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eG Foodblog: johnder - Bouncing Around Brooklyn

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#301 Chufi

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 11:35 AM

John, your apricots have an uncanny resemblance to the Dutch boerenmeisjes (see here for details), except that one has sugar aded and it should mature for about 8 weeks. The Dutch stuff is drunk (eaten, really) apricots and all, but if you would strain it, you'd have a sweet, very apricoty alcohol. Although you're probably looking for something not sweet?

#302 johnder

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 11:40 AM

John, your apricots have an uncanny resemblance to the Dutch boerenmeisjes (see here for details), except that one has sugar aded and it should mature for about 8 weeks. The Dutch stuff is drunk (eaten, really) apricots and all, but if you would strain it, you'd have a sweet, very apricoty alcohol. Although you're probably looking for something not sweet?

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Wow, that looks really good. I believe all the classic cocktails that call for apricot brandy actually are looking for something along the lines of an apricot liquer which would make it sweet. The Marie Brizzard Apry is very, very sweet. The taste has been compared to a jolly rancher candy, so I am thinking this i]boerenmeisjes[/i] could be a good idea. Especially if I can thin it down considerably.

Thanks Chufi, now I just need to find that brandy! :unsure:
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#303 Chufi

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 11:47 AM

Thanks Chufi, now I just need to find that brandy!   :unsure:

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well, I had discussions about this with other US-based eGulleters, and I don't think you can get it outside of the Netherlands. It's a flavorless, 35 % alcohol, used primarily for preserving fruits and making advocaat (a kind of eggogg). It's pretty nasty stuff and no-one in their right mind would drink it on it's own (although elderly aunts of mine drink it straight, with a teaspoon of sugar mixed in).
So the best substitute would be something like vodka with a not too pronounced flavor.

Edited by Chufi, 01 October 2006 - 11:47 AM.


#304 sadistick

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 04:01 PM

Great looking dinner John, did you supply all those wines as well?!

Do you use one of those fancy shmancy machines for your sous vide cooking? It perks my interests, but I have no room for another large contraption!

Also, I think the issue was with the dried appricots. I have tried using both dried and fresh, and fresh always turns out better for some reason. I actually dont use the entire fruit either. Typically I will cut away most of the flesh and make preserves, and use the stones with some leftover fruit and soak in brandy, not vodka. I find Brandy works better with Plums/Apricots, and vodka works best with cherries and peaches.

Cheers.


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"He who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else."
- Samuel Johnson

#305 johnder

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 06:07 PM

So we went to Gramercy Tavern for a drink or two. (Jim says "Hi", Katie)

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Jeannie started out with Jim's beta test of his homemade tonic. Simple gin & house made tonic. Very tasty. Now I need to learn how to make tonic. :shock:
The house made tonic is amazing. It blows the doors off anything I have tasted before.

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I had a Van Brunt.

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Next, Jeannie had the Tea Whiskey Hiball

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This was amazing. It is going to be my next summer drink. It was like an awesome Iced Tea, with scotch!

He had a concord grape smash on the menu that called for Ketel, Grapes and Lime, but I didn't want vodka so he made it Agrigole and it rocked.

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All the time we snacked on their bar nuts. Spicy, Salt, Sweet. Man, it makes you want to stay and drink. (I guess that is the point)

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John Deragon

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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#306 johnder

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 06:16 PM

Great looking dinner John, did you supply all those wines as well?!


Yup, we recently did an inventory of our wines and pretty much planned the meal around the wines.

Do you use one of those fancy shmancy machines for your sous vide cooking?  It perks my interests, but I have no room for another large contraption!


I did use an immersion circulator. If you get one without the bath attachment it isn't really that big. Maybe the size of 2 stick blenders. I just used a rubber container to do the cooking in. 5 gallon pastic buckers work too.

Also, I think the issue was with the dried appricots.  I have tried using both dried and fresh, and fresh always turns out better for some reason.  I actually dont use the entire fruit either.  Typically I will cut away most of the flesh and make preserves, and use the stones with some leftover fruit and soak in brandy, not vodka.  I find Brandy works better with Plums/Apricots, and vodka works best with cherries and peaches.

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I figured fresh ones would work better, but unfortunately I decided to do it after the season was over. :unsure: I guess I need to wait until next year to try it again.

In the meantime I am going to try and track down a bottle of Hermes (Suntory) Apricot Brandy.

john
John Deragon

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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#307 johnder

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 06:21 PM

We ended up getting back later than expected from Gramercy (surprise), so we just decided to order some take-out sushi. Which is fine, since I am still pretty exahusted from cooking yesterday.

Just a generic take out sampler. I forgot to take a picture of the spicy crab roll and the spicy tuna roll, but most of you know what that looks like.

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John Deragon

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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#308 MarketStEl

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 08:45 PM

40 minutes until cocktails start, 1:40 for dinner.   Here are the final photos until after the dinner is over.  

Plates for each course are setup.  Cheese garnish is ready, Tomato salad waiting to be dressed.  Weinoo, here is the espresso machine.   You were correct, it was next to the fridge.

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Your square and rectangular plates are great. I adore square plates. Where did you get yours? Anybody have any reasonably priced suppliers?

Great blog, BTW - I'm so full from dinner I could burst, but you're still managing to make me salivate...

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You won't believe it, but the square & rectangle plates were from Target. Love that place.

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Oh, I'd believe it.

I was talking with a friend this afternoon after fixing a late brunch, and we both agreed that we :wub: Target. They have managed to combine good design and good (even high) quality with low prices. (We do note that the company has signed on a slew of Big Names --Michael Graves, Todd Oldham...-- to produce high-style merchandise for their stores.) We were wondering what Target understands that (sorry, Martha) Kmart misses?
Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia
"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen
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#309 eje

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 09:38 PM

[...]
In the meantime I am going to try and track down a bottle of Hermes (Suntory) Apricot Brandy.

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Oh, huh, Hermes make an apricot liqueur? Interesting!

FYI, there is a recipe for dried apricot liqueur here on Gunther Anderson's site. Like Chufi, it recommends rehydrating the apricots before steeping.

Really impressed with the Saturday meal. Wow, you guys are hardcore! Truly inspirational.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
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#310 KatieLoeb

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 09:46 PM

Oh my gosh. Jim is making his own tonic at Gramercy?? Jeez. I'll never be able to keep up. Not that I ever could, but he's setting the bar (so to speak) pretty high. Dang.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#311 weinoo

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 05:54 AM

Awesome looking meal, John!!

Are you eating nothing but carrot and celery sticks this coming week?

Edited by weinoo, 02 October 2006 - 06:30 AM.

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#312 johnder

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 07:06 AM

Well things are winding down, slowly decompressing from photo documenting everything. I think I will be instinctively reaching for the camera every time I eat over the next few days.

This morning, just a latte.

Posted Image

Beautiful day in New York, crisp, clear. Good for detoxing. :rolleyes:

Posted Image
John Deragon

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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#313 johnder

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 07:08 AM

Ok Katie... here you go. Straight from the lips of the amazing Jim Meehan, cocktilian superior of Gramercy Tavern. For those of you in NYC, I highly suggest you go to Gramercy Tavern while this is still on the menu. You can taste a fantastic drink with the super awesome Chartreuse VEP.



To make spiced tea syrup (adaptation of recipe I got
from Jared Brown and Anastasia Miller's website):

2 quarts 1-1 simple syrup
25 grams whole cloves
50 grams cinnamon sticks

bring above ingredients to a boil

remove and add 90 grams darjeeling tea (loose) and let
steep for 5 minutes (we use In Pursuit of Tea and it
rules)

strain the syrup throught a coffee filter and add 1/4
cup vanilla extract
( we use Mr. Recipe)

Store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for
up to a month

I use this tea syrup to make this variation of the
Savoy Cocktail Book Champs Elysees recipe:

3 parts Maison Surrenne 1993 Cognac
1 part tea syrup
1/2 part Green Chartreuse VEP
1 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake and serve up with a lemon twist


John Deragon

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--
I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#314 johnder

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 07:13 AM

Nope, it's the sandwich for me.  I wish I could find a sandwich as good as that.

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Me too. I don't have a huge sweet tooth, but brie will do it for me every time. I can't wait to see what you do with those little "cukes" John. I've never seen anything like them!

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I am finally getting around to answering all the questions I missed during the week. I ended up just eating the cukes plain. They were super sweet cucumbers. Very addictive. I am going to go to the market this week to see if I can get more. I think they would be dipped in Kochu-chang too!
John Deragon

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--
I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#315 johnder

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 07:17 AM

For me, it was the pic of the pate sandwich.  Oh, my.  I know what I'll dream of tonight!  Since you only have one a month, I assume it is just that effing good?  Do they make their own pate?

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No, they use a Dartangan pate from what they told me. They kick it up with a good sprinkling of fresh coarse pepper too.
John Deragon

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--
I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#316 johnder

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 07:26 AM

[...]
In the meantime I am going to try and track down a bottle of Hermes (Suntory) Apricot Brandy.

View Post

Oh, huh, Hermes make an apricot liqueur? Interesting!

FYI, there is a recipe for dried apricot liqueur here on Gunther Anderson's site. Like Chufi, it recommends rehydrating the apricots before steeping.

Really impressed with the Saturday meal. Wow, you guys are hardcore! Truly inspirational.

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Take a look at this website.

I just need to track down the Hermes product line. White curacao? Aweeeesome.
I bet their white peppermint is kickass too.

Anyone in Japan want to work on comission sending me a bottle of two? I will make it worth your while! :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

edit: Apparently they make Hermes Violet too. I can't read anything on here except the titles. :huh: Another website.
John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2
--
I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#317 BarbaraY

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 07:26 AM

Your blog is leaving me speechless. You and your friends did a beautiful job. Lovely food, wines, and cocktails. And then finish with Sushi! What more could one ask for.

#318 johnder

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 07:27 AM

Awesome looking meal, John!!

Are you eating nothing but carrot and celery sticks this coming week?

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Close, I probably should. Although tonight I feel the need to have some comfort food. Maybe some chicken cutlets tonight with string beans and boiled red potatoes with a pat of butter.
John Deragon

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--
I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#319 johnder

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 07:31 AM

Oh my gosh.  Jim is making his own tonic at Gramercy??  Jeez.  I'll never be able to keep up.  Not that I ever could, but he's setting the bar (so to speak) pretty high.  Dang.

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Yah, Jim is definately an ambitious fellow. He made a tonic syrup that he just combine with sparkling water at the last minute when serving. I am going to the herbal store later today to try to recreate. I hate getting an idea like this in my head. Now it won't leave.


John
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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#320 edsel

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 07:35 AM

Ok Katie... here you go.  Straight from the lips of the amazing Jim Meehan, cocktilian superior of Gramercy Tavern. 

...

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Any chance we could get the tonic recipe? :smile:

#321 johnder

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 07:41 AM

Hmm interesting, I was reading about quinine and this is a little concerning:

Excessive dosage or continuous use of quinine may cause cinchonism, characterized by ringing in the ears, headache, dizziness, changes in blood pressure, and even death.


and...

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration limits tonic water quinine to 83 ppm, which is one-half to one-quarter the concentration used in therapeutic tonic.

Quinine is often added to street drugs cocaine or ketamine in order to "cut" the product and make more profit.


:shock:
John Deragon

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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#322 johnder

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 07:44 AM

Ok Katie... here you go.  Straight from the lips of the amazing Jim Meehan, cocktilian superior of Gramercy Tavern. 

...

View Post


Any chance we could get the tonic recipe? :smile:

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Keep an eye in the cocktail thread. I will try. There are already a few threads talking about it here and here and an external one here.
John Deragon

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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#323 johnder

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 07:54 AM

Found this from the slightly evil google book search. Not exactly a tonic water, but seems to be more a tonic tincture. Pretty cool. Not sure what ss or Oij is, docsconz?

Full text here.

Tinctura Chichonae et Quassiae Composita -- Tonic Tincture

Take of Chinchona,
Quassia
Colombo
Gentian
Serpentaria
Chamomile, of each 3ss.
French Brandy  Oij.


John Deragon

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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#324 johnder

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 08:49 AM

I am not sure when this blog will be closed down, but I wanted to end by saying I had a blast. It was a lot of work, but well worth it. I think I answered everyones questions from the thread, but if I missed one, I apologize, please PM me and I will get right back to you.

Aside from that, thanks for coming into my kitchen and enjoying the past week with me.

Looking forward to doing part II of the blog in the future.

p.s. keep an eye in the cocktail threads for more on the tonic syrups.

John
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--
I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#325 docsconz

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 09:33 AM

Found this from the slightly evil google book search.  Not exactly a tonic water, but seems to be more a tonic tincture.  Pretty cool.  Not sure what ss or Oij is, docsconz?

Full text here.

Tinctura Chichonae et Quassiae Composita -- Tonic Tincture

Take of Chinchona,
Quassia
Colombo
Gentian
Serpentaria
Chamomile, of each 3ss.
French Brandy  Oij.

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Sorry :sad: you got me with those notations. I believe that they are somewhat anachronistic.

Congratulations, John, on a superb blog. I had a lot of fun reminiscing about my hometown and getting a better sense of what it is like today. Had it been like that then, I might never have left. Then again, it wasn't so bad even then. It was just a wee bit different.
John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

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Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

#326 johnder

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 09:37 AM

Found this from the slightly evil google book search.  Not exactly a tonic water, but seems to be more a tonic tincture.  Pretty cool.  Not sure what ss or Oij is, docsconz?

Full text here.

Tinctura Chichonae et Quassiae Composita -- Tonic Tincture

Take of Chinchona,
Quassia
Colombo
Gentian
Serpentaria
Chamomile, of each 3ss.
French Brandy  Oij.

View Post


Sorry :sad: you got me with those notations. I believe that they are somewhat anachronistic.

Congratulations, John, on a superb blog. I had a lot of fun reminiscing about my hometown and getting a better sense of what it is like today. Had it been like that then, I might never have left. Then again, it wasn't so bad even then. It was just a wee bit different.

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I figured they might be some form of that weird scribble that I always see on prescriptions. It was worth a try.

Next time you are in New York City, let me know!

Cheers,
John
John Deragon

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--
I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#327 Liz Johnson

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 09:57 AM

What a great blog. Thanks so much for the effort.
Liz Johnson

Professional:
Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com
Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog


Personal:
Sour Cherry Farm.

#328 ludja

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 10:32 AM

What a great blog. Thanks so much for the effort.

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Yes, thank you very much; it was incredible from start to finish.

You also shared a lot of great information for anyone visiting the area or in the meantime, perusing Kalustyan's online catalogue... Thanks also for photographing some of the cocktail menus!
"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#329 johnder

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 10:41 AM

No problemo! I have become quite good at snapping photos without being obvious. I think I just need to invest in a camera with a bigger lens to get some more light in the photos. Something to keep in mind when I do the next blog.

John
John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2
--
I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#330 Darcie B

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 10:58 AM

I've finally caught up on this blog and it was fantastic! You had me at the teaser, but really got me with the bergamot prunes :wub:
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