Tuesday, January 1, 2013
There's a crème brulee recipe on the menu and I needed some custard cups. These should work perfectly.
Anchor Hocking Custard Cups with Lids, available in the Kitchen section of Target for $6.84 an 8-piece pack. I bought two packs.
Total: $14.01 OTD
I needed a 3 1/2-pound center-cut boneless pork loin for my Latin meal. Unfortunately, I didn't have the luxury of picking and choosing which part of the loin my roast would be from. A gut feeling tells me this ain't no center-cut.
On sale for $2.49/lb, I wasn't going to complain.
Those diagonal striations look like they divide two different muscles.
It is distinctly different from the center-cut pork loin I used for that Roast Pork with Fennel, Leek and Lemon recipe, which looked almost exactly like that pork loin used in the Pork Loin Roast recipe.
Ok, so walking around on the internet for 30 minutes, I've found that this end is the shoulder or blade end of the loin, aka, a slab of boneless country-style ribs. Who'd have guessed?
The recipe didn't say anything specifically about prepping the roast, such as removing fat, so I left it as is. Well, aside from using paper towel to absorb excess moisture.
Boneless Pork Loin Roast available in the meat case at Ralph's for $2.49/lb on sale.
I bought a copy of Bon Appetite back in December 1999 because I was enthralled with the cover photo. It's the magazine that had the insanely good pie recipe in it. There are a couple of menus in that magazine and wouldn't it be nice if I did a whole menu?
This mix is utilized in a few of the menu recipes. Realizing after I brought it home that the coriander seed I'd purchased was ground, I was forced to adapt.
Latin Spice Mix
adapted from Bon Appetit, January 2000 and found at Epicurious
click to print
1/4 c cumin seeds
3 tbsp whole black peppercorns
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
Combine cumin and peppercorns in heavy medium skillet.
Stir over medium heat until beginning to toast, about 5 minutes. Add coriander and remove from heat once fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Cool slightly. Finely grind toasted spices in blender.
Transfer to small bowl. Mix in sugar and salt.
It smells awesome!! I have no idea how to price this.
You know coriander is cilantro, right? Does any recipe ever ask for dried cilantro or cilantro seeds? I don't think so. But when it's fresh cilantro is called for. Isn't that weird? It's like the grape/raisin of the spices.
Interestingly, the little description says it goes well with beef, chicken, and seafood. I'll be using it on pork. Is this foreshadowing?
I had assumed that since the ingredient statement just said "coriander seed" that the seeds would be whole. Imagine my surprise when I popped the sprinkler top off and removed the freshness/safety seal...
and found it was ground. Looking more closely, I see that it says so right there on the front of the label.
Looking it up in the Larousse, I found information including this tid-bit:
Coriander leaves, commonly known as Arab parsley or Chinese parsley in France and a Greek parsley in Britain, can be used like parsley: the leaves feature especially in the cuisine of China, Southeast Asia, South America, and Mexico.
Isn't it weird Larousse doesn't call it out as cilantro? Cilantro isn't even listed with a "see Coriander".
Private Selection ground Coriander Seeds available in the spice aisle of Ralph's for $2.99 a 1.25 oz jar.
Whenever I see a cumin seed, I think of this one chicken recipe I tried and hated. My words: "As a matter of fact, I don't know if I'll buy cumin seeds ever again because of this experience." How times change.
Necessary for my fancy-pants Latin dinner, I picked some up.
Checking out Larousse for some background on these crazy little seeds, I found this:
An aromatic plant with long spindle-shaped seeds that are used as a condiment and a flavouring. They have a hot, piquant, and slightly bitter taste. Cumin is cultivated today in Mediterranean countries, and also in Germany, the Soviet Union*, and even as far north as Norway. There are biblical references to its use in soup and bread, and the Romans used it to flavour sauces and grilled (broiled) fish and to preserve meat. It was often included in the recipes of the Middle Ages (see cominee). Today it is a classic condiment for bread (especially in eastern Europe) and is also used in certain preparations of cold meat and cheeses, such as Munster cheese.Say what? In preparation of cheese? I'd have never guessed. And isn't it trippy how we know what people ate in the middle ages? That's back in the days of crusades and barbarians.
I can't help but marvel at how cumin seeds look like fennel seeds but don't smell anything like them.
*Remember, my copy of the Larousse Gastronomique is circa 1984. And in case you don't recall, the Soviet Union went out with 1991.
Private Selection whole Cumin Seeds available in the spice aisle of Ralph's for $2.49 a 1.7 oz jar.
Monday, December 31, 2012
The location on 19th Street formerly known as TK Burgers is now Paul's.
I noticed this a couple of weeks ago. After a day trip where I tried to figure out what the heck to get my nephew for his birthday, I meandered over to Paul's to give it a whirl.
Thinking a burger would be good, I bypassed Five Guys specifically to try Paul's.
I was a little disappointed when I entered the building. It was exactly like TK burgers. Nothing had changed. No, that's not true. They swapped out paper cups for styrofoam. And paper wraps the burger now instead of foil.
The burger is ok, the fries tolerable. While I wish I dying to support Paul with more of my cash, I doubt that will happen.
Bacon cheeseburger combo: $7.48 OTD.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
I have a weird love/hate relationship with frozen pizza. The amount of time spent in front of the freezer section debating on whether to get one was beginning to be a little lengthy.
Finally, with all that time invested, I figured I may as well just get one. And if I'm going to get one, I may as well try one that will at least benefit a charity.
The instructions are pretty standard for frozen pizza.
And there are even tips.
The pizza has enough uncured pepperoni to completely cover it, which is nice.
And the ingredients aren't even scary. They actually look pretty good.
The uncured pepperoni contain "no nitrate or nitrite added except which naturally occurs in sea salt and celery juice concentrate (pork and beef, sea salt, natural spices, evaporated cane juice, lactic acid starter culture, natural flavorings [including celery juice concentrate], oleoresin of paprika)".
The parsley bits add a little fresh-ish feeling.
Baked 10 minutes until the edges started to brown, I let the pizza stand on a cutting board and the crust went from floppy to crispy.
I'm impressed! This skinny little pizza is actually really tasty! The pepperoni is spicy, the sauce tangy, and the flat-bread-like crust crisp. It's not even exceptionally greasy. While there is supposed to be three servings in this pizza, I can honestly tell you that I polished off
My only complaint about this pizza is that there isn't enough sauce. I think I found my go-to frozen pizza.
Newman's Own Thin & Crispy Uncured Pepperoni Pizza in the frozen pizza section of Ralph's for $5.99.