Archive for September, 2008

Know Your Pig: Pancetta

Posted in KNOW YOUR PIG, Pancetta with tags on September 30, 2008 by chomposaurus

Cured meats have not been featured enough on Chomposaurus; but like the best of their kind, this blog has now been salted and aged for long enough to know when it’s missing something. Thus, we bring you a bit of vital info about the bacon of Italy, pancetta.

To make pancetta, pork belly is salted and spiced, then dried for an average of three months. It is not smoked, unlike your typical American bacon. No two batches of pancetta taste alike – temperature, humidity and mold in the room where it’s cured greatly affect the taste (and yes, some mold is good.) For more on making your own pancetta, articles are here and here.

Rolled pancetta is rolled into a log, tied securely during aging, then sliced width-wise, so the white fat makes it look like a swirly lollipop of mouth-watering meat.

Straight pancetta (or “a slab”) has the fat on one side. In this way you can pretend you are eating some sort of healthy food by looking at the lean side. Hey, it works with that weird purple dye they put in blueberry donuts.

When serverd, pancetta looks like uncooked bacon, but believe me, you’ll be glad it’s slightly chewy. That lets you savor the rich olive-oil flavor as it mixes with the frothing ham juices. When not served alone or atop pizza or pasta, it’s frequently used to make flavorful stews or to add meaty zest to stuffing. You can even wrap figs in it to continue that “healthy” illusion.

Review: IKEA Herring

Posted in Herring, IKEA, Seafood with tags , , on September 29, 2008 by chomposaurus

For the final article of our “IKEA Week,” we’re reviewing two types of jarred herring from IKEA’s Swedish Foodmart in Brooklyn. The first, Inlagdsill (meaning “fish that swims with french fries”) is herring in marinade. The marinade is not further defined. The second, Dillsill (meaning “fish that loves to get dirty”) is herring in dill marinade, something which I’m sure Vlasic will be copying any minute now.

Surprisingly enough, both types of herring were not just edible, they were downright tasty. The normal marinade tasted a bit too much like ketchup to me (even though it was clear, making the effect creepier), but I managed to eat several miniature filets without gagging. The dill marinade was quite well-seasoned, as long as you can ignore the fact that fish in a jar will usually have half your daily allowance of salt in every serving. It’s hard to describe the flavor other than “pickled fish,” so I won’t try it. But it would have been delicious on a piece of toasted bread.

So if you’re having a party, and somehow need to go to IKEA to buy a set of cabinets for that party, stop by the foodmart and pick up some herrings. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised.

Review: IKEA Meatballs

Posted in IKEA, REVIEWS, Swedish Meatballs with tags , on September 25, 2008 by chomposaurus

“Kottbullar”? I’m pretty sure that’s Swedish for cow testes. Nevertheless, you can’t go to IKEA without encountering at least one giant poster for their meatballs, so I had to review the take-home-a-sack version. At under $7 for 2.5 pounds, it seemed like a good deal.

IKEA, I expected more from your balls.  They’re chewy, and there’s not much seasoning to speak of. The taste reminds me of the sausage links you get at Denny’s.  The back of the package says “beef and pork” but you couldn’t distinguish one from the other.  Plus, they totally shrank once they were cooked, and nobody likes shrunken balls.

Perhaps they’re better when served with Swedish creme sauce and fresh lingonberries, as the package suggests.  I’m sure they’d be fine in your Trader Joe’s pasta.  But as an hors d’oeurve, these balls just don’t add much spice to your culinary soup.

Renewable Energy is BS!

Posted in MEAT POLITICS with tags , , on September 24, 2008 by chomposaurus

Literally. The NYTimes writes about a dairy farm in Vermont that uses bacteria to break down cow manure into methane and other gases, which are then burned in an electricity-generating engine. And I say: more power to them. Haha. Unless, of course, we start getting too many subsidies and people are opening cow farms just to produce “green” energy. Remember, all those farting cows still produce a lot of greenhouse gas.

Quality Fast Food: IKEA Bistro

Posted in IKEA Bistro, QUALITY FAST FOOD with tags on September 23, 2008 by chomposaurus

It’s IKEA Meat Week here at Chomposaurus, and we’re kicking it off with a bang!

I know, I know: it’s not a picture of meat. But what makes the meat at Ikea’s small bistro so good is that it comes so cheap. Sure, their hot dogs are all beef (proven when the two nice hindu girls in front of me asked to know for religious purposes) and their lingonberry soda mixes brilliantly with pepsi. But two hot dogs, a cinnamon roll and an unlimited-refill soda for $2.50? Unless it turns out that it’s all filled with Chinese chemical paint remover, you simply can’t find quality food this cheap anywhere, not even Gray’s Papaya. It’s worth the trip, trust me. And you might pick up some killer lamps while you’re there.

Keep visiting for more IKEA reviews this week!

Wherever they March, the Smell of Sizzling Bacon Soon Follows…

Posted in STUFF ABOUT MEAT with tags on September 20, 2008 by chomposaurus

(Vintage poster from WWII)

The Heart Attack I’ve Been Saving Myself For

Posted in Burgers, STUFF ABOUT MEAT with tags , on September 19, 2008 by chomposaurus

(Donuts from Krispy Kreme. Story at Cake Wrecks.)

Meaty Blog Update

Posted in STUFF ABOUT MEAT with tags on September 19, 2008 by chomposaurus

Enjoy some smokin’ hot links.

All Things Barbecue / Pellet Envy
Competition BBQ team blogs about their successes and techniques.

Cured Meat Blog
Pretty much exactly what it sounds like. For those of you who need more pancetta in your life.

Superb Vietnamese recipes

He had me at “fried mayonnaise.”

Offal Good
The tagline says it all: the guide to good guts

Webcomic: Bigger Than Cheeses

Posted in WEBCOMICS on September 18, 2008 by chomposaurus

Greasy Feet

Posted in STUFF ABOUT MEAT with tags , on September 18, 2008 by chomposaurus

Who needs fine Italian marble when you can get the same effect making your floor out of Italian salami? True, your feet would probably stick to everything else they touched that day, but your socks would smell delicious.

[Thanks to Boing Boing and Wim Delvoye, conceptual artist]