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  1. A while ago, I watched Mad Men for the third time. Every time I watch that series, I tend to fix me classic cocktails such as Manhattan, suburban, old fashioned, etcetera, because apparently I can't see a series without wanting to imitate them and I'm too healthy to smoke inside and too righteous to cheat on my wife with my secretary. Now I'm watching Downton Abbey for the first time and I'm wondering what kind of drink would go along with it. Wine? Gin? Tea? I'm open to suggestions. Also, have you watched a series or a movie that prompted you to drink or eat something specific? What are your favorite drink-series pairing?
  2. Sometimes I make steak balmoral, which consists basically of steak braised in whisly (or rather what remains of it after setting it on fire). It has a nice color, good flavor and a tender texture and, like most such preparations, you can keep it on the stove for a while if you are not ready to serve the meal (it's useful for when I'm not sure at what time the missus is going to be back from work, so I can have it ready to serve at a moments notice). For this recipe, you need a lean cut of meat (it can be pork or beef, and maybe chicken, although I'm not a fan of it), mushrooms, honey, whiskey, pepper, butter, stock and cream in undetermined quantities. You should mix the honey and the whiskey in advance. First, sautee the mushrooms with butter on a pan or a wok with crushed peppercorns. Once they are done, set aside and cook the meat. Sometimes, if I want the result to be less oily, instead of sauteeing the meat with cooking oil, I use the fat of the meat itself to coat the wok. It might be more carcinogenic, but it's less oily. Once the meat is cooked, toss in the mushrooms, pour the mixture of whiskey and honey and set it ablaze while stirring. This is the perfect time to take a picture for Instagram, but be careful not to drop the phone on the pan. After the flames die out, add the stock and cream, and stir until the texture looks good. Usually I season it with rosemary and tarragon, and maybe fresh parsley if I have it. So there you have an example of a recipe that includes whiskey and meat. Maybe it's not technically braising, since the meat is cooked before tossing whiskey on it, but it's tasty nontheless.
  3. I'm not sure if it's appropriate to post this here, given the thread hasn't seen replies in more than a decade. However... I see that someone mentioned El Rincón Argentino. It so happens that my grandfather and a partner opened that place in 1960 or 1961, and I have some pictures and oral history about the place. Please let me know if you believe this should be in a different thread. My grandfather, Osvaldo Genaro Barreiro, teamed up with another guy whose last name was Fal. For some reason, even though my grandfather was of Galician ancestry, he always got along well with Italians and Sirians, like Fal. They found a good location for the restaurant, except they wanted a grill at the entrance, and the front was too narrow to allow for a regulations-complying door and a grill. That's why they had to devise a rotating grill that allowed the cook to work from the same spot. One obstacle they found when they moved in was that beef cuts are completely different in Argentina, so they had to have a diagram sent to the butcher in New York so he would know what to do. Then, when they had just opened, they learned that it was customary to use a meat tenderizer in the US, but they didn't know how to use it, so when they opened for the first time in the morning they put the meat in the tenderizer. At noon, they went to fetch a few cuts for the grill and found the meat had dissolved completely. Apparently they should have put the meat in the tenderizer just 15 minutes before cooking. Who knew! They lived in Astoria, in a small appartment. Apparently, even though my grandmother did not speak much English (my grandparents took a crash course before they traveled), she was obsessively, cripplingly thrifty, so she asked around and found out that most American landlords actually charged her less than Latin American ones. Just before Christmas 1961, a fire broke out in the restaurant. Once it was put down, my grandfather entered the premises behind the firemen and was mortified that the firemen used a pickaxe to tear down the drop ceiling in front of them. He understood that they did that as a precaution, but it hurt his finances nevertheless. Another incident happened in the dead of winter, when they hired a window cleaner. You have to keep in mind that it never snows in Buenos Aires, even though it's a temperate climate (it snowed once in 1918 and again in 2007). My grandfather noticed that the window cleaner used a squeegee (that of itself was a novelty for an Argentine), but he did very small parts of the window at once. He soaped up a small part and immediately wiped it dry. My father thought the window cleaner was working slowly on purpose to charge more, so he grabbed a bucket full of soapy water and threw it at the window, at which point it immediately froze over. That's when my grandfather realized why the window cleaner worked the way he did. After a year, even though the restaurant was doing well, my grandparents got tired of the physical labor and the cold winter, so they packed up and left for Buenos Aires. It was fun for a while, but they were both professionals (he was an accountant and she was a schoolteacher). His partner kept the place open until 1993, if I recall correctly. Although I never ate there (I visited New York first in 2012), I don't think you could get this information from anyone else, so it might be interesting. The pictures are: 1, 2) Two views of the restaurant in what appears to be the late seventies and early eighties. My grandmother traveled to New York, apparently. 3) Top, center: my father (5 years old) and my grandmother in their appartment. Bottom: Miami. 4) Top: two views of the restaurant. Bottom left: fire. Bottom right: Christmas, my father and Broadway. 5) Clockwise from top left: the train station in Astoria (30th Street on the N line), Herald Square, same, a car dealership, Rockefeller Center and the station again. Keep in mind that snow was extra alluring for them because they were not used to it at all. 6) The restaurant's business card. The company was named Fal-Bar after Fal and Barreiro.
  4. First of all, I should point out that I'm not a professional cook and I'm quite lazy, so I would often cook with whatever ingredients I have available. This dish is supposed to be made with regular, yellow potatoes, but I had a lot of these smaller, purple potatoes, so I used that. Also, I'm guessing the color of the sauce varies with the color of bell peppers used. Finally, I like my sauces to be sticky, otherwise I feel like I waste half of them because I can't lift them with my food. Basically, the ocopa arequipeña is a sauce made with onion, garlic, bell peppers, cheese, condensed milk, crackers, peanuts and huacatay (a herb that smells like mint and basil). First, sauté the onion, garlic and bell peppers with corn or sunflower oil. Once it's done, turn the stove off and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix everything together until it has the texture of a light sauce (you can add oil to make it thinner). The traditional presentation is on a platter covered with lettuce, hardboiled eggs and black olives. If you are into Peruvian cuisine, you might notice that it is similar to Huancaína sauce, which it is, but the huacatay makes it quite distinct.
  5. Greetings. My name is Ricardo, I am joining this fine group from Buenos Aires (Argentina). While I'm not a professional cook, I enjoy fine dining and am motivated by not spending much money, so I took up cooking as a hobby. I enjoy a wide variety of food styles, such as Taiwanese, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, New Englander, Peruvian, etc. My cooking is influenced by several cultures, and especially by what I have in my fridge at any given time. That's why most of my dishes do not follow a recipe verbatim. As an example, I submit a picture of the potatoes with ocopa arequipeña that I prepared for lunch today. It is typical Peruvian fare, which includes a rather hard to find spice (huacatay) that my Peruvian grocer managed to find for me. I also cooked a steak Balmoral, but it's rather unappealing in pictures so I didin't include it (it was tasty though). Anyway, I hope I can contribute to this forum in a productive way and anxious to learn from this fine group of people.
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