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Priscilla

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Everything posted by Priscilla

  1. That's funny--to me "down in" is 100% leftyspeak, a legacy of MY youth. But then I'm 100% out of it in the contemporary youth culture department. Priscilla
  2. Bread and butter pickles, good ones, are good with liverwurst on rye bread. Priscilla
  3. The provolone was grated, and judiciously applied, as are all toppings on all self-respecting pizzas. Also, may I put in that I am down in solidarity with small disgusting overcooked shrimp being something not good to eat? The shrimp on Mr. Ed LaDou's pizza were big gorgeous ones, Louisiana perhaps, tender and snappy, PERFECTLY cooked, (and I fully agree that this is the sticky wicket...if they the shrimp were not fantastic the dish would NOT be earning its keep). I imagine they the shrimp were swaddled in bacon and broiled and then put on the pizza, and then the squiggles of very good pesto (I emphasize the very good because restaurant pesto is often a watery grainy embarrassment) and then the cheese and then blisterfication in the wood-burning oven. RIP, Caioti--the genuine article. And yes, indeed, talk about parcels of flavor! I lifted the shrimp-wrapping idea (of course) and have used it to good effect here and there, including on pizza. Priscilla
  4. Caramelized onion and Gorgonzola. A little thyme if it's in the garden. Really good! Priscilla
  5. Hope you don't categorically rule out shrimp on pizza, Tommy. For me, one of the best pizzas ever, one of the best THINGS ever, was a pizza at a little place called Caioti in Laurel Canyon with shrimp wrapped in applewood-smoked bacon, (broiled), generous squiggles of really good pesto, provolone. Never matched, to this day. And not for want of trying, neither! (Caioti was run by Ed LaDou, whom I believe had earlier worked for Wolfgang Puck originating all those now-ubiquitous duck sausage and BBQ chicken and whatnot pizzas. Also had Mr. LaDou's BBQ chicken pizza at the source, and it was penultimate in goodness to the shrimp/bacon/pesto.) Priscilla
  6. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2002

    Bulgarian-style dolma, stuffed grape leaves, outdoor dining after a hot day. Neighborhood grapevines majorly leafing out, not just an aesthetic observation, like this other neighbor says "Stop looking at my rabbit that way!" just because I happened to be talking about mustard-sour cream sauce. Grape leaves I can blithely clip clip clip and nobody screams bloody murder. (Oh I do have permission.) The smell of grape leaves blanching is like the smell of preternaturally juicy delicious grapes. Priscilla
  7. Tee hee, struck me funny, the idea that Wonder Bread is somehow in need of protection, when the usual attitude is more like WE need protection from IT, you know what I mean? And tomato sandwiches (yes, yes, like Harriet, it was a childish source of pride to find out she liked 'em, too) do not EVEN belong here...they belong in the BEST THINGS department. (But on excellent homemade Squishy Bread, as it is called.) Priscilla
  8. Oh, I have a bread machine, a Zojirushi, hideous white-plastic-encased machine roosting on the counter. I tuck it way over in the corner so I don’t notice it so much. But I can’t hide it away, because it would get to be such a major drag hauling it out over and over and over. Because, with very rare exceptions, it gets used EVERY DAY. I, too, have made many sorts of bread over the years (as I said in The Bread Thread, not sourdough, though), often by hand, especially at the beginning, or, allowing the KitchenAid to do its thing. There is some element of pleasure and discovery to this cooking task, of course. But decent bread, daily, is the motivator. The bread machine, and my digital scale, make this possible. Truly, as JD describes, bunging the ingredients into the pan takes seconds. Yeast activity, as Elizabeth David quoted somebody, needs no supervision--something like “bread can be trusted alone in the house.” And then however much later there’s lovely proofed dough, and it’s practically a-b-c-d Bob’s yer uncle, all that. Practically. Priscilla
  9. It is curious that Oki Dog was part of your ACT Southern California itinerary. Why was this? Was it a place you'd heard about and wanted to include?
  10. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2002

    Last night pizza, one BLT, and one with sauteed escarole and Pecorino Romano, and a nice arugula salad with plenty of blooms included, now that I'm hip to that concept. Priscilla
  11. Well, I've got some new questions for Ken the Sushi Chef, haven't I? I assumed the giant clam I like to eat was raw, but it could have been blanched for skin removal, I suppose. Was it in Helen Evans Brown's The West Coast Cook Book where I read that female Oregon settlers did not gather geoducks due to their indelicate visual associations? Have to check. Priscilla
  12. Helena, I have Please to the Table and The Georgian Feast...I like the color plate you provided! Do you have Darra Goldstein's great first book, originally called A La Russe, later reissued as A Taste of Russia, (I believe)? Tremendously useful, historically and cooking-wise, is Anne Volokh's The Art of Russian Cuisine, probably my favorite, almost certainly out of print but shouldn't be. Of historical interest, Classic Russian Cooking, translated by Joyce Toomre, originally published way pre-Soviet (1800s) as A Gift to Young Housewives. And somewhat uneven but not without value, (plus typically great photography), the Time-Life Foods of the World volume Russian Cooking. (There is a bit on Romanian and Bulgarian in T-L's FotW Quintet of Cuisines, too.) A few others...! Priscilla
  13. Classic, or Most-Used? Definite differences! I would like to put a word in (as CathyL has already) for Madeleine Kamman, whose books are filled with useful information and history. I rely upon The Making of a Cook (the original version, although I do also have the updated one), but find something important in all her books. She's especially good at demonstrating how European cuisines relate to each other, ARE related to each other. Also Craig Claiborne, in particular his collected NYT columns (C.C.'s Favorites, four volumes), which give a very good, journalistic, feeling for how fast American cuisine began to move in the 1970s, and his Southern cookbook, a good companion to his autobiography. I think Claiborne's influence--positive influence--cannot be underestimated. Most often consulted, I suppose, besides Madeleine Kamman, is Elizabeth David, but I certainly also depend upon Marcella Hazan, (whose influence on contemporary American cuisine in general is undeniable). Time-Life's The Good Cook series is very useful, surprisingly so, and is beautifully bound, to boot. And this is not even to address particularities, whole categories, really: Japanese, UK, Russian, baking, Middle Eastern--which are just mine. Everyone will have his or her own, with its attendant cookbook needs. Priscilla (Edit: Yvonne, The Good Cook volumes each have two place-holding ribbons, too, part of the surprising usefulness, I have thought.)
  14. Hi Anthony, Do you see any congruence between cooking and rock music? The two seem to intersect at least conceptually in KC and CT, unless, in my quest for relevancy, I'm reading too much in there. Could happen. The nuts-and-bolts Les Halles cookbook you describe in the Cookbook topic sounds beyond fantastic. I'm imagining, I'm hoping for, an elaboration of the short list in KC about how to restaurantify one's home cookery, which included e.g. not stinting on the use of butter, and the importance of shallots. Priscilla
  15. Cabrales, the octopus was not dismembered before our eyes. It is possible because we were sitting at a table rather than at a bar overlooking a preparation area we missed this step, but it seems to me the small place was all tanks and tables, and watching the prep was not a feature of the experience. I could be misremembering, and it certainly could differ among establishments. The tentacle slices were maybe domino-sized, from, I would guess, a medium-sized octopus, judging from others I have seen at fish markets and sushi bars and aquariums. The tentacle slices were moving a little bit, on their own, (VERY slightly) when served, something pointed out for appreciation, but the suction cups contracted under application of soy and wasabi, (and I assume it was more the wasabi and less the soy causing the reaction). I don't think there was any adherence during eating, but too I did follow the instruction on quickness and thoroughness, especially after a politely graphic description of what might befall those who do NOT chew quickly and thoroughly. Priscilla
  16. Cabrales, I have eaten the very-nearly-live octopus in South Korea mentioned in the article you provided. It was slices of a tentacle, rather than a whole small beast, part of a range of right-outta-the-tank sashimi. I remember our hosts advising thorough and quick chewage, lest the suction cups adhere to one's esophagus. It was very chewy, chewier even than the cooked octopus one commonly finds at sushi bars. (I very much prefer crunchy toothsome giant clam, anyway.) Part of the ritual was to shock the slices of with soy and wasabi and watch the contractions of the suction cups! At that meal we also ate something called "blood clam," a small clam whose natural juices there in the half-shell looked like, yes, blood. The clams were very nice. During the meal one of our hosts regaled us with a story of how a bad haul of this same clam had recently killed a bunch of crew members of a fishing boat. I have been very interested in fugu over the years, conceptually, intellectually, cuisinarily, but reports that it is bland and uneventful lessen its allure. However, given the opportunity from a seemingly trustworthy source I would certainly partake. But not monkey brains. No appeal there at all, for me. Priscilla
  17. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2002

    What a particularly excellent-sounding run of meals, these last many posts. Jim: The chicken menu sounds fantastic. Why haven't I been brining chicken wings all my life? Liza: I am so glad Trout Odyssey is not at an end. I was just thinking about this the other day, buying fish, and wondering. Robert: Do you ever make that Venetian rice and peas? I love that dish. Years ago where I used to live the farmer's market included a beautiful old lady selling a small selection of backyard-grown veg, among which were peas she grew, picked that a.m., and shelled. Practically convenience food, it was, if you like peas. I'm trying to grow peas in my garden this year expressly to make this dish. On my second round of sproutlings, Garden Unmentionables ate the first ones. And: Sugar snap peas, I must miss the point, thus far. Raw, not bad, but cooked I dunno. Would like to be convinced. Open to suggestions. Don't mind snow peas, deployed appropriately, and I adore shelling peas. (Which I believe is what English peas are, Wilfrid, shelling peas, as opposed to mange-tout types, I submit parenthetically and ingenuously, in case you weren't joking.) Last night simplicity suggested itself through time and heat considerations. Grilled boneless chicken legs which had marinated in Mario Batali-style infused extra-virgin chile oil, surprisingly good farmer's market tomatoes sliced, mayonnaise. Bread. Priscilla
  18. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2002

    Grilled corn discussants: I no longer semi-husk de-silk repackage and soak ears of corn for the grill. Used to, have done, but the silk, I feel, contributes a LOT of flavor, AND plus, and PLUS, slips off magically with the husks after cooking. High heat and attendant burning is the thing to watch, in my experience. The flavor development when corn is grilled is just incredible, isn't it? Priscilla
  19. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2002

    Me too, Tommy, at the risk of the dread me-too post. But I do remain open to counterexamples proving whatever it is they prove. (Not that your dish, Wilfrid, didn't sound fantastic, especially with all those Clues to History making themselves apparent.) Priscilla
  20. Lovely green sauce. Yes, cilantro amount certainly varies, and I know I put in more than I was taught, looks so pretty and tastes so good, people like it. But Victoria was strict about it being a tomatillo story, not a cilantro story, her green sauce, and it is much, much better when I do not go overboard on the cilantro. Chiles, the sky's the limit. Practically. Priscilla
  21. Jhlurie, extremely cogent remarks. The frozen pizza especially is an excellent illustration. How much easier, if easier is simple, than that? And salad! One of the most difficult things to make well. But salad could hardly, as you point out, be lower on the food chain. So. Is easy simple? Simple certainly ain't always easy. Sometimes the two do coincide, like an apple and a piece of cheese and some bread. Simple and easy are shifting psychological states, maybe, or relativistic principles, rather than specific foodstuffs. Or, maybe not! Priscilla
  22. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2002

    Niman Ranch super-thick rib-eye coated with sage, rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper, as per Mario Batali, grilled on the old Weber, sliced on a bed of dressed arugula from the garden. Also spinach puff, a Mario recipe new to me, delicate, and a foccacia with pine nuts. Priscilla
  23. Jaymes and Stellabella, I am interested in these green sauces. The one I make was taught to me by a Mexican lady, Victoria, and is quite similar to the recipe you posted, Jaymes, but with more cilantro and less onion, and no boiling of anything, ingredients bunged into the blender with maybe a little water to facilitate matters and let 'er rip. Victoria insisted on not too much onion in any of her sauces, considering it a diluting agent in excess. A very refined cook she was, turning out very refined food. I have seen another Mexican lady from the same village as Victoria use chicken base in seemingly unlikely places, (cactus salad, for instance), but Victoria did not include it in her green sauce. Priscilla
  24. Wow me too can never get enough. What a gift you so generously give us, Suvir. Priscilla
  25. Do you see regional differences among newspaper Food sections around the nation? And (if you do note regional differences), how does your region affect your own section's Food coverage? Thank you for participating in the Q&A! I enjoyed reading your early answers--they are very thoughtful and generous. Priscilla
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