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Report: 2009 Heartland Gathering in Kansas City

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#61 Fat Guy

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 10:14 PM

Just got home after a grueling air-transit adventure. While sitting on the tarmac at O'Hare (for nearly 3 hours) I remembered a few things that have yet to be acknowledged:

1 - The Manifesto dude came and not only poured drinks but also dressed really well.

2 - Aaron Deacon wrecked a whole bunch of the chocolate cups but Kerry made so many that it didn't matter.

3 - Edsel was the grand-prize winner for getting a course out late but it was worth the wait.

4 - The prize for coolest individual at the gathering surely goes to Lora's dad, who takes the do-it-yourself ethic to the extreme and smokes a mean trout.

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#62 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 10:36 PM

More pics to follow but here's my (first) plate from Sunday morning's awesome farm-to-table brunch at Crum Farm . . .

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=R=
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#63 edsel

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 05:50 AM

The libation dudes.
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Aaron (on the left) made a Part and Parcel. I don't remember what Ryan made, but I think it contained some bitters sent down by Toby from TVH in Chicago who was unable to attend himself.
In the foreground is a big jug of iced tea with lemonade made by White Lotus. She and Dance also held a tea tasting of an interesting variety of green teas. I somehow managed not to take a picture of their setup.

#64 Maison Rustique

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 06:10 AM

It all looks so fabulous! I'm so sorry we had to miss it. We're still dealing with the aftermath of our flood on Friday night and it looks like we will be for some time to come. :sad:
Deb
Liberty, MO

#65 jgm

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 07:22 AM

I will post pictures tonight. I just wanted to jump in and thank Judy and Aaron for doing such an incredible job! Later in the week, when they wake up from their well-deserved rests, I hope they'll understand how much the rest of us appreciate their efforts.

I returned to learn that last week, not one, but actually two of the three attorneys I work with, had their cars stolen because since 1963, they've parked their cars in back of the building, unlocked, with keys inside. (I can't figure out why it took so long.) Which is proof that two out of three attorneys have no good sense whatsoever. I've always joked with one of them (who likes to try to fix things around the office) that "if you were the kind of guy who can fix things, you wouldn't have had to go to law school." Guess I will have to change that to "if you had any common sense, at all, you wouldn't have had to go to law school."

Fortunately, both wives are making sure their husbands understand the breadth and depth of their utter stupidity. One car has been found, stripped and trashed. We haven't heard anything about the second.

My co-workers just love the bacon chocolate, Kerry!

Jenny

Edited by jgm, 27 July 2009 - 07:50 AM.


#66 chileheadmike

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 01:16 PM

Is there a good place to post the recipes from Saturday Night's main event? I have the risotto recipe ready to go. Some of those dishes were really good and I'd like to give them a shot.
That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

#67 Chris Hennes

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 01:30 PM

Let's get them posted here in this topic, and we can add an index to the topic's opening post once we have "critical mass."

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#68 chileheadmike

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 02:12 PM

OK, I'll start

Roasted Green Chile Risotto

1.5 Boxes Arborio Rice
5 Poblano Chiles
5 Anaheim Chiles
1 Jalapeno Chiles
1 Onion
2-3 Cloves Garlic
6-8 Tomatillos
Ground Cumin
Dried Whole Leaf Oregano
Ground Coriander
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

Chicken Stock

Roast chiles on a grill until all of the skin is blackened. Place in a covered plastic container until cool. Peel off the skin, slit them open and scrape out the seeds. I do not rinse.
Dice the chiles

Peel the paper off of the tomatillos and quarter
Peel the garlic and smash
Add tomatillos and garlic to blender and blend until smooth

Heat stock season with salt, you want the stock simmering but not boiling

Heat heavy Dutch oven over medium heat
Add olive oil to coat bottom of pan
Add diced onion with a little salt
Once onion is translucent (about 15 minutes on med-low) add spices
Stir for 1 minute
Add tomatillo/garlic mixture and continue stirring until most of the liquid has cooked out.
Add diced green chiles
Add rice and stir
Begin to add stock 1 ladle at a time and stir constantly
Stir until liquid has been absorbed
Add another ladle of stock and continue to stir
Repeat
At about the 10 minute mark, taste the rice and adjust the stock for salt. Rice will not be done, but you’re just checking for salt.
Continue to add stock and stir until rice is tender. About 20 minutes in all.
You may add butter or cheese to complete. Cilantro may be added at the end as well.

Edited by chileheadmike, 27 July 2009 - 02:13 PM.

That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

#69 Marmish

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 03:36 PM

I'll add my thanks to Judy and Aaron for their superior scouting and organizing skills. I really appreciate all their hard work in putting everything together. I loved Bluestem and the BBQ tour, and the space for Saturday's dinner was fantastic. Brunch at Crum Farm was a wonderful experience. I really enjoyed seeing their place. I might have to post over in the dream jobs thread now. (Since my thumb is not particularly green, it's definitely a dream). I enjoyed Kansas City and would definitely like to take a trip back for some of the interesting shops we drove by and to see the rest of the fantastic art museum. I only made it 1/2 way through on Saturday.

My food pics definitely don't meet the quality of those with better cameras, but I'll post some general shots.

Lidia's interior shot
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Prasantrin, her mom and I went to Christopher Elbow on the way to dinner Saturday.
Exterior
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Interior
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Counter
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Case close up
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Another
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The production room, taken from the shop. The whole wall is window so you can see. Nothing going on on Sat, though.
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From Saturday's dinner

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Aaron and Edsel
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Crum Farm
Root Cellar
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Challah for French toast
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Describing the menu
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The Crum's gave us all a bag of granola to take with. I had mine this morning on some Greek yogurt.

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#70 edsel

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 05:31 PM

Here's the first of the short rib dishes I made. (Yes, I made two different dishes with beef short ribs. :rolleyes: )

Pastrami-Brined Short Ribs


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After seeing Ruhlman's blog post about making pastrami from short ribs, I posted a link on Facebook. Judy spotted my link and dropped some hints (ahem!) that those would be awfully nice to have at the Gathering. :raz:

The cross-cut ribs (flanken) came from Hickory Acres in Oberlin, Ohio, just a few miles from my home. Ruhlman used regular-cut short ribs for his recipe, so I had to adjust the method, particularly the spicing.

The brine recipe is from Ruhlman & Polcyn's Charcuterie. I slightly misread the recipe as I was measuring out ingredients on the scale, so I'll summarize it as executed. It should be a mix of white and brown sugars skewed toward the white, but I accidentally swapped them. The spices and seasonings were also tinkered with.

I quartered the recipe because I use vacuum-sealed bags for brining and don't need as much volume.

1 L water
85 g kosher salt
55 g brown sugar (would be white sugar in the original)
11 g pink salt
8 g pickling spice
22 g sugar (would be dark brown sugar in the original)
15 ml honey (from Ohio Honey, a local producer)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small shallot, minced

Brine the meat for a couple of days, or longer if you have thicker cuts.

Remove from brine and sprinkle with dry spices. I used a mix of coriander and black pepper, toasted a bit before grinding. Traditional pastrami is covered in coarse-cracked spices, but I ground mine finer because I thought coarse spices would be too much on the thin cuts.

Smoke at relatively low temperatures (~ 112 ° C / 235 ° F) for a couple of hours. The picture above is after smoking but before steaming for service.

To serve, wrap the smoked ribs moistened with a bit of water in foil and place in a low oven (135 ° C / 275 ° F) for about an hour or until the meat has reached the degree of tenderness you like.

#71 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 05:52 PM

I'll essentially echo what Steven wrote above about bluestem. Our meal there was excellent. Ingredients were of superior quality, the manner in which they were combined was innovative and risky (and mostly successful), and the technique was deft and precise. I can't say that it exceeded my expecations because -- based on what I already knew about chef Garrelts before our meal -- they were pretty high, but the experience was completely in line with them.

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bluestem is located at 900 Westport Rd. in Kansas City, MO


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Amuse of Compressed Watermelon with Crum's cherry tomatoes and Murray River flake salt
Great components throughout but the fennel blossom and stem were, in my mind, the signature elements of this dish, flavor-wise. They delivered a distinctive, aromatic note.


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Bay Scallop with Crum's heirloom beets, prairie birthday arugula and coriander-champagne vinaigrette
This is the one combination that didn't work for me, for a couple of reasons. Even though I enjoyed the bay scallops and the beets individually, I personally couldn't appreciate the flavors together. The combo was more discordant for me than complementary. Also, even though the onion element on this plate was relatively small, it was a bit overwhelming.


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Chilled Tomato Gazpacho with cucumber, onion and white gazpacho emulsion
The inner workings . . .


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Chilled Tomato Gazpacho with cucumber, onion and white gazpacho emulsion
Gazpacho being decanted at the table. In addition to the ingredients listed above, there were also bits of toasted nuts (almond?) and grapes in this explosively-flavored, yet balanced dish. This may have been my favorite dish of the night because the chef's manipulation took me to a totally new place. It was still gazpacho but I was tasting it in a way that I never had before. The elements were distinctive individually but came together as gazpacho with every spoonful.


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Walu with Rancho Gordo vaquero beans, artichokes, lemon-verbena broth and botarga
This shot was taken right before the broth was added at the table. A great dish, with immaculately cooked fish and a sensational broth, which provided an acidic counterpoint to the fish's fattiness. The firm but creamy vaquero beans added a wonderful textural element.


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Piedmontese Beef with rapini, white asparagus, wild local chanterelles and La Quercia coppa
This dish was sauced at the table. It was very flavorful and minerally, and something on the plate -- either the white asparagus or the (potato?) puree beneath the beef -- carried a subtle hint of truffle.


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Sous Vide Peaches with oatmeal streusel cake, cream fraiche, ginger gelee, caramel-peach foam and gingersnap wafer
Here, the cake, the peaches and the wafer were all delicious without being overly sweet but I had trouble picking up the flavor notes in the foam. Still, I'd count this dish as a success.


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Chef Colby Garrelts
After dessert, chef Garrelts came out to the dining room and said hello to the group.


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Petit Fours
Not sure exactly what these were because I was away from the table when they were served but I think they were shortbread, passionfruit gelee and a very buttery-licious sandwich cookie. As full as I was, I really enjoyed these mini sweets.

This was a distinctive, memorable and enjoyable meal and one that I'm so happy to have finally experienced. Nearly every chef I talk to in Chicago has nothing but positive things to say about chef Garrelts. It's clear to me that those who've worked with him like and respect him immensely. Those who haven't tell me they would love to experience eating at bluestem. After this meal, I would certainly recommend it . . . and you can definitely count me as a fan.

=R=
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#72 nyokie6

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 06:12 PM

Kansas City was wonderful. We had a lovely time, even if my clothes all feel tighter than they did last Monday. Thank you Judy and Aaron for all your work, Fat Guy for the well planned menu, and everybody who cooked, prepped, and cleaned.

#73 joiei

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 06:22 PM

Ronnie, thanks for the Bluestem pictures.
It is good to be a BBQ Judge.

#74 Fat Guy

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 06:26 PM

Bay Scallop with Crum's heirloom beets, prairie birthday arugula and coriander-champagne vinaigrette
This is the one combination that didn't work for me, for a couple of reasons.  Even though I enjoyed the bay scallops and the beets individually, I personally couldn't appreciate the flavors together.  The combo was more discordant for me than complementary.  Also, even though the onion element on this plate was relatively small, it was a bit overwhelming.


See I thought this dish was a home run. It was my favorite of the evening. I think this was just one of those risk-taking dishes that people are going to love or hate. But to me it was brilliant.



Sous Vide Peaches with oatmeal streusel cake, cream fraiche, ginger gelee, caramel-peach foam and gingersnap wafer
Here, the cake, the peaches and the wafer were all delicious without being overly sweet but I had trouble picking up the flavor notes in the foam.  Still, I'd count this dish as a success.


I also couldn't really taste the flavors and I thought the cake was dry. This dessert just didn't work for me.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)


#75 jgm

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 06:50 PM

Others' pictures of the food are much better than mine. I'm still undecided as to which I enjoyed more: the people or the food.
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Tino27 sprinkling salt on foccacia dough
Note: catching the salt in midair is more a function of serendipity than expertise on the part of the photographer.

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Kerry's bacon chocolate probably should be illegal, and just might be one day.


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When nyokie6 and Lora started posting about having some cheese, etc. during the day, I thought "Oh good. That'll be nice to nibble on while we're working." The appetizers alone probably would have feed the entire group for a week, but no one complained. Incredible, opulent, wonderful.

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See what I mean?



A reporter and photographer with the Kansas City Star were "embedded" :biggrin: with us for the weekend, and I do believe we impressed them in several ways.
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When talking to them, I found myself struggling to find words when trying to describe how eGulleters tend to develop a fondness, respect, and attachment to each other, despite the fact most of us have never met. I tried - and didn't really succeed - to describe what it's like to belong to this group, and how on fortunately rare occasions that we lose a member and find ourselves grieving deeply for someone we've never laid eyes on. We share each others' joys, failures, and accomplishments, and we get to know each other in ways that people in other online communities often don't. We learn from each other, challenge each other, and share the misery of various culinary disasters and frustrations. But I just couldn't find a way to describe how all this really works. I guess what it boils down to, is that eGullet isn't about food. It's about people who love food. We understand that food is more than fuel for the body; it's also nourishment for the soul, and we connect with each other on that level.

I probably should just leave it at that. :rolleyes:

Jenny

#76 moosnsqrl

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 07:01 PM

Bay Scallop with Crum's heirloom beets, prairie birthday arugula and coriander-champagne vinaigrette
This is the one combination that didn't work for me, for a couple of reasons.  Even though I enjoyed the bay scallops and the beets individually, I personally couldn't appreciate the flavors together.  The combo was more discordant for me than complementary.  Also, even though the onion element on this plate was relatively small, it was a bit overwhelming.


See I thought this dish was a home run. It was my favorite of the evening. I think this was just one of those risk-taking dishes that people are going to love or hate. But to me it was brilliant.



Sous Vide Peaches with oatmeal streusel cake, cream fraiche, ginger gelee, caramel-peach foam and gingersnap wafer
Here, the cake, the peaches and the wafer were all delicious without being overly sweet but I had trouble picking up the flavor notes in the foam.  Still, I'd count this dish as a success.


I also couldn't really taste the flavors and I thought the cake was dry. This dessert just didn't work for me.

View Post

As painful as it is to agree with Fat Guy, I :wub:'d the beet dish - I loved the counter point of sweet (beets, scallops), slightly spicy (arugula, well-rinsed onion) and [searching for words here] semi-astringent (radish - in this case, not as a rule) and the blossoms. In fact, I just did something similar as an after-salad to cleanse our palates from red curry leftovers, which rocked!

Paula, our venue manager/hostess, treated their small staff to curry for lunch today and told me that she probably should have paid us (vs. us renting the space) in light of her enjoyment not only of the food but the people she shared a table with and opportunity to learn from everyone. I think she intends to amend the rental contract to ensure she is an "invited guest" at all future events, but the catered ones won't be nearly as interactive as what she was subjected to Saturday. She looked here for pix from the event and will likely continue to do so, so bring 'em on! Also would appreciate recipes (esp curry, Kerry :wub:)
Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

#77 torakris

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 06:14 AM

The Bluestem meal was really incredible and I loved every dish, the walu was what blew me away though. Every part of that dish, the fish, the beans, the broth was superb. I often prefer fish to meat but rarely order it when I am the midwest because I have been disappointed too many times. I could go on for days about how much I loved that dish.

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#78 Kerry Beal

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 06:59 AM

I also want to thank Judy and Aaron for organizing this and for their equanimity throughout the weekend. I don't think I could have remained so calm and organized (actually I know I couldn't - given my chicken with head cut off routine the first day of the chocolate conference).

I have just arrived back at 8:10 this morning - my day of call starting at 8am - but I got caught by the swing bridge opening to let a sailboat through. I'm a bit of a bag from a very long day in airports yesterday - one plane cancelled, too late for my connection to Sudbury - the later flight being delayed until almost midnight due to mechanical problems... I stayed in a hotel in Sudbury overnight rather than risk the drive on the dark moose infested roads of northern Ontario. My luggage is still vacationing in Chicago. I long to see my hairbrush again.

A little later today - if call allows I'll download what few pictures I have and post.

Meanwhile - the single batch version of the Thai Red Curry

Thai Red Curry with Lychee and Pineapple

Recipe By : me
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Main dishes Asian
International

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 can coconut milk
2 tablespoons red curry paste (Mae Ploy brand is ideal)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons palm sugar
1 can lychee - drained
1/4 pineapple - chunked
4 chicken breasts, skinned and cut bite size across the grain
2 kaffir limes leaves - chiffonade
thai basil to garnish

Divide coconut milk, put fat in pan and fry with curry paste until separates and smells good. Add remaining coconut milk and fish sauce and palm sugar to taste. Cook the pineapple pieces a couple of minutes in the microwave. Add sliced chicken to coconut mixture, cook about 10 minutes, then add the pineapple and lychee.

Garnish with thai basil and kaffir lime leaf.

#79 Marmish

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 08:28 AM

I also want to thank Judy and Aaron for organizing this and for their equanimity throughout the weekend.  I don't think I could have remained so calm and organized (actually I know I couldn't - given my chicken with head cut off routine the first day of the chocolate conference). 

I have just arrived back at 8:10 this morning - my day of call starting at 8am - but I got caught by the swing bridge opening to let a sailboat through.  I'm a bit of a bag from a very long day in airports yesterday - one plane cancelled, too late for my connection to Sudbury - the later flight being delayed until almost midnight due to mechanical problems...  I stayed in a hotel in Sudbury overnight rather than risk the drive on the dark moose infested roads of northern Ontario.  My luggage is still vacationing in Chicago.  I long to see my hairbrush again. 

A little later today - if call allows I'll download what few pictures I have and post. 



Oh, Kerry! What an ordeal. I hope they don't call you in today.

#80 jgm

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 08:43 AM

Kerry, my friends and co-workers are nipping at me about the bacon chocolate. It's a matter of tempering the chocolate, adding the ingredients, and spreading it onto parchment, right?

Would you also list the ingredients, the relative amounts, and the brands you used? I remember the bacon is Ronnie Suburban Special Reserve :wink: but I didn't catch the brand of smoked salt, and I've slept since you told me the brand of chocolate. I do remember that you mixed and milk and the dark.

Jenny

#81 judiu

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 10:15 AM

Others' pictures of the food are much better than mine.  I'm still undecided as to which I enjoyed more:  the people or the food.
Posted Image
Tino27 sprinkling salt on foccacia dough
Note: catching the salt in midair is more a function of serendipity than expertise on the part of the photographer.

Posted Image
Kerry's bacon chocolate probably should be illegal, and just might be one day. 


Posted Image
When nyokie6 and Lora started posting about having some cheese, etc. during the day, I thought "Oh good.  That'll be nice to nibble on while we're working."  The appetizers alone probably would have feed the entire group for a week, but no one complained.  Incredible, opulent, wonderful.

Posted Image
See what I mean?



A reporter and photographer with the Kansas City Star were "embedded"  :biggrin:  with us for the weekend, and I do believe we impressed them in several ways.
Posted Image
When talking to them, I found myself struggling to find words when trying to describe how eGulleters tend to develop a fondness, respect, and attachment to each other, despite the fact most of us have never met.  I tried - and didn't really succeed - to describe what it's like to belong to this group, and how on fortunately rare occasions that we lose a member and find ourselves grieving deeply for someone we've never laid eyes on.  We share each others' joys, failures, and accomplishments, and we get to know each other in ways that people in other online communities often don't.  We learn from each other, challenge each other, and share the misery of various culinary disasters and frustrations.  But I just couldn't find a way to describe how all this really works.  I guess what it boils down to, is that eGullet isn't about food.  It's about people who love food.  We understand that food is more than fuel for the body; it's also nourishment for the soul, and we connect with each other on that level.

I probably should just leave it at that.  :rolleyes:

Jenny

View Post

Serendipity nonwithstanding, those are some GREAT pictures, Jenny! Thanks for the views :wub:
"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

#82 Kerry Beal

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 10:19 AM

Kerry, my friends and co-workers are nipping at me about the bacon chocolate.  It's a matter of tempering the chocolate, adding the ingredients, and spreading it onto parchment, right?

Would you also list the ingredients, the relative amounts, and the brands you used?  I remember the bacon is Ronnie Suburban Special Reserve  :wink: but I didn't catch the brand of smoked salt, and I've slept since you told me the brand of chocolate.  I do remember that you mixed and milk and the dark.

Jenny

View Post

Belcolade chocolate - probably about 5 or 6 parts milk chocolate and 1 part dark chocolate - tempered. Lots and lots of crispy fried bacon (not sure what that is in amounts) crumbled, maybe a tsp or 1 1/2 tsp of the Salish smoked salt or any other nice smoky salt.

Always best if you can use Ronnie Suburban Special Reserve - but in a pinch the real bacon bits in the jar given a few extra seconds in the microwave to crisp them up work fine. Watch though, they tend to explode in the microwave.

#83 chileheadmike

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 12:14 PM

I don’t think anyone has mentioned the impromptu lunch some of us had at El Camino Real in KCK. I mentioned that my daughter and I were “heading over to the “Dotte for some tacos”. There sure were a lot or me too’s. Aaron and I discussed the merits of Laura’s, El Taco Nazzo, and El Comino Real and decided on the later. Good choice, it may in fact have better tacos than my favorite El Taco Nazzo. May.

First off they press and grill the tortillas to order, which is awesome. Between about 12 of us we had

Al pastor
Cabeza
Carnitas
Lengue
Some sort of Mexican sausage that I can't remember (not chorizo)
Pescado

The Al pastor were great, grilled on a vertical spit with a pinapple on top and sliced like gyro meat.

Cabeza were also great, beefy gelatinous goodness

The canritas were good but the Cabeza and Al Pastor were tough competition.

My daughter had the Pescado, a whole filet grilled and chopped up. She really enjoyed it.

Sad to say I didn't have any of the sausage, but those who did really enjoyed it.

It was pretty funny watching a bunch of white guys with cameras running around the place taking pictures of everything and the staff looking at us like WTF? But they seemed to enjoy our enthusiasm as much as we enjoyed the tacos.

ETA, they served the tacos with separate sides of chopped onion, cilantro, a pico di gallo, and a hot sauce in a squeeze bottle. Niether the pico nor the hot sauce had much of a punch, my only dissapointment. I mean even my daughter thought it was on the mild side.

Edited by chileheadmike, 28 July 2009 - 12:17 PM.

That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

#84 Fat Guy

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 12:23 PM

It would be hard to overstate the extent to which using made-to-order tortillas improved every taco. The tortillas at most taquerias are cardboard by comparison.

Of the tacos I tried I think my favorite may have been the picadillo. I liked it as much as or more than the al pastor.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)


#85 Aaron Deacon

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:05 PM

It would be hard to overstate the extent to which using made-to-order tortillas improved every taco. The tortillas at most taquerias are cardboard by comparison.

Of the tacos I tried I think my favorite may have been the picadillo. I liked it as much as or more than the al pastor.

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Longaniza was the other unnamed sausage--I didn't try it but it looked terrific.

And yes, the picadillo, what a pleasant surprise. I find it so hard to order anything but the pastor here, I really haven't plumbed the depths of the menu (though one time they were prepping some bacon-wrapped shrimp that looked delicious).

But the picadillo...often just a serving of lightly seasoned ground beef, here was a real picadillo, like you might use for stuffing peppers of something, gently seasoned with garlic and spice, but more of the flavor coming from the finely diced carrots and potatoes, all coming together in a rich, velvety sauce. Sort of like tacos de bolognese Mexicano, or some such bastardization. They were delicious.

Appreciate all the thank yous, it was really a blast to put together and enjoy the weekend, and meet so many interesting and enjoyable people. I've got part of a more comprehensive post written that I'll post as time allows.

#86 Lady T

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 04:39 PM

:biggrin:

Wow. Just...wow. I see what you meant about the appetizer courses(s) at the Gathering: I'd easily make the same error I made last year, and fill up on the yummy cheeses and such before the main courses were served.

I'm with you, Maggie: as soon as I have a job, I'll start saving up for next year.

:biggrin:
Me, I vote for the joyride every time.
-- 2/19/2004

#87 tino27

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 04:48 PM

Sorry I haven't said much since I returned, but it's just been a whirlwind of activity. I finally had a chance to sit down at the laptop, process all the pictures, upload them to the blog, blah, blah, blah. I'm intending to write a six-part series that will start this Friday and will cover pre, during, and post Heartland Gathering events.

As many others have said, I wanted to thank Aaron and Judy for an outstanding job. I was only fortunate enough to be at the Saturday dinner and the Sunday brunch, but it was enough to remind me of why I return every year for the camaraderie, the fun, and the food. And of course, as always, there was never a short supply of any of them.

Honestly, the thing that scared me the most was that my simple salt & pepper focaccia that I made for the cheese and hors d'oeuvre course would get lost amongst all the other breads and crackers that had been brought. I needn't have worried. By the time I remembered to get a shot of the interior crumb of the bread, only four squares were left.

The dinner was also nothing short of amazing. I think we as a group have really started to grasp the concept of better portion control. :biggrin: It was also a blast helping out Edsel with his meat course. I never knew what it was like to rice 20 pounds of carefully cooked, cooled, and then reheated potatoes before last weekend. Now I know.

I also wanted to extend a personal thank you to Mr. Shaw, who finally managed to convince me that I would be missing something very important if I didn't come to Kansas City this year.

I'm not going to share a ton of the pictures that I took here on eG, simply because so many others are going to be sharing similar photos. Well, that and if I shared them all here, why on earth would you come visit my blog to see them there! :raz:

However, one shot that I will share is probably one that is self-serving, but clearly demonstrates that you can make good bread in a professional kitchen as well as a room at the Best Western:

Posted Image
Side shot of the rosemary and garlic focaccia crumb. From course #1 of the dinner on Saturday night.

And don't worry, I plan on sharing the recipe and technique (words and pictures) for the focaccia bread on the blog so that anyone who'd like to try it is more than welcome to.
Food Blog: Exploring Food My Way: Satisfying The Craving -- Exercising my epicurean muscles by eating my way through everything that is edible.
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#88 maggiethecat

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 07:27 PM

I've been around here for a long, long time, seen friends come and go, but the Heathland Gathering is a given. The first Heartland Gathering took place In Grand Rapids, Michigan, in, what, 2002? Maybe twenty people hanging at Matthew Beaverson's house after enjoying the night before, a tremendous dinner at the best local restaurant arranged by eGullet member Alex.

It was such a funky small gathering that we crashed at local friend's houses, and cooked straight from the Farmer's Market. In a friend's kitchen. Matthew had a wall of Maker's Mark and the good times rolled.

The Gathering is much more organized, better attended and frankly, freaking amazing. But as a history geek, I feel I have to describe the beginnings.

And as I've thought, year after year, why doesn't another forum take on something so glorious?

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."
Studs Terkel

1912-2008

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#89 moosnsqrl

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 07:36 PM

I also wanted to extend a personal thank you to Mr. Shaw, who finally managed to convince me that I would be missing something very important if I didn't come to Kansas City this year.


I thought it was *I* who convinced you. Sniff, sniff. :wink:

you can make good bread in a professional kitchen as well as a room at the Best Western


You call that *good* bread? Dude, we could've gotten that out of a freezer case and thawed it! :laugh: :wink:

I am obviously KIDDING and, again, can't tell you how much it meant to the Gathering that you made the herculean effort to drive all the way down and produce such incredible edibles for us. i think we're almost even for the foie in Ann Arbor. :wink:

I think you should sell your story and become an ad rep for Best Western (think "no, but I slept at a Holiday Inn last night!"). You're the best. Again, thanks for being such a trooper.
Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

#90 tino27

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 08:06 PM

I also wanted to extend a personal thank you to Mr. Shaw, who finally managed to convince me that I would be missing something very important if I didn't come to Kansas City this year.


I thought it was *I* who convinced you. Sniff, sniff. :wink:

you can make good bread in a professional kitchen as well as a room at the Best Western


You call that *good* bread? Dude, we could've gotten that out of a freezer case and thawed it! :laugh: :wink:

I am obviously KIDDING and, again, can't tell you how much it meant to the Gathering that you made the herculean effort to drive all the way down and produce such incredible edibles for us. i think we're almost even for the foie in Ann Arbor. :wink:

I think you should sell your story and become an ad rep for Best Western (think "no, but I slept at a Holiday Inn last night!"). You're the best. Again, thanks for being such a trooper.

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OK, it was a combination of Mr. Shaw's encouragement and your well-meaning harassment that changed my mind. And I'm beginning to think that it was one expensive piece of foie gras back in Ann Arbor (3 years ago, I might add) that I have now ALMOST paid back to you. Goodness, you're like a loan shark! :biggrin:

Seriously though, I really had an outstanding 36 hours in Kansas City and between the dinner on Saturday and the brunch on Sunday at Crum Farm, I would totally do it all over again in a heartbeat.

I also agree with MaggieTheCat ... why don't other regions do gatherings of their own?
Food Blog: Exploring Food My Way: Satisfying The Craving -- Exercising my epicurean muscles by eating my way through everything that is edible.
Flickr: Link To My Account
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