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Posts posted by wattacetti

  1. This thread has been highly educational and I'll soon have my own powders to start playing around with.

    I do have some questions already in regards to the agar tagliatelle and the alginate ravioli but from a somewhat more mundane point:

    1. Service temperature.

    Bryan has already posted about serving his tea raviolo warm and Texturas suggests that the orbs are stable and not thermolabile. Are you serving these things warm, cold, hot… I am interested in creating something which mimics the look of an egg yolk and am considering a slightly warm presentation since the people I'm thinking of serving these to have an aversion to "raw" (as in hasn't been cooked for at least 20 minutes) yolks.

    I am pretty clear about the agar since I use to run high current through this stuff when doing DNA gels in grad school.

    2. Prep time.

    How much lead time does one have in these preparations? I have often cooked in other people's kitchens and prefer to prep as much as possible before arrival because I'm generally not in the mood to lug equipment or have certain surprises. How much in advance can one make the ravioli without adversely affecting flavor or texture of the shell?

    3. Transport.

    Related to prep time. Is it feasible to pre-make the agar noodles and alginate spheres in my own kitchen and transport them to site of final service? How well would they survive the transport?

  2. It might be time to kick it old school and go to Rib 'n' Reef. Or Angus on Drummond.

    Or just buy the steaks at Le Biftheque and grill them yourself.

    I had forgotten about these two. Have never been to the former (have seen the commercials), and had a waiter at the Angus that switched steaks on me about 6-odd years ago.

    No time to grill. Besides, I've already done my annual obligation to grill protein for 15.

    At the moment, leaning back towards Moishe's.

  3. It's been a while since I've actually had to got out for steaks in Montreal but I will need to do this on Wednesday. Come to think of it, it's been a while since I've been in town long enough to do much of anything, but I digress…

    This isn't for just steak/frites - I'd like a place that has more than one or two meaty selections on the menu. I know all the well-known places but is there one that I'm missing or one that has improved?

    Joe Beef: closed for holidays (their cow was okay when I had it)

    APDC: bit sloppy on the bison T-bone a couple of weeks back (I still reserve judgment on whether Picard's crew has improved) and though meaty, it's not quite what I had in mind

    Queue de Cheval: not interested in the overpriced meat-slapping

    Moishe's: okay but not spectacular the last time I was there

    40 Westt: QdC's meat-slapping *and* being trapped on the West Island :unsure:

    Gibby's: touristy

    Keg: this isn't Scarborough

    Bifthèque: good for buying the cow, not so good on the sit-down part

    Comments and suggestions appreciated.

  4. Anise: a very nice place. Racha Bassoul's apparently on vacation right now, so Anise is also on vacation but I think they reopen in a week (read their sign last week).

    If you want to stay on just that one block of Laurier, you can go westward to (in sequence) Raza, La Petite Tonkinoise and Jun-I on the same side, or skip to the other side and hit La Chronique (my personal fave).

  5. a lot of people seem to really enjoy Bu very much. one small caveat with this:

    there are three establishments, all named somewhat alike, on that block:

    --Bu, the wine bar with small food plates

    --Bo, the new Chinese resto from the owners of Soy, and

    --Boa, a new Portuguese-inspired neighbourhood bar.

    ...so make sure you know which one you're walking into!  :smile:  :biggrin:  :laugh:

    One would wonder why all the proprietors are suddenly buying vowels…

  6. Wandering around Chinatown, it was easy to get enthralled with the variety of live animals that are available for purchase. I've never been squeamish about butchering my eats, but I have had little cause to have to kill them myself (save an occasional lobster, crawdad, or oyster).

    How, then, does one go about murdering a frog? I would think that like a turtle or crustacean, the humane thing is to stab it in the neck, but googling didn't come up with anything definitive.


    We did the same in both high school and grad school when it came to prepping the frogs for either dissection or oocyte removal: ice bath and then pith with a large needle. If we really wanted to make sure, we'd decerebrate as well after pithing. We didn't eat them though: no one was sure if Xenopus laevi was edible.

    Anyway, since you know who the vendors are in Chinatown, couldn't you just ask how they would do this? I suspect that the eateries probably won't wait around for the ice bath but the vendors may have some hints.

    So what/how are you planning to prepare with frogs? Ribs?

  7. And what's your definition of "fancy"?

    Thought about other things you could make:

    - Tramonto's watermelon amuse-bouche.

    - tiradito (you pick the fish, but suggest sea bass, halibut or salmon)

    - salmon confit (multiple plating opportunities)

    - quail

    - a ushio-jiru (Japanese clear soup) in place of the onion one; nice way to use the fish trimmings or you can go nuts and get some clams

    - the old berries suspended in rosé aspic trick

    I'm also thinking about fun things to do with oxtail, but can only come up with plating ideas right now and not an entire dish.

    Did you budget for wines?

  8. Your budget is currently $7.50/person (is this before or after Ontario tax and GST?) and requested does not mean mandatory: dump the lamb racks and go with another protein.

    More details on the how and the why of the event would be nice, rather than a blanket call for ideas. When is this event to be held, how many courses are you planning for…

    The soup you've selected doesn't exactly scream "summertime" to me so perhaps something lighter, unless you're serving in a nicely air-conditioned environment. And if the racks are insisted upon, ask for more money.

  9. Did you get the liver?

    For the actual meaty part, I usually pan-roast or grill since they're the easiest preparations for what I do with as a monkfish dish. Have also steamed/boiled/poached monkfish to serve in soups or on top of vegetables. Papillote and ceviche were both so-so.

    Raw wasn't great for me: I felt it had the wrong texture and couldn't decide if I liked the taste.

    I can see you doing your roll thing with some beurre noisette (love to see your photos).

  10. I know you want to replicate this from scratch and what I'm about to say is probably going to get me flogged, but if the point is just to have the curly fries once, wouldn't it be easier to hunt down a bag of McCain's Golden Crisp Seasoned Spirals?

    Aside: we had one of those contraptions in high school shop class. Think we were making lopsided rolling pins at the time.

  11. I see where Daniel's venison reference comes from and now understand why red peppers are on your "new things" list. One of the only two people I've ever met who have never seen vegetables which weren't grey came from Ontario (she thought my yellow pepper was plastic).

    If you're going into alternate meats I'd suggest foregoing the venison this time around since it's considerably stronger in taste and smell than moo-cows. Bison might be a better starter since it's more strongly flavored than beef but not to the extent as venison. Duck breast rather than chicken. On the fish side, Chilean sea bass, monkfish, or perhaps doing a linguine with whole clams rather than scallops.

    What are you poaching the pear in? Wine? Simple syrup? If the latter, adding a vanilla pod is really nice.

    Serve your salad as a separate course. Rather than Caesar, you can do arugula or other greens, or something really nice with local tomatoes which should be hitting the markets now.

    I'm with Daniel in rethinking your starter. Since Toronto's also getting the same weather Montreal is (probably worse on the humidity side) and Weather Network's forecasting 28ºC and sticky for you on Saturday, why not a cold soup to start? Vadouvan's presented a really nice cucumber and melon soup in his Anatomy of a Dinner Party thread which is great for the weather, great for prep (day before stuff) and also exotic.

    If you switch out the scallops from your main but still manage to get some really fresh ones, you could also copt Ling's scallop ceviche or rework it as tiradito.

  12. Well, this sounds interesting.

    First off, you're comfortable with everything you want to prepare, right? Everything listed appears to be geared towards straightforward prep though there are still shellfish failures and the like that I could see. I still remember my unfortunate crêpe incident from 20 years ago though it's learning experiences like that one which ensure that you don't do dumb-ass things in the future.

    The menu seems okay, but what's her culinary background and what's your definition of new things? There isn't anything in there that I wouldn't call significant walks on the wild side, though scallops have been adventures for people who have never eaten shellfish. I'm also a little curious as to the "impress her" part. Impressed that you cook, impressed by what you cook… inquiring minds want to know.

  13. If you are looking for unusual items and don't mind being slightly overcharged, Harrod's has a methusalem of Dom Pérignon available, which it touts as the only one available in the UK.

    Apart from the bottle, your £4500 also buys the metal shipping crate it's encased in but no flunky to help lug it back to the hotel.

  14. Sight the March magazines are being removed today so I totally missed out on this issue. Do you think I can get old issues from a Canadian distributor?

    That's a bit fast for Benjamin News to be doing that, since the magazine released 21-Feb-2006. Chances are very poor that you would be able to get old copies from them, so your best bet would be to try your luck with friends who don't live in Montreal.

    I can confirm that the 3 shops in Pearson were sold out as of last Friday, but there were plenty of copies in Newark and Raleigh. I think your best bet is a friend in the US. Have them send it in plain brown paper wrapping.


  15. moosnsqrl's already mentioned squidsickles (the first thing I thought of), but there's also things like baby octopi and quail. Given its size, the latter would probably require a slightly bigger stick to prop it up and perhaps some body armor.

    I've also seen gizzards, hearts, fish balls, chunks of konnyaku and other refugee ingredients from oden served at food stalls in Taipei.

    As for soup, it could technically be served on a stick if:

    1. it didn't have to be served hot

    2. one didn't mind eating it in the form of a popsickle

    I'd have to think about what type of soup though; the ox tail jell-o was okay but I'm not sure I'd thrill to a frozen clam chowder.

    A dessert on a stick that everyone would talk about? Durian (lends itself to an old colloquialism).

  16. I thought I was clear about my position re: syrup - anyone is more than welcome to my portions.

    As for the other two points.

    1. The cover says "handmade cheeses" but nothing on Quebec's cheese production inside.

    2. Why stick with national brands rather than showcase some of the more interesting wineries in Canada? Then again, I could say the same thing about the BCLCB, LCBO, SAQ and Wine Spectator, though our beloved monopoly has problems of its own.

    It's still a good issue; perhaps Reichl et al. could consider follow-ups.

  17. Since you're already there, you might just want to eat your poutine at APDC, thereby saving a snack/meal slot for somewhere else.

    Don't know about pints since I'm not big on beer, but you can always have a late night glass of wine at Bu. Wines by the glass can be found here (list is updated Monday afternoons).

    I have a personal preference for shopping at Marché Atwater but JTM is a more interesting walk-through.

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