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Everything posted by fredbram

  1. Two issues here--people who whine about there experience to each other so much that it intrudes upon your enjoyment, no excuse for that. However, I don't think that customers are necessarily under any obligation to inform the restaurant of everything that they think it is failing at. There are times when it would make my dining experience even worse if i were to spend the evening trying to re-train the staff or explain to the management all of the things that they should have known before deciding to go into the restaurant business. That being said, I do sometimes struggle with how to communicate, and how much to communicate to management, especially in places that have potential, or seem to be trying to do it right, but still have miss-steps. It is to my benefit to help them see what they need improvement in, but hard to do sometimes.
  2. I have always used more of a wafery cookie recipe for the cake layers, rather than a sponge cake. Is this style familiar to any others?
  3. Haven't been able to find Malden Sea Salt locally in a long time. And the shipping costs more than the salt to have it mail ordered! I've been having trouble finding Maldon's at Wild Oats and Whole Foods in Denver. I solve the shipping cost thing (somewhat) by ordering 6 boxes at a time, which actually don't last all that long. Maldon's I use for most everything--Table salt for pasta water and baking, and kosher salt for pickling and brining type things.
  4. It's amazing what that south side of the house location can do for a plant. Nonetheless, I will be rooting around under the mulch when I get home today on the chance that this week of warm weather will have done the trick..... (hope, hope).
  5. Feb. for garlic is tough, but here in CA and I hope other states too green garlic is available. Although it's different in some ways I find it can be used in many of the same places 'regular' garlic cloves might be used later in the season. Green Garlic Photo With the combination of having a much shorter growing season, and a less developed farmer's market system, we don't have green garlic available to us in Colorado. I planted garlic for the first time last fall, and it isn't even poking out of the ground yet. There's a green garlic soup recipe, in either the Greens cookbook by Deborah Madison, or Chez Panisse cookbook that is delicious. Edited to add: The green garlic soup recipe uses just the greens, and, my memory is, that we used them when they were younger than in the above photo, when they were closer to looking like large chives.
  6. At some point, fairly early in the process, you'll want to make a salsa that involves a base of dried chiles--either guajillos or pasillas, most likely. This becomes my basic red sauce for enchiladas. I know that Diana has several recipes along these lines, it usually consists of the chiles, which are seeded, dry fried, and soaked in boiling water, pureed with pan-charred onions, pan-roasted garlic cloves, and water. Sometimes nothing else (well, salt). This salsa is then fried in lard, like Jaymes described, and simmered a bit. It is a great tomato-less red sauce for multiple applications, and there are a million variations/elaborations on it.
  7. I agree on anchos, they are a standby of ours, and pimientos, which we roast and freeze when the crop is good. You can then take them out of the freezer as you need through the winter for antipasto plates, salads, sauces etc. A good thin-skinned italian frying pepper is one of my favorites--since I don't grow them from seed, I have to rely on what I can find at the nurseries, which changes from year to year, so I don't have a specific variety to recommend. They are great for slow frying in evoo, skin on, with fresh herbs.
  8. So, we've cleared that up nicely! I actually still read Jason because I like his writing and because I can't help myself, being addicted to food and food related things, but he frustrates me. Is Alibi Albuquerque's "alternative" cultural weekly rag, as Westword is Denver's?
  9. I think Jason Sheehan is a good writer, but I don't think that he is a good restaurant reviewer. I don't doubt that he has worked many hours in kitchens, but that is not a prerequisite for reviewing--many reviewers have never cooked professionally and are much better reviewers than Sheehan. Maybe he is a frustrated short story writer--his reviews, IMHO, read more like short fiction. That being said, he may be perfect for Westword as he inspires discussion and controversy.
  10. And perhaps they are called the "Foogle" awards, given for great valor and perseverance in the fine art of food googling.
  11. To me, the distinction, for the most part, is the Pastry chef's arena is all items based on doughs and batters, and all items served as a dessert course. The "Culinary" chef's arena is all items that are served before dessert, unless they involve doughs or batters, in which case the Pastry chef may be a collaborator (or may not). But, there are never going to be, nor should there be hard and fast rules. Why should there be? It is only restricting to all involved at a certain point, rather than clarifying roles restrictions simply limit creativity on both sides.
  12. I hate this time of year for garlic--all the garlic I can find is old and sprouting. We don't get fresh crop from local growers here in Colorado until August or so, but the stores must get it in fresh from out of state more like June, maybe, I'm thinking.
  13. Cocido Madrileno (and I'm sure someone else from Spain could do more justice to it) is the soup/stew of chickpeas, cabbage, beef, sausage, chicken etc. that they serve in three parts--vegetables, meat and I remember I think that the broth is then served with noodles in it? Pasteis de Nata are these pastries made from a closely guarded recipe-- they are in a deep little tartlet shell, the pastry is very buttery flaky pastry (sort of a cross between puff pastry and filo) and filled with an extremely rich eggy custard.
  14. Madrid--Cocido Madrileno Valencia--Paella Belem--Pasteis de Nata
  15. This was inspired by jgoulds question on another thread. I just drink espresso (or espresso and milk drinks), not brewed coffee. I read about all sorts of beans that get great reviews, but they are not roasted specifically for espresso. Do some of them make great espresso? How does one decide whether a particular bean might make great espresso (other than trial and error)? Is there a style of roasting or land of origin or taste factor described in a review that might lead me to be relatively confident that I would recognize it's great traits in a cup of espresso instead of a cup of brewed coffee?
  16. I've always loved the recipe in Nancy Silverton's Dessert book. Although, like most of her recipes, it is a bit of a pain in the butt to make. It is more towards the less custardy end of the bread pudding spectrum, and it has a caramel bottom (top) like an upside down cake, with layers of caramelized apple puree in it. Yumm! I think the ones that seem like one piece of bread are probably softer bread and more custard so that it all kind of becomes one mass--My preference is when there are some dryer crispy parts also.
  17. I would add a scale to the list.
  18. fredbram


    I feel like I've just read a very gratifying short story. Thanks! Wonderful piece of prose. And...we are visiting New York next month and are dining at WD-50 our first night in town. I can't wait.
  19. I couldn't agree more about the service--there are other places in Denver which have service staff that are better than the average in Denver, but the average in Denver is very low. Adega is the only restaurant in Denver where I have had service that is comparable to world class restaurants outside of Denver. Not to mention the food--I've got to go back soon.
  20. You think it's 20-30 seconds from pressing the button to 1.5-2 ounces? I have heard that one "starts the clock" once the first bit of coffee comes out the spout. On my machine (Rancilio) it can sometimes take 7 seconds or so for anything at all to come out. That doesn't leave much time for extraction. I am going to wait and let someone with more experience chime in. From when the button is pressed is what I have been going by and it seems to work for me, but I am interested in confirmation from others. Owen?
  21. I received my order. Tasted the Wulong yesterday. I liked it quite a bit. I got quite an education just reading up at Brian's website, Shan Shui Teas. I have to say the winter Wulong reminds me more of green tea than other black teas that I have tried. I still don't know much about the process used to prepare tea leaves for consumption, but the Wulong has a kind of fresh grassiness to me that is delightful.
  22. This is an excellent question. Maybe it is because I don't want the confrontation, or maybe because I haven't figured out how to ask yet, but I tend to answer this question for myself by observation, not questioning. To me, the technique in brewing is as important as the roasting in whether the coffee house prepares good espresso based drinks or not. It is usually pretty easy to watch them pull a shot of espresso, and I just time them in my head (because I don't wear a watch)--it should take 20-30 seconds for the espresso shot to appear, from when they push the button to start it to when they stop the machine. This should also produce 1.5-2 ounces of espresso for a double shot. Unfortunately, almost all baristas in my neck of the woods fail this simple test, and I don't have to go much further in exploring whether they handle the roasting and grinding properly. Conversely, when they brew a shot for the right amount of time and it produces the right amount of espresso, then further investigation usually shows that they know what they are doing all the way through the process.
  23. I'm not familiar with it. Is Carelli's relatively new?
  24. You know, I kind of forgot about the Pavillion, we had a couple of pretty good meals there, and then stopped going, I don't even remember why. We should go back again, thanks for the reminder.
  25. I am not familiar with oolongs, but the site made them seem interesting, so I've ordereda couple of 15g packets of premium winter 2003's. I'll report back. Thanks for the tip.
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