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Posts posted by wattacetti

  1. I make the marinade first (lime, salt, chile) and adjust for salt and heat at this point. If I'm doing tiradito, I will mince onion and add that to the marinade prior to adding to the fish.

    Onion for ceviche will be added to the marinade before adding to the fish or after the fish has completed marination, depending on the onion and how I want it to taste.

    I always soak the onion in water to remove some of the sharpness.

  2. Yesterday, I picked up some beautiful scallops at the farmer's market and made this "classic" scallop ceviche:

    I'm going to have to see if I can get my hands on good scallops this weekend. This sure beats the Marriott breakfast.

  3. Very nicely presented. Yours and Shelby's are nice variations.

    You mentioned that you had minced the fish into tartar size and marinate at least 6 hours; how well "cooked" does the fish get in your preparation?

    Oh - bone crackers are just chunks of fish bones that have been cooked to the point where you can eat the bones (I've seen this fairly often in Japanese restaurants).

  4. me and mine.. .. a rustic ceviche on saltines...salmon smoking ..outside starring at the water and of course beer!!!

    Where are the photos? We need to see.

    Actually the part about the salmon bones gives me an idea for bone crackers, but I'm not sure if salmon's the ideal fish for that. Something smaller perhaps.

  5. I posted this picture on the dinner thread a while back.  The fish is white bass.


    I missed this; it's very nice. Noticed that you make a "dressed" version after the fish finishes marinating. Were the olives overpowering in any way?

  6. Jensen,

    The salmon ceviche pictured was actually an accident of sorts; I hadn't planned on making it but I was at the fishmonger and they had these great filets of line-caught Pacific salmon.

    The ceviche was pretty simple: fish, salt, white onion, green birdeye chile, and a combination of lime, lemon and orange juices (I remember it was about 50% orange). Fish was cut into 3-4 mm thick straight slices, and I mixed the other four ingredients together, adjusting primarily for salt. The people I made it for don't do raw that well, so it was left to marinate for about an hour to give it a decidedly "cooked" feel.

    In all honesty, I think that farmed salmon is better for a ceviche application than wild is because the meat's fattier and holds up better to the marinade. For future ceviches, I will be cutting the fish into cubes; the slice style really works best as tiradito (greater surface area for quick marination, nicer plating options).

    You should at least see if the family is willing to try it. I have successfully fed this to people who have been squeamish about raw fish.

  7. Love it all. Was the last dish not marinated. Looks like the marinade is a sauce in the spoon. And what is the orange puree? thank you.

    The last tiradito is indeed marinated, though I drained the fish before plating. The marinade ("leche de tigre") is served in the spoon, and it's accompanied by a sweet potato purée. And yes, I do need to buy a palette knife.

  8. I guess I'm a lot harsher than most of you.

    When I invite someone for a meal, I'm taking the time to cook for that person. I'm not running a restaurant or a catering business.

    I respect someone's dietary restrictions due to valid health reasons or religion and will also control for food allergies (despite the moderate entertainment value in watching certain individuals I know stab themselves with an epi-pen).

    Don't like it because you don't feel like it? Too bad - there are others at the table who would gladly have the portion.

    My two kopecks, but your partner's being spineless and it's your dinner: plate the same thing for the daughter. If she makes a stink, just announce that it was what was prepared for the evening and leave it at that.

  9. Ah! the new sushi.

    I make a lot of it, to the point where I think I repeat myself. I lean more towards the traditionalist side of things, and think that there should really first be mastery of the basic 5 item combination: fish, citrus-based acid, salt, chile, onion. If you can't get that combination right, you shouldn't really be adding more stuff to it.

    I haven't been able to easily find rocoto or aji amarillo so I've had to substitute the chile part, but I have the following:

    Chilean sea bass ceviche


    Wild salmon ceviche


    Scallop tiradito


    Scallop tiradito


    Chilean sea bass tiradito


    Like I said, I repeat myself. :hmmm:

  10. Love snails. Land snails, sea snails… all good. My goal for 2008 is to make snail fried rice like Iron Chef Sakai (still working on it).

    Fresh have a different texture than canned and I find that they also taste better since there's no tinny aftertaste nor are there traces of the canning fluid that they're packed in. However, most of us in North America pretty much only have access to tinned so get used to it.

    Texture-wise, they are slightly squishy from a can, and somewhat softer than the fresh ones. I can't really describe fresh snails except that they taste like well, snails.

    Cliché preparation is of course garlic butter and parsley; I suggest you try this first with your tin to see how well it goes. They're also pretty good on a stick.

    If the opportunity arises in a restaurant for fresh ones, definitely give them a try.

  11. The return of the elevated heat and humidity and the need to clean the oven essentially meant I wasn't in the mood to make dinner. On top of this, cheryl's PM regarding Bofinger’s pulled pork had me thinking take-out sandwich. No prep, no mess, just eat.

    So, I had noodles.

    I blame the New Dotch Cooking Show. I specifically blame the ramen episodes on the New Dotch Cooking Show. Unfortunately Montreal doesn’t have any ramen-yas that I’m aware of so no chance of getting a nice char-siu ramen or wonton ramen.

    What to do, what to do…

    Pho Lien

    5703-B Chemin de la Côte des Neiges

    (514) 735-6949

    Go have pho. Pho Lien’s a standby for me (except on Tuesdays) when I want something quick and don’t feel like competing for Chinatown parking or driving to Jean Talon. It’s not exactly a place to go for the ambiance: as with most pho spots, it’s all about minimalist efficiency. Most people were eating on their terrace; I took the table nearest the AC.

    My standard order: spring rolls and a pho with rare beef, soft tendon and honeycomb tripe.

    Spring rolls

    Shrimp, rice noodles, lettuce, bean sprouts that were freshly rolled into the rice sheet. They were okay and did what I needed them to do, which was to cut the immediate hunger. I actually like the rolls at Pho Zen (in Brossard next to the Panama bus station in Brossard) better but there’s something annoying about having to drive to the South Shore (yah, those bridges, see).


    Grilled chicken

    Pho Lien apparently does offer things other than pho. I’ve never ordered them but the grilled chicken looked and smelled pretty good. Accompanied with steamed rice, salad and nước mắm.


    Requisite plate of pho garnish but no fresh chiles - you have to ask for them now (probably a good thing which minimizes waste; most people can’t handle them). Hoisin and sriracha squeeze bottles available at the table.


    The pho itself

    Broth was slightly cloudier than previous times but I thought it was also more aromatic and flavorful than previous times. There was also a lot of tripe and tendon this time around but it’s not like I mind. I though it was pretty good.


    The pho was good. But I had been watching the episode where wonton ramen competed against char-siu ramen. I wanted some wontons and the only place I could think of is a place my mom had brought me to earlier this year.

    Les Nouilles Maxi-Pho

    1803 Poirier

    Ville Saint-Laurent

    (514) 331-8666

    The restaurant is located in the same strip mall as the Marché Hawaii though it’s located on the end next to the adult video shop (those into that sort of thing can have dinner and then leisurely shop next door). It is an eatery that’s essentially split in half with the left half doing predominantly Chinese (some Japanese) while the right half does nothing but Vietnamese.

    Since Musgrave had recently talked about restaurant ambiance and décor in the Gazoo, I’ll comment: it has a high big-box ceiling but the decor’s understated: bamboo poles, some small ornaments, modern tables. Very clean minimalist design.

    I was there for wonton noodles, I got a bowl of wonton noodle soup.


    This was one big bowl: about 20 cm in diameter, maybe 8-9 cm in height. Nice fragrant chicken broth, eleven (!) wontons and egg noodles garnished with bok choy, a little coriander and a little green onion. The wontons were about the size of the bowl of a noodle spoon and were filled with minced pork and chunks of shrimp. I thought that the mince was texturally a little rough and could have use a bit more fat, but they were pretty tasty nonetheless. I don’t really like the egg noodles used in Chinese restaurants; never felt that they were quite right.

    What’s the kicker? $6.50!

    There is another noodle option here as well:


    This is the same-size bowl and the same egg noodles, but topped with bok choy, beef balls, stewed beef, stewed pork and wontons in a more robust broth. Obviously more varied protein-wise but tasty in its own right. Also $6.50.

    And after all of this? I’m sloshing around because I’m essentially full of broth. I like both places because they do a good no-nonsense noodle experience and I obviously go back regularly.

    However, I still want some char-siu ramen.

  12. I went to see this, primarily because I wanted to see how they did around the food. It was okay; didn't hate it outright but not something I'd rave about.

    One thing that popped to mind when Zeta-Jones spoke about quail during the opening sequence was Bubba Blue saying:

    "Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sautee it. There's, um, shrimp kebabs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried…"

    Now to find Mostly Martha and compare.

  13. If one is making cerviche at home, does one have to worry about parasites the way one does with sushi, or does the lime juice take care of that?

    You're not making it with say, fish from Lake Ontario right? Given that most (if not all) of our available ocean fish has been frozen at some point, I wouldn't be that worried over the parasites. However, cod isn't exactly a species that I'd choose for this either.

    There is a Peruvian fish called pequiero (sp?), but I use mostly striped bass (loup de mer), salmon and Patagonian toothfish.

  14. I had my first opportunity recently to visit Bofinger.

    First impressions of Bofinger: this place is packed. Young, old, families… either the people in NDG can't/won't cook or they're hooked on the food.


    All the tables outside were full (not that I enjoy eating al fresco to begin with) and the booths were full so I sidled up to the front window counter. Bottles of ketchup, rolls of paper towel.


    Orders of 6 pork ribs with beans and 6 beef ribs with mac&cheese and fries came out in pie plates. Didn't try brisket or pulled pork or coleslaw and potato salad (something about mayonnaise in a warm environment doesn't seem too inviting). Service is jovial but somewhat disorganized; completed eat-in orders are called out (fine by me) but the pork came without sauce and the beef came without bread.



    Portions are more than generous; there are actually eight (8) ribs in each order. Shot of a beef rib; you can see the smoke ring.


    Spice rub and sauces

    Bofinger's rub is more subtle and I had difficulty detecting whether it complemented the meat and the smoke.

    I tried the Texas and Alabama sauces; the former is a tomato-ey concoction similar to what I had in Houston (though not quite on; the TX sauces was better) while the other one is cider-based and spicy. Both were pretty good and enhanced the ribs in different ways.

    The ribs

    The pork ribs appeared to be individual ribs from St Louis style slabs. They had a nice prominent smoke taste (I can smell maple but couldn't get a clean taste of it) but the ribs were chewier than expected and surprisingly dry. The meat stayed on the bone and there was some issues with respect to trimming the meat (slightly more residual fat and gristle).

    Beef ribs: disaster. The ribs were wildly inconsistent, with a couple essentially inedible briquets while others were simply just very dry.

    The dryness of these ribs as well made me wonder if the pit boss was having a bad day or if it was the team finishing everything off on the grill (I suspect the latter). Perhaps something to verify again at a later date, and perhaps compare to pork and brisket.


    Fries are really good, and I liked them better with the two sauces.

    Mac and cheese was so-so; a bit overcooked and somewhat lacking a clear cheese taste.

    The beans are "tangy". I kept tasting them to see what made them so and then I hit on a sprig of dill. Pickle brine? Okay…

    Comparison to Mesquite

    Personally I think that barbecue is something that the Americans consistently do much better and we still have a way to go.

    Both Mesquite and Bofinger have their strong and weak points in the kitchen but they're not really direct competitors. I think that Bofinger is really trying to be a barbecue pit, while I see Mesquite as more of a Louisiana place that happens to sell barbecue. It is nice to see a little competition in the local scene and I think that will improve both restaurants (better for us eaters).

    Mesquite's spice rub is more pronounced than Bofinger's and its ribs are more tender and succulent than the ones I had at Bofinger. Its beef ribs are definitely better but then again, they're not a regular menu item.

    Bofinger on the other hand smacks Mesquite on the sauce (Mesquite has one sauce and it's too damn sweet) and has better overall smoke flavor.

    Sides? I'd err on the side of caution and stay with fries at both places; both are inconsistent in this regard.

    The best I can say is "stay away from Mesquite's sauce and don't order Bofinger's beef ribs". Apart from that, try both, decide for yourself and go wild.

  15. Hiyashichuka or somen. All you have to do is cook the noodles and shock them in ice water; suggest buying the toppings to minimize the effort.

    Fish tacos (grill outside).

    I juiced a watermelon for some soup (posted in the Dinner! thread).


  16. Hey, I was just in Olathe the last couple of days; the rental's onboard thermometer said it only got up to 109ºF. :laugh:

    I had hiyayakko and chirashi sushi at the Sushi House in Leawood.



    Also got a laugh out of this sign at MCI.


  17. I'm now quite embarrassed that I ever put any of my pictures on here.  Nothing I've done compares to this for sure!

    Why would you say this? There is nothing wrong with your photos or what you cook.

    I don't even have any idea what sodium alginate is!

    One of the two chemical components (the other being calcium chloride) used to encapsulate liquids into little caviar-like spheres (or big egg-yolk size spheres). The techique came out of Ferran Adria at el Bulli.

  18. I finally got my hands on nice rectangular plates (good ones from Porcelaines Bousquet; not loving the price but pay to play). Have plated on my leaf-shaped Japanese plates, round white ones, octagonal white ones, hideous blue stoneware, fluo-green plastic picnicware… but not on good rectangles. Was also cooking for some friends but sort-of forgot that part because I had these nice rectangular plates.


    Chilean Sea Bass amuse

    Blowtorched skin served with sake and soy. Just to see if they were willing to eat something squishy.


    Chilean Sea Bass ceviche

    Toothfish, key limes, chile, salt, onion: it's the new sushi (yes, probably now time to move on). Had to do something with the fish.


    Les raisins nus

    Quail confit with "naked" grapes, grape/sherry vinegar gastrique and serrano ham. Probably should have gone frugal and served only one grape: peeling the things were easy; picking good-looking mini-bunches was difficult.


    Quail polpetti

    Ground quail breast meat bound with some egg and breadcrumb. Sauce made from quail fond, tomato and peaches.


    Yellow watermelon soup

    Yellow watermelon juice, cucumber juice, lobster, ikura sauce (ikura, sake, mirin, soy, rice vinegar). Because summertime soup should be eaten with a fork.


    Roast sablefish

    Sake-marinated sablefish with snap peas and wild mushrooms (shimeji and chanterelles jaunissantes). The only thing I plated on the rectangular plates because I wound up serving too many things in advance. :hmmm: I think I'll write a menu next time. I'll also think about plating and portion size next time too, since in hindsight this looks contrived.


    Quail leftovers

    Port-marinated quail breast with serrano ham, shimeji mushrooms, Pinot Noir jus, beans, and the same meatballs. Had to cook the leftover stuff I didn't serve and wanted to practice some more on the plates. Need more practice - still contrived but now reeking of effort.



  19. Then it was my turn.  I prefaced the night for everyone that it would be experimental (my way of saying, some of this may suck).  The first course was an amuse - chai tea caviar (sodium alginate ceyon, set in warm honey, sprinkled with brown sugar and chai masala adorned with chai ice).  You'll see it wasn't my best sodium alginate - but they didn't know any better:



    gfron1: very impressive! First time I've ever seen any molecular gastronomy techniques brought to Indian cuisine.

    I can understand the basmati mousse part, but how did you form what looks like a tandoori chicken canoli without it collapsing? Mold?

  20. Air Canada SuperÉlite status. :wub:

    On a trip to Kelowna earlier this month,

    Salmon and mushroom risotto with snap peas

    Looked pretty weird but was very tasty.


    Pot roast

    Meal on the way back; amazingly enough, it had lots of beefy flavor and it was very tender. Didn't hurt that the plan was one of the newly-renovated 767s with fold-flat beds.


    We were also plied with booze, cookies, ice cream etc.

  21. It's the new sushi.

    The second pronunciation is correct, and it's made throughout Latin and South America, though I think it actually originates from Peru. The "traditional" version consists of fish, limes, salt, chile and onion. After that you can go nuts.

    I've made it as both a starter and a main, but I've seen it more commonly served as a starter only.

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