The food thread

When I grew up my grandmother would make chicken soup for Sunday Dinner -in the winter. It was quite good but it had oil fats floating around the broth. The soup was the first dish, followed by salad, meats/fish and dessert. A typical Catalan Sunday Dinner.

I had to eat the soup if I wanted more food.

I hated the oil floating on my soup but loved the salad and the rest... so my yaya and I made a deal: she would serve me the only the broth -chicken on the side- and I would "drink" it through a straw so I could avoid the oils floating on the surface.

I'm not quite sure if I used my right or sinister side to hold he straw.

There!
After cooking chicken stock, refrigerate and the fats come to the surface where they may be skimmed off.

Take the fat thusly removed and heat to evaporate off the water.

This is the fabled "schmaltz" which you can use for browning up left over baked potatoes.
 
Due to the higher fat content, and marbling effect, sheep meat cannot be entirely fat free, and that lends its taste to the dish, which some people are not comfortable about.
In a lamb leg there are large pockets of fat but little marbling. A few minutes with a sharp knife and you can break down a whole leg into individual muscles and trimmings. The "topside" piece is almost entirely fat free when trimmed, and cooks in a few minutes and is delicious. Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan, season the meat well, sear it all over in the pan then put it in a hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
 
After cooking chicken stock, refrigerate and the fats come to the surface where they may be skimmed off.

Take the fat thusly removed and heat to evaporate off the water.

This is the fabled "schmaltz" which you can use for browning up left over baked potatoes.

Sunday Dinner! We ate everything fresh and we used olive oil, just a little bit of butter (*). No other fats.

I think the only times we reused food was when we made canelons and croquetas. Grinding the left over meats from the day before. Typically done on Dec 26th. My grandmother, and aunts, made such great canelons that they would cook meats, cool them and grind them specifically for the dish. Since the entire family ( extended family ) worked in the (extended) family businesses ( no housewives ) that meant that all that work could only be done on Sunday... hence the importance of the Sunday Dinner.

Most of our dinners were made up from "tapas"... you know... pan amb tomaquet, fruits, charcuterie of cheeses, sausages, hams, salad and most often a bottle of cava. We ( yep young Tony too ) were great drinkers of cava wines... being in the business... we'd get our wines sent by the wholesaler... nothing like getting a 24 pack of cava every month. I learned to pop sparking wine bottles by the time I was 9... and to tap a keg too. ;-)

One of my aunts made huge platters of seitons (boquerones) from scratch... incredible, fantastic, a TON of work... another aunt made superlative calamars a la romana... that was made in the restaurant, which was closed on Sunday, so she'd walk down to the main kitchen to use the big deep fryers. The deep fryers were filled with olive oil then.

I come from a family of fantastic cooks!

Unfortunately our audio equipment was not so good... at least we had the Telefunken tube radio and a Phillips stereo record player ( solid state ).

(*) Except for the croissants and various pastries, naturalment.
 
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In a lamb leg there are large pockets of fat but little marbling. A few minutes with a sharp knife and you can break down a whole leg into individual muscles and trimmings. The "topside" piece is almost entirely fat free when trimmed, and cooks in a few minutes and is delicious. Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan, season the meat well, sear it all over in the pan then put it in a hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Don't forget the aioli..... with LOTS of garlic.

But I still prefer veal.... real veal... white meat.. that's when you shoot, braise and eat Bambi, not its mother. :)
 
I think the age and feed of the lamb in your area may be affecting the quality of the meat.
Here sheep are raised for wool, they are free range, feed on plants for the most part, winter here is minimum +10C, and last 4 weeks maximum.
The preference is for goat here, and the sheep are generally old or sick at slaughter, so as it is they are not prime quality meat.

In North India, there are extended periods of cold, sometimes snowbound for weeks, so the feed is from stored fodder and grains, harvested in summer.
That would affect the meat, I think.

The most out of left field feed was beer to bulls in Japan, for a particular marbling effect, that is some of the most expensive beef in the world.
 
Back bacon complete and packaged.
 

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10 days in the cooler on the balcony, in the (ham) brine. 6 hours smoking, Mesquite.

I use coarse salt, white sugar, cloves, allspice, garlic and Prague powder #1. Here are the stages all in one place. The first pieces were the testers after 7 days. The numbers on the bags of the finished product are grams.
 

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Thanks for the info... now you got me thinking I ought to do this again. Mesquite is good.... I've used it with turkey and ham.

You're in NW. huh? Maybe I ought to drive up with the F4 and we can listen, eat some bacon and drink some IPA. We're planning on driving up to the Puget Sound this year for two weeks around the 4th of July. Might crossover to Vancouver and let my wife and sister go nuts on Robson St.

F4 and IPA are my treat. ;-)

Hmm... I must say I haven't tried the IPA in BC yet.

We could invite Randy over, in case he wants to drive 2000 miles West.
 
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The most out of left field feed was beer to bulls in Japan, for a particular marbling effect, that is some of the most expensive beef in the world.


Yes, Kobe-Beef , really tasty, nowadays there are also many offers for Wagyu-Beef, more or less the same method in production
Here is 1 Kg Wagyu at least 350 Swiss Franks, equivalent 300 US $ for 2 ibs. Kobe costs a lot more, nearly unobtainable here.
I tried both, no blind test, at different time and place, i had the impression Kobe would be my favorite, but who am i?

My other favourites : In Chicago i had once a Rib-Eye Steak ( 28 Ounces, i could take only the half portion) and in Salvador de Bahia in Brasil also a Rib-Eye , both absolutely top and affordable ( not cheap) at apx. 50 $/pc including supporting acts.

Nowadays im happy with 5 ounces of good quality two times a week, its becoming always harder to get quality beef, prices rising, and here most butchers try to sell me Dry aged beef at astronomic prices, taste usually not very convincing, but i have no clue why , maybe my taste ???
 
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Visited the local Kerala Store, sells stuff from Kerala.

irst one is banana chips coated with spicy jaggery.

Second is jackfruit halwa.

Then the variety of bananas and vegetables can be seen.

No ties to any makers in the pictures.
 

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The cost of shipping expensive beef from Japan to Switzerland, in frozen condition, will be expensive, add a lot to the cost.
If they can afford it, let them enjoy.

Here the meat is mostly fresh, not frozen, so not much available in terms of exotic meats.
Mostly chicken in various forms, and goat meat kebabs, assorted types.
Pork sausages, frankfurters, salami...pepperoni only in big cities.
That is it....
 
@boswald, no...I am ethnically from Sindh Province, now in Pakistan.
Jackfruit is a staple in South India, and some parts of Uttar Pradesh State.
It is not part of our cuisine.
And you have to be careful handling it, coat your hands with oil before touching it. Very sticky, hard to clean later if you do not oil your hands.
There are many dishes made from it, using the fruit from raw to sweetly ripe.... curries to sweets, even jam (!).

It makes a nice curry, and has been made to feel like goat meat, though it lacks taste.
A friend of mine made chips out of the flesh, slicing it thin and freeze drying it.
He has trees descended from African jackfruit, those are much larger then Indian jack fruit. And the texture, sweetness, flesh color etc. are different from the Indian species.

It is said to have many benefits, and in season the fresh pods are sold in large numbers, the carts have sellers with the insides, those sell by weight or per piece.

Personally, I am not very fond of it, I can take it or leave it.

Some people claim is is good for diabetes, and some claim the seeds can be dried, powdered, and consumed as a tonic.
Please note my use of the word 'claim'.... I am not going to provide references, it is up to you to find them...
 
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