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Everything posted by fredbram

  1. Ahh, gosh folks, I'm touched. Not to make waves, but if it works for others, the 17th works for us, as does the 24th of July. We were at Dalat tonight--I wonder if they could get creative with seating, like pushing 4 tables together into a large square with 3 people seated on each of the 4 sides? And then do 2 of those? We usually grill hamburgers and bratwurst at the picnic, pretty simple. Last year we grilled marinated skirt steak with flour tortillas, salsa, guacamole to make tacos de carne asada. We might do a combo of the 2 this year; about half of our employees are of mexican descent and half norte americanos. Edited to add that over dinner my wife informed me that she had no problem making Dalat on the 10th--she would just as soon skip the picnic and dine with egullet. That's loyalty for ya, huh!
  2. I have been making a very successful 100% whole wheat loaf lately, and my recipe is: 1 3/4 cups water 4 cups wheat flour 1/4 cup honey 1/4 cup oil 2 t dry yeast 1 1/2 t salt I am in Denver, a mile above sea level and very low humidity. The elevation is one of the reasons why the yeast is lower than yours, but I also like to slow it down some, and I give it 2 rises before shaping and a final proof. The low humidity accounts for some of the increase in water from yours, but, as others have mentioned, your recipe seems dry. The main thing I have been doing, which really made a difference in my volume, is that I buy freshly milled whole wheat flour from the Great Harvest Bakery in my neighborhood--it seems like a very different product from packaged whole wheat flour. This recipe makes a large 2# loaf, and is substantially lighter than any of my previous attempts
  3. We had a good experience in our one visit. They have fairly successfully accomplished an expensive casual restaurant. The design is open, colorful and welcoming, with several guests in shorts and/or tee shirts the night we were there, as well as others fairly dressed up. Menu prices are not cheap, although a good value, I think, especially because the food is good! They actively encourage people to order family style, like you might at a chinese restaurant, and they encourage lots of apps and just a couple of entrees (which are large portions) per table. There were 5 of us and we had 4 or 5 apps and 2 entrees. It's been a couple of weeks so my memory is failing me on the details of the dishes we had, but they truly blended asian and mexican/latin influences very well. Especially the big plates, one of which, the Mayan chicken, I believe, was a delicious and wonderful sort of coconut curry/mole sauce.
  4. I'm not talking to youse--first you plan an outing when I can't go. Next you choose one of my favorite restaurants in Denver. Pout, Pout. And, I would much rather visit with you at Dalat then attend our company picnic that day. But, since I'm hosting the picnic I don't think it would look good if I didn't show up. So, will you at least order the Mi Quang so I can enjoy it in absentia? It is my favorite dish on the menu; each time we order it the server does a little double take and says " are you sure--americans don't like that too much", then they remember that we are the gringos that order it all the time. It is a "dry soup", the soup ingredients are all served in a bowl with a little dish of broth on the side and you just kind of sip a bit of broth now and then in between the soup eating. It isn't really that exotic, I don't think, but it is chock full of chopped chiso leaf, which I haven't seen used outside of sushi bars except in this dish. It also has some kind of marinated and grilled pork bits, dried shrimp, mint, puffed shrimp chips, sprouts, and other things as well.
  5. My favorite "red sauce" Italian is the one that's closest to my house, which in is the Saucy Noodle. It is my favorite because it is closest to my house. I occasionally try another, but none are good enough to be worth the drive, and Saucy Noodle isn't bad. I always order the homemade noodles which are big and thick. They have a goofy house salad that is sort of an antipasto salad--provolone, pepperoni, celery, breadstick etc. It isn't great food, but I haven't found anything great in this category.
  6. We have been eating salads of arugula, lolla rossa, young mustard and various green lettuces for a coupla weeks now (when the snow isn't covering them). The spinach is not doing as well (it rarely does for us?), a lot of tarragon and chives are making their way into our omelettes pastas, salad dressings etc. also. I am getting ready to make green garlic soup--we picked a few of the green garlics and grilled them like spring onions the other night with a hanger steak--delish. I just heard from someone else that there are chinese or japanese recipes for garlic chive flowers (nira flowers). So, last night I stir-fried some regular chive flowers (which I have an abundance of and have never thought had much culinary value) and they were pretty good. I am going to pursue this further--I'm thinking tempura chive flowers!?!
  7. The quick answer to best chinese food in Denver is no--there is none. I hope someone else can be more encouraging.
  8. July 10 is no better for me, so maybe there are enough June people to go ahead with a June date.
  9. I've long been a fan of Taqueria Patzcuaro on 32nd near Zuni. In they're own rustic way they have more atmosphere than most mexican options in Denver, and were serving traditional soft corn tortilla tacos years before most others in Denver.
  10. Moving into Denver, for me the standard has been set by El Taco de Mexico for many years. Soft tacos of many varieties (although I rarely get beyond the Al Pastor because it is so good) and the best chilequiles ever.
  11. I can't make it in June--out of town from 3rd-20th. But I'll make the next one.
  12. My recent variation on the Shakerato is a double shot of freshly brewed espresso into the blender with a tablespoon or so of hazelnut syrup, 3-4 ounces of milk and 6 or so ice cubes. Blend for 10-15 seconds--you dont want to puree all of the ice, only some of it. Strain into glass and drink. Strong, smooth, creamy, not too sweet, irresistable.
  13. It looked like a little broiled tomato and a wedge of something like roesti potatoes. It also looked like it would work just fine for dinner. I'm glad you blew your budget and ate out once this week, but you can cook at home for us anytime.
  14. Do most restaurants work on margins where they would be careful to save $100.00 per day if they can--yes! The other issue is more the good practice of finding ways to use the food that you have that cannot be served to guests, such as the chicken legs that seem to proliferate no matter how creative one is with menu writing, and the chains that have been trimmed off of the tenderloins, and the special that you thought would sell well but it didn't, and the case of cauliflower that is going to go bad if you don't do something with it quickly etc.
  15. Although I love all kinds of products made from white flour as well, I have been making my own 100% wheat bread at home lately also. I have been buying freshly milled wheat flour from my local great harvest bakery which mills daily. The flour that I get from them lasts me 2-3 weeks, and I wonder if that is an issue or not. I can't say that I've noticed a difference from the first loaf to the last, but I haven't been looking for it. And I've been experimenting with other adjustments, so it's come out a little different each time anyway. I've really just been making the basic honey-wheat loaf with a little oil, a little honey, whole wheat, salt and yeast. The loaves seem to come out much lighter with the fresh milled flour, I always felt like 100% whole wheat bread made from packaged whole wheat flour were too dense for me, but I love these. What kinds of breads are you making from whole grains? I am curious about expanding my horizons.
  16. I laugh because our staff used to threaten mass revolt if they were served chicken legs and thighs one more time, no matter how many different preparation methods we used. The staff meal was a definite time to bitch and bond at that restaurant, although sampling of actual menu items with the front of the house staff was done at a different time, not as part of staff meal usually. Meatloaf was a favorite staff meal at that restaurant, prepared 5 different ways because each of the cooks/chefs had their own favorite meatloaf recipe. The worst staff meal ever was taught to me by a chef at the CIA--he was very proud of his raft croquettes. For those who don't know, the raft is the ground meat and vegetable matter that floats to the top of a stock when you are clarifying it to make consomme. All of the flavor has been extracted out of it in the clarifying process, plus it is often made from scrap vegetable peelings and meat trimmings to begin with. He would add bread crumbs and eggs and roll them into balss, bread them and fry them. Yuck!
  17. Late dinner tonight, isn't it? But well worth the wait, it appears.
  18. My wife is beginning to get suspicious as to why my cooking has taken a sharp turn toward the french this week. I am braising duck legs with red wine and prunes as we speak, and I happened to notice a nice half wheel of roblochon at the store this afternoon, which is waiting with the cream and potatoes as I try to figure out where to pick up a piece of ham tomorrow that will do even a slight bit of justice to the tartiflette recipe. Luckily, as long as I cook she won't complain too much : - )
  19. I don't have a german upbringing, but I will wholeheartedly agree that german breads and traditional french rye breads are another absolutely wonderful category of breads. Which supports the theory that there are many different styles of breads that all can be delicious in their own right, and come into their own when used in different ways.
  20. I can't think of anyone better than Paula Wolfert for learning about Morrocan spicing and cooking from. Her morrocan cookbook is a great starting point. Ideally for a lamb tagine you would be braising the lamb with the other ingredients rather than using already cooked lamb, but you can still create some of the feel and flavor of a tagine with cooked lamb. I like Madhur Jaffrey for indian cooking, and Julie Sahni has a book that I like a lot also. There are others, maybe someone else will chime in. Is Loic french? I am thinking not, and I am wondering what brought you to Lyon to live. And are there/were there issues getting permits to work in france?
  21. I'm with balmagowry--I would cook the wheat on the side, and serve the lamb over it, rather than cooking it altogether. Tje curry sounds good, or you could make a kind of pseudo tagine with stock, morroccan spices, carrots and add the peas at the end.
  22. Great blog--I am following it closely. What is the Paul Bocuse institute? A cooking school of some sort, I assume? And why the "free entry" signs on doors in France (I think I am translating correctly)? I remember seeing them, mostly on galleries I thought--it seems odd.
  23. I am guessing it's just me, but what does this leave--orangutan and ostrich????
  24. I saw the article about it, but that's all I know. I'm skeptical to say the least, but who knows?
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