, but the purveyor's.  (I don't think stores -- as opposed to purveyors -- are even allowed to have stands at official NYC Greenmarkets.)

I'm pretty sure that it's cheaper to buy directly from the purveyor at the Greenmarket than at the unrelated retail fishmonger -- the problem is that the product isn't as good as what you get through the middleman.

I should explain: it is a purveyor, in the sense that it works directly with fishing people here (so the selections are limited to what's available that day/week), and the store is just a bare-bones retail outlet.  Most of their fish is sold via farmer's markets all over the area; we're lucky that we happen to live close to the storefront.

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Got it.

What I'm talking about is an actual purveyor (they farm the fish) who sell their products (to the public, that is) mainly through retail stores that the purveyor sells to wholesale, but also directly at the Greemarkets.  So yeah it's different.

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On 4/3/2021 at 7:34 AM, joethefoodie said:

Once again, because it's fairly impossible to get a nice, low temperature in the donabe for smoking, cooking this filet takes only 15 - 20 minutes, in order to keep it somewhat moist.  Enough time to pick up some smoke, but not necessarily as smoky as I like.

Wondering if I should try something like baby backs, which I can probably keep in for 45 minutes to an hour without totally destroying them.

Smokers like a donabe or cameron's (or The Smoking Gun) can only impart smoke flavor to the surface and you either need to cook the food separately (as with ribs) or fight not to overcook it. A tray of ice between the smoking wood and the food can help with that but considering that cold smoking takes a couple of days and hot smoking at least a few hours, there isn't really that much hope of getting a proper smoked result. Of course starting with a really oily fish like brined mackerel. 

I get good results for some surprising items in a cameron's smoker so I assume they'd work in a donabe - smoked tomatoes (just cut in half) manage to absorb a lot of smoke, smoked potato salad - undercook potato, sliver and dress in lemon and oil and then smoke, smoked mulato peppers (so they're already dried and just get an additional smoking and light roasting element), for example. 

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13 hours ago, Orik said:

Smokers like a donabe or cameron's (or The Smoking Gun) can only impart smoke flavor to the surface and you either need to cook the food separately (as with ribs) or fight not to overcook it. A tray of ice between the smoking wood and the food can help with that but considering that cold smoking takes a couple of days and hot smoking at least a few hours, there isn't really that much hope of getting a proper smoked result. Of course starting with a really oily fish like brined mackerel. 

I get good results for some surprising items in a cameron's smoker so I assume they'd work in a donabe - smoked tomatoes (just cut in half) manage to absorb a lot of smoke, smoked potato salad - undercook potato, sliver and dress in lemon and oil and then smoke, smoked mulato peppers (so they're already dried and just get an additional smoking and light roasting element), for example. 

Indeed. Just proves that I WANT A WEBER! (And a place to use it) I actually fashioned a little tin foil cup and put some water in it under the fish - seemed to help a little - just keeping the fish moist and allowing for a few more minutes in there.

Your experiments with tomato and potato also suggest, and stating the obvious, small wet pieces get smokier.

Do you want my unused Cameron?

There's just something so primal about doing this...

 

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Even if I'm doing it at a friend's backyard.

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We (finally) invited a similarly vaccinated friend for dinner.    Back and knee revolt dictated a simplified menu.

Lady finger grapes wrapped in prosciutto ('cause I had both on hand) with drinks in the living room

Sorrel soup with giant grilled scallop, surprisingly a show-stopper.     (Again, because back yard is full of sorrel.).  8 hour bread.   

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Judy Rogers' roast chicken with bread salad

Home-frozen yogurt with first of the season strawberries.

 

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