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Report: 2008 Heartland Gathering in Chicago

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#91 NancyH

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 12:17 PM

And a special thank you to Dr Kerry Beal, who kept me calm and triaged until the EMTs arrived.

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

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Take no backwards steps, and watch the sidewalk on maxwell street.

Good news - Cle Dr. says i'll be out of this sling in one week!

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I also learned its nice to be in a group with not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 doctors. There wasnt too much they could do, but it was comforting ( to me anyway) to know they were there!!

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"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

#92 prasantrin

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 02:20 PM

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Had to have a couple of pictures of Rona - not to allow her to be upstaged by her mom Cecilia.

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That's my Gavin impression (a la Kids in the Hall)! OK, I'm actually a lot like Gavin in real life, too, so it's not just an impression...

I think one of the table pics is missing--my table! It's all about me, doncha know. :raz:

#93 Alex

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 02:27 PM

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For my table, clockwise from the far left:
Toby - nyokie6
Ron - Toby's spouse
Maggie (aka Margaret) - maggiethecat
Lou - Maggie's spouse
Ann - Alex's spouse
Richard - Alex
Cathy - Cathy2 (LTH)
Randi - CaliPoutine
Kerry - Kerry Beal
Steve - Fresser

Please let me know if I got any of this wrong; I'll correct it ASAP.


(Edited to add Cathy's name -- see CaliPoutine's reply three posts down.)

Edited by Alex, 14 August 2008 - 05:30 PM.

Gene Weingarten, writing in The Washington Post about online news stories and their readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

"A vasectomy might cost as much as a year’s worth of ice cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s equally enjoyable." -Ezra Dyer, NY Times

#94 Kerry Beal

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 03:14 PM

I think one of the table pics is missing--my table!  It's all about me, doncha know.  :raz:

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Mea culpa. I'd uploaded it, just didn't move it over - I'd better look and see which others I missed.

#95 Fat Guy

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 04:49 PM

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)

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I've been meaning to go into more detail here. I hope I remember everything correctly.

The Niles/Milwaukee Avenue ethnic shopping tour, led by Leah and her husband Dick, was to take us to six ethnic markets, though in the end it wound up being five because we ran a bit short of time and had to edit out a stop.

The first stop was Uni-Mart One Stop, a Filipino grocery. They gave us a great reception: we got a guided tour, they put out lots of samples of food for us to taste, they sent us away with gift bags, and they even did a press release about how they hosted us (maybe someone has it so we can post it). Anyway, while we were there, Tammy came up with the pain-in-the-ass idea that her amuse course (which I was to assist with) should include an ingredient from each of the ethnic markets we were to visit.

At the Uni-Mart One Stop, I argued for calamari (which I volunteered Kris Yamaguchi to fry) but Tammy came up with the idea of buying a bunch of plantains and making plantain chips to act as foundations (which I volunteered Kris Yamaguchi to fry). So we did that.

Next, at Schmeisser's, we spied some smoked goose breast and the woman at the counter was nice enough to make very thin slices for us. The plan took shape: we'd do one plantain chip with smoked goose breast and some sort of Asian condiment (at the time I was thinking kimchi or a pickle) and one plantain chip with something from the forthcoming Russian smoked fish place plus a Middle Eastern condiment. But when we tasted the smoked goose breast it was very salty, so the idea of kimchi or a pickle with it seemed a bit much. We were still thinking. The folks at Schmeisser's were super-nice and took us in back to see the sausage-making and smoking operation.

At H-Mart, we wound up getting two ingredients: Asian pear, which we intended to use with the goose breast, and quail eggs, which we figured would go with the smoked fish. The welcome we received at H-Mart, by the way, was amazing. Not only were there gift bags but also there was a video presentation about traditional Korean table service.

After H-Mart, we took an ice-cream break (Leah and Dick got us assorted Asian-inflected ice creams from the Village Creamery). It was then that Leah and Dick decided, based on time constraints, to ditch the Russian smoked fish place.

At our next stop, the Niles Polish Deli, however, they had some mighty nice looking smoked trout. So we bought two of them.

Finally, we stopped at a Middle Eastern market that I believe was named Arax. There I (foolishly it turns out) convinced Tammy to get a sheet of apricot paste. I figured it would be like quince paste but with apricot, but instead it was more like an apricot Jolly Rancher. Our prep crew couldn't cut it and when Tammy put it in the Cuisinart with some of the mango nectar from the Uni-Mart One Stop gift bags we almost destroyed the Cuisinart.

Heat couldn't break down this substance either so, after trying to cook it in a saucepan for a while, we dumped everything in Edsel's Vita-Mix. That did the trick, and we wound up with a pretty swell tasting mango-apricot creamy puree thing.

Meanwhile, Kris painstakingly fried the plantain chips twice. First she fried them, then she sat on the floor and flattened each one with the bottom of a glass, then she fried each one again. She did this for 50+ chips. For the other half of the amuse, at some point Tammy had made the executive decision to use crostini.

We also had help from White Lotus and another person (raise your hand please) in making julienne of Asian pear.

So, in the end, the amuse was two items. The first was crostini with smoked trout topped with a quail egg and garnished with some chives. The second was a plantain chip with a schmear of apricot-mango stuff, topped with smoked goose breast, julienne Asian pear and a little dill. The trout-and-quail-egg one came out as we imagined it would. The plantain-with-goose, when we did a preliminary taste test, was too sweet and not salty enough. This even though our whole premise had been to minimize the saltiness of the goose. So we wound up asking Kris to salt the plantain chips and we added the dill to the ingredients list. In the end this part of the amuse was not, in my opinion, fabulous but it was pretty good and it met the ethnic challenge. I loved the trout and egg, but there were some little bones in some portions that made it difficult to navigate.

Maybe someone can supplement with a photo.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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#96 CaliPoutine

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 05:06 PM

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For my table, clockwise from the far left:
Toby - nyokie6
Ron - Toby's spouse
Maggie (aka Margaret) - maggiethecat
Lou - Maggie's spouse
Ann - Alex's spouse
Richard - Alex
a friend of the family whose name I forgot -- help!
Randi - CaliPoutine
Kerry - Kerry Beal
Steve - Fresser

Please let me know if I got any of this wrong; I'll correct it ASAP.

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The woman between Richard and myself is Cathy2( on LTH forum). I'm not sure if thats her Eg name too.

#97 Kerry Beal

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 05:18 PM

We also had help from White Lotus and another person (raise your hand please) in making julienne of Asian pear.

The other person would be Hwa. Not sure of her eG name.

#98 CaliPoutine

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 05:22 PM

Here are some pics from the Maxwell Street Market Tour



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This tamale was excellent. Dare I say I liked it better than the tamale I had at Frontera Grill on Tuesday?

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fat guy and edsel
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These were great too. I can't remember the last time I had a homeade tortilla. They used it to make a corn fungus( formal name is?)taco. That was a bit strange for me.

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Corn fungus

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A whole lotta chilies.

Edited by CaliPoutine, 14 August 2008 - 05:24 PM.


#99 Alex

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 05:28 PM

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For my table, clockwise from the far left:
Toby - nyokie6
Ron - Toby's spouse
Maggie (aka Margaret) - maggiethecat
Lou - Maggie's spouse
Ann - Alex's spouse
Richard - Alex
a friend of the family whose name I forgot -- help!
Randi - CaliPoutine
Kerry - Kerry Beal
Steve - Fresser

Please let me know if I got any of this wrong; I'll correct it ASAP.

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The woman between Richard and myself is Cathy2( on LTH forum). I'm not sure if thats her Eg name too.

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Thanks, Randi. IIRC, her real-life name is Cathy, too (Ha! -- Cathy2). I don't think she has an eG name. I'll edit my post right now.
Gene Weingarten, writing in The Washington Post about online news stories and their readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

"A vasectomy might cost as much as a year’s worth of ice cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s equally enjoyable." -Ezra Dyer, NY Times

#100 Fresser

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 05:31 PM

The other person would be Hwa.  Not sure of her eG name.

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Hwa's eGullet name is "einberliner." But I'm not sure why, as she resembles neither President Kennedy nor a jelly doughnut. :blink:
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#101 Alex

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 05:37 PM

Here are some pics from the Maxwell Street Market Tour

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fat guy and edsel   
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These were great too.  I can't remember the last time I had a homeade tortilla.  They used it to make a corn fungus( formal name is?)taco.  That was a bit strange for me.

Posted Image

Corn fungus

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The corn fungus is called huitlacoche.

Great-looking hats there, guys, but I can't quite make out what's on them. Could you clue us in? (Nice picture, too, Randi, getting the Sears Tower in the background.)
Gene Weingarten, writing in The Washington Post about online news stories and their readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

"A vasectomy might cost as much as a year’s worth of ice cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s equally enjoyable." -Ezra Dyer, NY Times

#102 tammylc

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 05:41 PM

So, in the end, the amuse was two items. The first was crostini with smoked trout topped with a quail egg and garnished with some chives. The second was a plantain chip with a schmear of apricot-mango stuff, topped with smoked goose breast, julienne Asian pear and a little dill. The trout-and-quail-egg one came out as we imagined it would. The plantain-with-goose, when we did a preliminary taste test, was too sweet and not salty enough. This even though our whole premise had been to minimize the saltiness of the goose. So we wound up asking Kris to salt the plantain chips and we added the dill to the ingredients list. In the end this part of the amuse was not, in my opinion, fabulous but it was pretty good and it met the ethnic challenge. I loved the trout and egg, but there were some little bones in some portions that made it difficult to navigate.

Maybe someone can supplement with a photo.

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Thanks for the rundown, Fat Guy. I think the trout and egg would have been even better had we remembered to season them. A little salt and pepper on the eggs would have totally kicked it up a notch.

Oh, and actually, it was dill on the trout and eggs, and chives on the goose and fruit. Which I agree was too sweet and not as fabulous as I'd hoped. Ah well - it was worth the experiment.

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#103 CaliPoutine

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 05:48 PM

Great-looking hats there, guys, but I can't quite make out what's on them. Could you clue us in? (Nice picture, too, Randi, getting the Sears Tower in the background.)


IIRC, it was cock fighting or something like that.

#104 tammylc

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 06:05 PM

Wow, looking at all those pictures of the market I am soooo disappointed I had to leave early. :-(

As it was, I only made it back to Ann Arbor with a half hour to spare before I had to go out to my next multi-course dinner. It was really a crazy eating weekend!

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#105 tammylc

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 06:18 PM

Karen M - can you talk about what the topping you drizzled on the confit byaldi was? I'm not seeing it in my version of the French Laundry cookbook - is that something you came up with on your own?

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#106 nr706

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 06:24 PM

They used it to make a corn fungus( formal name is?)taco.  That was a bit strange for me.


Formal name is huitlacoche (sometimes spelled with a c instead of an h). Also called corn smut, as in "I'm gonna go down there and get me some smut!"

#107 prasantrin

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 06:25 PM


I think one of the table pics is missing--my table!  It's all about me, doncha know.   :raz:

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Mea culpa. I'd uploaded it, just didn't move it over - I'd better look and see which others I missed.

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And from left to right starting at roughly 8:00, we have:

G Wiv aka Gary (still kicking myself for not getting his namesake spice blend from The Spice House and having him autograph it!)
Beth aka Marmish, owner of Milo :wub:
Pav aka Beth's husband
Dance aka Connie's husband
Connie aka white_lotus
Helen aka G Wiv's wife
KarenM's husband (can't remember his name, either!)
Karen aka KarenM
Cecilia aka my mother
Me/Rona aka prasantrin
Julie aka santo_grace
empty chair belonging to Stacy aka Julie's +1

Edited by prasantrin, 15 August 2008 - 06:15 AM.


#108 racheld

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 08:47 PM

Ohhhh, Y'all!!!! This is just like Old Home Week!!!!

I'm so glad to meet everyone!!! I can tell that there was SOME GOOD TIME goin' on.

Thank you, Thank You to everyone who chimed in to name all the folks---You are all just BEAUTIFUL!
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#109 nsxtasy

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 05:53 AM

G Wiv's wife (sorry!  Can't remember her name!)

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Ellen.

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#110 prasantrin

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 06:16 AM

G Wiv's wife (sorry!  Can't remember her name!)

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Ellen.

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Thanks! I edited my original post. Hopefully someone will chime in with KarenM's husband's name, too!

#111 Alex

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 06:43 AM

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

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From Kerry Beal et al.:
1. how to temper chocolate
2. how to dip stuff in tempered chocolate
3. the wonderfulness of Portuguese "Saltcream" sea salt from The Spice House
4. the even greater wonderfulness of crème brûlée chocolate cups

And let us not forget:
5. how three days of continual eating and drinking (and cooking) tires one out. In a happy way, of course.

Oh, and I really don't like the texture of pig's ear.
Gene Weingarten, writing in The Washington Post about online news stories and their readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

"A vasectomy might cost as much as a year’s worth of ice cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s equally enjoyable." -Ezra Dyer, NY Times

#112 NancyH

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 10:06 AM

my photos from Sat. dinner:

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Edsel and his Vita Mix become the hit of the kitchen

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Fruits of the bread class

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Amuse, p 1

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Amuse, p2

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Tomato-watermelon soup

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beet stem pancakes

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Beet salad

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Salad niscoisse (pre-olives)

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baked shrimp

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Ratatouille

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Chicken & Waffles

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Gravy

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Cole Slaw

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Ribs

It was all yummy! I was too stuffed for dessert - so no photos. lucas mentioned that he really liked the maple syrup on his rib (which was delicious, but a bit spicy). I thought the cole slaw was a perfect accompaniment, Marmish!
"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

#113 tammylc

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 10:24 AM

Great pictures, Nancy!

I agree re. Marmish's coleslaw. It rocked so much I asked her for the recipe and served it to 45 of my neighbors at dinner a couple nights ago.

Tammy's Tastings

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Dinner for 40


#114 NancyH

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 11:09 AM

Thurs kick off dinner at Blackbird

We started with 2 passed nibbles during the cocktail hour:

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Parmesan apricot shooter

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Tartare

I remember this as lamb, but stuart said steak - who knows? it was delicious, as was the unusual shooter.

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Herbed butter

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bread service

Bob and I both opted for the "nasty bits" menu.

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chopped chicken liver ravioli w/apple-lime puree and anise hyssop

For my taste, this was, well, too chicken-livery. Caveat - I was never a chicken liver fan. [grain of salt]

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pickled beef tongue with fried bologna, cherry tomatoes, horseradish and nori

I really liked this dish, though I never cared for the tongue on deli platters I tasted as a child.

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roasted hudson valley foie gras with preserved grapefruit, sea beans, and lychee-espresso

I didn't like this as much as i thought i would, though as Tammy pointed out, roasted and seared foie are very different. count me in the 'seared' lovers group, i guess.

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braised rack of lamb with fresh soybeans, spring radishes, pickled feta & lovage

Although there weren't any real nasty bits in this dish, it was superb. The lamb was perfectly cooked to a bloody rare [perhaps that was the nasty bit aspect] and tasted simply amazing.

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intermezzo - candied pig ear

Loved this!

Even more amazing was dessert:

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crispy veal sweetbreads w/cashew butter, rye waffle, black mission figs, black olive honey, and cashew ice cream

The notion of sweetbreads for dessert was bizarre enough. but this combination of textures and flavors really worked!

This lovely dinner really revved our culinary engines up for the edibles to come!
"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

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#115 jesteinf

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 11:28 AM

For me, the lamb was really the highlight of the Blackbird dinner. One of the best lamb dishes I've had in a restaurant.

-Josh

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


#116 maggiethecat

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 04:22 PM

We revived an old Heartlander tradition: the American Gothic shot. It might have started at Varmint's first Pig Pickin', and Im sure we posted one from Grand Rapids.

Behold Sam Iam and Lady T with knife and cognac instead of farm implements.

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#117 Marmish

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 09:06 PM

my photos from Sat. dinner:

...

It was all yummy!  I was too stuffed for dessert - so no photos.  lucas mentioned that he really liked the maple syrup on his rib (which was delicious, but a bit spicy).  I thought the cole slaw was a perfect accompaniment, Marmish!

View Post


Thanks! :wub: I really love that coleslaw. We can eat a whole head of cabbage between the two of us. I figured any coleslaw in a meat cookbook had to be pretty darn good! It's from the Complete Meat Cookbook, by Aidells and Kelly.

Your pics are great!

Edited by Marmish, 15 August 2008 - 09:07 PM.


#118 CaliPoutine

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 03:50 AM

my photos from Sat. dinner:

...

It was all yummy!  I was too stuffed for dessert - so no photos.  lucas mentioned that he really liked the maple syrup on his rib (which was delicious, but a bit spicy).  I thought the cole slaw was a perfect accompaniment, Marmish!

View Post


Thanks! :wub: I really love that coleslaw. We can eat a whole head of cabbage between the two of us. I figured any coleslaw in a meat cookbook had to be pretty darn good! It's from the Complete Meat Cookbook, by Aidells and Kelly.

Your pics are great!

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Can you add it to recipe gullet or post it here?

#119 Marmish

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 08:47 AM

Ingredient lists are not copyrighted. I usually use far less or even no onion, and lots and lots of pepper. I may sub granualated garlic or garlic powder, depending on how much time I have and what's on hand. Yogurt or sour cream, doesn't really matter. Otherwise, don't change a thing.

Coleslaw from the Complete Meat Cookbook, Aidells and Kelly


4 cups shredded green cabbage
2 cups shredded red cabbage
2 geen onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

Dressing
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

#120 CaliPoutine

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 04:10 PM

Ingredient lists are not copyrighted.  I usually use far less or even no onion, and lots and lots of pepper.  I may sub granualated garlic or garlic powder, depending on how much time I have and what's on hand.  Yogurt or sour cream, doesn't really matter.  Otherwise, don't change a thing.

Coleslaw from the Complete Meat Cookbook, Aidells and Kelly


4 cups shredded green cabbage
2 cups shredded red cabbage
2 geen onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

Dressing
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Thanks!! The next time I make coleslaw for the seniors, I'll try this one.





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