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Report: 2008 Heartland Gathering in Chicago

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#31 nsxtasy

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 05:57 PM

If anyone will be posting their Saturday recipes from last weekend, would it be possible to add a known "tag" to make them searchable by the event? It would make finding them very simple.

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The "Chocolate Velvet" I made is from a cookbook, so I probably should not copy it. The book is "The Four Seasons Cookbook" by Charlotte Adams, with special consultant James Beard. As I mentioned at dinner, this is the signature dessert at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York City.

I only did two things different from what was specified in the recipe, and you should be able to get the same results just going by the recipe. One variation was that I made it larger for our occasion. When I do the straight recipe, I use the second largest (7.5" diameter) of my set of four Farberware stainless steel mixing bowls as the mold. This time, I multiplied all the quantities by one and one third, and used the largest (9.5" diameter) mixing bowl. The other thing I did differently was, instead of making the genoise from scratch, or using store-bought lady fingers (both of which I've done in the past), I bought a thin layer of plain (but rich) yellow cake from Bennison's, our local bakery, to use for the cake layer... and I gotta tell you, it was better than I could have made from scratch - although it's kind of odd asking for a plain cake layer (I had to have a discussion with Jory Downer, their award-winning baker, to explain what I needed).

An interesting side note on the cookbook... it was published in 1971. A few years later, it went out of print, and was almost impossible to find. I was looking all over for it in the mid 1970s and finally located my current copy. I believe they reprinted it in 1984 and has been much easier to find since then. Click on the book cover photo to order from Amazon:

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Edited by nsxtasy, 11 August 2008 - 06:00 PM.


#32 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 07:42 PM

A few other 'before-the-meal' items that didn't make Tammy's official recap:

Deep-fried bacon and corn bread-wrapped chili 'bombs' brought by gp60004 (Wiener & Still Champion)

Mini hotdogs in pastry from Romanian Kosher Sausage Co., hand rolled by G Wiv

Spring Rolls and Vegetable Pancakes brought (made?) by prasantrin

Assortment of high-end iced teas brought prepared by white lotus

Great assortment of cheeses brought by nyokie6

I was outside tending the smoker for most of the afternoon, so there could be a few others, I'm not sure. These were some of the items that a few folks were nice enough to bring outside for me during the course of the afternoon. :smile:

=R=

edited to add a few others

The official Heartland Gathering Feast menu, for the use and benefit of picture posters and commentators.

Bread - 3 loaves of honey whole wheat bread, 3 loaves of Red and Black bread, 3 loaves of olive rosemary bread, 2 loaves of sweet potato bread (Tino27 and bread workshop)

Ethnic Market Amuse (tammylc, Fat Guy, Torakris and a lot of sous chefs)
- the challenge - at least one ingredient from every one of the ethnic markets
- the result:
1) fried plantain chip with apricot/mango schmear, smoked goose breast, asian pear, and chives (Filipino, Armenian/Middle Eastern, German, Korean)
2) crostini with smoked trout, fried quail egg, and dill. (Polish, Korean)

Watermelon-Tomato-Mint Soup (Alex)

Nicoise Salad (CaliPoutine)
Beet Salad & Beet Fritters (LuckyGirl)

Shrimp DeJohnge (LAZ)
Confit Byaldi (KarenM)

"Chicken and Waffles" (NancyH, BobH, Edsel, Tino27)

Smoked Ribs (Ronnie_Suburban)
Coleslaw (Marmish)
Foil wrapped potatoes of yumminess (Ellen)

Desserts:
I might forget something here, as there were so many things on the table, and i wasn't as involved in thinking about what order or time they needed to be ready...
Chocolate mousse torte (nsxtacy)
Blueberry peach crisp (CaliPoutine)
Apple cake with raspberries, whipped cream and caramel sauce (Kerry Beal)
Creme brulee in chocolate cups (Kerry Beal and chocolate workshop)
Assorted chocolates (dulce de leche, pate de fruit, bacon-salt bark) (chocolate workshop)
Pavlova (Kerry Beal)
Baylor Watermelon (Kathy)

I think this was our best meal yet, in terms of cohesiveness of the menu. And although we still sent lots of leftovers home with people, we did better on portion sizes than ever before, as evidenced by the fact that people headed to the dessert buffet right away.

Thanks to everyone who shopped, chopped, measured, cooked, set tables, or cleaned... Which was basically pretty much everyone. We all rock.

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Edited by ronnie_suburban, 11 August 2008 - 07:51 PM.

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#33 Fresser

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 07:59 PM

A few other 'before-the-meal' items that didn't make Tammy's official recap:

Deep-fried bacon and corn bread-wrapped chili 'bombs' brought by gp60004 (Wiener & Still Champion)

Mini hotdogs in pastry from Romanian Kosher Sausage Co., hand rolled by G Wiv

Spring Rolls and Vegetable Pancakes brought (made?) by prasantrin

Assortment of high-end iced teas brought prepared by white lotus

Great assortment of cheeses brought by nyokie6

I was outside tending the smoker for most of the afternoon, so there could be a few others, I'm not sure.  These were some of the items that a few folks were nice enough to bring outside for me during the course of the afternoon. :smile

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Here's Ronnie in his element:

Posted Image
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#34 Amy Viny

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 08:50 PM

What a wonderful weekend. Great food and company. Thanks to everyone who planned and prepped. It was great fun meeting so many egulleters whose postings I've been enjoying for so long.

#35 gp60004

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 08:56 PM

Deep-fried bacon and corn bread-wrapped chili 'bombs' brought by gp60004 (Wiener & Still Champion)


Ron

Actually, nr706 (Tom) brought em...I just made em :biggrin:

#36 jesteinf

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 09:41 PM

Many, many, many thanks to Ron and everyone who contributed to making this weekend such a great time. A special shout out to Alchemist for putting on a simply outstanding event at The Violet Hour.

Marissa and I really enjoyed seeing some old friends and meeting new people. We hope all of the out of towners enjoyed visiting our city as much as we love living (and eating) here.

-Josh

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/


#37 tammylc

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 03:57 AM

A few other 'before-the-meal' items that didn't make Tammy's official recap:

Deep-fried bacon and corn bread-wrapped chili 'bombs' brought by gp60004 (Wiener & Still Champion)

Mini hotdogs in pastry from Romanian Kosher Sausage Co., hand rolled by G Wiv

Spring Rolls and Vegetable Pancakes brought (made?) by prasantrin

Assortment of high-end iced teas brought prepared by white lotus

Great assortment of cheeses brought by nyokie6

I was outside tending the smoker for most of the afternoon, so there could be a few others, I'm not sure.  These were some of the items that a few folks were nice enough to bring outside for me during the course of the afternoon. :smile:

=R=

edited to add a few others


Thanks, Ronnie - I knew I would forget things from the pre-dinner noshing, so I figured I should focus on the dinner menu and leave somebody else to create this list!

Did HOLLY_L's chicken liver pate ever make it out?

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#38 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 07:32 AM

A few other 'before-the-meal' items that didn't make Tammy's official recap:

Deep-fried bacon and corn bread-wrapped chili 'bombs' brought by gp60004 (Wiener & Still Champion)

Mini hotdogs in pastry from Romanian Kosher Sausage Co., hand rolled by G Wiv

Spring Rolls and Vegetable Pancakes brought (made?) by prasantrin

Assortment of high-end iced teas brought prepared by white lotus

Great assortment of cheeses brought by nyokie6

I was outside tending the smoker for most of the afternoon, so there could be a few others, I'm not sure.  These were some of the items that a few folks were nice enough to bring outside for me during the course of the afternoon. :smile:

=R=

edited to add a few others


Thanks, Ronnie - I knew I would forget things from the pre-dinner noshing, so I figured I should focus on the dinner menu and leave somebody else to create this list!

Did HOLLY_L's chicken liver pate ever make it out?

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D'OH! :blush:

Yes it did and it was delicious!

=R=
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#39 tino27

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:37 AM

Surely there were more pictures taken than just those posted so far.

Cmon, people!! Post those pics! :biggrin:
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#40 tammylc

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 11:48 AM

Surely there were more pictures taken than just those posted so far.

Cmon, people!! Post those pics!  :biggrin:

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Agreed! There were so many cameras clicking all weekend long, there's got to be more to post!

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#41 Fresser

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 12:31 PM

Surely there were more pictures taken than just those posted so far.

Cmon, people!! Post those pics!  :biggrin:

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I have a picture of Shaw and me holding up a man-yam. I'll post it later.
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#42 NancyH

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 02:17 PM

It was a wonderful weekend! Sorry, it may take me a while to post photos. At the Maxwell Street Market, I stepped into a divot between two sidewalk slabs and wound up on my back, with a dislocated right shoulder.

I want to thank everyone from the group who tried to make me comfortable while we waited for the EMTs. The ER doctor was fantastic, and got me out of there in time for a little Burt's pizza in the evening.

Kudos to all - especially Ronnie!

The chicken & WAFFLE DISH was a true collaboration - once Ronnie posted that the church had a waffle making station, we started emailing each other.

The original concept was to reinvent chicken & waffles with duck and SE Asian flavors. First problem: getting fresh duck!

So, when we spied beautiful farm fresh chicken at the butcher shop LAZ & Dick brought us to, we went back to chicken. The butcher cut them up for us.

Back at the kitchen, Tino &Chris invented and perfected the waffles. Bob trimmed up the backs and made cracklings, Edsel prepared both s SE Asian spice rub for the chix, and the coconut gravy. I prepped and grilled peaches and produced butter pats.

Cooking the chix was a group effort - we'd planned to grill them, but ran out of time. So we crisped them on the flattop, then finished them in the oven.

Final plating was also team - a quarter waffle was topped with a pat of butter, a piece of chix, a slice of grilled peach and a dusting of crackling. Maple syrup and the Coconut cream sauce were on the tables.
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#43 KatieLoeb

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 02:32 PM

Is there a pic of the finished/plated chicken wafffles?? Oh, please? I am all a-twitter imagining what those must've looked like. They sound absolutely delicious!

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#44 Fat Guy

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 02:34 PM

I'd allow a couple of days for the photos to pour in. Folks had to travel home, go back to work, etc.

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#45 NancyH

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 02:59 PM

Is there a pic of the finished/plated chicken wafffles??  Oh, please?  I am all a-twitter imagining what those must've looked like.  They sound absolutely delicious!

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i have some. i am trying to master typing w/one hand - i'll try pix once i get this down!
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#46 einberliner

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 03:11 PM

It was a great way to meet everyone. Thanks for letting me into this wonderful event. I was having lots of fun and my palate was very happy. :smile:

Hwa

#47 LuckyGirl

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 05:26 PM

Many thanks to all the Chicago folks who in various ways hosted us and helped with on putting this event, especially Ronnie.

KarenM it was so good to meet you and lovely to spend the afternoon in your kitchen for the bread class.

Tom, I knew the bread class would be great but you managed to far exceed my already high expectations. You are a great teacher and I am still floored by the packet you put together for the class!

Thanks to to Santo_Grace for picking up the great BBQ which gave those of us who attended the class the opportunity to try one more Chicago eats place. Also, it was very gracious of you to open your kitchen and oven to us!

The whole time that Mr. LuckyGirl and I spent in Chicago was amazing, both the scheduled events we attended and the few things we did on our own with friends (Alinea and Hot Doug's, oh my!).

Gary, thanks to you for putting together the Szechuan dinner. I SO enjoyed it. Also, if anyone can tell me what the chopped green was that we had I would appreciate it. From the poking around on the net I've done I *think* it may have been chrysanthemum but I'm not sure. I loved it and would like to know what to look for so I can make it at home.

The best part of the weekend was cooking and eating together on Saturday. It was wonderful to visit with old friends and to make new ones as well. I regret that we didn't get to visit as much with some old friends as we would have liked to but everyone was so busy! I trust we'll have more opportunities to visit before next year.

Each course of the dinner was a treat.

I especially enjoyed the chicken and waffles- seriously good eats.

CaliPoutine's composed salad was beautiful and I adored her peach and blueberry cobbler. Peach and blueberries are one of my favorite fruit combinations. I took some of the cobbler with the intentions of having it with ice cream once we got home to Cleveland but it didn't make it out of the hotel the next morning. It was good breakfast :biggrin:

Ronnie, the ribs, the ribs, the ribs... Thanks for grilling for us! :raz:

And, the coleslaw, who made the coleslaw? It was perfect.

Thanks to LAZ for the Chicago shrimp dish and oh, yes, the amuses were lovely too.

The prize for lovely though goes to KarenM's ratatouille. Wow, they were beautiful dishes and the flavors were perfect.

I didn't get to try most of the starters but that was one impressive cheese plate. Thank you for your generosity nyokie.

Alex's tomato and watermelon soup was refreshing and perfectly balanced. I admit, I was skeptical about watermelon and tomato together but he nailed it.

maggiethecat, thanks for the shout out for my beet stem pancakes. I love sharing those with people!

nxtasy, I guess I'm either going to have to purchase that Four Seasons' Cookbook or hope that you and your Mrs. can come to Cleveland to help me celebrate my 40th birthday and make it for me in April! That torte was really, really special and I know that I want it to be part of my celebration.

KerryBeal, your apple cake was also right up my alley. I like desserts that are not too sweet and your cake was enjoyed by both Steve and me.

OH! One more thing, THANK YOU to Kathy for introducing us to the Baylor's watermelon. I really didn't believe that watermelon like that existed anymore. You folks in Chicago are very lucky to have the Baylor family and their watermelon business. I hope that Steve and I can make it to town again before the season ends.

Phew, I hope I didn't leave out anything!

Once again, seeing everybody and making new friends was wonderful. The fellowship of the event is the best part!

Edited by LuckyGirl, 13 August 2008 - 06:20 AM.


#48 LuckyGirl

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 05:27 PM

Oh my gosh NancyH!

I am sorry to hear about your fall. What a way to cap off the weekend.

I wish you a speedy recovery.

#49 Fresser

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 05:34 PM

As promised...

Ann and Elfin:

Posted Image

Fresser and Bagel:

Posted Image

Welcome to the Heartland:

Posted Image

Time to make the sausage:

Posted Image

Men with Man-Yam:

Posted Image

Edited by Fresser, 13 August 2008 - 01:37 PM.

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#50 Marmish

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 05:52 PM

It was a wonderful weekend!  Sorry, it may take me a while to post photos.  At the Maxwell Street Market, I stepped into a divot between two sidewalk slabs and wound up on my back, with a dislocated right shoulder.


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Oh no! That's not the kind of souvenir you are supposed to take home from Chicago! I hope you mend quickly.

#51 nyokie6

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 06:02 PM

Thank You Tammy, Ronnie, Toby, Gary and everyone else. Ron and I had a wonderful time. We loved the planned eating, our additional stops, the Cubbies winning, the beautiful weather, Fresser and the Fressermobile, and the great cooking and company. Hoping to be able to get away next year again.
Tobi

#52 edsel

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 07:07 PM

A few pictures from the bread workshop.

Chopping olives
Posted Image

Weighing the flour
Posted Image

and the olive oil
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Start mixing
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Then kneading
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Check the dough
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We learned about the various types of preferment, the effect of adding fat or sugar to a dough, how to judge when the gluten is developed enough, and so much more...

This workshop was everything I hoped it would be - a practical, hands-on experience with lots of useful information. Many thanks to Tom for a fantastic workshop.

#53 NancyH

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:01 PM

Here's the chix & waffles:

Posted Image

Served with log cabin pure maple syrup (never heard of that before) and Edsel's coconut cream gravy:

Posted Image
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#54 Fat Guy

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:08 PM

Served with log cabin pure maple syrup (never heard of that before)

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It's a new product that is, I believe, available only at Sam's Club (which is where nxtasy and I went for staples). From the manufacturer, Pinnacle Foods:

Log Cabin Pure Maple Syrup: Just introduced this year, Log Cabin Pure Maple syrup is made with only Grade A, Dark Amber maple syrup sourced from the finest Sugar Maple Trees during the peak season. With no additives or preservatives, Log Cabin Pure Maple is 100% all natural. You can find Log Cabin Pure Maple in Sam’s Club.


I thought it was just as good as any other standard pure maple syrup, and it was a really good value -- I think $12.99 for the quart maybe.

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#55 prasantrin

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:20 PM

Before I get kicked off this tenuous wi-fi connection again...

I'd like to offer my and my mother's thanks and appreciation to all who organized the Heartland Gathering and affiliated events. We had a wonderful time meeting everyone, though I am very sorry I seem to have missed "officially" meeting some folks! (I keep reading names and thinking, "S/He was there? I don't remember that!")

I'd also like to add a special personal thanks to Marmish for offering her beautiful home for the chocolate workshop (and for introducing me to Milo :wub: ), and to Kerry for giving the workshop. My kitty is still uneaten, and is being preserved until it breaks and I have to eat it.

And I'm not sure if I offer thanks or curses to Tom for what has become of my mother. The last few days all I hear is bread, bread, bread...

"I think I need to buy this big wooden cutting board. It will be perfect for kneading bread!"

"Oh, I need those linen napkins. Tom says to use linen napkins or dish towels, and to really press the flour in."

"Tom says King Arthur is the best for bread. We should buy some."

"Tom says..."

You get the picture... :rolleyes: :biggrin:

Seriously, I have heard nothing but raves about the bread workshop, and my mother is very rarely so unequivocally positive about anything, so props to you, Tom. You've got a huge fan in my mother!

And I like how there are two pics of my mom (not an eG member), and only one of 1/2 of the back of my head. :raz:

Edited by prasantrin, 13 August 2008 - 01:56 PM.


#56 Alex

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 01:36 PM

I'd love to post a few pictures I took at TVH, but ImageGullet is not cooperating with the upload. Oh, well.
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#57 torakris

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 04:32 PM

There are just too many people to thank that I won't even attempt it. I just can't make a post without thanking Ronnie who went way out of his way to make sure that we had an incredible weekend. From a stretch limo food crawl of the city and ending with an incredible dinner at the same place where Anthony Bourdain was taping a new episode. (if someone knows when this is going to be aired please let me know!)
I am headed to Japan tomorrow morning and have been really busy since I came back from Chicago but I plan to comment more once I get settled back at home. I really had the most incredible time and am really looking forward to next year.

This time I will say it so that everyone will hear me, absolutely no deep frying next year! It was really hot in there with no air conditioning!

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#58 Fat Guy

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 04:38 PM

Cooking the chix was a group effort - we'd planned to grill them, but ran out of time.  So we crisped them on the flattop, then finished them in the oven.

View Post


I'm going to take partial, secondary-source credit for this innovation. There came a time in the afternoon when the small grill was still heating up and Randi's swordfish still needed to be cooked and it became clear that doing all that chicken on the grill would make the ETA on that course something like 4am. As luck would have it, however, in late June Edsel and I had been sitting at the counter at Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City and had watched the cooks preparing chicken wings. They started the wings by giving them a hard sear on the plancha on both sides, then they transferred them to a saute pan to finish in the oven -- or at least that's what we remembered. So I said to Edsel, "Why don't you do the chicken the way we saw them do it at Momofuku?" Thus, chicken and waffles "Momofuku style" was born.

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#59 Chris Amirault

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 05:10 PM

That's cool! What other things did folks learn at the Gathering?
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#60 edsel

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 05:11 PM

Cooking the chix was a group effort - we'd planned to grill them, but ran out of time.  So we crisped them on the flattop, then finished them in the oven.

View Post


I'm going to take partial, secondary-source credit for this innovation. (...)

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I saw Nancy's post earlier but didn't get a chance to respond.


We started realizing well before "show time" that the grill wasn't going to work out. We were eying the oven as a compromise solution, but that didn't sound too appealing. Besides, there was already a traffic jam of dishes going into the oven, so the timing was doubtful. I was concerned that the oven wouldn't give us the nice crispiness we were looking for.

Don't know why I didn't think of using the flat-top. It was barely a month ago that Steven and I were sitting at the counter at Noodle Bar commenting about how incredibly efficient their flat-top-plus-oven technique is. So credit Chang and company for the idea, but credit Fat Guy for remembering it when it counted. :smile:





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