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Old 06-08-2016, 05:59 PM   #1
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Good food day

My Victoriox chef knife was delivered to day. I can't believe how sharp it is. I imagine that the other two will be delivered tomorrow.

I left work early and drove into Hattiesburg. I delivered 20 fish to the pet store. The culinary store for rich folks is right next door to them. Imagine that. I got inexpensive stuff...a spider, an Oxo hand egg beater, and a thermometer for deep frying. Alas, they did not have a mandolin. They had various slicers but they were not what I wanted.

Then I drove thorough congested traffic in my old truck (for a country bumpkin whose old truck doesn't have AC) to FedEX and picked up the box that had my cast iron tortilla griddle, a pressure cooker cook book, and a mortar and pestle made from volcanic rock that will take a world of work to season.

Then I drove to plump nearly to the slaughter house where I was able to buy 2 beef tongues and 2 beef kidneys. I know what I'll be having for dinner on my days off. I can't wait!

I wanted to stop for sushi at a wonderful place but I ran out of patience. Oh well...

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Old 06-08-2016, 06:14 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your new items.

I am assuming you will be making corn tortillas with your press. Plastic wrap works better than wax paper. Do not forget it as scraping a tortilla off the press is not fun.

You said you bought corn to make tortillas. Are you going to try to make the corn flour yourself?
Note: you need masa harina not corn meal.
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Old 06-08-2016, 06:39 PM   #3
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I bought the right kind of whole corn. I have the cast iron press. I've read that a plastic bag cut in half works best. Most say that you need a hand grinder but someone, perhaps it was Alton Brown, said that a food processor works just fine. I'm going to try the food processor first since I have one.

I won't be doing it this weekend. I'll be making kidney stew and tongue. Perhaps next weekend.
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Old 06-08-2016, 06:53 PM   #4
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I wish you all the luck in the world. You are braver than I am.
You will need to grind the corn super fine.
You do have a cast iron griddle for cooking the tortillas.
I find plastic wrap works better because you can leave the tortillas on one sheet while cooking the rest. Plastic bags would get expensive in a hurry.
One other tip, get the griddle hot before putting the tortillas on it. Set a timer because that 45 seconds to a minute cook time goes fast.
I discovered it is easier to make all the balls, press one, put it on the griddle, press another, flip tortilla, repeat. Oh heat the griddle before you start the balls.
Hope this helps.
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:12 PM   #5
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Thanks much. I need expert advice since this will be my first time. The whole process is intimidating to me. I can't believe that when I lived in Mexico I just walked to the tortillaria and picked up half a pound of them for a few pennies. They were perfection itself. I had no clue how hard making them myself would be. But you know how it is when you get a craving for flavors past that are not available for love nor money.

I know that I'll have fun trying. I hope that I am somewhat successful on my first try. A bit of success and a bit of progress is all it takes to make me keep trying for perfection. Luckily I enjoy a challenge as well as spending a long time working in the kitchen.
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:46 PM   #6
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I'm a little jealous

Your new molcajete is The original American food processor. I'm looking forward to hearing about your masa experiences. I remember seeing Alton Brown's Good Eats episode using the food processor but didn't try it myself. Would also be interested in hearing more about your trip to the slaughter house. Have fun.
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:11 PM   #7
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I had fun at the slaughter house but it doesn't take much for me to have fun. I didn't walk back to were the gentlemen were cutting meat. I thought that it would have been not proper to walk into their working space. I just got close and watched from the customer area. He had already cut the tongues from the heads of the steers before I got there. I have no idea what they do with the rest of the head.

The sides of beef were on hooks and the butcher pulled a lever and they came out from the meat cooler. He sliced out the kidneys from 2 different sides of beef for me. Another guy took the side of beef and used a band saw to cut it into a workable length and put it on a table and proceeded to cut rib steaks by hand. Everyone had a steel hanging from his belt.

I asked the lady what brand of knives they use. I was impressed by how easily they cut through the meat. She tried to find out by looking in the files but she didn't find the answer and I didn't want to have her bother the working guys to ask them. She said that they buy "leftovers" from some place but she didn't know the name of place or if there was just one specific brand of knife they use. All I saw during the short time I was there were filet knives but I just saw 2 guys working. That's all I know.
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:13 PM   #8
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Making corn tortillas is an art form. Please do let us know how they turn out.
Oh on my block, it is over 50% Mexicans. Guess how many Mexicans on the block make tortillas.
They all buy them.
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LizStreithorst View Post
I had fun at the slaughter house but it doesn't take much for me to have fun. I didn't walk back to were the gentlemen were cutting meat. I thought that it would have been not proper to walk into their working space. I just got close and watched from the customer area. He had already cut the tongues from the heads of the steers before I got there. I have no idea what they do with the rest of the head.

The sides of beef were on hooks and the butcher pulled a lever and they came out from the meat cooler. He sliced out the kidneys from 2 different sides of beef for me. Another guy took the side of beef and used a band saw to cut it into a workable length and put it on a table and proceeded to cut rib steaks by hand. Everyone had a steel hanging from his belt.

I asked the lady what brand of knives they use. I was impressed by how easily they cut through the meat. She tried to find out by looking in the files but she didn't find the answer and I didn't want to have her bother the working guys to ask them. She said that they buy "leftovers" from some place but she didn't know the name of place or if there was just one specific brand of knife they use. All I saw during the short time I was there were filet knives but I just saw 2 guys working. That's all I know.
If it is anything like most restaurants, the meat cutters usually bring/buy their own knives. Or if the company provides the knives each cutter will more than likely have "his" knives that are sharpened to "his" liking.
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:34 PM   #10
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I live in a small city about 300 miles north of you. We have neither a commercial slaughter house nor even a butcher shop that has "hanging beef." Now I'm really jealous.
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