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  1. Wasn't there a place in New Orleans that had a robotic bartender? I seem to remember it from my childhood. A wall covered with liquor bottles and a bunch of pulleys and gizmos that would mix your drink for you.
  2. I love foie gras as much as the next guy, but whenever I visit Chicago I always make a point to visit one of Rick Bayless' restaurants. They're really, really good. The best authentic Mexican food in America, in my opinion. At least hit up Frontera for lunch, even if you don't want to spend a dinner evening at Topolobampo. You won't be sorry if you appreciate Mexican cuisine. For real!
  3. Oh man, what a bummer. I'm pretty much at a lost for words. I have MANY of fifi's recipes in my bookmark list. They were all good. Her "chicken and sausage gumbo" recipe, in particular, is one I refer back to again and again. What other recipe gives you hints as to when's a good time to go to the bathroom, and when's a good time to pour a glass of wine? Her posts were not only highly informative -- and GOOD! -- they were also funny and evocative and a real pleasure to read. She'll be missed. Here's to you, fifi. *raises glass*
  4. Another vote for the Waring Pro. I bought two at Costco for a very reasonable price -- under fifty bucks apiece, for sure. They work great. As with all home deep fryers, you just have to work in small batches. That's why I bought two!
  5. Ha! Nice to see that there's somebody else that serves lovely bottles of "Fiji" water at every meal but nobody ever realizes it's Brita. I want to get some of those cool sterling silver Fiji-shaped water bottle holders.
  6. bleachboy

    Per Se

    Make fun of Per Se all you like, but the food and wine I consumed there just about a month ago was among the best I've ever had. Better than Daniel. Better than Le Bernadin. It was awesome.
  7. In 2007, I will eat more locally-produced foods. I will make my own smoked meats. I will find more ways to cook fish. I will learn at least a few elements of Asian cookery. This is the year I will try to make duck confit. I will taste some vegetable I hate in a new way. I will use some vegetable I hate in a way that tastes good. I will give eggplant a chance. I really ought to cook more vegetables. We ought to have more dinner parties. My kids will never exist. I will teach my nephew to cook. I will read something by M.F.K. Fisher.
  8. bleachboy


    How so? I've found that when brining shrimp (as an example of something with a short brining time) that if you brine too long, it's way too salty. Brining time, in my opinion, is a balancing act. Or are you simply saying that at some point it's just not gonna get any saltier, despite the fact that it may be too salty at that point?
  9. In my opinion, the #1 thing which trumps all else is ease of cleaning. I have an old old meat grinder. It's so difficult to clean that I never use it. Plus ALL the internal parts are made of some kind of metal that rusts (cast iron, I'd guess) so after cleaning you then have to brush a little oil on it so that it doesn't rust. Total PITA. Someone should really make a meat grinder with ceramic parts inside that you could just put in the dishwasher or something. (If there is such a beast, please post about it!)
  10. I have so many corkscrews I could open a friggin' store. Yet, strangely, I still always use my trusty old Laguiole Waiter's Friend.
  11. bleachboy

    confit conundrum

    Thirded on "toss it". Food poisoning really, really sucks. Way more than having to start over with your confit.
  12. I'm gonna bump this. I cooked a whole butt to make pork tamales (for a Dia de los Muertos celebration) and was considering also serving tacos al pastor (I'm already doing tacos lengua so the fixins are there already, and I'll have plenty of leftover pork). My pork tamales are being made half with an orange-red mole and half with a "chile colorado" type sauce, Texas-style with lots of meat. I did a Google search and virtually all the recipes I saw for tacos al pastor seemed to be copying the same recipe (from this webpage) which seems to be something different from what I have eaten. Surely someone knows how to make tacos al pastor as served in many American taquerias?
  13. I agree. The New Joy of Cooking is one of those cookbooks I almost never cook from, but frequently use as a "template" when there's something I want to make. It gives you the general idea of how a food is supposed to be flavored and prepared in it's most basic form, then you can riff from there. I love it.
  14. I have nothing witty or intelligent to add, really, except to thank you again for the incredible travelogue and all the photos! I really felt like I was there. Props.
  15. I've had huitlacoche a number of times (and it's delicious!!) but admittedly have never seen it "in the wild". However, anytime I've had it, it's been a MUCH lighter color than that. It was not the color of nasty mold or something, it was mostly white and fairly firm like a mushroom.
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