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Priscilla

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Everything posted by Priscilla

  1. Um, you mean people are going off-topic? What should we do about this?
  2. I consider eavesdropping one of life's little pleasures. (Do not tell my Mother this.) And it is so interesting, I think, how it varies among restaurants--how conversational culture varies from place to place. A restaurant we have frequented for years, an outwardly unprepossessing Japanese place with impeccable fish and everything else, has historically provided the most memorable eavesdroppage. And not just at the sushi bar, where the magical bonhomie often encourages eavesdropping to morph into actual conversation between strangers, which is nice, yes, but shoots one's eavesdropping straight to hell. Where have you found the best eavesdroppage? Priscilla
  3. Suvir, I prepared this rice last evening. Due to your wonderfully detailed instructions, I believe, it was so good! I used green cardamom pods. Everyone at table loved it. Interesting how the cinnamon, just the one stick, ended up as the highest aromatic in the flavor profile, sweet and delicious. I wouldn't have guessed that in advance, and I am persnickety about the harshness cinnamon can impart to dishes, but this gave me new appreciation for its use. Thank you again for the recipe! Priscilla
  4. Liza, wow hardcore, starting with dried hominy, no pun intended as I despise and decry wordplay. The recipe for posole the soup I was taught by a Mexican lady, such an excellent cook, calls for tinned, one (big old) can each of the whole non-degerminated and the degerminated, or whatever. Yep, Juanita's Brand, you know what I mean? If you are cooking a dried pulse or grain that seemingly will never tenderize, worldwithoutendamen, I attribute it to age of the ingredient, and I don't know if it's mitigatable. I mean, any overnight soaking question has gotta be just about moot, doesn't it, after 5 hours' cookage, for God's sake. IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT!!! Priscilla
  5. Tommy your plate looks great not too watery at all the best marinara sauces are light light light, JUST LIKE YOURS. Of course heavier, heartier sauces have their place and time and dish, but often they elbow out the lighter more subtle ones, I think. I do love my food mill, this week used it for fava puree AND marinara, ON THE SAME EVENING!!! That's how much I love my food mill. Priscilla
  6. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2002

    Last night Niman Ranch rib-eyes cooked according to Alain Ducasse's method outlined in the NYT several weeks back, to good result. (Ref. 3-Star Chef topic over in General.) The basting with accumulated renderment and butter created such a good-tasting crust. While the steaks were taking their prescribed rest, fresh crispy finely-chopped scallions softened and browned in what remained in the cooking pan, later served over the sliced beef. Beet greens, a favorite veg, but in a new-to-me variety called Tall Top Wonder, I think the guy said, braised in cream. Mashed Yukon Gold potatoes from the organic guy at the farmer's market with a coupla garlic cloves cooked in. Nice little salad from the garden. Bread. Priscilla
  7. Bruce Cole, coincidentally, if one believes in coincidence, haven't decided whether I do, or not, just this very evening I employed the Alain Ducasse method detailed in the recent NYT on a coupla very nice Niman Ranch thick-cut rib-eyes and it was, if I can speak for those at my table and I think I can, very good. Too-high heat is just plain old too-high heat, for so many things. You know how Emeril WILL remove the control knob from his appliance and brandish it about. But, is it the Niman Ranch thick-cut rib-eye or is it the method? Priscilla
  8. Interesting you should point this out, Lullyloo. Seems to be a problem for a lotta restaurant reviewers, the repetitive use of a small list of descriptors. Some of 'em, reviewers, you can identify just by a word's occurrence, without having seen a byline. Signature style, would be a charitable explanation. Priscilla
  9. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2002

    Yeah, I buy a portion too, but what has been available to me is definitely sliceable, even interiorally. I would like to try the soft fresh. And pairs? Is it actually sold in pairs, and I have been shielded from this by interfering cheesemongers, not unlike Victorians hoping floor-length tableclothes protected us from impure thoughts? Priscilla
  10. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2002

    When I first saw this cheese I thought the resemblance to a big old straw-colored Hershey's Kiss was striking, and now it turns out there's a kiss reference in its story. Funny old world. A very nice cheese. Would like to know, Adam maybe you will tell me, how does one properly slice it for service. The shape makes it a little unwieldly, although folks seem to manage somehow, don't they? Priscilla
  11. Yes. It's like what Bill Broonzy said, the Chicago blues guy, when somebody condescendingly asked him about so-called "folk" music, (and I paraphrase, on account of I can't remember exactly), "I guess all songs are folk songs, I never heard no horse sing 'em." I think it's the same with cuisine, without too belabored an extrapolation. The proof's always in the pud, whether it's a song or a dish on a plate. (Redundant?) The cheap eats guys, (and they always seem to be guys although I would welcome hearing of exceptions), do grate. The universal and eternal gratage of the holier-than-thou. Priscilla
  12. Thank you so much Suvir! I lack only the green cardamom at the moment and then I am so there with this dish. I can just taste it reading the recipe. Priscilla
  13. Wilfrid that sounds straight outta Elizabeth David. Very nice. With any tomato sauce, evaporation is the key to both consistency and flavor. Raw tomato sauce is a whole different, wonderful, trip. The way I was taught the One True Way to Marinara by an Italian chef who originated from Calabria, I think, but cooked in Sanremo, is: plum tomatoes, fresh or canned as season dictates, couple cloves of garlic whole, good hit of extra virgin olive oil, whole leaves of basil or another herb I like sage, salt and pepper, stir cook stir cook until reduced, remove garlic if desired, pass through a food mill, correct seasoning, done. It has never ever failed me. Marcella Hazan's way of looking for the oil to separate from the sauce as an indication of doneness sometimes works for me; I'd be interested to know if others use it. Her tomato sauce with bacon or pancetta and rosemary is very good, too. Priscilla
  14. Sure, the article could have said something new. The dishes could have been more interesting. But Bittman said the magic word and said it loud: Butter. Teehee wanted to see what happened if I quoted Jinmyo's latest art installation. A. Bourdain in his inimitable way discussed the incredibly copious amounts of butter used in restaurant cooking way back in Kitchen Confidential, in a section dealing explicitly with differences between professional and home cookery, or how to make home cookery taste more like restaurant. Implied, I think, was the idea that Steve Klc addresses, that some diners do not consider the amount of butter used to prepare their meals. (And not just butter, I would submit; people who don't cook, and I further submit that our own extraordinary Cabrales is very much the exception that proves the rule, often don't know what's in their food, sometimes through sheer disinterest, sometimes through assumption. Not a crime, necessarily, but creates a problematically underinformed populace, I think. A topic all its own.) And I too sorta say what's the big deal. (Course I am down in solidarity with the not missing a chance to talk about butter.) One doesn't need helpers to peel and slice potatoes, and store them refrigerated in cream, and then later re-refrigerate the gratin itself. If these are more than pre-prep steps that any home cook could take I am missing something and would like to have the more part pointed out to me. I do not like to refrigerate potato dishes because of the sweet taste that develops, one of our scientists can probably explain why this happens, but I'm thinking if it's good enough for Liza and good enough for Montrachet I shall reexamine. Cream in critical mass can cover a thousand sins. Priscilla
  15. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2002

    Wow do I envy you all your ramps. Very good Bulgarian springtime lamb stew with fresh garlic greens, bet they were Bulgarian ramps, historically, don't you? Wonder if regular fresh garlic shoots at the farmer's market are comparable. Ain't wild, for one thing. Hmmm. Last night, quick and dirty, we had spaghetti carbonara from Mario Batali's recipe, which, over years of working on this dish, quizzing Italian cooks and researching and so forth, was almost instantly recognized as the archetype when we first made it--everything one wants in one's carbonara, with a lovely lightness on the palate. I think once again Mario's done all the work for us, like the good teacher he is. Unctuous heavyness is a problem among inferior carbonaras, in my experience, a real flavor-killer. Salad of cucumber and (peeled) tomatoes, thinly-sliced onion soaked in several changes of water to mildenate it as Marcella instructs, and red-wine vinegar briefly infused with garlic in the dressing. Frenchy-french baguette from the Vietnamese bakery which supplies the Persian market. Priscilla
  16. Khare Masale Ke Chaawal, that's what he said. Over in Cooking's Peppercorn topic, I described a delicious Pakistani dish of rice and meat with whole spices, and Suvir recognized it, and well, now I'm wondering if you could, Suvir, outline a method of preparation. Could you also briefly, if possible, tell what sort of menu this dish would be a part of, or what it is classically served with? I imagine it's sometimes made without meat? And different kinds of meat? Priscilla
  17. Priscilla

    Peppercorns

    Suvir, I have no ethnic claim to, nor anything like expertise in, subcontinental cuisine, but oh I do love it so. The dish you identified for me (thank you) was yet another revelation! Those whole peppercorns! As you know in Western cuisine, if whole pepper is an ingredient the corpus of the spice is strained out before eating. A dish that leaves them in is a boon to black-pepper eaters. Relatedly, have you noticed that Dutch people have a special affinity for black pepper? (Other spices too, per the Indonesian connection, of course.) I mean, I have to refill my table peppermill after my Dutch friends eat with us! I attribute it to the Dutch East India Company's historic spice trade as a working theory, and am happy to provide lovely Tellicherry for them to shower on everything. Priscilla
  18. Priscilla

    Peppercorns

    I use Penzey's Tellicherry peppercorns. The flavor is so rich and full, and hot, too, but it's the richness what makes it. White are occasionally seconded, e.g. for Icelandic fish cakes or when their little difference seems indicated, but I do not fret about black pepper bits in a light-colored medium, in fact I like to see 'em in there. Green and pink I like with duck, one or the other or both. Recently I tried a Pakistani rice and meat dish, sorry I don't know the name, it was not unlike plov, delicious, that had whole black peppercorns (and other whole spices, including cloves) throughout, softened a bit in cooking, providing a surprisingly HOT, sort of fruity flavor blast when encountered, and a long, wavy afterburn. Priscilla
  19. Tommy tell us more about equilibrium sometime. And, it's ALL YOUR FAULT, but I too cooked baby back ribs on Mother's Day, for various and sundry mothers, and the males present, too. It was 100 degrees, good rib weather--one hopes it's good for SOMEthing. Brined 'em, mopped 'em, as per CK's expert admonitions, slowly cooked 'em on the semi-poxy Weber, provided sauce (which I make, when I'm not looking, according to combining-various-canned-and-bottled-goods tradition). Pretty good results, although inferior to the smoked product, texturally, in my opinion, although I know others who disagree. Priscilla
  20. I am interested in searching out Sungold, after reading all the affirmations here. Sweet 100 has been our cherry tomato, the little green end-of-season ones are so good pickled according to Paul Prudhomme's method, used as martini garni. This year I've planted Roma and Brandywine, and Castoluto Genovese, (which Thomas Jefferson grew at Monticello, I read), like a tomato TREE last year, which was my first experience with it. Hope it thrives again. So much of gardening, for me at least, is luck. Priscilla
  21. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2002

    A sorely belated thank you, Miss J, for the pointer to the kedgeree discussion; I love kedgeree and it was enlightening. Dinnerwise, it was just me and the Consort, and what I had conceived as a deconstructed Club Sandwich became more of a Cobb salad trip as prep briefly wore on, Gorgonzola turned up in there, and lovely Hass avocado (the BEST variety; hybridized a mere stone's throw from where I grew up), as well as what I'd originally intended, including the first nearly-mature hit of merveille de quatre saisons lettuce from my garden and a tomato the guy at the farmer's market said was called Shady Lady, very good flavor balance and a new one on me. Grilled the chicken, boneless leg meat; even with a pretty good brush fire over the hill there, still grilled, but we are always good-citizen mindful of the sparking-ember mesquite startup. Beautiful warm evening of a hot day, the one cat toying with an energetic, specimen-sized gopher, cold, cheap-ass "Nouveau" Trader Joe's was blowing out for Beringer, just right. Priscilla
  22. Priscilla

    Panko

    Panko use always seems like cheating, excepting the dishes I started in on them with, tonkatsu, say, and other Japanese fried items, as mentioned by Jason above. Every single time I use 'em, seems like cheating. So far this has not been a deterrent to their seeing action in my kitchen, early and often, on account of how GOOD they are. And I can heartily encourage the above Liza suggestion of panko for crab cakes, too, or pan-fried fish, or similar. I don't use commercial breadcrumbs, well, OTHER commercial breadcrumbs, but The Magic of Panko is sometimes just the thing. Priscilla
  23. LaurieA-B, silver-and-gold or gold-and-silver, right. My memory was corrupted by a recent piece on black-and-white cookies in my local Newspaper of Record. Thank you for citing the NYT Lady Baltimore discussion, looking forward to looking it up; that's what newlywed Betsy set out to make that sent her back to Anna the cook for advice, isn't it? Seems to me from past research Joy of Cooking may have a Lady Baltimore entry, also a Lord Baltimore as well, but I am not certain without checking. There is a book of which you may already be aware, a cookbook which is really a reminiscence, (like many of the best cookbooks), called Victorian Cakes, by Caroline B. King. Victorian family culture in a non-fiction mode, gratifyingly similar to the stories of Betsy and Anne, gratifying to me, anyway, since Betsy and Anne are more real to me than many real things. Priscilla
  24. Priscilla

    Roasting a Chicken

    Yes. You know how M.F.K. Fisher said when she has cooking fat on her hands, olive oil, butter, whatever, she rubbed it in, for the good of her skin? Course one does have to wash one's hands and get on with other tasks at some point, but I always liked that she said that. Yes. Far too little lemon-bunging, In Today's World. Priscilla, who edited in an of
  25. Priscilla

    French Toast

    a dream of mine. Hey! What does it mean if we're all having the same dream? Priscilla
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